Week Commencing 11/01/2021 – In The News

Manufacturer Fined After Worker Severs Finger

Cogs in black and white.L.S. Starrett Company Limited, a precision tool manufacturer, has been fined after an employee’s index finger was severed and his thumb deeply lacerated in an incident involving a radial arm drilling machine. On 2nd October 2018, the hole saw operator was using a radial arm drilling machine when his glove became entangled, resulting in the injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued two improvement notices to the company following the incident for failing to provide employees with appropriate training on the use of the radial arm drill and failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the drill. This should have included informing employees not to wear gloves when using this type of machinery.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £100,000.

Read more on this incident from the HSE.

Brexit Implications For Businesses

A jigsaw puzzle of the EU logo with a piece with the Union Jack on it taken out

The UK has now left the European Union and it is important that businesses know the new rules. In terms of Health and Safety, this includes:

  • REACH Chemical Regulations UK REACH, the UK’s independent chemicals regulatory framework, started on 1 January 2021. This guidance sets out how to comply with the EU and UK REACH chemical regulations when using, making, selling or importing chemicals in the UK and in the EU. Businesses which make, sell or distribute chemicals into Great Britain will need to follow the UK’s new domestic chemicals regulations including UK REACH.
  • Placing Products for Use at Work on the GB Market – GB businesses wishing to supply goods on the GB market following the departure of the UK from the single European market must meet the amended GB rules for product conformity, and in most cases show this by the new UKCA marking. There is a grace period which means most CE marked products can continue to be traded in Great Britain until 1 January 2022.
  • Buying New Machinery – the HSE has produced a leaflet for anyone who is responsible for buying new machinery for use at work. It may also be useful for manufacturers, suppliers and users. It has been updated now that the UK is no longer a member state of the EU, and to reflect revisions made to other relevant UK product law in recent years. It explains the main aspects of health and safety law you need to know about when buying new machinery for use at work to ensure it is safe.

You can read more Brexit implications in SHPOnline’s guide.

Sawmill Firm Sentenced After Serious Hand Injury

An up-close view of parts of a metal machine.A company has been sentenced after a worker was seriously injured when his hand came into contact with a rotating bandsaw blade. On 18 April 2019, the employee was working on a multi-head bandsaw machine at P Irving & Sons Ltd sawmill in Carnforth, when the pipes supplying cooling fluid to one of the six band-saw blades became blocked. The machine had already been stopped several times that morning to replace damaged blades. An engineer was called to fix the issue and the employee assumed the problem had been rectified.

When attempting to fix a blockage, the rotating blade caught the back of the employee’s right hand severing the tendons. He has undergone several operations since the incident and is still unable to bend his fingers and cannot grip, write or hold objects. He is awaiting further surgery.

A HSE investigation found there were insufficient measures in place to stop the blade rotating when the cabinet housing was opened. Measures to prevent access to the dangerous rotating blade, such as fixed and interlocked guarding, had not been taken so far as was practicable. This meant the cabinet housing could be opened with the blade still turning and ultimately led to an employee sustaining a significant injury.

P Irving & Sons Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £60,000 and ordered to pays costs of £20,000.

Read more on the incident from the HSE.

Many UK Workers Do Not Feel Safe in Their Workplace, According to Study

A graphic showing the key results of a workplace safety survey by Honeywell.Software and technologies firm, Honeywell, has released the results of a comprehensive study on workers’ perceptions and feelings on the health and safety of their workplace. The study, carried out by Wakefield Research, polled 500 workers that typically work in buildings with 500 or more employees across the United Kingdom and was part of a global study of 2,000 workers across four markets.

The findings show:

  • 71% of the UK workforce does not feel completely safe working in their employer’s buildings.
  • This number is even higher for remote workers (78%), who are especially sceptical about the safety of work sites.
  • Almost a quarter of remote workers globally (23%) would rather look for a new job than return to a site that did not implement necessary safety measures, (22% in the UK).
  • Only 35% of workers in the UK have received safety training from building management, compared to 41% globally.

You can read more results of the study from SHPOnline.