Week Commencing 01/02/2021 – In The News

Luxury Hotel Fined £500,000 Over Fatal Hotel Fire

Aerial photograph showing the extent of the damage to Cameron House after a fire that claimed the lives of two guests.A Scottish luxury hotel has been fined half a million pounds over a fire that claimed the lives of two guests.

Cameron House has been ordered to pay £500,000 after admitting to breaches of fire safety rules. A hotel porter has also been given a community payback order to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

Richard Dyson, 38, and his partner Simon Midgley, 32, died in the hotel blaze on the banks of Loch Lomond in December 2017. The fire started after night porter Christopher O’Malley, 35, placed a plastic bag of ash in a cupboard containing kindling and newspapers.

O’Malley admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. Cameron House previously pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to take fire safety measures which were necessary to ensure the safety of staff and guests.

Read more from the BBC.

New Hazard of the Month!

New Hazard of the Month for February: Near MissesFor the month of February, WA Management is focusing on ‘Near Misses’ for our hazard of the month.

Near misses are an event that although not causing harm, has the potential to cause injury or ill health. For example, dropping bricks from a height that could have hit and injured someone despite the fact no one was walking nearby at the time. It is important that near misses are recorded and investigated as it helps prevent future accidents by putting appropriate control measures in place.

We will be delving further into this topic in our tailored, expert Research and Safety Spotlight Blogs – keep an eye out on our social media and blog for these posts over the course of the month!

Time To Talk Day 2021 – The Power of Small

A yellow speech bubble with the words 'The Power of Small' against a purple background and next to a small image of a phone. Underneath in yellow text is "A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference' and white text reading '#TimeToTalk'. There is also the Time to Talk Day logo in the top right.On Thursday 4th February, it was Time to Talk Day. This campaign is run by Time to Change and it aims to start conversations about mental health and help end the stigma. The theme this year was ‘The Power of Small’; a small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.

WA Management took part in a mental health quiz as part of these events, as a way to educate our team more about mental health issues and how it affects people in a way to encourage meaningful conversations about this topic in the workplace. It can often seem taboo to mention mental health to colleagues but it is an important way of breaking down barriers and ending the stigma that can have such a harmful effect on people.

We are also pleased to announce a new blog series on our website called ‘Mental Health Matters’. Each month we will post a new blog centred on mental health awareness; this month’s blog zooms in on the theme of Time To Talk Day 2021 by explaining how important it is to check in with your friends and top tips for doing so.

Company Fined After Worker Has Crushed Arm Amputated

Cogs in black and white.Littleborough based company Ken Mills Engineering Ltd has been fined for safety breaches after a 48-year-old worker suffered a life-threatening injury.

Leeds Crown Court heard that on 9 February 9 2017, the 48-year-old worker was repairing a Trojan Haylage Baler at New Hall Farm, Grange Moor, Wakefield when his left arm was trapped and crushed by a hydraulic ram. The arm was partially severed at the scene; required several operations and following medical complications was amputated from above the elbow.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that several engineers had been involved over a number of days to repair the baler. This work had not been subject to a risk assessment and engineers were not provided with effective information, instruction and training for this activity. They were left to devise their own system of work, which consequently was not safe.

Engineers relied on techniques they were familiar with from the factory which were not suitable for the site circumstances. As a result, the vertical compaction ram was inadvertently initiated trapping the worker’s arm.

Ken Mills Engineering Ltd of Greenvale Business Park, Littleborough were found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £18,000.00 and ordered to pay £50,494.18 in costs.

Read more on the incident from the HSE.

Data Shows Outbreaks in England’s Offices in Lockdown

A desk by a window with various laptops and computers, a keyboard, a mouse, a phone and a mug on it, as well as a plant tray to the side of it.More than 60 suspected Covid outbreaks in offices were recorded in the first two weeks of the current lockdown in England, a BBC investigation has found. Public Health England figures, obtained via a Freedom of Information request, suggests offices have had more outbreaks compared to other workplaces.

The data also showed there were more than 500 outbreaks, or suspected outbreaks, in offices in the second half of 2020 – more than in supermarkets, construction sites, warehouses, restaurants and cafes combined. This has prompted calls for curbs on employers bringing non-essential staff into offices as well as demands from unions for tougher safety rules.

The rules for England state that “you may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home”. The government has urged firms to help employees work from home. It said it has worked with trade unions, businesses and medical experts to produce “comprehensive guidance” to help firms that are permitted to stay open and it has introduced rapid testing of employees. However, the Health and Safety Executive received nearly 4,000 Covid-related complaints about workplaces in January.

Read more from the BBC.

If your employees are working from home, ensure they are set up safely and correctly using our Homeworking Online Training Course (RoSPA accredited) and Self Risk Assessment.