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We round up our top five stories from the Health and Safety Executive this August.

#1: Manufacturer fined £100,000 after worker partially severs two fingers

A Welshpool manufacturing company has been fined £100,000 after one of its employees partially severed two fingers while trying to find a fault in a machine.

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#2 It’s time for farmers to ‘think differently about safety’ says regulator

A three-year-old child was among 27 people killed in agriculture-related activities in the last 12 months, as Britain’s workplace regulator calls for farmers to ‘think differently about safety’.

The call for a cultural shift away from poor behaviours comes as the rate of fatal injuries in the sector remains one of the highest of all major industries.

Read more.

#3 Boarding school fined £50,000 after pupils overexposed to radon radioactive gas

A private boarding school has been fined £50,000 after exposing two employees, five pupils, and two other children to high levels of radioactive radon gas.

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#4 Blackpool clothing company fined after worker hit by forklift truck

A Blackpool clothing firm has been fined £40,000 after a man was seriously injured when he was hit by a forklift truck.

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#5 Company fined for failing to protect workers

A manufacturing company has been fined after failing to protect two of its workers from exposure to vibration. The two employees carried out a variety of tasks, which included the use of vibrating tools, throughout the company’s manufacturing process. Both operators used these tools for extended periods of time, over a number of years, without adequate systems in place to control their exposure to vibration.

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Source: HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced their latest initiative to tackle occupational lung disease within the woodworking industry, supported by their latest Dust Kills campaign.

HSE's recent inspections have revealed that many woodworking businesses fail to implement necessary measures to prevent or control exposure to wood dust, thereby endangering the lives of their workers. To address this alarming issue, HSE inspectors across the UK will visit woodworking businesses, particularly those involved in sawmilling, composite boards, and carpentry, specifically focusing on respiratory risks associated with wood dust.

Throughout 2023 and 2024, HSE inspectors will assess whether employers have considered the appropriate control measures to reduce workers' exposure to wood dust. They will also evaluate workers' understanding of the risks and check for effective control measures to safeguard their health. In cases where necessary, enforcement action will be taken to ensure workers' protection.

Full statement from HSE

How we can help:  Ensuring Effective Knowledge

Workplace Exposure Monitoring

Compliance with regulations and protecting employees from hazardous substances, such as chemicals, fumes, dust, and vapours, is essential. Our workplace exposure monitoring services assist you in mitigating risks and providing regulatory compliance. We also provide guidance on noise and vibration hazards, helping you prevent long-term health issues like noise-induced hearing loss and hand-arm vibration syndrome.

Find out more by visiting our Workplace Exposure Monitoring page.

Training and Education

Equipping employers and workers with the necessary knowledge and skills is paramount to controlling dust effectively. We offer various training courses designed to raise awareness and promote best practices. We offer UK-wide training options that can be created bespoke for your business and delivered virtually, on site, or at one of our accredited course centres. Our expert trainers cater to the specific needs of different industries and roles.

Find out more by visiting our Training page.

How we can help:  Ensuring Effective Control Measures

Face Fit Testing

To optimise protection against hazardous materials, conducting face fit testing on Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is crucial. Our experienced trainers are competent in performing accurate and reliable RPE fit tests. By ensuring a tight fit of the facepiece, we help prevent leaks and guarantee the utmost safety for workers in diverse roles and physical characteristics.

Find out more by visiting our Face Fit Testing page.


When working correctly, LEV systems should carry away any harmful dust, mist, fumes or gas in the air. This is to prevent individuals from breathing in dangerous impurities. Correctly fitted and maintained, LEV will collect the air that contains the contaminants and make sure they are contained and removed. Our team can provide regular testing and inspections to ensure the safety of your employees and customers.

Occupational Health Assessments

Early identification of ill-health effects is vital for implementing better control measures. Our comprehensive occupational health assessments help identify potential health risks in the workplace, provide a robust way of measuring the effectiveness of existing control measures, and offer tailored strategies for improvement. Spirometry, otherwise known as Lung Function Testing, carried out on a regular basis will give you the information you require about your employees lung capacity.

Used on an ongoing basis, it will help diagnose and monitor lung conditions and the impact certain exposures may have on your employees.

Find out more by visiting our Occupational Health Assessments page.

We round up our top five stories from the Health and Safety Executive this July.

#1: Aircraft seat manufacturer fined £660k after worker fell through a roof

Safran Seats GB Limited, a prominent aircraft seat manufacturer, has been fined £660,000 following a tragic incident where an employee fell through a roof at a site in South Wales. 

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#2 Serious failings found at hand car wash firms across South East

A recent inspection campaign by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found serious health and safety breaches, including faulty electrical sockets and damaged cabling, at hand car wash businesses in West Sussex and Kent, prompting concerns about basic safety in the industry.

Read more.

#3 Firm fined following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease

A plastics manufacturing company in West Bromwich has been fined £50,000 for failing to manage the risk of Legionella bacteria in their water-cooling towers, which led to five cases of Legionnaires' disease among the public, one of whom required intensive care and ventilation, according to an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

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#4 Company fined as worker crushed by 700kg crate

A glass distribution and installation company has been fined £200,000 after an employee suffered serious injuries, including broken ribs and a fractured vertebra, when a 700kg crate fell on him due to an unstable system of work and inadequate risk assessment.

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#5 Bedding manufacturer fined £80,000 after machine operator loses fingers

Bedding manufacturer John Cotton Group Limited has been fined £80,000 after an employee had three fingers amputated when his hand was drawn into a machine, as inadequate safety procedures and training were found to have contributed to the incident. 

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Source: HSE

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court passed a ruling which affects employers when calculating holiday entitlement for workers who work for part of the year (or some weeks of the year). 

The case of Harpur Trust v Brazel found that part-year workers should be entitled to the same paid holiday entitlement as their colleagues working all year round. 

The ruling involved the application of the Working Time Regulations, which it provides for workers to be entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave per year. 

Who does this apply to?

Examples of those affected are seasonal workers, term-time only workers and those working under a zero-hour contract. 

For the ruling to apply, the worker must have a permanent contract that lasts for the full year, even if the individual only works some weeks or months of that year. 

In that scenario, the individual is entitled to receive 5.6 weeks of statutory holiday entitlement. 

To be clear, these individuals' holiday entitlement should not be pro-rated to reflect that they do not work for that full year. It has been ruled that they are entitled to receive the same holiday entitlement as those who work all year round. 

This has a profound effect and may lead to some calculations which feel disproportionate to employers with these types of workers. 

What changes need to be made?

If you have any individuals who are seasonal workers, term-time only workers or who are working under a zero-hour contract, you will need to review how their holiday entitlement is calculated. 

If your current methodology is based on the 12.07% calculation that was previously advised by ACAS, then please be advised that this is no longer correct. 

To calculate what that individual should be paid whilst on holiday, the employer should take an average of the employee pay over the previous 52 weeks. 

As explained by Personnel Today…  
“Employers have to work out the employee's weekly pay by averaging their pay over the previous 52 weeks, ignoring any weeks where they are on holiday, not working, or on unpaid leave.
That amount will be their “week’s pay” and if they take a week’s holiday, that’s the amount you must pay them. If they take less than a week’s holiday, you will have to work this out as a percentage of a week and calculate the payment accordingly.”

To reiterate, the Supreme Court has made it clear that employers should no longer use the 12.07% method for calculating holiday entitlement for part-time or part-year workers. They have determined that this method of calculating holiday entitlement does not comply with the Working Time Regulations. 

With this in mind, there is a real need for any affected employers to consider how they make necessary changes to avoid similar claims as brought in this case. 

If you are currently using the 12.07% method for calculating holiday pay and are unsure of how you should be calculating holiday pay moving forwards, then please contact your designated HR Advisor. 

We will also be discussing this with all HR clients at their next HR Audit.  

Other considerations

Please be mindful that this ruling does not affect part-time workers. Those who work part time are still entitled to receive 5.6 weeks holiday per year, and the number of days holiday a part-time worker receives is dependent on the number of days they work per week.

For example, for a part-time worker working a 0.5 full-time equivalent week, their entitlement will transpire into a proportion of the equivalent full-time entitlement. Therefore, as they only work half of the week, they will be entitled to receive 14 days of holiday (rather than 28 days as received by full-time workers).

If you have questions as to how this new ruling might impact your employees, then please do not hesitate to contact your designated HR Advisor. We will be able to assist with the review and implementation of a compliant holiday calculation. 
Alternatively, you can call 01427 420 403 or email