Week Commencing 04/03/2024 – In The News

Unregistered plumber handed suspended prison sentence

An unregistered plumber has received a suspended prison sentence after he carried out illegal gas work at a house in Peterborough.

Anthony Rice, trading as Rice Plumbing and Oil Heating, attended the property on Edwalton Avenue on 31 January 2023 where he replaced a gas boiler and altered gas pipe work. However, Rice accidentally connected the gas supply with water, meaning the property’s gas pipes and gas meter were flooded.

Gas engineers from Cadent later attended the property and were required to pump water from the emergency control valve and replace the gas meter. The engineers classed the gas boiler Rice had installed as immediately dangerous, capped off the gas supply before notifying the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A HSE investigation found that Anthony Rice has never been registered with the Gas Safe Register – a legal requirement. He also held no qualifications nor completed any training in gas work.

Read more on the HSE website.

Championship game between Southampton and Preston postponed after huge fire breaks out next to St Mary’s Stadium

Southampton’s match against Preston this evening has been postponed after a fire broke out next to St Mary’s Stadium.

Fire crews are tackling the blaze which broke out just after 1pm this afternoon affecting four industrial units in Marine Parade, Southampton.

It isn’t clear what caused the fire.

Southampton FC had been due to play Preston this evening in the Championship, as the Saints continue in their push towards promotion.

The football club said the fixture had to be postponed because the fire had caused “significant disruption” to the area. They said the decision had been made after discussions with local authorities and emergency services.

For more on the incident, visit the Sky News website.

Farming company fined £320k after a man died from fall

A company involved in fruit and vegetable production has been fined £320,000 after a man was killed at a site in Burscough.

Francis Schlachter, known as Frank, suffered severe head injuries when he fell from a skip at a farm operated by M.A.Forshaw Limited on 3 January 2020. The 64-year-old from Southport was described as ‘a rock’ by his wife of 35 years Linda, who said how much he would be missed by his friends and family.

Frank had been working at the site off Marsh Moss Lane, tipping food waste into a skip from a container attached to a forklift truck (FLT).

The container could not be securely attached to the FLT, which was known to detach from the vehicle during the procedure. As Frank attempted to manually assist in the operation, he was standing on top of the skip when the container slipped from the FLT causing him to fall to the ground, resulting in fatal head injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that M.A.Forshaw Limited had not fully assessed the risks involved in this daily task.  Had they done so, the dangers would have been identified. They also failed to maintain equipment in safe working order and to properly instruct staff in safe working practices.

Learn more on the SHP website.

Shocking increase in construction fatalities

Fatal incidents in the UK construction industry have risen by almost 20% in the last five years, new data has found. In 2022/23, 45 fatal injuries were reported, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year.

Falling from a height is still the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal incidents in the construction sector. Those working in the industry are three times more likely to experience falling from a height than experiencing an injury through something collapsing or overturning.

Being struck by a moving vehicle and then being struck by a moving object were the second and third most common fatal accidents for workers. Between them, these accidents account for around two-thirds of fatal injuries to workers in 2022/23.

Visit the HSM website to read more.

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