for the month of January, 2015

18 now sick: E coli O55 outbreak in UK

10th of January 2015

The number of E .coli victims across Dorset has now increased to 18, Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed.

The seven additional cases have come to light following screening tests carried out on children and staff at the Blandford Children’s Centre.

They are described as “secondary” cases in that they have contracted E coli from another confirmed victim.

It is not known whether the seven new cases are adults or children but a PHE spokesperson said they had not all become unwell from the bug.

PHE also confirmed it has still not managed to find a link between the first victims, and investigations are still being carried out.



Steve Naldrett, Director of Ardan Training says "this highlights just how important food safety training is, E coli outbreaks can be so easily eliminated if the correct procedures are carrried out"

Directors fined after young worker crushed by dumper

10th of January 2015

A 20-year-old man died on his first day at work for a new company when the four-tonne dumper he was driving toppled over a bank and crushed him.

Daniel Whiston, from Dulverton, was allowed to drive the dumper, which had a number of serious defects, before it overturned down the embankment at Sweetings Farm, near Tiverton, on 27 October 2009.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  investigated the incident, and prosecuted Mr Whiston’s employers, company directors William Friend and Robert Plume, at Exeter Crown Court today (22 Dec).

The court heard that Plume and Friend’s company, Wedgewood Buildings Ltd, had been contracted to expand a pond on the farm, which involved excavating and moving spoil around the site.

Mr Whiston received about 30 minutes’ training from a more experienced colleague, who was also operating an excavator and filling the dumper, before he started his first day’s work. During the afternoon, the excavator operator, who was the only other worker on site saw the fully-loaded dumper driven by Mr Whiston topple off the side of the causeway and down the 60 degree slope, turning over and crushing him underneath.

HSE’s investigation found a number of serious failings on the site:

  •  The excavator driver was not trained to teach Mr Whiston how to use the dumper and was not competent to supervise him.
  •  The dumper had a number of serious defects, including steering failure, defective and inoperative front braking and a non-functioning handbrake with worn-out parts.
  • No suitable or sufficient risk assessments had been carried out for the work and no safe system of work was used.
  • The causeway used by the dumper was too narrow for a front-tipping dumper to be positioned and safely tip the load down the embankment.

Robert Plume, of East Street, South Molton, and William Friend, of Hannaford, Swimbridge, near Barnstaple, each pleaded guilty to a breach of Health and Safety legislation. Each was given a 12 month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and 180 hours of community service, to be completed within a year. They were also ordered to pay costs of £25,000 each.

HSE Inspector Jonathan Harris, speaking after the hearing, said:

“The very serious failures to manage this job properly contributed to the tragic and needless loss of a young man’s life.

“Workers have a right to expect that the equipment they use is appropriate for the task, properly maintained and in a safe condition.  

“Mr Whiston was not given suitable basic or advanced training under the industry’s Construction Plant Competence Scheme and was, instead, given a short briefing by a worker who himself had no formal qualifications for driving the dumper.

“Anyone in control of construction projects must ensure the work is properly planned and risk assessed to avoid similar tragedies in the future. Knowing what needs to be done is not the same as knowing how it should be done safely.”