Week Commencing 16/12/2019 – In The News

Merry Christmas From Everyone at WA Management!Text which reads "Merry Christmas Seasons Greetings From WA Management!" in a blue font against awhite background and a blue and white snowflake border.

Our office will be closed from 25th December to the 2nd January; but if you are in urgent need your consultants will be contactable via mobile. But in the meantime, from everyone here in the office at WA Management, we wish you a very merry (and safe) Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Worker Knocked Unconscious After Being Struck On The Head

The inside of a factoryA manufacturer of engineering products and components has been fined after one of its workers was struck by a bucket and its contents, knocking him unconscious. On 4th May 2017, a profile shed supervisor who worked for Nichol McKay Limited was helping a colleague load a variety of components, weighing approximately 60kg each, into a suspended basket. There was no safety catch on the hooks used to hold the load to prevent it from becoming detached.  Once a number of components were loaded into the basket, the basket (and its contents) fell from its attachment, striking the supervisor on the head, leaving him unconscious. A HSE investigation led to a Notice of Contravention and an Improvement Notice being served which required a review of the company’s management of lifting operations. The notice was complied with when the company confirmed a new lifting operations procedure and safe system of work. Nichol McKay Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. act 1974 and was fined £12,000.

Read more on the case from SHPOnline.

Coach Worker Fatally Crushed Whilst Repairing Bus

A red double-decker bus in a busy city.An employer has been sentenced after a 46-year-old father of three was killed while working underneath a double-decker bus. On 14th June 2017, Wayne Lannon, an employee of Brian Finch, trading as F E Coaches, was carrying out repairs under a double-decker bus in the car park of Chester Zoo. The bus had been supported by a hydraulic bottle jack and Mr Lannon had placed some wooden blocks underneath the stationary bus. The bus rolled backwards off the bottle jack, trapping Mr Lannon under the bus resulting in him sustaining fatal injuries. Wayne is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. A HSE investigation found that:

  • The company did not have a safe system of work in place for preventing the bus from moving.
  • The bus parking brake had not been applied before Mr Lannon went under the bus and the bus was not chocked to prevent it from rolling off the jack.
  • Brian Finch also failed to provide training and instructions to Mr Lannon in mechanical work or safe lifting of vehicles, and about the type of repairs that were suitable to be made outside of the workshop.

Brian Finch of T/A F E Finch Coaches pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to six months custody, suspended for 18 months, and subject to a curfew (between the hours of 7pm-8am) for 30 weeks, with full costs of £9,381. 

In a family statement, Wayne’s sister Keeley Unsworth, described how the loss of Wayne had left his family and friends with ‘shattered hearts’.

Read more on the case from the HSE.

Research Reveals Quarry Workers Five Times More Likely to Die from COPD

An excavator in a coal mine.Recent research has revealed that a quarry worker is five times more likely to die from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), than a worker in the general population. These shocking figures were recently communicated during 12 workshops delivered by HSENI Inspectors to the Quarry Industry across Northern Ireland. Workshops were hosted by the Quarry Industry and supported by the Mineral Products Association and the Institute of Quarrying. These workshops are part of HSENI’s focus on occupational health in the quarry industry and highlight the potential for quarry workers to be robbed of their old age and retirement. Workshops were attended by approximately 150 quarry workers from around 80 quarries. Workers have been instructed on the importance of taking protective measures to look after their lungs. Whilst COPD is the main killer, other respiratory diseases can stem from exposure to dust such as silicosis, lung cancer and impact on other vital organs. HSENI will be launching an inspection initiative early next year where Inspectors will be carrying out site visits to ensure effective strategies are being implemented by the Industry. HSENI Principal Inspector Ken Logan said: “Industry have been working on the preparation of a strategy to deal with dust and limit the exposure to the workforce. It is now time to have these strategies fully implemented. “The headline above is clearly not acceptable and more needs to be done to reduce the incidence of ill-health. With the help of industry the challenge is to turn this around within the next two years.

Read more on the story from SHPOnline.

Reusable Cups ‘Banned’ on Irish Rail Trains Due to ‘Health and Safety’ Concerns

A paper coffee cup with a black lid and white body with a panda on it.Irish Rail has made the decision to ban reusable cups on their trains due to health and safety concerns, specifically over scalding. The company has been criticised by customers for stating that it will only fill certain reusable cups on its trains, due to the ‘speed of the trains’ and customer cups ‘not being able to fit correctly on its machines’. Concerns over scalding have been cited as the reason that Irish Rail has said it’s stopping stopped refilling customers keep cups for hot drinks on its trains. The firm said that an ongoing trial of its own reusable cups has caused the issue, as only those cups are compatible with its on-board drinks trolley. A spokeswoman for Irish Rail told BBC News NI it was a “bespoke cup that is designed to fit under the spout of the trolley and the lids have been tested for safety purposes”. The firm added that staff and customer health and safety was a “top priority”. The story, which was first reported by the Irish Times, has seen Irish Rail’s social media inundated with queries about the policy.

Read more on the case from the BBC.