Diesel
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  • FMCSA awards nearly $80 million in grants
    Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has awarded about $80 million in federal grants to states and educational institutions in an effort to enhance roadway safety.In an Aug. 19 press release, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao says the awards “represent the highest funding level” for the grants, which will be allocated as follows:
    High Priority grants: $45.1 million to strengthen states’ CMV safety efforts, as well as advance technological capabilities.
    Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation grants: $32.7 million to enhance efforts by states to improve the national CDL program.
    Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training grants: $2 million to 20 educational institutions to help train veterans for jobs as CMV operators.
    “This critical funding will support FMCSA’s state and local safety partners, and illustrates the Trump administration’s commitment to reducing crashes and improving safety on America’s roadways,” acting FMCSA administrator Jim Mullen said in the release. “These funds will go directly to where they are needed the most – our states, local communities and educational institutions.”
    Mullen will be stepping down as administrator at the end of the month, the agency recently announced.

    from: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20243-fmcsa-awards-nearly-80-million-in-grants
  • Speeding up OSHA’s response to COVID-19 whistleblower complaints: DOL OIG makes ...
    OSHA_OIG.jpg?1389116937Washington — Facing a staffing shortage and an increased number of complaints related to the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA must improve the efficiency of its Whistleblower Protection Program, an audit report from the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General concludes.The program enforces 23 statutes that prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who report employer violations of various workplace safety, consumer product, environmental, financial reform and securities laws.“When OSHA fails to respond in a timely manner, it could leave workers to suffer emotionally and financially, and may also lead to the erosion of key evidence and witnesses,” DOL OIG states in the Aug. 14 report.An audit conducted by OIG found whistleblower complaints increased 30% during the first four months of the pandemic compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, the WPP’s number of full-time equivalent investigators dropped to 120 from 126 in 2019. As a result, some investigators have as many as 45 open cases – more than double the “optimal” maximum amount of 20, according to the report. OIG recommends OSHA fill these vacancies.The office also recommends the agency continue to assess a triage pilot intended to speed up the complaint screening process and consider extending the program to all regions. The program, set up before the pandemic in Region 2 (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), is designed to reassign older whistleblower complaints from regions with sizeable backlogs to regions with smaller backlogs.“Whistleblower program officials have not utilized a similar approach during the pandemic to more evenly distribute whistleblower complaints,” the report states. OIG recommends the agency develop a caseload management plan to be able do so.In general, whistleblower cases are assigned based on the whistleblower’s location or where the majority of witnesses appeared to be located. However, OIG points out, many investigations are conducted via telephone interviews and with electronic delivery of supporting documentation,

     making distributing caseloads easier.Sign up for Safety+Health's free monthly email newsletters and get the news that's important to you. SUBSCRIBE NOWActing OSHA administrator Loren Sweatt agreed with the recommendations in a response memo dated Aug. 10 and addressed to Assistant Inspector General for Audit Elliot Lewis. She wrote that the agency has processed more than half of the COVID-19-related complaints received to date, with an average screening time of 10 days – faster than the agency’s fiscal year 2020 Operating Plan’s performance measure of 13 days.Sweatt added that the “Whistleblower Investigations Manual” is close to its first published update since September 2011.“In the meantime, the agency continues to issue new guidance to investigative staff, strengthen our collaborative relationships with our partner agencies, and develop new customer service and outreach tools,” she wrote.


    from: 
    https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20249-speeding-up-oshas-response-to-covid-19-whistl...
  • Powder Coating company fined after worker suffers serious back injury
    A powder coating company has been fined after a worker in a factory in Poole, Dorset suffered shattered lumbar vertebrae and had to be kept in a lying down position on his back for two weeks in hospital.Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard how on 27 July 2017, the worker was checking the straps on a wheeled A-frame trolley containing ten 6m long twin wall polycarbonate sheets weighing 34kg each, when the load unexpectedly toppled onto him pushing him to the ground. Colleagues had to lift the sheets off the worker and call for an ambulance.An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that C & R Powder Coating and Welding Fabrication Ltd had failed to ensure the safety of workers, engaged in the transfer and storage of plastic sheeting on a trolley. The investigation found that the trolley was not suitable for the storage and transport of the plastic sheets because it was not sufficiently long enough and had no means for ensuring the straps being used would stay in place.C & R Powder Coating and Welding Fabrication Ltd of 4 – 6 The Wharf Centre, Wharf Street, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 5LB pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). The company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,338.20.Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Berenice Ray, said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out safe working practices and ensuring work equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is to be used.“Accidents like this can happen with plastic sheets but equally with wood board, steel plate or stone slabs. Any flat profile material should be secured against falling or slipping out as the consequences can be a serious injury or even a fatality.“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

    from: https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/08/07/powder-coating-company-fined-after-worker-suffers-serious-back-i...
  • HSE is making sure businesses in Greater Manchester are COVID-secure
    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is contacting businesses in Greater Manchester to make sure workplaces are COVID-secure to help tackle the local outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.HSE is working alongside Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and local public health authorities to support the understanding of any patterns in the confirmed coronavirus cases in the area. Inspectors are out checking workplaces across Greater Manchester, putting duty holders and employers on the spot and ensuring that they are complying with the latest Safer Workplace guidance relevant to their sector.Being COVID-secure means that businesses need to put in place workplace adjustments to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus. Businesses can do this by following five practical steps:
    • 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.
    Jane Carroll, HSE Regulatory Inspector in the North West, said: “The number of confirmed cases of the disease is currently high in the area. We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites in and around Greater Manchester 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 in Greater Manchester to tackle the rise in the number of cases. 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 on-going, HSE has been utilising a number of different ways to gather intelligence and reach out to businesses across the UK 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 is 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 and stopping certain work practices until they are made safe. Where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.Phil Strickland, Principal Inspector of Construction for Greater Manchester, 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 Safer Workplaces guidance, see www.gov.uk

    from: 
    https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/08/10/hse-is-making-sure-businesses-in-greater-manchester-are-covid-se...
  • HSE is checking businesses in Swindon are COVID-secure
    Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors are busy contacting and visiting businesses in Swindon to make sure workplaces are COVID-secure and help tackle a local outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.After a rise in workplace Covid-19 outbreaks in the town, the government moved Swindon on to its coronavirus watch-list.HSE is working alongside Swindon Borough Council to support the understanding of any patterns in the confirmed coronavirus cases in the area while reassuring the local community.Inspectors are out checking workplaces across Swindon, putting duty holders and employers on the spot and ensuring that they are complying with the latest Safer Workplace guidance relevant to their sector.Being COVID-secure means that businesses need to put in place workplace adjustments to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus. Businesses can do this by following five practical steps:
    • 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.
    Simon Chilcott, HSE Principal Inspector, said: “As confirmed cases of the disease are on the rise in Swindon, we are talking to and conducting spot inspections on local businesses in the area to gauge and understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.“Our visits are not just located on the town centre; we are conducting spot inspections and telephone inspections across businesses in the wider area to ensure becoming COVID-secure is their current number one priority.“While reassuring businesses, we are also reminding them that 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 will entail making often simple but effective workplace adjustments to become COVID-secure.”As inspections across the country are on-going, HSE has been utilising a number of different ways to ensure organisations and businesses are COVID-secure and complaint with the guidance.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 is 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 and stopping certain work practices until they are made safe. Where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.Simon Chilcott added: “If you are a business or organisation that is open anywhere in the UK you must ensure you have the right workplace adjustments in place to safeguard your workers from Coronavirus infection. HSE are combining a range of tactics to ensure they can check as many businesses as possible so if you get a phone call or a visit from HSE you must engage in the spot inspection process.“We are also encouraging all employers to work with their employees when implementing changes to become COVID-secure and guiding them to the right information on how to do this.“Our inspectors could call unannounced at any business in any sector so please make sure your workplace is COVID-secure and measures are in place to manage any risks.“That way it will benefit the health of workers, customers and the local community while supporting the regional and national economy.”For the latest information and Safer Workplaces guidance, see www.gov.uk

    from: 
    https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/08/12/hse-is-checking-businesses-in-swindon-are-covid-secure/?utm_sour...
  • A Building Contractor was sentenced after a subcontractor sustained significant ...
    Brebner and Williamson Limited has been fined following an incident where John Niven, a self-employed subcontractor fell 15 feet from a youngman board, which had been used to create a temporary platform. He sustained multiple fractures and a brain injury. 

    Perth Sheriff Court heard that on 29 July 2016 Mr Niven was working on a new build at Plot 1, Station Road, Crook of Devon, Kinross. A youngman board was used to create a temporary platform to give access to the roof in an area without scaffolding. Mr Niven was standing on the youngman board when it slipped, causing him to fall onto a concrete floor slab below.

    An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Brebner and Williamson failed to properly supervise the work at height, to ensure scaffold surrounded the full perimeter of the house under construction, and to ensure a suitable working platform and fall protection measures were in place. 

    Brebner and Williamson of St David’s Drive, St David’s Business Park, Dalgety Bay, Fife pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 4 and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and were fined £5,000.

    After the hearing, HSE Inspector Gillian Anderson said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and severe injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known. 
    “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

    from: 
    https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/08/14/a-building-contractor-was-sentenced-after-a-subcontractor-sustai...
  • Company fined after worker suffers serious crush injuries
    Leeds and Bradford Boiler Co Ltd was sentenced for safety breaches after a worker broke his upper arm and suffered crush injuries to his lower arm in a workplace incident.

    Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that on 2 November 2018, Paul Madarasz was machining a two-tonne metal plate on a vertical borer machine. The metal cover plate was not sitting flush on the table due to some dirt or debris. He raised one side of the metal plate above the machine table using an overhead crane with C shaped hook so that he could clean the machine table underneath with a rag. 

    While he was doing this the cover plate slipped off the lifting attachment trapping his arm underneath. Mr Madarasz has had to undergo several long operations on his lower and upper arm and is unlikely to regain full function in his right arm. 

    An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was no safe system of work for this activity. This specific lifting operation and cleaning activity had not been assessed, which resulted in employees using a variety of unsafe methods. 

    Leeds and Bradford Boiler Co Ltd of Beechwood Street, Stunningly, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £7,692 in costs. 

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrea Jones said: “Lifting operations and foreseeable activities including cleaning should be properly assessed and planned. “Other employees were also at risk of injury by falling metal plates. 
    “This incident could so easily have been avoided by using suitable lifting accessories, implementing safe working practices, and ensuring these are followed through appropriate supervision and monitoring.”

    from: 
    https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/08/19/company-fined-after-worker-suffers-serious-crush-injuries/?utm_s...
  • The risk assessment trap: Are risk assessments encouraging unsafe behaviours?
    Are risk assessments encouraging unsafe behaviours? Tony Roscoe, Head of Consulting Services at Anker & Marsh, looks at human behaviour and whether people take greater risks because a risk assessment has been completed.Tony-Roscoe-300x300.jpgWorking with SHE professionals, almost daily I meet people who are frustrated with other people’s behaviour, especially when it comes to safety. They feel that they have done everything to keep people safe and that ‘they’ won’t follow basic instructions and stop taking risks.There are many reasons that people take risk at work, I want to explore one that is not often discussed.The idea for this article came from a recent discussion on LinkedIn about risk and risk assessment. As with many things in safety, risk assessment is a logical process that is then applied by less than completely logical people.

    Are risk assessments encouraging unsafe behaviours?

    One of the ways in which risk assessments break down is when it comes to human behaviour and people taking greater risks because a risk assessment has been completed.This sounds like an oxymoron. People take more risks because we’ve done risk assessments!Yes, unfortunately this is true. The answer isn’t to not do risk assessments, but to understand why they are taking the risk.Many years ago, I remember watching an episode of CSI Las Vegas, which involved a car crash and as this show tended to do, they wove some science into the storyline. In this case the science was The Peltzman Effect. This made me curious and I started to look into it, to understand its implications for safety.The Peltzman Effect is a theory which states that people are more likely to engage in risky behaviour when security measures have been mandated.Sam Peltzman is an economist who noted that the more safety that was mandated in cars e.g. mandatory seat belts, the more unsafe behaviours people performed in cars.So, in effect, the safer we make people feel, the more risk that they take.Safety cultureThis is the conundrum I see every day in safety. It is at the core of the frustration of pretty much every SHE person I have ever met.We take a person and make them feel invincible by covering them head to toe in PPE and giving them a mountain of paperwork, and their response is to take greater risks. In effect, the risk assessment has made it a little more likely that people will take a risk.How do we overcome this?Much of this, as with most things, comes down to culture.The key word in the definition is ‘mandated’. This is where safety is seen as something that is done to people, something that they have little or no control over.It is no surprise then that organisations with mature cultures based on communication, servant leadership and continual improvement have excellent safety records, because safety is not seen as being done ‘to’ people, but ‘with’ people.Whilst we continue to do safety to people, then the harder we work as SHE professionals, the more risk that they take, and around and around we go.

    from: https://www.shponline.co.uk/culture-and-behaviours/are-risk-assessments-encouraging-unsafe-behaviour...
  • Passport to help road workers to be effective and safe whilst on site goes live
    A new smart card identification system for road workers has been launched. The system uses technology to reliably deliver and capture real-time information when and where it is needed.Roadworks-300x199.jpgThe highways passport system, endorsed by Highways England, comes from the same companies behind Network Rail’s Sentinel Safety Solution and service and HS2’s Validate Safety Scheme, namely Reference Point and Mitie. The system went live on 1 August 2020.Reference Point provides the technology; Mitie holds and manages the data.The system is designed to monitor the workforce on highway projects, keeping track of credentials, training recordS, qualifications and right to work.As well as receiving a physical smartcard, a virtual card can also be generated for any worker, which they can store on their own mobile device.Passport is the brand name of the Validate system, supported by Mitie, when used on highways. It uses Reference Point’s SkillGuard system.Reference Point described the new Passport system as “a major software upgrade to the solution that we already provide”.The same company also provides the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card software. “We have plans in place to discuss ‘linking schemes’ to help avoid and manage fatigue,” a spokesperson said.

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/road-safety/highways-passport-system-goes-live/
  • Food safety round-up: ‘Face mask’ found inside McDonald’s chicken nugget and hos...
    ‘Face mask’ found inside McDonald’s chicken nuggetchicken-nuggets-155763_640-300x257.pngThe BBC has reported that a six-year-old girl discovered a blue surgical face mask inside a McDonald’s chicken nugget at its Aldershot branch in Hampshire.McDonald’s said food safety is of the “utmost importance to us” and said the company places great emphasis on quality control, following “rigorous standards to avoid any imperfections”.A spokesperson said: “As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we opened a full investigation with the relevant supplier, and have taken action to ensure any product from this batch is removed from restaurants.“We would like to offer a full apology to the customer in question and understand they are currently in conversation with our customer services team.”Indian restaurant fined £17k after rat infestationTiffins Tandoori in Abingdon has been prosecuted by Vale of White Horse District Council for five offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations at Oxford Magistrates’.The defendants pleaded guilty to all five offences and were ordered by magistrates to pay £3,000 for each charge and costs of £2,211.26 and a victim surcharge of £181.Environmental health officers from the council carried out an unannounced routine food hygiene inspection in October 2019, during which they discovered evidence of a rat infestation in both inside and outside food and equipment storage areas.Rat droppings were found on equipment, including a frying pan, while there was also gnawed food and gnawed food packaging.There was also a large hole which had been created by the rats in a food storeroom.Officers subsequently served a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice, which prevented the restaurant from using the storage areas.Pub landlord ‘complacent’ in enforcing COVID-19 regulationsThe landlord of the Crown and Anchor pub in Stone, Staffordshire has said he was “simply not strong enough” in enforcing government rules. The pub has been linked to an outbreak of coronavirus in the area.Custodio Pinto said he regretted being “complacent” in enforcing regulations with customers.Twenty-two people linked to the pub have tested positive for COVID-19, out of around 1,000 people who underwent tests after Staffordshire Police said it visited the site following social distancing concerns.Irish police find 24 pubs in breach of coronavirus guidelinesA total of 24 pubs in Ireland were found in breach of COVID-19 safety guidelines by the gardai as part of a targeted operation, named Operation Navigation.Many of the breaches were due to no evidence of food being served or consumed and no evidence of receipts to show that food had been sold.The incidents of non-compliance with health regulations and licencing laws were found between 27 July to 3 August.Some 105 pubs have been found to be in breach of safety guidelines since the start of Operation Navigation on 3 July.

    from: https://www.shponline.co.uk/food-safety/food-safety-round-up-face-mask-found-inside-mcdonalds-chicke...
  • Manufacturer fined after an employee died and another worker seriously injured
    A concrete manufacturer has been sentenced for safety breaches following two separate incidents including the death of an employee and series injuries to a second worker. A number of electrical safety failings were also found.Treanor Pujol Ltd employee Mathew Fulleylove, 30, was operating a mobile saw unit on Line 12 at the factory in Stourton, Leeds, while another employee was operating a mobile bed cleaner on Line 11. Mr Fulleylove was standing on the footwell of the saw unit as the other machine passed on the adjacent production line. As the bed cleaner came past, Matthew’s head was crushed between the frames of the two machines and he was killed instantly. The incident happened on On 5 June 2014 .The HSE’s investigation found that it was the nature of production for machines to routinely pass each other on adjacent lines. On lines 11 and 12 the gap between the passing bed cleaner and saw machines was very small – between 65 and 93mm at different parts of the frames. It was identified that Treanor Pujol Ltd failed to identify the risk of crushing posed by the passing machines; failed to devise a safe system of work to control this risk and failed to provide adequate training in such a procedure to employees.On 12 April 2018, in a second incident, a 47-year-old employee was operating a hooks machine, which embeds hooks into precast concrete when a fault developed during the operation. While attempting to reset the machine his elbow leant on a concrete dispenser box and a metal shutter designed to close off the flow of concrete. The metal shutter closed, trapping his hand resulting in a fracture and partial de-gloving of his left hand.Investigating, the HSE found that the machine was not fitted with working interlocks, meaning several of the machine doors could be opened to gain access to dangerous moving parts whilst the machine was operating.Risk of serious injury or deathIn the early stages of the investigation into the incident involving Mr Fulleylove, HSE inspectors also noticed several electrical safety concerns with the equipment in the manufacturing shed. Inspectors carried out numerous visits between 2014 and 2018 and discovered further failings, one of which related to electrical equipment not being suitably constructed or protected from the environment. It was left in wet, dirty, dusty and corrosive conditions, which resulted in rapid deterioration and safety features becoming inoperable over time. This exposed employees to a risk of serious personal injury or death.Treanor Pujol Ltd of former Bison Works site, Pontefract Road Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and breaching Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 by failing to comply with Regulation 6(c). The company has been fined £285,000 and ordered to pay costs of £56,324.97.After the hearing, HSE Inspector Kate Dixon said: “Treanor Pujol Ltd should have identified the risk of crushing between passing machines on the production lines. The company should have taken steps to reduce and control the residual risk, organising production to minimise the likelihood of machines passing each other on adjacent lines, as well as devising and implementing a safe system of work.“This should have included a designated place of safety where operators were required to stand as a machine passed. The operator’s manual for the bed cleaning machine stated an exclusion zone around the machine at 655mm should be implemented. If this had been in place, it would have addressed the significant crushing hazard and prevented the death of Mr Fulleylove.”Ms Dixon added: “In regard to the second incident, the company should have ensured that the dangerous parts of the Hooks Machine could not be accessed by anyone whilst they were moving by way of suitable guarding arrangements.“Duty holders should ensure they carry out site specific risk assessments to identify any issues relevant to a particular location, task or piece of equipment. It is important to ensure where safe systems of work are required, employees are properly trained and monitored to ensure the correct way of working is followed.”

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/in-court/manufacturer-fined-after-an-employee-died-and-another-worker-se...
  • Tower Hamlets council charged over girl killed by rotting swing
    A council has been charged with health and safety breaches over the death of a five-year-old girl in a playground and faces a potential £2 million legal bill, the Evening Standard has reported.Schoolgirl Alexia Walenkaki died in Mile End Park a day prior to her sixth birthday, when a rotting log swing collapsed on her on 17 July 2015.According to reports, Tower Hamlets council has signed off a £2 million “extraordinary cost item” from its children’s services budget to pay a potential fine and its legal costs, as the HSE brings a prosecution.The authority has been charged with breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. A hearing is due to take place in October at Westminster magistrates’ court.According to the Standard, the borough’s Mayor John Biggs has said that the authority is planning to plead guilty.Two council employees and the contractor who designed and fitted the equipment in Mile End Park playground had been found to have “breached their duty of care” in a 2018 report, ordered by the CPS’s special crime division.The report found that annual inspections of the play equipment had not been carried out by the council and wood used to construct the swing was unsuitable.Although the report found “serious breaches” and a series of failings, it concluded no criminal charges would be brought against individuals or the local authority.The most serious breach was found to be the use of poplar or willow wood for the log which killed Alexia. Both have a lifespan of three years and the log was fitted four years before her death.A spokesperson for the council confirmed that urgent safety checks of equipment at all council run play facilities were carried out following Alexia’s death.

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/leisure-and-entertainment/tower-hamlets-council-charged-over-girl-killed...
  • Hammersmith Bridge: Heatwave exacerbates ‘critical faults’ and closes bridge com...
    Hammersmith and Fulham Council have closed London’s Hammersmith Bridge indefinitely, to all traffic, after the recent heatwave was discovered to have caused further cracks.london-1422276_1280-1-300x223.jpgFirst constructed in 1824, the bridge was waiting to undergo refurbishment when it was closed in 2019 as ‘critical faults’ were discovered. At the time, pedestrians and cyclists were still able to cross the bridge from Barnes to Hammersmith, but seven buses services were suspended.The latest discovery means that all traffic will now be blocked from using the bridge and no boats will be allowed to pass underneath it.Hammersmith & Fulham Council leader. Cllr Stephen Cowan said: “Safety is the number one priority. I’m absolutely sure that we averted a catastrophe by closing this 19th century suspension bridge to motor vehicles last year.“We have some of the best engineers in the world working on this scheme. They advise we now face a similar dilemma.“I appreciate how inconvenient this will be to thousands of people on both sides of the river and I am sorry about that, but we must follow the engineers’ advice which is why the bridge will be closed with immediate effect today.“We will update everyone as soon as engineers have investigated the scale of the recent damage. I have instructed them to find a plan to safely reopen it as quickly as they can.”Hammersmith and Fulham Council stated that the 123-year-old bridge’s structure was never designed for modern traffic and high volumes of heavy vehicles such as buses and Government budget cuts meant that TFL has been unable to keep up the repairs, which are now estimated to cost in excess of £140m.It was later reported that corrosion has been found on the bridge, which caused ‘hairline microfractures’, that can potentially become bigger cracks on the bridge’s footing, if heavy pressure is applied on top of it. The bridge was expected to be closed to traffic for up to three years.Buses were previously ordered by the council with a strict rule of only allowing one bus on the bridge at a time, but in 2016 Transport for London removed their bridge wardens, which were ensuring that this rule was enforced, leading to a breech of the agreement.It is estimated that up to 16,000 people used the bridge every day, before the original closure.

    from: https://www.shponline.co.uk/news/critical-faults-on-hammersmith-bridge-lead-to-seven-bus-services-be...
  • Abrasive materials and certain chemicals can ‘shorten the life of important comp...
    Is your site damaging your equipment? CFTS warns that work equipment used for heavy-duty operations may require more frequent Thorough Examinations than owners think.CFTS-Fork-Lift-Inspection-300x200.jpgCFTS, the body behind the national standard for lift truck Thorough Examinations, has said that certain industries are at higher risk of fault-related accidents if they do not arrange inspections often enough.“Operations like construction, metal manufacturing or aggregate processing use abrasive materials, which over time can damage equipment,” said CFTS Chairman, Geoff Martin.“Similarly, if a truck is used on a site where chemicals are present, corrosion is a serious hazard to look out for.“For example, chains are vulnerable, even though they have been made and tested for the stresses of day-to-day operations. A CFTS Thorough Examination will identify any signs of corrosive fatigue on your chains or other lift truck components.”As per LOLER and PUWER regulations, each lift truck must have a Thorough Examination at least once a year, but equipment could require a more frequent inspection schedule depending on the nature of the site, truck and tasks.According to CFTS, the type of truck and the use of attachments will affect when you book a Thorough Examination. If it has fitted attachments, an inspection must be arranged every 12 months. This changes to 6 months if attachments are not permanently fitted to the truck, or if the truck has an elevated operator position or working platform for lifting personnel.“The amount the truck is used also plays a significant role in determining how often an inspection is needed,” added Geoff Martin.“Get it checked every four months if it is used over 80 hours a week, every six months if it used 40 to 80 hours a week, or every 12 months if it is used under 40 hours a week.“If you are planning on making any changes to your work equipment or how it is used, then your Thorough Examination intervals might be affected. A CFTS-accredited Thorough Examination engineer can help you determine this.”

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/lifting-and-handling/abrasive-materials-and-certain-chemicals-can-shorte...