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CONSTRUCTION HEALTH AND SAFETY NEWS: 09 JUNE 2008

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Philip Poynter   

FATALITIES DURING APRIL 2008

Fatal injuries in construction reported to HSE April 2008

HSE publish brief information on initial notifications of fatalities received at their offices. Details provided regarding the seven construction sector deaths in April 2008 are reproduced verbatim below.

  1. Died following collapse of an unshored section of the excavation – Glasgow
  2. Fell through fragile rooflight – West Yorkshire
  3. Driver of a tipping lorry reversed onto deceased – M25 Junctions 2/3
  4. Trench collapsed onto deceased – Aylesbury
  5. Deceased fell over 6m through ridge cap opening – Gwynedd
  6. Deceased fell from the top of the hoist – London
  7. Fell 6.5m – London 

Comment: Two deaths in one month due to the collapse of excavations is unusual. Four out of seven deaths involving falls from height is above the long term pattern in which falls from height acount for around 45% of construction deaths.

CDM PROJECT NOTIFICATIONS

CDM Project notifications can now be submitted online

The notification of CDM projects can now be carried out online and the data will automatically transfer to HSE systems. Supporting User Guidance is also available.

DELIVERY AND UNLOADING OF STEEL PRODUCTS

National Association of Steel Stockholders (NASS) guidance

The NASS has produced a number of useful safety publications including one that offers practical advice on the delivery and unloading of steel. It highlights the planning that should take place to ensure that steel can be safely unloaded on site, as well as the practical precautions necessary during the unloading procedure. The advice, published in February 2007, supercedes information in HSE guidance “Safe Unloading of Steel Products” (INDG313). 

British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) guidance 

The BCSA has published companion guidance on measures that can be taken to prevent falls from vehicles during the loading and unloading of steelwork. HSE ran a UK campaign on falls from vehicles in construction during 2007 and this is likley to be carried over throughout 2008 

Steel fabricator and road haulier prosecuted after steel fell during unloading 

The risks during loading and unloading of steel products were highlighted by a fatal accident and subsequent prosecution in 2007

TELEHANDLER SAFETY

HSE warning on risk from telehandlers

The above press release warned of the danger of pedestrians being struck by telehandlers on construction projects. We are aware of 17 deaths involving telehandlers in construction since 1999. The vehicle was reversing in 41% of the cases, 18% occurred whilst the vehicle was moving forward, a further 18% when it overturned, 12% involved the driver being trapped by the mast and 6% of the deaths were caused when the load fell. Controlling risk from telehandlers involves taking action in four key areas:

  • Vehicle – design, vision aids, CCTV, radar and warning devices;
  • Driver – awareness, training, competence and personal health;
  • Pedestrian – awareness, training and visibility;
  • Traffic Routes – plan, use, maintainance, storage and housekeeping.

HSE ENFORCEMENT

Prosecutions added to the HSE database in the last 7 days

The above link finds prosecutions taken by HSE Construction Division that have been added to the database in the last week. The two cases involved (i) demolition work from a pallet on a telehandler and (ii) the collapse of a site hoarding which struck a member of the public.  

Notices added to HSE database in the last 7 days

The above link finds the 13 Prohibition and Improvement Notices issued by HSE Construction Division and added to the database in the last week.    

Director fined after plasterer falls from height

A company director has paid £3.6k in fines and costs after a plasterer fell 4m when a temporary timber handrail failed.  

Loft converter fined after carpenter falls from ladder

A loft conversion company has been fined £25k and ordered to pay costs of £8k after a carpenter fell from a ladder when carrying a section of chipboard. The company failed to organise a safe and suitable method of transferring materials from ground level to the loft space. The company had received previous advice from HSE.

HEALTH RISKS IN CONSTRUCTION

Construction employers urged to support Men’s Health Week 9-16 June 2008

The statistics on ill health in construction show that some 90,000 people working in the industry suffer from an illness caused or made worse by their current construction job. There are signs of improvement relative to other sectors in that the estimated incidence rate in 2006/07 for the construction sector was statistically significantly lower than the average for all industries. HSE has identified certain key health risks in construction.

HOMEBUILD

Homebuilders given a helping hand

This HSE seminar for homebuilders covered falls from vehicles, competence of machine operators, occupational health, self erecting tower cranes, industrial rope access and scaffold design. The event is part of a UK wide HSE focus on the homebuild sector during 2008.

Comment: The injury rate in the homebuilding sector is double what it was in 1999/01 and homebuild accounts for 16 per cent of all fatal injuries in the UK construction sector.There are significant variations between sectors of the industry as regards the pattern of fatal injuries. In Homebuild, mobile plant account for 28% of deaths whereas falls from height account for only 17%. This is in contrast to the wider industry where falls from height cause some 45% of fatal incidents. In Homebuild the mobile plant related deaths involve fork lift trucks (mainly telehandlers) 44%, excavators 39% and dumpers 17%.

LEGISLATIVE GUIDES UPDATED

Safe use of Work Equipment Regulations ACOP updated

The third edition of the PUWER 98 ACOP and has been published to reflect the latest legislation. References have been updated to include the most recent publications available and obsolete information has been removed. The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and substance of the guidance remains unchanged.

Riddor guide new edition published

This new edition updates guidance, particularly in relation to the changes in reporting arrangements and the need to use the Incident Contact Centre (ICC). Other amendments have been made to reflect changes in legislation. The introduction contains an ‘at a glance’ list of reportable major injuries, dangerous occurrences and diseases.

NEW YORK CRANE COLLAPSE UPDATE

New York crane collapse video / audio report on causes etc.

This video/audio report provides an interesting and detailed account of what happened, the state of the investigation and likely causes.

OTHER NEWS

Building collapse man killed

‘The Apprentice’ candidate injured by falling wall

AND FINALLY…

Builders and developers voted in top 10 sexiest jobs!

END

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