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Health and safety update - April 2018

25 April 2018

Construction company worker suffers life threatening injuries

A construction company was sentenced today for safety breaches after a worker suffered life threatening injuries.

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Housing association fined after exposing employees to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

A community housing association in Wales has today been fined £30,000 after it failed to effectively manage its employees’ exposure to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) over a prolonged period of time.

Learning point: Paul Newton, HSE Inspector says “This prosecution highlights the health risks from using vibratory tools and the importance of employers having a health surveillance programme in place. Where vibratory tools are used, employers should monitor the health of employees using them and ensure appropriate systems are in place to manage and control the risk from vibration.”

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Hospice handed huge £250k fine for fire safety breaches

St Michael’s Hospice Hastings and Rother was prosecuted in relation to offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Learning point: The judge commented that a mock evacuation and basic training would have helped identify deficiencies. This shows how important it is to not only have risk assessments and procedures in place but also to practice fire evacuation drills and ensure staff are trained in those procedures.

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Egg Producer and Joinery Contractor fined after worker falls from roof

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of T& J Leigh had been helping the joinery contractor Harry Jackson to re-roof an old feed mill building when he fell five metres through a gap, to the concrete floor below causing serious head and arm injuries.

T & J Leigh (a partnership) of Ghyll View Farm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined a total of £50,000 with costs of £2,855.32.

Harry Jackson of Much Hoole pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £2,855.32.

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HSE urges employers to think again before investing in off-the-shelf manual handling training

New musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) advice has been issued to help employers to decide what type of help they need to tackle the MSD risks in their workplace. The advice gives examples and identifies who may be able to help.

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Farming company fined after worker falls from ladder

Edge Farming Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 4 of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) and has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,826.74 after an employee was cleaning the gutters on a farm building when the ladder he was working on slipped down the face of the building. The employee suffered a broken arm, shoulder and fractured elbow as a result.

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West Midlands man handed suspended sentence for unregistered gas work

An unregistered gas fitter was handed a 26-month suspended sentence for carrying out gas work after his Gas Safe Registration had been removed and he had been prohibited from carrying out further work.

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Dryden & Ors v Johnson Matthey Plc [2018] UKSC 18

The concept of 'actionable personal injury' was broad enough to include sensitisation to platinum salts even though such sensitisation was asymptomatic. Personal injury could be regarded as a physical change making the sufferer appreciably worse off in terms of their health or capability, even if that change was hidden and symptomless. Individuals who had been sensitised to platinum salts produced a particular type of antibody which meant that they were likely to have an allergic reaction involving physical symptoms if their exposure to platinum salts continued.

Learning point: The Supreme Court clarified the definition of ‘actionable personal injury’ to make clear that a physical change can by asymptomatic.


New requirements for farmers to improve environment for all

New rules, which came in to force on 2 April 2018, mean it is now mandatory for all farmers in England to maintain good practice to protect water quality and prevent water pollution incidents. They will: promote good practice in managing fertilisers and manures; encourage land managers to take reasonable precautions to prevent diffuse pollution from runoff or soil erosion; and require land managers to plan each application of manure or fertilisers, based on soil tests, to meet but not exceed crop and soil needs.

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New rules for farm building conversions: What you need to know

A new change in building and planning regulations encourages farmers to take a closer look at their redundant assets in a bid to improve returns.

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Protect small farms in Agriculture Bill, farming alliance says

An informal alliance of farming and environmental groups has called on the Government to give specific protection to small and medium sized farms in its upcoming Agriculture Bill.

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Brexit uncertainty creates shortage of agricultural land coming to market

Figures produced by Savills show that the volume of land marketed in Britain last year was down by 16 per cent on the previous 12 months and eight per cent down on the 10-year average. Strutt & Parker said farmland sales were down 10 per cent in 2017. Mark McAndrew, head of the national estate and farm agency department at Strutt & Parker, said the trend had continued into 2018.

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Care homes

Dorset pioneers push to link hospital and community care

The FT analyses integrated care systems (ICTs), 10 of which are being run across England. ICTs see NHS organisations and councils work collectively to manage resources and improve people’s health.

Social workers voice concerns over the influence of funding panels in adults’ services

Research by Community Care suggests funding panels are used beyond their intended purpose set out by Care Act statutory guidance, and in some areas to override social workers' professional recommendations.

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Thirteen NHS bodies face legal action over 'forced' residential care policies

Thirteen NHS bodies have been threatened with legal action over policies which 'breach the human rights of patients'. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is launching legal actionagainst 13 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England over their policies on NHS Continuing Healthcare.

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Leisure and hospitality

Business tax: Soft Drinks Industry Levy

HMRC has published guidance on the soft drinks industry levy, including on: checking liability for the levy, registering and bringing drinks liable to the levy into the UK.

Learning point: From 6 April 2018, the ‘sugar tax’ comes into effect and if your business produces, packages or brings into the UK soft drinks with added sugar, you may need to register for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.

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Nightclub owner drops legal action over loss of operating licence

A chain of Birmingham music venues has conceded defeat in its battle with the city council over licensing, with a parting shot about "the difficult and intimidating climate of licensing in Birmingham and across the UK".

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HSE urges employers to think again before investing in off-the-shelf manual handling training

New musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) advice has been issued to help employers to decide what type of help they need to tackle the MSD risks in their workplace. The advice gives examples and identifies who may be able to help.

Find out more

Review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures

A Gambling Commission publication provides advice to support the Government with its review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures. Recommendations include: banning the facility for machines to allow different categories of games to be played in a single session; working with the industry on steps to make limit-setting more effective; and making tracked play mandatory across machines categories.

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Food safety experts warn against inspection reforms

Leading food safety experts have urged the government to scrap plans to outsource food safety inspections to private companies, warning they are a threat to public health.

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Training and events


Integrated care systems (ICS) development webinar Online

We are pleased to invite you to join us at our ICS development webinar which will include an overview of new legislation in developing your ICS, as well as the key features for developing integrated care boards, place based arrangements and provider collaboratives.

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Focus on...

Legal updates

Lifting of restrictions – health and care sectors

The Government has announced the lifting of many restrictions from 19 July 2021 including the cessation of the need for social distancing, the removal of the legal requirement for face masks, and the end of required homeworking have been widely publicised.


Designing the future: co-operation and constraints within new ICS systems

This exclusive free webinar is an opportunity to debate and discuss how organisations can effectively respond to the new design framework.


Legal updates

Guidance on Public Sector Exit Payments: use of Special Severance Payments

What the new Public Sector Exit Payments guidance means for NHS organisations.


Legal updates

Shared Insights: Safeguarding forum - chronic eating disorders

In this Shared Insights session we listen to unique perspective and learning outcomes from dealing with eating disorder patients.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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