Waste firm fined £900k over failure to isolate electric cables
Tuesday 28th November 2017
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The worker was removing a piece of industrial equipment at a site in Wallsend in North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear. He had been contracted by Green North East Trading Bidco (GNETB), which traded as Impetus Waste Management.
On 20 March 2016 he cut through an electric cable to a fan, which he believed had been isolated because the company had told him it was safe for him to carry out the job, South Tyneside Magistrates' Court was told.
He suffered an electric shock and needed hospital treatment. He has since made a full recovery.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said GNETB had not adequately planned and managed the work. It found there were several pieces of equipment that had not been electrically isolated at the site.
GNETB, which entered administration in November 2016, was found guilty of breaching s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and ordered to pay costs of £5,390.
"This incident could so easily have been avoided if the work had been properly planned, the risks identified and steps taken to ensure that all equipment was electrically safe before the contractors started work at the site," said HSE inspector Shuna Rank.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates’ Court was told that the Instrument and Control Services employee was moving the control panel on 2 February 2016. The unit, which weighed between 650 and 750 kg and was top heavy, toppled over and pinned the engineer to the ground. He sustained a pelvic fracture that split apart the left and right sides of his lower pelvis. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had not risk assessed the task and had not provided a safe system of work or proper instruction and training.
Mark Goodge had been using an emery cloth to clean by hand steel shafts on the lathe at Marcantonio Foods’ factory in Barking, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told.Goodge’s gloves became entangled in the lathe and his lost four fingers on his right hand, broke several bones in his left arm and sustained a dislocated wrist.The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found Marcantonio had no safe system of work for cleaning the metal shafts.
Howdens Joinery was prosecuted at Carlisle Crown Court after it pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It must also pay costs of almost £34,000. The court was told that Richard Brown had been delivering kitchen worktops to the company’s premises at Clay Flatts industrial estate in Workington when the accident happened in November 2014.A forklift truck was being used to unload two pallets from the heavy goods vehicle when it overbalanced. It fell on Brown and he died at the scene.
Dupont surveyed 82 senior managers from the oil and gas, mining, chemical manufacturing and construction sectors. Only just over two respondents in five said they discussed process safety and asset integrity at board meetings. But more than half reviewed general safety, health and environment metrics and regulatory compliance.If boards do not focus on operational risk, they can fall prey to the “illusion of understanding”, warned DuPont, in which “performance indicators may show positive trends but risks remain hidden, waiting to strike [at] any time”.
Safi Qais Khan died at Master Construction Products Skips’ (MCPS) site in Birmingham after he became entangled in a poorly maintained trommel, also known as a sorting screen, in which waste is filtered as it descends a perforated drum. The machine was missing essential guards to prevent entrapment, it had no emergency stop button and was located on uneven ground that was strewn with waste, said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). MCPS did not have a safe system of work for the trommel.
Imagine the scenario. As the building manager in a large five-storey, urban office building, which is staffed by 650 workers covering multiple shifts, you are responsible for managing fire safety.The building is equipped with multiple fire escape routes and is covered by an automatic sprinkler system, which is linked to the evacuation alarm. Fire alarms are tested every week, and twice a year there is a fire drill during which staff evacuate to a hall area elsewhere in the building rather than an external assembly point.