In the News
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued a report and safety flyer following a fatal accident in an enclosed space on board the fishing vessel Sunbeam in Fraserburgh, Scotland. https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/entry-to-enclosed-space-on-fishing-vessel-sunbeam-with-loss-of-1-life. The second engineer was found collapsed inside a refrigerated salt water tank. Although he was rescued from the tank, he could not be resuscitated. Three of his crewmates went into the tank to help him. They all suffered breathing difficulties and one also collapsed. Two other crew members then donned breathing apparatus and rescued their struggling crewmates.
MAIB state that:The accident happened because the second engineer entered the tank without any of the safety precautions normally associated with such a hazard being in place.Entry into the tanks without safety precautions had become routine as they had been completed without consequence over the many years of the vessel’s operations.However, on this occasion the atmosphere could not support life, as refrigerant gas had leaked into the space through failed evaporator tubes in one of the vessel’s refrigeration plants.MAIB also stress the need to ensure that well practiced rescue plans are in place.
HSE remind businesses that they can find guidance on preparation for the end of The UK Transition Period, 1st January, on the HSE webpages. For the chemical industry:For guidance on the use of biocides – https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/biocides.htmFor guidance on chemicals classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) – https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/clp.htmFor the guidance on the export and import of hazardous chemicals (PIC) – https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/pic.htmFor guidance on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation – https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/reach-guidance.htmFor guidance on the use pesticides – https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/regulating-pesticides.htm
Competence in Health and Safety should be seen as an important component of workplace activities, not an add-on or afterthought. It is the combination of training, skills, experience and knowledge that a person has, and their ability to apply them to perform a task safely. Other factors, such as attitude and physical ability, can also affect someone’s competence.
As an employer, you should take account of the competence of relevant employees when you are conducting your risk assessments, as well as suppliers, when purchasing costly equipment. This will help you decide what level of information, instruction, training and supervision you need to provide.
If you use contractors, you have a legal responsibility to make sure they are competent.