Week Commencing 15/08/2022 – In The News

“Automation is great, but don’t forget health and safety”, urges industry expert

Doug Russell, an experienced health and safety professional and committee member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) Food and Drink Industries Group, admits that the increasing use of automation in food and drink manufacturing can bring significant benefits to businesses. However, he is urging for caution and calling on industry bosses to ensure they assess and manage any health and safety risks they can cause. SHP hears more below…

“The focus of the discussion on Industry 4.0 in food manufacturing so far has been on ways of predicting and meeting consumer demand and on improvements to traceability to ensure quality and safety of products,” says Russell. “For example, it has been about assisting with product recall or consumer information on products.

“These are all exciting developments but, as automation and the use of AI and data analytics spreads, the reality is that human workers will still be there working alongside the robots. Increased intensity of work to keep pace with machine-led production and unforeseen consequences of increased reliance on algorithms to control and dictate workers’ behaviour will undoubtedly impact on their physical and mental health.

“To ensure sustainable development of Industry 4.0 in such a labour-intensive sector, it is vital that the risks are managed and that workers and their safety reps are involved in the planning and introduction of new technologies.”

Read more on the SHP website.

Legoland: Rollercoaster crash at Germany resort injures 31

A rollercoaster crash at Legoland’s theme park in Germany has hurt more than 30 people, at least one of whom has severe injuries.

According to the park, the accident happened after two rollercoaster trains collided with each other.

The incident took place on the Fire Dragon ride at the leisure resort, which is near Gunzburg in Bavaria.

Legoland said it had immediately started a full investigation and the ride will be closed for the time being.

The company said the accident happened after one rollercoaster train stopped and another train “did not stop completely for until now unknown reasons and made impact”.

A total of 38 people were in both trains, the park said – with 31 of them suffering minor injuries. Of those, 14 went to hospital for further observation and one person needed further treatment.

For more, visit the BBC website.

Bus company fined after employee suffers life-changing injuries

A bus company has been fined £380,000 after one of its employees was crushed between a reversing bus and a stationary vehicle.

The employee of Stagecoach Devon Limited was working at the company’s Torquay depot on the morning of 3 October 2019.

Due to space limitations, it is reported that the buses often had to reverse to be able to leave the depot in readiness for the day’s work.

The sole banksman, who would direct vehicles, was occupied at the top of the depot where most buses were parked.

As a result, it became custom and practice for the bus drivers at the front of the depot to reverse without a banksman, or to assist each other when reversing, despite not being trained as banksmen.

The injured employee, who was caught between a reversing bus and a stationary vehicle, suffered compound multiple fractures of his arm requiring six titanium plates and 65 metal staples between his wrist and elbow.

Learn more about the incident on the SHP website.

Unregistered gas installer fined after failing HSE inspection

A plumber who was suspected of having undertaken dangerous gas work while unqualified to do so, was fined for failing to answer questions put to him by a Health and Safety Executive Inspector.

Luke Rodgers was alleged to have carried out unlawful gas work to replace a boiler at a house in Tingley, Wakefield in February 2020. The new boiler was reportedly left in such a dangerous condition that a Gas Safe registered engineer who attended the house had to make it safe by disconnecting it from the gas supply.

During a HSE interview under caution, Rodgers claimed to have only been hired to do the installation work up to the point where it would then be connected to the gas supply. He claimed that he had arranged for a friend who was qualified to complete all the gas work. Mr Rodgers also stated that another friend had assisted him with general labouring at the property.

During the interview, Rodgers was unwilling to provide the identity of either people which is an offence as it prevented the Inspector from following reasonable lines of enquiry as part of the investigation.

Read more on the SHP website.

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