Speaking recently at the launch of the Ayrton Group, special guest Bobby Kerr, entrepreneur and business man commented, “I’m delighted to be part of today’s announcement, which is another indicator of positive growth in the Irish market. Ayrton Group is a great example of an independently owned Irish company that has adapted to challenges and is now in a stronger position for future growth.”
Home care clients tend to be older persons, persons with disabilities, persons with chronic health conditions and anyone whose quality of life can be improved by having a trained and supervised care worker in their home.
The types of working environment and working arrangement involved in the provision of home care services present their own unique hazards and risks, which must be identified and managed.
This information sheet highlights the occupational safety and health issues associated with the provision of home care and indicates control measures to mitigate risk.
It is not intended to cover home maintenance,delivered meals or travel and escorting clients.
‘I think about him every day’: Widow of man crushed by tonnes of cheese makes statement at inquest
A 32-year-old man died after he was crushed beneath forty tonnes of cheese in a workplace accident, writes Louise Roseingrave.
Robert Ceremuga from Clonee suffered catastrophic crush injuries when a shelf rack collapsed at a cold storage warehouse where he worked in Finglas, Dublin 11.
He died on November 28 2013 after the shelf rack he was standing next to became unstable and collapsed, an inquest into his death heard.
The accident happened in a cold store room at VP Foods, Jamestown Business Park, Finglas, Dublin 11.
Up to 80 tonnes of cheese were stored in pallets stacked in six bays on shelf racks measuring 15m long, the inquest heard.
A forklift driver was working in the storeroom and had removed between thirty and forty pallets of cheese from the lower shelves on the morning of November 28 2013.
The driver had only been working for the company for a number of weeks and had no formal forklift training, Health and Safety Inspector Frank Kerins said.
He was sitting in the forklift when Robert Ceremuga entered the cold store with a clipboard and asked if he had taken his break.
It’s not clear if the forklift struck the shelf or if the racks buckled under the weight of the pallets stacked on the higher shelves, Mr Kerins said.
“The whole thing started to sway and the pallets started coming down…it was all top heavy, once it buckled, it was not able to take the weight. Forty pallets came down. The whole room was a mangled mess of pallets,” Mr Kerins said.
The forklift driver jumped out of the cab and ran from the room but Mr Cerebuga had no time to react, the court heard. “It all came down very quickly,” Mr Kerins said.
Garda Keith McGrath said the deceased was found slumped against a wall in the store room.
“There was a huge volume of boxes scattered around the store room with shelving for pallets of cheese that had collapsed,” Garda McGrath said.
Each pallet contained one tonne in weight of cheese blocks weighing 25kg each, the court heard.
The cause of death was crush injuries to the head and chest according to a postmortem report carried out by State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy.
The jury returned a verdict of industrial accident and recommended that forklift training be provided to all operators and that all racking systems should be emptied before any adjustments are made to them.
The man’s daughter was just four months old when he died, his wife Maria said in a statement through her solicitor Kieran Johnston.
“She was his pride and joy. I lost my best friend and my entire world. He was ambitious and hardworking, he was an exceptional man. I think about him everyday.”
Opening the recent Irish Wind Energy Association’s annual conference, Gary Healy, the Association’s chief executive, told delegates that the industry’s reputation depends on its safety record and commitment to health and safety.
Setting the scene for the conference, Dr Healy said the sector was now a mature industry. There are, he said, 250 wind farms across the island, more will be built over the next couple of years and 22% of the country’s energy is generated by wind farms.
The industry has already invested €4bn and plans to invest a further €2bn between now and 2020. Currently 4,400 people are employed in the industry, which is helping the country to reach EU targets.
Saying that IWEA’s annual health and safety conference is a key event in the Association’s yearly calendar, De Healy said a reputational survey showed the industry’s safety reputation is a key issue for members of the public.
Philippa Knap leads the behavioural-based safety and safety culture programmes at the global wind energy company Vestas, who employ 22,000 worldwide, over 80 of them in Ireland. She spoke about the Vestas behaviour programmes, which have contributed to a reduction in the total recordable injury rate to six per million hours worked, from a lost time injury rate of nearly 30 in 2005.
Ms Knapp said behaviour contributes to 90% of accidents, compared to unsafe conditions which contribute to 10% of accidents. She said that Vestas works on reducing injuries through safe behaviour by raising safety awareness, safety leadership, safety walks, the Vestas ‘Behaviour Change Observation’ and ‘My Team, My Responsibility’ programmes.
The aim of the Behaviour Change Observation programme is to reduce low risk, high frequency behaviours among frontline operators and to reinforce safe habits through peer to peer contact.
The My Team programme focuses on all the team and sets behaviours for all employees. The programme reinforces line accountability and team engagement at all levels and covers safety performance, communication, risk management and engagement. Human errors are identified and reduced, using tools for site teams. The programme also sets expectations for contractors.
CREATING A CULTURE OF CARE
Eddie McCullough, a senior vice-president with DEKRA Insight, a global safety consultancy, spoke about creating a culture of care.
Setting the concept of care in a social context, Mr McCullough said decisions made now should consider generations to come. Care is, he said, feeling concern for and an interest in people, plant and equipment and process.
Considering the concept of safe working, he posed three questions:
- What is your ability to stop something bad from happening?
- What is your ability to stop something bad from becoming worse?
- What is your ability to recover from something bad once it has happened?
Safe enough is, he said, compliance based on minimum standards. Mentioning the Texas City and Macondo disasters, he said safety is not the absence of incidents, but the presence of barriers.
Posing the question of whether to choose culture or competence, he said leaders create culture. The environment you create will influence your behaviour.
In this months newsletter we look at:
Why a Heinz beans ad was banned on health & safety grounds in UK by watchdog,
The rebranding of HSS to Ayrton Group and examine Which country in Europe is safest to work
If workers see their company making progress on promoting safety and health,they will be motivated to do more to ensure compliance.
The best way to get workers to follow safe work procedures is to get them involved in the development and review of those procedures.
The rising popularity of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) brings with it serious safety concerns
Head protection is vital and at present a motorcycle helmet is recommended.4
The number of fatalities and injuries taking place involving All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) on Irish farms in recent years has increased in tandem with the surge of ATV or “quad bike” ownership in this country.
The injuries can often be fatal, because when an ATV overturns, there is nothing to protect the driver’s head or neck, as is the case with a tractor or utility vehicle.
Already this year there have been two farming-related deaths due to ATV accidents.
That is a worrying figure given that we are less than one third of the way through 2017. So is it time to ban them altogether or is there a case for less drastic action?
All riders need to know the manufacturer’s recommended towing capacity and drawbar loading limit.4
All riders need to know the manufacturer’s recommended towing capacity and drawbar loading limit.
It is estimated that there are now around 10,000 ATVs in use on farms around the country. The farm vehicles are falling in price and so are becoming more accessible to all.
The ATV has a bad name when it comes to safety.
But there is no doubting that when used properly with the necessary personal protective equipment, they can be a real aid on the farm, whether it is for fencing, helping sheep farmers through the lambing period, cleaning out stables or bringing cows in for milking.
Regardless of the application, safety is paramount.
It is imperative that farmers who decided to purchase an ATV take the time to familiarise themselves with safe driving practices and prevent children (those under 16 years of age) from driving the ATV in all circumstances, including off road. Children are the most at-risk group.
It says it all when spinal surgeons across the globe have called for reform of the legislation surrounding the use of ATVs.
Here in Ireland, doctors working in Accident & Emergency units all over the country have been calling for legislation banning the use of quad bikes by children under 16 years of age.
Doctors Justin Curran and Colman O’Leary in Limerick’s Mid-Western Hospital have dealt with a number of children injured in accidents involving ATVs. Both men highlight the fact that young children lack the physical size and strength, cognitive abilities, motor skills and perception to safely operate ATVs.
Despite this, both have seen cases of children being killed or seriously injured while using ATVs.
Farms represent a unique situation where children are exposed and naturally drawn to the excitement of driving ATVs at speed.
Unlike tractors, and to the dismay of many health campaigners, these vehicles are not yet legally required to have rollover protection bars fitted.
The result is that when an ATV overturns, there is no cab or support structure to protect the driver’s head and upper body. Whether wearing a helmet or not, this means the driver’s head and spinal column are at major risk of serious injury on overturning.
A 2008 US-based study found the main mechanism of spinal cord injury from an ATV-related accident is an axial compression type fracture.
In this type of injury, excessive vertical force is placed on the spine, forcing pieces of broken vertebrae to move outwards in a horizontal direction.
The injury location is usually between the C1 and C5 vertebrae of the spine, a crucial area with long-term neurological damage highly likely.
The weight of your average ATV will be anywhere between 300-750kg. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this weight can do some nasty damage to the fragile human spinal cord.
Apart from spinal injuries, other injury mechanisms sustained from ATV accidents include upper limb fractures, facial lacerations and fractures of the skull.
Manufacturers have long been promoting the use of helmets for some time now, and those who still refuse to wear protective headgear must be ready for the consequences.
This week is Carbon Monoxide week, and here at Ayrton we want to remind all you folks reading of the importance of Carbon Monoxide alarms. Carbon Monoxide or CO is a silent killer so precautionary measures against it are essential for both you work and home safety!
This week is incredibly vital in raising awareness and bringing attention to the dangers of Carbon Monoxide. It is important to realise that you can do a lot to protect yourself against the dangers of Carbon Monoxide. Here are a few things to always remember and keep an eye on:
– Carbon monoxide can come from ANY fuel that burns, including coal, turf, oil, gas and wood
– Get your boiler serviced and chimney swept once a year
– Keep flues and vents clear always
– Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm
Carbon Monoxide is definitely not something that should be taken lightly and there should never be corners cut when it comes to your safety. Always remember to take extra care when it comes to maintaining your safety against CO. Know safety, no accidents!
For more valuable info on this topic visit http://www.carbonmonoxide.ie/
The opening of Ayrton Group’s new Dublin office and training facility follows year on year growth of +40% for each of the last 3 years, which has seen the company become one of Ireland’s largest safety training, consultancy and staffing solutions provider in the market. The 60 new positions announced will support the company’s growing activity across all its key markets, including Ireland, UK, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland & the Netherlands. The roles on offer include Environmental Safety and Health Managers, PSDP Engineers, Safety Officers, Sales and Back office support, with 40 positions being recruited for out of their Dublin office and 20 out of their Cork base.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Kieran Linehan, Managing Director of Ayrton Group said: “We’re delighted to be announcing a recruitment drive, which follows a significant investment in our business. We have been long established as the Safety organisation of choice in the market and today’s announcement will reinforce the commitment we have to providing the highest standards of expert safety professionals, consultancy and training services.
“We are looking for experienced and skilled people to join our expanding team, which is a very positive recognition of an improving market. One of our aims is to attract home many of the skilled workforce who left Ireland during the downturn of recent years, by providing attractive positions and packages and the opportunity to join a dynamic and exciting company,” he added.
Speaking today, special guest Bobby Kerr, entrepreneur and business man commented, “I’m delighted to be part of today’s announcement, which is another indicator of positive growth in the Irish market. Ayrton Group is a great example of an independently owned Irish company that has adapted to challenges and is now in a stronger position for future growth.”
Ayrton Group has been operating from its headquarters in Newmarket, Co Cork since it was first established in 1993. The expansion of their offices in Dublin and the opening of the state-of-the-art training facility in Tallaght represents an investment of more than half million euro by Ayrton Group.
Speaking at the launch Linehan added: “We’re also very proud to be showcasing our new re-brand to Ayrton Group. It has been a vision of ours for some time and we believe that it is now the opportune time to launch the brand. It represents our ambitions and vision for growth beyond the sphere of health and safety and to ensure our name continues to be associated with outstanding service our clients have come to expect.”
Aer Lingus has been fined €250,000 for a health and safety breach in connection with the death of a cargo driver at Dublin Airport over two years ago.
The company admitted exposing non-employees to risks to their health and safety in relation to a practice which had developed of cargo drivers habitually gaining access to a loading bay by climbing onto and off a three foot high loading dock.
John Murray (55), from Skerries, Co Dublin, was climbing down from a loading bay at a cargo warehouse with some light parcels at the airport at night when he fell and suffered fatal head injuries.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard he was discovered lying on his back unconscious approximately 25 minutes later. He suffered fractures to the base of his skull and despite undergoing surgery to relieve swelling of the brain he died several days later.
The company pleaded guilty through a representative that it failed to manage and conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure, that individuals who were not its employees were not exposed to risks to their safety, health or welfare at or near Gate 7 at Aer Lingus Cargo Warehouse on November 5, 2014.
The full charge specifies that there was a failure to ensure that adequate measures were in place to protect people from the risk of a fall from height and that there was a failure to implement its written procedures dealing with driver access to loading bays.
The offence states that Aer Lingus “regularly permitted or required drivers to access and egress the building via the loading bay itself”.
Victim impact statements from Mr Murray’s wife Angela and their two children were handed into court.
Judge Martin Nolan extended his condolences to the Murray family. He noted Mr Murray’s death had been devastating for his family and had left a huge hole in their lives.
He noted that there was an “inherent danger” in the practice of cargo drivers taking the shortest route by hopping down off the platform but said no one could have envisaged that someone would be killed.
Judge Nolan said that the purpose of health and safety legislation was sometimes to protect people from themselves and that if people were let take a shortcut they would take it.
He noted that the company had a generally good record and that steps had been taken to address this practice since the incident. He noted the company’s early guilty plea and its apology to the family.
He said Aer Lingus was a “flagship company” and people expected it to run a good operation but in this case it had not. He noted the maximum fine applicable to this offence was €3 million but said he did not believe this was an extreme case and imposed a fine of €250,000.
Inspector Martin Convey told Michael Delaney SC, prosecuting, that the company had identified the practice as a risk in 2007 and written procedures were prepared. The company pleaded guilty to failing to implement the written procedures dealing with driver access to loading bays.
Insp Convey agreed with Shane Murphy SC, defending, that there was now strictly supervised access, a fence around the loading bay and signs in place. Spot checks were also carried out. He agreed that there had been no recurrence of this activity.
Mr Murphy said Aer Lingus deeply regretted that this tragic situation came to pass. He said the company had co-operated fully with the investigation and the current situation meets the implementation of best practice.
Mr Murphy said there had been a lack of supervision at night and bad practice had developed.
The Murray family’s solicitor Dermot McNamara confirmed that a claim for damages against Aer Lingus has been lodged in the High Court
“Whilst my clients welcome today’s verdict, it does little to ease their pain,” said Mr McNamara.
“John Murray went to work on November 5 2014 and his family expected him to return home safely.
“He died because Aer Lingus did not open and close the designated pedestrian door and instead drivers had to access the warehouse via the loading bay.
“There is no point in Aer Lingus having vital Health and Safety rules if they fail to ensure they are strictly followed.
“In this case, the failure to ensure drivers used a safe pedestrian option, ultimately cost Mr Murray his life and left a family with a devastating loss.”
Story by Fiona Ferguson of the Irish Independent, March 20th