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Asbestos exposure

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Quantum Blog |

During a school refurbishment in Waltham Forest, workers were exposed to asbestos. Three companies have been fined a total of more than £1m. During the refurbishment of St Mary’s School, on 24 July 2012 a worker removed part of a suspended ceiling in one of the ground floor rooms and identified suspect asbestos containing materials. Asbestos fibres were subsequently found in numerous areas in the school. Southwark Crown Court heard that the London Borough of Waltham Forest had a contract with NPS London Limited to manage development and refurbishment of its estate. At the time of the incident the Principal Contractor for the work was Mansell Construction Services (aka Balfour Beatty) and the subcontractor was Squibb Group Limited. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that although an asbestos survey was completed, there were multiple caveats and disclaimers which were not appropriately checked. Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited (previously Mansell Construction Services Limited) of Canary Wharf, London was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £32,364.84 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. NPS London Limited, of Business Park Norwich, Norfolk was fined £370,000 and ordered to pay £32,364.84 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Squibb Group Limited, of Stanford Le Hope, Essex was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £175,000 after being found guilty after a trial of a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Sarah Robinson said: “The principal contractor and contractors on site did not review the survey report in detail, and did not take into consideration the multitude of caveats. Therefore the work undertaken did not adopt the high standards of control expected for working where there was the potential to expose workers to...

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Crossrail contractor fined £1m following incidents

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in Quantum Blog |

Three companies that were established to support the Crossrail tunnel construction have been fined a total of more than £1m following three separate incidents on the project, including the death of a worker. The incidents were heard at Southwark Crown Court. Renè Tkáčik, 43 from Slovakia, died after being crushed by falling wet concrete on 7 March 2014. He was working in a team that were enlarging the tunnel by removing rings of the existing pilot tunnel and spraying walls with liquid concrete. During this operation, a section of the roof collapsed, fatally crushing him. Two other men were injured following separate incidents within six days of one another, on 16 and 22 January 2015. All three incidents took place in the tunnels around the Fisher Street area. On 16 January 2015 Terence ‘Ian’ Hughes was collecting some equipment from inside one of the tunnels when he was struck by a reversing excavator. He suffered severe fractures to his right leg and crush injuries to his left knee and shin. Six days later worker Alex Vizitiu, who was part of a team tasked with spraying liquid concrete lining, was assisting with the cleaning of the pipes that supply the concrete. Due to a lack of communication one of the lines was disconnected and he was hit by pressurised water and concrete debris. He suffered head and hip injuries as well as a broken finger and was hospitalised for six days. The three workers were operating under Bam Ferrovial Kier (BFK), an unincorporated joint venture made up of three companies; BAM Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited and Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found a failure to provide a safe system of work relating to the operations Renè Tkáčik and Alex Vizitiu were working on. It was also found there was a failure to properly maintain the excavator which reversed into Ian Hughes. On all three occasions, the investigation found a failure to properly enforce exclusion zones that would have helped protect workers from foreseeable harm. Bam Ferrovial Keir, of the corner of Charterhouse Street and Farringdon Road, London has pleaded guilty to three offences. In relation to the death of Renè Tkáčik, it has admitted to breaching Regulation 10(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It has today been fined £300,000 in relation to this offence. BFK has pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of Section 22 (1a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, relating to the two incidents in January 2015. The joint venture has been fined a £600,000 for the incident involving Ian Hughes on 16 January, and £165,000 for the incident relating to Alex Vizitiu on 22...

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NHS Trust receives another fine

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Quantum Blog |

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been fined £1m following the death of 53-year-old John Biggadike, who suffered internal injuries after falling onto an exposed metal post at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston. Lincoln Crown Court heard that Mr Biggadike, who was a patient at the hospital, died on 10 April 2012.  The internal injuries were caused after he fell onto an exposed metal post on the standing aid hoist that staff were using to support him.  The exposed post part of the kneepad, which had been removed leaving it exposed. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the Trust did not have systems for training and monitoring how staff used the standing aid hoist and unsafe practices had developed. United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, of Trust Headquarters, Lincoln County Hospital, Greetwell Road, Lincoln, was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £1 million and ordered to repay £160,000 in costs. The trust has also been ordered to pay £3800 to Mr Biggadike’s family to cover the costs of the funeral. In his statement John Biggadike’s brother Keith said: “John didn’t deserve to die the way that he did. One day I had a brother and the next I didn’t. “   Harvey Wild, Operations Manager for the HSE said: “First of all, our thoughts remain with John Biggadike’s family. This was a tragic and preventable death. If staff had received effective training and monitoring in the use of the standing aid hoist Mr Biggadike’s death could have been...

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External Wall Cladding

Posted by on Jul 27, 2017 in Quantum Blog |

After many enquiries, we have detailed information relating to External Wall cladding.  You can read this in full as well as download relevant information by visiting our External Wall Cladding briefing note.

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Care home safety is slammed by the Care Quality Commission

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Quantum Blog |

Safety in care homes has been criticised by the Care Quality Commission with 23% rated as requiring improvement and 2% as inadequate. The CQC said the low ratings were ‘concerning’ and ‘indicate poor quality’. The study, in which data was pulled from 33,000 inspections of 24,000 services, said: “Poor safety can mean systems and processes that are not adequate for managing medicines or determining staffing levels.” The report found there were ‘often unsafe levels’ of staff in the care homes, and even when ‘appropriate numbers’ of staff were in place, often they were lacking in the appropriate skills to have a positive impact on safety.  Unfortunately, where appropriate numbers of staff were in place, if they did not have the necessary skills this could have an impact on safety. During one inspection of a service that was rated as inadequate, the CQC found the manager did not know what skills their agency workers had, and did not have the skills needed to support the people with complex needs. Staff training was also a factor on safety, particularly in areas such as infection control, risk assessments, safeguarding and medicines. The study of care homes is the first time the body has undertaken such in-depth analysis since its new regulatory regime in October 2014, and also since April 2015, when it took over health and safety responsibilities from the Health and Safety Executive. During this period, it has prosecuted five care providers. While all five prosecutions so far have related to a breach in safe care and treatment requirements, the cases have covered a wide range of safety issues, including medication errors, uncovered radiators and use of bed rails. The CQC found a number of recurring themes such as: issues with documentation and allocation of medicines, risk assessments, equipment, and staff training. The five prosecutions included: A provider was fined £190,000 following the death of a 62-year-old man who broke his neck in a fall from a shower chair at a nursing home in West Yorkshire. A provider was fined £50,000 and a former manager £665 after the death of a resident at Cotton Hill House care home, following errors with the administration of his anti-coagulant medication. A provider was fined £24,600 following an incident when a 79 year old woman fell against an uncovered radiator and suffered serious burns. A provider was fined £82,430 following 14 offences for failing to provide safe care and treatment, failure to notify the CQC of the deaths of ten residents, and failure to notify regarding three serious incidents. A provider was fined £163,185 after two offences with one resulting in avoidable harm to a resident who died in hospital after falling out of bed...

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