Saturday, 25 February 2017

Insurance companies note: Common sense judgement in claim against Ronnie Scott's

Common sense judgement from Judge Heather Baucher:
She said that Eren Hussein, who claimed against Ronnie Scott's Club after falling down stairs, was intoxicated, obese, wearing shoes with high platform heels and not taking care by holding the bannister as she descended.

Mrs Hussein said that the bannister was on the right whilst she was on the left.  Judge Baucher stated that this should not have prevented her from using the rail as the stairs were only 1m wide. "Mrs Hussein, at 115kg must have taken up much of the width of the stairway."

The claim against Ronnie Scott's was thrown out.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

HSE announce proposal to make FFI cost recovery scheme independant

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it is to consult on proposals to make its cost recovery scheme dispute process fully independent.
The scheme, Fee for Intervention (FFI) was introduced in October 2012 to shift the cost of regulating workplace health and safety from the public purse to businesses which break the law and ensures the cost burden of HSE intervention is picked up by those companies and not taxpayers.

This announcement follows on from the publication of figures which show a £2.7m shortfall in the scheme.  Income in the year to April 2016 was £14.7m, but the operating costs were £17.4m.

Until now, disputes were considered by a panel which consisted of two members from HSE and one independent person. However, after reviewing the current process HSE will consult with relevant stakeholders with a view to making the process fully independent.
A spokesperson for HSE said:
“HSE has always kept the dispute process under review and following a recent application for a judicial review we believe the time is right to move to a dispute process which is completely independent of HSE.”

Recresco fined nearly £60,000 after roller shutter door failure injured employee

Recycling firm Recresco Limited was fined £59, 944 (inc.costs) after a worker suffered crush injuries from a roller shutter door.
The circumstances were:
  • None of the electronically operated roller shutter doors at the company’s site had been adequately maintained to keep the equipment safe.
  • On 17 April 2015 the barrel of a door fell on an employee.
  • This resulted in three cracked ribs and a damaged spleen.
  • This caused him to miss eight weeks of work.

The HSE inspector said:
“This case highlights the importance of regular pro-active maintenance and inspection of work equipment, including roller shutter doors, to ensure equipment does not deteriorate to the extent that it puts people at risk. In this case Recresco failed to effectively maintain their equipment and it could have easily resulted in a fatal injury.”

2 owners of Kidderminster company each fined £12,150 following forklift truck accident

The two owners of Kidderminster based fencing firm Hoo Farm Fencing have been given suspended sentences and each fined £12,150 (inc.costs) after a worker was hit by timber posts and frames which fell from a fork lift truck.
The circumstances were:

  • On 12 February 2016, Raymond Lainsbury was helping to dip timber posts and frames in preservative.
  • The posts were on a frame on a forklift truck.
  • The equipment was not suitable for the task. 
  • The operator had not been properly trained to operate a fork lift truck. 
  • The company also failed to have the fork lift truck thoroughly examined.
  • The posts fell from the fame, striking him.
Maurice James Blackford and Susan Hawthorn both pled guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
They were sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years and each fined £10,000 and half the costs of £4318.
The HSE inspector said
“The seriousness of the safety failings could have resulted in much more severe injuries to Mr Lainsbury who was lucky to walk away from this incident. This case highlights the importance of maintaining proper safety practices and also all duty holders will be held accountable for failing to do so.”

H E Realisations fined £42,230 for injury due to unsafe overhead crane use

H E Realisations Ltd., a Cleckheaton engineering firm, was fined £42,230 (inc.costs) for safety breaches after a worker suffered life changing injuries.

The circumstances were:

  • On 24 February 2015, Kevin Tait was using equipment to lift an 18 tonne steel roll.
  • The equipment was poorly maintained. 
  • The lifting operation had not been suitably planned.
  • 18 tonne was above the safe working load of the equipment.
  • Part of one of the shortening clutches sheared causing the load to swing and strike Mr Tait on the head.  
H E Realisations are now in liquidation, hence the low level of the fine.
The HSE inspector commented:
“Lifting operations are hazardous and require a competent person to properly plan and supervise them to ensure that suitable and properly maintained equipment is used in the right configuration to avoid exceeding safe working loads. Kevin is incredibly lucky that he was not killed in this incident and he has suffered permanent life changing injuries as a result. This workplace accident has changed the lives of Kevin and his family irrevocably.”

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Categorising head protection

Useful section in IOSH Magazine's PPE Guide supplement categorising head protection with examples of where it may be applied:

EN812 Bump Caps

  • Vehicle manufacture and maintenance
  • Loft insulation
  • Plumbing
  • Removals

EN 397 Industrial safety helmets-Lightweight 

  • Low rise construction
  • Highway maintenance
  • Utilities

EN 397 Industrial safety helmets-Standard

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • External terlecoms

EN 12492 Mountaineering helmets

  • Rigging
  • High rise construction
  • Building sites
  • Tower climbing
  • Energy and network sites

EN 14052 High-performance industrial safety helmets 
  • High rise construction
  • Mining
  • Demolition