Friday 30 August 2013

Ministry of Justice Reforms 2013

The Ministry of Justice Reforms 2013 have now come into effect.  These are a whole string of changes, but the changes covered by this white paper cover the area of civil claims for injury or ill health that occurs in the workplace.
Summary of key changes are:
  • No win no fee CFAs remain available in civil cases, but the additional costs involved (success fee and insurance premiums) are no longer payable by the losing side.
  • No win no fee DBAs are available in civil litigation for the first time.
  • Referral fees are banned in personal injury cases.
  • The introduction of new protocols extending the Road Traffic Act personal injury scheme to £25,000.
  • A new fixed recoverable costs (FRC) regime is introduced.
  • Claimants' damages are protected: the fee that a successful claimant has to pay the lawyer - the lawyer's 'success fee' in CFAs, or 'payment' in DBAs - is capped at 25% of the damages recovered, excluding damages for future care and loss
  • General damages for non-pecuniary loss such as pain, suffering and loss of amenity are increased by 10%
  • A new regime of 'qualified one way costs shifting' (QOCS) is introduced in personal injury cases which caps the amount that claimants may have to pay to defendants. Claimants who lose, but whose claims are conducted in accordance with the rules, are protected from having to pay the defendant’s costs.
  • A new sanction on defendants to encourage earlier settlement of claims. 

There are new claim notification forms.  These differ slightly for injury and ill health but are otherwise similar.  They have effect for injuries sustained after 31st July 2013 or ill health that has not been notified by 31st July 2013. 

You are required to respond immediately by e-mail as soon as you receive the form. This does not mean that you have to supply all the information immediately, but you must immediately acknowledge receipt of the form by e-mail.  “Immediately” is not defined, but you should assume that a response within 24 hours is appropriate.
There are several unaddressed problems here; what happens if there is no e-mail address to which you should respond?, or what happens if the person to whom the form is sent is away for several days, as is quite likely?  You could argue about delays in response in such cases, but you would be in a very exposed situation if you sat on the notification and did not respond within what could be argued is an “immediate” period.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Missing fixed guard on printing press almost causes finger amputation

A Norwich printing firm has been fined for safety failings after a worker injured his finger in an unguarded machine.
The circumstances were:
  • The employee was working for Swallowtail Print Ltd., when the incident happened on
    1 November 2012.
  • He opened a service compartment at the side of a printing press to make some adjustments.
  • A fixed metal guard had been removed from the compartment five weeks earlier by other employees who were also making machine adjustments and had not been replaced.
  •  As he leant in, he slipped and put his hand out, which became entangled in the machine's moving drive belts and pulleys, almost severing his right index finger.

Swallowtail Print Ltd was fined £9,850 (inc. costs and victim surcharge) on 28 August 2013.
The HSE Inspector said:
"This incident was entirely foreseeable and therefore preventable. The risks to employees from exposed machinery are well known. Had Swallowtail Print Ltd met its duties, it would not have been possible for the employee to have accessed moving parts of machinery in this way and an injury would not have occurred."

Friday 23 August 2013

How to check air conditioner refrigerant types

This is what you need to check on your air-conditioners.

Then refer to Technical Paper 10 from SSS  to check if you've got an F gas. Plan to replace it (before 1/1/2015) if you've got an F gas. (R22 is the most common one.)

Make sure that you specify CE marking on all machines from outside the EU

This shows a brand new machine installed at a printing company. However, it was purchased from Canada and appears to have no CE mark. As the organisation that introduced the machine for first time use into the EU, the printing company now must go through the process of CE marking this. They were unaware of this. Note that this applies to even old machines.

Ensure that your purchase specification states that the supplier must CE mark it.

Note that SSS provide CE marking service support.

Pirelli fined £24,000 after worker breaks arm during maintenance operation

Tyre manufacturer Pirelli has appeared in court after an employee sustained major injuries to his left arm when it became trapped in a tyre-testing machine.
The circumstances were:
  • On 3 January 2012, there was a fault on the machine, which lubricates, inflates and then measures tyres, which occurred when it was switched back on following the Christmas shutdown.
  • The fault had occurred several times in the past after the machine was restarted following previous Christmas shutdowns.
  • Pirelli had failed to carry out a specific risk assessment for this maintenance work.
  • There was limited supervision of the maintenance employees
  • General knowledge of the company's written health and safety procedures was poor. 
  • There was no system in place to check that the company's Safe Working Procedures guidelines were being followed in practice.
  • The worker was trying to fix this fault.
  • He switched it to manual mode and removed one of the guards to repair the fault in the lubricating part of the machine. The employee then returned the machine to automatic mode and it processed two tyres successfully before becoming struck again.
  • Without thinking, he reached back into the machine which then began operating, trapping his arm.
  • He broke his arm in three places

Pirelli Tyres Ltd, was fined £24,330 (inc. costs) on 21 August 2013.
The HSE Inspector said:
"A moment's lapse in concentration left an employee with major injuries to his left arm because Pirelli's management of the risks from maintenance work wasn't good enough. The fault with the machine had occurred before, following previous Christmas breaks, but the company didn't have a specific risk assessment in place to make sure it could be fixed safely. Although Pirelli did have written Safe Working Procedures, they were not effective because the employees were either unaware of them or weren't following them, and no effort was made to check that the procedures were being followed. This incident could have been avoided if Pirelli had done more to make sure that risks were being properly assessed and its employees were following safe working practices."

Another example of an unguarded conveyor

A Suffolk firm has been fined for safety failings after a worker suffered serious injuries to his arm when it became trapped in unguarded machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on  20 September 2012, on an unguarded conveyor for bagging rice.
  • The conveyor had been at the company since 2006.
  • In April 2009, the HSE advised the company to install guards on this part of the machine.
  • The company failed to adequately act on this advice.
  • Attila Czege became trapped and entangled in the conveyor. 
  • His right arm was dragged in and around a large roller at the end of the conveyor, trapping his whole arm.
  • Mr Czege sustained fractures to his upper and lower arm and underwent surgery three times in two weeks to repair the damage. 

Indo European Foods Ltd, was fined £18,500 (inc. costs and victim surcharge). 
The HSE Inspector said:
"The risk presented by this conveyor was evident given the working processes involved on the production line. The dangers associated with conveyors are well known throughout industry and the guarding of dangerous moving parts is a fundamental element of mechanical safety. Conveyors are involved in 30 per cent of all machinery incidents in the food/drink industries and nine out of ten conveyor injuries occur on flat belt conveyors. This incident could have easily been avoided as action to guard the machine adequately was quick and inexpensive. It is disappointing that Indo European Foods Ltd failed to satisfactorily heed the earlier advice of HSE. Instead, Mr Czege suffered a serious and painful injury which resulted in several months off work."

Monday 19 August 2013

Company fined for lack of insurance

A Sunderland firm has been fined for failing to hold statutory insurance that enables employees to claim compensation should they be injured at work.
Sun Spirit Ltd did not hold any Employer's Liability Compulsory Insurance between 9 Feb and 13 December 2012. 
This meant the firm, which provides and installs solar panels, was not insured against liability for bodily injury or disease sustained by their employees resulting from their work.
Sun Spirit Ltd of Quay Court, Sunderland, was fined £1600 ( inc. costs).
The HSE inspector said:
"As well as being a legal requirement, Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance offers important protection for employers and employees alike. Failure to have such insurance could leave any employee who is injured or suffers ill health because of their work unable to get any compensation for their suffering. The failure of employers to insure is seen as a serious matter and HSE will continue to take legal action where appropriate."

7 cases of hand-arm vibration syndrome at Bolton company

A Bolton limousine and hearse manufacturer has been fined after seven employees developed injures due to hand-arm vibration.
The circumstances were:
  • Employees of Woodall Nicholson Ltd . used, almost daily, hand-held equipment, such as grinders, saws and pneumatic tools, all of which constantly vibrate.
  • Woodall Nicholson Ltd failed to ensure that risk from exposure to vibration from the tools was reduced as low as reasonably practicable and over a protracted period of time.
  • Seven men, aged between 25 and 62, developed the condition due to hand-arm vibration while working between July 2005 and December 2011.
  • Symptoms include tingling and numbness in their fingers which can cause sleep disturbance, not being able to feel things with their fingers, loss of strength in their hands, and suffering pain in their fingertips during cold weather known as Vibration White Finger. The condition is incurable and will affect the workers for the rest of their lives.
  • HSE issued an Improvement Notice requiring changes to working practices after being made aware of the workers' condition. 
  • The company has since introduced measures to reduce the level of vibration by buying new lower-level vibrating tools and reducing the amount of time workers spend using them.

Woodall Nicholson Ltd was fined £23,485 (inc. costs).
The HSE Inspector said:
"Some of the workers now have difficulty picking up small objects, such as screws and nails, which is essential for the job they do. They will also suffer some level of pain in their hands for the rest of their lives. The risks of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome are well known in the manufacturing industry and employers have a legal duty to make sure the exposure of workers to vibrating equipment is kept as low as possible.

Even large companies get H&S issues wrong

Rolls Royce has been fined after an employee developed permanent injuries due to hand-arm vibration.
The circumstances were:
  • Allan Thornewill operated wet blasting cabinets, used to clean turbine blades cast in the Derby foundry, for up to nine hours a day. 
  • He had to hold the blades in his hands as they were blasted with water under pressure which exposed him to high levels of hand arm vibration (HAV).
  • Rolls Royce plc did not properly assess the vibration risks faced by workers using the wet blasting cabinets.
  • No suitable control measures were implemented, such as limiting exposure, or providing alternatives.
  • Mr Thornewill received no pre-employment screening and was not included in the firm's health surveillance list.
  • After developing pins and needles and then numbness and pain, Mr Thornewill reported the symptoms to his line manager and sought treatment from his GP. 
  • In September 2009, he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and was unable to work for around four months.
  • He has since had four operations on his hands and still suffers dexterity problems in his right hand and weakness in both wrists.
  • In 2012, Rolls Royce installed an automated system to replace the use of the Vapormatt cabinets.

Rolls Royce Plc was fined £78,168 (inc. costs).
The HSE Inspector  said:
"Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome linked to vibration exposure are preventable. However, once the damage is done, it's permanent with no cure. Proper health surveillance is vital to detect and respond to early signs of damage. Rolls Royce plc failed to take action to prevent damage caused by the vibrating wet blasters, failed to provide Mr Thornewill with health surveillance and then failed to respond when he reported ill health. This has led to him suffering prolonged pain and discomfort with some permanent damage which affects the quality of his life. The company should have properly assessed the level of vibration exposure and limited the amount of time workers spent using the wet blasters."

Friday 16 August 2013

Pallets topple on lorry driver after forklift truck hits pothole in yard.

A Suffolk-based freight company has been fined for a series of safety breaches after a forklift truck toppled and spilled its load onto a worker, breaking his back.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on 9 January 2012 in the yard of  Eagle Freight Terminal Ltd, Great Blakenham.
  • The freight yard road surface was pitted with potholes and had been the subject of complaints by the company's employees over a significant period. 
  • There was little management of traffic movements and no instructions provided regarding segregation of workplace transport and pedestrians
  • Neil Jennings was waiting for his trailer to be loaded in the yard of premises when one of the forklifts doing the loading hit a pothole. 
  • The vehicle lurched sideways, shedding its pallets and boxes, one of which hit Mr Jennings.
  • He suffered multiple fractures to the vertebrae of his upper and middle back and was unable to work for several weeks. Mr Jennings can now only undertake light duties and can no longer carry out everyday tasks without pain and discomfort.
  • Two Improvement Notices were served by HSE on Eagle Freight after the incident requiring them to remedy the condition of the yard's surface and to introduce systems of control which would allow vehicles and pedestrians to circulate safely at the site. 
  • Despite two extensions of time to allow the remedial work to be completed, an inspection carried out in September 2012 revealed no work had been completed and neither of the Notices had been complied with.
  • The company had been subject to similar enforcement action by HSE as far back as 2002/3 about the lack of control of workplace transport.

Eagle Freight Terminal Ltd., was fined a total of  £54,621 (inc. costs).
The HSE Inspector  said:
"This was an entirely preventable injury caused by persistent disregard by Eagle Freight of basic safety measures. The company allowed the yard's surface to deteriorate so badly that forklift trucks were regularly destabilised when carrying loads. There was also no system to allow vehicles and pedestrians to move safely around each other and the forklift truck driver had not been given suitable training which resulted in him using unsafe work practices where the truck was driven with the forks and load lifted. The company's subsequent repeated failure to meet the requirements of the two improvement notices demonstrated their complete disregard for their legal responsibility to keep their employees, and non-employees visiting the site, safe. The risks of serious injury and, all too frequently, death, resulting from the failure to control the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians are widely recognised. Putting safe working practices in place is often simple and inexpensive and where this doesn't happen the costs, both financial and personal, can be immense."

Thursday 15 August 2013

Suffolk textile company fined for CoSHH and noise breaches

A Suffolk textile company has been sentenced for serious safety failings after a worker suffered three years of ill-health and was left disabled following his exposure to chemicals.
The circumstances were:
  • The 57 year old worker was employed from 1993 to 2012 at Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company.
  • The company had failed to assess the health risks arising from working with hazardous reactive dyes, despite the risks of respiratory damage being well known in the industry. 
  • They also failed to provide their staff with adequate training or equipment to safeguard their health when working with the substances.
  • The company stopped a health surveillance programme, which could have helped to prevent his long period of ill health, in 2004. 
  • The worker had been suffering from chronic breathing difficulties since 2008, and had been hospitalised on a couple of occasions as a result. He was on a cocktail of drugs to suppress his symptoms. 
  • His symptoms improved markedly after he left the company and stopped working with chemicals.
  • In addition, the company failed to provide health surveillance for exposure to noise after 2007.

Gainsborough Silk Weaving Co Ltd was fined £30,000 (inc. costs). 
The HSE Inspector said:
"Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company Ltd fell well short of their responsibilities over a protracted time period. They neglected to assess the very real health risks involved and take the measures necessary to minimise those risks. The company should have installed suitable ventilation equipment for weighing and mixing the dyes. They should also have provided proper information, instruction, training and health surveillance for their employees. The lack of these left workers at a significant risk of contracting respiratory illnesses by their exposure to these chemicals. HSE has produced seven Textile Information Sheets on the safe handling of dyes and chemicals, all of which have been available since 2004.The risks of working with reactive dyes have been well known for many years. In addition, the company's failure to provide health surveillance as regards exposure to high noise levels at work has meant that some employees, previously identified as vulnerable, may have suffered further deterioration in their hearing due to continued exposure. Again the risk of employees suffering noise induced hearing loss from working in the weaving industry is well known and preventable."

Machinery supplier fined following accident on new machine

A machinery manufacturer  was fined £4330 for inadequate guarding on a new machine, following an accident.
The circumstances were:
  • Line Equipment Ltd., supplied 4 form, fill and seal machines at a food manufacturer's plant in Halstead, Essex.
  • Moving parts in these machines included heated jaws and a knife mechanism
  • Gaps in guards were large enough to allow access to moving parts. 
  • On 8 June 2012, a worker, Benjamin Tracey, had encountered problems with plastic bags sticking to the heated jaws.
  • He put his arm in to attempt to pull the bags free and when this didn't work he stopped the machine, which halted the cycle but did not completely deactivate the machine.
  • The heated jaws closed on his left index finger and a knife mechanism fired into his finger, badly crushing and slicing the bone and soft tissue.

Line Equipment Ltd,  was prosecuted on 14th August 2013 for a breach of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.
The HSE Inspector said:
"This was a common, entirely foreseeable and preventable incident on this type of machine. The safety standards for these types of machines are widely understood and their importance in safeguarding what can otherwise be a hazardous form of machinery was well known to Line Equipment Ltd. Had the company met its duties, it would not have been possible for the employee to have accessed moving parts of machinery in this way and seriously injure himself as a result."

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Check out chiller gases

Check out your chiller gases now.

  1. Look at the labels (this picture is on a Heidelberg 102)
  2. Refer to listing on SSS Technical Paper 10
  3. Plan how to change gases if the gas is an HCFC (this gas mixture in this photo is not an HCFC.)
Note that you have to remove all HCFCs before 1st January 2015. Now is the time to plan for this; leave it for another 12 months and prices are sure to go up.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Guidance on e-cigarettes in the workplace

Some clients have asked whether or not e-cigarettes should be allowed in the workplace.
There is no definite position on this, but the advice from the BMA and ACAS is that they should be excluded in the same way as conventional cigarettes. ASH believe otherwise.
Sources of this are as follows:

British Medical Association advice
There is emerging evidence that e-cigarettes are being used by some smokers to help cut down or quit; yet, they are subject to limited regulation, are not licensed as a medicine in the UK, and there is no peer-reviewed evidence that they are safe or effective for this purpose.
While e-cigarettes have the potential to reduce tobacco-related harm (by helping smokers to cut down and quit), a strong regulatory framework is required for the sale and use of e-cigarettes to:
  • ensure they are safe, quality assured and effective at helping smokers to cut down or quit
  • restrict their marketing, sale and promotion so that it is only targeted at smokers as a way of cutting down and quitting, and does not appeal to non-smokers, in particular children and young people
  • prohibit their use in workplaces and public places to limit secondhand exposure to the vapour exhaled by the user, and to ensure their use does not undermine smoking prevention and cessation by reinforcing the normalcy of cigarette use.
Health professionals should encourage their patients to use a regulated and licensed nicotine replacement therapy to help quit smoking. Where a patient is unable or unwilling to use or continue to use an approved and tested nicotine replacement therapy, health professionals may advise patients that while e-cigarettes are unregulated and their safety cannot be assured, they are likely to be a lower risk option than continuing to smoke.
There is little real-world evidence of harm from e-cigarettes to date, especially in comparison to

ACAS advice
Employers may want to consider whether such devices are likely to upset other workers, particularly if they are pregnant or trying to give up smoking themselves - or whether it's in keeping with the professional image of an organisation, especially if clients or members of public are likely to come into the office.

Since the smoking ban came in, it's broadly recognised that smoking is now associated with break times rather than work time. Employers may be reluctant to allow e-cigarettes into a working environment and prefer them to be treated in exactly the same way as conventional cigarettes. There's also a risk that e-cigarettes might undermine efforts to reduce smoking by normalising cigarette use at work.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) position
There is little real-world evidence of harm from e-cigarettes to date, especially in comparison to

 ASH supports regulation to ensure the safety and reliability of e-cigarettes but, in the absence
of harm to bystanders, does not consider it appropriate to include e-cigarettes under smokefree regulations.

Although e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, users exhale a smoke-like vapour which
consists largely of water.Any health risks of secondhand exposure to propylene glycol vapour
are likely to be limited to irritation of the throat. One study exposed animals to propylene
glycol for 12 to 18 months at doses 50 to 700 times the level the animal could absorb
through inhalation. Compared to animals living in normal room atmosphere, no localised or
generalised irritation was found and kidney, liver, spleen and bone marrow were all found to
be normal.

The fact that e-cigarettes look similar to conventional cigarettes has been said to risk
confusion as to their use in public places, such as on public transport. However, given
that the most distinctive feature of cigarette smoking is the smell of the smoke, which travels
rapidly, and that this is absent from e-cigarette use, it is not clear how any such confusion
would be sustained. Furthermore, the absence of risk from “secondhand” inhalation of vapour
from e-cigarettes has been described as an “often unconsidered advantage” of e-cigarettes.
As an alternative to smoking, e-cigarettes are preferable in situations where secondhand
smoke poses serious health risks to others, such as in vehicles or in the home.

The following organisations have banned e-cigarettes in their trains or public houses:
First Capital Connect, Greater Anglia, C2C, JD Weatherspoon.

In June 2013 it was announced that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), are to regulate e- cigarettes as medicines in a move to make these products safer and to reduce the harm of smoking. It is likely that the new legislation will come into effect in 2016.

Friday 9 August 2013

Example of how a memo can degrade

This is the best example of how a memo can degrade as it winds its way down through the ranks of company departments, almost like a game of Chinese Whispers.
Memo from CEO to Manager:
Today at 11 o'clock there will be a total eclipse of the sun. This is when the sun disappears behind the moon for two minutes. As this is something that cannot be seen every day, time will be allowed for employees to view the eclipse in the parking lot. Staff should meet in the lot at ten to eleven, when I will deliver a short speech introducing the eclipse, and giving some background information. Safety goggles will be made available at a small cost.
Memo from Manager to Department Head:
Today at ten to eleven, all staff should meet in the car park. This will be followed by a total eclipse of the sun, which will appear for two minutes. For a moderate cost, this will be made safe with goggles. The CEO will deliver a short speech beforehand to give us all some information. This is not something that can be seen every day.
Memo from Department Head to Floor Manager:
The CEO will today deliver a short speech to make the sun disappear for two minutes in the form of an eclipse. This is something that cannot be seen every day, so staff will meet in the car park at ten or eleven. This will be safe, if you pay a moderate cost.
Memo From Floor Manager to Supervisor:
Ten or eleven staff are to go to the car park, where the CEO will eclipse the sun for two minutes. This doesn't happen every day. It will be safe, and as usual it will cost you.
Memo from Supervisor to staff:

Some staff will go to the car park today to see the CEO disappear.
It is a pity this doesn't happen everyday

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Don't get bitten by FSC or PEFC

We've had a couple of instances where obscure parts of FSC and PEFC have bitten companies.
Company A.
This company mixed FSC and PEFC papers. There is nothing that stops you doing this and making a claim so long as you have one of the papers greater than 70% of the product (by weight.) However, it is only practical if you have predominantly PEFC. Were you to have predominantly FSC paper and make an FSC claim, then the rigmarole you have to go through makes it not worth it.
Company B.
As part of its range, this company supplies promotional goods. In the middle of the source code for a web page, it states that promotional pencils were FSC certified. The Google algorithm picked this up so that when the FSC auditor typed in "Company B FSC" it came up with a statement that these pencils were FSC certified, even though this was not visible on the web page. The lesson is that you must make sure that everyone, including web page designers, clear the use of the word FSC or logos with you. 
Company C.
This hasn't bitten this Swindon company yet, but it will do. Their web page uses the wrong logo. Instead of using the promotional logo, they have used the logo that actually goes on the product. We have advised them. The lesson for Company B applies here.
Finally, extra "advice" clauses have been added to FSC-DIR-40-004 FSC Directive on Chain of Custody Certification. (Don't confuse this with FSC-STD-40-004, which is the standard.) These clauses are 40-004-008 to 40-004-011 and include 40-004-008 which covers what to do with non-conforming product. Even though it states that "small COC enterprises are not required to have this procedure in writing", there have been instances where an FSC auditor has required it for a small company. We will be updating the non-conformance system for all our on-going FSC clients.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Overridden interlock almost costs worker his finger

Quickmach Engineering Pressings Ltd., an engineering company of Cinderford,  has been fined after an employee injured his hand on a machine where a safety lock had been deliberately disabled.
The circumstances were:
  • The machine was a large Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) milling machine.
  • An interlock switch to the sliding access door of the machine had been dismantled and deliberately disabled.
  • On 12th November 2012, an experienced machinist entered the machine to clear swarf with a stick. 
  • His right hand slipped and came into contact with a rotating cutter, which cut and almost severed his index finger.
  • Had the interlock switch been working it would not have been possible to enter the machine until the cutter had stopped rotating.
  • An HSE investigation found that the guard had been overridden for at least 2 years.
  • Despite this serious incident, when HSE visited the company a month later, they found that the machine was still being used in exactly the same way, with a disabled interlock.

Quickmach Engineering Pressings Ltd,  was fined £6,121 (inc costs).
The HSE Inspector said:
"This was a completely needless and entirely preventable incident that left an employee with a painful injury. The CNC machine had been fitted with safety devices by the manufacturer, but Quickmach had allowed employees to deliberately dismantle them - a practice that had continued unchallenged for at least two years. Regular checks or visual inspection would have immediately identified that the switch had been deliberately disabled. HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies where key safety devices such as interlock switches are manipulated in this way. Interlock switches are fitted to protect operators - they should not be overridden and management should not turn a blind eye to such practices."

Friday 2 August 2013

Could you cope with equipment turned off after 1/1/2015?

If you have F gases (R22 is the most common), then you cannot use them after
1st January 2015. This is not that far off and you need to identify what equipment you have that includes these and plan/budget what to do. If you leave it until this time next year, it is reasonable to anticipate that air conditioning contractors will be heavily loaded and prices will increase.

It is also reasonable to anticipate that you will have prohibition notices on such equipment if you haven't done anything about this. Could you cope with your presses not running?  You couldn't claim that you had no notice, when there will have been more than 5 year's notice when this comes in.

Strategic Safety Systems have provided a handy reference chart of refrigerants to determine which are F gases. See this on 

Labourer has heart attack after becoming entangled in lathe.

A Somerset tyre services company has been fined after a labourer was injured when his trousers became entangled in an unguarded lathe.
The circumstances were:
  • The lathe did not have a guard fitted as standard by the manufacturer.
  • No risk assessment had been carried out, which should have identified this deficiency.
  • The labourer, David Humphries, was drilling a hole in a stock bar
  • His trouser leg became entangled in the rotating feed rod of the lathe.
  • He sustained bruising and minor injuries to his right leg, arm and rear
  • He sadly died shortly after as a result of a heart attack.

Tyre Renewals Ltd, was fined  £25,302 (inc. costs.)
The HSE Inspector said:
"This incident could have been prevented had the company fitted a guard to the machine. The law clearly states that employers should take steps to protect employees from harm arising from their work. In the case of machinery, moving parts that could cause injury should be guarded or made safe so that people cannot come into contact with them."