Archive 2016 08

Health & Safety The latest news and updates on health 27 THE construction industry has been most affected by new health and safety sentencing guidelines with nearly 40 per cent of construction companies issued with fines totalling almost £8 million since its introduction earlier this year, according to BLM’s Health and Safety tracker. In what was described as the most dramatic change to health and safety legislation in more than 40 years, new guidelines were imposed in February for health and safety, food hygiene and corporate manslaughter offences. The size of a business and its turnover are now considerations for the court in imposing large fines. Large businesses with turnovers in excess of £50 million can face fines of up to £10 million for the & safety from across the UK most serious health and safety offences and corporate manslaughter fines could reach up to £20 million. Insurance and risk law firm BLM is monitoring sentences issued by the UK courts, and found that out of 101 health and safety fines issued, 38 per cent affected those in the construction sector. The three highest fines – all of which involved fatalities of either staff or customers – totalled £5.6 million and the legal costs were also substantial, resulting in almost £185,000 in prosecution costs. Two construction company directors were also given custodial sentences. Helen Devery, partner and head of SHE practice at BLM said: “These new guidelines have introduced fines that are proportional to the size of the company, meaning that both small and large businesses will feel the same impact. “It is expected that fines will remain high for larger firms that are charged with serious offences so businesses need to work harder than ever to avoid incidents and the subsequent negative impact on their people, productivity and profits.” n Health & Safety Worker crushed by excavator DESPITE undergoing several operations to rebuild his foot, a 45-year-old father is unable to work more than three years after suffering crush injuries while working on a school demolition site in Ellesmere Port. Liverpool Crown Court heard how construction company Complete Demolition Ltd was clearing the site at Stanney Lane to make way for a new leisure centre when the worker was hit and then run over by an excavator. Complete Demolition Ltd was prosecuted by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the incident, which took place on November 27, 2013, after an investigation found arrangements ensuring pedestrians and vehicles were separated was inadequate. Complete Demolition Ltd of Stafford House, Westbury Industrial Estate, Hyde, pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The firm was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £7,246.95 costs. n Industry deaths rise by 23% THE number of construction deaths has risen by almost 23 per cent in the past year, according to provisional figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The data shows 43 workers died onsite in 2015/16 – up from 35 in 2014/15 – to equal the average for the previous five years. Although the long-term trend has seen the rate of fatalities more than halve over the last 20 years, provisional figures indicate that a total of 144 people were killed while at work in 2015/2016 – up from 142 in 2014/15. The Health and Safety Executive has called on all sectors to learn lessons to ensure workers return home safe from work. Martin Temple, HSE chairman said: “One death at work or life needlessly shortened, is one too many and behind every statistic lies a real story of loss and heartbreak and families left to grieve. “Britain has one of the best health and safety systems in the world, but we should always be looking to improve and to prevent incidents that cost lives.” A more detailed assessment of the data will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release in early November, which is expected to show the rate of fatal injury in the sector has dropped from a five-year average of 2.04 per 100,000 workers to 1.94. n Hand injuries cost Tata Steel £2 million TATA Steel has been fined almost £2 million after two workers suffered serious hand injuries in separate machinery incidents at its Corby plant. A 26-year-old employee lost two thirds of his left hand and his middle and ring fingers, and in a separate incident, a 52-year-old team leader lost part of a finger following the incidents on September 12, 2014 and February 19, 2015 An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was a failure to appropriately guard and manage the risks arising from dangerous machinery parts. Tata UK Limited, of Millbank, London, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Northampton Crown Court. The construction firm was fined £1.98 million and ordered to pay costs of £22,500. n Construction worst hit by regulation changes

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