Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) – First Deadline Passed

ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for organisations in the UK that meet the qualification criteria. The Environment Agency is the UK scheme administrator.

The scheme applies to large undertakings, which are defined as:

  1. Any UK company that either:
    1. employs 250 or more people, or
    2. has an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro (£38,937,777), and an annual balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro (£33,486,489);
  2.  an overseas company with a UK registered establishment which has 250 or more UK employees (paying income tax in the UK).

Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out ESOS assessments every 4 years. These assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.

Organisations must notify the Environment Agency by a set deadline that they have complied with their ESOS obligations. The deadline for the first compliance period, 5 December 2015, has now passed.

For further information, visit The Gov website

Improper handling of Asbestos at a School

Amey Communities Limited (ACL), an Oxford based company, has been fined after disturbing asbestos insulation board (AIB) at a school.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard how Amey Communities Limited (ACL) were contracted to carry out roof refurbishment at Lings Primary School, Hayeswood Road, Northampton. During the course of this refurbishment workers from ACL disturbed AIB in a small plant room.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident which occurred on 6 November 2014 found failings in ACL’s project management arrangements. They failed to monitor and identify asbestos materials during this specific roof refurbishment work at the school and ensure key personnel had suitable asbestos awareness training.

Amey Community Limited, of Edmund Halley Road, Oxford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,737.

HSE inspector Sam Russell said after the hearing:

“The serious health risks of asbestos which is a class one carcinogen are well-known and publicised. Any maintenance or construction work undertaken in buildings built before 2000 must consider and manage the risk of possible asbestos containing materials. It is important this material is considered at every stage of a construction project and failure to do so places workers, buildings occupants and the public at risk to possible exposure to asbestos fibres.”

Star Wars incident leads to prosecution

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has (on 11 February) informed Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, based in Queen Caroline Street, London, that it will be prosecuted over an incident in which actor Harrison Ford was seriously injured during the filming of Star Wars: The Forces Awakens.  They will appear at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on 12 May 2016 to face four charges.

Mr Ford suffered a broken leg and other injuries when he was struck by a heavy hydraulic metal door on the set of the Millennium Falcon. The incident happened on 12 June 2014 at Pinewood Studios.

A spokesman for HSE said:

“HSE has today informed Foodles Production (UK) Ltd that it will be prosecuted over four alleged breaches of health and safety law. The charges relate to an incident during filming of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which left Harrison Ford with serious injuries after he was hit by a heavy hydraulic door.

By law, employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers – this is as true on a film set as a factory floor. We have investigated thoroughly and believe that we have sufficient evidence to bring the case to court.”

Foodles Production (UK) Ltd is the company responsible for producing Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and under health and safety law for managing the risks created during production.

The four alleged breaches are:

  • Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”
  • Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
  • Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which states “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of (a)the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and (b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking, for the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions and by Part II of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997.”
  • Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, which states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken in accordance with paragraph (2) which are effective (a) to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or (b) to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”

 

Swing collapse leaves pupil paralysed

A pupil suffered permanent paralysis when a swing collapsed at a Hertfordshire school

St Albans Magistrates’ Court heard how on September 2011 a 13-year-old pupil at the school was playing on a wooden swing in an adventure playground.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the swing had collapsed because the supporting timbers had rotted. The heavy wooden cross beam of the swing fell onto the pupil’s head and neck causing spinal injuries that resulted in permanent paralysis.

Queenswood School, of Shepherd’s Way, Brookmans Park, Hatfield, was fined a total of £50,000, and ordered to pay £90,693 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Alison Ashworth said:

“This case shows how important it is that schools and other providers of play equipment maintain them in a safe condition. This tragic accident could have been avoided had the school implemented the findings of its own risk assessment.”

February 2016 – Water Safety Advice

 

 

February 2016 NEWSLETTER
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn
Home | Services | Sectors | Client Comments | About Us | Resources | Client Login

Water Safety Advice

For Residential Property Management

There appears to be a hierarchy of priority when it comes to health & safety within the block management sector. Everybody knows the importance of fire safety, there is a high awareness of the dangers of asbestos, and the no win / no fee personal injury culture ensures trips and falls and other hazards are identified and dealt with.

In this context water safety has often been overlooked and even ignored by many RMC directors and property managers. That is until recently when perceived changes in law have raised concerns about the liabilities and responsibilities of freeholders and landlords.

So what has changed? Well basically nothing – except a growing realisation that water safety is as important as fire, asbestos and general health & safety and should be treated as such.

Legionella bacteria leads to £54,000 fine for hotel operator

A hotel operator has been fined after dozens of guests and staff fell ill due to being exposed to Legionella bacteria in a hot tub.
BDL Select Operations Ltd, which operated the then-Landmark Hotel, now the Hilton Doubletree in Dundee, was fined £54,000 over the outbreak.

In total, 65 people fell ill, with 18 confirmed to have contracted Pontiac Fever, a non-fatal, flu-like illness caused by the same type of Legionella bug that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

Myth-busting by the HSE

Council bans Refuse collection workers from wearing Christmas hats

Refuse collection workers in Colchester have been banned from wearing Christmas hats or anything Christmassy on the grounds of health and safety. The council have stated drivers and other road users could be distracted.

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.

Bus company separates boys and girls on contracted school service to comply with health and safety regulations

A bus company providing contracted service to a school stated that they separated boys and girls on their school bus in order to comply with health and safety regulations.

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.
The HSE Myth Busters Challenge Panel provides a mechanism to independently challenge potentially disproportionate or inaccurate advice or decisions, made in the name of health and safety.

“We think that communicating these decisions will help all our clients with a better insight into the ongoing ‘perception v’s reality’ arguments which appear in the media from time to time”.
Phil Jones

From the Team

Experienced Water Safety Consultant Phil Lonsdale talks about residential water safety and the  simple straightforward assessments that can be undertaken.

Read more

 

‘How To’ Videos

Have you visited our YouTube Channel?

Easy access videos available to help ensure compliance.

 

How to Monitor Water Temperatures - Quantum Compliance

 

Join us on Google+

 

Unlicensed Asbestos Removal

A construction firm removed an asbestos ceiling in a school despite not being legally approved to do the work.
Clarks Construction Limited, of Windsor Street, Luton, was fined a total of £3,300, and ordered to pay £662 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of Regulation 8(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 for carrying out the work which, given the inherent level of risk involved, requires a licensed contractor.Read More

Our compliance advice helps clients manage their risk exposures both nationally and internationally.

  About Us
  Our Services
  Testimonials
  Contact Us

“Providing innovative compliance support services to portfolio managers & owners”

Quantum Compliance

The ‘go-to’ consultancy for exceptional compliance advice
Join Us Socially
To receive urgent industry news & information as it happens.
    
Copyright © Quantum Compliance 2015, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
23 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1JB

0800 644 4142

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

 

January 2016 – Growth in the New Year

 


January 2016 NEWSLETTER
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn
Home | Services | Sectors | Client Comments | About Us | Resources | Client Login
is it time for change? Is it time to streamline your health and safety practices?

Growth in 2016

With the first working week of 2016 nearly over, we have some exciting news to share!

As many readers may know, last year, due to a continued increase in workload, we expanded our team of experts by 50%.  We have not stopped there.
Already this year we have brought in further expertise to support the increasing demand for the services we provide. We are extremely proud to remain true to our core values; providing unambiguous, practical, pragmatic and reasonable compliance advice to meet the exacting needs of portfolio management professionals.

New HSE safety strategy

The HSE has just published six themes that the new five-year GB strategy will cover.
The six themes for the strategy are:

  • Promoting broader ownership of workplace health and safety
  • Highlighting and tackling the burden of work-related ill-health
  • Supporting small firms
  • Enabling productivity through proportionate risk management

 

Myth-busting by the HSE

Gym manager queried customer’s complaint on gym users topping up personal water bottles from cooler

A customer made a complaint about other gym users filling up personal water bottles from a water cooler instead of using the disposable cone cups provided. The customer stated that this was against health and safety regulations as germs could be spread this way.

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.

Supermarket café told customers they are unable to heat up mince pies for health and safety reasons

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.
The HSE Myth Busters Challenge Panel provides a mechanism to independently challenge potentially disproportionate or inaccurate advice or decisions, made in the name of health and safety.

“We think that communicating these decisions will help all our clients with a better insight into the ongoing ‘perception v’s reality’ arguments which appear in the media from time to time”.
Phil Jones

From the Team

Hear feedback regarding our services, from industry leading property management professionals.

Read more

 

‘How To’ Videos

Have you watched our free to view safety videos?

Easy access videos available to help ensure compliance.

Watch now

 

Join us on Google+

Our compliance advice helps clients manage their risk exposures both nationally and internationally.

  About Us
  Our Services
  Testimonials
  Contact Us

“Providing innovative compliance support services to portfolio managers & owners”

Quantum Compliance

The ‘go-to’ consultancy for exceptional compliance advice
Join Us Socially
To receive urgent industry news & information as it happens.
    
Copyright © Quantum Compliance 2015, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
23 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1JB

0800 644 4142

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

 

Council Fined after Legionella death at care home

After the death of a pensioner, who died from exposure to legionella, Reading Borough Council (RBC) has been fined following an investigation into the death.

During the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Reading Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Lewis Payne, a 95-year-old vulnerable gentleman, arrived at RBC operated care facility, The Willows, on 24 September 2012.  He had previously been in hospital having suffered a broken leg and was attending The Willows to receive intermediate care before returning to his own home.  During his stay he began feeling unwell, complaining of aches and pains including tightness of the chest, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. He was also suffering from nausea.

On 16 October 2012 he was re-admitted to hospital and a sample proved positive for the presence of Legionella. He underwent treatment for Legionnaire’s disease, but died on 1 November 2012 from pneumonia related to legionella.

The prosecution said the control and management arrangements needed to ensure the risk from legionella is minimised, need to be robust. The court was told, prior to November 2012, RBC’s arrangements were not robust enough in a number of areas.

The Legionella training for the key personnel at The Willows was significantly below the standard required. There were inadequate temperature checks and some of those done with respect to Thermostatic Mixer Valves (TMVs) were done incorrectly.  Showers were not de-scaled and disinfected quarterly as required; flushing of little used outlets was reliant on one member of staff and there was no procedure for this to be done in the absence of that member of staff.

HSE said the failings were systemic and continued over a period of time. There was a history of legionella problems at the home which was formerly known as Tanfield Care Home. The monitoring, checking and flushing tasks were given to the home’s handyman who was inadequately trained and supervised. There was no system in place to cover for him when he was away so that the requisite checks were not done.

Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading admitted breaching Section 3(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £100,000 with £20,000 costs in Reading Crown Court.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Kelly Nichols said:

“Mr Payne’s family has lost a loving father, grandfather, great grandfather and just before his death he had become a great, great grandfather. His family expected him to return home from the hospital to resume his normal active life, he never did.

Reading Borough Council could and should have controlled the risk of exposure to legionella to the elderly and infirm as well as those receiving immediate care prior to returning home.

RBC’s failings were systemic and continued over a period of time. There was a history of legionella problems at the home. The control and management arrangements were not robust and the legionella training of key personnel fell significantly below the required standard.

The risks from legionella in nursing and care homes and the required control measures to manage those risks have been know and publicised in HSE publications since May 2000. It is really disappointing to find a local authority not managing those risks. It is important for all care provider to ensure they are managing the risks from hot and cold water systems with respect to both legionella and scalding risks especially due to likely exposure of more vulnerable people.”

New Sentencing Guidelines

Within the last eight weeks penalties ranging from £750,000 – £2million have been handed out.  These have been issued prior to the introduction of new guidelines that have been predicted to dramatically change sentencing, that have now come into force throughout England and Wales.

In November 2015 the Sentencing Council published the guideline for health and safety offences, intended to ensure more transparency and consistency in penalties, and applying to all organisations sentenced from 1 February.

Prior to this the 2010 guideline had stated that fines for corporate manslaughter would seldom be less than £500,000.  In practice, they have usually fallen well below this benchmark even before any discount has been applied for a guilty plea.  But last December saw the largest corporate manslaughter fine to date.  The case involved a brake malfunction on a 130-tonne crane, which lost control and crashed, fatally injuring the driver.  Baldwins Crane Hire had to pay £700,000.

For fatality cases brought under the Health and Safety at Work Act, the old guideline stated fines would be seldom less than £100,000. Historically, these figures and the existing case law helped to provide a benchmark for fines, but in recent months we may have already started to see a change in approach by the courts ahead of the new guidelines.

In 2012, a member of the public was killed when they fell 4 m into a dry moat at Warwick Castle.  Merlin Attractions was fined £350,000.  The case centred on whether Merlin had an adequate risk assessment and sufficient controls. The Court of Appeal upheld the fine, stating it was appropriate despite being at the top end of the range.

After a trial in 2014, Costain was fined £525,000 after a worker died when a telehandler overturned due to lack of space during construction of a new development. Both the Costain and Merlin penalties were among the highest for fatality cases in which the defendants pleaded not guilty.

By contrast, in December Hanson Packed Products was fined £750,000 after a worker was fatally crushed when his arm was caught in a powered roller. The guarding was said to have not been in place for a few days only.  Hanson pleaded guilty, but the fine was markedly higher than earlier contested cases that went to trial and more than the gross failings identified in the Baldwin’s corporate manslaughter case.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector in the Hanson case told IOSH Magazine he believed the penalty was “considerable” for the breach.

Momentum also appears to have gathered towards larger organisations. National Grid was fined £2m December, after pleading guilty to one offence for failing to properly protect the public from risk of falls from an exposed pipeline. An 11-year-old boy sustained fatal injuries in this case after climbing onto the pipe and falling into a canal below.

Scotland seems to be adopting a different approach. In December Siemens and RWE Innogy UK were fined £107,000 and £45,000 respectively after pleading guilty in a fatal injury case. Here, an employee came into contact with an unguarded rotating gearbox in a windfarm turbine. The guarding had been inadequate for months.

That said, Total E&P UK also received one of the largest fines in Scotland’s history: £1.125m in December, after admitting failings leading to the largest release of gas from an offshore platform.

The definitive guideline will not apply in Scotland, but the courts there may still consider them. The 2015 case of Alexander Sutherland v Her Majesty’s Advocate states:

“Definitive guidelines from the Sentencing Council of England and Wales often provide useful cross check for sentences in Scotland especially where the offences are regulated…by UK statute.”

Before long under the guidelines, fines could reach £10m for the most serious health and safety offences and £20m in corporate manslaughter cases, and could go even higher for very large companies.

But organisations sentenced before 1 February hoping to limit their liability may not have achieved such a desirable outcome.