Stuntman Matthew Cranch, 24, who worked for Stunts UK Ltd, died after sustaining multiple injuries when a safety net intended to break his fall collapsed as he hurtled to the ground in front of hundreds of spectators.

He had been fired from a lorry-mounted cannon during Scott May’s Daredevil Stunt Show at the Kent County Showground in Detling on April 25 2011.

Cranch, who was living in Newquay, Cornwall, had performed the showpiece human cannonball stunt five times before the tragedy.

He had joined the stunt team around four weeks before his death.

An inquest jury last year ruled the death was an accident. A guilty plea was entered on behalf of Stunts UK Ltd and it was fined £100,000.

The business continues to trade but the human cannonball stunt is no longer performed.

The tragedy was found to have occurred because a mechanism which triggered the release of the safety net was not properly set and could be unintentionally, falsely closed, leading to the net dropping when the lorry recoiled upon the firing of the cannon.

It was argued in court that Mr May had no knowledge that the mechanism that triggered the safety net could be set in a falsely closed position, because it had never happened in the previous 1,000 performances of the human cannonball stunt.

It was found that there was an unsuitable risk assessment for the quick release system, although it was accepted they were not ‘knowing failures.’ The Judge also found that there was a lack of an audit trail to prove that the company was compliant with health and safety procedures.

The judge stated that it was “a case of high culpability. It’s a case in which breaches were capable of subsisting over a long period of time and did subsist over a long period of time.”

The judge said May’s offence was “committed through omission rather than act”.

Prosecutors said that Mr May had “failed to discharge the duty” as an employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of employees, including Mr Cranch.

Scott May, 40, of Stunts UK Ltd, was sentenced at the Crown Court to the community order, including 150 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay costs of £80,000.

An inquiry has been launched into how a scaffolder working at Fawley Refinery fell 30ft through a roof.

The scaffolder, believed to be an employee of Middlesex-based Cape Plc, fell through the roof of a disused building, landing onto the concrete floor below.

The 33 year old was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital with serious injuries.

A refinery spokesman said the accident occurred last Saturday at about 8am.

She added: “He was treated at the scene and transferred to hospital by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

“Hampshire Constabulary also attended the incident.

“The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and an investigation has been launched.

“Our thoughts are with our colleague and his family.”

A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed that the man, who has not been named, fell about 30ft.

He added: “We sent a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance, one of our officers, the fire service co-responder from Hythe and the air ambulance to the scene.

“The patient was a 33-year-old male who had fallen through the roof of a disused building on to a concrete floor.

“He had fallen from a height of around ten metres and landed on his left side, sustaining serious injuries to his left arm, left leg and pelvis.

“He was treated at the scene by the air ambulance team before being flown to Southampton General Hospital.”

Hampshire Police confirmed that officers received reports of a man falling from scaffolding at the refinery but said the investigation was being headed by the HSE.

A Cape Plc spokesman was unavailable for comment.

13 organisations are backing draft guidelines for health and safety standards for indoor trampoline parks, including the International Association of Trampoline Parks and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Trampolining parks are becoming increasingly popular across the UK; with numbers growing from 6 parks in England and Wales in 2014, to almost 100 in 2016.

Parks generally involve several trampolines next to each other. They can include slides, see-saws and bridges to jump off.

Although parks have to meet health and safety regulations, there are no rules on how they are built and run. Without any health and safety guidelines, the risks of running of a trampoline park is left open to interpretation.

There are no figures on how many people have hurt themselves while trampolining, but the call comes after a park in Dalkeith, Midlothian, reported more than 100 incidents in three weeks last year. It was later closed down.

Olympic silver medallist Bryony Page, who became the first British woman to win an Olympic trampoline medal in Rio this year, told the BBC: “Trampoline parks are a good place to get started.

“But the main thing there is there need to be safety guidelines that are set so people can understand where the dangers might occur and they can have a fun time in a safer environment.”

RoSPA said: “The guidelines, published as draft for consultation until 1 December 2016, seek to help park managers identify the key risks at both the design and operational stages, with the aim of establishing an effective approach to managing – but not entirely removing – the risk of injury to customers and staff.”

RoSPA said once the guidelines are finalised, it would like to see all existing commercial trampoline centres declare their compliance within 18 months.

An advert for Heinz Beans has been banned amid ‘health and safety concerns’ where actors are seen beating out a rhythm on both full and empty bean cans.

Resonant of the ‘cup song’ made famous by actress Anna Kendrick in film ‘Pitch Perfect’ back in 2012, the ad plays a song with actors in different situations adding the percussion part of the music using a bean can, rather than a cup. The ad then shows the tagline “Learn the #CanSong.” Aimed at ‘viral’ videos, the campaign also set itself to help raise money for Global’s Make Some Noise charity.

Unfortunately, the same mentality that has bought us ‘elf and safety’ classics such as wearing goggles for playing conkers, has now deemed that common sense does not exist within the British Public.

Could cause the public injury?

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that mistakes might be made that could lead to people cutting their hands or fingers and condemned the lack of instructions included within the advert.

Kraft Heinz had, in fact, factored in this particular risk; and with its simple, easy to follow instructions on how to Learn the #CanSong featured on its social media, it suggested taping the end of the can ‘just to be safe.’

According to the ASA press release, three complainants challenged whether the ad encouraged unsafe practice and six complainants challenged whether the ad featured behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate.

The ASA ordered Heinz not to broadcast the advert again in its current form.

Heinz said: “Although we acknowledge the ASA decision, the TV campaign is over and we have no plans to run it again.”

As the cold weather plummeted into the minus degrees last week, Union leaders called for outdoor work to cease in freezing conditions.

Currently, there is no legal maximum or minimum temperature for working outside. Guidance exists purely on suggestions on administrative controls and simply what to wear- don’t remove clothing to expose bare skin in hot conditions; cover up with gloves and hats when the cold snaps happen.

It is surprising that guidance from the HSE does not exist past this point when there are so many jobs that occur outdoors in all sectors- including agricultural, arboricultural, construction, services and even entertainment.

Working outdoors in extreme cold can lead to Cold stress. This occurs by driving down the skin temperature, and eventually the internal body temperature. When the body is unable to warm itself, serious cold-related illnesses and injuries may occur, and permanent tissue damage and death may result. Types of cold stress include: trench foot, frostbite, and hypothermia.

With this in mind, Union Chiefs at UCATT have written to major house builders demanding the introduction of guidelines for working in extreme weather conditions for construction workers.

They argue that “the NHBC makes it clear that mortar should not be used below 2°C, whilst construction workers should put their gloves on, get out there and suffer.”

UCATT Acting General Secretary, Brian Rye, said: “It’s a complete indictment of an industry that has temperature guidelines to safeguard materials but none whatsoever for the workers. This must now change.

“We have written to the NHBC to ask them to inject some humanity into the industry and provide clear temperature and extreme weather guidelines for constructors to apply to workers.

“In an age when we no longer send young children up chimneys to clean them, we should equally not be forcing construction workers to work in inhuman conditions. If it’s too cold for mortar- it’s too cold for mortals!”

For now, we shall have to be content with the HSE’s Thermal Comfort Checklist.

Two people are currently trapped and more than 50 have been injured after a tram overturned in south London, the city’s fire brigade has said.

Crews freed a number of people but two remain inside the tram, which derailed in Croydon just after 06:00 GMT.
Transport for London (TfL) said the incident, involving a two-car vehicle, happened on a bend inside a tunnel, near Sandilands Tram stop.

The Met Police described it as a “serious incident” and have confirmed that they have arrested the Tram driver.

They have also confirmed that there has been “some loss of life”, but have yet to release any more information. Local news reports suggest as many as six people are feared to have been killed.

Hannah Collier, who lives nearby the incident site, said she heard “a big crash” and saw people being carried away on stretchers.

Ms Collier said: “I was in bed watching the election when I heard a big crash, which I thought was the wind.

“Then I heard people shouting and then the emergency services arriving.

“Later I saw at least one person being brought out on a stretcher.”

The Tram began operation in May 2000 as Croydon Tramlink, becoming the first tram system in London since 1952. More than 27 million passengers used the service in 2015/16.

The Rail Accident Investigation Bureau is investigating the derailment.

The latest figures from the HSE into Health and Safety at Work have been released. The HSEhave used estimates based on self-reports from the Labour Forces Survey.

The Key figures are as follows:

Occupational health

In 2015/16:

  • 1.3 million workers suffer from work-related illness
  • 0.5 million suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders
  • 0.5 million suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety
  • 2,515 deaths from mesothelioma

In 2015/16 there were 30.4 million working days lost due to work-related illness and non-fatal workplace injuries.

In monetary terms, this cost business £14.1 billion in 2014/15 – excluding the costs of long latency illnesses, like cancer, and new cases of work-related illness cost £9.3 billion in the same year.

Fatal and non-fatal injuries in numbers

In 2015/16:

  • 0.6 million non-fatal injuries to workers
  • 72,202 non-fatal injuries to employees reported by employers
  • 144 fatal injuries to workers
  • £4.8 billion- the annual costs of workplace injury in 2014/15.

Construction and Manufacturing related injuries are down 0.9% and 6.8%, whereas illnesses are up 11.79 % and 0.7%.

This would suggest that health and safety cultures in workplaces are now recognising the risks of injuries and taking precautions to prevent them, whereas general health has now taken a back seat. This would also explain the HSE’s reasoning behind their focus this year on small refurbishment projects where dust, silica and asbestos are major health hazards.

As per previous years’ results, the UK has the least fatal injuries when compared to other large EU economies, including Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain and France.

However, the UK comes in second place when looking at the percentage of self-reported, work-related injuries and health problems resulting in sick leave.

The HSE’s summary of statistics can be downloaded here.

It can start with nothing more than a cut; but the effects of sepsis can be life destroying. Yet every year in the UK there are 150,000 cases of Sepsis, resulting in 44,000 deaths- more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.

What causes Sepsis?

Sepsis is caused by the way the body responds to germs, such as bacteria, getting into your body. The infection may have started anywhere in a sufferer’s body, and may be only in one part of the body or it may be widespread. Sepsis can occur following chest or water infections, problems in the abdomen like burst ulcers, or simple skin injuries like cuts and bites.

Sepsis is a life threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death, especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.

Sepsis can be caused by a huge variety of different bugs, most cases being caused by common bacteria which we all come into contact with every day without them making us ill. Sometimes, though, the body responds abnormally to these infections, and causes sepsis.

Starfish

Awareness of sepsis and the signs is still low, but a new film about the condition and its devastating effects on life hopes to change this.

Starfish follows the true-life story Tom Ray, who believes he has food poisoning, but is belatedly diagnosed with multiple organ failure and sepsis, necessitating the amputation of his legs from the knee and his arms from the elbow.

Promoting the film on ITV’s This Morning, Tom told presenters Ben and Holly about his ordeal which stemmed from a cut in the gum from a dentist- ‘I just started feeling incredibly ill, very confused, very sick with a very high temperature and feeling like I was going to die. I woke up in a coma five months later.’

The family say Tom’s disability destroyed their lives and they were forced to sell their house. Tom is now back in work with a ‘very understanding’ employer.

Such is the scarring to Tom’s face that his wife, Nic, hasn’t been able to kiss her husband since. Despite years of operations to rebuild his face, Tom remains disfigured.

So what are the signs?

As with most life-threatening conditions, speed is the key when it comes to recognising the signs and taking action.

The main symptoms include:

• Slurred speech, which is triggered by a lack of blood supply to the brain.
• Mottled or discoloured skin anywhere on the body.
• Extremely painful muscles due to a lack of oxygen.
• Passing no urine in one day, as the kidneys stop working properly.
• Severe breathlessness. The body senses there isn’t enough oxygen getting to the brain, so it increases the ‘drive’ to breathe to increase it.
• Chronic tiredness and swelling of the affected area.

Earlier recognition of the condition could save 14,000 lives each year in the UK.

For more information, visit sepsistrust.org

A roof panel caved in at Manchester’s Victoria Station injuring several people.

The new 15,000 square metre roof is made up of around 400 translucent, plastic panels to allow light into the station concourse. The panels, made of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, are used regularly in construction projects due to being light, yet strong. The same material was used to make the domes at Cornwall’s Eden Project.

However, a roof panel gave way earlier this week when it could no longer support the mass of rain water that had built up airing a heavy downpour. The panel tore above platforms 1 and 2, releasing gallons of water onto commuters below.

2 people were knocked to the ground and suffered minor head injuries, whilst around 30 others received a good drenching.

The roof, which was part of a £44m upgrade last year, was designed by architects BDP who have won awards for their work, including the Piccadilly Station refurbishment. BDP designed each of the 400 panels to be unique, using the latest modelling technology to create one of the biggest structures of its kind in the country.

Contractors from Northern Rail have secured the damaged roof panels and cordoned off the area below to ensure that no other passengers are at risk from a repeat of the incident.

Mr Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton, said: “Either this was caused by a failure in the design, a failure in the construction or a failure in the manufacturing, but either way millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money was spent on this roof and this collapse isn’t good enough.

“An immediate investigation is needed to establish how this could have happened months after so much public money was invested upgrading the station.”

It remains unclear whether the cause of the crack was down to a flaw in the material or design – or whether it was constructed incorrectly. The most popular theory according to the M.E.N is that it was caused by seagulls pecking at the roof, weakening the panels. The reason they were pecking? They were drawn to the smell of McDonalds via a nearby ventilation unit.

The investigation continues.

Construction firm Frazer Stannard Ltd have been fined after hoarding on a site on Bedford High Street fell onto a member of public walking by.

68 year-old Margaret Gardiner was knocked down into the street by 10m long hoarding and was trapped underneath. She suffered injuries to her hip and extensive bruising all over her head and body.

An investigation into the incident revealed that the hoarding had not been constructed properly. This was due to the workers that were erecting the hoarding not being given a design, details or instruction on how to build the protective barrier. They had no supervision in undertaking the work and because of their lack of knowledge and experience in erecting hoarding, failed to ensure that it was properly tied back or inspected. This resulted into the hoarding collapsing onto a public street and onto a member of public.

Frazer Stannard Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and to breaching Regulation 19(2) Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. It was fined £100,000 in total (£50,000 for each offence). It was also ordered to pay costs of £2,425.16.

HSE inspector Stephen Manley said after the hearing: “This incident could have easily been a fatality and was entirely preventable. Had Frazer Stannard Ltd recognised the work they were doing as temporary works and managed matters properly they would have realised the hoarding was not fit for purpose. Construction companies must learn from this case and plan their work properly ensuring workers are given proper instructions and well as supervision.”