As we are set to enter a second “National Lockdown” from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December, your business may not fall into the “everyone who can work effectively from home must do so” category – for example, if you operate in the national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing sectors, or provide critical frontline public services.

 

However, as Covid cases continue to increase, how will you demonstrate to employees and enforcement bodies that you are doing everything possible to put measures in place to manage transmission risk in the workplace?

 

Our Safe2Day employee Covid health monitoring and tracing system provides businesses with the confidence to maintain Covid secure operations during lockdown and step up control measures to include contact tracing.  With our powerful BI tool, the system also provides access to advanced data analytics to enable senior teams to effectively and proactively deploy resources, by assessing who is and who isn’t fit to work.

 

 

For more information regarding managing Covid transmission in the workplace and how Safe2Day can be used to help your business remain open and compliant, register for one of our webinars:

https://www.riskex.co.uk/safe-2-day-free-webinar-covid-19/

Construction

Construction firm fined after worker was seriously injured

A construction company has been fined after an employee was struck by the placing boom of a concrete pump, causing serious injuries. Brighton Magistrates Court heard how on the 5 March 2019, concrete footings were being poured at a site at Ditchling Common, East Sussex. Due to the soft ground, vehicles could not get close to the work, so a concrete pump with a 52-metre boom was used.

During the pour, the ground beneath one of the pump outriggers collapsed, causing the concrete pipe and boom to strike the employee, dislocating and fracturing his hip, fracturing his spine and tearing ligaments and muscles. He was also later diagnosed with a brain injury. He is still undergoing regular physiotherapy, and suffering from post-traumatic stress, but does not know the long-term effects of the brain and nerve damage.

Axio (Special Works) Limited of Portslade, Brighton pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and were fined £20,000, plus a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £5,285.70.

 

Cornish construction company fined after dangerous demolition

Bodmin builder Thomas Sturgess, has been sentenced after concerns over an unsafe demolition site were raised.

Bodmin Magistrates’ Court heard that during December 2017, concerns were raised by members of the public about potentially dangerous demolition taking place in Webber Street, Falmouth. HSE received a number of photographs from concerned members of the public showing extremely poor and unsafe working practices. Workers were observed standing on top of the building to demolish it with no control over working at height safely. The pictures suggested workers were at risk from falling through or from the buildings undergoing demolition and members of the public were very close to the site which was inadequately fenced off. An unannounced visit was made by the HSE whereby all further demolition work was prohibited.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that safety measures fell significantly below the expected standard. The buildings were being demolished in an unsafe manner with little or no planning with regard to their structural stability. There were no welfare facilities on site, no risk assessments and no demolition plans or asbestos survey available. Overall there were a number of health and safety concerns and there was apparent lack of skills, knowledge and experience on behalf of the defendant due to his lack of site management experience, knowledge of relevant health and safety legislation and safe working practices and completely ineffective skills, knowledge and experience to undertake such a project.

Thomas Sturgess of Lanviet, Bodmin pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 20(1) of Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015, he has been given a 180 hour Community Order and ordered to pay costs of £9428.84

Manufacturing

Metal pressings manufacturing company fined after worker was struck by a forklift truck

G-Tekt Europe Manufacturing Limited, a company that manufactures metal pressings and sub-assemblies for the automotive industry, has been fined after a worker was struck by a forklift truck and suffered a serious brain injury. Newport Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 23 November 2018, a worker needed to be placed in an induced coma after a forklift truck struck him at a premises in Crown Business Park, Dukestown, Tredegar.

G-Tekt Europe Manufacturing Limited of Gloucester Business Park, Golf Club Lane, Brockworth, Gloucester entered a guilty plea* for breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992* and was fined £520,000* and ordered to pay costs of £8,014.40.

 

*This post was corrected on 28.10.20 to read ‘Regulation 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992’  rather than ‘Section 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992’.

*This amount was corrected on 29.10.20 to state £520,000 rather than £525,000 as it originally said.

 

Woodworking company fined after worker suffers serious injuries

Woodworking company, Peter Ramsey & Sons (Denholme) Timber Ltd, has been fined after a worker became entangled in an unguarded drive shaft and suffered serious injuries. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 8 March 2018, the worker was working on an automated wood planer machine which is used to process large pieces of wood into different sizes ordered by customers at the company’s Wellington Street sawmills in Bradford.

The worker reached over an unguarded rotating driveshaft to adjust a piece of wood after it had come out of the machine, his hi-vis jacket and t-shirt became entangled, drawing him into the machine. He sustained a torn tendon in his left fourth finger, a broken left wrist, a break to his little finger and nerve damage to his left arm.

Peter Ramsey & Sons (Denholme) Timber Ltd Wellington Street sawmills Bradford pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £56,000 and ordered to pay £3,484.84 in costs.

Transport

Transport company fined after employee fatally crushed

A transport company has been fined after a worker was fatally injured when the pallet of stone tiles he was attempting to deliver fell onto him. High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 23 November 2016, an agency driver was carrying out a delivery for Reason Transport UK Limited at Fraser Road, High Wycombe. The driver was delivering a pallet of stone tiles using a tail-lift and a manual pallet truck. He spent several minutes struggling to lift and manoeuvre the pallet onto the truck’s tail-lift. When he eventually succeeded in doing so, he lost control of the pallet, which fell onto him, causing him to suffer fatal crush injuries.

Reason Transport UK Limited, now in liquidation, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £5,000.

 

Company fined after forklift truck fatality

A pallet transport company has been fined after a forklift driver was killed when his forklift overturned. Mr Reginald Bacon was working as a forklift driver at Fortec Distribution Network Limited’s pallet hub at Watling Park, Watford Village, Northamptonshire. Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard how on 13 October 2016, Mr Bacon was unloading goods from the trailer of a large goods vehicle (LGV) and whilst his forks were inside the trailer to remove a pallet, the LGV drove forward; this caused the forklift to tip over on its side. Mr Bacon was not wearing his seatbelt correctly and tried to jump clear from his truck but sustained fatal head injuries.

Fortec Distribution Network Limited of Coronation Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £107,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,436.97.

Local Government

Council fined after teacher assaulted by pupil

Luton Borough Council has been sentenced today after a teacher was assaulted by a pupil. Luton Crown Court heard how on 17 June 2016, the assistant headteacher at Putteridge High School was called to deal with a disruptive pupil who was refusing to go into a detention room. After clearing the classroom of the other pupils, the pupil launched a sustained assault on the teacher, using a mobile phone and inflicting life-changing injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there were significant shortcomings in relation to the measures at the school, regarding violence and aggression posed by the pupils to others. No effective consideration was given to the risk of injury or death posed by the pupils to others and measures were not taken to reduce that threat to as low as reasonably practicable.

Luton Borough Council did not ensure that the school had people with sufficient competence in the management of health and safety involved in running the school to ensure that the threat was addressed. The Council did not see to it that staff members at the school had the training either to remedy that shortcoming or to deal with violent and aggressive pupils in a way which did not expose them to risk. The Council also failed to monitor the adequacy of the measures Putteridge High School had in place and the Council, therefore, failed to pick up and address the shortcomings.

Luton Borough Council of Town Hall Upper George Street Luton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £104,000 with £60,000 costs. The fine was reduced from £300,000 due to the Council’s lack of revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Are you confident that you are meeting your Health and Safety legal obligations?  Find out how we can help.   Book an AssessNET health and safety software demonstration, visit: https://www.riskex.co.uk/request-a-demo/

To book an AssessNET health and safety software demonstration, visit: https://www.riskex.co.uk/request-a-demo/ 

 

Animal feed company fined £140,000 after a serious injury to an employee

An animal feed processing company has been fined following an incident where part of an employee’s arm was severed by a moving conveyor. Chesterfield Justice Centre heard how, on 09 December 2018, the employee had opened the inspection hatch on a closed conveyor in order to clear a blockage at the site in Killamarsh, Derbyshire. The conveyor started unexpectedly, severing the employee’s right arm below the elbow. Hi Peak Feeds Limited of Sheffield Road, Killamarsh, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £140,000 by the HSE and ordered to pay costs of £2,591.30.

 

Manufacturer of plastic tubing and blown fibre tubing fined £100,000 after a worker was injured

Emtelle UK Limited, a manufacturer of plastic tubing and blown fibre tubing for telecoms and water piping, has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries to his left hand when it came into contact with the exposed clamp of a socket machine.
Jedburgh Sheriff Court heard how, on 3 November 2016, an employee was working on a socket machine, building a pipe into a socket, at their site at Oxnam Road, Jedburgh, Roxburghshire. He was placing a pipe into a socket when the shorter length of pipe fell out, the worker reached to catch the pipe to prevent it being clamped and his left hand came into contact with the exposed clamp causing serious injury.
Emtelle UK Limited, Haughhead, Hawick, Roxburghshire pleaded guilty to Regulations 11(1) and (2) of the Provision and Use of work Equipment Regulations 1998 and were fined £100,000.

 

Manufacturer fined £22,000 after worker’s arm caught in machinery

A Wirral-based company that manufactures composite hose products has been fined after an inexperienced agency worker was injured when he was pulled into a spinning lathe, sustaining open fractures to his right arm.
Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 20 November 2018, a worker at Novaflex Ltd was operating a lathe at the Bromborough site when the sleeve of his sweatshirt caught between a pitch wheel and rotating mandrel, pulling his arm into the machine. This resulted in an open fracture of the ulna (long bone found in the forearm) and the radial shaft of his right arm, leaving it permanently weak, making day-to-day tasks difficult and stressful. He also suffered severe bruising to his body and skin abrasions.
Novaflex Ltd of Power Road, Bromborough, Wirral pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 and 3 of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,021.30.

 

Manufacturer fined £12,000 after an employee suffered crush injuries

A manufacturer of carbon-based products, SGL Carbon Fibres Limited (SGL), has been fined following an incident where an employee sustained soft tissue injuries to his right hip and a fracture to his lower right leg.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that, on 25 April 2016, Mr Cameron Fraser was working at SGL, Great North Road, Muir of Ord Industrial Estate, Muir of Ord, Ross-shire, carrying out maintenance work on equipment known as a Regenerative Thermal Oxidiser (RTO). Whilst inside the RTO Mr Fraser had become trapped between a moving poppet valve and the valve seat.

SGL Carbon Fibres Limited of Great North Road, Muir of Ord Industrial Estate, Muir of Ord, Ross-shire pleaded guilty to breaching The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulation 11(1) and (2) and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and was fined £12,000.

 

To book an AssessNET health and safety software demonstration, visit: https://www.riskex.co.uk/request-a-demo/

With many UK universities already suffering Covid outbreaks requiring a lockdown or cessation of face-to-face teaching, it seems inevitable that more will be forced to follow suit as the rate of infection grows.

Now that seasonal viruses are upon us, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to distinguish the differences between Covid and other illnesses with similar symptoms – and for universities, this problem is compounded with the addition of “Freshers Flu”.

Freshers’ Flu is the term given to the ailments common among students within the first few weeks after arrival at university.  These illnesses are largely attributed to poor diet and heavy consumption of alcohol during Freshers’ Week. Stress, which may be induced by tiredness, combined with a lack of good nutrition, late nights and too much alcohol can weaken the immune system and be a recipe for ill-health.

What guidance are universities giving to students surrounding what to do if they suspect they are suffering from Freshers’ Flu?

The University of Warwick released the following statement on the topic:

 “A note on Freshers’ flu. Every year, we expect a number of students to become unwell with what is known as Freshers’ flu. Because some of the symptoms are the same as Covid-19, it’s really important…. that both you and those you live with should self-isolate until a (Covid) test comes back as negative”

More information at https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus/testandtrace/coronavirus/

How can technology help universities manage Covid transmission and support students and staff who have Covid-related vulnerabilities – or is the NHS Test and Trace system sufficient?

NHS Test and Trace deals with Covid transmission management only once a person tests positive for the virus – and importantly, it does not assist organisations in prioritise tracing activities according to individual vulnerabilities.  In order to stop transmission at source, tech solutions have to be able to provide an accurate and up-to-date picture of an individual’s personal circumstances, as well as be able to highlight potential Covid cases at the point of first symptoms or a positive test result – whichever comes first.

To find out how Riskex’s Safe2Day Covid monitoring and tracing system can work hand-in-hand with the NHS Test and Trace application for your University, book a 1-1 consultation here.

The HSE calculated that stress, anxiety and depression led to the following results in 2019:

  • 6 million workers suffering from work-related stress anxiety and depression (new and long-standing cases) in 2018/2019
  • 21 working days lost per case on average
  • 8 million working days lost
  • 54% of all working days lost due to ill health
  • 44% of all work-related ill health cases
  • £5.2B annual cost of work-related stress, anxiety, and depression in Great Britain

Due to the impact of Covid-19, it’s safe to say these numbers are set to increase.

 

To download and use the HSE’s Talking Toolkit to help monitor your employees click here

 

To learn more about AssessNET, view our portfolio here

Riskex Ltd welcomed Iain Stewart, the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South, to discuss how their Covid Monitoring and Tracing System, Safe2Day, is having a positive impact on client’s ability to manage coronavirus transmission in the workplace.

 

The Milton Keynes-based health and safety technology firm has serviced organisations across private, public, and not-for-profit sectors for over 20 years, helping them to manage enterprise level health and safety risk.

Many of Riskex’s clients provide frontline and essential services, and at the start of the pandemic, they needed a solution to allow them to monitor the health status of their employee and contractor base, as part of their duty of care obligations in managing the risk of coronavirus transmission in the workplace.

The solution has now expanded to address client demand across all sectors and additionally, can now be used to support businesses with their contact tracing requirements.

  

Commenting on the MP’s visit, Riskex Founder and CEO, Mark Delo said:

“This was a welcome opportunity for us to highlight the changing risk landscape when it comes to managing employee safety during the pandemic, as well as discuss the impact Safe2Day is having on an organisation’s ability to manage effective Covid health surveillance amongst their workforce, both in the workplace and when working from home”

At the end of his visit, Iain Stewart MP said “It was very interesting to learn how this local company is making a difference to businesses during the pandemic. I can see how this Covid Monitoring tool can provide confidence to employees returning to the workplace”

About Riskex

Riskex was founded 20 years ago, to pursue a disruptive new vision: make good health & safety practices accessible, usable, and valuable to everyone.

Today, AssessNET, Riskex’s flagship software brand is a leading software platform for Health & Safety management, that enables customers to reduce risk, improve performance and with the recent introduction of its Safe2Day Covid-19 solutions, assists organisations to operate safely in these unprecedented times.

To learn more about AssessNET and Safe2Day, visit www.riskex.co.uk/

 

 

Riskex Press Contact: 

Nikki Samme, Marketing Director

Riskex Ltd

Phone: 01908 915 272

email: n.samme@Riskex.co.uk

Address: 1 Radian Court, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK5 8PJ

 

To download a copy of this Press Release as a PDF, click here

 

To book a demonstration of AssessNET, our online health and safety software, register here: https://www.riskex.co.uk/request-a-demo/ 

 

Facilities management company fined after an employee was crushed

Following an HSE investigation, facilities management company, Totally Local Company Ltd, has been fined after an employee was crushed between a construction vehicle and shipping container during footpath improvement works in 2018. The accident resulted in serious injuries including a collapsed lung and various broken bones, requiring multiple surgeries. Totally Local Company Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2 & 3 of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,367.36.

 

HSE issues MoD with Crown Censure following the death of a military diver

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been issued with a Crown Censure by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after a military diver died during training back in 2018. 27-year-old Lance Corporal George Partridge was brought back to surface after he stopped responding to lifeline signals while he was underwater in 2017 during a training exercise with a dive buddy. His cylinders were found to be empty.

 

Company fined after fatal incident using high-pressure water jetting equipment

A specialist industrial services company, Leadec Limited, has been fined after a worker suffered a fatal injury, whilst cleaning waste-water pipes in 2017. Leadec employee, Joseph McDonald, was struck by the end of a flexi-lance whilst he was using high-pressure water jetting equipment to clean paint residue from pipes. This resulted in a fatal injury. Leadec Limited of Leadec House pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,000,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 in costs.

 

Scaffolding company and director fined following fall from height fatality

Wembley Scaffolding Services Limited has been fined following an incident where a worker suffered a fatal head injury after a fall from height. During the dismantling of scaffolding, the frame collapsed resulting in the employee falling five meters, suffering a head injury from the fall. He died 16 days later from his injuries. Wembley Scaffolding Services Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3)(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and 8(b)ii; Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £7,860 and ordered to pay costs of £8,940. Director of the company, Sean Chapple pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(2)(ii) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005; sections 33(1)(a) and 37(1) of the Act; Section 33(2) and Schedule 3A to the Act (as amended by section 1 of the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008. He was fined £1,000, received a 12-week prison sentence suspended for one year and was ordered to pay costs of £11,000.

 

To book a demonstration of AssessNET or our Safe2Day Covid solution, register on our website at https://www.riskex.co.uk/request-a-demo/ and a member of our team will be in contact to arrange a time and date.

Covid transmission is a concern for any industry, but for construction, the risks are higher than most – why is this?

There are several challenges in play here, including track and trace effectiveness, the nature of work activities making social distancing harder, sharing of living accommodation and use of public transport/vehicle sharing to commute to site.  Moreover, when we consider the sheer size of this industry (10% of UK employment is in this sector), construction workers have the potential to become a key source of Covid transmission.

A specific challenge in this sector is the difficulty in deploying effective track and trace processes to help stop transmission at source.  This is driven by the complexities in contacting the high volume of workers who are on zero-hour contracts, employed via agencies or are self-employed contractors.

So, what can employers do to help control transmission amongst this vulnerable group?  Not surprisingly, there is a raft of Government and HSE guidance for the construction sector, as well as support and advice available from various trade and industry bodies regarding how to properly plan works that allow for social distancing, and enable workers to follow PHE guidance.

In addition, employers should ensure that they have robust health surveillance processes in place, including regular Covid health assessments that ideally, extends to assessing the workers household situations.  This will enable managers to properly assess the risk of transmission at an individual worker level.

What types of solution should employers be looking for to help them have a real-time view of the health status of their workforce?

  • Processes and technology need to support managers with understanding and acting upon Covid transmission risks from many perspectives – company, regional location, site, team, and individual worker levels.
  • Processes that are easy and quick for workers to engage with.
  • Powerful analytics to quickly spot trends in transmission risks and assist in resource planning.
  • Health surveillance technology that provides management information based on real-time data for rapid decision making.
  • Strong controls for GDPR and high levels of security to protect sensitive information.

Utilising a simple and effective daily health status check could prove vital in identifying potential coronavirus carriers and help safeguard vulnerable employees.

Find out how Safe2Day from Riskex supports businesses in helping to control Covid transmission at source and restore employee confidence in returning to the workplace.   Register to attend  a webinar or  book a demonstration at:  https://www.riskex.co.uk/covid-19-health-assessment-using-assessnet/

More bad news for Crossrail as the controversial project, which has already experienced several delays, is facing another obstacle. Coronavirus has affected almost every industry across the UK, creating a diverse set of challenges for all businesses to overcome and Crossrail is no exception –  social distancing rules mean that resource capacities have shrunk by more than 50% when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

 

Crossrail’s CEO Mark Wild said the project is in its “complex final stages”.

He continues:  “It is being completed at a time of great uncertainty due to the risks and potential impacts of further Covid outbreaks.  We are working tirelessly to complete the remaining infrastructure works so that we can fully test the railway and successfully transition the project as an operational railway to Transport for London.”

 

The project, which was initially due to complete in December 2018, is now forecast to open in the first half of 2022, needing an extra £450m to complete – bringing the total overspend to nearly £4bn.

 

The impact of Covid on Crossrail is one example of how the pandemic is affecting productivity across UK PLC.  There is little more we can do to control the impact of social distancing on business operations in physical terms  – however business leaders who have access to accurate and real-time data regarding the health status of employees and their households are better equipped to manage resources effectively to optimise productivity.

 

To see how our Safe2Day Covid solutions can provide valuable insights into the fit to work status of your employees and contractors, register for one of our weekly webinars: https://www.riskex.co.uk/covid-19-health-assessment-using-assessnet/