Tag Archives: HSE

Door & Hardware Federation issues stark warning to owners, managers and specifiers of powered access systems

Appearing at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court, Foodles Production (UK) Ltd – the London-based company – has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in relation to a prosecution brought by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) following a serious accident at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire involving actor Harrison Ford. Sentencing was due to take place on Monday 22 August, but has now been put back until October.

The accident occurred during production of ‘Star Wars Episode Seven: The Force Awakens’. 71 year-old Ford suffered a broken leg and other injuries when he was struck by a metal door on the set of the Millennium Falcon. The incident took place on 12 June 2014.

A spokesperson for the HSE said: “During the filming of ‘Star Wars Episode Seven: The Force Awakens’, the actor Harrison Ford was badly injured after he became trapped under a rapidly closing metal-framed door. The power of the door’s drive system was comparable to the weight of a small car. This was a foreseeable incident. Foodles Production (UK) Ltd has accepted that it failed to protect actors and staff. The HSE welcomes the firm’s guilty plea.”

The spokesperson continued: “Every employer in every industry has a legal duty to manage risks in the workplace. Risks are part and parcel of everyday life, and this is acknowledged by Health and Safety law, but they still need to be identified and managed in a proportionate way.”

In conclusion, the HSE spokesperson commented: “The British film industry has a world renowned reputation for making exceptional films. Managing on-set risks in a sensible and proportionate way for all actors and staff – regardless of their celebrity status – is vital for protecting both on-screen and off-screen talent, as well as safeguarding the reputation of the industry.”

Responsibilities of owners, managers and specifiers

According to the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF), whose constituent members manufacture, supply and maintain industrial and commercial doors, automated gates, garage doors and barriers, this high profile incident “throws into sharp focus” the responsibilities of owners and managers, and indeed all of those who specify powered access products and equipment.

The DHF’s training officer Nick Perkins said: “This court case serves as a warning to everybody involved in the powered access sector that they must ensure all adequate safety measures are provided wherever there’s the risk of people being injured by a moving door, gate or barrier. Without safety measures in place there’s the real risk of accidents leading to death, serious injury and criminal prosecution of those responsible.”

DHFWarningSign

Perkins continued: “In this case, Harrison Ford was pinned down by the hydraulically operated door. Luckily he survived, albeit with serious injuries that included a broken leg. His death was only prevented because someone was thankfully able to activate an emergency stop, but not before injury had been caused.”

Perkins added that owners and managers must ensure industrial doors, powered gates and traffic barriers – regardless of when they were installed – meet the current standards which detail the levels of safety required.

Owners are advised to ensure that their powered access systems and equipment are checked for safety against the current standards and regularly maintained by both properly trained and qualified specialists.

“As this court case shows,” asserted Perkins, “owners and all those responsible for powered access systems and equipment could face prosecution in the event of an incident at one of their sites. They should also be aware that installers and maintainers are also bound by criminal legislation to ensure that all work, whether carried out on a new or an existing access system, is absolutely safe.”

Perkins pointed out that adequate levels of safety in all powered access installations can be achieved by using one of several safety features including hold-to-run controls or light curtain/photo scanner presence detectors or by ensuring that correct force limitation is duly in place.

 

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BSIA members make firm commitment to Health and Safety Best Practice

The British Security Industry Association has launched a new Health and Safety Forum dedicated to providing networking and information sharing opportunities for Health and Safety professionals working in the private security industry.

Launched at Stamford Bridge – the home of Chelsea Football Club – on 19 November, the Forum aims to facilitate the sharing of information and Best Practice, in turn galvanising BSIA members’ commitment to Health and Safety into positive action while also informing them of the latest developments in relevant legislation.

The launch event was sponsored and hosted by VSG and featured brief presentations outlining the aims and objectives of the Health and Safety Forum as well as a networking opportunity and a tour of the stadium. In addition, the BSIA hosted a lively discussion on Health and Safety Excellence at which attendees were encouraged to share their own Case Studies demonstrating Best Practice or innovation in their business and thereby help stimulate debate.

Commenting on the success of the launch event, Trevor Elliott – director of manpower and membership services at the BSIA – said: “We were delighted with the turnout at the launch of our Health and Safety Forum, and extremely pleased with the level of engagement from attendees who were eager to share their own experiences and learn from each other’s examples of Best Practice.”

The BSIA has now launched its dedicated Health and Safety Forum for security companies

The BSIA has now launched its dedicated Health and Safety Forum for security companies

Engagement with the HSE and the SIA

Engagement with other industry bodies will be key to the Forum’s activity, with members planning to engage with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Dave Humphries, director of partnerships and interventions at the SIA, explained: “The event was extremely helpful in clarifying where the key players in the private security industry are in terms of this important topic. This is directly relevant to the work I’m embarking on within the SIA which is our violence reduction strategy. I will welcome being actively engaged with this Forum as that strategy develops and is implemented. Our strategy will only be effective if it’s informed by the experts within the sector. On that basis, I’m hopeful for a positive engagement with others in the Forum.”

Speaking about the future work of the Health and Safety Forum, Interconnective’s Bobby Logue stated: “The launch of the BSIA’s Health and Safety Forum has identified the challenges ahead for Health and Safety professionals operating in member companies. The real work for the Forum begins now. We need to address the key issues including accurate data and industry Best Practice. We also need to create industry and customer awareness and develop Health and Safety Best Practice throughout the BSIA member companies.”

Those in attendance have provided positive feedback from the launch, with 100% of respondents to a post-event survey claiming that it was of value to their business. Following the event, 100% of attendees plan to become involved in the Health and Safety Forum, with the key benefit cited as being able to work together with the wider industry to influence future legislation.

Trevor Elliott: director of manpower and membership services at the BSIA

Trevor Elliott: director of manpower and membership services at the BSIA

Among the other perceived benefits is the ability for members to provide a better service to their customers and the opportunity to network with like-minded peers.

Plans are now taking shape for the inaugural meeting of the BSIA’s Health and Safety Forum which is due to take place in early 2015.

*BSIA members interested in becoming involved should register their interest by contacting Trevor Elliott via e-mail at: t.elliott@bsia.co.uk

**Non-members wishing to learn more about the wider benefits of Association membership can do so by visiting: http://www.bsia.co.uk/join-the-bsia

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