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  • Tile manufacturer fined after employee suffered serious injuries
    A Colchester tile manufacturing firm has been fined £10,000 after a worker suffered three broken bones in his arm and crush injuries to his forearm when he was drawn into the in-running nip of a conveyor tail drum.Tile-manufacturer-fined-after-employee-sThe Spartan Promenade Tiles worker was removing sand from the inside of a conveyor belt in an attempt to fix the machine, when his left glove became caught in the in-running nip of the conveyor tail drum, pulling his hand and arm into the machine. The emergency stop button in the building did not work, so a colleague had to run to alert the operator at the control panel in another building before the machine could be switched off, Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court was told.The incident happened at the firm’s site on Slough Lane, Colchester, on 18 February 2019.The HSE’s investigation discovered that the company failed to suitably assess the risks, implement a safe system of work, and control the risks. Employees were not trained in the use of isolation or lock off procedures for the machinery on site, nor were employees made aware that such procedures existed. There were no arrangements for the supervision or monitoring of employees to ensure they were correctly isolating and locking off machinery before completing maintenance tasks, and there was no functioning emergency stop in the vicinity of the conveyor tail drum. The guard on the conveyor tail drum had been removed and the conveyor was put into operationSpartan Promenade Tiles Limited of Martells Industrial Estate, Colchester, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and have been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay full costs.After the hearing HSE Inspector Connor Stowers said “This injury could have been easily prevented and the risks should have been identified. Employers need to properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery, and adequately train their workers to use isolation and lock off procedures if they carry out maintenance work.”
  • HSE safety alert issued against KN95 facemask
    HSE safety alert issued against KN95 facemask

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning against the use of KN95 facemasks as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

    A safety alert has been issued today, Thursday 11 June 2020, urging all employers and suppliers not to purchase or use KN95 facemasks as PPE.

    KN95 is a performance rating that is broadly equivalent to the EU standard for FFP2 facemasks. Products manufactured to KN95 requirements rely on a self-declaration of compliance by the manufacturer. There is no independent certification or assurance of their quality.

    This respirator has been identified as suspect by HSE experts and locally arranged testing has confirmed they would not meet requirements, including to protect against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. About 90% of the PPE concerns and queries currently being received by HSE involve KN95 masks which are often accompanied by fake or fraudulent paperwork.

    HSE has quarantined around 1.5 million KN95 masks, prevented 25 million items claiming to be FFP3 respirators entering the supply chain and prevented a further four lines consisting of many millions of items entering the supply chain.

    Rick Brunt, HSE’s director of operational strategy said: “The KN95 facemask should not be purchased or used.

    “KN95 has not been a principal source of PPE for the NHS, who has already made the decision not to supply this respirator to frontline clinicians fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

    “We have found that the lack of independent testing has contributed to there being a substantial quantity of inadequate and poor-quality masks on the market, claiming to comply with the KN95 standard.

    “We understand a lot of people, mainly in sectors outside of healthcare, have bought these facemasks without realising they are non-compliant. We are concerned that people wearing them are not being protected from breathing in harmful substances in the way they expect. Protective equipment must protect.”

    Domestic, European and international organisations continue to raise concerns regarding KN95 masks, including details of counterfeit and illegal products. HSE is working to remove them from the supply chain with colleagues in the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), Border Force, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Trading Standards to identify manufacturers and suppliers of these masks and prevent them entering the UK.

    The safety alert does not relate to N95 masks which are manufactured to a US Standard and have been given permission for use specifically in UK healthcare settings.
  • Hong Kong subway trains collide amid new signal system trials Two subway trains ...
  • crossing selfie.jpg
    A stark warning has been issued after CCTV captured eight incidents of dangerous behaviour in a single day on a rural railway crossing in Derbyshire.

    Video footage at Matlock Bath station caught adults and children taking selfies, talking on the phone while walking along the line and even sitting down to pose for pictures on the tracks. One group of up to ten people, including a toddler, spent over eight minutes on the railway taking photographs and chatting.

    Network Rail is now urging crossing users to pay more respect to the railway and to use crossings safely before a serious incident takes place.

    Martin Brown, operations risk advisor at Network Rail, said: “Level crossings in rural, picturesque settings such as Matlock may look like good opportunities for a photo but the railway is not a playground. Trains can come from either direction at any time and being distracted by chatting, texting or taking photographs while using the crossing significantly increases the risk of an incident.”

    Inspector Eddie Carlin from British Transport Police said, "The photos captured are extremely worrying. We are really concerned someone is going to get seriously injured or killed at the crossing.

    "Trespassing on the railway is extremely dangerous and can have tragic consequences for those involved. I have had to tell devastated families that their loved ones are not coming home due to incidents such as this and it's heartbreaking.

    "The railway is a dangerous environment. Trains travel at speed and can be silent and if people are trespassing on the tracks and are distracted taking photos, selfies or texting they really are putting themselves in danger, no photo or text is worth risking your life.

    "We have increased patrols in the area and are keen to speak to the people pictured to reinforce our concerns about their reckless and dangerous behaviour. If you recognise them please contact us on 0800 405040 or text 61016"

    Matlock Bath has a foot crossing with a Stop, Look and Listen sign at the crossing gate. It sees over 30 trains per day and is used by over 500 pedestrians and cyclists.

    The advice for using crossings such as Matlock Bath is:

    Stop, Look and Listen for a train before opening the gate. If there is one coming then wait until it is has passed and you are sure there isn’t a second one approaching
    Once sure the track is clear, open the gate and walk across the track to the other side – without rushing. Make sure the gate is closed behind you.
    If crossing in a large group, make sure there is enough time and space for everyone to cross safely. Always keep dogs on a lead when near the railway.
    Anyone who witnesses misuse at a crossing should contact the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.
  • alton-towers-4-1.jpg
    Alton Towers Smiler crash: Park to reopen
    Alton Towers is to reopen for the first time since a rollercoaster crash left 16 people injured, its owners have announced.

    The park will open its gates from 10:00 BST on Monday, six days after two carriages on the Smiler ride collided.

    It is understood four people hurt in the crash are being treated in hospital for serious leg injuries.

    Owners Merlin Entertainments Ltd said it had carried out "a thorough review" of operating and safety procedures.

    And Health and Safety Executive inspectors have also been on site.

    Merlin Entertainments Ltd chief executive Nick Varney said it had been "a terrible event for everyone involved".

    "We are very aware of the impact it will have on those involved and we are doing all we can to provide our support to those injured and their families," he said.

    The park "closed immediately" afterwards, he added, to allow preliminary investigations and give staff "time to come to terms with the [crash] and its aftermath".