Thursday, 12 December 2019

Packaging Waste

You know the Packaging Waste (Producer Responsibility) Regulations aren't working when a memory stick comes in a container like this It may be that Amazon equipment can't handle anything smaller.
On the other hand, it is recyclable. If it was in a small plastic bubble-protected envelope, then it would have less waste but not be recyclable.
Maybe there's scope for the Packaging Waste (Producer Responsibility) Regulations to be changed to have a weighting that encourages the use of recyclable materials and penalises plastic.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Sirap UK Ltd fined £150,000 after 1 tonne bag fell and hit forklift truck driver.

Sirap UK Ltd, a plastic packaging manufacturer, was fined £151,061 after an accident  resulted in an employee suffering multiple fractures to their pelvis and legs.

The circumstances were:
  • There was no safe working practice for stacking Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs), commonly called bulk bags, or repairing them.
  • FIBCs had been stacked in an unsafe manner to a height of approximately 2.2 metres.
  • An employee was operating a forklift truck next to these FIBCs.
  • He reversed the forklift truck and it caught one of the lower FIBCs causing it to tear and spill its contents. 
  • He descended from the truck and attempted to repair the tear.
  • However, the top FIBC, weighing about 1 tonne, fell and struck the employee.

The HSE inspector said:
“There are many companies using this type of container and they should note that the use of FIBCs requires safe stacking formations and safe systems for reuse and repair. Had the company adopted the correct standards this worker would not have been injured”.

Nichol McKay Limited fined after load fell and struck supervisor on the head

Nichol McKay Limited, a manufacturer of engineering products, was fined £12,000 after an employee was struck on the head by a falling load.
The circumstances were:
  • An automatic shot blaster was being loaded.
  • The Profile Shed Supervisor helped a colleague load components into a suspended basket.
  • The components weighed 60 kg each.
  • There was no safety catch on the hooks used to hold the basket to prevent it becoming detached.
  • A loaded basket and its contents became detached and fell, striking the supervisor on the head and rendering him unconscious.
  • The HSE served a Notice of Contravention and an Improvement Notice which required a review of the company’s management of lifting operations
  • The notice was complied with when the company confirmed a new lifting operations procedure and safe system of work.

The HSE inspector  said:
“This incident could easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard.”

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Brooks Forgings fined after an amputation caused during a setting operation

Brooks Forgings Limited was fined £4,011 (inc.costs) had to have fingers and a thumb amputated.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on an Upset Forging machine.
  • There was no safe system of work whilst undertaking setting procedures on this.
  • There were no effective measures to prevent access to the dangerous parts.
  • There was no isolation procedure.
  • On 25 June 2018 a forger had his left hand crushed between dies and moving parts on the press whilst setting the machine.. 
  • Following hospital treatment his thumb, index finger and part of his middle finger had to be amputated.

The HSE inspector said:
“The implementation of an isolation procedure for the setting of the machine would have ensured that the machine could not have operated whilst the forger was setting the machine; which would have prevented the forger from losing significant parts of his hand. 
Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to eliminate or minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery."

Partners given suspended sentence for failing to control Legionella

Partners Kulwant Singh Chatha and Satpaul Kaur Chatha were each sentenced to serve 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £12,115 each for failing to control Legionella.
The circumstances were:
  • There was a cooling tower at their company Isher Hangers in Spring Hill, Birmingham.
  • The partners ignored concerns raised by their own water treatment consultants.
  • There were no Legionella risk assessments in place.
  • The partners failed to put in place suitable measures to control the risk of Legionella bacteria from the cooling tower. 
  • For example, there was no biocide dosing of the water.
  • These failures exposed employees and members of the public to Legionella which can cause Legionnaires’ disease, which can be fatal.
  • People who have underlying or current medical issues are especially susceptible to infection.
  • This was a particular concern as Isher Hangers’ premises are in the vicinity of two major hospitals.

The HSE inspector said,
"Isher Hangers were operating a cooling tower without biocide, ignoring the advice of their own consultants. Cooling towers have the potential to spread bacteria that can cause serious illness or death, if not maintained in accordance with the published guidelines."

W S Barrett & Son fined £13,740 for not complying with 3 improvement notices

W S Barrett & Son Limited, a Lincolnshire metal fabrication company was fined £13,740 (inc.costs) for not complying with three improvement notices issued by the HSE.
The circumstances were:
  • In February 2018 W S Barrett & Son Limited were notified by a Notification of Contravention letter of the needs for LEV and LEV testing.
  • They did not act on this.
  • In December 2018 a visit by the HSE found the company had still not made the necessary improvements.
  • They were issued with three improvement notices relating to:
  • 1. Testing wood dust and powder coating local exhaust ventilation (LEV), and 
  • 2. Providing LEV for welding fume extraction.  
  • A subsequent follow up visit in April 2019 showed they still had not done the work to meet the improvement notices.

The HSE inspector said,
“The failure to comply with an improvement notice is a serious offence. If you receive a notice, you should ensure you take appropriate action to correct the health and sa
fety problems and breaches that are identified in the notice.”

Director prosecuted for hazardous substance offences

James Harrison, a former managing director, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months with 20 hours unpaid work, and ordered to pay costs of £5428.21.
The circumstances of the offences were:
  • Mr.Harrison was the former managing director of the now dissolved Laser Shapes (NW) Limited who manufactured agricultural trailers.
  • Employees of Laser Shapes regularly used aerosolised paints containing isocyanates and solvents to spray large tractor trailers.
  • Inhalation of isocyanates and solvents can cause occupational asthma, dizziness, liver and kidney damage. 
  • This activity was being carried out without adequate controls in place to prevent workers from inhaling harmful substances.
  • Mr.Harrison deliberately hid unsafe working practices from HSE inspectors.

The HSE inspector said
“James Harrison was well aware of the unsafe conditions that his employees were being subjected to whilst at work.  The effect of being exposed to these substances has resulted in at least one former employee developing a life changing condition, which could easily have been prevented if proper controls had been in place, such as suitable extraction and respiratory protective equipment.”