News
for the month of December, 2015

Hydraulic company sentenced after employee loses sight in one eye

21st of December 2015

A Clitheroe hydraulic cylinder manufacturer has been fined for serious safety breaches after an employee was badly injured when he was struck in the face during a test procedure.

Lodematic Components Ltd was prosecuted on Friday 2 October 2015 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an incident at Numbers 1,2 and 3 Works, Primrose Road, Clitheroe, Lancashire on 23 January 2014.

Preston Crown Court heard that the worker was struck in the face by a pressurised hose during a test when a connector catastrophically failed. The worker suffered a broken jaw multiple facial lacerations and total blindness in his right eye.

The worker was assisting the Works Manager and Design Engineer in pressure testing a hydraulic cylinder when the incident occurred. The HSE investigation found that the test zone was not segregated or safeguarded and that the test equipment was not maintained and suitable for the task. Lodematic Components had also failed to carry out a risk assessment.

Lodematic Components of Clitheroe pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,835.52

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Bradley Wigglesworth said “Lodematic (Components) Limited failed to assess the risks or provide a safe system of work for pressure testing hydraulic cylinders.

“The test was carried out without segregating or safeguarding the test zone, and the test connectors were not subject to maintenance or inspection. If these measures had been in place at the time of the incident then the employee’s life changing injuries could have been avoided.”

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New construction guidance to stop workers dying each week from occupational disease

21st of December 2015

The construction industry has launched new guidance to encourage better management of occupational health risks. HSE is urging the industry to put an end to the hundreds of construction workers that die of occupational diseases every month.

Inspectors issued more than 200 health related enforcement notices during the recent Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) construction inspection initiative.

This highlighted the widespread misunderstanding of what ‘occupational health’ means in the construction sector and the employers’ misguided perception that health is more difficult to manage than safety.

The new guide ‘Occupational health risk management in construction’ PDFhas been written by the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (ConIAC) Health Risks Working Group and formatted with the assistance of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

It gives practical advice on what ‘health risk’ means for the construction industry, and the role of occupational health service provision in preventing or controlling those risks.

Ian Strudley, Chair of the ConIAC Health Risks Working Group and HSE Principal Specialist Inspector said: ““The misunderstanding of occupational health within the construction sector means that whilst the industry focus on managing the more familiar safety issues, serious health risks get ignored. We cannot let this continue.

“When figures show that construction workers are at least 100 times more likely to die from a disease caused or made worse by their work as they are from a fatal accident, the industry must take action.”

Shelley Frost, Executive Director – Policy at IOSH, said: “There have been huge advances in improving safety in the construction sector over the last 15 years but the industry has yet to generate such advances in improving the picture in occupational health.

“Every week, 100 people die from construction-related ill health in the UK. Less than half of construction workers also stay employed in the industry until they are 60.

“This new guide raises awareness of the occupational health issues in construction, demystifies how to best manage them and provides information as to where firms can get help and assistance.

“Ultimately, if the advice is followed, it could help to lower incidence rates of occupational ill-health and transform the perception of working in construction to that of an attractive and respectful industry with great career choices.”

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UK E. coli infections ‘rise by 1,000′

21st of December 2015

The UK has a long history, like many countries, of blaming the consumer when  foodborne illness is involved.

give.blood.townsendMaybe those who are sick are in the wrong class.

The number of people infected with E. coli across England rose by more than 1,000 last year, figures have shown.

Dorset and North, East and West Devon were the worst hit for the infection with 629 and 612 cases each between September 2014 and September 2015.

Public Health England figures show there were 39,604 from September 2014 to September 2015, compared with 38,291 for the same period the year before.

The health authority said it was working to reduce the rate.

That’s a lot of E. coli infections.

Consumers are apparently supposed to:

  • Wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet, before and after handling food and after handling animals
  • Remove any loose soil before storing vegetables and salads
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits that will be eaten raw
  • Store and prepare raw meat and unwashed vegetables away from ready-to-eat foods
  • Do not prepare raw vegetables with utensils that have also been used for raw meat
  • Cook all minced meat products, such as burgers and meat balls, thoroughly
  • People who have been ill should not prepare food for others for at least 48 hours after they have recovered.

The UK health types really do treat people as if they are dense. Wrong social class, I guess.

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