Saturday, 29 October 2016

Californian woman sues J&J for $70M because of talc

A woman in California has successfully sued Johnson & Jonson because of ovarian cancer which she claims was caused by talc.
Another 2 such cases were thrown out because the judge stated that there was no reliable evidence that talc leads to ovarian cancer.

Talc is Magnesium Silicate with the formula Mg3Si4O10(OH)2.
Chrysotile is Magnesium Silicate with the formula Mg3Si2O5(OH)4. This is commonly called white asbestos.  Interesting, n'est pas?

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sonoco Cores & Paper fined £126,000 whilst changing a roll on a machine

Sonoco Cores & Paper Ltd., a Halifax paper mill firm, was fined £126,354.00 (inc. costs) after a worker suffered severe crush injuries to his right hand.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred while changing a couch roll on a board machine.
  • The risk assessment for this type of work was not suitable or sufficient, 
  • It had identified the hazard, yet it did not consider the likelihood or severity of the risk 
  • It did not identify appropriate measures to prevent an uncontrolled fall of the machine’s hinged steel arm.
  • The worker’s middle finger was severed in the machine and he required subsequent amputation of  both his index and ring fingers.  
  • He is now registered as partly disabled.

Smiths Metal Centres fined £132,000 after trolley overturned causing worker to lose most of his foot

Smiths Metal Centres Limited, a Bedfordshire metal company was fined £132,456 after a worker suffered severe leg injuries and lost most of his foot.
The circumstances were:
  • Smiths purchased four wheeled trolley to be used as ‘workstations’ about 20 years ago.
  • However, employees had chosen to also use them to move metal stock around the site.
  • There was no risk assessment or written system of work for these trolleys.
  • A bundle of 18 stainless steel bars weighing about 900kg was a trolley.
  • The trolley had faulty wheels and there was no record of any maintenance.
  • The trolley was manually moved by Mr Simpson and another staff member 
  • It tipped over and the bundle of bars fell off the top of the trolley trapping his leg and foot. 
  • He was rushed to hospital by the emergency services. 
  • Mr Simpson’s right leg was broken and his right foot was badly crushed. 
  • Despite a number of operations to save his foot, most of it was amputated and he now has a prosthetic foot. It was many months before he was able to return to work. 
  • Mr Simpson is currently only able to work on a part-time basis.
  • After the accident, the trolley was given a safe working load of 500kg, ie half the weight placed on the trolley at the time of the accident.

The HSE Inspector Emma Page said:
“Luke’s life has been drastically altered by what happened and this incident could have been very easily avoided with some very simple measures. The right equipment and a correct maintenance system would have prevented this from happening.”

R Tindall (Fabricators) Ltd fined £75,000 for fatality

Oldham manufacturing firm R Tindall (Fabricators) Ltd was fined £75,000 (inc.costs) after a worker died after he was crushed under metal pipework.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred during an operation to move pipework bundles.
  • There was no risk assessment or documented system for moving and stacking pipework or any items around the site.
  • There was a method for moving bundles using a wooden framework.
  • However, the method of packing bundles had changed to a less stable arrangement without being documented anywhere.
  • 53-year-old Frank Dunne was operating a side-loader forked lift truck which was carrying a vacuum packed pipe bundle. 
  • While he was attempting to load a second bundle weighing 1.5 tonnes, it fell, crushing him underneath.
  • There were no eye witnesses to the incident. 
  • Mr Dunne was found over an hour later when work colleagues moved the side-loader which was still running, discovering his body under the pile.

The HSE Inspector said:
“There was no risk assessment carried out on this new method of working and no system put in place for the operators to follow. If the company had provided a safe system of work for their employees to follow this tragic incident to Mr Dunne could have been avoided.”

Consillium Environmental Services fined £34,500 for conveyor accident

Lancashire-based environmental services company, Consillium Environmental Services, was fined £34,500 (inc.costs) after a worker suffered serious injuries when his arm was crushed by a conveyor belt.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a conveyor belt in a waste processing plant.
  • No suitable and sufficient risk assessment had been carried out.
  • There was no suitable isolation process or guarding in place.
  • There was no safe system of work for cleaning the rollers.
  • On 20th May 2015 Muhammad Shoaib, was cleaning out waste plastic material from the conveyor belt.
  • The machinery was started and his arm was drawn in between the rollers and the belt.
  • Mr Shoaib suffered crush injuries in two places on his left arm and needed extensive surgery. 
  • He has not been able to return to work since the incident.

The HSE Inspector said:
“This incident was entirely preventable. It is essential to take effective measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. As in this case the outcome for ignoring these simple safety measures can result in life changing injuries and a substantial fine.”