29 Jan 2015

Construction companies in court after worker sustains head injuries in fall

Two separate divisions of a Kent construction conglomerate have been fined after a worker was seriously injured in a fall through a fragile garage roof in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.

The 35 year-old builder from Brazil, who does not want to be named, was helping to remove the roof with a colleague when it collapsed on 8 February 2013.

Both men were sent crashing some two metres to the floor below. His co-worker escaped with only minor cuts and bruising, but he sustained serious head injuries. These injuries include a traumatic brain injury, which required a number of reconstructive surgeries. The injured worker is still suffering with seizures, is forced to have on going medical treatments, and has struggled to return a normal life.

Swanley-based Cablesheer (Asbestos) Ltd and Cablesheer Construction Limited, both part of the wider Cablesheer Group, were prosecuted after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified clear safety failings with the roof work.

Aylesbury Magistrates Court heard the companies failed to ensure workers knew the clear danger of working around fragile buildings. Had workers been trained to understand the dangers of fragile roofs then a new method of work could have been planned.

The work was not planned with a reasonable amount of forethought as it was deemed low risk.

Cablesheer Construction Ltd, of London Road, Swanley, Kent was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay a further £756.50 in costs at High Wycombe Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height regulations 2005.

Cablesheer (Asbestos) Limited, of the same address, was also fined £10,000 with £756.50 costs for a separate breach of the same legislation.

After the hearing, Inspector Sarah Hill from the Health & Safety Executive said: “The risks from working on fragile roofs are well documented and the hierarchy of controls well established. On this occasion the risks were not properly managed or controlled by either of the respective Cablesheer companies and the fall through the fragile roof was therefore totally preventable.

“There were clear failings with training and a lack of safety measures and equipment, and a worker was seriously injured as a result. Thankfully his colleague escaped relatively unharmed, but he too was put in unnecessary danger. A striking feature of this case is the fact the work could have been planned and managed without the need to physically access the roof in the first place.

“While both the defendant companies did not seek to gain financially by not providing adequate training and work equipment, they accept that not all reasonable practicable steps had been taken to prevent the accident.”

Notes to Editors

1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk

2. Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height regulations 2005 states: “Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”

3. Regulation 9(1) states: “Every employer shall ensure that no person at work passes across or near, or works on, from or near, a fragile surface where it is reasonably practicable to carry out work safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions without his doing so.

4. Further HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press Press enquiries Regional reporters should call the appropriate Regional News Network press office.
28 Jan 2015

Leicester street closed as scaffolding collapses

Two people have been injured when scaffolding collapsed in a Leicester city centre street.

The large tower of scaffolding hit a passing bus and van as it fell into Charles Street shortly after 11:30 GMT.

Two people are thought to have been taken to hospital with minor injuries. No other injuries have so far been reported. Police have closed off Charles Street between Humberstone Gate and Rutland Street. It is thought one of those injured, a woman, was caught trapped underneath the scaffolding.

Emergency services said two people had received minor injuries

Carl Wiles, from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue, said it was "lucky" there were no major injuries.

"We believe the wind has probably caused it to collapse and pulled it across the pavement and road," he said,

"It is very lucky for the nature of how busy the street is and the amount of vehicles and pedestrians in the area."

An average of 1,000 serious injuries and 10 fatalities occur every year in the UK following accidents involving scaffolding. That's 19 major injuries every week.

Good To Go Safety helps employers meet their legal duties, through the use of an innovative equipment tag and pre-use checklist system. The scaffold status can be instantly updated following any structural alterations, periods of bad weather, as part of its 7 day check or daily inspection programme. Using a fixed scaffold checklist has never been easier and can reduce the risk of a costly scaffold collapse or accident like above.

Employers using scaffolding are regulated by the Work at Height Regulations (WAHR). Regular maintenance and scaffold inspections are vital to ensure that equipment remains safe and stable, especially after any adverse weather conditions.

Ensures compliance with PUWER, WAHR, CDM, NASC & HSE legislation and best practice. Simply attach a tag to the scaffold tube at point of entry to ensure maximum visibility; the tag has been designed to sit flush to the scaffold tube using cable ties to reduce the risk of snagging. Complete our scaffolding checklist which has been designed in line with BS EN 12811-1 and TG20:13 guidance and provides a chronological duplicate record of all inspections for your maintenance records as required under WAHR and PUWER.

Unless the necessary measures are in place and adhered to, any issue relating to the use or abuse of the scaffold will expose the employers utilising the scaffold to risk; either commercially (through financial claims or lost work), or through the courts.

*For our full range of scaffold tags & checklist systems visit www.goodtogosafety.co.uk
9 Jan 2015

How secure is your scaffold? Things to consider during stormy weather

With gusts reaching 113mph in Stornoway last night and wind speeds of 90+mph across much of Scotland (with more of the same being forecast for the coming days), now seems a sensible time to remind people working with/on scaffolding of the dangers and precautions that should be considered during such periods of inclement weather.

Regardless of weather conditions it is always important to ensure that all scaffolds are erected in accordance with guidance from manufacturers' user guides, technical guidance such as the NASC's TG20, and / or with the appropriate scaffold design.

The Good to Go Safety checklist can be used to help indicate that pre-use checks have been carried out and a “Good to Go” message displayed in the tag window to inform people of its status. Such inspections take on extra importance during stormy conditions.

Of particular concern during periods of strong wind are bracing and tie arrangements. When ties are properly installed (correct tie pattern, sufficient coupler connections to scaffold, adequately tested etc) the chances of failure are significantly reduced. Scaffold designs do account for high wind speeds in the calculation of tie loads (70-80 mph wind or greater is usually built into the equation) as, let’s be honest, such wind speeds are not that rare within the UK.

Knowing that strong winds are on the way also allows for additional safety preparations to be put in place in advance of the storms arrival. Boards can be tied down with retaining couplers sheeting/netting can be removed or secured with additional ties (the last thing you want is for the sheeting/netting to act like a sail determined to bring your scaffold down). Remove any loose items/tools/equipment from atop the scaffold which could become a lethal weapon if whipped from above.

Remove the Good to Go Safety checklist from the tag to display a “Do Not Use” message to remind workers of the dangers of unsafe conditions. Scaffolds shouldn’t be used during severe weather conditions (40mph being the usual maximum speed before work is stopped completely).

Once things have calmed down and normality is resumed then it is essential to carry out another pre-use inspection to ensure that nothing has worked loose or been damaged. Once satisfied that the scaffold is ok the tag can be updated to display a “Good to Go” message.

We should all be aware of the dangers that strong winds can bring but it doesn’t stop headlines being made when something goes wrong as per this collapse yesterday in Cambridge - Read More So don’t ignore the risks and prepare in advance wherever you can. Stay safe and stay Good to Go!

*For our full range of scaffold tags & checklist systems visit www.goodtogosafety.co.uk
7 Jan 2015

Dangerous scaffold costs Portsmouth firm owner

The owner of a small construction firm in Portsmouth has been fined after he erected a series of scaffolds in and around the town over several months in late 2013 that were riddled with dangerous faults.

Graham Pedaltey, trading as Graham’s Scaffolds, put workers lives at risk by putting up scaffolds several metres high for them to work on but with potentially lethal defects that could have seen builders fall from unguarded platforms or through rotting wooden planks.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Pedalty (6 Jan) at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court for safety breaches after investigating a particularly hazardous scaffold that he was responsible for in North End Avenue last year. HSE attended as a result of a complaint made by a member of the public.

The court heard that the scaffold, erected on 18 October, had numerous faults:

• It was not tied to the building so was insecure and more liable to collapse
• It lacked baseplates on many uprights, meaning that the scaffold could have sunk into the ground or ‘punched through’ any drains or cavities it was erected on
• There were few, if any, guardrails on the lifts – or working platforms – to prevent falls from height
• There was no bracing on the middle scaffold on the middle working platform giving rise to serious stability issues
• Many of the boards were rotten and damaged and could have broken under workers’ feet, sending them falling to the ground below.

Despite remedial work requested by HSE being carried out on the scaffold by Mr Pedaltey, there were still defects.

The court was told that Mr Pedaltey had received previous advice from HSE on poor scaffolding twice during the previous month of September 2013.

Graham Pedaltey, trading as Graham’s Scaffolds, of Queens Road, Portsmouth, was fined a total of £1,600 and ordered to pay £600 in costs after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Work at Height Regulations.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove said:

“Mr Pedaltey not only erected numerous unsafe scaffolds, but also relied on his knowledge from training delivered in 1979 – more than 30 years earlier. He has now been prohibited from erecting scaffolds until he has completed further training to acquaint himself with up-to-date safety legislation and scaffolding standards.

“His failings created a risk of death or serious personal injury. Scaffolds are temporary structures and their integrity and safety must be ensured to, in turn, safeguard the workers and passers-by.”

Safe Equipment Management

Good to Go Safety are providers of a range of products designed to improve workplace safety and reduce the risk of accidents and the cost of maintenance repairs.

Our innovative ‘Safe Equipment Management System’ (SEMS) can help to achieve a safer working environment by ensuring workers know when equipment has been checked and proven to be safe to use.

It encourages employees to carry out safety inspections on equipment and is the ideal addition to your H&S, maintenance and safety equipment management programmes.

Depending on the type of equipment you may require daily, weekly, monthly or ad-hoc checks to be carried out. Good to Go Safety provides the perfect solution. It is suitable for monitoring all your workplace equipment and supporting the need for regular equipment inspections in line with PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) and maintenance / Health & Safety policies.

This equipment management inspection system is available as individual components or in kit format making it a truly flexible system with the versatility to meet all your equipment safety management needs.

Serious accidents are a daily occurrence in the workplace. These accidents are often as a result of inadequate training or equipment misuse. Our inspection system can prevent accidents and help avoid personal injuries.

The Good to Go Safety system is an adaptable equipment checking system, which provides a means for assessing equipment, highlighting any defects and ultimately providing a safer working environment. Offering a simple, effective and affordable solution to equipment safety.

The Good to Go Safety inspection system can be used on a wide range of applications, including fixed scaffolding, forklifts, ladders, vehicles, MEWP’s, pallet trucks and many more.

With unparalleled knowledge, technical expertise and market leading customer service and sales support we’re always happy to help.

For more information click here: www.goodtogosafety.co.uk Call our team on: 01592 655646 or Email us at social@goodtogosafety.co.uk
5 Jan 2015

Looking to make a New Year Resolution? - Stay safe in 2015

Every year approximately 2,000 accidents and 10 fatalities are reported as a result of forklift operation in the United Kingdom. That's around 40 major injuries each week!

It is estimated that each year 10% of all investigated accidents involving forklift trucks are caused primarily by lack of operator training. Ensure your operators are trained and know the importance of a pre-use visual inspection. Carry out a daily inspection of their forklift with Good to Go Safety and significantly reduce the risk of accidents and unnecessary maintenance costs.

Good to Go Safety offers a simple solution for forklift safety with a ad-hoc, daily or weekly forklift checklist to suit your needs. Completing a pre-use checklist as part of your FLT (Forklift Truck) safety maintenance programme ensures everyone is aware of the forklifts status at all times. This provides compliance with PUWER, LOLER, HSE & FLTA regulations and best practice. The status tag is visible at the point of use - we recommend positioning the status tag at either the entry point to the cab, or by the ignition box to help provide an immediate reminder to the operator before starting up the vehicle.

Employers have a duty of care to ensure all employees operating or working in the vicinity of forklifts are adequately informed of the potential hazards and the relevant safe work procedure is in operation. Such systems will include controls on use, defect reporting & recording and inspection & maintenance of forklift trucks and equipment. A Good to Go Safety checklist ticks all the boxes to ensure you are always Good to Go!


UK legislation (Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulation 1992 and Work at Height Regulations 2005) requires PFPE to be kept in good repair and inspected at suitable intervals dependent on use and exposure to contamination.

Such an inspection regime should include: pre-use checks, detailed inspections (dependent on use but at least every six months in accordance with BS 8437:2005 + A1:2012 Code of practice for selection, use and maintenance of personal fall protection systems and equipment for use in the workplace and, where appropriate, interim inspections. Further information about harness and lanyard inspection can be found in HSE guidance INDG367 Inspecting fall arrest equipment made from webbing or rope.

Due to the flexibility of the Good to Go Safety checklists, they allow a competent person to specify the frequency of their checks – whether this be a daily/weekly/monthly check, a 7-day check or after alterations/periods of severe weather. Indeed some equipment may only come out of storage once in a blue moon, at which point a pre-use check can be carried out.

So whether it be a Forklift, Ladder, Scaffolding or a MEWP you can follow a step-by-step walk-around to check safety critical components before placing the completed checklist inside a tag on the equipment for everyone to see the findings and current status.

Each completed checklist is created in duplicate to ensure that findings are not only displayed on the equipment but that a record is retained as part of your Safe Equipment Management System (SEMS) which can prove invaluable in the event of an accident investigation. By having evidence of completed equipment checks, documented dates, signatures and findings it shows that you have taken appropriate steps to minimise the potential for equipment failure. More importantly, it might help save someone’s life in the process.

Visit www.goodtogosafety.co.uk for your safe equipment management systems.
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