November 30, 2017

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In court

£60k fine for plasterboard recycling firm following inspections

luton magistrates courtA Bedfordshire-based plasterboard recycling company has been fined after health and safety concerns were identified during a routine inspection of their premises on 22 September 2015.

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard that health and safety standards at the site were generally poor; inspectors found:

  • no measures on site to prevent pedestrians from coming into contact with moving vehicles
  • machinery on site inadequately guarded
  • unsupported plasterboard stockpiles leaning against buildings.

A proactive inspection carried out by two inspectors from the HSE also found that Plasterboard Recycling Solutions Ltd had failed to ensure that the buildings on site were safe for workers to use because one of the walls of the process building was bowing and the internal roof trusses were bent and damaged.

Exposure to dust

It was also found the company failed to adequately control exposure to plasterboard dust which was found to be covering the floors, walls, machinery and ledges of the premises. Subsequent occupational hygiene surveys carried out after the inspection identified exposures to dust on the premises were up to twenty times the legal limit.

Plasterboard Recycling Solutions Ltd of Floor Bridge House, Fiddlebridge Lane, Hatfield, pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulations 6(1) and 7(1) of the Control of Substances hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended).

It has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,327.60.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Emma Page said: “Employers should be aware of their legal duty to protect the health and safety of their employees.

“Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.

stress

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Gary Magee
Gary Magee
4 years ago

I find these in court updates really useful. I have three customers for whom dust is an “elephant in the room”. There are control measures in place with vacuum cleaners removing dust from power tools and the materials have been assessed through the data sheets. Dust surveys are very expensive and to achieve an understanding of the issue could take several surveys. PPE is also a source for concern in this area. With face fitting of half masks being undertaken, it is apparent that over 50% of mask wearers do not shave daily and their masks will offer limited if… Read more »