An article in the Guardian indicates that the 6500 figure is likely to be an underestimate, as preparations for 2022 world cup tournament continue.

More than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago, the Guardian can reveal.

The findings, compiled from government sources, mean an average of 12 migrant workers from these five south Asian nations have died each week since the night in December 2010 when the streets of Doha were filled with ecstatic crowds celebrating Qatar’s victory.

Data from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka revealed there were 5,927 deaths of migrant workers in the period 2011–2020. Separately, data from Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar reported a further 824 deaths of Pakistani workers, between 2010 and 2020.

The total death toll is significantly higher, as these figures do not include deaths from a number of countries which send large numbers of workers to Qatar, including the Philippines and Kenya. Deaths that occurred in the final months of 2020 are also not included.

In the past 10 years, Qatar has embarked on an unprecedented building programme, largely in preparation for the football tournament in 2022. In addition to seven new stadiums, dozens of major projects have been completed or are under way, including a new airport, roads, public transport systems, hotels and a new city, which will host the World Cup final.

While death records are not categorised by occupation or place of work, it is likely many workers who have died were employed on these World Cup infrastructure projects, says Nick McGeehan, a director at FairSquare Projects, an advocacy group specialising in labour rights in the Gulf. “A very significant proportion of the migrant workers who have died since 2011 were only in the country because Qatar won the right to host the World Cup,” he said.

As reported in the Guardian.

Property partnership Alex Brewster and Sons has been fined £4,000 after an employee fell through a roof light.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how on 19 April 2016, two employees were removing roofing panels from a derelict shed in Midlothian. One of the workers stepped on to a roof light, which gave way causing him to fall to the floor below. He sustained serious injuries as a result of the fall including fractures to his pelvis, ribs, and elbow, which required surgery.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Alex Brewster and Sons, who own and let domestic properties, failed to ensure that work at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which was, as far as reasonably practicable, safe. There were insufficient measures in place to prevent the risk of a fall from height.

Alex Brewster and Sons, of Bonnington Store, Wilkieston, Kirknewton pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 4 and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £4,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Gillian Anderson said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the severe injuries sustained by this employee could have been prevented.”

A carpet sample book manufacturer has been fined after two workers were seriously injured in an incident where a forklift truck crashed into an onsite refuse skip.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how on 29 July 2019, three workers at Profile Patterns Limited had been emptying waste from plastic bins at their site in Wigan. They were using a forklift truck to raise the bins to a height that enabled a worker at either side of the truck to manually tip the bins into a skip. When one of the bins became trapped between the side of the skip and the forks, the driver of the forklift truck climbed on top of the skip to free the bin whilst the other two employees remained standing at either side of the forklift truck. Another employee was asked to reverse the forklift truck to aid the release of the bin.

However, after reversing, the forklift truck then moved forward crashing into the skip causing the employee on top of the skip to fall. One of the workers standing at the side of the truck became impaled by her right arm by the fork. The two workers sustained serious fractures that required hospital treatment.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Profile Patterns Limited did not take effective measures to ensure the health and safety of employees in relation to the risks arising from the use and operation of forklift trucks. The company failed to implement a safe system of work and provide adequate instruction and training to employees. It was established that tipping bins into the skip in this way was normal working practice that had taken place over a considerable length of time, throughout which employees were placed at significant risk.

Profile Patterns Limited of Makerfield Way, Ince Wigan, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,435.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Emily Osborne said: “The risk of injury from this unsafe working practice was foreseeable and the incident could so easily have been avoided.

“Profile Patterns Limited should have put in place a number of safety measures including appropriate segregation of vehicles and pedestrians and a safe system of work for emptying the bins.

“Those in control of work also have a responsibility to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in order to carry out work safely.”

As reported in HSE Media Centre

A roofer was fatally injured when he fell six metres whilst working on a replacement roof at a property in Kirkdale, Liverpool.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how on 22 May 2017, the roofer was completing snagging work on a replacement roof. The worker had accessed a part of the old roof made of fragile asbestos cement sheets, which gave way. He fell through the sheets to the ground below sustaining fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the area accessed did not have safety nets fitted and the building occupier failed to take reasonably practicable measures to reduce the risk to those working on the roof.

Owners of the building Pearsons Glass, of Maddrell Street, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, sections 3. The company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,656.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew McGrory said: “The risks from working on fragile surfaces are well known.

“Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that the contractor they select to undertake any construction work devise safe methods of doing so, which should include providing the necessary information to their workers and ensuring that they are adequately supervised.”

The prosecution of the roofing contractor is ongoing.

As reported by the HSE Media Centre.

In many respects this should serve as yet another ‘wake up’ call to business that they simply cannot delegate their responsibilities and hide behind contractors in the belief that they have paid them to do a job and it is of no concern to them how the end result is achieved.

It is tragic that such incidents are still occurring with regularity and as recognised by the Court, businesses and organisations must not only understand but also fulfil their obligations with regard to health and safety legislation.

The provision of appropriate training is key in this area both in understanding your obligations and in the development/implementation of the necessary systems that need to be put in place to provide for them.

The IOSH Managing Safely course is an excellent first step in understanding business/organisational responsibility with regard to health and safety, for managers at all levels.  We would recommend that businesses of all sizes consider it as a stepping stone in providing for their responsibilities and the development of their staff.

Goldcross are specialist providers of the IOSH Managing Safely course and our course schedule can be viewed here.

 

Two companies have been fined after a worker sustained serious injuries by falling approximately three metres through a hole cut into a floor during the refurbishment of a property at in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how on 27 July 2017, an employee was working as a dry liner for R&B Plastering Limited, who were contracted on the site to Robert Norman Construction Limited, the Principal Contractor (PC).

The employee was working on the second floor of the property, near to a hole that had been cut into the floor to facilitate plaster board being passed up from the level below. The employee fell approximately three metres through the hole, causing him to sustain fractures to his vertebrae and ribs, and severe bruising.

He required hospitalisation for nineteen days and had to wear a back brace for six months. He also suffers ongoing physical and psychological issues as a result of the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the hole was not adequately protected via covering or access. R&B Plastering Limited had put a risk assessment in place for the work, but it was not adequate, and was not provided to the PC prior to work commencing.

The PC’s own policy outlined the need to review any sub-contractors’ risk assessments prior to them starting work; and by failing to follow this policy the PC missed any opportunity to review R&B Plastering’s risk assessment.

Robert Norman Construction Limited of Framlingham, Suffolk were found guilty in their absence to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and have been fined £140,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,426.

R&B Plastering Limited of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and have been fined £26,700 and ordered to pay costs of £8,426.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones said: “The employee’s injuries are life-changing and he could have easily been killed. The incident could have been avoided if both companies had fully implemented safe systems of work and identified, during the planning stages, that materials would need to be safely transported between floors.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related injuries in this country, and the controls needed to prevent the associated risks are well known. Dutyholders should follow the guidance on planning works to ensure that risks such as this work at height can be eliminated in the first instance by allowing safe means of access.”

As reported on the HSE Media Centre.

The importance of undertaking appropriate risk assessments and having the appropriate knowledge of the Working at Height Regulations can not be understated and should be fully understood by both employers and employees.  Here at Goldcross Training we provide a full range of training that covers risk assessment requirements and working at height including: CITB Site Safety Plus, IOSH and NEBOSH courses, so why not take a look at what we have to offer.

A company has been fined after a worker was fatally injured by steelwork, which fell from a telehandler forklift truck during loading.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how on 4 April 2019, an employee of South East Galvanizers Limited had visited PCR Steel Ltd at their premises in Star Industrial Estate, Essex to collect a load. He was performing an unplanned lifting operation, loading a metal balcony base frame onto a flatbed trailer, when the incident occurred. The load was not secured and the balcony frame weighing approximately 400kg fell and crushed the 47-year-old man, who had been standing on the back of the trailer bed.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to ensure that the lifting operation was properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a safe manner. There was no lift plan for the manoeuvring of balcony frames that could have considered the load’s security, size and weight. There was no plan for how the load would be set down, nor for how to exclude people from the danger zone.

PCR Steel Ltd of Star Industrial Estate, St Johns Road Grays, Essex pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,900.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jill Mead said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the host company to implement safe systems of work. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.”

Source:  HSE Media centre

A scaffolding company has been fined after scaffolding collapsed across the entrance to the car park of Coventry Skydome.

Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 3 March 2020, scaffolding, which was approximately 13 metres in length and four metres high and had been erected to protect the public from falling debris, had blown down in high winds.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the scaffolding was not adequately fixed into the structure and was not designed and installed to withstand foreseeable wind loads. The management of the scaffolding operation was well below the expected standard because it did not identify the need for a bespoke design, required to ensure the strength and stability of the proposed scaffolding structure.

Climar Scaffolding Limited of Widney Avenue, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 19(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company has been fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,532.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Edward Fryer said: “Scaffolds need to be adequately tied, in line with the recognised health and safety requirements or a bespoke design should be created based on established engineering principals. In this case the scaffolding was not properly designed or adequately tied into the permanent structure.

“It’s only a matter of fortune that nobody was seriously injured, the collapse presented a significant risk to the safety of the public.”

Source: HSE Media centre

The director of a construction company has been handed a suspended jail sentence after a subcontractor who was working for them was injured as a result of a stack of plasterboards toppling over on a construction site in: Thames Ditton, Surrey.

Mr Siamak Samyani, the sole director of SS Reforms Ltd, Eastcote Avenue, West Molesey, Surrey, pleaded guilty to breaching: Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974.  Mr Samyani was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months and was also fined £3,400 and ordered to pay costs of £600.

The Magistrates’ Court at Brighton were told that builders were moving sheets of plasterboard weighing 32kg each from the ground floor to the second floor of a house undergoing refurbishment when the accident took place.

As there was no staircase in place, they were stacking the plasterboard against an unsecured ladder and sliding them up to the floor above.  As a result of the process the plasterboards fell on to one of the workers resulting in a fractured pelvis.

The incident took place on 12th April 2019 and a subsequent investigation undertaken by the Health & Safety Executive discovered:

1.  There was no safe system of work in place

2.  Inadequate supervision of workers was being provided/undertaken

3.  Stairwell openings were not guarded appropriately and that they were also being inappropriately spanned with scaffold boards resting on insecure scaffold poles, resulting in a significant ‘fall risk’.

Andrew Cousins, a HSE inspector, stated after the hearing:

“This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the director to devise and implement a suitable safe system of work.  Companies should be aware that the HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those who fall below the required standards.”

As reported on the HSE Media Centre on the 16th January 2021.

NETWORK Rail have been fined £135,000 after admitting health and safety breaches which led to a 13-year-old boy suffering serious injuries from an electric shock. The boy and two friends had managed to reach the track after climbing over fencing that was subsequently found to be “of an inappropriate type, of insufficient height and poorly maintained”.

Network Rail were fined for the safety breach after pleading guilty to an offence under health and safety law.

The incident happened on 19 August 2016 on the railway track near Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh.  The teenagers entered the gap in the railway fence before the 13-year-old climbed onto the roof of a tank wagon on a freight train that was stopped at a set of signals.

He came close to the 25,000-volt overhead cable and received an electric shock that caused serious burns.

A resulting Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigation revealed that although there was clear evidence of trespass and graffiti in the area, the fence provided by Network Rail was substandard and poorly maintained, such that unauthorised access to the railway was straightforward.

HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser said: “Network Rail has done a lot of work to limit the number of trespass issues on the railway and raise awareness of the potential life-threatening dangers that can follow.

“But on this occasion, it failed to maintain an adequate boundary to stop people getting onto the railway track and preventing an incident like this occurring.

“The railway is an extremely dangerous environment and I would urge parents to talk to their children about its hazards and remind them to stay away from the tracks.”

A roofing contractor has been fined after a health and safety inspector came across two workers jet washing a steeply pitched roof on a house without adequate protection.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 December 2019, a HSE inspector observed the employees of Improvearoof LLP on the roof of a detached property in Hale Barns using two powerful jet washers unsafely; and without any means of fall protection such as scaffolding or harnesses. The inspector issued a prohibition notice and the work was stopped until suitable measures were put in place.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that poor planning from management led to the failure of the erection of scaffolding prior to the work being carried out.

Improvearoof LLP of Macclesfield Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4(1) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £20,000, ordered to pay costs of £2,981.20 and a victim surcharge of £180.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Redman said: “Although the two workers should have raised concerns immediately with site management regarding the lack of scaffolding, it was the responsibility of the company to manage the job safely.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known. Companies should be aware that unsafe work at height without suitable and sufficient controls in place is not acceptable and HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”