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Health and Safety News: May 2009

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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

HSE's website is changing

The new designs are the first step towards improving HSE’s Website
– including all areas of the site dedicated to individual industries and
health and safety topics.

The next major instalment is on 3 June. You’ll see a new HSE

homepage and major changes to ‘News, ‘Guidance’, ‘About HSE’ and
‘Contact Us’ pages.

at 00:49 0 comments
Labels: health and safety, HSE, website

Child in tractor / trailer accident

At 1649hrs on Monday, 25 May, the Health and Safety Executive was
alerted to an incident that had taken place at Avon Valley Country
Park, near Bristol. A 10-year-old child had fallen under the wheels of
a trailor being pulled by a tractor and had to be airlifted to hospital.

This incident is being investigated by officials from Bath and North

East Somerset Council.


© Copyright
at 00:46 0 comments
Labels: accident, Bristol, child, HSE, news, tractor (1 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Court action over Sellafield radiation

Criminal proceedings have been launched against the owners of
Sellafield nuclear power plant after two contractors were exposed to
airborne radiation.

The pair were working to decontaminate an area of concrete floor at

the plant in Cumbria when they were exposed to radioactive
contamination on 11 July 2007.

The Health and Safety Executive has now begun criminal

proceedings against Sellafield Ltd for failing to fulfil its health and
safety duties. The case will be heard at Whitehaven Magistrates'
Court on 24 July.

Magistrates can fine Sellafield Ltd up to £20,000, but should the case
be referred to Crown Court then the company will face an unlimited

The HSE was unable to comment any further on the case, but a
Sellafield spokesman said: "An incident took place in July 2007 during
which two contractors received a higher than anticipated radiation
dose intake, whilst carrying out floor refurbishment work within a
redundant area of the Plutonium Finishing and Storage Plant.

"As the legal process is under way, it would be inappropriate for the
company to comment any further at this stage."


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 06:56 0 comments
Labels: health and safety, HSE, radiation

All clear for chemical scare shops

A toxic fumes scare at the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham
that left 50 people needing treatment was given the all clear in time
for bank holiday Monday.

Free parking was on offer to entice shoppers back to the centre after
a can of diesel at a shop in nearby Moat Lane was identified as the

Said Bullring general manager Tim Walley: "The investigation into the
incident has been completed and monitoring equipment has been
installed to provide the Bullring an all-clear reading.

"This equipment remains on site to ensure that there is no risk of

repeat incidents in the future.

"Until a post-incident review is completed in the coming weeks, we

cannot disclose specific details, but we want to reassure the public
that we do not have any evidence that it was caused by malicious

A suspected chemical link had closed the centre on Thursday. Five (2 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

security staff, two of whom had been sick, were taken to hospital. It is
not thought that the incident was caused deliberately.


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 06:55 0 comments
Labels: Birmingham, chemicals, health and safety,
hospital, illness

'Failures' blamed for worker's death

Previous Article:
Marquee worker electrocuted to death

A "succession of failures" led to the death of a Polish labourer

electrocuted by an overhead cable while dismantling a marquee at a
castle in Gloucestershire, an inquest jury has ruled.

The tragedy happened at Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, near

Cheltenham, on April 30 2007 when Krysztof Wiecek, 45, touched the
11,000-volt power cable hovering over the tent. He later died in

The inquest heard that the cable - which was just a metre from the
roof - brushed the back of his head while he was taking down the
structure after the annual Spring Grand Sale.

The Value for Money Co staged the event and the marquee was set
up by All Occasions, with fees paid to the castle for use of the lawn.

Mr Wiecek died "as a direct result of a succession of failures and

omissions by multiple parties", the jury, sitting in Cheltenham, ruled.
Coroner's rules forbid a jury from naming a person or firm in its verdict.

The panel went on to blame a lack of health and safety training for
employees, the failure to make sure workers wore protective clothing,
and the failure to note how close cables were.


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 06:52 0 comments
Labels: accident, electricity, fatality, risk assessments,

Friday, 15 May 2009

Firm fined after worker's leg crushed

An agricultural contracting firm has been fined £12,000 for safety
breaches which led to an accident in which a worker lost his leg.

The accident happened on 11 October 2007 when a self-employed (3 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

worker at Pete Mellor Ltd's rented premises in Drakelow, Burton-on-

Trent, was hit by a forklift truck.

The man was walking past an area where the 1.8-tonne machine was
being repaired. Because it was not properly supported, it fell when the
counterbalance weight was removed, crushing the man's lower left
leg which later had to be amputated below the knee.

The company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs
after appearing before Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court and
admitting not ensuring the safety of people not in its employment and
failing to make proper risk assessments.

Health and Safety Executive Inspector Samantha Farrar said: "The

incident resulted from an unsafe system of work. The weight was not
supported during removal and the person carrying out the repair had
been given insufficient information and instruction.

"Also, the injured party was allowed to walk through the work area. A
risk assessment for the job was not carried out.

"A suitable and sufficient assessment would have addressed

all of these issues and a man may not have been left with a life-
changing disability."


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 08:10 0 comments
Labels: accident, amputation, fine, forklift, HSE, leg injury,
risk assessments, safe system of work

Marquee worker electrocuted to death

An inquest has heard how a Polish contractor was electrocuted to
death while dismantling a marquee.

Krysztof Wiecek, 45, was working on the tent at Sudeley Castle, in

Winchcombe, near Cheltenham, on 30 April 2007 when he fell on to a
power cable.

At the time of the incident Debbie Hillyard, who was officially

employed as a PA, was acting as manager of the annual Spring
Garden Sale event, but had no health and safety training.

Mrs Hillyard told the inquest in Cheltenham that no information pack

detailing possible risks on site was available. She had taken
responsibility for the role as only she and one other worker were in
the office at that time.

There were no warning signs telling of the proximity of the high-

tension power cables put in place and no risk assessments were
carried out.

After the fatality Lady Elizabeth Ashcombe, who owns the castle,
informed Mrs Hillyard of a similar electrocution in 1984 when two men
died while setting up equipment for an outside radio broadcast.

The inquest is expected to conclude next week. (4 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 08:09 0 comments
Labels: accident, electricity, fatality, risk assessments,

Bad watchkeeping caused collision

A collision between a UK-registered cargo vessel and an Egyptian
bulk carrier in the Channel was due to bad watchkeeping on both
vessels, according to an accident report.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) says: "As a result of

a complacent attitude to bridge watchkeeping on both vessels, safety
barriers, which would have warned the bridge watchkeeping officers
of the risk of a collision, were not in place. No lookout was present on
either bridge at the time of the collision, and the vessels' radars and
other bridge equipment were not used effectively."

The UK general-cargo vessel Scot Isles lost 60 tons of marine gas oil
into the sea and suffered extensive shell-plate damage to its
starboard side. The bulk-carrier Wadi Halfa was less severely
damaged on its port side, and was able to resume its passage to
Bremen in Germany.

The watchkeeper on Scot Isles, sailing from Rochester in Kent to

Antwerp, did not detect Wadi Halfa before the collision in the early
hours of 29 October last year, the MAIB says. Although the Wadi
Halfa's watchkeeping officer saw Scot Isles when it was very close,
he could not prevent the collision despite taking evasive action.


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 08:07 0 comments
Labels: accident, health and safety, MAIB, ships

Fairground fatality
An investigation is underway into the death of a child in London. It is a
joint investigation between the Metropolitan Police Service and the
Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE was notified at approximately 9.00pm Tuesday 12 May 2009,

that a two-year-old child had died following an accident on the 'Go-
Gator' fairground ride at Mannings Fun Fair, Ducketts Common in

HSE inspectors attended the scene yesterday evening and are

working closely with police to find out what has happened. (5 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009


© Copyright
at 01:48 0 comments
Labels: accident, fairground, fatality, HSE, news, police

Thursday, 14 May 2009

New HSE strategy to be launched 3 June 2009

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will launch its new strategy
Be Part of the Solution on Wednesday 3 June.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rt. Hon James Purnell
will give the keynote address. Mr Purnell will be joined by Judith
Hackitt CBE, Chair of HSE; Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the
Trades Union Congress (TUC); Gilbert Toppin, CEO of
manufacturers’ organisation Engineers Employers’ Federation (EEF),
and Councillor Sir Steve Bullock, Chairman of the Local Government
Association (LGA) Human Resources Panel (and Mayor of
Lewisham). There will be an opportunity for questions to the panel.

The strategy will explain that for Great Britain’s health

and safety record to improve, everyone in the workforce
must act together to minimise risks while maintaining
business competitiveness. In particular, business
leaders will need to ensure that in difficult economic
times corners are not cut, resulting in death and serious
injuries to workers.
HSE's new strategy will be launched at a press conference on 3 June
at 10am at Westminster Central Hall - Storey's Gate Westminster,
London, SW1H 9NH.
HSE is also undertaking research into attitudes towards workplace
safety and people’s perceptions of risk. The results are expected to
be surprising and will be publicised ahead of the launch of the new

If you would like to attend, please contact Maria Mansfeld, Weber

Shandwick on 020 7067 0464 or by email to[1]


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at 04:34 0 comments
Labels: fatality, HSE, injury, risk

Swine Flu Is Now in 33 Countries, W.H.O. Says

Swine flu has reached 33 countries, the World Health Organization
said Wednesday, and there have been deaths in four nations: Mexico,
the United States, Canada and Costa Rica. (6 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

The agency, based in Geneva, is under pressure to change how it

issues pandemic alerts, which go up as a new virus spreads even if it
is relatively mild. But Dr. Sylvie Briand of the W.H.O.’s global flu
program said it would be “not very helpful” to switch to alerts like
those for hurricanes, which are based on wind speeds.

A virus’s severity, she said, varies from country to country, depending

on the population’s previous immunity, average age, the level of
readiness of the health care system and the prevalence of diseases
that could make people more vulnerable.


Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

at 02:35 0 comments
Labels: Canada, health, illness, Mexico, news, swine flu,

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Firefighters on plant explosion: "never seen

anything like it"
Firefighters tell 27 News they've "never seen anything like it" after
spending much of Monday night and Tuesday morning battling a fire
sparked by three explosions at a chemical plant in Columbus.

The Columbus Fire Department has trained for a "worst case

scenario" for more than ten years, so they tell us they knew where to
go and how to handle the situation.

"We're used to it, but this kind of puts it on a new level, when you see
it up first hand," said Scott Hazeltine, Columbus fire fighter

"When it started blowing and stuff, exploding. It made us a little

nervous," admitted Kevin Weisensel, a Columbus fire fighter. "I
wanted to get out of there. I knew I was too close."

Three fire fighters were too close and were thrown by one of the

"Everything kind of stops when you hear that. You hear that come
across the radio and your whole mindset changes," explained

Weisensel described "They got up on their own and got their bearings
straight and got out of there."

Bill Osmulski spoke with one of the firefighters who was hurt; he has
been released from the hospital and says he was not burned, just
"banged up."


© Copyright 2000 - 2009 WorldNow and WKOW

at 08:03 0 comments
Labels: explosion, fire, firefighters, injury (7 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

One in five construction sites fail health and safety

One in five construction sites failed health and safety checks during
the latest national inspection initiative carried out by the Health and
Safety Executive (HSE), figures released today reveal.

Inspectors from Britain’s workplace regulator visited 1759

refurbishment sites during March and checked on how 2145
contractors were complying with health and safety regulations.

On 348 sites sufficiently serious risks were discovered to warrant

enforcement action being taken – either stopping work immediately or
ordering improvements to be made. Close to five hundred
enforcement notices were issued.
HSE said that improvements had been witnessed by its inspectors in
certain parts of the country since last year – when inspectors had to
take enforcement action on 30% of the sites visited.
Phillip White, HSE’s new Chief Inspector of Construction, said:

"This inspection initiative was well publicised and for our inspectors to
still find this level of disregard for basic health and safety standards
on refurbishment sites is disappointing.

"While any improvement has to be welcomed, our inspectors still

found practices so far below the acceptable standard that they felt it
necessary to take enforcement action on one in five sites. This is still
very worrying."

Unsafe work at height practices remain a huge concern. As in the

previous initiative, over half of the enforcement action taken this time
was as a result of dangerous work at height, which last year
(2007/08) led to the death of 34 construction workers.

Last year (2007/08) over half (52%) of the workers who died on
construction sites worked in the refurbishment, repair and
maintenance sector.

During the inspection initiative, HSE inspectors looked at whether:

* Jobs that involved working at height had been identified and

properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions were in place
* Equipment was correctly installed / assembled, inspected and
maintained and used properly
* Sites were well organised to avoid trips and falls
* Walkways and stairs were free from obstructions
* Work areas were clear on unnecessary materials and waste
* The risks associated with exposure to asbestos were managed and
carried out correctly
* The work force were made aware of risk control measures


© Copyright
at 07:12 0 comments
Labels: health and safety, HSE, maintenance, risk
assessments, slips, trips, work at height (8 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Duct collapse injures exam pupils

Thirteen children sitting an exam were injured when a heating duct
collapsed in the sports hall of a Kent collage, police said.
One was airlifted to hospital following the incident which happened at
at Minster College, Minster Road, Sheerness, at about 0920 BST.

Kent Police said the injured children were Year 9 pupils.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) said no-one had been left
trapped underneath the duct.
'School to shut'

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said: "Kent Police can confirm they
are currently attending an incident at Minster College in Minster Road
on the Isle of Sheppey where part of a heating duct has collapsed.

"It's been confirmed that 13 Year 9 pupils have been injured. They
were sitting an exam in the sports hall when the incident occurred.

"One has been taken to hospital via air ambulance."

A spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue said: "KFRS was called at
0918 BST and has sent three appliances plus its specialist Urban
Search and Rescue team to the scene.

"Kent Police, South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust and the Kent
Air Ambulance are also in attendance."

Kent County Council said the school was going to shut.


at 03:32 0 comments
Labels: accident, collapse, duct, injury, news, police,

Monday, 11 May 2009

Hairdressers wave goodbye to bad hand days

A trial commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has
revealed that hairdressers say ‘yes’ to reducing their very high
chances of getting dermatitis and other uncomfortable skin conditions
by wearing non-latex gloves during their work.

Owing to the amount of contact that hairdressers have with chemicals

in hair products and water, hairdressers are 17 times more likely to
suffer from work-related skin damage including dermatitis than any
other group of workers.

This means that 70 per cent of hairdressers may suffer from skin
damage at some point during their career. (9 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

As dermatitis and other skin conditions can be painful as well as

unsightly, sufferers are often forced to take time off work - with costs
for the business and the hairdresser.

Now HSE is encouraging Britain’s hairdressers to wave goodbye to

work-related skin conditions by getting ‘gloved-up’.
Successful celebrity hairdresser, Mark Hill said:

"Buying and wearing non-latex gloves to protect our hands from skin
damage makes good business sense. As well as the unhappiness
and distress it can create for the hairdresser suffering from a skin
condition like dermatitis, the financial costs to salons can be
significant. In this economic climate, I imagine more salons will
explore ways of reducing financial risk to their business and
protecting staff from skin damage is up there in the top five."

Dr Isla Fairhurst, project manager for the skin disease project at HSE,

"We wanted to see whether hairdressers could continue their work

happily and practically while using non-latex gloves, which help
prevent dermatitis and other skin conditions.

"We trialled long-sleeved gloves (30cm), which can be turned down to

create a cuff to stop water running down inside the glove and onto the
hand. The trial showed that the gloves are good for not snagging hair
– a major concern for hairdressers."

The glove trials were carried out in 750 hair salons across 38 local
authorities. They were organised on the back of HSE’s well-known
‘Bad Hand Day’ campaign and in partnership with Local Authorities
and Habia (the government appointed standards setting body of the
hair and beauty industry). The campaign encourages more
hairdressers to be proactive about preventing dermatitis by wearing
non-latex gloves.

In the trial, each salon received a free supply of vinyl gloves and
nitrile gloves and hairdressers were asked to use them for all tasks
that involved skin contact with water and products - rinsing,
shampooing, colouring, bleaching and straightening products.

After the trial, 80 per cent of participants said the gloves were
comfortable to wear and 74 per cent of them said that they could
handle clients’ hair without snagging, dispelling the common myth that
makes hairdressers about stylists’ reluctant to use gloves.
The accompanying campaign pack offered information about how to
prevent dermatitis, including good hand-care such as thoroughly
drying hands, frequent skin checking and using moisturiser cream.
"As this is the beauty industry, it’s inevitable that hairdressers rely on
having good looking and healthy hands to do their work
professionally," added Dr Fairhurst.
"We want to give more hairdressers the chance to try out these
gloves, to find out how easy they are to use for themselves – and by
logging onto, they can also find out how
easy it is to buy them.

"In the current economic climate, we hope that salon managers and
stock buyers will see that providing these gloves and taking simple
steps to improve health and safety is good business sense."

Wendy Nixon, Health and Safety Manager at Habia, said:

"The feedback from hairdressers has been really positive and we are (10 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

optimistic that more and more salons will see the benefits of using the
longer length gloves in all wet work."


© Copyright
at 07:59 0 comments
Labels: campaign, chemicals, dermatitis, hairdresser, HSE

Company fined £135,000 following death at Isle of

Dogs construction site
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning construction firms
to ensure they put effective safety systems in place to protect workers
from falls. This follows the prosecution of a company over an incident
in which a steel worker, Kieron Deeney, fell more than 10 metres to
his death on a construction site on the Isle of Dogs.

Laing O’Rourke Construction South Limited, based in Dartford, was

fined £135,000 with costs of £18,313.10 last week, after pleading
guilty to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974,
at the London Central Criminal Court.

The incident happened on 9 August 2004, when Mr Deeney was

working as a steel worker at a construction site on the Jemstock
Project, off Marsh Wall on the Isle of Dogs, Tower Hamlets. He was
working on a core – a concrete pillar within the structure of a building
– on a jumpform, a system that allows the construction of internal
walls, slabs and beams ahead of the structural walls. No one
witnessed the incident, but a colleague who was working nearby
heard a loud bang, and looked through a hole in the deck, which was
previously covered with plywood. The fellow worker looked through
the hole and immediately noticed Mr Deeny’s body in the basement
level of the core. Mr Deeney died as a result of this fall.

HSE Inspector Dominic Elliss said: "The risks of working at height and
the need to manage voids in platforms are well-known and falls from
height remain the most common cause of death in the construction
industry. This case highlights the need for robust systems for the
covering of voids together with regular effective site inspections to
prevent such unacceptable loss of life."

The HSE investigation showed that risk assessments and method

statements had been carried out on site, but weekly and monthly
checks, identified as necessary by these assessments, were not
being adequately carried out. The hole in the core had been covered
inadequately with poor quality plywood, and managers on site were
not aware of this, nor who had covered it. In addition, the systems in
place failed to ensure that there was sufficient edge protection within
the jumpform to prevent falls and that the area was kept free from
hazards. Following the incident, a prohibition notice was served,
immediately stopping work in the core due to the risks of trips and


© Copyright
at 07:57 0 comments
Labels: fall from height, fatality, fine, HSE, prosecution, (11 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

safe system of work

Captain cleared over triple deaths

A jury has returned a not guilty verdict in the trial of a ship's captain
accused of causing the deaths of three sailors who suffocated in an
oxygen-depleted part of his vessel.

The tragedy occurred when boatman Robert Ebertowski, 40, went

through a hatch into the normally-sealed locker on the North Sea
rescue support ship Viking Islay to secure an anchor chain.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that when he collapsed, coxswain

Robert O'Brien, 59, went in to help him but was also overcome by the
lack of oxygen.

Coxswain Finlay MacFadyen, 48, then raised the alarm before

donning breathing apparatus and entering the compartment to
attempt a rescue. Mr MacFadyen also fell victim after his equipment
became dislodged.

All three men were airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary but were
pronounced dead at the hospital, the court heard.

Donald Fryer, 66, was found not guilty of two counts of conduct
endangering ships, structures or individuals under the Merchant
Shipping Act 1995.

The prosecution argued that Mr Fryer's response to Mr MacFadyen

informing the captain about the plan to do the job was "wholly

But Mr Fryer, from Hull, told the jury how he gave specific instructions
to Mr MacFadyen for the men to come and see him before attempting
to go into the locker, which was sealed with bolts.


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 02:29 0 comments
Labels: accident, fatality, ship

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Club fined £85,000 after death fall

A nightclub that failed to protect a customer who died after climbing a
fence separating its car park from a neighbouring property has been
fined £85,000.

Christopher Clarke, 21, had been thrown out of Oceana nightclub

through the fire exit after taking a bottle of drink onto the dance floor.
He fell 4m on to concrete while trying to climb over the fence. His
body was later found by staff. (12 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

Luminar Oceana, owners of the Hurst Street club, admitted at

Birmingham Crown Court to failing to risk assess the fire exit as a
means of ejection, and failing to train door staff.

Said Neil Eustace, chairman of the city council's public protection

committee: "Clearly, the club did not have the necessary procedures
or training regimes in place, as required by law, to ensure the health
and safety of its patrons. I hope this prosecution sends a clear
message to all businesses in the city as to what can happen if they do
not take their duty of care to members of the public seriously."


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 04:57 0 comments
Labels: fatality, fine, prosecution, risk assessments

School cancels GCSEs over swine flu

A south Gloucestershire school has been forced to cancel GCSE and
A-level exams because of the swine flu outbreak.

Downend School was closed last week because of the outbreak and it
has said "no examinations will take place either at Downend or be
relocated elsewhere for the closure period".

Alternative arrangements have been organised for the pupils to take

their exams.

Another school, Paignton Community and Sports College in Devon,

has also been closed after a 12-year-old girl contracted the disease
while holidaying in Mexico.

The college, which was one of the first to shut, has asked for special
consideration for its exams after losing six days due to closure.

Paignton Community and Sports College in Devon said: "The college

is in contact with the examination boards regarding GCSE and post-
16 exams to ask for special consideration to be given in regard to the
loss of six-and-a-half days education and the anxiety and stress our
pupils are under at this time."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "There are now 27

confirmed cases in the UK and arrangements are continuing to
ensure that we are well placed to deal with this new infection."


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 04:56 0 comments
Labels: health, illness, news, swine flu

Farmers' machinery deaths 'accidental' (13 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

The deaths of two farmers who were involved in separate incidents

with baling machinery were accidental, an inquest has ruled.
Staffordshire Coroner's Court heard that Anthony Mardling, 61, died
after being pulled into baling machinery on August 29 2008 at a farm
hear his home in Hilderstone, Stone. In the second incident, a month
later at a farm near Abbots Bromley, 50-year-old Malcolm Bennett
was fatally injured when he was struck by part of a baling machine.

The Health and Safety Executive said the accidents were unlikely to
have happened if the farmers had followed the "safe stop" procedure,
which involves checking that the handbrake is on, the controls are in
neutral and the engine is off with the key removed.

Clive Brookes, HSE's Principal Inspector for Agriculture in

Staffordshire, said: "Almost every week, someone dies in a needless
farm accident. These accidents don't just destroy lives; they destroy
whole families, and often their farms too.
"In these difficult financial times, farmers might be tempted to take
risks to save money by cutting back on help or taking short cuts."

He urged farmers, their families and their helpers to be aware of the

dangers around them and to work safely.


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 04:55 0 comments
Labels: accident, farm, fatality, health and safety, HSE,
risk assessments

Woman back in court over 4in heels

A woman sentenced to an 80-hour community order has been unable
to carry out the work because she refused to take off her four inch-
heeled boots.
Debbie Stallard, 47, was convicted of motoring offences in February
and was due to start her community order, but she told probation staff
that she could not wear flat shoes because of a medical condition.
Staff said her 4in-heeled boots were a health hazard and unsuitable
for the community work.

The case was returned to Torquay Magistrates' Court where it was

adjourned for medical reports to be prepared.

The solicitor for the mother-of-two, from Paignton, south Devon,

argued: "My client has always lived on her toes. She has always worn
heels and in her last job had to sign a disclaimer so she could wear
high heels to work."

Stallard said that her heels "don't naturally hit the ground" and even
her slippers have a 2.5in heel.

But a spokesman for the Probation Service said: "We take the health
and safety legislation for offenders very seriously. Ms Stallard was
offered protective footwear but refused to comply. (14 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

"We had no option but to return the order to court for magistrates to re-
sentence as they see fit."


Copyright © Press Association 2009

at 04:53 0 comments
Labels: health and safety, news

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Swine flu developments

Alert level lowered in Mexico City

Mexican officials lowered their swine flu alert level in Mexico City, the
capital, on Monday and said they will allow universities, cafes,
museums and libraries to reopen this week. Mexican officials
declared the epidemic to be waning at its epicenter, announcing that
Wednesday will conclude a five-day closure of nonessential
businesses they credit for reducing the spread of the new virus.
President Felipe Calderon said that higher education classes would
resume Thursday and all other schools and government-run day care
centers would reopen by May 11.

Mexico angered over Chinese quarantine

Mexican officials angry about China’s decision to quarantine more

than 70 Mexicans over swine flu fears sent a plane Monday to the
communist country to bring its citizens back home. China sent its own
plane to retrieve Chinese nationals stranded in Mexico.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon complained of a backlash against

Mexicans abroad, and sent the chartered plane to fly to several cities
and pick up Mexicans who wanted to leave China.

China’s Foreign Ministry denied Mexicans were singled out.

Late Monday, China sent a chartered flight to Mexico City to pick up

200 stranded Chinese nationals, the official Xinhua News Agency
reported. China had earlier canceled the only direct flights between
China and Mexico, a twice weekly service by Aeromexico.

A group of 25 Canadian university students and a professor also have

been quarantined at a hotel in China since the weekend over swine
flu fears.

Article continues...

© 2009 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

at 07:40 0 comments
Labels: Canada, China, health, illness, Mexico, news,
swine flu (15 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

Myth: Ice cream toppings have been banned for

safety reasons

The reality
We were recently surprised to hear that ice cream toppings had been
banned amid health and safety fears.

This rumour came from an ice cream parlour giving out extra toppings
in separate containers, instead of pouring them over the ice cream.
They were concerned that people might slip on any spills.

It’s important to prevent slips - they remain the most common cause
of major injuries.

But in this case simply clearing up any spills as they occurred would
have stopped people slipping and helped the company continue to
make great ice cream taste even better!

at 01:38 0 comments
Labels: campaign, health and safety, HSE, myth, slips

Nine new swine flu cases in UK

The government announced nine new swine flu cases Monday,
including seven people who had not travelled to Mexico, health
officials said, taking the total number of infections in Britain to 27. Skip
related content

"Seven of the nine cases appear to have been acquired through

person-to-person spread. Two cases are in people who have recently
returned from Mexico," a Department of Health statement said.

Seven of those diagnosed were children, officials said.

The school which five of the children attended in Dulwich, south
London, became the fourth in Britain to be closed to prevent more
The statement said that eight of the new cases were in London and
one was in the West Midlands.

Earlier a 14-year-old girl from South Hampstead High School in north (16 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

London was diagnosed with the virus.

Classrooms at the school, attended by the child from Barnet who is in

year nine, have been closed until at least Thursday.

Authorities expressed confidence that the country's health services

were well-equipped to contain the outbreak.

"The arrangements in place across the UK are continuing to ensure

that we are well-placed to deal with this new infection," the statement

There are now 23 cases in England and four in Scotland. Ireland

confirmed its first case on Saturday.
Most infected Britons have been treated with drugs in their homes.


Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! All rights reserved.

at 01:24 0 comments
Labels: health, illness, news, swine flu

Women die in chemical incident

Two people have been found dead in a hotel room after a chemical

Police and fire services were called to the Costello Palace Hotel in
Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, north London, just before midday.

Two women were found dead in one of the rooms and the hotel was

A spokeswoman for London Fire Brigade said it was a "confirmed

chemical incident" but the substance involved was not yet known.

A police source said officers were investigating the deaths as a

possible suicide.


Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! All rights reserved.

at 00:56 0 comments
Labels: chemicals, fatality, London

Friday, 1 May 2009

Woman hurt on Coronation Street set

A woman has been hit by a car during filming of Coronation Street.

The victim, a female director, was taken to hospital after the accident
on the famous cobbles at 12.30pm on Friday. (17 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

Her injuries were not thought to be life-threatening, said ITV.

In a statement, ITV said: "We can confirm an accident occurred on

the set of Coronation Street this morning during filming.

"The accident occurred as the crew were setting up for a scene which
involved a small amount of vehicle movement.

"The female director has been injured as a consequence and been

taken to hospital.
"No other member of the crew or cast has been injured."

The spokeswoman said ITV's health and safety team are investigating
the accident and liaising with the Health and Safety Executive.


Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! All rights reserved.

at 08:52 0 comments
Labels: accident, HSE, injury, ITV, vehicle

Uk confirms first human-to-human flu

Scottish authorities on Friday confirmed the first case of swine flu in
Britain involving someone who had not recently travelled to Mexico.

The new patient, Graeme Pacitti, was a close contact of newly-weds

Iain and Dawn Askham, who became Britain's first confirmed cases
earlier this week after returning from honeymoon in Mexico, the
Scottish government said.

Almost at the same time the Department of Health has confirmed

another new case, in northwest England, bringing the number in
England to seven, plus the cases in Scotland, giving a total of 10 in


Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! All rights reserved.

at 08:50 0 comments
Labels: health, illness, news, swine flu

Should unmanned sunbeds be banned?

Unmanned, coin operated sunbeds have led to over-use of the
sunbeds, increasing risk of developing certain cancers and on some
occasions causing sever burns.

Many people have called for them to be banned.

Here are some news articles about sunbed use to help you make up (18 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

your mind on this issue.

Boy, 13, burned at unstaffed tanning salon

Salon Free-For-All May Lead To Skin Cancer Timebomb
A tan to die for
THE BURNING ISSUE; Skin cancer...there's no such
thing as a healthy sun tan
at 08:14 0 comments
Labels: burns, cancer, hazard, sunbed

HSE - Revised guidance for tanning salons and

their customers
New advice for businesses in England and Wales about the safe
operation of sunbeds has been published today by the Health and
Safety Executive (HSE).

The revised guidance - which was produced in support of the

Department of Health’s Cancer Reform Strategy - provides
recommendations about how to safely operate ultraviolet tanning
equipment, including advice about potential hazards and risk

Two key changes have been made from previous versions - HSE now
recommends that under-18s do not use sunbeds and that all coin-
operated salons are supervised by trained staff. A poster and leaflet
spelling out advice to operators and customers have also been
published. These are available to download from a number of
websites and distributed free from HSE books.

Giles Denham, policy director at HSE, said:

“We are publishing clear advice for sunbed salon owners and their
customers, which reflects international health advice and good

“We understand that some people may want to use sunbeds. Our
guidance is designed to ensure they have the information to minimise
the associated risks. That’s why we recommend that owners
ensure their salons are staffed all the time, even if they
are coin-operated, and that UV tanning equipment is not used by
people under 18.”

HSE’s revised guidance brings it in line with latest World Health

Organisation advice, and in making changes HSE has consulted
numerous organisations, such as Cancer Research UK and The
Sunbed Association (TSA).

Although the guidance is not itself enforceable, operators of UV

tanning equipment must comply with the Health and Safety at Work
Act 1974 (HSWA) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work
Regulations 1999 (MHSWR).
Operators must assess the risks caused by their work activity,
including risks from exposure to UV radiation and then take measures
to control such risks as far as they can. They also must tell their staff
about the risk assessment results and make sure staff are competent
to act on any dangers. (19 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

at 08:10 0 comments
Labels: cancer, guidance, hazard, risk assessments,
sunbed, supervision, UV, WHO

Girl suffers 70% burns on sunbed

A ten-year-old girl has suffered burns over 70 per cent of her body
after having a 16-minute session at an unmanned tanning studio.
The schoolgirl's mother is now calling for all unmanned salons to be
shut down as a matter of urgency.

Within hours of leaving the tanning salon in Port Talbot, south Wales,
Kelly Thompson was taken to hospital.

Medics at the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery, where she
was taken, said if she had remained an extra two minutes, she would
have needed skin grafts.

Kelly has now been warned to keep out of direct sunlight for up to ten

Neath Port Talbot Council has confirmed it is investigating the


Her mother, Sharon Hannaford, 34, of Port Talbot, said: "These

sunbeds are very high-powered and there is nobody there to prevent
a youngster going in and doing this. I want them shut down."

She said she has passed on photographs of the burns her daughter
suffered to council health and safety officers.

Mrs Hannaford, of Mansel Street, Port Talbot, said the incident

happened during the recent Easter school holidays.

"I gave Kelly some money to go to the fair with her cousin but when
they got there, it was closed. As they came back, they saw the
tanning salon and went in, more out of curiosity than anything."

She said her daughter spent £8 feeding the unmanned sunbed, lying
underneath for 16 minutes in total.

"When she came home, she laid down and didn't feel too good and I
noticed that she was a bit red in the face.
"Over about the next three hours she became really red and was
feeling cold, although she was burning up.

"In the end I had to take her to hospital where they said she had
burns over 70 per cent of her body. If she had stayed another two
minutes, she would have needed skin grafts.

"She ran out of money. If she had had more, this could have been

She warned: "You can tell a child not to do something until you are
blue in the face but when they see other people using these salons,
and they are open to anybody, they are going to try it." (20 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009


Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! All rights reserved.

at 08:07 0 comments
Labels: burns, child, hazard, sunbed

June Home April

2009 2009

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● ▼ 2009 (252)
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fishing boat
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bug outbreak
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gets £175,000
■ Man injured at

demolition site
■ One death is too

■ 'Lack of

caused explosion
■ Two die in roof

■ Teenage

manslaughter trial
■ Father to repay

drowning damages (21 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

■ Firefighter dies in
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■ Top 10 workplace
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the bottom l...
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falling into vat of
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businesses not to
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Health and Safety News: May 2009

A-Z of H&S

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Health and Safety News: May 2009

HSE Hazard
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Knife Kidnapping
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Health and Safety News: May 2009

Health and Safety Case Law

Health and Safety News is building a list of
references to case law which has influenced
the current legal position regarding Health and
Safety matters.

Armour v Skeen
Adsett v K & L Steel Founders and
Engineers Ltd
Byrne v Boadle
Cambridge Water Co v Eastern
Counties Leather plc
More case law.

Safety Data
Health and Safety News is compiling a
collection of chemical safety data - these
pages contain key safety information for each
chemical. If you intend to use the chemical, it
is strongly suggested that you obtain Material
Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) from your supplier
to supplement the data given here, before
starting work but these pages will give you a (25 of 26) [24/07/2009 12:19:38]

Health and Safety News: May 2009

brief introduction to the risks and precautions

related to the chemical.

Abietic acid
Additional Safety Data pages.

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