Making Sense of Health and Safety

Health and Safety News

We scour the Internet for Health and Safety related news items on an almost daily basis.

The news articles and clippings, curated by MD Safety, highlight the requirements for compliance with UK Health and Safety Legislation and best practice across all industry sectors.

The majority of the information and cases will apply to a greater or lesser degree to our broad range of Clients and lessons to be learned will be able to be gained.

Safety is paramount in all industries, not just to protect people but to ensure that businesses remain compliant with health and safety legislation. Whether you’re a commercial landlord or a prospective tenant, you might not realise that surveyors could be at risk in your property. These are a few of the elements often overlooked when surveying a building that could pose a threat to surveyors. 

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A construction company has been fined after an employee died as a result of falling from a mobile tower.  Cambridge Magistrates Court heard how, on 15 September 2017, Sean Harding was working from a mobile tower levelling a steel beam that was seated on a door lintel. This involved using a crowbar to lever the beam up for a work colleague to insert a metal packer into the gap. Mr Harding caught his jacket sleeve on the tower, lost balance and fell over a single guard rail and down to ground level. He was taken to hospital but died three months later due to medical complications.

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A glass worker has received a payout of more than £100,000 after a glazing firm was fined for breaching health and safety laws that left him with 'vibration white finger'.  Jamie Ross, 35, lives in constant pain from the life-changing condition known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) after years of using powerful glass cutting tools.

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A contractor and a water management company have been fined after a worker was injured when he was hit by a 1.5 tonne water valve.  Newcastle upon Tyne Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 June 2018, Northumbrian Water Limited had contracted JW Colpitts & Co Limited to connect a 1.5 tonne water valve in a confined chamber at Kielder Reservoir, Northumberland. The valve was suspended from a lorry mounted crane when it swung across the chamber and struck the worker. He sustained an open compound fracture of his tibia and fibula and was airlifted to hospital.

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The Flemish government in Belgium has taken a risk-based approach to tackling the region’s huge asbestos legacy with an ambitious plan to become ‘asbestos-safe’ by 2040.   The decision was taken after the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) compared national and international studies, undertook sector enquiries and ran pilot projects, and emphasised the need for a more immediate and proactive approach.

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Great Britain’s workplace regulator is asking demolition and construction firms to double-down on thorough planning, management and control of demolition and refurbishment work.  The HSE is asking that businesses properly plan, organise, manage, and monitor their work and use competent people to avoid incidents and ill health amongst their workers and the public.

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A hazardous waste treatment company has been fined after an employee died when a forklift truck he was driving overturned and crushed him.  A worker, employed by Lanstar Ltd at Cadishead, Manchester, died because the company had failed to ensure its forklift trucks were being operated safely, Manchester Magistrates Court heard. The incident happened on 3 April 2017.

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Shameful’ figures reveal more than a thousand serious injuries at Amazon sites have been reported to health and safety bodies since 2016, a GMB investigation has found.  Disturbingly, the number of injuries reported to health and safety bodies is rapidly increasing.  

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A construction company and its groundworks contractor have been fined after unsafe excavation work left a worker with serious burns to his hand and arm.  High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court heard that, on the 2 August 2018, a  groundworker was preparing the ground to install a post to carry an Automatic Number Plate Recognition Camera (ANPRC), at Twyford near Reading, Berkshire.

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A company, which manufactures self-adhesive vinyl and other coated plastic films has been fined after an employee’s hand became caught between two driven rollers and was pulled into the machine.  Newport Magistrates’ Court heard how on 25 July 2019.an employee of Kay Premium Marking Films Limited was attempting to clean glue off a roller within the slitter machine. His hand became caught within the mechanism of the machine and he sustained  a broken ulna, radius and elbow. As a result of the incident the employee underwent surgery to have his arm pinned and plated.

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