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PROSECUTION – ASBESTOS  

Refurbishment and asbestos contractors to pay over £1/4m

A refurbishment contractor who failed to manage asbestos has been fined £150k and ordered to pay £30k in prosecution costs. HSE inspectors visiting a 15 storey tower block found asbestos containing materials (ACM) in debris on floors and in black sacks.

The asbestos removal contractor was also prosecuted and fined £70k with costs of £13k. The building was contaminated and asbestos insulation board (AIB) had been removed without use of techniques to prevent fibre release.

Guidance to Inspectors on enforcement published

HSE has now published the asbestos enforcement guidance it provides to Construction and Local Authority Inspectors on when and how to enforce the provisions of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The guidance indicates in what circumstances inspectors are expected to consider serving enforcement notices and prosecution.

Comment: This detailed guidance provides for a more transparent policy and greater clarity as to the circumstances that may require contractors and others to take greater care. However, some may ask: (a) Will all inspectors remember such detailed prescription when carrying out their work? and (b) may it not limit inspector discretion that enables decisions to be framed by the facts of each case which often works be to the benefit of dutyholders?   

INCIDENT – WORKER TRAPPED

Workman saved from approaching tide 

A workman employed by a major civil engineering contractor has been saved from drowning after he was trapped in coastal mud flats as the tide approached.  

CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY

Guidance on ‘Whistleblowing’ workplace risks

BSI has produced a publicly available specification PAS 1998 Whistleblowing Arrangements Code of Practice.  The guide is available to download and sets out good practice for effective whistleblowing arrangements as part of good governance.

Whistleblowing is the popular term used when an employee raises a concern about a possible fraud, crime, danger or other serious risk (including health and safety in the workplace) that could threaten customers, colleagues, shareholders, the public or organisational reputation.  

ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY

Prosecution Cases taken by HSE Construction

Seven records relating to 5 prosecution cases have been added to the HSE database during week commencing 04/08/2008. The cases involved (fine in brackets): 

  1. Fatal accident to employee arising from loading and off loading pipes (£4k)
  2. Co-defendant with case 1 above (£4k)
  3. Working on flat roof without edge protection and risk to the public (£2k)
  4. Unlicensed asbestos removal and contamination of site (£7k)
  5. Injured person fell from a roof whilst dismantling AC clad shed (£10)
  
Prohibition and Improvement Notices issued by HSE Construction

There have been 22 enforcement notices added to the HSE database during week commencing 04/08/2008. 

MANSLAUGHTER 

Company director pleads guilty after fatal fall

A construction company director has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after a court heard how a Chinese worker fell to his death at a Norfolk building site. The workman fell from scaffolding in January 2008 while working as a labourer at a bakery and café undergoing refurbishment. The 44-year-old defendant was released on bail and will be sentenced in September 2008. He could face a period in prison.  

INCIDENT – EXCAVATION

Workman trapped after trench collapse

Firefighters have freed a workman trapped in an excavation on a Farm in near Newbury Berkshire.

Comment: This workman is very lucky to be alive. We have reported at least two excavation deaths in recent months. 

Latest Construction Health and Safety News

HSE ENFORCEMENT UPDATE 19th APRIL 2018

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CROSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

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Specification for sharing health and safety info during construction projects

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Posted on 17th April 2018

MANAGERS FORGED ASBESTOS DOCUMENTATION

Removal licence obtained using fake training and medical certificates

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Posted on 17th April 2018

FINE OVER INCORRECT AND MISLEADING SURVEY

Specialist asbestos company failed to detect AIB on demolition project

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Posted on 17th April 2018

IGNORING HSE ADVICE PENALISED BY LARGE FINE

Contractor fined over £50k for persistent WAH and welfare failings

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Posted on 17th April 2018

PRISON OVER BASEMENT EXCAVATION AND COLLAPSE

Building contractor jailed after house collapsed in Brighton

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Posted on 17th April 2018

DEFEATING POWER INTERLOCK CAUSED FLASHOVER

Systems for managing electrical safety found to be inadequate

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Posted on 17th April 2018

LADDER SAFETY FAILURES ATTRACT MASSIVE FINE

National window firm left workers to ‘own devices’

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Posted on 12th April 2018

FALLING MATERIAL STRUCK WORKMAN IN EXCAVATION

Risks of working in and near excavations highlighted by incident

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Posted on 4th April 2018

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 4th APRIL 2018

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

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Posted on 4th April 2018

HOUSING ASSOCIATION FAILED ON VIBRATION RISK

Assessment, management and health surveillance all found wanting

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Posted on 3rd April 2018

OCCUPIER AND CONTRACTOR FINED OVER FALL

Employee assisting contractor fell through roof during re-roofing project

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Posted on 3rd April 2018

HSE FEARFUL OF GROWING ’BLUE TAPE’ BURDEN

hselogo1ISO 45001 could generate fresh business to business demands

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Posted on 3rd April 2018

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 21st MAR 2018

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

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Posted on 28th March 2018

INCIDENTS: PASSER-BY STRUCK BY BRICKS

Pack of bricks appear to have fallen from crane

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Posted on 28th March 2018

HSE RECONSIDER HOW TO INFLUENCE SMALLER FIRMS

hselogo1Regulator advice and messages are failing to chime with the SME businesses

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Posted on 27th March 2018

DANGEROUS REMOVAL OF ASBESTOS CEMENT

Workers smashed asbestos sheets with crowbars whilst at risk of falling

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Posted on 27th March 2018

HSE LAUNCH CONIAN SHARING AND SUPPORT PLATFORM

hselogo1New HSE web community now open to the public

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Posted on 27th March 2018

FIRM FAILING ON HAVS SURVEILLANCE FINED £50,000

Door manufacturer failed to manage sanding and buffing tool vibration

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Posted on 27th March 2018

PRE-CAST FIRM FINED OVER FINGER AMPUTATION

Lack of guarding and training triggered table saw injury

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Posted on 26th March 2018

HSE STRIKE BEFORE A FALL ON SOLAR PANEL PROJECT

Director and company pay price for lack of fall prevention precautions

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Posted on 26th March 2018

DON’T WASTE MONEY ON MANUAL HANDLING TRAINING

hselogo1HSE call for focus on elimination or reduction of manual handling risk

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Posted on 23rd March 2018

DEVELOPING TRENDS IN RECENT PROSECUTIONS

Lawyers provide useful review of health and safety cases

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Posted on 21st March 2018

HSE HIGHLIGHT CROSSRAIL H&S INNOVATION

Drilling rig improved control of three key health hazards

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Posted on 21st March 2018
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