HSE International

Firm fined after circus tent collapse

The owner of a company who supplies marquees and tents has been fined after guy ropes securing a circus tent snapped causing it to collapse injuring three adults and five children at Burley Park, New Forest.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 10 August 2014 a sudden gust of wind went through the circus tent and eighteen of the guy ropes which secured the tent failed and snapped.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that Happy Promotions Limited had in December 2013 taken their tent for inspection and repair to Jose’s Marquees.

Josie Routledge, of Jose’s Marquees, was asked by Happy Promotions to replace the guy ropes.

However, the court heard the guy ropes supplied were in fact made up of unrated webbing and had no safe working load. This led to the incident at Burley Park 8 months later.

Josie Routledge, of Tyn-y-cym, Bwlch-y-Ffridd, Newtown, Powys, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 6(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £528…

HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said after the hearing: “The fact the guy ropes snapped (rather than the pegs being pulled from the ground) is a clear indication that the fault lies with the strength of the guy ropes, rather than the method of erection. Fortunately, the tent was empty at the time of the incident. Had a performance been underway there would have been performers and around 30 people were due to attend the afternoon performance. Were the tent occupied the collapse would likely have resulted in multiple serious injuries.”

For further information on design and supplying products visit:http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/uk-law-design-supply-products.htm#sec6hswa74

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/firm-fined-after-circus-tent-collapse/?

Alert over potentially dangerous airbags sold on e-Bay – man arrested

A man has been arrested a man in Dorset as part of an ongoing investigation into the online sale of counterfeit airbags to the public.

Officers have alerted 680 people believed to have made purchases of counterfeit and potentially dangerous airbags and airbag covers on eBay.

Police say every individual has been advised to make contact with their local dealership immediately so that their vehicle receives the necessary checks to ensure it is safe.

“At approximately 08:30hrs today a 34-year-old man was arrested in Blandford Forum on suspicion of counterfeiting and money laundering offences. He currently remains in police custody at a Dorset police station following the arrest, which was made by The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit officers, supported by Dorset Police.


Officers are also carrying out a search at an address in Poole and so far officers have seized approximately 100 suspected counterfeit airbags, a large quantity of airbag components, with financial documents and computers.


Staff from the Ministry of Defence are also at the address as a precaution due to the presence of explosives in the airbags.


In January 2016 an investigation was launched by PIPCU following a referral from the Intellectual Property Office and Honda Motor Europe who identified that counterfeit airbags were being sold on eBay.


Detailed factory analysis of the airbags was immediately commenced at Honda’s UK headquarters in liaison with PIPCU. It was confirmed that the airbags were counterfeit and that they would not deploy as a genuine airbag would on collision, presenting a clear danger to the public.


As a result of financial investigations, 680 people were identified by PIPCU from payment records relating to eBay vendors using the names ‘EU_Trading’, ‘OMNADRENIAK1984’ and ‘barbo2007.’ It has been established that purchases have been made by a wide range of small and medium businesses and individuals.”



It is understood that 148 of those consumers purchased suspected counterfeit Honda CRV and Accord airbags. Officers are currently establishing if the remaining 532 purchases concern other counterfeit manufacturer car parts.

The counterfeit Honda airbags had been on sale since September 2013 for approximately £170, which is half the price of a genuine airbag.

Original Source: http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2016-02-18/alert-over-potentially-dangerous-airbags-sold-on-e-bay/

Why is PPE needed for women?

by Natasha Mughal

Recently, we shared the news of Transport for London (TfL) launching a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) range that is specifically designed for women on our LinkedIn page, and we were inundated with positive comments about the progressive move in the industry. The major move marks 100 Years of Women in Transport, but it made us wonder why it was needed and why it wasn’t possible for women to wear men’s safety equipment?

When three of the ladies from HSE Recruitment Network visited The Crossrail Project earlier this year, they received a first-hand account of why this PPE range is long overdue. They all wore the standard mens PPE, that until quite recently has been used as a “one size fits all” safety uniform, but it is massively ill-fitting, with the sleeves rolling down, socks having to be stuffed into shoes to make them fit and trousers being so long that they had to be rolled up.

To summarise, it was just too loose and too long for the women, and a safety hazard within itself. Before this point, it wasn’t something that would have been considered by the consultants or members of the team, as this was the only occasion where it was required, but it allowed for a understanding of why there may be a lack of women within the health and safety industry and how those that are, are not catered to.

Danielle Stallard, HSE Consultant and one of the ladies that visited The Crossrail Project, said After recently wearing the standard fit myself, there was an obvious need for this development. We were visiting the Crossrail Project and were provided with universally-sized PPE – my trousers were far too long and had to be rolled up so as not to drag on the floor, and I wasn’t the only one! There were several ladies in the room who were having to try on different jackets, trousers, gloves and glasses in order to find a reasonable fit. It is fantastic that TfL have taken the time to develop a varied range that allows women to carry out their work safely and comfortably – I can only imagine the relief that the many women working with TfL are feeling!”

TfL is not the only company to have seen this gap in the industry, with companies such as Network Rail and Arco already implementing similar safety uniforms and the Women in Health and Safety (WIHS) campaigning to have PPE specifically designed for women.

“London will need more engineers by the end of the decade to build the critical infrastructure we need, so it’s important that we take every step we can to make construction a more welcoming environment for all.” – TfL

The range that is being launched by TfL includes high-visibility jackets, trousers, gloves, adjustable eye protection and safety boots. The range has been designed with the results of a six-week trial at hand and will allow for a better fit for the female staff, making life more comfortable and allowing for less distractions.

Many are surprised that it has taken so long for specifically designed range for women to be launched, Rhaynukaa Soni – Health and Safety Manager at MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Limited, commented that “I suppose my thoughts are that a part of me is stunned it has taken this long to both acknowledge the need for & subsequently provide PPE designed for women. Equally though it is reflectively of the Rail & Construction sectors which remain heavily male dominated. This PPE is positive step towards recognizing the increase need to diversify & growing numbers of women joining these industries.”

We hope this marks a change for women in similar sectors, and will nudge other companies within the engineering, construction, transportation and other areas, to see the need for PPE designed for women and to boost diversity within their workforces.

Original Source: http://www.hserecruitment.co.uk/blog/why-is-ppe-needed-for-women/

Noise at Work Regulations – 10 years old and looking forward

Noise at work measurement product experts, Pulsar Instruments, take a look at the main changes affecting employers, duties placed on them and good practice.

April sees the 10th Anniversary of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005) which came into force in April 2006 in the UK for all employers. The Regulations are particularly important if your business uses noisy powered tools or machinery.  As far as safety Regulations go, the Control of Noise at Work Regulations may be one of the less visible in a heavy portfolio of Health and Safety responsibilities. That said, huge progress has been made in the last ten years to raise the awareness of industrial deafness or noise-induced hearing loss.  However, there is still a lack of understanding and urgency when it comes to controlling noise in the workplace and possibly because its effects are hidden from view. The impact on a person’s life though can be substantial.  Importantly, the last ten years have seen a big rise in civil claims pushed by advertising campaigns and calls made on behalf of injury lawyers prompting employers to stay alert and take action.

The 2005 Noise at Work Regulations replaced the 1989 Noise Regulations and introduced new requirements for action to be taken by employers. In the UK, the 2005 Regulations require employers to take action to protect workers at levels of noise 5 decibels lower than in the 1989 Regulations.  A big drop! They also stipulate health surveillance (hearing checks) for workers regularly exposed above 85 decibels.

The Regulations define specific ‘exposure action values’, levels of noise exposure which, if exceeded, require employers to take specific measures. There are ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ action values.  Employers are required to compare estimated noise exposure with the action values to establish what specific actions are required in order to reduce risk from noise.

Where the risks from noise are high, employers should manage them using a prioritised noise-control action plan which must include:

Assessment of risk by a ‘competent person’ to assess noise levels (Regulation 5) Control of noise at source (Regulation 6) Provision of suitable hearing protection (Regulation 7) Maintenance and use of PPE equipment (Regulation 8) Information, instruction and training about noise levels and noise damage (Regulation 10) Health surveillance (Regulation 9)

Failure to comply with the Noise at Work Regulations can result in lost productivity to a business, leave employers/directors liable to enforcement action, including prosecution, and may result in civil claims from current or ex-employees and a dent in reputation.

One sure way of protecting yourself is to obtain an accurate and reliable estimate of your employees’ exposure against the exposure action values and legal limit values stated in the Regulations.

Noise levels should be assessed by using the correct equipment that offers the right accuracy level for the required application. You can either use a handheld sound level meter or personal noise dosemeter (which gives an average noise exposure reading for a given duration, such as an 8-hour working day) or a combination of both.  Pulsar Instruments offer a wide selection of both solutions to ensure that your measurements comply with the expectations of the standard.

Remember that for noise at work measurements, the meter you opt for should be able to provide you with the equivalent continuous ‘A’-weighted sound pressure level in decibels or LAeq and the maximum ‘C’ weighted peak sound pressure level or LCPeak.  Also, under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005), a Class 2 sound level meter is considered to be sufficient for measuring general noise within an occupational setting.

Finally, the Regulations recommend that you continuously review your risk assessment if circumstances in your workplace change and affect noise exposures.

In the last ten years, Pulsar have helped thousands of businesses in the UK and around the world to meet compliance with Noise Regulations by providing compliant and reliable noise measurement technology, training and exceptional customer care support. For advice on how to control noise at work, legislation, training and specifications on their range of noise measurement products to help you conduct your noise risk assessments, please consult Pulsar Instruments’ website or ring 01723 518011.

Original Source: http://www.industrytoday.co.uk/health_and_safety/noise-at-work-regulations—10-years-old-and-looking-forward/47836?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.YsMNzCFC.dpuf


Report looks at true cost of counterfeit products

As part of its media campaign highlighting the risk of counterfeit products and the need to use reputable retailers, Electrical Safety First has released a new report, A Shocking Rip-Off: The True Cost of Counterfeit Products.

The report found that a million people consciously purchased fake products in the last year, but it warns that the true figure is likely to be significantly higher, as many others will have unknowingly bought counterfeit goods.

The market for counterfeit goods in the UK is conservatively estimated at £1.3 billion per year, with approximately £900 million of this being used to fund organised crime. But the report highlights not just the financial cost of fakes but also the physical risks they pose to consumers. And it’s a growing problem that has expanded through online retail outlets and social media.

“Counterfeiters have become increasingly sophisticated”, explains Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First. “With some, it is now only really possible to confirm if the product is ‘real’ or fake by checking the components inside – which is obviously not a viable option for most consumers, or something we would recommend them undertaking! We found that the key reason counterfeits are sold so cheaply is that there are ‘shortcuts’, leaving out or using substandard and fake electronic components which can significantly impact on the product’s safety, as well as its functionality.”

However, as well as fake electrical products for consumers, the Charity’s investigation found strong anecdotal evidence of high levels of fake plugs and fuses infiltrating the market – basic electrical accessories we take for granted and use in a multitude of ways. Electrical Safety First’s report, which was launched at its latest product safety conference, includes a number of recommendations for manufacturers and retailers, government and the general public. These include calls for: increased collaboration between manufacturers, retailers and enforcement agencies to share intelligence and expertise; government to ensure enforcement agencies and local government have the resources to deal with the problem; and consumers to be made aware of the real dangers of counterfeit electrics and how to spot them.

“A fake designer handbag might not last as long or look as good as the real item but it won’t kill you. Fake electrical products can cause fires and kill and maim”, adds Phil. “They hurt legitimate businesses, put consumers at risk and help fund criminal activity. The bottom line is, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t put your family or your home at risk by buying counterfeits.”


Original Source: http://www.hsmsearch.com/page_662590.asp

A million reasons to smile as Rock Fall UK sets a sales record

Many complain about health and safety laws going “mad”. But you won’t find Rock Fall UK complaining – safety requirements are why its sales have done the same thing.

In June, the Derbyshire firm recorded its best ever month for sales since it was established in 1987.

Turnover this year has soared by almost a quarter and the company, tucked away on the Alfreton Trading Estate, now sells one million shoes and boots – 500,000 pairs – around the world each year.

Via around 400 distributors, the multi-million-pound business shifts shoes and boots that are worn by oil workers, cold store operatives, telecommunications engineers, electronics and construction workers. They are sold in New Zealand, Kenya, Nigeria, Chile, France, Mauritius and Malta, as well as its principal markets in the UK and Ireland.

The business was founded by Stephen Noon but is being driven forward today by his sons Richard and Matthew – with Richard, the elder of the pair by three years, taking up the role of sales director and maintaining the direction of the company.

Richard said both he and Matthew were enjoying taking their father’s firm to the next level.

“The business is going from strength to strength,” the 26-year-old said. “Turnover is up 24% this year and that’s the result of us entering new markets, such as offshore and electronics, which began to develop early last year.”

All styles are designed at the Alfreton site, in Wimsey Way, but manufactured around the world at accredited factories.

“We did look at bringing manufacturing back to the UK a few years ago,” Richard said. “But there’s no-one in the UK with the skills to make safety footwear.”

Innovation is the key to Rock Fall’s success. Recent firsts include a boot that will stop a chainsaw and the only safety shoes designed especially for women.

The company – which employs 19 people – is also selling insulated boots for Arctic working conditions and another for oil rig workers that protects against the corrosive impact of salt water.

“We’re very big on innovation,” said Richard. “For example, we manufacture non-metallic boots which are the specified boots for the London Underground as they don’t set off metal detectors.

“Then there’s our electronics trainers which prevent electrostatic discharge and are for people who work in an environment where there are microchips and electronic equipment.

“And we also have what we call the Internal Metatarsal Boot. Its design its unique. Protection used to be a large external guard, but it was big, heavy, clumpy, ugly and uncomfortable to wear. We’ve transformed it into a lightweight boot that offers the same protection.”

A lot of graft has gone into making the firm what it is today. The company’s first trading name was Major Shoe and the business was initially based in Richard’s father’s garage in Ripley.

In the early 1990s, production stepped up and the operation moved to Belper’s East Mill before moving again several years later to its current home in Alfreton.

Richard said the company changed its name to Rock Fall UK in 1997 – the year it began specialising in safety footwear.

He said: “When the business was first set up, it specialised in general footwear – leisure, back-to-school, ladies’, slippers and children’s. In 1997, we started a safety footwear brand called Rock Fall and decided to change the company’s name to that as well.

“In that same year, we won a contract with one of the UK’s largest distributors of safety footwear, Greenham, now Bunzl Greenham. That went very well and so, from around the early 2000s, we discontinued all leisure footwear and focused on safety footwear. The leisure industry had become very competitive but we saw a gap in the market for safety footwear and we had some ideas.

“Back then, safety footwear was very boring so we put a lot of modern styles out there. We changed the game so that trade people wanted to wear the boots rather than have to. It became about the design.”

In 2009, the focus changed again.

Richard said: “By 2009 we’d seen another gap in the market and we changed the focus again to technical and specialist rather than design led. We still focused on good looking boots – but we went down the technical route, ensuring longevity and the highest safety protection”

To ensure safety specifications are met, Rock Fall’s products are independently tested by Intertek.

Richard said: “It’s important our boots are checked but I’m pleased to say that I can’t remember the last time we sent them a batch that failed.”

It seems failure and Rock Fall do not make a pair.

Original Source: http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/million-reasons-smile-shoe-firm-sets-sales-record/story-28020091-detail/story.html?

In safe hands: BSIF Award for Brammer and The Royal Mint

A project by Brammer and The Royal Mint to rationalise the use of safety gloves on site and ensure compatibility and safety for employees has been recognised for its success by the UK’s leading health & safety industry body.

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) aims to improve occupational safety and protect and develop the safety and environmental protection markets. As part of this, the organisation runs the annual BSIF Safety Awards and, in a ceremony at London’s ExCeL Centre on 16 June, Brammer was announced as winner of the Safety Excellence category for its work with The Royal Mint in Llantrisant.

With 33 different types of gloves being used regularly on site by its employees, The Royal Mint was faced with an annual spend in this area of some £70,000. However, the range of products available did not necessarily mean that the most suitable gloves were being used for each task, with gloves often selected on the basis of familiarity over suitability.

Russell Gardiner, Brammer Insite™ Manager based at The Royal Mint, explains the award-winning actions taken to heighten safety for employees: “Brammer joined forces with Ansell, a leading manufacturer of working gloves, to undertake a thorough audit of all areas of glove usage. Chemical analysis was undertaken to confirm the selection was correct, with the chosen gloves then extensively trialled in each working area before a final selection was made. We discovered that 85% of site requirements could be catered to by holding just six types of glove in stock, thanks to the new robust and measurable methodology of product selection.”

Gloves are now also distributed on site through Brammer’s Invend™ service, an industrial vending system with each machine containing only the gloves required in each area. With each member of staff having to enter a code before an item is distributed, The Royal Mint now has full visibility of which gloves have been retrieved by which employee – ensuring complete traceability while identifying any areas of excessive use or incorrect product selection.

John Steggles, Contract Manager at The Royal Mint commented: “Best practice in glove selection and usage is now commonplace throughout the organisation. In terms of optimising health & safety practice and reducing the risk of accidents and the associated lost time, the joint Brammer-Ansell project has been an unprecedented success.”

In awarding the Safety Excellence prize to Brammer and The Royal Mint, the judging panel noted the ‘exceptional and impressive close working relationship’ between the two parties, along with the commitment to ‘improved health & safety best practice combined with the health & safety benefits of the Invend™ service’.

Original Source: http://www.brammer.co.uk/in-safe-hands-bsif-award-for-brammer-and-the-royal-mint.htm

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