HSE International

ISO 45001 – a challenging new standard

ISO 45001, the new international standard for occupational health and safety management systems, will require companies to prove how their directors and managers provide leadership on health and safety risks, says Neal Stone.

As the temperature is turned up by the main protagonists jostling for poll position in the run up to the EU referendum it is perhaps inadvisable to attempt an assessment of the success or otherwise of international and EU institutions charged with protecting and promoting labour standards.

Nonetheless it is right to question the effectiveness of the governmental bodies as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), European Union bodies such as EU-OSHA and non-governmental bodies as the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in driving home the effective regulation and management of workplace health and safety across the globe.

It was just 16 months ago that Guy Ryder, ILO director-general, told 4,000 participants at the XX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work that safety and health will be an integral part of all the ILO’s work and that the job of his and other organisations was clear: “to establish a permanent culture of consciousness”; giving prominence to the estimated 2.3m people dying every year as a result of occupational disease and workplace injury.

Ryder made clear the failure to ensure a safe and healthy workplace constitutes an unacceptable form of work: “This puts safety and health alongside forced labour, child labour, freedom of association and discrimination, which were recognised in the ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.”

He also cited the lack of political will to gather the data and knowledge necessary to drive much needed improvements in occupational health and safety across the globe. There is little point in nation states signing up to the ILO’s 2003 global strategy on occupational health and safety unless they are committed to delivering key components.

The ILO strategy provides that: “The fundamental pillars of a global OSH strategy include the building and maintenance of a national preventative safety and health culture and the introduction of a systems approach to OSH management.”

Whether we are talking about global strategies or indeed national strategies, as HSE’s recently launched strategy, “Helping Great Britain Work Well”, these by themselves are not enough. The development of the new international standard for occupational health and safety management systems, ISO 45001, to be published in October, is intended to assist all of those working across the globe to reduce risk and create better working conditions. The laying down of clear, unequivocal standards will, it is argued, help organisations put in place and maintain safe and healthy working environments.

The management of health and safety has to be properly embedded as a key element of the management of business risk and not seen as an adjunct, a distraction, an inconvenience to achieving business and organisational success.

Whether we are talking about the ILO strategy or the labour standards nation states sign up to, the EU strategy, currently under review, or the new HSE strategy, what is clear is that the historic focus on safety and the downplaying of health has come at a high price.

The thousands organisations currently certified to the OHSAS 18001 standard will find the transition to ISO 45001 challenging. That applies equally to the British Safety Council as to our members. But it is not just the challenge of having suitable systems in place to ensure the identification and management of health hazards; it is also the cultural step up we will all have to make.

We can and do spend a considerable amount of time debating how best to engage top level directors and managers on health and safety and win their hearts and minds.

For ISO 45001 the real test will be when the auditors look into the eyes of the senior management team and ask key questions, such as “describe fully, and with examples, how you play your part in ensuring that the risk of injury and ill health in your organisation are properly controlled” or “what arrangements are in place to provide you and your senior management colleagues with the necessary assurance that these risks have been properly identified, assessed and managed?” It is going to be challenging because the answers do not lie with governments or regulators but with our organisations.

Neal Stone is director of policy and standards at the British Safety Council.

Original Source: https://sm.britsafe.org/iso-45001-%E2%80%93-challenging-new-standard#sthash.ao0Kkf2X.dpuf

Firm fined after forklift truck operator killed

Two incidents at the Haverhill site of Jan Cavelle Furniture Company have led to three companies being fined for health and safety failings.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how in the first instance an employee of the company sustained serious injuries when operating a biscuit cutter and the rotating blade made contact with his hand, cutting his thumb to the bone.

The second incident occurred when an employee sustained injury to his hand whilst using the cutter of an overhead router and received serious lacerations and crush injuries to his right index finger.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incidents which occurred on 28 February 2014 and 2 June 2014 found that both incidents occurred due to the operators adopting unsafe working practices. This was due to a lack of training, inadequate supervision and insufficient and unsuitable risk assessments.

In 2013, Worksafe Training & Consultancy Ltd had been commissioned by Jan Cavelle Furniture Company Ltd to review all risk assessments and work procedures and to provide updated risk assessments and procedures where required.

This consultancy subsequently sub-contracted this work to Tony Baker of Leading Health & Safety Consultants Ltd who provided risk assessments and recommendations relevant to both the biscuit cutter and the overhead router. The risk assessments and procedures provided by Mr Baker were neither suitable nor sufficient to control risks arising from the operation of these two machines.

Jan Cavelle Furniture Company Limited, of Rookwood Way, Haverhill, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £18,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £4,000.

Workplace Training and Consultancy Limited, St Andrews Street South, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, were found guilty at trial to breaching two counts of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £22,500 and was ordered to pay costs of £22,500.

Leading Health and Safety Consultants Limited, of Chaplin Walk, Great Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to breaching two counts of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £5,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

For further information on equipment and machinery visit:http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/planning-organising-lifting-operations.htm

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/three-companies-fined-for-safety-failings-arising-from-two-accidents/?

Two companies fined after disturbing asbestos

Two companies have been fined after asbestos was disturbed during refurbishment work.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how two employees of 24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited disturbed asbestos insulating board (AIB) whilst they were doing refurbishment work at a former commercial premises undergoing conversion into flats, in Romford, London.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred between mid-July 2014 and 11 August 2014 found that the client had not passed on the details of the presence of asbestos to the contractor, despite prior knowledge.

No refurbishment and demolition survey was conducted to determine the presence of asbestos on the site. The two workers stripped out the AIB without any effective precautions and therefore received significant exposure to asbestos fibres.

Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000. A refurbishment / demolition asbestos survey is required where the premises, or part of it, need upgrading, refurbishment or demolition.

Firestone Estates Limited, of Tolpits Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10(1)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and were fined £10,000 and were ordered to pay £1020.64 in costs with a £1,000 victim surcharge.

24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited, of Linton Avenue, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £5,000 with £974.44 in costs and a victim surcharge of £500.

For further information on http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/two-companies-fined-after-disturbing-asbestos/?


Demolition Contractor sentenced over multiple safety failings

A Hertfordshire based contractor has been found guilty for a series of safety failings across two separate sites.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) received a complaint in March 2014 from a member of the public living close to the former Chesham Community Hospital site in Buckinghamshire, concerning activities taking place on the premises.

When HSE inspectors arrived they found a catalogue of failings including the presence of asbestos containing materials among building debris, demolition arrangements not recorded in writing, and witness accounts of dangerous practises including unsafe work at height and use of construction machinery, poor site security and a lack of welfare facilities. In HSE’s opinion there was also a serious risk of injury from collapse of partially demolished buildings.

Enforcement action was taken immediately by way of Prohibition and Improvement Notices being served on both the contractor and client to ensure on-going risks were controlled. The client Chesham Care Ltd) was prosecuted for failings under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) and fined a total amount of £30,000 in October 2015.

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard attempts were made by HSE to contact the contractor without avail. However, in June 2015 an HSE inspector was alerted to unsafe working practices at a site in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

Upon attending, the HSE inspector found the same contractor in control of workers unsafely dismantling parts of the building to recover recyclables, such as metal. No risk assessment had been done regarding respiratory exposure to asbestos containing materials. The client told HSE the contractor was working without their knowledge on the site and had alerted the police.

As well as immediate enforcement action being taken on site to control risks, a private investigator was subsequently used to track down the contractor who had failed to respond to HSE..

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard Scot Ian Richardson t/a Aztec Demolition was acting as the contractor in control for both projects. After a trial Scot Ian Richardson was found guilty of two breaches of the CDM Regulations 2007, one breach of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and one breach of The Health and Safety at Work Act etc,1974 and was sentenced to four months suspended custodial sentence and 200 hours community service order. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed said: “Sole traders who control workers to demolish and dismantle structures must understand their legal obligations. This is a high risk industry in which poor planning has no place. Family members expect their loved ones to come home in one piece.

“Clients have a key role in safely directing construction projects. Effective arrangements at the start can have an amplified positive impact down the various stages to completion, including making informed and competent appointments”

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/demolition-contractor-sentenced-over-multiple-safety-failings/?

Man sentenced after worker is fatally crushed in a trench

A self-employed contractor has been fined after an employee was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed on him.

Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard how William Ryan Evans was contracted to construct a drainage field comprising of infiltration pipes laid at the bottom of deep trenches. He employed two workers and a subcontractor excavator to undertake the work at Longstone Farm, in Pembrokeshire.

Hywel Glyndwr Richards, aged 54, entered the trench to remove a clump of soil that had fallen into the trench when it collapsed, burying him. He died at the scene.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 26 June 2012 found that the work was not planned appropriately and the risk assessment was not suitable or sufficient. The workers were not appropriately trained and suitable equipment to a prevent collapse were not provided.

At Swansea Crown Court on Monday 11 April, William Ryan Evans, of Blaenwaun Twr, Trelech, Carmarthenshire was found guilty of breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was given a six month custodial sentence.

HSE Inspector Phil Nicolle said: “This tragic incident could have been prevented by undertaking a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks, providing the correct equipment or safe working methods to the workers and managing and monitoring the work to ensure it was done safely.

“Work in excavations needs to be properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure no one enters an excavation deeper than 1.2m without adequate controls in place to prevent a collapse.”

Hywel Richards’ family said: “Dad was an integral part of our family, the glue that kept us all together. Our family was devastated by his sudden death. We have wondered so many times why this has happened to us, we were meant to grow up with Dad as our guide; the man we looked up to and loved so much.

“Family gatherings and celebrations, once joyous occasions, are now ruined because dad is not there. Today, and for the rest of our lives, we are mourning the loss of dad, our best friend, our confidant and protector. Quite simply, he has left a space that will never be filled. We hope that lessons will be learned from dad’s death.”

For further information on safety in excavations visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/excavations.htm

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/man-sentenced-after-worker-is-fatally-crushed-in-a-trench/?


7 April, London – “To err is human”, to quote the poet Alexander Pope. Yet when organisations look at human performance, this often means blaming the individual for past mistakes, then trying to figure out corrective actions which are aimed at the individual or groups of individuals. A better approach may be to focus on the underlying, systemic factors that may have been the true cause of the problem in the first place.

Understanding and leveraging principles of human performance is one part of becoming a high reliability organisation. In one of three plenary sessions taking place at the SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility (HSSE-SR) later this month, scientific and academic experts will explore this approach with HSE experts from the oil and gas industry.

How can systems be set up to minimise the potential for human error? What are the elements that certain companies consistently focus on that makes them high reliability organisations? How can this best practice be applied in the oil and gas industry? These and other questions will be discussed in an enlightening session.

Session moderator Tanya Lughermo, HES Senior Advisor for Human Performance at Chevron said, “Human performance is a philosophical shift in thinking. It helps us minimize the likelihood and consequences of human error.”

HSSE-SR, to be held at the Stavanger Forum in Norway from 11 to 13 April 2016, is expected to draw a wide range of delegates to share new ideas, process improvements, technological advances and innovative applications to enhance HSE performance. As well as plenary and panel sessions, there will be a multi-stream technical programme, which will include oral and Knowledge Sharing ePosters.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit more than 20 exhibitors, who will be demonstrating the latest solutions to HSE challenges facing stakeholders in oil and gas exploration and production, as well as attend a variety of networking events, which will be an opportunity to share experiences with peers and build fruitful relationships with stakeholders.

HSSE-SR will be hosted by Statoil, Platinum Sponsors are Baker Hughes, ExxonMobil and Shell, and ERM is the Gold Sponsor. The event is endorsed by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP).

For more information, and to register, please go to: http://www.spe.org/events/hse/2016/

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