The Health & Safety Executive have issued a Consultative Document (CD 205) on their proposals for the new Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006. The CD includes a summary of the proposed changes, a short questionnaire and a draft copy of the proposed regulations.
The consultation period ends on 31 January 2006 and the regulations are scheduled for implementation on 6th April 2006. The Consultative Document (CD 205) can be downloaded from:
The primary changes proposed are:
As we reported last month, October 2006 is the deadline for the NEW CDM Regulations. There is no introductory period; no lead in. Old becomes new instantly.
In addition to updating our ToolKit CS™ product, we will be providing a 'paid for' upgrade path for existing customers running our six year old CDM ToolKit™ 2000 product. If you are one of those customers, we hope to be talking to you in the New Year to discuss the options available to keep you compliant with the new regulations.
The TUC Bulletin reports that a planned relaxation in the law protecting the public from asbestos, announced by the government last week (Nov 05 - Revisions to the CAWR 2006), will see families and workers facing an increased risk of asbestos-related illness, contractors, unions and experts have warned.
The changes, brought forward in a consultation paper on the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations, will see textured coatings containing asbestos, such as Artex, taken off the list of materials that only licensed contractors can remove. The groups say the regulations, which are due to come into force next year, will mean that any contractor will be able to remove textured coatings containing asbestos, irrespective of adequate training, supervision or insurance. Asbestos removal experts, contractors and trade unions have united to express their concern about the increased risk to workers and families.
Bob Blackman, national construction secretary for the union TGWU said the proposals were 'quite frankly, nonsense. Worker protection should mean just that, not stripping them of protection. If this goes through families will be put at increased risk. We would rather the HSE took a tough line on prevention than have to fund inquiries into illnesses.'
Alan Ritchie, general secretary construction union UCATT, added: 'UCATT is extremely concerned at this proposed relaxation of the asbestos regulations. With asbestos there is no such thing as a low risk. My union has a zero tolerance policy wherever we suspect there is asbestos present. We need asbestos regulations that protect workers and the public.'
A pottery company were fined £10,000 under Section (2) of HASWA with £978 costs. An employee was arranging goods inside a container on the back of an HGV trailer. He was being lifted from the lorry on the forks of a forklift truck when he slipped and fell to the ground fracturing his ankle.
The second largest fines ever imposed over offences committed under health & safety law have recently been levied. The prosecutions taken subsequent to the Hatfield Rail crash have resulted in Balfour Beatty receiving a fine of £10 million, Network rail were fined £3.5 million and costs of £600,000 were awarded to the prosecution to be shared equally between the two companies. It has previously been reported that the manslaughter charges taken against individuals from the two companies had been dropped.
The highest fine ever imposed was on Transco last month. They were fined £15 million pounds after a gas explosion ripped through a house killing four people in Scotland. It is understood that Transco may possibly appeal against the award.
A large construction company was fined £50,000 pounds after a worker was killed by a reversing forklift truck. They were also ordered to pay costs of £14,710 to the prosecution. On the day of the accident, the injured person walked from the welfare cabin talking into his mobile phone. He stepped into the path of the forklift truck and suffered multiple injuries resulting in his death. The court heard that the firm's traffic management system was not regularly reviewed or amended to take into account any changes. They did sometimes supply a Banksman, but at the time of the accident one was not available.
A large hotel group were fined £400,000 for offences after a hotel guest fell from a lift that had become stuck between floors. The fines were £200,000 under section 3(1) of the MHSWR and £200,000 under Section 9(1) PUWER. The guest had contacted the hotel staff using his mobile to say that the lift was stuck between floors. While the staff waited for lift engineers to arrive, the guest had attempted to escape from the lift but fell down the shaft. It emerged in court that the lift had a history of unreliability and that although the company had been advised that the control equipment required replacement, this was never actioned.
A construction company were fined £16,000 after a worker fell nearly three metres onto a concrete floor. He was pointing brickwork in a bedroom and as a part of the job he had to lean out over an empty, unguarded stairwell. Falling through the stairwell, he landed on the concrete floor causing severe neck and head injuries. The accident could have easily been avoided by simple fall protection measures. The HSE said after the case: 'the risks from working at height are well known within the construction industry and this accident could, and should, have been prevented if simple low cost measures had been implemented'.
We are delighted to continue our support of an outstanding Christmas Puzzle organised locally to raise money for charities around the country.
This year's puzzle (the fifteenth) will be available for download from 7th December from the Christmas Puzzle website.
So far, the puzzle has raised over £18,000 for various good causes, including £3,000 last year. The puzzle should appeal to people who enjoy solving (former) broadsheet crossword puzzles. You have plenty of time to work on it so don't expect every answer to be obvious; however, unlike many puzzles that come out around this time of year, this one is designed to help you finish!
We regularly receive updates from our customers and contacts about changes to legislation, the latest rumours and so on. We try to be selective with what we pass on and acknowledge our sources as appropriate. If you have information of general interest in the Health & Safety and particularly CDM and Asbestos Management arena, then please let us know by e-mail if possible.