The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Health and Safety Scam

Graham Marshall - Saturday, February 09, 2013

I was recently having a nice meal in a restaurant.  At the end of dinner, I asked for a tooth pick but was told  I could not have one for "Health and Safety" reasons.

So I naturally asked our waiter what the "Health and Safety" reasons were.  But the waiter could not provide a straight forward answer.

The simple fact is that there are no Health and Safety legislative requirements that prevent the provision of, or use of tooth picks in a restaurant in Australia.

Restaurants should not use "Health and Safety" as an excuse when it comes to saving costs (on tooth picks) or for their poor customer service.

Danger with demolition work

Graham Marshall - Saturday, February 02, 2013

A company trading as Total Demolition UK Ltd, has been fined £5,000 with £2,968 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

As shown in the image below, the lives of workers were put at risk as they demolished an old office block in Liverpool.

The workers can be seen clambering over rubble on the partially demolished building with no safety measures in place to stop them falling if they tripped and lost their balance.

After receiving a complaint about the work being carried out by the firm, an inspector from the UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) issued an immediate Prohibition Notice ordering Total Demolition UK Ltd to stop work at the site.

Speaking after the court case in Liverpool, HSE Inspector Jacqueline Western said: "When I arrived at the site, it was immediately obvious that workers were in danger of being seriously injured if they fell from the building.
Two of the employees were throwing waste materials from the edge of the second floor so could easily have fallen if they had tripped over the rubble".


Safety Shocker of the Week

Graham Marshall - Friday, February 01, 2013

For employers in the UK, Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations (2005) states that every employer shall ensure that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which is reasonably and practicably safe.

So it is not really surprising that Fastrac Profiles Limited, of Neptune Industrial Estate, Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,761 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work of Height Regulations for allowing work to continue in the manner shown below.


The shop fitting company was fined for the safety failings after instructing two employees to work at height without any protective measures or relevant roofwork training.

The men, who do not wish to be named, were spotted and photographed by a member of the public.

And a complaint was made to the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE then visited the site and found the workers were not trained for the roof repairs they were undertaking.

Stafford Magistrates' Court heard that they had been instructed to weld steel to uprights at the apex of a roof.

The work was poorly planned and no risk assessment had been carried out. HSE inspectors also found that no fall-prevention measures, such as scaffolding, had been put in place.

Although the failings did not result in a fall or injury, the two employees, plus others working below them, were placed in unnecessary danger.

We all know that falls cause a large number of of fatalities. And the risk involved with work at height is entirely foreseeable.

It is, therefore, essential that proper planning, risk assessment and training is undertaken to reduce these risks.

Hurt Feeling Incident Report Form

Graham Marshall - Friday, December 21, 2012

Thank god it's Friday.  And the start of the holidays.  Happy Christmas!



Do you have a problem with alcohol?

Graham Marshall - Friday, November 23, 2012

Since it's Friday and the end of the working week for many folks, I'm posting a short psychological test from the World Health Organization (WHO, 1989) which can be used to evaluate if you have, or are developing a problem with alcohol.

The test asks ten (10) simple questions and you assign a score to each question for your honest answers.

I am also posting an interpretation sheet which will help you to understand what your responses to the test may indicate about your alcohol consumption.

The psychological test and the interpretation sheet can both be found by clicking the links below.


AUDIT scoring and interpretation.pdf

Ogling Good Looking Females Causes Male Drivers to Crash

Graham Marshall - Friday, September 07, 2012

Statistics released in the UK by the insurance company Direct Line demonstrate that distracted drivers cause around 2,525 crashes each day.  That's nearly 930,000 crashes every year.

Researchers have noticed that drivers tend to crash more often in the summer when men and women are wearing less clothing.

The survey of drivers found 60 per cent of men were distracted by attractive women while 12 per cent of women said they took their eyes off the road to leer at good looking men.

And 21 per cent of drivers also admitted that advertising billboards featuring pictures of attractive or scantily-clad models were also a major distraction on the road.

Insurance company Direct Line discovered 17 per cent of male drivers admitted knowing their actions were dangerous.

This type of distraction is clearly a major contributing factor in road accidents.

Between 2008 and 2009, almost 1 million drivers across Britain admitted that being distracted by a member of the opposite sex was a contributing factor in a vehicle crash.

TGIF - Darwin Award

Graham Marshall - Friday, August 24, 2012

This could be a real "Darwin Award"!.  A  23-year-old man from Darwin in the NT may be flown to Adelaide after a party trick involving setting off fire crackers between his buttocks went badly wrong.

The  "victim" was at a party in Rapid Creek when he decided to let the firework off, NT Police said.

'It appears a party was in full progress when a young male decided to place a firework between the cheeks of his bottom and light it,' said Senior Sergeant Garry Smith.

'What must of seemed to be a great idea at the time has backfired, resulting in the male receiving quite severe and very painful burns to his cheeks, back and private bits,' Smith said.

Alcohol was a possible factor involved in the stunt, police said. Really, who would have guessed?

Police said they believed he would be flown to a specialist burns unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

The man's woes may not be over once his burns heal.

Police said anyone possessing fireworks outside of an approved period faces a $282 fine.

Fireworks in the NT are only legal for use on July 1st, known as Territory Day.

Use of Angle Grinders on Propane Tanks

Graham Marshall - Friday, July 06, 2012

A worthy nomination for a Darwin Award here when a workman in the UK was seriously injured whilst removing the top of a full propane gas tank with an angle-grinder!  We're not sure why anyone would actually want to do this?

In a prosecution by the UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE), Southampton magistrates heard that the 29-year-old worker suffered serious burns to his arm and body after propane caught fire.  Now there is a surprise!

The employee was lucky not to have been killed.  Yes, indeed.

Jamie Jewell, a Company Director of a company known as Suffix Pre-Cast, who was "supervising" the workman admitted breaching the UKs Health and Safety at Work Act.  He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,451.

The UK HSE prosecution alleged that Jewell did not know enough about the hazards of handling propane gas to carry out the work competently or supervise others.

The incident, which involved a full tank of propane gas, occurred at Jewell’s Calmore home on September 2nd  2011.

Funny Safety Sign

Graham Marshall - Friday, May 25, 2012

The importance of issuing clear safety instructions

Graham Marshall - Friday, March 23, 2012

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