HSENI stamp on firms with insufficient safeguards for metal working fluids’ work
Thursday 13th September 2018
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The HSENI has announced a focused inspection campaign for October and businesses will be visited to check that they have sufficient safeguards in place. The inspection checklist includes making sure a suitable risk assessment is available for controlling risks and that machinery is adequately guarded.
Inspectors will also check that businesses hold current local exhaust ventilation (LEV) records to prove that the system has been examined in the past 14 months, which is a legal requirement.
Businesses will need to show inspectors that they have either prevented or adequately controlled the exposure to MWF by inhalation and skin contact. Sometimes referred to as suds, coolants, slurry or soap, MWFs are used during the machining of metals to provide lubrication and cooling.
As part of next month's inspections, employers will also need to demonstrate the quality of MWF has been maintained and that they have taken measures to minimise the bacterial contamination of metalworking and associated washing fluids.
Inspectors will expect businesses to show they have carried out health surveillance where necessary. The HSENI has warned that manufactures and engineering firms that have failed to comply could be handed improvement and prohibition notices to improve standards.
A waste operative for B&W Waste Management Services sustained third-degree burns when he was engulfed in a fireball created when a spark from a forklift truck ignited a cloud of gas from the canisters. He was put in a medically-induced coma for ten days on a life-support machine, has undergone several operations, and relies on medication for nerve pain. The forklift driver was also burned.
Both accidents happened on the let-off machine, a unit at the start of the production line comprising a reel wrapped with rubber ply, and a bobbin. During operation, the rubber ply was fed on to the conveyor belt while the protective liner wound around the bobbin.On 29 November 2013, machine operator Paul Irons was manually adjusting the bobbin with the unit in the loading position. The machine was running at a production speed of 18 m per minute and he was drawn into the exposed in-running nip, sustaining a broken arm.
Abbey Forged Products employee Billy Fairweather, 35, was part of a group of four that had been tasked with hammering pieces of hard alloy. While he was working on a small piece of metal, he switched from the powered hammer he had been assigned to a larger, more powerful one. Sheffield Crown Court was told that he was knelt close to the hammer when the piece of hard alloy misaligned and was forcefully expelled. Fairweather fell backwards and sustained fatal injuries.
Headed by the CIWM’s health, safety and wellbeing special interest group (SIG), the “This time it’s personal” campaign aims to help members of the waste sector’s professional body improve workplace standards by challenging colleagues’ behaviour and recognising common human factors.Designed to instill greater individual responsibility for OSH, the campaign also aims to encourage operatives to consider their responsibilities for wellbeing, use of personal protective equipment, traffic safety, and plant and equipment use.
After previous workplace deaths workers have sometimes downed tools, particularly if the incident takes place in their work area. However, construction union Unite has agreed that if the joint venture partner applies the “continue to work” policy properly and sensitively and does not put anyone else in danger on the site, its members will comply. According to the Construction Enquirer, Unite’s members working on the site were encouraged to agree the deal in August to protect payouts to the family of any worker who dies on the project.
Steven Ayres was injured working as a scaler on the scarfing line, in which metal is torched to remove imperfections, at the steelmaker’s billet mill in Stocksbridge, Sheffield. A billet is a cast or hot-rolled length of steel that can be further processed to make bars or rods. Water runoff and impurities from the scarfing process were collected in a skip stored below ground in a pit 3.7 m by 2.5 m by 2.5 m and covered by two metal plates that sat flush with the floor.