Front page archive

It's Easter - must be time to ban something!

Looking through the internet it would seem that a local UK Council did try and ban a traiditional Morris Dance for 'health and safety' reasons.  

For the last 156 years the Britannia Coconut Dancers have blackened their faces and donned skirts for their annual dance through the Lancashire town of Bacup to ward off evil spirits in a tradition recalling the area's mining history.

But the group, which has raised money for local charities and appeared in a string of television shows, ran into problems when Rossendale Council in Lancashire ordered it to pay £1,600 towards new safety measures.

Failure to pay would result in the cancellation of their Easter Saturday parade event, they were told.

Read the whole story here


European Health and Safety week is taking place now - 22-26 October.  This year's focus is 'working together for risk prevention'. 

Research confirms that, whatever an organisation's size, leadership from the top and the active participation of workers are crucial to successful health and safety management.

The campaign's website is full of free resources and practical tools and can be found at

HSE Cost Recovery (FFI) Scheme Starts 1 October 2012

The HSE have announced that their new cost recovery scheme, called FFI - Fee for Intervention, will commence on 1 October 2012.

FFI is a system whereby the HSE will recover its costs from industry for investigating and taking enforcement action when contraventions of health and safety legislation are identified sufficient to constitute a "material breach".

Material breaches are described by the HSE as contraventions sufficient to require the HSE to notify the person in material breach in writing.  

The HSE have set the fee at £124/hour.

Further Information can be found at

A Government drive to uncover health and safety "myths"  set up in April to tackle 'jobsworths' has discovered a whole host of barmy claims - see here for more

JUNE 2012

Changes to UK Asbestos legislation - the position in Jersey

In Jersey, work with asbestos is subject to:-

- Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989 (HSW Law)
- Asbestos (Licensing)(Jersey) Regulations 2008 (Asbestos Regulations)
- Management of Exposure to Asbestos in Workplace Buildings and Structures: Approved Code of Practice (Asbestos ACoP)
- Construction (Safety Provisions)(Jersey) Regulations 1970
- Construction (Personal Protective Equipment)(Jersey) Regulations 2002

Consideration has been given to the recent changes introduced in the UK by CAR 2012, but at the present time there is no intention to adopt the new category of NNLW within Jersey legislation.

This is due to the belief that the new requirements relating to NNLW provide no additional benefit to that provided by the current local requirements for workers undertaking non-licensed work.

It is considered that continuing to direct resource to monitor and enforce the requirements of the present local legislation will be significantly more effective in reducing the risks to workers than introducing new, largely administrative, requirements equivalent to NNLW for work with lower risk asbestos materials. This position will be subject to review.

The application of the Asbestos Regulations to licensable work remains unchanged.

MAY 2012


Bob Staddon, who worked voluntarily for The Jersey Safety Council for 21 years, received an Honorary Fellowship of IOSH award at last week's JOSHA Breakfast meeting at the Grand Hotel.  The President Elect from IOSH was due to present this certificate to Bob at the JOSHA AGM in February but fog caused it to be cancelled.  Senator Paul Routier, former Minister for Social Security and supporter of the Council, was on hand to do the honours this time round.  With Bob and Senator Routier in this photo are Kate Adamson, Group Health and Safety Manager for McLaren and Patrick Guyomard, JOSHA Chairman.



What training does your organisation need?  What are the company's legal requirements?  And how do you write a risk assessment for an individual based on their job description?  This half day course provides you with answers and allows you to work out appropriate training requirements that can save you money and keep your staff safe.   Limited numbers - apply now to book a place by calling 01534 499469 or email us.

APRIL 2012

Our first health and safety supplement went out with the Jersey Evening Post on Tuesday 21 February. 

 To view and on-line version please click here

MARCH 2012

Working together for risk prevention

This is the theme of the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work (EU-OSHA) Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2012-2013 which starts on 18 April.

Focusing on the concepts of management leadership and worker participation in occupational safety and health, the campaign aims to help everyone involved in the world of work reduce workplace risks.

According to EU-OSHA, 159,000 people die of occupational diseases across Europe each year and 5,500 are killed in accidents at work, many of these could have been saved if risks were anticipated and safety measures implemented and followed properly.

As well as saving lives and reducing injuries, the campaign will look at the cost of workplace illness and injury, which EU-OSHA says has a direct impact on economic growth and employment across Europe, costing the EU economy more than 490 billion euros annually. 

The campaign information includes guidance on the basic priniples of risk prevedntion, effective leadership and the benefits of worker participation, plus a selection of case studies.

For more information 


FEB 2012

Pregnancy and diabetes being the most common health issues at work have now been added to the range of other topics covered by the Occupational Health Toolkit.

The Executive Director of Policy at IOSH mentioned that these two topics have been added to the new segment of the kit. He explained that the service team is constantly engaged in research to keep their information in line with the modern times.

Dr. Luise added that every topic comes with fact sheets, training materials and case studies to make it easier for its users. Hence, the kit proves to be a good source of information for companies and staff who otherwise get confused, as there is a lot of information provided.

He looked back at the time when IOSH's OH Toolkit had started in 2007; it was praised for its feasibility by the Government's Director of health and work. They considered Dame Carol's suggestion of adding more information like health issues that are not related to work. This made it the user friendliest kit for health related guidance, also the most effective one at that.

In a couple of months they plan to add a new segment dedicated to work related cancers and provide more information on health related issues that are not concerned with work so that its users can gain more out of it.

New Official Statistics by HSE Shows Rise in the Fatality Count at Work for 2010/11 in United Kingdom - December 2011

In spite of health and safety laws being amended in recent months for its improvement, the number of fatalities at work have gone up for 2010/11 compared to that of the last year indicates HSE's recent release of provisional data on this issue.

The recently released provisional data circulated by the HSE gives information on the number of fatal injuries registered in the period between 1st April 2010 and 31st March 2011. The data shows that the number of mortalities at work due to mishaps, serious injuries and other workplace hazards have gone up to 171 which is considerably higher than the 147 registered in 2009/10. This fatal injury count registered for 2009/10 was the lowest ever recorded until date. According to present data, the fatal injury rate is 0.6 for every 100,000 employees which is a slight rise from the 0.5 for every 100,000 employees registered in 2009/10.

In addition to giving an overall idea of the fatal injury count and rate, the HSE has also provided the provisional numbers of fatal injuries observed in important sectors of the industry for 2010/11. The statistics show a rise in the number of fatalities in the construction and waste and recycling industries compared to that registered in 2009/10. 50 construction employees were fatally injured between the period April 2010 and March 2011, which is nine more than that registered in 2009/10. In addition, 9 fatal injuries were registered in waste and recycling industry in 2010/11, which is a considerable rise from the 3 fatalities registered in 2009/10. However the agricultural industry showed some progress. 34 fatalities were registered in this sector, which is a slight decline from the 39 mortalities at work registered in 2009/10.

Judith Hackitt, the Chair of HSE conveyed her dissatisfaction at the rise in the number of fatalities from April 2010 to March 2011 in spite of last year showing a record lowest fatality count. In addition, the fact that 171 people died while working is an indication that still much has to be done in identifying workplace hazards accurately and tackling them effectively to guarantee a healthy and safe working system.

Ms Hackitt further added that though the fatality count in workplaces has always been lower than the European nations, health and safety progress can be maintained only by doing practical work towards removing hazards and not by needless administrative processes. For this, workers, employers, supervisory bodies and government heads should all work constructively towards improving and continuing health and safety progress. However this can be only achieved if each one of us studies our actions to work in a better way to tackle new and continuing risks at work so that mishaps and fatalities are avoided.


 Private Matthew Thornton, from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (4 YORKS), was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday 9 November 2011.   He was 28 years old.

Private Matthew Adam Thornton was a Territorial Army soldier of 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment who deployed to Afghanistan with Support Company, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment as an element of Combined Force Lashkar Gah (The Queen's Royal Hussars Battle Group) in October 2011. He operated out of Check Point KHOORASHAN in the Babaji area at the northern tip of the Lashkar Gah District.


On 9 November 2011, his and another multiple were patrolling to the north of Check Point LOY MANDEH in order to engage with the Afghan people and to develop a better understanding of their area. During the patrol his multiple was engaged by small arms fire and grenades. While he was manoeuvring and returning fire he was caught in the blast of an Improvised Explosive Device and tragically was killed.

Please remember this man and all the others who have given their lives in conflict - and for the health and safety of all those currently serving.



Woodworking ACoP
From week 24 October 2011

The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) for the Safe Use of Woodworking Machinery came into force on 1 July 2011.  It provides practical guidance on how employers can meet their legal requirements under health and safety legislation in respect of selection and training of employees, guarding standards for machines and control of risks to health from the use of woodworking machinery.

In order to assist employers gain an understanding of the ACoP, Council have arranged for introductory seminars to take place.  These will be either 25th or 26th October at Highlands College and run from 14.00 - 16.30.  

Jon Gibson and Mark Stevens of DIDAC Ltd, a leading nationally recognised training organisation, will provide an outline of the ACoP and demonstrate appropriate guarding arrangements for commonly used woodworking machines in the industry.

Attendance will be free.  Those attending will also be able to take advantage of booking a free visit to their premises by Doug Taylor Fitch of Highlands College, who can provide specific advice on the application of the ACoP to business.

If you wish to attend this seminar please contact Annie at or telephone 01534 499469

High street retailer fined £1 Million for asbestos safety failings in UK
 Date: 27 September 2011

Marks and Spencer plc and three of its contractors have been fined for putting members of the public, staff and construction workers at risk of exposure to asbestos-containing materials during the refurbishment of two stores in Reading and Bournemouth.

Asbestos is the biggest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK, with an estimated 4,000 people dying every year.

The sentencing hearing, at Bournemouth Crown Court, resulted in Marks and Spencer plc being fined £1 million and ordered to pay costs of £600,000, PA Realisations Ltd being fined £200, and Styles & Wood Limited being fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £40,000, all for breaches that took place at the Marks and Spencer plc store in Broad Street, Reading.

Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £75,000, for breaches that took place at the Marks and Spencer plc store in Commercial Road, Bournemouth.  Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd is applying for permission to appeal against conviction.

As a result of a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Marks and Spencer plc, Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd and PA Realisations Ltd (formerly Pectel Ltd) were found guilty in July 2011. Styles & Wood Limited pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing in January 2010. The work was carried out between 2006 and 2007 on shops in Reading and Bournemouth.

During the three month trial which ended in July 2011, Winchester Crown Court heard construction workers at the two stores removed asbestos-containing materials that were present in the ceiling tiles and elsewhere.

The court heard that the client, Marks and Spencer plc, did not allocate sufficient time and space for the removal of asbestos-containing materials at the Reading store. The contractors had to work overnight in enclosures on the shop floor, with the aim of completing small areas of asbestos removal before the shop opened to the public each day.

HSE alleged that Marks and Spencer plc failed to ensure that work at the Reading store complied with the appropriate minimum standards set out in legislation and approved codes of practice. The company had produced its own guidance on how asbestos should be removed inside its stores, and the court heard that this guidance was followed by contractors inappropriately during major refurbishment.

The contractor, PA Realisations Ltd, failed to reduce to a minimum the spread of asbestos to the Reading shop floor. Witnesses said that areas cleaned by the company were re-contaminated by air moving through the void between the ceiling tiles and the floor above, and by poor standards of work.

Styles & Wood Limited, the principal contractor at the Reading store, admitted that it should not have permitted a method of asbestos removal which did not allow for adequate sealing of the ceiling void, which resulted in risks to contractors on site.

The principal contractor at the Bournemouth store, Wilmott Dixon Construction Ltd, failed to plan, manage and monitor removal of asbestos-containing materials. It did not prevent the possibility of asbestos being disturbed by its workers in areas that had not been surveyed extensively.

After the sentencing, Richard Boland, HSE's Southern Head of Operations for Construction, said: "This outcome should act as a wake up call that any refurbishment programmes involving asbestos-containing materials must be properly resourced, both in terms of time and money - no matter what.  Large retailers and other organisations who carry out major refurbishment works must give contractors enough time and space within the store to carry out the works safely.   Where this is not done, and construction workers and the public are put at risk, HSE will not hesitate in taking robust enforcement action."

Marks and Spencer plc, of Waterside House, North Wharf Road, Westminster, was found guilty of breaching section 2(1), relating to its own staff, and section 3(1), relating to members of the public and other workers, of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, on 18 July 2011. At the sentencing which took place at Bournemouth Crown Court on the 27 September 2011, Marks and Spencer plc was fined £1 million and ordered to pay costs of £600,000. These charges and fines relate to the Broad Street, Reading store and date from 24 April 2006 to 13 November 2006.

Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd, of Hertfordshire, was found guilty of contravening sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 between 5 February 2007 and 28 February 2007, on 18 July 2011. At the sentencing which took place at Bournemouth Crown Court on 26 September 2011, Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £75,000. These breaches took place at the Marks and Spencer plc store in Commercial Road, Bournemouth.

Manchester-based company PA Realisations Ltd (formerly Pectel Ltd), of the Observatory, Chapel Walks, Manchester, was found guilty, on the 18 July 2011,of contravening regulation 15 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 between 5 May 2006 and 12 November 2006 at the Marks and Spencer plc store on Broad Street, Reading. At the sentencing which took place at Bournemouth Crown Court on 27 September 2011, PA Realisations Ltd was fined £200. The company went into administration in December 2008 and now awaits dissolution.

At an earlier hearing on 12 January 2010, Styles & Wood Limited, of Manchester Road, Altrincham, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to contravening sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. These charges relate to offences committed between 24 April 2006 and 13 November 2006 at the Marks and Spencer plc store on Broad Street, Reading. At the sentencing which took place at Bournemouth Crown Court on 27 September 2011, Styles & Wood Limited was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £40,000.




A fatality occurred on a UK Construction site this month when a Telehandler overturned, trapping the operator. 

The operator had been asked to lift a pack of tiles with a telescopic handler machine. Ground conditions were poor and as the operator jibbed out, the centre of gravity was lost and the machine started to overturn.  It is thought that the operator realised the machine was going to topple over, jumped out of the cab and in the process he was pinned to the ground by the telehandler.

A similar accident happened in Australia at the end of last year, resulting also in the death of the operator.

There are lots of this type of machine on sites around Jersey. 

When using telehandlers always:

Review the lifting plan or schedule of common lifts
Ensure that Risk Assessments and SSOW identify and manage ground conditions
Ensure competency checks are completed on operators
Ensure operators understand the limits of their machine
If conditions or task change, ensure that the RA & SSOW are reviewed
Ensure the safe system of work has been communicated and is understood
Ensure seatbelts are worn at all times
Ensure operators know if they have a safety concern to stop work

For an information sheet on preventing falls from boom-type mobile elevating work platforms click here.

Introduction of Approved Code of Practice for woodworking machinery

A new Approved Code of Practice "The Safe Use of Woodworking Machinery" came into force on the 1st July 2011.   The Code applies to all woodworking machinery, other than hand held machines, used in workplaces, including carpentry and joinery workshops and on construction sites.  The publication also includes additional advice to support the Code.

In recent years there have been a number of accidents to persons using woodworking machinery which highlighted the deficiencies of Regulation 6 of the Machinery and Woodworking Machines (Jersey) Regulations, 1967.  Regulation 6 is limited in its scope and does not reflect the current guarding standards for woodworking machinery.

The introduction of the Code has therefore provided an opportunity to update and provide guidance on the use of all woodworking machinery, with additional guidance provided on specific categories of machines which are commonly used in Jersey.   In addition, the Code also provides guidance on the training, supervision and medical standards for operators and the control of health hazards arising from use of woodworking machinery.

It is intended that Regulation 6 will be revoked as a result of the Approved Code of Practice coming into force.

An Approved Code of Practice has a special legal status enabling employers, employees and others with responsibility under health and safety legislation to be reassured that, in meeting the practical guidance set out under the Code, they are doing all that they can to ensure that they are meeting their legal requirements.

Copies of the Approved Code of Practice are available free from the Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate, or alternatively may be downloaded from the States of Jersey website at


Recently there has been an incident reported to us of a slip at a fast food shop that left a visitor to the island requiring medical attention.   The situation arose over a wet floor that had not been managed adequately. 

It is not just employees your workplace needs to keep safe.  In the UK last year 32 of the slips, trips and falls that were fatal were to members of the public, let alone the countless hundreds that resulted in an injury, in fact 50% of all reported incidences are to members of the public in a workplace.

It is reported that the cost of such accidents are over £500 million a year, over £130 million alone to the health service for dealing with the injury.   The main reasons for these type of accidents are noted as being

-   People not taking risk seriously
 -  Not understanding the causes of slips
 -  Poor risk assessment

Most slips occur in wet or contaminated floor conditions are due to poor housekeeping.  Solutions are often simple and low cost and include an efficient cleaning system, effective matting, appropriate flooring and training and supervision.  

Example cases in the UK as a result of slips

Supermarket worker awarded £200,000 following slip
A supermarket worker was awarded a compensation payment of £200,000 for injuries she suffered when she slipped in cream spilled by a customer.  Cleaners had mopped the original spillage but the worker fell heavily at the same spot because the floor had not been cleaned efficiently and was left greasy.

 £55,000 for teacher who slipped on a chip
A schoolteacher who slipped on a chip outside the canteen has been awarded £55,000 compensation.  The teacher had been at the school for 20 years prior to the accident that took place in December 1998.  She had been carrying jotters when she slipped and fell on a ramp and strained knee ligaments.  Following the accident she was on crutches for five months and underwent intensive physiotherapy.

The judge ruled that the council should have realised that the ramp posed a risk.  On the day of the accident the ramp had been slippery and exposed and had not been maintained in an efficient state.  He added that non-slip flooring should have been installed and priority given to cleaning it.  He also stated that it would have been difficult to spot the chip on the ramp due to the colour and pattern of the tiled flooring.

Examples of slippery conditions that were dealt with through efficient management

The problem : recently opened supermarket was having a number of slip, trip and fall accidents with both members of the public and staff.  The area most problematic was the terrazzo floor tiles in the entrance and the first few aisles of the supermarket adjacent to the entrance.

Investigations showed that these areas quickly became wet on rainy days with water being walked in on shoes through the foyer.   The entrance matting systems in place were not large enough to cope with the amount of water transferred onto the mats from pedestrian movement.

The solution  : this was looked at both short and long term.  Short term, the company increased the frequency of floor cleaning in the foyer at the times of wet weather.  This frequency depended upon the number of people entering the building and amount of rain.  A system was arranged so that the staff were constantly vigilant for signs of water on the floor.  When water was identified inside the store cleaning would follow.  The method of cleaning used in these areas was also altered.  Rather than mopping (which left the floor surface wet), staff used a wet vac, which left  the floor dry.

The supermarket also reviewed their store entrance matting system.  The existing sunken matting was complimented by extra matting during wet conditions.  In the longer term the supermarket built a canopy over the entrance to further reduce the direct ingress of water.

The cost for training staff regarding the frequency of cleaning was approximately half a day per member of staff and the wet vac cost less than £500.  The supplementary entrance mats cost about £20 each.  The cost of the additional canopy was absorbed during store refurbishment.

After 18 months of these changes being in place there has not been a serious slipping accident.

There are several guidance documents that can be downloaded from the HSE UK website at - including HSG 155 Slips and trips guidance for employers, HSG 156 slips and trips guidance for the food industry and L24 workplace health, safety and welfare.

The HSE have also developed a slip assessment tool that will guide the user through the process of assessing the risk of pedestrian slipping and supports appropriate remedies.   This can be found at



The Jersey Safety Council has been made aware of a recent situation in Jersey where a cyclist held on to a lorry whilst it was going through the tunnel in town doing 30mph.  It had to brake suddenly, which resulted in the cyclist pulling up by the drivers window at the lights to shout at the driver for putting him at risk, despite the fact he was unaware he had a tail rider.

This type of bike surfing is extremely dangerous and does result in fatal accidents to the cyclist.   The trauma for the driver of the lorry, should it go wrong, is also deeply disturbing.

Only last month a cyclist was killed in Switzerland when he tried to overtake a lorry on the wrong side and collided as it turned at a traffic light.

The full story and some advice for both hauliers and cyclists can be found by clicking here


Focus on risk prevention! EU-OSHA launches second pan-European photo competition on safe and healthy workplaces

The competition calls for entries on the theme of 'safety and health in the workplace', with a special focus on risk prevention. All photographers - professional or amateur - are invited to submit their entries before 31 August 2011. The three best photographs are selected according to their creativity and originality, as well as universal European appeal. This year for the first time there will be a special youth prize for participants under 21 years of age!

Click here for full details



Starting a new business? 

Unsure of your health and safety requirements?   Below is a guide from the health and safety exectuive in the UK that will help you :
Decide who will help you with your duties
Write a health and safety policy for your business
Manage risks in your business
Consult your employees
Provide training and information
Provide the right workplace facilities
Download a health and safety poster
And much more with templates and ideas you can download or copy


UK Government's plans for health and  safety:

The Hansard record of the debate in the Lords  on the Government's plans for health and  safety is accessible at