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Industry Awareness

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Why not bookmark this page and keep up to date with news on WWT, general construction as well as the latest HSE enforcement activity?  Read the most current news on this page and through the links on the left, you can read about recent HSE enforcement activity and other news.  




Council fined after worker diagnosed with HAVS

A council has been fined after Wrexham County Borough Council has been fined after a 57-year old man was diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). The employee was diagnosed with HAVS in September 2015.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the council failed to address the issue of HAVS following an audit in February 2011 which identified a failure to assess the risk to employees from vibration. The council had developed a number of policies dating back to 2004 to tackle the risk of HAVS, however it was found these policies were not implemented.

The Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,901.35. To read the full HSE Press Release, click here.



HSE launches second phase of construction inspection campaign (HSE Press Release - 2 October 2017)

Construction projects across Britain are being urged to act now to ensure the health and safety of their workers is protected as the second phase of a targeted inspection initiative gets underway today.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says 43 workers were fatally injured in 2015/16, and an estimated ten times that number died from construction related ill-health, with a further 65,000 self-reported non-fatal injuries.

HSE is now asking every construction contractor, client and designer to ensure they are not adding to this unacceptable toll of harm by failing to manage well-known risks.

In addition to things such as falls from height, the campaign will focus on control of harmful dusts including respirable silica from concrete, brick and stone, asbestos and wood dust, as well as work at height, structural safety, materials handling, good order and welfare provision.

HSE points to the mis-conception that health issues cannot be controlled in construction. It says harmful dust, whether silica or wood, is a serious issue and can be managed effectively with the right design, equipment and training.  Health effects may not be immediate, but the ultimate impact on workers and their families can be devastating.

HSE carried out over 2000 inspections during the first phase of the initiative earlier this year with action being taken to address these issues in almost half of visits.

HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction and Director of Construction Division Peter Baker commented: “In phase 1 of this campaign HSE’s inspectors found lots of good examples of small sites working safely and protecting workers health from exposure to harmful dusts, proving it can be done. My message to smaller businesses is don’t wait for an accident or a visit from an HSE inspector - learn from the success of others and act now.

“Nearly half of construction fatal accidents and injuries reported to HSE involved refurbishment work. 

“Some small refurbishment sites continue to cut corners and not properly protect their workers resulting in an unacceptable number of deaths and injuries each year.”


  HSE Refurb Initiative Oct 2017 Poster


To read the full Press Release, click here



HSE makes cost recovery dispute process fully independent

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed. That as from September 1, 2017, disputed invoices raised under the fee for intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme will be considered by a fully independent panel. From this date, all disputes will be considered by a lawyer – acting as chair – and two others who have practical experience of management of health and safety

Revised guidance on the new process has been published on HSE’s website.

For more information and to read the full HSE Press Release, click here


HSE encourages potato farmers across the UK to consider safety as it launches latest inspection initiative

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is reminding farmers who grow potatoes of the importance of managing risks to workers during the potato harvest as it launches its latest inspection initiative. The initiative announcement comes after the latest HSE statistics show that there have been 30 deaths on farms in Great Britain over the last 12 months.

Incidents during potato harvesting season remain a common cause of serious and fatal injury and recurring causes include entanglement with dangerous parts of machines, being struck or run over by vehicles and falls from height.

HSE inspectors will be visiting farms across the country that grow, pick and process potatoes over the next few months to ensure risks during the harvesting season are being controlled and measures are in place to protect farmers and their workers.

For more information on what the HSE inspectors will be checking during this initiative and to read the full HSE Press Release, click here.


Car repair company and director fined after breaching enforcement action

A Rochdale based car repair company and its director have been fined after failing to comply with Improvement Notices (IN) issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

On 10 June 2016, the centre and its director failed to comply with three Improvement Notices that required the thorough examination of three two-post vehicle lifts by the specified dates in the Notices.

HSE investigated the premises at Albion Road Industrial Estate, Rochdale after being alerted to the company by the Local Authority. The company had also been prosecuted in June 2016 by Rochdale Council for a breach of an abatement notice regarding burning of waste.

Rochdale MOT Centre Ltd of Albion Road Industrial Estate, Rochdale, Lancashire and its director pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and were ordered to pay fines of £1,500 and £3,000 respectively.

Both defendants were ordered to pay the full costs of £15,609.14.

For more information and to read the full HSE Press Release, click here.


PASMA Appoints John Darby as Head of Technical Support

PASMA, the international not-for-profit body dedicated to the mobile access tower industry, has appointed John Darby, 34, to the newly created post of head of technical support. John has been chairman of PASMA’s Technical Committee since 2015. He also sits on the UK Tower Standards Committee (B514/24) and the Committee responsible for revising, the European product standard for towers (TC53/WG4).

John has worked with the Youngman Group, where he was appointed technical manager (2010), operations manager and finally UK manufacturing engineering manager (2015). Before this, he worked with the engineering department of fire and security specialists, Elmdene International, based in Portsmouth.

John holds a First Class Honours Degree in Design Engineering from Bournemouth University obtained in 2005 and he is married with two young children. His interests include engines, cars and generally ‘anything greasy’.


BS EN 131 revision - New Guidance from the Ladder Association

A revised set of BS EN131 standards – the British and European Ladder Certification Standards - are due to be introduced to the European market from the 1st January 2018 and The Ladder Association, the not-for-profit industry body dedicated to height safety, has published a guide explaining what it describes as the most important changes to portable ladder standards since the standard was first introduced.

The eight page free guide highlights the key changes for specifiers, users and health and safety professionals, and for managers and supervisors responsible for the safety of employees using ladders in the workplace.

These highlights include:

·       Essential information on how and when the changes will affect users

·       Advice on how to ‘shop smart’ when replacing existing ladders because they are damaged or unfit for further use

·       Details of changes to design requirements and the two new classes of ladders

For a free copy of the guide, go to


Big Ben conservation project: HSE’s latest statement (Date: 15 August 2017)

A HSE spokesperson said:

“In relation to yesterday’s reporting relating to the Big Ben conservation project in London, people’s health should not be made worse by the work they do and that no worker should suffer any hearing loss while working on this project.

“As part of our regulatory role, HSE has liaised with both the client and the principal contractor on this major construction project in central London.

“This has been one of many projects where we work with contractors in the planning stages, and we’ve noted how intricate, complex and challenging this particular exercise will be. Health and safety aside, we understand these challenges would have silenced Big Ben’s chimes for at least two years anyway.

“While we were aware part of the project related to the clock, we have not been involved in discussions about how that work will be specifically carried out.

“There is broad agreement that the noise risks associated with working around the clock bells are highly significant and we would expect the principal contractor to manage those risks. How it does so is a matter for those involved and their client.”

For further information about the risks associated with exposure to high levels of noise visit


Firm sentenced after boy suffered life-changing injuries on farm

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is calling on farmers to do more to protect their loved ones after an eight year old boy who fell from a sit-astride all-terrain vehicle (ATV) ended up with an amputated leg.

The boy who was sitting on the back of the vehicle while grass was being cut fell and suffered injuries to his lower right leg. He was taken to hospital and on arrival underwent an eight-hour operation. His lower right leg could not be saved and a below-the-knee amputation was carried out. He has since been fitted with a prosthetic limb.

For more information and to read the full HSE Press Release, click here.


Company fined £250,000 after crushing leaves worker with brain damage

A passenger air transport firm has been fined following an incident at Luton Airport that left an employee with brain damage.

The employee was injured while she was opening the doors of a hangar at Luton Airport to move aircraft inside. On moving one of the doors, she became trapped causing crushing injuries resulting in severe brain damage.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the company failed to conduct an adequate planning or provide adequate training and written instructions.

For more information and to read the full HSE Press Release, click here.


£1m fine for Crossrail contractor following three incidents

A joint venture established to support the Crossrail tunnel construction has been fined a total of more than £1,000,000 following three separate incidents (one worker died after an incident on 7 March 2014 and two workers were injured in separate incidents within six days of one another in January 2015) on the project.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found a failure to provide a safe system of work in two of the incidents, a failure to properly maintain equipment in one and a failure to properly enforce exclusion zones that would have helped protect workers from foreseeable harm in all three incidents.

The JV pleaded guilty to three offences. In relation to the death on 7 March 2014, it admitted breaching Regulation 10(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £300,000. The JV also pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of Section 22 (1a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, relating to the two incidents in January 2015. They were fined £600,000 for the first (January 16) and £165,000 for the second January 22 incident.

In addition to the total fine of £1, 065, 00, the JV was also ordered to pay costs of £42,337.28.

For more information and to read the full HSE Press Release, click here.


NHS trust fined £1m following 53-year-old man’s death in Lincolnshire

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been fined following the death of 53-year-old patient at a hospital in Boston. The patient died on 10 April 2012 from internal injuries after falling onto an exposed metal post on the standing aid hoist being used by staff to support him.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the Trust did not have systems for training and monitoring how staff used the standing aid hoist and unsafe practices had developed.

The trust was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and  fined £1 million (and also  ordered to repay £160,000 in costs).The trust has also been ordered to pay £3800 to the patients family to cover the costs of the funeral.

For more information and to read the full HSE Press Release click here.


2017 Structural Timber Awards finalists announced

The Structural Timber Awards will be taking place on 10 October 2017 at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham. The awards will showcase innovative solutions and ground-breaking developments from across the UK timber industry.

For more information and to see this year’s list of finalists, click here.


HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures

Provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents between April 2016 and March 2017 shows 30 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded.

This is the lowest number on record for the sector. More information is available in HSE’s annual figures for work-related fatalities, as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2015.


Changes to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

CSCS cards are intended for construction related occupations only and following discussions with key industry representatives, including the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and employer representatives, it was agreed that a number of non-construction related occupations should be removed from the scheme entirely.

For more information, click here