CO exposure on construction site left worker hospitalised
Tuesday 31st January 2017
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The workers were using a petrol saw to cut out an existing concrete floor at a fish factory in Hull. In order to protect the factory's surfaces from dust, they created a sealed enclosure from timber and polythene.
The space was not ventilated and in October 2015 there was a build-up of carbon monoxide from the saw, which left one worker hospitalised.
The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) investigation found Westland had not planned the work and failed to consider the dangers of an un-ventilated tent.
It said the company should have prevented the workers' exposure to harmful dust with a suppression system, local exhaust ventilation and appropriate respiratory protective equipment.
Westland was fined £16,000 plus costs of £847 at Hull Magistrates' Court.
In its Health and Safety Policy Statement of Intent posted online, the company says it works to prevent accidents, injuries and damage to health by "providing safe working environments that are without risks to health", "safeguarding employees and others from foreseeable hazards connected with work activities", and "ensuring that, when new substances, equipment, processes or premises are introduced, adequate guidance, instruction, training and supervision are provided for safe methods of work to be developed".
After the hearing, HSE inspector Jennifer Elsegood said: "Petrol-driven saws should not be used in a confined space because of the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous; it has no smell and workers can be overcome by the fumes before they realise they have been affected, making it extremely dangerous. This is why it is known as the 'silent killer'."
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that David Gordon Stead, of Mildred Street, Beddau, had failed to ensure that the burning of waste material was being carried out safely. On the day of the incident, a young worker was instructed to stand on top of a skip and pour a drum of flammable thinners onto the burning waste to aid the burning process.
Manchester Crown Court heard last week that the 45-year-old labourer had been carrying out repair work at Witney Mill, a warehouse in Manchester, when the incident occurred on 23 November 2013.Building contractor Saleem Hussain had been hired by the warehouse owner, who believed him to be competent, to carry out repair and maintenance work on the warehouse roof. Hussain then hired two workers to undertake the repairs.
The company was installing a mezzanine floor at a factory in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey when the incident occurred on 13 January 2015. The contractor was working on the floor when he stepped backwards and fell through a hole where a lift was due to be installed.
Manchester City Magistrates’ Court was told that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an unannounced inspection of the site in April 2015. It served a prohibition notice on Select Quality Homes after it found no or inadequate edge protection on several parts of the scaffolding.When the HSE made a return visit to the site, the deficient scaffolding was still in place.
Balfour Beatty Regional Construction (BBRC) was managing the site at Richmond Park Croft, Sheffield, when the accident happened, Newcastle Crown Court was told. The victim was part of a three-strong bricklaying team that had been instructed to work on the incomplete development. On 2 March 2015 the floor gave way at one side and he fell 2.4 m, along with around 70 building blocks. He sustained multiple fractures to his foot.
Wolverhampton Crown Court was told that a worker was repairing a printing, slotting and forming machine at Diamond Box’s factory in West Bromwich in the West Midlands. He put his foot onto an exposed conveyor and was dragged into the machine’s moving parts. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that Diamond Box allowed uncontrolled maintenance work without a risk assessment.