Metal finishing company fined following death of employee

[Northern Ireland]  The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has successfully led a prosecution against NK Coatings Limited in Newtownabbey, which has been fined £120,000.

The Mallusk based company earlier pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court following the death of an employee at the factory site.

The prosecution arose following a HSENI investigation into an incident that occurred on 23 September 2020 when a metal storage rack fell from the forks of a counterbalance fork-lift truck, resulting in fatal injuries to Mr Leslaw Mazur, aged 56.

Mr Mazur, a metal finisher, was assisting three other employees to turn a large metal structure which was being supported on the forks of a fork-lift truck. The metal racking subsequently fell from the forks, striking Mr Mazur. The investigation found that a risk assessment had not been completed for the activity and the method used to turn the structure was unsafe placing workers at risk. A prohibition notice was served on the Company by a Health and Safety Inspector following the incident.

NK Coatings Limited was fined for breaching article 4 of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

Kyle Carrick, Head of HSENI’s Major Investigation Team said: “This tragic incident was avoidable. Any activity involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a safe manner.

“Employers should be aware that HSENI will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those who are found to fall below the required standards.”

 

This is valid as of 1st July 2022.

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Investigation into corporate manslaughter and gross negligence handed to HSE

The investigation into the death of a Royal Air Force sergeant has been handed over to the Health and Safety Executive.

Rachael Fisk died on 2 September last year during a training event at RAF Weston-on-the-Green in Oxfordshire. Sgt Fisk was taking part in a parachuting exercise.

A joint investigation was launched with and led by Thames Valley Police. The police have concluded their investigation into offences of corporate manslaughter and gross negligence; the HSE will now lead the investigation.

The criminal inquiry will determine if any breaches under the Health and Safety at Work Act have occurred.

HSE principal inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “It is important HSE completes the investigation into Rachel’s death to determine the cause of this incident.

“HSE will draw upon the evidence gathered so far and call upon its own specialist investigators and independent support in what is likely to be a complex investigation.

“During the investigation we will continue to keep in touch with Rachel’s family as we send them our deepest sympathies at this difficult time.”

 

This is valid as of 30th June 2022.

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Dairy Crest given record fine for Davidstow environmental offences

The maker of popular brands like Cathedral City and others has been fined £1.5 million – the largest fine ever awarded for an Environment Agency conviction in the South West.

The environmental performance of Dairy Crest Limited has been unacceptable for too long and needs to significantly improve, says the Environment Agency.

Dairy Crest Limited, owned by Saputo Dairy UK, and its management of the Davidstow Creamery near Camelford, north Cornwall, has been falling way short of the standards expected by the Environment Agency when it comes to the company’s management of liquid waste, odour and environmental reporting, Truro Crown Court heard.

According to the Environment Agency, ever since the site changed production to focus on whey processing, particularly to produce powder used in baby milk and other products, the effluent being discharged into the River Inny has been more challenging to treat. This has resulted in unacceptable pollution of the local river, which is a tributary of the River Tamar, causing significant harm to fish and other aquatic wildlife. Another issue has been foul odours which have often affected the lives of local residents.

Dairy Crest, which produces brands such as Cathedral City at its Davidstow plant – the UK’s largest dairy processing facility and one of the largest manufacturing sites in Europe – previously pleaded guilty to 21 of 27 charges brought by the Environment Agency. For committing this catalogue of offences, the firm was fined £1.52 million at the crown court on 23 June 2022. It had already agreed to pay costs of £272,747.

Delivering the sentence, HHJ Simon Carr expressed the view that he had not seen consistent performance evidenced by the company over a five-year period. The judge identified a poor, middle management culture as a contributing factor to the environmental harm caused that should have been dealt with by senior management much sooner.

He said it felt like there was never a time without a problem and some of those responsible for the wastewater treatment plant felt bullied and unable to come forward.

Judge Carr added he had been “moved” when reading testimony from residents whose lives had been “blighted” by odours.

The offences

The offences included:

•  releasing a harmful biocide, used to clean the wastewater tanks and pipework, into the river and killing thousands of fish over a two kilometre stretch on 16 August 2016

•  coating the River Inny with a noxious, black sludge for five kilometres in 2018, through a release of a mass of suspended solids in July and August 2018

•  consistently exceeding limits on substances like phosphorous and suspended solids entering the River Inny, from 2016 up to 2021

•  numerous leaks of part-treated effluent into nearby watercourses and onto the land

•  foul odours repeatedly affecting residents over many years

•  failing to tell the Environment Agency within 24 hours of when things had gone significantly wrong on site, on seven separate occasions.

Helen Dobby, Area Director of the Environment Agency, said: “As a large and well-established operator, Dairy Crest Limited should be up to the job of maintaining the required environmental standards. Instead, it has over a period of many years failed to comply with its environmental permit and not been able to protect local people and the environment.

“We acknowledge that Dairy Crest Limited has been taking steps to remedy the various problems, but unfortunately, these actions were not swift enough on many occasions and proved to be ineffective in stopping pollution.”

The Environment Agency says it remains deeply concerned about the environmental performance of this site and its impact on the environment. It will continue to monitor the situation and regulate this site closely and urges the operator to make the right decisions and level of investment on site to better protect the wildlife and people of Cornwall.

 

This is valid as of 29th June 2022.

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East Grinstead care home fined £1.5m over choking death

A care home provider has been fined £1.5m after a resident choked to death at a West Sussex home.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) brought the prosecution against Care UK Community Partnerships Ltd, which runs Mill View in East Grinstead.

Crawley Magistrates’ Court found the home failed to meet a resident’s nutritional and hydration needs and protect them from avoidable harm. The 86-year-old male had been assessed as being at risk from choking.

He was admitted in April 2018 after being discharged from East Surrey Hospital, who had identified he was at risk of choking and needed a special diet of soft food. On 30 April 2018 a choking risk assessment was carried out by a Care UK team leader, but it did not identify any choking risk, the CQC said.

A CQC spokesman said: “On 16 May 2018, a Care UK regional nurse reviewed [the man’s] care plans and amended the eating and drinking plan to state that he ‘eats a normal diet and drinks normal fluids.’ A choking risk assessment was completed and, again, no choking risks were identified.”

Four days later, while having lunch he started to choke and became unresponsive, the spokesman said.

A post-mortem found he had eaten large pieces of meat and concluded the cause of death was choking on food.

“It was found that staff did not understand how to prepare the correct diet or to safely support the resident to eat and drink. The service also failed to maintain accurate care records,” the CQC spokesman said.

Care UK Community Partnerships Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment to the man, and was fined £1.5m and ordered to pay the CQC’s costs of £27,000.

Following the hearing, Care UK regional director Georgina Stocker apologised to the man’s family.

She said: “Following this incident, we implemented a number of improvements across our homes to ensure we learn from this experience and minimise the chances of it happening again.

“These have included retraining everyone who might serve a meal, enhancing record keeping about people’s dietary requirements and scheduling different dining times, where needed, to give colleagues more time to support individual residents.”

 

This is valid as of 24th June 2022.

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Building safety reforms: HSE now the new Building Safety Regulator

The government is introducing new building safety reforms in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. As part of these reforms, the HSE is now the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

Building control professionals and private sector building control organisations will have to register with BSR. Registration will open October 2023.

BSR will expect professionals and organisations to demonstrate their competence to accept them onto the register.

The HSE is currently working on what those competences will be and how people will have to show the right skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours to get onto the register.

As yet, the HSE report that no decisions have been made about the competences or how people can demonstrate them. Options that are being considered include (and could possibly be a combination of) the following:

•  completing the Building Safety Competence Foundation assessment

•  academic qualifications

•  NVQs

•  experience on the job.

The HSE expects that building professionals will need continued professional development (CPD) to maintain their future registrations.

As part of the development work, the HSE have published drafts of some of its registration products. These will be developed further over the next few months, in close consultation with stakeholders. There will also be a public consultation on them in summer 2022. The products are as follows:

Professional conduct rules (draft)

Mandatory standards of conduct and behaviour that registered building control approvers (RBCAs) will have to adhere to.

Code of conduct (draft)

Mandatory standards of conduct and behaviour that registered building inspectors (RBIs) will have to adhere to.

Building inspector competency framework (BICoF) (draft)

The building inspector competency framework (BICoF) sets out the competencies that building inspectors will have to show to get onto the register.

 

This is valid as of 23rd June 2022.

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Plug-in grant for cars ends as focus moves to improving electric vehicle charging

On 14 June 2022, the government closed the plug-in car grant scheme to new orders after kickstarting the UK’s electric car revolution and supporting the sale of nearly half a million electric cars.

It says that the scheme has helped to create a mature market for ultra-low emission vehicles, helping to increase the sales of fully electric cars from less than 1,000 in 2011 to almost 100,000 in the first 5 months of 2022 alone.

Battery and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) now make up more than half of all new cars sold, and fully electric car sales have risen by 70% in the last year, now representing 1 in 6 new cars joining UK roads.

The government states that it has always been clear the plug-in car grant was temporary and previously confirmed funding until 2022-23. It highlights that successive reductions in the size of the grant, and the number of models it covers, have had little effect on rapidly accelerating sales or on the continuously growing range of models being manufactured. Due to this, the government is now refocusing funding towards the main barriers to the EV transition, including public charging and supporting the purchase of other road vehicles where the switch to electric requires further development.

To continue the government’s drive towards net zero and ensure effective use of taxpayer funds, £300 million in grant funding will be refocused towards extending plug-in grants to boost sales of plug-in taxis, motorcycles, vans and trucks and wheelchair accessible vehicles, as announced in its autumn statement.

The shift in focus will also allow government funding to target expanding the public chargepoint network, helping to eradicate “range anxiety” and ensure the transition to zero-emission transport is easy and convenient for all drivers across the UK. The government has previously committed £1.6 billion to building the UK’s public chargepoint network.

All existing applications for the grant will continue to be honoured and where a car has been sold in the 2 working days before the announcement, but an application for the grant from dealerships has not yet been made, the sale will also still qualify for the grant.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “The government continues to invest record amounts in the transition to EVs, with £2.5 billion injected since 2020, and has set the most ambitious phase-out dates for new diesel and petrol sales of any major country. But government funding must always be invested where it has the highest impact if that success story is to continue.

“Having successfully kickstarted the electric car market, we now want to use plug-in grants to match that success across other vehicle types, from taxis to delivery vans and everything in between, to help make the switch to zero emission travel cheaper and easier.

“With billions of both government and industry investment continuing to be pumped into the UK’s electric revolution, the sale of electric vehicles is soaring. We are continuing to lead the way in decarbonising transport, with generous government incentives still in place, while creating high-skilled jobs and cleaner air across the UK.”

According to the government, its measures to support the uptake of electric cars over the past decade have helped to exceed electric car projections, with 39,000 new EV registrations in March 2022 – more than in the whole of 2019. Since its inception in 2011, the government’s plug-in car grant has provided over £1.4 billion and supported the purchase of nearly half a million clean vehicles.

 

This is valid as of 22nd June 2022.

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Croydon tram crash: TfL to admit to failings over fatal derailment

Transport for London (TfL) has indicated it will plead guilty to health and safety failings over the Croydon tram crash.

Seven passengers died and 61 were injured when a tram derailed in south London on 9 November 2016. Driver Alfred Dorris, 48, of Beckenham, also appeared at the recent hearing at Croydon Magistrates’ Court (10 June).

He indicated a not guilty plea to an allegation of failing as an employee to take reasonable care of passengers.

The crash resulted in the deaths of Dane Chinnery, 19, Philip Logan, 52, Philip Seary, 57, Dorota Rynkiewicz, 35, and Robert Huxley, 63, all from New Addington, and Mark Smith, 35, and Donald Collett, 62, who were both from Croydon.

Nineteen of the 61 people hurt in the derailment suffered serious injuries.

Prosecutions against TfL, Mr Dorris and Tram Operations Limited (TOL) are being brought by regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). TOL also indicated it will plead guilty to health and safety failings.

District Judge Nigel Dean released Mr Dorris on unconditional bail ahead of the next hearing at Croydon Crown Court on 8 July.

Following the hearing, TfL said its indication of a guilty plea would enable court proceedings to “come to a conclusion as promptly as possible”.

Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “The Sandilands tragedy will never be forgotten and our thoughts remain with everyone affected.

“We have worked closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) and the ORR since November 2016 to introduce a new safety regime and implement all the recommendations from the organisations across the tram network.

“This has made the network safer for everyone and we continue to work tirelessly to ensure that such a tragedy could never occur again.”

Chief inspector of railways, Ian Prosser, explained the ORR had conducted an “extensive, detailed and thorough investigation” into the crash.

“The matter has now been sent to the Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing to case manage and list future hearings,” he said.

 

This is valid as of 21st June 2022.

Transport for London (TfL) has indicated it will plead guilty to health and safety failings over the Croydon tram crash.
Seven passengers died and 61 were injured when a tram derailed in south London on 9 November 2016. Driver Alfred Dorris, 48, of Beckenham, also appeared at the recent hearing at Croydon Magistrates' Court (10 June). He indicated a not guilty plea to an allegation of failing as an employee to take reasonable care of passengers. The crash resulted in the deaths of Dane Chinnery, 19, Philip Logan, 52, Philip Seary, 57, Dorota Rynkiewicz, 35, and Robert Huxley, 63, all from New Addington, and Mark Smith, 35, and Donald Collett, 62, who were both from Croydon. Nineteen of the 61 people hurt in the derailment suffered serious injuries. Prosecutions against TfL, Mr Dorris and Tram Operations Limited (TOL) are being brought by regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). TOL also indicated it will plead guilty to health and safety failings. District Judge Nigel Dean released Mr Dorris on unconditional bail ahead of the next hearing at Croydon Crown Court on 8 July. Following the hearing, TfL said its indication of a guilty plea would enable court proceedings to “come to a conclusion as promptly as possible”. Andy Lord, TfL's chief operating officer, said: “The Sandilands tragedy will never be forgotten and our thoughts remain with everyone affected. “We have worked closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) and the ORR since November 2016 to introduce a new safety regime and implement all the recommendations from the organisations across the tram network. “This has made the network safer for everyone and we continue to work tirelessly to ensure that such a tragedy could never occur again.” Chief inspector of railways, Ian Prosser, explained the ORR had conducted an “extensive, detailed and thorough investigation” into the crash. “The matter has now been sent to the Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing to case manage and list future hearings,” he said.  

This is valid as of 21st June 2022.

Transport company fined £850,000 for failings that led to man’s death

A Leeds-based company has been fined £850,000 after an employee sustained fatal injuries while undergoing training.

Hermes Parcelnet Limited pled guilty to health and safety breaches committed between 1 August 2018 and 19 March 2019 at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

The court heard that at around 10.15pm on 19 March 2019 at the company’s Eurocentral depot, David Kennedy sustained crush injuries while undergoing training on the operation of a trailer mover.

Mr. Kennedy was struck in the chest by the tiller head of the mover and pinned against a stationary trailer while using it to reposition a laden articulated trailer within the depot yard.

The 43-year-old was taken to hospital but died of his injuries two days later.

The HSE investigation found that the company failed to ensure that their in-house trainer at Eurocentral was given enough instruction on how training should be delivered. No one on-site monitored whether the appropriate training was taking place.

The company’s training plan set out that towing a trailer should not take place until the second hour of the training. Mr. Kennedy started his practical training around 30 minutes before the incident occurred. ln that time he was already involved in moving a laden trailer with the mover.

The company also failed to ensure that the trainer used two trained banksmen at all relevant times in the course of training. The trainer was at times in a position where it is unlikely that he would have been able to see and correct any mistakes.

Soon after the incident, the company removed all trailer movers from service across its UK sites.

Alistair Duncan, Head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said: “David Kennedy lost his life in circumstances which were foreseeable and entirely avoidable. By failing to identify the risks arising from providing training to employees in the operation of a trailer mover Hermes Parcelnet Limited put their employees at unacceptable risk.

“This prosecution should remind other employers that failing to keep their employees safe can have fatal consequences and they will be held accountable for this failure. Our thoughts are with Mr Kennedy’s family at this difficult time.”

 

This is valid as of 20th June 2022.

A Leeds-based company has been fined £850,000 after an employee sustained fatal injuries while undergoing training.
Hermes Parcelnet Limited pled guilty to health and safety breaches committed between 1 August 2018 and 19 March 2019 at Hamilton Sheriff Court. The court heard that at around 10.15pm on 19 March 2019 at the company’s Eurocentral depot, David Kennedy sustained crush injuries while undergoing training on the operation of a trailer mover. Mr. Kennedy was struck in the chest by the tiller head of the mover and pinned against a stationary trailer while using it to reposition a laden articulated trailer within the depot yard. The 43-year-old was taken to hospital but died of his injuries two days later. The HSE investigation found that the company failed to ensure that their in-house trainer at Eurocentral was given enough instruction on how training should be delivered. No one on-site monitored whether the appropriate training was taking place. The company’s training plan set out that towing a trailer should not take place until the second hour of the training. Mr. Kennedy started his practical training around 30 minutes before the incident occurred. ln that time he was already involved in moving a laden trailer with the mover. The company also failed to ensure that the trainer used two trained banksmen at all relevant times in the course of training. The trainer was at times in a position where it is unlikely that he would have been able to see and correct any mistakes. Soon after the incident, the company removed all trailer movers from service across its UK sites. Alistair Duncan, Head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said: “David Kennedy lost his life in circumstances which were foreseeable and entirely avoidable. By failing to identify the risks arising from providing training to employees in the operation of a trailer mover Hermes Parcelnet Limited put their employees at unacceptable risk. “This prosecution should remind other employers that failing to keep their employees safe can have fatal consequences and they will be held accountable for this failure. Our thoughts are with Mr Kennedy’s family at this difficult time.”  

This is valid as of 20th June 2022.

Firm guilty of corporate manslaughter, fined £2m, and directors jailed after yard workers drowned in pig feed

A food waste recycling company has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter and fined £2 million after two employees drowned in a tanker of semi-liquid pig feed.

Nathan Walker, 19, and Gavin Rawson, 35, died in December 2016 at Greenfeeds Limited in Normanton, Leicestershire.

The firm’s managing directors – Gillian and Ian Leivers – and manager Stewart Brown were also convicted and sentenced.

On 22 December Mr Walker, who was a member of yard staff at the company, climbed into the tanker to clean it after it was found it could not be fully emptied.

He got into difficulty and his colleague Mr Rawson attempted to rescue him. The men were released after a saw was used to cut holes in the side of the tanker. Emergency services attempted to resuscitate them but they died at the scene.

A post-mortem examination concluded both Mr Walker and Mr Rawson died as a result of drowning.

During the trial, the prosecution accused the owners of the company of putting profits before the safety of their employees.

Det Con Kirsty Iqbal, from Leicestershire Police, said: “Investigations showed that the system which was used to clean out the tankers at Greenfeeds Limited was so fundamentally dangerous that fatal consequences were virtually certain.

“Mr Walker and Mr Rawson had their futures taken away from them simply because the firm did not have the correct safety procedures and equipment in place.”

Greenfeeds Limited were found guilty of two counts of corporate manslaughter.

Gillian Leivers, 60, of Fosse Road in Newark, Nottinghamshire, was found guilty of two counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

The company had already pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees. Mrs Leivers and her husband Ian Leivers, 59, of Fosse Road, Newark, were convicted of allowing Greenfeeds to commit this offence.

Stewart Brown, 69, of Fernwood Close in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was found guilty of failing to ensure the health and safety of his co-workers. He was cleared of two counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

Yesterday, during the sentencing hearing, Mrs Leivers was jailed for 13 years while Mr Leivers was handed 20 months behind bars. Mr Brown was sentenced to a year in prison, suspended for two years, for failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others.

Ms Leivers was also found guilty of a separate health and safety offence and banned from being a company director for 15 years.

 

This is valid as of 17th June 2022.

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Common charger: curbing e-waste and reducing hassle

By autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU, European Parliament and Council negotiators have agreed.

The provisional agreement on the amended Radio Equipment Directive, establishes a single charging solution for certain electronic devices. This law is a part of a broader EU effort to make products in the EU more sustainable, to reduce electronic waste, and make consumers’ lives easier.

Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charging device and cable every time they purchase a new device, and can use one single charger for all of their small and medium-sized portable electronic devices. Mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of their manufacturer. Laptops will also have to be adapted to the requirements by 40 months after the entry into force.

The charging speed is also harmonised for devices that support fast charging, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger.

Better information and choice for consumers

Consumers will be provided with clear information on the charging characteristics of new devices, making it easier for them to see whether their existing chargers are compatible. Buyers will also be able to choose whether they want to purchase new electronic equipment with or without a charging device.

These new obligations will lead to more re-use of chargers and will help consumers save up to 250 million euro a year on unnecessary charger purchases. Disposed of and unused chargers are estimated to represent about 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually.

Encouraging technological innovation

As wireless charging technology becomes more prevalent, the European Commission will be empowered to develop so-called delegated acts, on the interoperability of charging solutions.

Next steps

After the summer recess, Parliament and Council will have to formally approve the agreement before it is published in the EU Official Journal. It will enter into force 20 days after publication and its provisions will start to apply after 24 months. The new rules would not apply to products placed on the market before the date of application.

 

This is valid as of 16th June 2022.

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Fly tipper who dumped 51 tonnes of tyres jailed

[Scotland] A fly-tipper who dumped 51 tonnes of tyres on waste ground has been jailed for 11 months.

Declan Clarke, 30, from Dumbarton, collected the tyres from places such as garages for a fee and then dumped them in car parks and empty land around Glasgow.

Prosecutors said the vast majority of the tyres were dumped at Dalsetter Crescent in Drumchapel and were consumed in a fire on 24 July 2020. It caused so much smoke it disrupted flights at Glasgow Airport. Clarke was not connected to the fire.

Two days later, the remnants were cleared by Glasgow City Council workers. They found the debris consisted of 51 tonnes of tyres and 17 tonnes of household waste.

Around 500 tyres were dumped at Gartloch Farm, near Gartcosh to the east of Glasgow, between October 8 and 22, 2020 while more tyres were deposited there on 13 November the same year.

Clarke pleaded guilty to depositing controlled waste, namely used tyres, on or in land otherwise than in accordance with a waste management licence, in breach of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, at a previous court hearing in April.

He was sentenced to 11 months in jail when he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court for sentencing last Wednesday, the Crown Office said.

Sergeant Nigel McDonald of Police Scotland said afterwards Clarke was “an opportunistic criminal using his illegitimate business to collect tonnes of rubbish for a fee before just dumping them across the city”.

He added: “Not only did this end up costing significant sums for the authorities to clear up, but there has been serious and long-lasting environmental damage to a number of areas where tyres or waste were heaped and set on fire.”

Sgt McDonald said while it was “highly unusual for fly-tipping cases like this to result in a custodial sentence” this showed “the seriousness of Clarke’s repeated offences”

Speaking after Clarke was sentenced, Fiona Caldwell, procurator fiscal for wildlife and environmental crime, said: “Fly-tipping causes the public real and legitimate concern. It is criminal behaviour which creates an eyesore and is costly to clear up and one that the local council must often carry.

“Declan Clarke’s deliberate and criminal action showed a lack of consideration for the environment and undermines legitimate waste management companies.

“There is no excuse for illegal dumping of waste and those who choose to engage in it will be brought to account for their actions.”

Prosecutors said that between June and August 2020, a large number of tyres were fly-tipped in the Drumchapel area.

As well as those dumped at Dalsetter Crescent, tyres were left at Drummore Road, Glenkirk Drive and at the Donald Dewar Centre.

Gartloch Farm has frequently been used as a dumping ground by fly-tippers and as a result wildlife cameras have been installed on the land. These cameras captured Clarke, using a number of different hire vans, dumping tyres.

On 20 November 2020 police executed a search warrant at Clarke’s home and found him hiding under a bed. During the search a key for another hire van was discovered and the vehicle, parked outside his flat, was found to be full of tyres.

A mobile phone was also seized which was found to contain messages between Clarke and proprietors of vehicle garages and tyre fitters in which the collection of tyres was discussed.

From the messages it appeared that Clarke was charging £1-2 per tyre and in one message dated 18 November 2020 he stated: “It’s getting a bit hot to get rid of them.”

Prosecutors said the cost of cleaning up Dalsetter Crescent was £7,245.16, while the estimated cost of cleaning up Gartloch Farm is £120,000 and a further £2,800 to dispose of the remaining tyres.

Stephen Egan, Glasgow City Council’s head of parks and streetscene, welcomed Clarke being jailed for his “shocking example of fly-tipping.”

Mr Egan said the council “had to divert significant resources to clear up the waste dumped by this individual and the subsequent fire was clearly dangerous and detrimental to the local environment”.

 

This is valid as of 15th June 2022.

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‘Ofsted-style’ inspections and unlimited fines for failing social landlords

Failing social housing landlords could face unlimited fines and Ofsted-style inspections, under the Social Housing Regulation Bill which was introduced to Parliament on 8 June 2022.

The Regulator of Social Housing will have stronger powers to issue unlimited fines, enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice – down from 28 days – and make emergency repairs where there is a serious risk to tenants, with landlords footing the bill.

In a major reset of power between tenants and landlords, residents will be able to demand information and rate their landlord as part of new satisfaction measures. The Bill will form a key part of the government’s mission to level up across the country and deliver on the people’s priorities.

Tenants will have a direct line to government, with a new 250-person residents panel convening every four months to share their experiences with ministers, inform policy thinking and help drive change in the sector.

The Bill is the latest step in addressing the systemic issues identified following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, not just on the safety and quality of social housing, but about how tenants are treated by their landlords.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “In 2022 it is disgraceful that anyone should live in damp, cold and unsafe homes, waiting months for repairs and being routinely ignored by their landlord. These new laws will end this injustice and ensure the regulator has strong new powers to take on rogue social landlords.”

“We are driving up the standards of social housing and giving residents a voice to make sure they get the homes they deserve. That is levelling up in action.”

The Social Housing (Regulation) Bill being introduced removes the serious detriment test – a legislative barrier that once axed will make it easier for the Regulator to tackle poor performing landlords.

The biggest social housing providers will face regular inspections and the Levelling Up Secretary will continue to name and shame worst offenders to make sure residents are living in good quality homes.

The Bill will also mean landlords will need to have a named person who will be responsible for health and safety requirements. And tenants of housing associations will be able to request information from their landlord, similar to how the Freedom of Information Act works for council housing.

 

This is valid as of 13th June 2022.

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Get the latest Health, Safety and Environmental news and information – sign up for monthly updates from Barbour EHS. Computer monitor What you’ll get:
  • Free downloads including Directors’ Briefings, legislation updates, webinars, risk assessments and more
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  • Important industry news and updates
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  • Industry partner information,
  • plus discounts on products and services