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  • 3 technologies that drive safety innovation in site surveying
    Over the past years, technology has played an increasingly important role in a wide variety of trades, including construction and surveying. New software and equipment is available more and more to enable automation and simulated environments in a way that was never possible before. Here, we take a look at three significant technologies that have benefited and are now transforming many areas of activity within the surveying profession.

    UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

    drone-1080844_1920-300x207.jpgYou won’t have failed to notice that drones have, quite literally, taken off. The surveying industry has seen a significant uptake in the use of drone-related technology. These clever little flying objects have a multitude of uses to access hard-to-reach places. With the help of drones, surveyors can now carry out aerial surveys and daily investigations with relative ease and much greater efficiency. Using drones not only reduces the risk of injury to personnel but it also provides a more cost-effective solution for tasks that were previously laborious and time-consuming.In particular, the mobility and verticality of drones mean that areas can now be inspected that were previously unsafe or impossible to reach. “Substantial improvements in camera drone technology in recent years means that it is now possible to take high-quality aerial photographs and high-resolution video footage to inspect building elements with astonishing accuracy,” explains Hutton + Rostron.By using the device’s autonomous controls, the surveyor is able to programme the drone to automatically take a large aerial map of a particular site, then return to base and upload the data to a secure server. The increase in mobility as well as in automation saves time during the actual inspection. More than that, it allows the surveyor to collect several high-res images for future reference. In some cases, images can be collated into detailed, photorealistic 3D maps. Overall, the data can be interpreted through an incredibly accurate visual, which not only eliminates the need for excessive jargon, but also significantly reduces the risk of potential inaccuracies and inconsistencies.Drones, it seems, are now considered so indispensable to the surveying world hat many firms have started to offer CPD training on drone use, though you also need a restricted or full CAA NQE qualification to be able to use a commercial drone.

    AI (Artificial Intelligence)

    There are several new technologies benefitting the surveying industry that are driven by Artificial Intelligence. Chief among them is Building Information Modelling (BIM), which provides a system to create a comprehensive digital description that is worked on collaboratively through each project stage. Exact 3D models contain a multitude of data that relate to each functional and physical element of the build.As regards AI, these systems have already been influenced by the ability to infuse human intelligence with machine learning. For example, the analysis of vast amounts of data requires greater practical applications for QC assessments. And by employing theoretical techniques, Artificial Intelligence can quickly optimise the process and effectively predict and solve any logistical issues well in good time. This, in turn, results in substantial savings for the project before it gets to the build phase.In the world of property surveying, combining Artificial Intelligence and Building Information Modelling has many important implications. Core responsibilities having been automated with BIM, surveyors can now focus on and carry out their day-to-day tasks more efficiently. By having access to a shared 3D visualisation of a site, for instance, process control and project management can be greatly enhanced.

    AR (Augmented Reality)

    GettyImages-1051617224-300x166.jpgAR technology augments a live view of a physical environment with computer-generated input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. In the world of surveying and construction, this could mean the overlay of a BIM construction model on a particular ground site. “The goal is to enrich what the operator knows about the environment he is charting or working in, and to improve both work quality and time to decision for business benefit,” says an expert in the field.The combination of 3D visualisations with AR creates effective reference resources for surveyors. What’s more, it can allow clients to see a realistic rendering of a building before it is actually constructed. This can be particularly useful for surveyors who assess future developments or buildings where repair works have been proposed but not yet carried out.It is clear that the world of construction and property surveying is set to benefit hugely from advances in technology. The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect the industry in significant ways, and further reading on the topic should include this RICS Insight Report: The Impact of Emerging Technologies on the Surveying profession.

  • Poor lighting leads to fire escape death and £80,000 fine
    Aberdeen Market has been fined £80,000 after admitting to safety failures, following the death of an 80-year-old man in June Frank Finnie was discovered at the bottom of a fire escape stairwell at the market, with poor lighting found to be the primary cause of the incident after an investigation was carried out. The operator has been prosecuted over a contravention of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.The subsequent investigation found that the “Market Village Company Ltd failed to maintain the lighting in the stairwell”.Head of the Crown Office’s Health and Safety Management Unit, noted that the incident was “entirely forseeable”, and that “this conviction should serve as a reminder to other companies to adhere to the regulations and that failure to do so can have tragic consequences”.Firesafe advises: “emergency routes and fire exits must be well lit and indicated by appropriate signs”, while “in locations that require illumination, emergency lighting of adequate intensity must be provided in case the normal lighting fails”.In England and Wales, though not Scotland, Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the maintenance and access to emergency/fire escapes come under the jurisdiction of the responsible person(s) of a non-domestic premises. They should form a crucial part of a property’s fire safety plan.

  • Mind responds to ‘huge demand’ for information about how to cope with your menta...
    Mental health charity Mind recently held an invite-only digital event, which SHP was proud to host and support. During the event Mind’s President, Stephen Fry, spoke about his own mental health during the coronavirus pandemic and CEO Paul Famer discussed Mind’s work and plans for the future.Stephen-Fry-300x200.jpgStephen Fry became Mind’s President in September 2011 and has been a tireless campaigner, supporter and advocate for everyone experiencing mental health problems. Stephen was speaking as part of a virtual Mind event to reflect on some of the work the charity has been doing during the coronavirus pandemic and its plans for the future. During his address, he reflected on how lockdown has affected him personally. He discussed the changes he has gone through in response to the virus and the effect social media can have on your mental health, especially when comparing yourself to what others were doing during lockdown.Mind CEO Paul Farmer opened proceedings by discussing the results of a recent survey, published in July, which polled more than 16,000 people to talk about their experiences with coronavirus and its effect on their mental health.The data highlighted that 65% of adults over 25 and 75% of young people aged 13-24 with an existing mental health problem reported worse mental health during lockdown, while 22% of adults  with no previous experience of poor mental health now say that their mental health is poor or very poor.Speaking on coping with the anxieties of living with coronavirus, Paul said: “Like all companies and individuals, Mind has had to adaptable and almost turn the way we work upside down. Our local Minds, which usually deliver face-to-face services, have gone digital and are running telephone-based services and we have sent out hundreds of postcards to support those people who may have been without digital access during the pandemic.“We’ve responded to a huge demand for information about how to cope with your mental health during coronavirus, with well over a million downloads of information from our website.”Paul shared that Mind’s digital peer support community, Elefriends, now has well over 100,000 active users and that a transmission into a new platform, Side by Side, is imminent, due to the scale of demand.

  • Firm sentenced after employee suffers finger amputations

    A paper making company has been sentenced after a worker suffered serious injuries when her hand was caught in machinery.Plymouth based West Design Products Ltd, which manufactures and edits craft paper for retail, including printing, punching and cutting, has been fined after 22-year-old employee Charlotte Sargent had her fingers crushed, leading to the partial amputation of both her middle and index finger on her left hand.Miss Sargent was working on a paper punching machine at West Design Products Ltd in Plymouth. This is used to punch holes in card or paper so that they can be bound together. Paper is inserted into a slot underneath a Perspex guard and the punch operation is activated by pressing a foot pedal on the floor. Whilst adjusting the settings of the machine, Miss Sargent had placed her fingers between the die plates to tighten them in place, her foot inadvertently hit the unshrouded foot pedal. The die plates moved up, crushing her fingers between the plates and a metal bar, Plymouth Magistrates’ Court was told. The incident happened on 14 September 2017.The HSE’s investigation discovered that the company fell significantly below the expected standard. The defendant failed to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that Miss Sargent was not exposed to risks to her health or safety.Neither Miss Sargent or her supervisor were suitably trained. They had not been shown the operating manual or the safe system of work for the Punch machine before the incident. There was no interlocking switch attached to the guard to prevent the use of the machine when the guard was removed. There was also no shroud supplied for the foot pedal, which can prevent accidental activation.West Design Products Ltd of Bush Park, Plymouth pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, they have been fined £89,600 and ordered to pay costs of £5,584.28 plus a victim surcharge of £170.Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Hatti Shipp said: “Miss Sargent’s injuries have been life changing. This incident was foreseeable and preventable.“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

  • Coronavirus: Review ordered into London bus driver deaths

    Transport for London (TfL) has announced that an independent review is to look at coronavirus infections and deaths among the capital’s bus workers.London-Bus_AdobeStock_61905706-300x200.jA report is set to study TfL’s response during the coronavirus pandemic after it was revealed that thirty-three London bus workers have now died after contracting COVID-19, including 29 drivers. Part of the study will examine the measures introduced to shield drivers, such as how the vehicles are cleaned.In April, SHP reported how passengers using some London bus services would only be able to board through the middle doors as part of increased efforts to protect drivers. At that stage, the virus had claimed the lives of nine drivers.Other safety measures introduced included signs to discourage people from sitting near the driver and adding an extra layer of protection to the clear screen that separates the driver from passengers, as well as the use of anti-viral disinfectant to clean the interiors of vehicles.Mayor Sadiq Khan said the review will “ensure we are taking every possible measure to protect our heroic staff”.University College London (UCL) Institute of Health Equity will undertake the report, which will be fast-tracked within weeks, in order for findings to be quickly implemented across the network.The BBC has reported that a secondary part of the report is due to be commissioned to compare infection and death rates between frontline transport workers and London’s population in general.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recently released figures suggesting that bus drivers in the UK were among workers with higher rates of death from COVID-19 than other staff.Male bus and coach drivers were found to have a rate of 26.4 deaths per 100,000 compared to sales and retail assistants at a rate of 19.8.

  • COVID-19 pandemic: National Academies webinar examines safety, hygiene strategie...
    open-again.jpg?1595948893Photo: siramatt1988/iStockphotoWashington — With many employers reopening workplaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring facilities are safe and sanitary remains a multifaceted yet vital endeavor.During a June 23 webinar hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, offered multiple recommendations for enhancing the safety and hygiene of public spaces.Nancy Burton, senior industrial hygienist at NIOSH, advised employers to first ensure a building is safe for occupancy by checking that heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems operate properly. Any HVAC systems that have been shut down or are on setback should meet the requirements of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ 180-2018 Standard.Inspect the building for hazards associated with extended facility shutdown, including mold growth, rodent or pest infestation, and/or issues with stagnant water systems. Employers also should complete a thorough workplace hazard assessment to determine and establish physical distancing protocol for work and common areas in which workers traditionally are in close contact with one another. These include break rooms, meeting rooms, cafeterias, check-in areas, and routes of entry and exit.Tips for isolating workers from possible exposure to the coronavirus:

    • Install transparent shields or other physical barriers, where possible, to separate employees and visitors when physical distancing isn’t an option.
    • Turn, drape, space or remove chairs in communal seating areas to ensure physical distancing.
    • Use visual cues such as signs and floor decals or tape marks spaced 6 feet apart when physical barriers aren’t possible.
    • Replace high-touch communal items such as coffee pots, watercoolers and bulk snacks with alternatives such as prepackaged, individual serving items.
    Further, Burton recommends increasing circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors and using fans, unless doing so poses a safety risk. Employers also should consider running the building’s ventilation system to maximize dilution ventilation, even when the building is unoccupied.Sign up for Safety+Health's free monthly email newsletters and get the news that's important to you. SUBSCRIBE NOWRobin Coyne, principal consultant at Schaumburg, IL-based Spike Occupational Health and Safety LLC, said employers are striving to attain a delicate balance between following proper safety and health measures and providing a warm, welcoming environment for workers and visitors.Coyne’s remarks included giving a differentiation between three common hygienic terms:
    Cleaning: to remove dirt and debris
    Sanitizing: to reduce – not “kill” – bacteria, viruses and fungi that may be present
    Disinfecting: to “kill” microscopic organisms on a surface, as claimed on a product label
    Coyne pointed to staggering worker start times and elevator access, and spacing out cafeteria seating, as ways to mitigate exposure. She encouraged the exploration of technology for remote health screening and hands-free, latchless alternatives to doors, where feasible.

  • HSE urges Blackburn businesses to take five steps to become COVID-secure
    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is out and about talking to businesses in Blackburn and the surrounding areas to ensure they are COVID-secure to help tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.To support the understanding of any patterns in the confirmed coronavirus cases in the area, HSE is working alongside Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council in the regulation of workplace health and safety and alongside local public health authorities. Inspectors are out visiting businesses across Blackburn and surrounding areas, putting employers on the spot and checking that they are complying with the latest guidance.To be COVID-secure means businesses need to put in place workplace adjustments, keep up to date with the latest guidance and put measures in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others. There are five practical steps that businesses can take to do that:
    • Step 1. carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
    • Step 2. develop increased cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
    • Step 3. take all reasonable steps to help people work from home
    • Step 4. maintain 2m social distancing where possible
    • Step 5. where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk
    Francine Cheney, HSE construction head of operations said: “The number of confirmed cases of the disease are currently high in the area. We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites in and around Blackburn to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.“Becoming COVID-secure needs to be the priority for all businesses to tackle the rise in the number of cases in the area. It is a legal duty for employers to protect their workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. This means making workplace adjustments to become COVID-secure. We advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.”As inspections across the country are ongoing, HSE has been utilising a number of different ways to gather intelligence and reach out to businesses across Blackburn with a combination of site visits, phone calls and through the collection of supporting visual evidence such as photos and video footage.HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of sectors that include: failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime – particularly at busy times of the day – and providing access to welfare facilities to allow employees to frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap.To support businesses, HSE are providing advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers. Where some employers are not managing the risk, HSE will take action which can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.Sally Nicholson, HSE head of operations in Lancashire said: “All businesses are in scope for inspections, that means any size business in any sector can receive an unannounced inspection to ensure they are COVID-secure. By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of the local community as well as support the UK economy.”For the latest information and relevant Safer Workplaces guidance, see

  • Safety breaches lead to fine for automotive firm and occupational health provide...
    A vehicle sales company and an occupational health & safety consultant have been fined for a breach of HAVS

    Perrys Motor Sales Ltd (PMS) and S & Ash Ltd (previously known as Sound Advice Safety and Health Ltd.), have both been sentenced for safety breaches, after a worker developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
    An employee working as a small to medium area repair technology (SMART) repairer at the PMS site in Doncaster, who regularly used handheld power tools to undertake small scale vehicle body work repairs, when he was diagnosed with HAVS in 2013, Sheffield Crown Court was told.The HSE’s investigation discovered that that PMS had failed to adequately assess and control the foreseeable risk to SMART repairers. Following the diagnosis, PMS took no action to protect the employee from further damage to his health and his condition was not reported to the authorities in line with legal requirements.At the time, the firm now going by the name of S & Ash Ltd was engaged by PMS to provide HAVS health surveillance for employees. The investigation also found that following the health surveillance, S & Ash Ltd failed to provide suitable and accurate advice to the employer (PMS) or to inform the employee of the results of his health surveillance, even when specifically requested to do so by him.Perrys Motor Sales Ltd of Pavilion Drive, Northampton Business Park, Brackmills Northampton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 8 of The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013. The company has been fined £140,000 and ordered to pay £7,658.67 in costs.S & Ash Ltd of Charles House, Albert Street, Eccles, Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £4,000 and was ordered to pay £8,716.17 in costs.After the hearing, HSE Inspector Heather Cunnington commented: “Vibration can cause long-term painful damage to hands and fingers.“The motor vehicle repair trade must understand the importance of suitable risk assessments and having a robust occupational health and safety management system. Employers should ensure that the results of health surveillance are acted upon and employees are protected from the risks from HAV when working with handheld power tools.“Occupational health providers are in a unique position in safeguarding the health of employees and must provide accurate reports to employers following HAV health surveillance. Employers must act on these reports.”

  • Council fined following fatality after a tree branch struck a moving vehicle
    Wirral Borough Council has been fined after a branch from a tree fell and struck the vehicle of a pregnant mother while she was driving with her two children, resulting in injuries to the mother and the loss of her prematurely born baby.Elizabeth Stear (39), who was 36 weeks pregnant, had been carrying out the daily school run. She was driving along the A551 Arrowe Park Road with her 13-year-old daughter and six-year-old son when her moving vehicle was struck by a large branch falling from a mature horse chestnut tree. The branch broke through the windscreen and front driver window and struck the right side of Elizabeth’s stomach. She was taken to hospital with suspected major trauma and her baby girl, Lucia Jayne Stear, was delivered by an emergency caesarean, living for 15 hours before sadly passing away.The incident happened on the morning of 10 November 2016.An HSE investigation uncovered that the large branch which fell had a crack on its upper edge where it was joined to the main trunk. It had begun to separate from the main trunk for at least one growing season before the failure. The tree, located within the boundary of Arrowe Park, adjacent to the highway, had not been inspected for at least 13 years.HAS said that Wirral Borough Council failed to:
    • Identify and manage the risks from falling trees and branches;
    • Implement a robust system of inspection of trees in its remit despite a similar incident occurring on Arrowe Park Road in January 2015.
    Wirral Borough Council of Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The Local Authority was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £49,363.Elizabeth Stear said “Usually when you think of your children, you remember things like holidays, achievements, sports days, family days out, their favourite foods etc. We don’t have those memories for Lucia. We would like to thank our family and friends, Aintree Hospital, Liverpool Women’s Hospital neonatal team, the midwives, Honeysuckle team, the Police and Claire House who are still supporting me.”After the hearing, HSE Inspector Rohan Lye said: “There are no winners in this sad case. Councils have a duty to proactively assess and control risks to members of the public. This tragedy could so easily have been avoided if the risk had been identified, warnings had been heeded and an adequate tree management system had been implemented.“Tragically, due to these systemic failures, Elizabeth and Alex, together with their two children have been left without Lucia and have had to restructure their lives from the devastating impact they have each individually experienced.”

  • Report published into fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Bri...
    The HSE has issued a report that shows agriculture has the one of the worst rates of worker fatal injury in Great Britain. Last year, 21 people were killed in agriculture, one was a child.tractor-385681_1920-300x225.jpgThe report, Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2019/20, was published to coincide with the start of Farm Safety Week (20 – 24 July). Led by the Farm Safety Foundation charity, the week shines a light on safety and wellbeing in the sector. The HSE statistics highlight that agriculture continues to have one of the worst rates of worker fatal injury; eighteen times higher than the average rate across all industries.Transport-related incidents, such as overturning vehicles or being struck by moving vehicles, were responsible for more deaths than any other cause last year. Around half of the workers killed were aged 55 years or older, with older workers being disproportionately most at risk of fatal injuries on farms. The youngest person killed last year was a 4-year old child.HSE’s Head of Agriculture, Adrian Hodkinson, said: “Agriculture is a vitally important part of our economy and has played an essential role during the coronavirus outbreak. However, agriculture still has the poorest safety record of any occupation in GB. Despite the very welcome reduction in numbers of deaths – 18 less than the previous year – much more remains to be done in this sector.“Each individual death is a huge and devasting loss to their family, friends and the wider community. It is not acceptable that agriculture and forestry continue to have such high rates of people being killed, and we will continue to push for a wholesale change of attitude and behaviours toward safety within the sectors.“Farm Safety Week is a timely reminder for the agriculture community to manage and control risk and not become complacent on farms. Death, injuries and cases of ill-health, including poor mental health, are not an inevitable part of farming. The safety and wellbeing of people working and living on farms must be treated seriously and things must be done the right way every day, not just this week.“The recent coronavirus outbreak at a farm shows how important it is for everyone in agriculture to take effective steps to control the risk of transmission and protect people from the virus. Inspectors are carrying out spot checks in workplaces to make sure they are COVID-secure and complying with the law and government guidance on social distancing, hygiene practices and supervision.”

  • New public health plans introduced to ensure pubs, restaurants and cafes offer b...
    People using pubs, restaurants and cafes will soon have greater freedom to choose non-smoking outdoor areas following a Parliamentary amendment to legislation. The Government says a balance has been struck between protecting public health and not imposing additional red tape on businesses.smoking-397599_640-300x200.jpgUnder the Business and Planning Bill, the Government had already set out a range of measures to help these vital businesses safely reopen and get staff back to work by making it quicker, easier and cheaper to operate outside.The Government will not ban outdoor smoking. Since the existing ban was introduced, businesses have invested heavily in their outdoor areas and banning outdoor smoking would lead to significant closures and job losses. However, this amendment will ensure that customers are given more choice by ensuring premises offer separate seating for smokers and non-smokers outside.Laws already exist making it illegal to smoke in enclosed areas and business owners can already make their own non-smoking policies in places where food is served.Planning Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “We are supporting our pubs, cafes and restaurants to safely reopen and securing jobs by making it quicker, easier and cheaper to set up outdoor seating and stalls to serve food and drink, whilst protecting public health against the transmission of COVID.“These changes will allow everyone to enjoy outdoor eating and drinking whether they smoke or not, with appropriate provisions made for non-smokers and smokers.”The changes in the amendment aim to strike the right balance between protecting public health and not imposing additional red tape on businesses at a time when they need as much support as possible. The Government will not ban outdoor smoking in pubs, cafes or restaurants.Businesses can already make their own non-smoking policies for outside space without the need for regulations. This guidance will reinforce this point, making it clear that the licence-holder has to make reasonable provision for smoke-free seating.It includes:
    • Clear ‘no smoking’ signage displayed in designated areas;
    • No ash trays or similar receptacles to be provided or permitted to be left on furniture where a smoke-free seating is identified;
    • Licence holders should aim for a minimum 2 metre distance between non-smoking and smoking areas, wherever possible.
    The announcement also builds on measures to help businesses get back on their feet, including:
    • Simpler licensing process for outdoor seating for pubs, restaurants and cafes;
    • Councils encouraged to reduce red-tape and create more outdoor markets;
    • Part of comprehensive plan to revive high streets, support the hospitality industry and help get people back to work;
    • Helping councils and businesses transition from crisis response and lockdown, towards economic recovery.
  • Does motorway roadworks speed limit increase put roadworkers at added risk?
    Speed limits through most major roadworks in England will be increased to 60mph, Highways England has announced.Roadworks-300x199.jpgHighways England says the move to increase the speed limit from 50mph has been taken in order to ‘increase traffic flow’ and ‘ease driver frustrations’.It follows a trial, which looked at different ‘scenarios’ within roadworks on England’s strategic road network of motorways and major A roads.The move has been welcomed by many, despite many unions previously stating that any increase would put the lives of road workers at risk.In 2019, SHP reported that more than half of road users have admitted driving in ways that put themselves or roadworkers at risk, with 74% admitting to exceeding speed limits.This followed video footage, released by Highways England, which highlighted the danger reckless motorists can cause to road workers.The increase will only apply to certain sets of roadworks, depending on the road layout and the type of work being carried out.The AA has said that the increase will reduce journey times and help reduce tailgating by motorists.Safer Highways CEO, Kevin Robinson, has welcomed the increase, but urges caution, saying it must be followed with greater enforcement on law breakers.Speaking about the announcement, Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “All of our research shows that road users benefit from 60mph limits in roadworks. They have shorter journey times and feel safe.“Road users understand that roadworks are necessary, but they are frustrated by them. So, testing 60mph has been about challenging the norm while ensuring the safety of our people working out there and those using our roads.”

  • Deadly accidents: a timeline of recent crane collapses in the UK


    Deadly accidents: a timeline of recent crane collapses in the UK

    INSIGHT13/07/209:30 AMBY JACK SIMPSONA death linked to the collapse of a crane in Bow, east London, has once again shone a light on the potential dangers these machines can pose to construction workers and the public. Here Jack Simpson runs through a potted history of major crane accidents that have taken place in the UK in the past two decades17ihLinkedInIcon.svg17ihTwitterIcon.svg17ihFBIcon.svg17ihEcardIcon.svgCHANDLERS_WHARF_CRANE_COLLAPSE_GETTY_MINChandlers Wharf crane collapse (picture: Getty)Sharelines17ihTwitterIcon.svgAfter the latest death linked to the collapse of a crane, Jack Simpson runs through a history of major crane accidents that have taken place in the UK in the past two decades #ukhousingOn Wednesday last week, a horrendous accident in Bow, east London, saw a crane being used on a housing association development site collapse onto a home, killing one and injuring four more.The victim was identified later as 85-year-old June Harvey, while a worker for crane firm WolffKran was hospitalised and left fighting for his life.


    CHANDLERS_WHARF_CRANE_COLLAPSE_GETTY_MINDeadly accidents: a timeline of recent crane collapses in the UKBOW_CRANE_COLLAPSE_2_1200px_MIN__thumb.jHouses damaged in deadly crane collapse are owned by housing associationThe collapse also led to nearly 100 people being evacuated from their homes and placed in temporary accommodation and thousands of pounds worth of damage.The incident is a reminder of just how dangerous cranes can be. There have been a number of accidents with serious consequences in recent years, often leading to death or serious injury. Inside Housing has put together a timeline of some of the most high-profile crane incidents in the past two decades.

    May 2000: Canary Wharf, east London

    Working in Canary Wharf on the new HSBC tower, three workmen were killed after plunging 400 feet from one of the cranes being used to construct the huge skyscraper on London’s Docklands.The men, Peter Clark, 33, Martin Burgess, 31, and Michael Whittard, 39, were in the crane’s cab and attempting to jack it up to a higher level, also known as climbing the crane, when it crashed 25 storeys. The BBC described the crane’s cab as landing in a building crater while the crane’s arm landed in Canary Wharf’s North Colonnade. According to Construction News, it was the third crane scare at the site in six weeks.A coroner’s court returned an open verdict in 2003, with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) saying that despite extensive investigation, the technical cause of the accident may never be known. The inquiry did reveal that a special safety plug was missing on the crane and there was no anemometer in the cab to measure wind speed.

    February 2005: Worthing, Sussex

    WORTHING_CRANE_COLLAPSE_GETTY_MIN__thumbTwo crane erectors were killed and another suffered serious injuries after the crane they were dismantling collapsed on the construction of a new school in the Sussex town of Worthing.Gary Miles, 37, and Steven Boatman, 45, were working for rental company WD Bennett Plant & Services on the project. They died at the scene while the crane’s operator suffered severe injuries. It was later found that the root cause of the accident was loose bolts on the crane’s mast section.The crane also collided with another nearby crane when falling causing further damage. The site was 150 yards from Durrington High School but luckily no students were harmed as a result of the crash.WD Bennett were fined £125,000 in 2009 and were also ordered to pay costs of £264,000. WD Bennett was liquidated after the hearing meaning the costs went unpaid.The HSE would later say that the incident raised issues of operator competence and training in the UK crane industry.

    September 2006: Battersea, south-west London

    A crane operator and pedestrian were killed in Battersea, London, when a 50m-high crane collapsed onto a block of flats.The crane’s operator Jonathan Cloke, 37, died from severe head injuries after falling from his cab. Michael Alexa, 21, was also killed after the crane situated near the famous power station fell on him while he was changing the wheel on his car.The crane belonged to hire company Falcon Crane Hire. A later police investigation would find that the machine had been overloaded and 24 bolts had failed due to metal fatigue. The HSE also found that Falcon Crane Hire had an inadequate system to manage the inspection and maintenance of their fleet of cranes.In 2016, Falcon Crane Hire was fined £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £100,000.In 2017, Falcon Crane Hire was dissolved. At the time, a spokesperson for Tower Crane Asset Management Holdings, the hire firm’s parent company, said the fine had no bearing on the decision to dissolve it and it was down to the fact that it did not engage in rental activities and staff retirement. Falcon Crane Hire ceased hire activities in 2016.

    January 2007: Elysian Fields, Liverpool

    Father-of-two Zbigniew Roman Swirzynski was killed in January 2007 after an incident that saw a 120ft crane crash on a site in Liverpool. Mr Swirzynski was working at the Elysian Fields site when bolts on the crane failed, resulting in the main part of the crane falling from its tower onto the building being constructed.The crane hire company Falcon Crane Hire was served with a prohibition notice by the HSE after the incident, meaning all of its 180 tower cranes had to be temporarily taken out of service. It was the second incident involving the company in less than a year after the Battersea incident.An inquest would later rule that Mr Swirzynski died when he was hit by a concrete counterweight weighing two tonnes.The HSE ruled in 2008 that it would not prosecute, concluding there was insufficient evidence to bring proceedings against those parties involved.

    June 2007: Croydon, south London

    Three people were left trapped in the tower of a crane for several hours after a crane collapsed onto the roof of a hotel in Croydon. The crane’s driver John Young, 39, also suffered severe injuries including a number of fractures when the crane collapsed. He was left in a body brace for 10 weeks following the incident.The incident happened as workers were trying to extend the mast of the crane but had not put in place essential bolts and washers to secure the cab. The plant hire company Select Plant Hire would be fined £100,000 after admitting health and safety breaches.

    July 2009: Chandlers Wharf, Liverpool

    CHANDLERS_WHARF_CRANE_COLLAPSE_GETTY_MINCrane driver Ian Gillham was paralysed when he was thrown from his cab while working on housing development in central Liverpool in 2009. The 200-tonne crane collapsed onto an apartment block at Chandlers Wharf in the city and saw Mr Gillham thrown from his cab, resulting in multiple injuries including a brain haemorrhage, fractured skull, spine fractures and broken shoulder. He was left paralysed from the waist down.Contractor Bowmer and Kirkland and Liverpool construction engineer Bingham Davis were found guilty of health and safety breaches. Their insurers would later settle out of court with Mr Gillham, paying him £2.7m.

    March 2014: Blackwall, east London

    A construction worker was hospitalised after suffering serious head injuries after a crane jib collapsed on luxury residential development site in Blackwall, east London. The incident happened at Ballymore’s New Providence Tower, with a member of contractor Balfour Beatty’s project team being taken to hospital.The incident resulted in road closures around the site and people forced to evacuate from nearby businesses and restaurants.

    June 2017: Crewe

    In June 2017, an incident on a residential development site in Crewe led to the death of three men. David Newall, 36, and Rhys Barker, 18, died immediately from crushing after their crane fell as the men were erecting it. A third man, David Webb, 43, would die from his injuries a month later.The three men worked for crane hire company Falcon Tower Crane Services. Falcon Tower Crane Services was a subsidiary of Tower Crane Asset Management Holdings which also listed Falcon Crane Hire as a subsidiary.Falcon Tower Crane Services said at the time that it would leave no stone unturned to establish what went wrong and would assist with the investigation and learn safety lessons.Following the deaths unions called for the government to review axed regulation on the use of tower cranes. This included a call for the sector to reintroduce a national register for all tower cranes which was scrapped in 2013 after a recommendation from the HSE. The register also placed a duty on employers to carry out thorough inspections following installation and re-installation and notify the HSE when these inspections took place.from: ttps://
  • Doubling maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker
    Anyone who assaults or attacks emergency workers could face longer jail terms, following the announcement of a consultation on doubling the maximum penalty for the offence.police-1665104_1920-300x155.jpgIn 2018 the Government changed the law (Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018) so that anyone found guilty of assaulting a police officer, firefighter, prison officer or paramedic faced a maximum of 12 months in prison. Judges must also consider tougher sentences for more serious offences – such as GBH or sexual assault – if the victim was an emergency worker.Earlier this year, SHP reported that there have been up to 50 prosecutions for assaults on emergency workers every day, according to CPS. In response, the Government is seeking views from stakeholders, including representative bodies from the emergency services and the judiciary, on whether the maximum penalty should be doubled to two years behind bars.The consultation will run for four weeks and, depending on the response to the consultation, legislation could be brought forward – which would see the maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker doubled for the second time in two years.Assault can cover acts such as a push, shove or being spat at. When an emergency worker is seriously injured, prosecutions will take place under more serious offences such as ABH, GBH, or attempted murder that have far longer sentences.The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act modified the offence of common assault or battery where it is committed against emergency workers acting in the course of their functions, with a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment. This doubled the maximum penalty for common assault from 6 to 12 months for those who assault emergency workers, including police, prison staff, custody officers, fire service personnel, search and rescue workers and frontline health workers.