Experienced site workers will lose their Grandfather Rights from CSCS Skill Cards.

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From 1st January 2020, all cards renewed under Industry Accreditation will expire on 31st December 2024 and CSCS will stop issuing the card from 30th June 2024.

More than 60,000 experienced construction workers will no longer be able to renew their skills cards under the “Grandfather Rights” system.

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has confirmed it will be phasing out the Grandfather Rights scheme from 2020 and abolishing it completely from 2024.

The scheme – officially known as Industry Accreditation – allowed workers to obtain CSCS cards based on their industry knowledge and an employers’ recommendation rather than the achievement of a recognised qualification.

CSCS closed Industry Accreditation to new applicants in 2010 but those already holding a card are currently able to renew on the same basis.

From 1st January 2020, all cards renewed under Industry Accreditation will expire on 31st December 2024 and CSCS will stop issuing the card from 30th June 2024.

Graham Wren, Chief Executive at CSCS said: “Following the closure of the Construction Related Occupation card and the Construction Site Visitor Card, cards gained by Industry Accreditation are the only cards in the CSCS scheme which do not require the cardholder to achieve a recognised qualification.

Industry Accreditation does not support industry’s desire for a fully qualified workforce and as such it will be withdrawn.”

What each of the 60,000 Industry Accreditation card holders need to do next depends on their occupation and any qualifications they may already hold.

Those without qualifications will be required to register for the appropriate qualification for their occupation before their cards expire in 2024.

Wren added: “A lot of work has taken place to ensure those with cards issued under Industry Accreditation will be able to transition to other CSCS cards as simply as possible.

“We are making this announcement early to ensure card holders and their employers have enough time to make the necessary alternative arrangements.”

The withdrawal of Industry Accreditation will be the final step towards achieving the Construction Leadership Council’s objective of ensuring cards are only issued to those who have achieved, or are in the process of achieving, a nationally recognised construction related qualification.

Click here to visit the CSCS website

Skilled trades pay rates hit £1000+ a week in the Midlands!!

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Self-employed construction workers in the West Midlands have seen their average pay rates break through the £1,000-a-week barrier.

December data from workplace audit and CIS specialist Hudson Contract saw average weekly pay rates in the West Midlands of £1,023 – outstripping London at £930.

Annual data for 2018 saw average weekly earnings for freelance workers up 6.7% to £932 a week.

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield said: “Construction companies need to be flexible in order to remain competitive.

“So the fact that skilled trades people such as plasters, joiners, scaffolders and bricklayers are commanding significantly more than this time last year is an excellent indicator of economic growth.

“The West Midlands has been buoyant for some time, and it now looks like the North East has started to play catch up.”

Anfield said freelance workers with similar skills earned 20% more than those on PAYE.

Looking at the year ahead he said: “As always, there is plenty of chatter about skills shortages and Brexit.

“But ultimately, highly skilled freelancers will continue to demand – and achieve – increasing rates of pay.

“In contrast employees are held back by uncertainty of employers and poor increases negotiated by unions under collective agreements.

“Rather than seeing £1,000-a-week tradesmen as a problem, if the CEO of a housebuilder is worth £75m pounds a year, surely freelancers who actually deliver the product are worth at least £50,000 each.

“We look forward to the day when the average weekly rate for freelance brickies, joiners, and plasterers hits £1,000 – they are more than worth it for the benefits they bring.”

Are you looking to get into the Electrical Industry and get paid more?

If you want work in the industry as an electrical labourer then you simply need to attend the One Day  Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H & S Course and obtain a reference from an employer or agency confirming you work in the industry.

 This is a great way for students to make money during their time off!!

ECS Give you the following three options:

  • CCNSG Safety Passport – National Course or Renewal Course
  • IOSH Working Safely – (IOSH Approved Centre Classroom Invigilated Exam ONLY) (this means it cannot be a distance learning or online course – it is a classroom course).
  • Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H & S Course.  This is the course we deliver.  Go to the booking page here.

These qualifications are accepted as a 3-year exemption from the ECS HS&E Assessment. If you have gained one of these qualifications within the last three years, you will not need to sit the ECS assessment separately when you apply for the new style of card, until the next point of renewal.

OR:

Hold a JIB-approved electrical theory qualification and the ECS HS&E Assessment.

  • Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H & S Course London.  This is the course we deliver.

Safety Pass Alliance (S.P.A Core Day)

It is a one day course and we have moved considerably away from delivering this course purely by powerpoint instead opting for more practical exercises to really promote learning.

We deliver this course, every Wednesday here in Ealing, West London for the open course and if you are an employer and have a large number of people to train, we can come to you at a discounted cost.

The safety passport card takes a MAXIUM of 10 working days to arrive (which is quicker than the other options) so this allows you to plan.  In most cases, it arrives well before that time.

The cost of the course is £138.00+vat

Again, The Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H & S Course London, open course is here in West London.

The maximum people we can train at one time is 20.  If you would like Simpleducksto deliver the course at your premises then this is not problem, please call usfor prices as we offer a discounted price for groups.

You can book online at www.simpleducks.com – go to the training page, find a date and book.  All links are below or call on 02089988825.

You can also go to www.coursecheck.com to see further recommendations from previous candidates who have attended our training courses.

Further details are available on our website.  www.simpleducks.com.  I hope this helps.  If this video was a help then please give us a like or share it with someone who might need it.

  • IOSH Working Safely

Positives:

  1. IOSH is a great organisation and the course itself is very good.
  2. IOSH have a good vetting procedure to ensure the trainers delivering their courses are up to date with the latest legislation, laws, best practice and relevant professional work experience etc.
  3. The trainers also have to be registered with IOSH at Tech Level which is really good for routing out all those dodgy back street training companies.

Negatives:

  1. Course providers are given a time period to submit details of their candidates back to IOSH and the time taken can become excessive, particularly when you cannot gain the ECS Card until you’ve uploaded your certificate onto My ECS.  This can take a number of weeks for certificates to arrive
  • CCNSG Safety Passport – National Course or Renewal Course

It is a 2 day course, with lots of participation, however there arnt  many providers in the South offering it.  You will receive (only if you ask for it),a temporary card which can be uploaded onto ECS but it is only valid for around 6 weeks and if your full card has not arrived after this point then you could have some technical issues with the validilityof your ECS card.  But, if you are not in a rush and wanting to work in the Allied Industries then this is probably the best route for you.

  • CCNSG Renewal
  • The CCNSG Renewal Course is designed as a one day refresher course.  It is for those who have already passed the CCNSG National Course.  This has to be taken within three months of the Safety passport expiry date.  If it is not taken within the specified time, then the two day CCNSG National Course will have to be retaken.

Resources:

In this section below we have all the resources needed:

Our home page is, www.simpleducks.com

This is the booking page

Here is the link to My ECS

Go to the support section of our website for the FREE Reference download: Support

The next video to help you with “MY ECS’ is available here on Tuesday 18th September 2018:

Have a look at our recommendations at Course Check choose FIND a DATE and BOOK.

Should you need any further information then either call: 02089988825 or email me at info@simpleducks.com

Watch the video! – New Rules 2018 – How to get your Labourers ECS Card with the Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H&S Course London

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So, you might be an Electricians mate or labourer working on UK Construction Sites and you’ve just found out that you need to do a training course to get the labourers ECS card?

Unfortunately I have to break it to you, that the road ahead isn’t that simple. However, and thankfully, I’ve had the time to analyse options and after you’ve read this post it should help you in making the right decision to choose the type of training and training provider.

A couple of weeks back I had a call from a young chap called Thomas enquiring about the Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H&S Course London, which we deliver here in West London and Nationwide.  But, he only wanted the Core Day and nothing else.  I thought this was unusual.

Becoming a little confused; because most people requiring the Safety Passport Alliance S.P.A Core Day Health and Safety Course then go onto completing Day 2, which is an industry specific qualification such as Safety Passport Alliance SPA Food & Drink Passport  or for working on a Petrol Station then the SPA Petrol Retail – Forecourt Contractors or in a Quarry as a contractor then the SPA Mineral Products course.

Basically, the Safety Passport Alliance Core Day provides the foundation in Safety Awareness whilst Day 2 looks at specific areas and practices within that industry for Contractors or Service Companies.

I asked Thomas why he needed just the SPA Core Day only and he went onto explain, “the requirements for Labourers working in the Electrical Industry had changed from the 1stAugust 2018 and for me to apply for my card I now need a H&S qualification as specified by ECS”.  “I’d missed the deadline and I now urgently need the card to get onto site to make some money over the summer holidays for when I go back to University”.

This was the 1stof many calls I received from guys requiring this training and needing it fast! Since then we’ve had quite a few candidates attend training with us, however and more importantly we’ve had lots of calls from you guys wondering what to do!!  So as a result of this I put together the following video to try and help you guys and girls in the industry.

The changes to Labourer, Manager and Related Disciplines cards have been introduced so that the ECS can continue to meet Construction Skills Certifications Scheme (CSCS) partnerships criteria, following the announcement by the Construction Leadership Council that nationally-recognised qualifications should be in place for all construction-related occupations by 2020.  You can read the rules here by following this link ECS

You will have to provide evidence you are working as an Electrical Labourer with an electrical company and hold either ONE of the following health and safety qualifications (to guide you in the right direction here, you will need a work reference from either a agency you are working for or your employer stating you are an electrical labourer, which needs to be printed on their company letterhead and signed and dated and you will then need to upload this onto your My ECS)

Here is the video on how to upload your details onto MY ECS:

The following three options:

• CCNSG Safety Passport – National Course or Renewal Course

• IOSH Working Safely – (IOSH Approved Centre Classroom Invigilated Exam ONLY) (this means it cannot be a distance learning or online course – it is a classroom course).

• Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H & S Course.  This is the course we deliver.  Go to the booking page here.

These qualifications are accepted as a 3-year exemption from the ECS HS&E Assessment. If you have gained one of these qualifications within the last three years, you will not need to sit the ECS assessment separately when you apply for the new style of card, until the next point of renewal.

OR:

Hold a JIB-approved electrical theory qualification and the ECS HS&E Assessment.


• Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H & S Course London.  This is the course we deliver.

Safety Pass Alliance (S.P.A Core Day)

It is a one day course and we have moved considerably away from delivering this course purely by powerpoint instead opting for more practical exercises to really promote learning.

We deliver this course, every Wednesday here in Ealing, West London for the open course and if you are an employer and have a large number of people to train, we can come to you at a discounted cost.

The safety passport card takes a MAXIUM of 10 working days to arrive (which is quicker than the other options) so this allows you to plan.  In most cases, it arrives well before that time.

The cost of the course is £138+vat

Again, The Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H & S Course London, open course is here in West London.

The maximum people we can train at one time is 20.  If you would like Simpleducksto deliver the course at your premises then this is not problem, please call usfor prices as we offer a discounted price for groups.

You can book online at www.simpleducks.com – go to the training page, find a date and book.  All links are below or call on 02089988825.

You can also go to www.coursecheck.com to see further recommendations from previous candidates who have attended our training courses.

Further details are available on our website.  www.simpleducks.com.  I hope this helps.  If this video was a help then please give us a like or share it with someone who might need it.


  • IOSH Working Safely

Positives:

  1. IOSH is a great organisation and the course itself is very good.
  2. IOSH have a good vetting procedure to ensure the trainers delivering their courses are up to date with the latest legislation, laws, best practice and relevant professional work experience etc.
  3. The trainers also have to be registered with IOSH at Tech Level which is really good for routing out all those dodgy back street training companies.

Negatives:

  1. Course providers are given a time period to submit details of their candidates back to IOSH and the time taken can become excessive, particularly when you cannot gain the ECS Card until you’ve uploaded your certificate onto My ECS.  This can take a number of weeks for certificates to arrive

• CCNSG Safety Passport – National Course or Renewal Course

It is a 2 day course, with lots of participation, however there arnt  many providers in the South offering it.  You will receive (only if you ask for it),a temporary card which can be uploaded onto ECS but it is only valid for around 6 weeks and if your full card has not arrived after this point then you could have some technical issues with the validilityof your ECS card.  But, if you are not in a rush and wanting to work in the Allied Industries then this is probably the best route for you.
·
·CCNSG Renewal
·The CCNSG Renewal Course is designed as a one day refresher course.  It is for those who have already passed the CCNSG National Course.  This has to be taken within three months of the Safety passport expiry date.  If it is not taken within the specified time, then the two day CCNSG National Course will have to be retaken.

Resources:

In this section below we have all the resources needed:

Our home page is, www.simpleducks.com

This is the booking page

Here is the link to My ECS

Go to the support section of our website for the FREE Reference download: Support

The next video to help you with “MY ECS’ is available here on Tuesday 18th September 2018:

Have a look at our recommendations at Course Check choose FIND a DATE and BOOK.

Should you need any further information then either call: 02089988825 or email me at info@simpleducks.com

Regards

Garet

VIDEO: Driver sentenced after hitting pedestrian

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Warning: CCTV video contains graphic footage

An employee of a skip firm has been sentenced after causing serious injury to a pedestrian.

Southwark Crown Court was shown CCTV footage of the incident, which took place on 2 August 2017. The footage showed Daividas Rupeika driving into another excavator at the site in Wimbledon, south-west London.

He then proceeded to reverse the excavator at speed, resulting in a pedestrian being crushed against a shed wall and sustaining serious injuries.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident found that Rupeika had not complied with his duty to take reasonable care for himself and others whilst operating the excavator.

Daividas Rupeika, of Thompson Crescent, Croydon, pleaded not guilty to two charges of breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

One charge related to him deliberately driving his excavator into another which was being driven by a workmate and the second charge related to him driving too fast in the circumstances.

A jury found Rupeika guilty of both counts after a five-day trial. On 16 February 2018 he was sentenced to six months in custody suspended for two years and was ordered to undertake 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Sarah Pearce said: “Employees should take care of themselves and others whilst at work. 23% of those fatally injured at work in the waste industry were struck by a moving vehicle. This incident could so easily have had more severe consequences for all involved. Employees should be aware of the dangers and potential consequences of operating plant in an unsafe manner.”

Eyesight loss and skull fractures after tree work not properly planned

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A self-employed tree worker has been fined after an employee suffered serious head injuries.

Peterborough Magistrates’ Court has heard that on 10 November 2015, Perry Regan (trading as Toppers Garden Services) climbed a ladder to a height of six metres, and cut branches from a tree with a chainsaw.

One large branch fell from the tree and landed on his employee’s head, severely injuring him. The worker needed to be placed in an induced coma and suffered multiple injuries, including skull fractures and the loss of sight in one eye.

The Health and Safety Executive found that Perry Regan was not competent or qualified to carry out, manage or supervise such work. He was using a chainsaw without being qualified to do so, the work was not properly planned to identify risks, nor was adequate training or instruction given to the operatives.

Perry Regan pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months. He was ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and a victim surcharge fee of £115.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Unwin commented: “This incident could have been prevented by the provision of appropriate training for both Perry Regan and his employees. Personal protective equipment had not been made available to the workers, and there was a complete lack of any safe system of work.

“This case highlights the need for tree work to be carried out by suitably trained and competent persons, and that it should be planned and organised correctly.”

Scandal-hit 2 Sisters suspends chicken production at West Midlands plant

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The country’s largest supplier of supermarket chicken has suspended production at one of its main processing plants after undercover filming revealed poor hygiene standards and food safety records being altered.

 

The temporary closure by 2 Sisters Food Group (2SFG), which will now put employees at the plant through a retraining programme, came as Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, joined the boycott of the poultry group’s West Midlands plant in the wake of a joint undercover investigation by the Guardian and ITV News.

 

A spokesman for 2SFG, which supplies a third of all poultry products eaten in the UK, said: “We are shocked and distressed by the allegations and the footage which we saw for the first time on Thursday 28 September. Since the allegations were put to us by the Guardian/ITV, we have been working around the clock to get to the truth of the matter.

 

“The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has been in daily attendance since the allegations were raised and confirmed that it has not identified any breaches. However, our internal investigation has shown some isolated instances of non-compliance with our own quality management systems.

 

“We have therefore decided to temporarily suspend operations at the site to allow us the time to retrain all colleagues including management in all food safety and quality management systems.”

 

A Tesco spokesperson added: “Following last week’s allegations of poor practices at 2 Sisters we conducted additional quality assurance tests. We’d like to reassure customers our initial investigation supported the Food Standards Agency’s findings that there was no current evidence of breach of food safety procedures. However, there have been isolated incidents where food quality procedures have not been followed and therefore, in agreement with 2 Sisters we have decided to suspend all orders from Site D so that staff can receive further training. We will not be taking any more chicken from the site until this has been addressed and all processes are carried out to the highest standard.”

 

Tesco’s move emerged after the retailer initially resisted halting supplies from 2 Sisters Food Group’s West Bromwich site, despite four rivals suspending deliveries from the plant. Instead, Tesco placed inspectors inside the West Midlands facility in order to oversee the chicken processor’s production team. But the grocer reversed that stance on Sunday evening.

 

On Friday Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Lidl all announced they had suspended deliveries from the 2 Sisters plant, while Sainsbury’s followed suit a day later. M&S said the footage showed “unacceptable” standards and also pulled chicken sourced from the plant from its shelves.  The moves came after the Guardian and ITV released undercover footage on Thursday showing an instance of 2 Sisters workers altering the source and slaughter date of poultry being processed in the firm’s Site D plant. Experts said altering “kill dates” could artificially stretch the commercial life of the meat and dupe consumers into buying chicken past its use-by date. It is illegal to place incorrect use-by dates on food, which are set for safety reasons and differ from “best before” dates.

 

Other sections of the footage, which was filmed in August, showed chicken being picked off the floor and thrown back on to the production line, and older poultry being mixed with fresher birds. All five grocers supplied with chicken from the plant quickly announced their own investigations, as did the Food Standards Agency, which had conducted nine audits at the site – five of which were unannounced – in the months of July and August. The regulator has urged “anyone with information for this investigation” to make contact.

 

The chairman of parliament’s environment, food and rural affairs committee, Neil Parish, said on Friday he was preparing to call 2 Sisters founder, Ranjit Singh Boparan, to Westminster to answer questions about the scandal. 2 Sisters Food Group is the UK’s second largest food company by turnover and claims to process around 6 million chickens every week.

 

It is owned by Ranjit Singh Boparan and his wife, Baljinder Kaur Boparan, and the chicken operations – which include 12 sites in the UK – are part of a sprawling £3bn food empire that separately includes the turkey producer Bernard Matthews, the restaurant chains Harry Ramsden, FishWorks and Giraffe, plus food brands such as Fox’s Biscuits and Goodfella’s pizza.

 

The company added that its staff “will remain on full pay and will attend the site” while the company overhauls its procedures and that operations will only recommence once the firm is satisfied its staff have been properly retrained.

“We continue to work closely with the FSA and our customers throughout this period. We remain committed to ensuring that we operate to the highest standards of hygiene and food safety, and we act with honesty and integrity at all times,” the company said.

How to apply for the CSCS Green Card

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Simpleducks offer the One Day H&S Awareness Course in Health & Safety in The Construction Environment.

£138+VAT for One Day Training & £19.50 for the CSCS Test

Training runs every Saturday at our Centre in West London

To book call:

t: +44(0) 20899 88825

m: +44(0) 79834 95846

The green Construction Site Operative (CSO) card was withdrawn on 1st July 2014.  There is a new green CSCS card for people working in labouring occupations.

CSCS’ role is to provide a scheme for the construction industry that confirms site workers’ training and qualifications. Many site workers who are carrying out skilled occupations had been applying for the green CSO card as the easiest route to gain access to construction sites. This makes it difficult for contractors to use CSCS cards as a reliable method of checking that site workers have the appropriate skills to work on construction sites safely and effectively.

If you have a green CSO (Construction Site Operative) card your CSO card will remain valid until its current expiry date.

If you work in a labouring occupation you can apply for the new green Labourer card. You will need to provide evidence that you have achieved one of the following:

How we deliver CSCS Training for the Green Card
How we deliver CSCS Training for the Green Card
  • A valid Champion Groundworks Health and Safety Awareness in the Construction Industry
  • A valid GNMA Level 1 Health and Safety in a Construction Environment Certificate
  • A valid JTJ Introduction to Construction Course Certificate
  • A valid One day Site Safety Plus Health and Safety Awareness Certificate
  • A valid Priestman Associates, Principles of Construction Site Health and Safety Certificate
  • DSA Health and Safety Awareness Course certificate
  • ESP Foundation into Construction Course
  • HABC Level 1 Award in Health and Safety for Construction
  • IOSH Working Safely
  • QCF Level 1 Award Health and Safety in a Construction Environment
  • Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) Elementary Health and Safety Course
  • Rushmoor Borough Council Health and Safety in Construction Environment L1
  • Safety Pass Alliance (SPA) Core Construction Course

You must also pass the CITB Operatives Health, Safety and Environment test within two years prior to applying for a new card.

*To find out how to take this award contact your local college of further education, training centre or Jobcentre Plus. They will advise you about training and assessment availability, pricing and whether funding is available.

 

t: +44(0) 20899 88825

m: +44(0) 79834 95846

 

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Thames Water hit with record £20m fine for huge sewage leaks

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Massive fine reflects change in sentencing as previously low penalties failed to deter water firms from polluting England’s rivers and beaches.

Pollution

Thames Water has been hit with a record fine of £20.3m after huge leaks of untreated sewage into the Thames and its tributaries and on to land, including the popular Thames path. The prolonged leaks led to serious impacts on residents, farmers, and wildlife, killing birds and fish.

The fine imposed on Wednesday was for numerous offences in 2013 and 2014 at sewage treatment works at Aylesbury, Didcot, Henley and Little Marlow, and a large sewage pumping station at Littlemore.  The Environment Agency (EA), which brought the prosecution, said the enormous volume of untreated sewage discharged was unprecedented – 1.4bn litres – as was the length of time over which the discharges occurred.

The sewage caused long-term pollution in the Thames and some tributaries, revolting riverside users and wiping out the season for a commercial cray fisherman. The EA said it was the biggest freshwater pollution case it had ever undertaken.

“This is a shocking and disgraceful state of affairs,” said Judge Francis Sheridan, who delivered the sentence at Aylesbury crown court. “It should not be cheaper to offend than to take appropriate precautions.”  “I have to make the fine sufficiently large that [Thames Water] get the message,” he said. Describing the breaches as “wicked” and noting the companies “continual failure to report incidents” and “history of non-compliance”, he said: “One has to get the message across to the shareholders that the environment is to be treasured and protected, and not poisoned.”

Anne Brosnan, the EA’s chief prosecutor, said: “Thames Water was completely negligent to the environmental dangers created by the parlous state of its works. Our investigation revealed that we were dealing with a pattern of unprecedented pollution incidents which could have been avoided if Thames Water had been open and frank with the EA as required.”

Water companies have been the most frequent polluters of beaches and rivers in England and past fines were criticised as too low to deter these highly profitable companies that often offended repeatedly. But a change in sentencing guidelines in 2014 is now leading to far heavier penalties.

Thames Water, which is the UK’s biggest water company and serves about a quarter of the population, was fined £1m in 2016 for repeated discharges of sewage into the Grand Union canal in Hertfordshire and £380,000 later the same year, after a sewage leak in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the Chilterns.

Thames Water made an operating profit of £742m in 2015-16 and paid out £82m in dividends. It is owned by a consortium of institutional investors, including funds from China and Abu Dhabi, and was managed by Macquarie Capital Funds, which sold its final stake earlier in March to Kuwaiti and Canadian investors.

Richard Aylard, from Thames Water, said outside the court: “We have failed in our responsibility to the environment and that hurts both personally and professionally because we do care. But in the three years since the last of those incidents we have learnt our lesson – there have been sweeping, far-reaching changes across the waste water business.” He insisted the fine would not increase customers’ bills: “This fine will be paid in full by shareholders only.”

In 2013, the Observer revealed that the nation’s 10 biggest water companies were the most persistent polluters of England’s rivers and beaches. They committed more than 1,000 incidents between 2005-2013 but were fined a total of just £3.5m, a sum described at the time as “pitiful” by a senior MP.

Thames Water was the most heavily fined company in that period, paying £842,500 for 87 incidents. Fines have soared since the change in sentencing guidelines but it remains too early to determine if pollution incidents are falling, due to the time it takes prosecutions to come to court.

However, one source close to the issue told the Guardian recently: “The courts have basically added a nought. Once it gets to that level, the boards and shareholders of water companies start to take notice.”

The previous record fine was the £2m penalty imposed on Southern Water in December for flooding beaches in Kent with raw sewage, which left them closed to the public for nine days.

The EA called that event “catastrophic” and the judge in the case said the company’s repeat offending was “wholly unacceptable”. The company apologised unreservedly, as it had when fined £200,000 in 2013 for similar offences.

Water companies have been frequently criticised for making huge profits and awarding large shareholder dividends while paying little or no corporation tax. In October 2015, the National Audit Office found that an £800m windfall for water companies had not been passed on to consumers.

Man dies after explosion at former petrol station in north London

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A man in his 50s has died after an explosion on a building site in north London that used to be the location of a petrol station.

The man, believed to be a workman at the site on Swain’s Lane, Highgate, was taken to the Royal London hospital, east London’s main trauma centre, but doctors were unable to save him.

It is understood that the site contains a large underground petrol tank, but it is not known whether this was the source of the explosion. Firefighters attended, although the blast did not start a fire. There have been no arrests.

A spokeswoman for London’s Air Ambulance said one of its craft had been dispatched to the scene at 2.11pm after reports of an industrial accident. After being treated by the doctor and paramedic from the air ambulance the patient was then taken away by the London ambulance service, she said.

People nearby reported feeling the ground shake when the explosion happened just after 2pm. Tess Uys, a pianist who lives opposite the site, told the Camden New Journal: “It made my floorboards vibrate. It was terribly loud, a huge, huge explosion. All the shopkeepers came rushing out to see if they could help, and the police and ambulance were here immediately.”

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The 1930s terrace, on the site of a former shopping parade, is due to be replaced by eight new shops and 12 houses. Owners Noble House were aware of safety concerns but had claimed to residents there were “no indications of hazardous materials”.

A report had also “indicated ways to deal safely with the underground tanks” developers said.  Highgate councillor and Green London Assembly Member Sian Berry told the BBC that builders had been due to remove petrol tanks from the site this week.

She said: “It’s absolutely shocking. I was there last Friday and saw a big tank that used to store petrol. The first stage of construction was taking these tanks away.”  A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said: “We were called just after 2pm to reports of an explosion at an address in Swain’s Lane, N6. London’s air ambulance attended and took a man aged in his 50s to an east London hospital. Unfortunately he has since passed away. His next of kin have been made aware.

“There have been no arrests and inquiries continue.”

The Health and Safety Executive confirmed it had been informed and was in communication with the emergency services.

SPA* Core Day

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SPA Core Day*

Health, Safety and Environment Awareness Training

 

The Core day is available as a one day ‘stand-alone’ course or forms the first part of any 2 day industry specific passport scheme. Its Aim is to provide basic information and areas of responsibility for health, safety and the environment.

To understand the implications of hazard recognition/risk assessment and effects on individuals and the employer and to demonstrate how individual behaviour can help reduce accidents.

Key components include;

  • Organising for Safety
  • The Workplace
  • Work Equipment
  • Health
  • Procedures
  • The Environment

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The SPA Safety Passport Core Day is a requirement for all contractors wishing to undertake a sector specific course.  The core day may also be used for employers wishing to give their employees health and safety training.

More information on the SPA Safety Passport for Contractors – Core Day by going to Simpleducks website – Training.

Call us now for any enquiries on 020899 88825, email info@simpleducks.com or visit our website for further details at www.simpleducks.com

Venues: We have SIX (6) different training centres, four are in Ealing London and two in the North East of England.  Depending upon the size of the group will dictate which training centre we will be used and we will only know this closer to the time which venue we are going to use.  We will confirm which training venue One to Two days before training commences via email and via a telephone call to you.  However, if the course becomes fully booked quickly we will be able to tell you sooner.

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London Venues (Venues 1 to 4)

Training venue 1:

The Fox & Goose Hotel

Hanger Lane

London

W5 1DP

Hotel telephone Number: 02089985864

Hotel website: http://www.foxandgoosehotel.co.uk

See the link named ‘Map’ which will open Google Maps for you. Map

This training venue is used when we have a fully booked course of 20 people.  There is free parking on-site and it is a Hotel where you can book a room if needed.   Head to the Bar area and ask a member of staff where the conference room is.

 

Training venue 2:

The Brentham Tennis Club

38a Meadvale Road

Ealing

London

W5 1NP

See the link named ‘Map’ which will open Google Maps for you. Map

This training venue is used when we have a half booked course of 6 – 10 people.  There is free parking on-site.   Head to the Cafe and ask a member of staff where the conference room is.

 

Training venue 3:

Ealing Squash and Fitness

41 Haven Green

Ealing

London

W5 2NX

See the link named ‘Map’ which will open Google Maps for you. Map

This training venue is used when we have 2 to 5 people booked on the course.  There is NO parking on-site.  There is a car park behind the Shanakee Pub which is £7 per day, accessible from Springbridge Road.  If this car park is full then the Spring Bridge Road Multistorey Car Park on Spring Bridge Road can be used.  This car park costs £10 per day.  Ring the bell on the side of the door of Ealing Squash and Fitness and ask at reception where the training is located.

 

Training venue 4:

5 Meadvale Road

Ealing

London

W5 1NS

See the link named ‘Map’ which will open Google Maps for you. Map

This training venue is used when we have 1 to 2 people booked on the course.  There is free street parking.  On arrival just knock on the door or call Garet on 07983495846.

 

North East of England

 Training venue 5:

The Park Hotel

3 – 5 Granville Terrace

Redcar

TS10 5AR

Hotel telephone number:  01642490888

Hotel website: http://www.parkhotel-redcar.com/index.html

See the link named ‘Map’ which will open Google Maps for you. Map

This is our training venue and is used when we have a half booked or fully booked course of 20 people.  There is free parking on-site and it is a Hotel where you can book a room if needed.   Head to the Bar area and ask a member of staff where the conference room is.

 

Training venue 6:

6 Highfield Road

Marske by the Sea

Redcar

TS11 6EG

See the link named ‘Map’ which will open Google Maps for you. Map

This is our training venue and is used when we have 1 to 3 people.  There is free street parking.   Ring the bell and ask for Cliff or call 01642470293 or mobile 07811202052