The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

International Code Council Launches New Fire Code

Graham Marshall - Thursday, March 06, 2014

Following the death's of six workers at the Kleen Energy Power Generation Facility in Middletown (Connecticut, USA), the International Code Council (ICC) has revised the International Fire Code (IFC) and International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) to prohibit the unsafe practice of "gas blows"; in which flammable gas is blown under high-pressure down newly-constructed or repaired piping in an effort to clean and remove debris from the pipes prior to start-up.

The process of "gas-blowing" is inherently unsafe.

At the Kleen Energy facility, the high pressure gas blow was used to clean pipes prior to the start up of generator turbines; but the gas found an ignition source; and the six workers were killed in the subsequent huge explosion.

Alternative non-flammable gases are safe to use in "gas blowing" scenario's, including compressed air, so there is no need to use flammable gases.

Over 40 Countries, including the USA subscribe to the ICC codes.

Workplace Deaths for 2012 in the UK

Graham Marshall - Friday, October 25, 2013

Recent data released by the UK Health and Safety Executive (UKHSE) show an 11 per cent drop in major injuries in 2012-2013 compared to 2011.

The provisional statistics for 2012-2013 published by the UKHSE show the following results:

•  148 workers fatally injured – down from 171 the previous year.

•  19,707 major injuries such as amputations, fractures and burns, to employees were reported;

•  Workplace injuries and ill-health (excluding work related cancer) cost society an estimated £13. 8 billion.

There has also been little change in the industries in which workers are most likely to be injured by their jobs.

The waste and recycling  sector remains the most dangerous industry with 370 major injuries per 100 000 employees.

Agriculture is also dangerous with 239 major injuries per 100 000 employees.

The construction sector remains in the top three with 156 major injuries per 100 000 employees.

Speaking about the latest figures, Judith Hackitt, the Chairwoman of the UKHSE, said:

“This year’s figures demonstrate that Britain continues to be improve its health and safety performance, with important falls in the number of workers fatally injured and the number of employees suffering major injuries. But we still see too many deaths and injuries occur in the work place many of which could have been prevented through simple safety measures.  Getting this right is the key to ensuring that everyone can make it home safely at the end of their working day.  As the economy grows, new and inexperienced additions to the workforce  can increase in the risk of injuries to workers. We’re committed to helping employers understand that health and safety is about sensibly and proportionately managing risks and ensuring people understand the risks involved not creating unnecessary paperwork.”

ECU OHS Course Accredited

Graham Marshall - Saturday, September 28, 2013

Edith Cowan University in Perth is the first Australian University to have its OSH courses accredited by the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board.

Accreditation applies the both the graduate diploma and masters degree courses offered by ECU.

The significance of accreditation to ECU is that its courses are now bench-marked against the new national model of OHS education.

Accreditation provides confidence and certainty about the capabilities of OHS professionals who provide advice and guidance in industrial settings.

ECU is the only University of the 15 in Australia that provide OHS courses to have been accredited.


UK Explosives Legislation Review

Graham Marshall - Thursday, August 01, 2013

The UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) is holding a public consultation on consolidated regulations that will simplify the safety laws for manufacturing, handling and storing explosives.

The consolidated set of regulations include European requirements in relation to product safety.

The UK HSE is seeking input from businesses and stakeholders through an eight-week public consultation that began on 30 July 2013.

Interested party's may include industry, other Government departments, third sector groups, and individual.

The consultative document and details of how to respond to the consultation are available on the HSE website.

The objective of the review is to assist UK HSE to remove duplicate provisions in existing legislation and minimize potential confusion by producing a single set of common definitions.

As a result of the consolidation HSE will produce a new suite of overarching guidance identifying the principles of safe and secure operation, supplemented by sub-sector specific guidance.

Subject to the consultation, it is intended that these will replace the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) for the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 and the current explosive guidance.

The consolidation process is one of the recommendations of the review of health and safety undertaken by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation and ministerial approval, the consolidated Regulations will come into effect from October 2014.

Health and Safety for Work Experience Students

Graham Marshall - Monday, June 24, 2013

The UK Government has made a commitment to slashing burdensome rules on business owners and operators.

And Minister for Employment Mark Hoban has outlined his plans to make it as easy as possible for employers to take on work experience students.

In the past, employers in low risk environments have been hampered by needless risk assessments for young people.

In some cases they have even had to repeat risk assessments for every young person they give a chance of work experience.

This is a needless expense and waste of time when then work experience circumstances are exactly the same.

The Government seems committed to putting an end to this kind of health and safety bureaucracy.

The UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) has also recently issued revised guidance to employers  taking on work experience youngsters.

The Association of British Insurers has also reassured employers that they don’t have to take out special insurance policies to cover students on work experience.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:

“We know that work experience gives young people vital insights into the world of work, encourages them to aspire to great things, and helps them to prepare for their future.

“Too often in the past, the crazy cornucopia of confusing rules discouraged employers from taking young people on. That’s why we have been working across Government to make sure the rules are clear and easy to understand.”

As a result of cross-government action:

•  The insurance industry has committed to treat work experience students as employees for the purposes of insurance against bodily injury, and confirmed that simply giving work experience opportunities to students will not in itself impact on insurance premiums.

•  The UK HSE has issued guidance providing clarity on employers’ obligations with regard to risk assessments - making it clear that if workplace risk has already been assessed with young people in mind, a business does not need to repeat this for each new student.

•  Department of Education and Ofsted have published a guide to clarify the health and safety responsibilities for educational establishments organizing work experience opportunities.

 

Red Tape Challenge

Graham Marshall - Sunday, June 23, 2013

The so-called "Red Tape Challenge" is a British Government initiative tackling unnecessary and over-complicated regulations.

It aims to reduce the burdens for business and society, and support economic growth.

It is particularly important for safety professionals as the British Government has committed to scrap or reform 84 per cent of unnecessary and over-burdensome health and safety regulation.

At the Risk Tool Box, we applaud this effort.

Over2,000 regulations have been identified for reform.

And changes to date are said to be saving business over £200 Million each year.

Measures at reducing birdomesome health and safety regulations include:

•  Removing 100,000s of low risk businesses from unnecessary health and safety inspections;

•  Changing the law so that responsible employers are no longer liable for an accident in the workplace totally outside their control; and

•  Proposing to remove around 800,000 self-employed people whose work poses no harm to others from health and safety regulation in the coming Deregulation Bill.

 

 

Corporate Manslaughter Trial Ends in Jail Time

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In the United Kingdom, in order to be found guilty of Gross Negligence Manslaughter, the defendant has to owe a duty of care to the deceased; be in breach of this duty; the breach has to have caused the death of the deceased; and the defendant’s negligence was gross (i.e. showed such a disregard for the life and safety of others as to amount to a crime and deserve punishment).

In May 2013, Allan Turnbull of Tow Law, County Durham, has been prosecuted and found guilty of Gross Negligence Manslaughter following a trial into the death of Ken Joyce of Lanchester, County Durham.

Mr Joyce was working for Allan Turnbull, trading as A&H Site Line Boring and Machining, where he was working at height dismantling the structural steelwork of the roof of the Burning Hall at the Swan Hunter Shipyard in Wallsend, Newcastle.

The trial at Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mr Joyce was working from one cherry picker while two colleagues were working from another cherry picker and a crane.  They were dismantling the structure and were using a crane to lower the steel beams to the ground.

While removing a beam brace connecting two plate girders, one of the plate girders struck the basket of the cherry picker in which Mr Joyce was standing, knocking the equipment over.

Mr Joyce fell to the ground below and was pronounced dead soon after.

The police and UK HSE investigation found that Allan Turnbull had failed to adequately plan the work after identifying a lack of suitable and sufficient lifting plans to ensure a safe system of work was in place for the dismantling of the structural steelwork.

Allan Turnbull had earlier pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).

He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Ken Joyce lost his life as a result of collective failures which included not preparing in advance a detailed plan of how the work should be carried out and no lifting plans to ensure the safe removal of the beams.

Other people with responsibility for safety can learn from this and ensure they take the necessary action to deal with the high risk involved with work of this nature.

In a statement, Mr Joyce’s family said:

"As his family, we are striving to honour Kenneth’s memory and are still coming to terms with the void his absence has left in our lives over the past four years.

"Above all else we have hoped for justice for him and for the intensity of the sadness and grief created by his untimely passing, to ease and lessen with the aid of this justice, along with the healing passage of time."

Should Offices Ban Kettles?

Graham Marshall - Friday, March 15, 2013

Should people in an office be denied the use of a kettle due to health and safety reasons?

And do people walking around office buildings with open topped cups containing hot-liquids represent a "health and safety" issue with regard to the chances of people spilling hot liquids?

Any employer who does not want to provide facilities for making and consuming tea and coffee in the office can use "health and safety" as an excuse.

But in reality, there is absolutely no Legislative reason to ban kettles or to stop people walking around with hot drinks.

Of course, Employers and Property Owners have the right not to provide kettles and over facilities for employees; but in such cases, the employer should come clean and own up to their real reasons for doing so.

They should stop hiding behind the myth of "health and safety reasons".

As an aside to this issue, I recently had a phone call from an employer in a telephone call centre asking if there was a legal requirement to provide staff with toilet paper in the loos, or whether he could get people to bring their own loo paper to work?

Temperature Regulations in the UK

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In the UK, the Workplace Regulations (Health, Safety and Welfare, 1992) outline particular requirements for most aspects of the working environment, including for temperature.

Regulation 7 deals specifically with the temperature in indoor workplaces and states that:

"During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable."

The application Regulation 7, however, depends on the type of workplace, such as a bakery, a cold store, an office, or a warehouse.

The associated Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) goes on to explain:

"The temperature in workrooms should provide reasonable comfort without the need for special clothing. Where such a temperature is impractical because of hot or cold processes, all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a temperature which is as close as possible to comfortable.

'Workroom' means a room where people normally work for more than short periods.

The temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius unless much of the work involves hard physical effort.  Under such circumstances, the temperature should be at least 13 degrees Celsius.

These temperatures may not, however, ensure reasonable comfort, depending on other factors such as air movement and relative humidity."
 
If the temperature in a workroom is uncomfortably high because of hot processes, the design of the building, or other environmental factors, then all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a reasonably comfortable temperature, for example by:

+   Insulating hot plant, process equipment  or pipes;

+   Providing air-cooling plant;

+   Shading windows; 

+   Moving workstations away from places subject to radiant heat; and/or

+   Application of local cooling using air-conditioning.

In extremely hot weather fans and increased ventilation may be used instead of local cooling.

Where, despite the provision of those methods, temperatures are still not reasonable, suitable protective clothing, roster, and rest facilities should be provided.

Typical examples of suitable protective clothing would be ice vests, or air/water fed suits.

The effectiveness of these PPE systems may be limited if used for extended periods of time with inadequate rest breaks.

Where practical there should be systems of work (for example, task rotation) to ensure that the length of time for which individual workers are exposed to uncomfortable temperatures is limited.
 
HSE previously defined thermal comfort in the workplace, as: 'An acceptable zone of thermal comfort for most people in the UK lies roughly between 13°C (56°F) and 30°C (86°F), with acceptable temperatures for more strenuous work activities concentrated towards the bottom end of the range, and more sedentary activities towards the higher end.'

National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern

Graham Marshall - Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Australian state and territory governments are seeking your feedback on the draft National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern. A copy of the draft code is available here.

The consultation closes on 1 March 2013.

Many chemicals that are in use every day have been used by terrorists to make homemade explosives.

Business and Australian governments need to work together to detect and prevent the use of chemicals for terrorist purposes and ensure a safer Australia.

The Australian and state and territory governments have decided to pursue a voluntary code of practice for businesses that manage, handle or use products containing 11 chemicals that are precursors to homemade explosives.

Your feedback will shape the final version of the code and ensure that it can be easily understood and effectively used by businesses.

Once completed, you can submit your feedback to: Mark Whitechurch, Chemical Security, Attorney-General’s Department, 3-5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600, Australia.


Recent Posts


Tags

Mining Coal Seam Gas Emergency Response APPEA Road Transport Risk Management BHP Billiton Energy Model of Hazards Isolation Control Rosedale Abbey Manual handling NOPSA Process Hazard Management Manufacturing Unconventional Hydrocarbons WA Resources Safety Shale Gas Safety Alert Railway Safety Hierarchy of Safety Control Psycho-social Hazards Catostrophic Disaster SPE HSE Innovation Award Raspberry Ketones Scam Hot work Workplace bullying Management of Change Nanotechnology Safety Video Sakhalin Energy Safe at Home ALARP Slips, trips and falls Procedure Training Course Hydraulic Fracturing ("fracking") Excavations MSDS Unconventional Gas Shell Safety "one per-center's" Office Safety Hazardous Substances Supervision Social Responsibility Chevron Salute to Our Hero's Fire Prevention Incident Investigation OSHA Toolbox talk Behaviour-based Safety (BBS) IFAP one per center Safety PowerPoint Presentation Best bars in the oil patch Safety Conference Drilling OHS Law Risk Assessment WorkSafe WA Unconventional Oil Safety Moment Situational Awareness Hazard Awareness Hazard Spotting Oil Spill Response Woodside Safety Culture Survey Walking Ladder Safety BP Farm safety ENI Australia Kellogg Joint Venture US OSHA Work in Confined Spaces Bio-hazards Safe Operating Procedure (SOP) Total Call Centers Safety Information Posters Marine Safety Nautronix Working at height Crane lifts Thank God it's Friday Working with explosives Occupational Overuse Syndrome HSE Leadership CSB Newfield UK HSE Customer Testimonial Driving Safety PPE Hess Safety Awards LOTO TK Shipping Risk Tool Box Water Corporation Santos Australian OSH Codes of Practice Job Safety Analysis Save our Seafarers Campaign Global Harmonized System Natural Hazard Electrical hazards Procedures Hospital Safety Fatigue Management Kinetic Energy Aviation Safety Contract Risk Management WMC Resources Radiation Sources NORM Rail Safety Construction Safety Pollution prevention Safety Management Program NOPSEMA Health

Archive

Blog / Terms of Use / Site Map / Disclaimer / Risk Management Tool Box 2009. All rights reserved. Web design by Luminosity. E-Commerce by JStores.