Welcome to August’s edition of the Health and Safety news roundup.

As the first name in lone worker safety, we care about all things health and safety and endeavour to bring you the biggest health and safety news headlines from around the UK each month.

Brexit Uncertainty

Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water…

At the time of writing, Boris Johnson has been granted permission to suspend parliament for five weeks in September and October. This has led many people, including Michael Gove, to believe a no-deal Brexit is a likely outcome.

This will undoubtedly affect the Health and Safety sector, as many regulations are EU regulations. These include:

  • Biocides Authorisation of biocidal substances and products
  • CLP Classification, labelling and packaging of substances and chemicals
  • PIC Export and import of hazardous chemicals from and into Europe
  • PPP Pesticides or Plant Protection Products
  • REACH Registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals
  • Explosives
  • Equipment and machinery

The government has already made some legislative changes to ensure regulation of chemical industries in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The HSE has some fantastic guidance here.

No one knows what will happen with Brexit, but it is certain that it will have an impact on the health and safety sector. Watch this space!

Image of Westminster to illustrate the health and safety roundup blog from lone worker experts, First2HelpYou.

Company Fined For Failing To Provide Proper Training And Equipment  

Volvo Group UK Ltd has been fined £13,333.33 after an employee had his spine crushed by a rolling vehicle.

The employee was raising a low loader truck using a pit jack to test its brakes.

The employee did not apply the handbrake and failed to use any wheel chocks to stop the truck from rolling. The truck rolled forward, slipped off the pit jack and pinned the worker to the pit steps, fracturing his spine.  

The courts found that there was an insufficient number of wheel chocks. They also found that there had been inadequate information, instruction, supervision and training available to the staff.

The induction process in safe working processes was also judged to be unsuitable.

An HSE inspector, Jennie Stafford, said:

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.”

Lone Worker Loses Arm In Tyre Explosion

A Hull based company has been fined £17,000.00 after an employee had to have his arm amputated following a workplace accident.

image of Hull Combined court to illustrate the health and safety roundup blog from lone worker experts, First2HelpYou.

David Ralph, a mobile tyre technician, had been sent by Moss Tyres to a client’s premises. He was accompanied by a colleague.

The two men were inflating a tyre, which exploded before it was fully inflated. Mr Ralph, who was standing one meter away, was thrown up into the air and suffered injuries to his arm, and face.

Despite the best efforts of his doctors, his arm sadly had to be amputated.

An investigation found that there had been an inadequate amount of risk assessment carried out; a generic risk assessment had been carried out in 2010 but none more recently or specific. This risk assessment deemed that standing out of the way was an adequate method of protecting the staff members.

There also wasn’t the proper equipment provided to prevent the explosion from harming a person.

Tyre cages can be used when inflating tyres to prevent injury if they explode. Moss Tyres had a tyre cage on their premises, but it was not the right size for the tyre Mr Ralph was inflating and Mr Ralph did not take it with him.

The HSE Principal Environmental Health Officer, Khaled Choudhury said:

“This extremely serious and avoidable accident had life-changing consequences for Mr Ralph. The work he was involved in on the day it happened was high-risk in nature and Mr Ralph should have been afforded a series of protections by his employer. Unfortunately, this was not the case.”

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