This Riskex News Review contains an interview with Claire Delo, Senior Safety Consultant at Riskex, explaining how her role will help AssessNET clients get the most out of their Safety Management System.  Available for on-site, webinar, or telephone consultations, Claire and her team bring their expertise to guide and oversee the roll-out of new systems.  They can also perform “health checks” for existing clients, to make sure they are unlocking the full potential of AssessNET’s powerful features.

This Riskex News Review also features an update on the case where a patient tragically died at a Lincolnshire hospital, after falling onto an exposed post on a physiotherapy hoist.  The article highlights the risks posed by employees being inadequately trained in the operation of equipment, and the dangers of them making inappropriate adaptations for which the equipment was not designed.

 

This episode of Riskex News Review considers the risks of lone working, after the tragic death of a South West Water worker in 2013, leading to a £1.8million fine, plus over £41,000 in costs.  Since the event, South West Water have made changes to working practices and their lone working system.

We also investigate the benefits of using drones with video cameras attached to improve data collection in Health and Safety.  With the increasing use of drones across the board, the UK Government have been drawing up plans for future management.  For more information, visit https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2017/july/uk-to-require-drones-and-their-operators-to-be-registered-/

Our final story highlights the importance of identifying work process risks, introducing corrective measures, and ensuring that the measures are followed after a cable-manufacturing worker loses a finger.

Tesco Stores Limited has pleaded guilty to a major pollution incident, and been fined £8 million plus costs, after a petrol leak at one of their filling stations in Haslingden, Lancashire.
The leak came from a filling tank at the Tesco petrol station, which was allowed to continue for more than 24 hours.  As a result, local residents who were affected sought medical help.

Some of the petrol found its way into local rivers, causing environmental damage and killing fish, and local residents were also affected by the leak, with the fumes remaining in homes for a number of days.

Tesco Stores issued a statement to apologise, and stated that since the incident, they have inspected petrol stations, introduced a new real-time monitoring system and made other improvements to prevent similar events.

Also in this edition of Riskex News Review, we report on the recent ban on beards by maintenance company, Mears, and a group of hospital cleaners are granted compensation after suffering adverse health issues from using disinfectant without the correct training and equipment.

In light of the horrifically tragic events at Grenfell Tower in London on June 14th 2017, what are the Fire Safety factors that you can look out for, to help protect yourself and those around you? This video gives some simple suggestions.

A construction company in Scotland has been fined £14,000 for safety breaches, after one of its workers was seriously injured when a trench collapsed, burying him alive.

Julian Kilbane was part of a team using an excavator to dig a trench 2.7 metres deep. Mr Kilbane was down in the trench laying new drainage pipes, and helping to guide machinery. When they located a boulder that prevented further excavation, the team used the digger to try and move it.

One of the trench walls collapsed, burying Mr Kilbane in soil. His colleagues immediately dug the soil away from his head so that he could breathe. He sustained multiple injuries, including punctured lungs and broken ribs, a fractured collarbone and shoulder. He was hospitalised for almost 3 weeks and has since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The HSE investigation found that none of the workers had formal health and safety training to manage a construction site, and there had been no risk assessment of the excavation work. Workers were given verbal instructions, rather than being briefed using detailed mapped out plans. Not only that, the trench had not been supported to control the risk of it collapsing.

The fine of £14,000 has been criticised by the Unite Union, whose opinion is that it is an insufficient sum, considering the suffering that Mr Kilbane and his family have endured so far. In their view, the fine does not send a strong enough message about the paramount importance of health and safety at work.

IOSH Magazine article 16 May 2017

RISKEX NEWS REVIEW VIDEO EP. 1

Kilsaran Concrete, based in Ireland, was fined €125,000 in 2016, following the death of an employee, Barry Gargan. The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, for failing to ensure the safety and welfare of its workers.

The case heard that Gargan was working on a wet cast production line, comprising automated moving equipment located inside a guarded safety cage. Gargan had been instructed to work inside the caged area and was killed instantly when a hydraulic arm crushed him against a vibrating table.

A Kilsaran Concrete manager, Carl Griffin, was ordered to pay €10,000 after he admitted instructing Gargan to work inside the guarded area.

However, the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed to the Court of Appeal against the leniency of the sentence. The court agreed and increased it by €875,000 to €1,000,000.

It was reported that Justice John Edwards said the company had prioritised profits above employees’ welfare and that there had been a “wilful neglect of the duty to ensure the safety of Kilsaran Concrete’s employees and a calculated decision to take unjustified risks”.

He said the “impugned practices were not merely condoned, they were encouraged and indeed participation in them was required by a member of senior management”.

He concluded that the original fine imposed by the Circuit Court judge was inadequate and “unduly lenient” and that the seriousness of the offence warranted a €2m (£1.7m) fine, which was halved in light of the company’s guilty plea, cooperation, corrective measures taken and its good safety record.

Brian Higgisson, Assistant Chief Executive of Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority, said: “A fine of this size sends a clear signal that the safety, health and welfare of workers is of paramount importance and cannot be disregarded.

“This accident was caused by a deliberate breach of safety procedures and should not have happened.

There is a clear message here for employers, that courts are taking Health and Safety breaches very seriously, and there is a trend for an increased level of fines.

Clearly this has a heavy impact on an organisation’s finances, but also an impact on their reputation and the adverse publicity that is attached to it.