H & S News

Latest Health, Safety & Environmental News & Legislation updates......

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  • HSE Safety Alert issued for work on vehicles with air suspension systems

    Written by HSE on 21/05/2020 4:41pm

    HSE Safety Alert issued

    HSE has issued a safety alert for those carrying out or responsible for work on vehicles with air suspension systems.

    Those carrying out or responsible for work on vehicles with air suspension systems. This includes motor vehicle repair workshops, the roadside repair and recovery industry and customer sites where this work is undertaken.

    HSE have investigated several serious incidents involving air suspension systems on vehicles. The two main causes are collapse of inadequately supported vehicles and unintended rupture or release of components from the air suspension system.

     Read more...... 

  • Coronavirus advice for employers

    Written by SHP (Safety & Health Practitioner) on 11/03/2020 3:01pm

    The government has warned that up to a fifth of the workforce may be off sick during the peak of a coronavirus epidemic in the UK. Plans to contain Coronavirus if it spreads have been set out by the UK Government

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for Employers

    At a press conference on 9 March, the government said that people who show “even minor” signs of respiratory tract infections or a fever will soon be told to self-isolate in an effort to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. The UK government’s chief medical adviser said the change in advice could happen within the next 10 to 14 days.

    How does coronavirus spread?

    When someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects – such as desks, tables or telephones.
    People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. If they are standing within one meter of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled bythem. In other words, COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to flu.

    Preventing coronavirus in the workplace

    The guidance stresses that employers should start taking these the following measures now, even if COVID-19 has not arrived in the communities where they operate:

    Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic.

    Surfaces (eg desks and tables) and objects (eg telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly.

    Promote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers.

    • Put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled;
    • Display posters promoting hand-washing;
    • Offer guidance from occupational health and safety officers;
    • Make sure that staff, contractors and customers have access to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water.

    Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace.

    • Display posters promoting respiratory hygiene. Combine this with other communication measures;
    • Ensure tissues are available at your workplaces, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, along with closed bins for hygienically disposing of them;

    Advise employees and contractors to consult national travel advice before going on business trips.

    • Brief your employees, contractors and customers that if COVID-19 starts spreading in your community anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3 C or more) needs to stay at home.
    • Make clear to employees that they will be able to count this time off as sick leave.

    The guidance goes on to advise on procedures for employees who travel (before travelling, during and after), and sets out advice for getting a business ready should COVID-19 arrive in the workplace. It is stressed that simple precautions and planning can make a big difference. Action now will help protect your employees and your business.

    Read more......

  • Be prepared for unannounced HSE inspections of welding-fume extraction units

    Written by SHP Online on 20/02/2020 3:53pm

    HSE to carry out welding fume inspections

    The HSE’s current programme of inspections will review health and safety standards across the country and businesses are encouraged to visit HSE’s revised guidance to remind themselves of the changes to control expectations.

    The inspections follow a safety alert that was issued in February 2019 after new evidence showed exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause cancer and HSE updated guidance to reflect this.


  • Bodyshop fined £120k for Painter being exposed to Isocyanates

    Written by HSE on 20/02/2020 3:43pm

    A car retailer operating across the South East of England has been fined after a car bodywork sprayer developed occupational asthma.

    The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7(1) of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and have been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,657.55.

    An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to ensure adequate control measures were in place to minimise exposure to paints containing isocyanates, therefore exposing the employee to the risk of asthma.

    Speaking after the hearing, The HSE inspector said: “This serious health condition could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing correct control measures and appropriate working practices.

    See full story....

  • £30k fine after a Teacher run over by delivery van

    Written by Barbour - HSE on 27/01/2020 12:54pm

    St Andrew’s Tutorial Services Ltd has been fined after a teacher sustained serious injuries when she was struck by a delivery van.

    The teacher sustained multiple fractures and crush injuries; her head was just inches away from one of the tyres.

    The HSE’s investigation found that St Andrew’s Tutorial Services Ltd had not adequately segregated vehicles and pedestrians. Although the company had identified measures that would likely have prevented this incident, it failed to implement them.

    St Andrew’s Tutorial Services Ltd of Station Road, Cambridge pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace Health and Safety and welfare Regulations.

    The company was fined £30,000 with costs of £9,197.78.

    see full story.......

  • HSE increases FFE charges for visits

    Written by IOSH magazine on 16/04/2019 3:26pm

    HSE increases FFI charge by almost 20%

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has increased its fee for intervention (FFI) hourly rate from £129 to £154. The new charge came into effect on 6 April and it is the second increase since the scheme was introduced in October 2012. In a statement, the HSE said this can be attributed in part to the fact that the scheme has operated recently at a deficit. 

    Read more......

  • Vehicle repair firm boss jailed after worker fatally crushed by bus

    Written by IOSH on 22/02/2019 4:07pm

    The managing director of a commercial vehicle repair firm has been given a suspended sentence after an employee was killed when a bus fell on top of him. 

    A D Hurst and Son Commercial was fined £50,000 over the incident at the company’s site in Upwell. Cambridge Crown Court was told that engineer David Nelson was working in a vehicle inspection pit beneath the single decker bus on 4 July 2017. 
    The rear end of the bus had been raised off the ground and was supported by two hydraulic bottle jacks to allow Nelson access to the brakes.


  • HSE Issue Cancer alert for Welding-fume

    Written by Tony Keetley on 13/02/2019 7:24pm

    HSE has issued a safety alert about a change in enforcement expectations for mild steel welding fume.

    There is new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer that exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans. 

    The Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen.

    With immediate effect, there is a strengthening of HSE’s enforcement expectation for all welding fume, including mild steel welding; because general ventilation does not achieve the necessary control.

    Read the full article.......

    What should you do ?
    Ensure your employees are not exposed to welding fume by using suitable Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) to extract the fume at source and; ensure adequate and suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is worn to protect against the residual fume.

    "New COSHH Assessment for Welding-fume"

    • Complete the new COSHH Risk Assessment COSHH-BS19 Exposure to Welding-fume
    • New Safe-working Procedure for welding-fume
  • Car repair company and director fined after breaching enforcement action

    Written by HSE on 11/12/2017 10:25am


    A Rochdale based car repair company and director have been fined after failing to comply with Improvement Notices (IN) issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

    Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that on 10 June 2016, Rochdale MOT Centre Limited and a director failed to comply with three Improvement Notices that required the thorough examination of three two-post vehicle lifts by the specified dates in the Notices. HSE investigated the premises at Albion Road Industrial Estate, Rochdale after being alerted to the company by the Local Authority.

    The company had also been prosecuted in June 2016 by Rochdale Council for a breach of an abatement notice regarding burning of waste.

    The company & the Director pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and were ordered to pay fines of £1,500 and £3,000 respectively.

    Both defendants were ordered to pay the full costs of £15,609.14.


    see full story ..................

  • £1m fine after worker dies after falling off a step-ladder

    Written by Safety & Health Practitioner Magazine on 06/09/2017 11:57am

    A Hull-based bakery has been ordered to pay a fine of £1million after a self-employed contractor died when he fell from a stepladder.

    Hull Crown Court was told that the worker was contracted to complete electrical work at Greencore Grocery Ltd site in Hull in October 2013. The worker was wiring a motor situated above a machine whilst standing on a stepladder. The company agreed this work activity could be completed using a stepladder, which it had provided. The employee fell from the stepladder and suffered fatal injuries.

    The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation found that Greencore failed to properly plan the activity from the beginning including access arrangements to be made for installation of motors to use to carry out this work activity.

    Greencore Grocery Ltd of Apex Park, Amsterdam Road, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate Hull, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

    The company was fined £1million and ordered to pay costs of £30,000.


  • Company fined £20k after worker dies from burn injuries whilst cleaning a Spraybooth

    Written by Safety & Health Practitioner on 29/08/2017 6:32pm

    The employer of a man who died after suffering extensive burns while cleaning a spray booth at the company’s base in Derbyshire has been fined.

    Nottingham Crown Court heard how on 26 May 2012, the employee of LW Smart Repairs, a car bodywork repair specialist company, suffered serious burns after a pressure washer ignited a highly flammable vapour. The worker later died in hospital as a result of his injuries.

    The court was told that the pressure washer was taken into the booth and subsequently ignited the flammable vapour which formed above the gunwash that was poured onto the floor. The ignition resulted in a serious fire.

    Read full story..................

  • Stepladder fall costs Volvo £900,000

    Written by Keeley Downey on 14/12/2016 9:35pm

    The UK arm of Swedish car maker Volvo has been fined £900,000 after a repair technician was seriously injured in a stepladder fall.

    The accident happened at a Volvo Truck and Bus Centre depot in Enfield, north London on 17 September 2015. The technician was servicing a lorry owned by delivery firm DHL when he identified that the access rope to the back of the vehicle was broken and needed to be replaced.
    The rope was approximately 3.5 m off the ground and he fetched a stepladder from the warehouse to carry out the repair. At around 11am other workers on the site heard a loud crash. They found the repair technician unconscious, lying face down on the ground with the closed stepladder by his legs.
    “There were no eyewitnesses so we’re not sure exactly what happened," said Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Nicholas Wright, "but we can speculate that the ladder slipped and he hit his head on the truck bed.”


    Read more..................

  • Hazardous Waste Producers Licence scrapped

    Written by Tony Keetley on 05/12/2016 12:28pm

    Hazardous Waste

    As of 1st April 2016, premises no longer need to register as hazardous waste producers. This will affect consignment notes, consignee returns and the records that producers or holders of hazardous waste have to keep.

    This need to register as a waste producer has been scrapped by the Government in order to reduce the amount of 'Red Tape'.

    You are however, required to store any hazardous waste correctly and make thorough checks to ensure that your Waste Carriers are properly licenced for the type of waste they are carrying and that they dispose of it in accordance with the Environmental Agency's guidelines & procedures.


  • Electromagnetic Field Assessments

    Written by IGA (Independent Garage Association) on 31/10/2016 1:22pm

    Health & Safety Be Aware - New Induction Heating Guidance

    28 April 2016

    On June 29th, 2013, the European Commission published Directive 2013/35/EU on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields). 

    This Directive came into force in the UK from July 1st 2016. 

    In the Vehicle Repair Industry this will relate to the level of EMF (Electromagnetic Fields at Work) emitted by equipment used in our member’s workshops.

    This will include the following equipment:

    • Induction Heaters 
    • Resistance Spot Welders 
    • Plasma cutters 
    • MIG Welders 

    What you need to know

    From July 1st 2016, whilst you will have to assess the exposure to EMFs and any risks linked to these, in most cases, you should not need to measure the EMF produced. A Risk Assessment & following Safe Working Practices are imperative, which are already requirements under the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999.

    Whilst it is likely that new equipment will eventually be manufactured to reduce the EMF produced during operation, you can continue to use your existing equipment by adopting safe working practices.

    What you need to do:

    HSE may exempt the work activities from the equipment above from the exposure limits stated in the CEMFAW regulations 2016, however, workers must be protected from harm from EMF’s.

    If your work activity is exempt you will not have to comply with exposure limits in respect of activity, but you will have to meet the exemption conditions. These are:

    • Reduce exposure to lowest level reasonably practicable
    • Produce an action plan to monitor this is achieved
    • Carry out a Risk Assessment to cover all equipment subject to EMF’s
    • Ensure all staff are fully trained in the correct use of this equipment to control exposure to EMF’s
    • Any new equipment must be installed with Induction training by the supplier or manufacturers
    • Any new staff must be given Induction training on relevant equipment before use
    • Produce information for staff to explain EMF’s. 

    Medical Issues

    Please note, you must give special consideration to staff with active implanted medical devices such as heart pacemakers, as EMFs could interfere with the correct operation of the implant. 

    You must also consider staff with metal implants e.g. orthopaedic joints, pins or plates as it is possible that the implant could become heated or twist in an EMF. Workers can obtain information from the manufacturer of the device and from the medic who completed the implant procedure.

    Effects of EMF are temporary, are neither cumulative nor lasting and there are no known long term health risks.


    For more information, please contact the IGA member helpline on 0845 305 4230.

  • Huge increase in Company fines for Health & Safety offences

    Written by HSE International on 08/02/2016 2:12pm

    New sentencing guidelines for courts dealing with corporate manslaughter, health and safety, and food safety offences were published recently.

    They will mean significantly higher fines for any case sentenced on or after 1 February 2016. Any HR professionals responsible for health and safety legislation compliance in their organisation, for example, those working in SMEs without dedicated health and safety departments, should be aware of the potentially devastating commercial consequences of future prosecutions.

    Read full story.........

  • Accident Repair Centre fined £20,000 by HSE after failing to comply with an improvement notice.

    Written by HSE on 05/01/2016 2:45pm

    Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard that an Accident Repair Centre in Neath had a routine inspection by an inspector from the Health and Safety Executive from which an improvement notice was served. The company had been using a spray booth to spray isocyanate paints, and the spray booth had not been inspected by a competent person.

    read full story..........

    Screen Shot 2016 01 05 at 14.37.39(Typical spraybooth as used in Bodyshops)

  • Vehicle Repairer fined after employee dies from inhaling paint stripper vapours - £50k fine

    Written by HSE on 04/11/2015 2:40pm

    An employer has been fined after a worker died after inhaling fumes while cleaning a chemical stripping paint tank at a motor vehicle repair company.

    The court heard Mr Conway, was overcome by dichloromethane vapour while attempting to remove stripping debris from within the chemical stripping tank and died as a result of his exposure to those vapours. 

    Diamond Wheels (Dundee) Limited, of Nethergate, Dundee, was fined £50,000, after pleading guilty to offences under Section 2(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. 

    read full story...........

  • HGV paintshop fined by HSE for serious leg injury to employee

    Written by HSE on 24/08/2015 5:05pm

    A HGV spray painting company has been fined for safety failings that led to a worker sustaining a serious fracture to his left leg.

    The employee of Paintshop Northern Limited suffered the injury when a vehicle suspension arm being moved by fork lift truck fell and landed on his leg.

    see full story.........

  • Coach builder fined £100k for failing to protect workers from HAVs

    Written by HSE (Health & Safety Executive) on 27/07/2015 3:36pm

    National bus and coach builder Alexander Dennis Ltd has been fined £100.000 and ordered to pay £18,643 in costs after it ignored multiple warnings about dangers to its workers’ health from overuse of hand-held power tools.

    Sheffield Crown Court heard today that nine workers at Plaxton’s, an Alexander Dennis after sales, repair and refurbishment depot in North Anston, South Yorkshire, were diagnosed with HAVS in 2012. The nine are from the Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield and Worksop areas. 

    Read full story............

  • HSE overhauls working at height guidance

    Written by HSE on 01/03/2014 12:59pm

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has overhauled its guidance for working at height, setting out in clear, simple terms what to do and what not to do – and debunking common myths that can confuse and mislead employers. 

    see more...............

  • Reminder to display new H & S Poster before April deadline

    Written by Safety 4 Team on 28/01/2014 1:10pm

    The HSE has issued a reminder that employers have to display the 2009 health and safety law poster by 5 April 2014. 

    The new poster replaced the 1999 version after research found that the old posters and leaflets were visually unappealing and rarely read. The 2009 posters were designed to be more readable and engaging, and also reflected changes in the law.

    Employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER) to display the approved poster in a prominent position in each workplace or to provide each worker with a copy of the approved leaflet that outlines British health and safety law.

    "Don't get caught out"


  • Tougher penalties are being handed out to employers who breach health and safety laws

    Written by Safety & Health Practitioner on 21/01/2014 1:49pm

    Tougher penalties are being handed out to employers who breach health and safety laws following a change in approach to prosecutions, according to a report released on 16 January.

    The report, published by the Department for Work and Pensions, shows that the changes introduced under the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 have led to more cases being tried in the lower courts, convicted offenders being given higher fines, and more custodial sentences for bosses who pay scant regard to the welfare of their staff or the public. 

    Minister of State for Health and Safety, Mike Penning said: "By handling greater sentencing powers to Magistrates and Sheriffs it has sent a clear message to unscrupulous employers that if they do not take their responsibilities seriously they will face stiff penalties, which include heavy fines and – in the very worst cases – prison."

    - See more.....:

  • £8000.00 fine for Company Director + Company also fined...

    Written by Tony Keetley on 04/12/2013 10:20am

     HSE impose heavy fine for H & S failings by a joinery firm in London - Director also heavily fined. 

    • not testing LEV 
    • not providing correct RPE
    • not controlling noise etc....

    Note:  This could easily have been a Bodyshop instead of a Joinery firm as the equipment & controls are much the same)  TK

    Read story...........

  • New HSE Approved Code of Practice & Guidance to protect workers

    Written by SHP Online on 21/11/2013 4:25pm

    The HSE has published new guidance for employers on how to protect the health, safety and welfare of their workers.

    Following a consultation, the HSE has reviewed and updated the Workplace Regulations Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) (L24) to make it easier for employers, building owners, landlords and managing agents to understand and meet their legal obligations.

    Read full story: 

    HSE ACoP & Guidance: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l24.pdf


  • HSE collect more than £5m in in fines from businesses

    Written by SHP Online on 05/11/2013 3:45pm

    The HSE has fined UK firms more than £5.5 million for health and safety failings under its Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme, health and safety company ELAS has discovered. Following a Freedom of Information request made by ELAS, it has been revealed that businesses were fined a total of £5,532,565 for health and safety failings since October 2012.  

    Read report.......

  • Increase in unannounced visits by HSE

    Written by Tony Keetley on 28/10/2013 7:06pm

    We are getting reports of an increase in un-announced visits to Bodyshops by the HSE. They seem to be asking mainly to see certification for Spraybooth LEV testing & Lifting equipment (mainly vehicle lifts). Those "Scepticals" among you may think that the increased activity may be linked with the recent introduction of the Fee for Intervention Regulations (FFI). HSE information on FFI (we are not saying that)

    The FFI a new scheme that allows the HSE to recover its costs from businesses where (in the opinion of the HSE inspector) they are in material breach of the law. The rate has been set at £124 per hour. As soon as the HSE inspector says to you "you are in breach of Regulation etc etc..." you will be charged. All time spent either writing letters to you or having meetings with you to discuss the breach will be 'on the clock'.   The HSE can invoice you for these costs even if they turn up un-announced. We advise everyone to check that your LEV testing & lifting equipment testing is up to date.

    "An inspector calls"  


    Written by Tony K. on 28/10/2013 4:15pm

    Changes to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 have been introduced that clarify and simplify the reporting requirements, while ensuring that the data collected gives an accurate and useful picture of workplace incidents.

    The main changes are in the following areas:

    • The classification of 'major injuries' to workers has been replaced with a shorter list of 'specified injuries'
    • The existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness
    • Fewer types of 'dangerous occurrence' require reporting

    The changes affect all employers - including the self-employed. Information and guidance is available on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/


    For earlier news & legilation updates.  click here.....