New Hazard of the Month Revealed
WA Management are pleased to announce their next hazard of the month for November is Lack of Employee Welfare. If you employ anyone (however short the period) you must ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’, provide adequate and appropriate welfare facilities for them while they are at work. ‘Welfare facilities’ include washing, toilet, rest and changing facilities, and somewhere clean to eat and drink during breaks. However, even in these modern times, employee welfare can still be lacking in some workplaces.
To learn more about this hazard, make sure you follow our social media accounts closely throughout November to read tips and tricks about how you can protect your workers, as well as research blogs designed to take a more comprehensive look at the risk.
Click the links below for our social media pages:
Man Stuck On Top Of 290ft Chimney Dies
A man who was stuck upside down on top of Carlisle Dixons chimney for approximately 15 hours has sadly passed away. Robert Philip Longcake, known as Phil, climbed ladders on Dixons Chimney in Carlisle at about 02:00 GMT on Monday. Emergency Services first attempted to rescue him by helicopter but this was abandoned “…due to the precarious position” the man was in and the “potential for back-draft to worsen the situation”. A specialist cherry picker from Scotland was drafted in to help and the man, in his 50s and from Carlisle, was brought down at about 16:45 GMT where he was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr Longcake’s family said he had been receiving support from mental health professionals. An investigation will be launched into how and why the man reached the top of the chimney, police said.
Read more on the case from the BBC.
£65K Fine For Construction Company After Fall From Height
A construction company has been fined £65K and ordered to pay £6,298.82 in costs after their worker fell from height. On 2 May 2017, the employee climbed up to remove a nail from a brace holding trusses, one of which started to fall causing the employee to fall with it. Raised safety decking used as fall mitigation within the building did not cover the whole area and left significant gaps. The 36-year-old carpenter sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back, whiplash to his neck and his little finger was ripped open. The HSE investigation revealed that the company’s risk assessments were too generic. They identified falls from height, but control measures focused on scaffolding and did not mention internal falls and decking. It was also found that operatives on the site were not trained to install the safety decking. After the hearing, HSE inspector Jenny Morris said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by planning work at height to ensure that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls.” “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Read more on the case from the HSE.
Serious Safety Breaches Revealed By HSE Inspections
The roofing company, Superfast Roofing Ltd, has been fined after repeatedly failed to manage health and safety on construction sites. Between 7th March 2017 and 8th October 2018, the company received two prohibition notices. Inspections by the HSE found that Superfast Roofing Ltd had failed to plan, manage, monitor and carry out work at height safely. The company had repeatedly breached work at height legislation, with uncontrolled fall from height risks at separate sites, with no signs of the company taking steps to improve standards. As a result, Superfast Roofing was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,000. After the hearing, HSE Inspector David King said: “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards, and especially where companies don’t heed previous advice.”
Read more on the case from SHPOnline.
Grenfell Tower Report Condemns Response of The London Fire Brigade (LFB)
The report that has been published after the first phase of an inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has heavily criticised the response of The London Fire Brigade (LFB) citing ‘serious shortcomings’ and ‘systemic failures’. The inquiry, which examined what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, concluded that “many more lives” could have been saved if the advice to residents to “stay put” had been abandoned earlier than 02:35 BST. It said London Fire Brigade’s preparations for such a fire were “gravely inadequate”. In light of these findings, survivors called for senior fire brigade staff to resign and be prosecuted, saying that the brigade is “in the hands of people that are incapable of their jobs”. The LFB said it was “disappointed” by some of the criticism of individuals. The report also concluded that cladding surrounding the tower did not comply with building regulations and was the main reason for the fire’s “shocking” spread.
You can read more of the report on the BBC.