June 2016 – In the News

Renovation disaster as £700k house in Lewisham collapses during building work

The renovation of a £700,000 house bought as a ‘doer-upper’ in south-east London turned into a nightmare when it collapsed during building work.

Neighbours said it sounded “like a bomb had gone off” when part of the terraced house, reportedly bought just six months ago, fell down, shortly after it began to sag dramatically today.

Police closed the road in Lewisham due to the “structurally unstable” Victorian house which collapsed in just 30 minutes.

Residents were evacuated by police as the front of the house began to lean forward, minutes before the roof of the property fell in.

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Be UV aware – Promoting sun safety for outdoor workers

Five outdoor workers are diagnosed with skin cancer every day in the UK: yet 90% of skin cancer deaths could be prevented if our exposure to UV rays were controlled.

According to a recent study, two thirds of outdoor workers, including roofers, landscapers, electricians, builders and gardeners do not know that they are at risk of getting skin cancer whilst at work, and although 90% of construction workers use sun screen on holiday, only 59% use it at work.

Despite the HSE guidelines outlining that UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for those who work outdoors, and that employers should provide adequate training and supervision, it has been revealed in a study by the Institution of Safety and Health (IOSH) that 70% of workers in large UK construction companies have not had any training on the risks of working in the sun

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Health and Safety Breaches Admitted after Tiger Mauls Keeper to Death

A zoo has admitted health and safety breaches after a keeper was mauled to death by a tiger in May 2013.

Sarah McClay, 24, died at South Lakes Wild Animal Park (now known as South Lakes Safari Zoo), in Dalton-in-Furness, South Cumbria when a Sumatran tiger got through an unlocked gate and left deep puncture wounds in her neck and body.

Miss McClay, originally from Glasgow, suffered “unsurvivable” multiple injuries in the attack and was airlifted to hospital where she was formally pronounced dead.

An inquest jury in September 2014 ruled that the tiger got to Miss McClay by entering two open internal sliding gates within the tiger house and then an open door that led to a corridor.

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How leaving the EU could affect health and safety

The coming referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union will be one of the big political issues of the next 12 months. Many people may be influenced on which way they vote in the referendum based on whether their jobs are dependent on, or influenced by, the EU.

It is clear that every industry is in some way under the influence of the EU, whether through EU Regulations, which apply directly to UK law, or Directives, which mean our legal system is obligated to introduce UK legislation to bring in its provisions.

Poll participants are drawn from safety, health and environment professionals, working across a range of industry sectors. The poll found that 54.2 per cent of respondents support the United Kingdom remaining as members of the EU, while 36.1 per cent would vote to leave. However, with nearly 10 per cent yet to decide, the outcome could still be in the balance.

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HGV drivers warned after road worker crushed by runaway vehicle

HGV drivers are being warned to follow basic safety procedures when coupling and uncoupling vehicles following the death of a 20-year-old road worker.

HSE leaders are urging drivers to apply parking brakes and use (or retrofit) warning alarms to avoid a repeat of a fatal incident in January 2015.

Road worker Dale Pentney was crushed by an HGV tractor unit which unexpectedly rolled backwards as driver Anthony Steven Smith was in the process delivering materials for repairs to the A21 in Kent.

At Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court, Smith was given a suspended prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and a breach of section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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