Tuesday 30 April 2013

Rittal fined £15,000 after maintenance worker loses 2 finger

Darren Robins was working at the Rittal CSM plant in Roborough when his fingers got caught in machinery as he was trying to clean it on 1 May 2012.
The circumstances were:

  • Mr Robins was clearing paint that was clogging up the machinery 
  • He removed the guard of the paint spraying booth to clean the chain
  • He asked another employee to turn on the machine so he could see if the chains were moving freely. His fingers got caught in the chain. 
  • Mr Robins lost the ends of his fingers and surgeons were unable to reattach them.
  • No risk assessment had been carried out for maintenance procedures and there was no suitable way to isolate the machinery when maintenance was carried out.

Rittal CSM of Broadley Park, Roborough, pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 3 of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,478.

TheHSE Inspector said:
"Working with any moving machinery creates risks to workers and it is vital that assessments are carried out and instructions are in place so employees know how to do their work safely. Mr Robins' injuries could have been much more serious and the loss of the tips of his fingers have not only caused him a lot of pain and distress but also meant there are many simple tasks he cannot perform as easily as he did before."

Source: HSE 30th April 2013

Monday 29 April 2013

Company fined £133,000 after "fireball"

SAFC Hitech Ltd., a chemical firm in Bromborough, has been fined £133,000 (inc. costs) after an employee sustained severe burns when he was engulfed by a fireball.
The circumstances were:
  • The company had been manufacturing a chemical called trimethylindium, or TMI, which is used during the production of LEDs and in the semi-conductor industry.
  • Waste from the purification process had been left on a bench to deactivate in an unsealed glass bottle, despite being explosive if it is exposed to air or water.
  • Shortly after starting his shift, the worker entered the waste deactivation area and the waste in the glass bottle exploded, sending shards of glass across the yard. 
  • The company had failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment for dealing with the waste produced by the TMI purification process, 
  • There were failings in supervision and monitoring, 
  • The company had failed to ensure the safety of employees.
The company were prosecuted under the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The HSE Inspector said:
"One of SAFC’s employees has suffered burns that will affect him for the rest of his life, and has so far been unable to return to work due to the extent of his injuries. The procedure the company had for dealing with waste produced from the TMI purification process was inadequate, and staff were not sufficiently supervised or monitored. The chemical they were handling was spontaneously combustible on contact with water or air, but SAFC did not have a suitable risk assessment in place that complied with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations for managing the extreme risks. The chemical industry has the potential to be extremely dangerous, which is why it’s vital the highest standards of health and safety are followed. SAFC fell well below those standards in this case."

Source: HSE 29th April 2013

Tool hire company fined £27,000 for faulty electrical equipment

Arrow Tools, a tool supply company has been fined £27,000 (inc. costs) for endangering workers after neglecting to maintain electrical systems and equipment.
The circumstances were:
  • Tools including power hammers and grinding machines, as well as fixed electrical systems, were so poorly maintained  that they presented immediate and potentially fatal risks to employees.
  • The failings were identified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) during an inspection on 19 November 2009
  • The HSE served four Improvement Notices on the company, including one to improve management arrangements, over an 18 month period.
  • Despite two extensions being granted to comply with the terms of the notices, subsequent investigations in 12 Nov 2010 and 7 April 2011 found there were still insufficient arrangements to properly manage risks.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Peter Burns said:
"It is important that companies recognise and acknowledge the risks posed by poorly maintained electrical systems, which could ultimately result in death – as was the real danger here. The best way to ensure that these and other risks are controlled is to have effective management systems in place. Arrow Tools were served several Improvement Notices, including one in relation to their management arrangements, and were given ample time to comply. Yet they failed to do so and put their employees at risk for an extended period of time in the process. Companies have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of their employees and other around them and this includes complying with improvement notices."

Source: HSE HSE-E-018/13

Saturday 27 April 2013

Example of why removal of strict liability makes sense

Some claim that the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, part of which removes strict liability is "a return to Victorian times" and there is no such thing as a compensation culture. Here's an example of why the removal makes sense.

A manager at a high street fashion shop is suing her employers for more than £1 million in damages, claiming she suffered crippling injuries while bending down to pick up a dropped earring.

Safaa Pate, 31, was. running a concession at the 'High Wycombe branch of House of Fraser in January 2009, when she says she suffered "irreparable" back injuries while moving a display unit to retrieve an earring. 

In a writ lodged at the High Court in London she said she had to undergo a spinal fusion operation and was left with no feeling in her left leg and foot. She also said that she had not been able to work since. She is suing Coast Fashions Ltd, of Stanton Harcourt, Oxon, the owner of the concession. Caroline McColgan, her barrister, claimed Coast was guilty of breaches of health and safety legislation and had "failed to take reasonable steps to provide her with a safe system of work".

The company denied any wrongdoing, and said Ms Pate from Bray, Berks, "should have used a stick" to retrieve the dropped earring and argued she was "the author of her own misfortune."

Coast admitted that it "owed Ms Pate a duty of care as her employer at the material time" but denied responsibility for any harm she suffered. Lawyers for the company said: "Ms Pate's work was light work. She had to move clothes but she was not required to lift or carry anything of substance. It is denied she was required to move the gondolas or that this formed any part of her employment."
The case is expected to come to trial in November

Source: Daily Telegraph 26th April 2013

Thursday 25 April 2013

House of Lords votes to change Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

The House Of Lords has voted to overhaul the law that makes employers liable to pay compensation to injured employees if they have breached statutory health and safety duties.  This overcomes the setback in October 2012.

The amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill is intended to address the perception of a compensation culture and employers’ fear of being sued that this is said to generate.

Arguments for the amendment

Viscount Younger of Leckie said this fear “drives employers to overimplement the law, incurring unnecessary costs, and that undermines their confidence to grow and develop their businesses. It is not reasonable or fair that employers should be held liable to pay compensation when they have done nothing wrong and taken all reasonable steps to protect their employees. The reform does not undermine core health and safety standards”.

Arguments against the amendment
Lord Hardie stated that this would be to deprive some people of any remedy of injury caused to them, or their deceased relatives, with the financial burden transferred from insurance companies and on to “widowers, children, the permanently disabled and the state”.

He also argued that it is not correct to categorise a breach of a statutory duty as “doing nothing wrong” and that the majority of health and safety regulations present the employer with the opportunity to defend himself, and thereby avoid, liability to pay damages, by showing that he took all reasonably practicable steps to comply with regulations.


The change will result in the removal of the 'strict liability' regime that makes companies automatically liable for some workplace injuries, regardless of fault. Once in force, individuals will have to be able to prove negligence on the part of the company before being able to pursue a claim. The Health and Safety at Work Act currently imposes civil liability for breaches of statutory duty in relation to health and safety regulations regardless of whether a business did anything to cause the breach or acted negligently.

In the Commons in October, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Skills Matthew Hancock said: “Prof L√∂fstedt identified the unfairness that can arise when health and safety at work regulations impose a strict duty on employers that makes them liable to pay compensation to employees injured or made ill by their work, despite all reasonable steps having been taken to protect them from harm. Employers can, for example, be held liable for damages when an injury is caused by equipment failure, even when a rigorous examination would not have revealed the defect. The new clause is designed to address that and other unfair consequences of the existing health and safety system. The result of ensuring that employers who have taken all reasonable precautions cannot be sued for a technical breach will be to reduce the impression among many businesses, especially small firms, that they are liable to health and safety legislation in many cases when they are not”.

P Chambers comment
Whilst some have said that this is "a return to Victorian times", in principle it is to be welcomed. Whether or not there is actually a compensation culture, the perception is that it exists, and this drives some of the silly precautions that are takenTackling this problem will have far more of an effect than the recent pruning of 13 regulations. However, the devil will be in the detail of how this is implemented.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Prosecutions taking "years"

An article in The Scotsman has complained that health and safety prosecutions taken an excessive length of time to get to court and this puts great stress on all involved.

I agree with this. With cases in which I have been involved as an expert witness, and the cases I report in my blogs, the time taken to get to court runs into years.  One company, where I was an expert witness at an inquest and Crown Court case took 2 years from the date of the accident and the inquest and a further 2 years to get to Crown Court.  This was a case where the deceased person had acted against the specific instructions of  the Production Director given on the previous day. Both he and the  Managing Director were under great strain for these 4 years.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Gloucester company fined over fall

Mekufa (UK) Ltd., were fined after a fall from height of one of their employees.
The circumstances of the accident were:
  • The employee, Roger Bouskill was dismantling a large dis-used oven, the flue of which extended into the ceiling space.
  • Sections of the flue were being removed using a cage fitted to a forklift truck.
  • Mr Bouskill left the cage to get onto the roof of the oven.
  • As the stack was being moved, it toppled and knocked him to the ground 2.5m below
  • There was no documented plan of how to do the work
  • There was no risk assessment.
  • There was no supervision for this or any other removal work
  • The forklift truck driver was not trained to do so.

Mekufa were prosecuted on 22nd April 2013 under the Work at Height Regs. and fined £5,569 (inc. costs) .

The HSE inspector stated: "Mr Bouskill sustained a serious injury and could have died as a result of the fall. The dangers of working at height are well known, yet incidents of this kind occur all too often. The fall could have easily been prevented if Mekufa (UK) Ltd had assessed the risks and put simple measures in place to minimise them. An appropriate plan would have also ensured that those undertaking the work were appropriately supervised and competent. This prosecution should serve as a reminder to all companies who expect their employees to work at height of their legal duties to manage safety and provide the protection required to safeguard them from falls."

Source: HSE

Monday 22 April 2013

Overridden interlocks cost company £116,000

Staples Disposables Ltd, a Lincolnshire firm which makes disposable paper products has been ordered to pay more than £116,000 in fines and costs after three workers suffered hand injuries using unguarded machines.

Incident 1 26th July 2011
Bruno Jorge had to have his left thumb amputated after getting it crushed in unguarded machinery on a production line.
Mr Jorge was operating a new production line. He accessed the machine to clear a blockage, which was normal practice, but his hand was drawn into the rollers. As well as crushing his thumb, he also fractured his palm.  
Manufacturers had overiddent interlocks on the enclosures during commissioning. Staples management knew about this but did nothing to reinstate the interlocks.

Incident 2 25th August 2011
An agency worker cut her finger on the blade of a napkin folding machine. This was due to an interlock having been removed.

Incident 3
An employee lost all four fingers of his right hand after it was caught between unguarded rollers. It was normal practice to lock operators within an enclosure designed to keep them away from the dangerous parts of a toilet roll manufacturing line. Supervisors and management had failed to identify and stop this highly dangerous practice.

At the court case on 19th April 2013, Staples was fined a total of £116,380 (inc.costs).
The HSE inspector said:  "Staples Disposables Ltd had a poor health and safety management system and failed to suitably supervise factory operations. The company was well aware that machines should have interlocked guards in place to prevent people accessing dangerous moving parts of the machinery, yet it continued to put workers at risk over a prolonged period. Injury was inevitable."

Source: HSE HSE/M/105/13

Chemical firm fined £171,000 after 4 incidents at Cheshire site

Tata Chemicals Europe has been fined over £171,000 (inc. costs) after 4 separate incidents at its Cheshire factory.

Incident 1 - 29th January 2010
A worker was trying to reach a pump to restart it when his right foot went through a missing part of the grating.  He was exposed to a toxic liquid at a temperature of approximately 95 degrees C when his foot entered the sump below, which is used to collect overflowing chemicals. 
Incident 2 - 25th July 2010
The second incident occurred six months later when a dangerous gas was released, resulting in high levels of carbon monoxide being present in the area of the plant where employees were working.
An investigation into the incident found employees had not been given sufficient practical training for the work activity that caused the gas leak, and the emergency procedures at the plant were inadequate.

Incident 3 - 19th November
Part of the grating on the gantry in incident 4 collapsed. Tata did not report this under RIDDOR. 

Incident 4 - 21st November 2010
Part of the gantry five floors up along which a worker was walking gave way as the metal grating under his feet had become badly corroded. He escaped with minor injuries after landing on a scaffolding board on the walkway below.

The HSE proecuted Tata for:
   2 breaches of RIDOOR for failing to report walkway collapse
   4 breaches o
f the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 
Tata Chemicals was fined a total of £171,832 inc. costs.

The HSE inspector said: "A company the size of Tata Chemicals should never have allowed these incidents to occur, and the lives of its workers were put at risk as a result. The general conditions we found at the plant were extremely poor. Some of the gantries were in desperate need of repair after becoming badly corroded and the practical training for staff was also inadequate, meaning they did not take appropriate measures in emergency situations. The chemical industry has the potential to be extremely dangerous so it’s vital that firms like Tata Chemicals make health and safety their top priority. Unfortunately, the company fell way below acceptable standards on multiple occasions."

Sunday 21 April 2013

Loss of part of thumb on moving saw blade

JSF Stainless Ltd, a steel products manufacturer of Brownhills, and its director have been prosecuted for safety failings after a 17-year-old worker seriously injured his hand on a moving saw blade. 
The incident occurred on 1 June 2011 and the circumstances were:
  • The worker  was asked to clean a steel cutting saw by a company director while the blade was still moving.
  • He had never used the machine and didn’t know how to stop the blade. 
  • He attempted the clean regardless and in doing so the saw caught his left hand, taking three fingers and his thumb clean off and partially severing his little finger.
The HSE found that:
  • The teenager should never have been instructed to clean dangerous equipment that was still in operation. 
  • He should have been provided with appropriate training on how to make the machine safe to clean. 
  • He should have been suitably supervised.
JSF Stainless Ltd, were fined £19,000 (inc. costs). 
The director was  fined £4,600 (inc. costs).

The HSE inspector said: "This incident should not have happened. A young man has suffered the painful trauma of losing his fingers and thumb. He has been left with a permanent injury that will affect him for the rest of his life.  This was his first job. He was asked to clean the saw while the blade was moving by an experienced individual who knew better, and who should have ensured the machine was made safe. Appropriate supervision should have been provided throughout but was not."

Source: HSE 18th April 2013

Friday 19 April 2013

Arm crushed in machine at powder coating company

An employee of a powder coatings company had his arm seriously injured in machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • The company was Thermaset Ltd who manufacture and supply powder coating paint from a site in Tamworth. 
  • A hot, thick product is passed through an extruder machine, flattened by rollers and allowed to harden along a conveyor. It is then broken up into small pieces and granulated to a powder.
  • The employee was asked to clear product that had got stuck on the machine’s rollers.
  • A hand-held scraper he was given failed to remove it, so he reached into the machine to grab it with his hands. However, because the product was hot and wet, it stuck to his glove and his arm was dragged into the rollers.
  • The employee suffered severe crush injuries and required intensive physiotherapy.
The HSE found that:
  • Blockages on the extruder machines were a regular occurrence
  • There was no documented safe system of work for operatives to follow when clearing them.
  • Although workers were given a small hand-held scraper to free product from the rollers, different operatives each had a preferred method of clearing a blockage.
  • The employee had started work in the extruder shop six months before the incident happened. 
  • He was placed with an experienced member of staff to shadow and learn the process, but did not receive any formal information, instruction or training.
The HSE prosecuted Thermaset Ltd, who were fined £19,827 (inc. costs) .The HSE inspector said, "It was not unusual for product to get stuck in the rollers and Thermaset Ltd should have had a written procedure in place for dealing with these occurences. There was a basic risk assessment for the extruders, but none of the employees had seen it." 

 Source: HSE  HSE/M/102/13  17 April 2013

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Short-term hearing loss is body's way of protecting itself

Short-term hearing loss after a loud rock concert might not be all bad, according to research showing this is the body's way of protecting itself.
Professor Gary Housley's research debunks a number of myths, including the idea that temporary hearing loss after a rock concert indicates damage.
"It may explain why we lose our hearing for hours or days after we have been exposed to a rock concert or listen to music at high levels using our personal music players," says the University of NSW professor whose paper is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).
Prof Housley cautions that continued loud noise can lead to irreversible damage through the loss of high-frequency hearing.
"Our research shows that the ear can adapt to high noise levels and keep operating. But there is a catch - because our hearing adjusts, we think the sound has a lower volume than it actually has and we can easily exceed the capacity of the ear."
He says safe workplace legislation specifies the upper limit of noise exposure is 85 decibels for eight hours a day and 97 decibels for 30 minutes, as sound intensity doubles every three decibels.
The sound in a typical nightclub can be 95 to 105 decibels.
"Other research shows people are regularly listening to personal music devices in excess of 100 decibels."
There are no restrictions on noise levels from personal music devices in Australia, but in the European Union they are pre-set at 85 decibels.
Prof Housley and researchers from New Zealand and the US found that as sound levels rise, the cells in the cochlea release a hormone which causes a temporary reduction in hearing sensitivity.
His team found that reversible hearing loss is a physiological adaptation mechanism.
Now the team are hoping to find ways to better protect the ear against noise in loud environments.

Phil Chambers note:
The limits above apply to Australia.
The work does agree with the concern that SSS have always had that we face a major problem in decades to come as people who are now young and whose hearing is being impaired by loud earphones have the added loss of hearing that is related to age.

Source: The Australian 16th April 2013

Safety devices deliberately disabled

A recycling firm has been fined for putting workers’ lives at risk after two machines at their Durham site were found to have vital safety mechanisms deliberately disabled.
During a spot investigation, the HSE found there had been deliberate bypassing and disrepair of several machine guards on two baling machines, which were used to compress material such as cardboard and cans for recycling. 

The HSE found:
  • 8 serious faults on the two machines, including the deliberate bypassing of key control systems to allow access to the compaction chambers, 
  • Damage to one of the emergency stops on a feed conveyor.
The HSE:
  • Issued Prohibition Notices were served stopping all work on the two machines. 
  • Issued an Improvement Notice requiring implementation of a routine guard checking procedure to ensure interlocks and emergency stops were working correctly.
  • Prosecuted the company 
Foreman Recycling Limited, of Edmonton, London, was fined a total of £32,000 (inc. costs) after pleading guilty to two breaches of Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
HSE inspector Victoria Wise said:
“The dangers associated with operating baling machines are well-known in the waste and recycling industry, as is the history of serious and fatal injuries resulting from their use. These are tremendously powerful machines with a number of mechanical moving parts that have the potential to cause serious harm. Appropriate safeguarding of these machines is extremely important and should include all operations including blockage clearance. The two baling machines inspected at Foreman Recycling Limited were found to have a significant number of fundamental safety features disabled, a situation the company’s management was aware of. The standards found at the site were unacceptable. Fortunately no-one was injured by the machines, but this prosecution should act as a wake up call to companies who do not have a robust safety management system or who put profit before safety.”

Roofing company employee falls through skylight

A self-employed roofer has been fined after an employee suffered major injuries falling through a skylight at a Nuneaton industrial estate.
A Sutton Coldfield man was re-cladding the asbestos roof of premises at the Centrovell Industrial Estate, on Caldwell Road, on 17 July 2010 when he fell seven metres to the factory floor below. He fractured his pelvis, back and foot and was unable to work for several months.
The facts were:
  1. Self-employed roofer John O’Brien was responsible for the work
  2. He failed to do enough to prevent or mitigate the fall.
  3. Some steps had been taken to protect workers on the roof but there was no protection in place on the skylight the worker fell through, which was known to be fragile.
Mr O’Brien, 42, of Newmarket Road, Norton Canes, Cannock, was fined £2,000 (inc. costs) for a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

HSE inspector Mhairi Lockwood said:
"Normally you would expect netting to be put up under the roof that was being worked on in order to catch a falling person before they hit the ground. This situation was unusual though, as the building had a lot of ducting, so another system was put in place, using metallic mesh. However, at the time, there was no covering over the fragile roof lights, meaning the injured person suffered the serious injuries he did. Work at height is a high-risk activity which requires thorough planning and execution. The system of work adopted should be clear and unambiguous, involving detailed sequencing of how the work was going to be carried out and the control measures that need to be in place."

Forklift truck accident results in amputation

A London-based chemicals company has been prosecuted after a an employee was run over by a forklift truck and had to have part of his leg amputated.
The employee was hit as he carried out maintenance on a drain cover at Nuplex Resins Ltd in North Woolwich Road, Newham, on 3 August 2011. He suffered major crush injuries to his right leg and had to undergo an above-the-knee amputation in hospital. He also sustained ligament damage to his left leg, a dislocated left elbow and was in hospital for some four weeks. He has been unable to return to work at Nuplex since.

The facts of the case were:
  1. The forklift truck driver, who was carrying a one-tonne palletised load, was unable to see the injured worker, a laboratory technician, who was sealing a drain cover on a roadway at the site.
  2. There were no barriers or tape indicating the area had to be avoided, although there were fixed signs in place banning pedestrians.
  3. Nuplex Resins Ltd had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for carrying out maintenance activity in the road.
  4. The company had further failed to put measures in place to adequately protect employees working in the road from the risk of being hit by forklift trucks.
  5. The truck hit the employee as it travelled on a main forklift route between the production and warehouse sites - a route that was used up to 100 times per day by each operative.

On 27th March 3103 Nuplex Resins Ltd was fined a total of £23.139 (inc.costs) after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
HSE Inspector Stephen Farthing said:
"The serious injuries the worker sustained could have been avoided. It would have been relatively easy for Nuplex Resins to close the road down for the 15-minute period that was needed to seal the drain cover. The company needed only to follow readily available guidance and put adequate precautions in place to separate operational traffic from employees carrying out maintenance in the roadway. Every year there are more than 60 deaths from work-related transport accidents and over 2,000 major injuries. Employers must ensure that they assess the movement of vehicles and where possible segregate pedestrians to eliminate the risk."

Source: HSE LSE/69/13

Diseases to be retained in RIDDOR

The HSE had originally proposed that disease reporting be dropped, but this resulted in many objections. The proposal now is that:
  1. Disease reporting is restricted to the 6 diseases listed below (under background data).
  2. To avoid the complexity and ambiguity associated with current reporting requirements, the existing complex schedule of diseases mapped against specific occupations would be replaced by simpler, more general reporting requirements to capture all of those situations where a person’s work has caused their illness:
    eg. any new diagnosis of asthma, where the person’s work involves significant or regular exposure to a known respiratory sensitiser.
Strategic Safety Systems welcomes this proposal (Proposal B in the HSE paper.)
The revised requirements would address the majority of concerns raised in relation to the loss of valuable regulatory data, and the reduction of the existing complex and lengthy schedule  would ease the capture of ill health data relating to existing, novel or altered processes.
Background data
Under current RIDDOR reporting requirements, ill health and occupational diseases represent a very small proportion (less than 2%) of all reports received. Annually, approximately 1,800 disease reports are received, compared with over 111,000 non-fatal injury reports.
Whilst there are currently 47 distinct reportable diseases, 90% of the ill health reports received are accounted for by 6 conditions: 
  • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (46% of all reports)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, 
  • Dermatitis, 
  • Severe cramp of the arm, 
  • Tendonitis, and 
  • Occupational asthma. 
Around one third of all disease reports are submitted by approximately 100 organisations.
The list of diseases occupies 13 pages (62 to 74) of the present guidance on RIDDOR.
Whilst there is a lot of statistical data on injuries available from the HSE there is, understandably, little on diseases.   

ISO Accreditation and non-accreditation

 A lot of people get confused about accreditation and certification. These are different processes and a company cannot be "accredited to ISO 9001", etc.  An article by UKAS in the April/May edition of the FSB's Business Network magazine was lacking in clarity, so that hasn't helped much. The diagram below shows what the terms actually mean.

So, you become certified to ISO 9001 and the company that certifies you is accredited by UKAS1 for that, and normally other, standards.

Now, you can become certified to ISO 9001 by a non-accredited body, and this at first seems attractive because the costs are normally lower.  There is no legal impediment to stop a company calling themselves a certification body and printing certificates, but such certification is of dubious value.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) recently published a statement which encouraged UK businesses, local authorities to use only accredited bodies. It also stated that any organisation falsely suggesting it is accredited should be reported to Trading Standards.

I'm not a great fan of UKAS, and I believe that the inflexible approach they take drives companies away from accredited bodies, but you must be aware that certifcation by a non-accredited body may be regarded by potential or actual clients as being worthless, not a situation you want to be in when tendering for work. 

There was also an article about a meeting to be held in the USA where the speaker is an
unaccredited ISO 9001 Registrar who thinks accreditation is antisemitic.  One person did some research into this person and found that "he is claiming to have experience in 'medical implants' and is offering unaccredited ISO 13485 certifications for medical device companies. If the FDA isn't paying attention, someone could literally get killed.”

Strategic Safety Systems provide systems for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 13485, ISO 27001, FSC, PEFC and other standards and have over 170 certifications to date.

See our certification successes.

1 or any National Accreditation Body in another country.