CORGI Replaced By New Scheme
From 1 April, 2009, landlords and employers should check that anyone carrying out work on gas appliances is registered under the new Gas Safe Register. CORGI registration will no longer carry any statutory force. There is no grace period.
By law only Gas Safe registered engineers should be employed to carry out work on gas installations or appliances, CORGI gas registration will no longer be valid. The 120,000 engineers previously verified under the CORGI scheme are now registering with Gas Safe so they can continue to work legally.
Simple search and verification Finding a Gas Safe registered engineer is simple. You can find an engineer in your area online at www.gassaferegister.co.uk or by calling 0800 408 5500.
Registered engineers will be identified with the new yellow Gas Safe Register logo, and every engineer will carry a Gas Safe Register ID card with their own unique licence number.
Records should be kept, showing who has carried out work on gas installations, including the Gas Safe registration and licence number.
Incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained gas appliances are a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. They can also lead to gas leaks and explosions. On average over 25 people a year die from CO poisoning, and many more suffer health problems from CO exposure directly related to gas. Around 40 people a year are killed or injured in gas explosions.
Carrying out annual maintenance on gas boilers and water heaters in a commercial environment will satisfy the requirements under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and will constitute a suitable defence if a worst case scenario does occur, as due diligence will be seen to have been taken.
New Health & Safety Law Poster
On 6th April 2009, the HSE published a new version of the Health & Safety Law Poster. Employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989, to display the poster in a prominent position in each workplace or provide each worker with a copy of the equivalent leaflet outlining British health and safety laws.
The new poster updates the previous poster, which was published in April 1999. Research showed that the previous version of poster was visually unappealing and rarely read. The new version has been completely re-designed to be more easily readable and engaging.
The poster also reflects recent changes in the law to reduce the administrative cost to employers of having to provide additional written information on the poster, and having to keep this information up to date. Instead, workers are advised to phone the HSE Infoline to be put in touch with the health and safety enforcing authority for their workplace or with HSE for employment medical advice.
To help avoid an unnecessary burden on businesses, the HSE Board has set a 5 year transition period for replacing the current poster and leaflet. They must be replaced by the new poster no later than 5 April 2014.
Company Held Partly Liable for RSI
Ms Goodwin was employed as an insurance adviser for a major motor cycle insurance company. Following the introduction of a bonus scheme, the number of renewals Ms Goodwin did per day increased.
Following her involvement in a minor road traffic accident, she started to notice aching in both wrists. She told her line manager about this and her GP diagnosed her condition as tenosynovitis and signed her off work for 2 weeks.
Despite a reduction in her workload, the wrist pain continued and worsened. As a result of other issues Ms Goodwin left her employment.
At first instance the Judge held that the employer had been in breach of the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 but that the breaches had not been causative. In addition, he held that her symptoms were not caused by her work. Ms Goodwin’s pain was aggravated by keyboard work.
The employer did not plan her activities at all but, had they done so, this would not have required any change to her existing routine. Her workstation and posture were satisfactory and the volume of her work was not such that there was excessive repetition or insufficient rest. However, her workload should have been further reduced.
Accordingly the company was liable in negligence and for breach of Regulations 6 and 7 (which require information and training to be provided) for the recurrence of her symptoms.
The Court of Appeal allowed Ms Goodwin’s appeal in part, and she was entitled to damages in respect of the recurrence of her symptoms. This was on the basis that her employer was informed that she was suffering from symptoms and should have taken action.
The case is a reminder to employers and their insurers that appropriate action must be taken when they are, or should be, aware of an employee’s particular issue or problem. DSE Risk Assessments should be carried out for all habitual display screen equipment users, and the risk assessment should be reviewed as and when there is any change which effects the validity of the original assessment.
£9,000 Compensation for Trip & Fall
Lloyds TSB has paid almost £9,000 in compensation to a bank cashier who suffered ankle and knee injuries when she toppled down an unmarked step while carrying heavy boxes.
The cashier who had worked for the bank for five years, was carrying two metal boxes from the branch safe to the cashier’s desk, when she stepped through an open doorway into a passage and fell down an unmarked stair. This resulted in her fracturing her left ankle, spraining her right ankle and damaging her knee. The step was not marked by any warning signs.
Edwards was off work for six months. After she contacted her union, her solicitors pursued a claim for damages. Lloyds TSB admitted liability for the accident and Edwards received almost £9000 in damages.