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March 25, 2018

Star company of BBC series prosecuted over worker injury

A Bolton based scrapyard that featured in a recent BBC documentary series has been sentenced after an employee suffered facial injuries at work. Vehicle breakers firm, The Scrappers Ltd and Terry Walker, a consultant for the company, appeared at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester where they denied breaches of health

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Saudis act to slow Iran’s oil exports

©AFP Saudi Arabia has taken steps to slow Iran’s efforts at increasing oil exports, banning vessels that transport Iranian crude from entering their waters, according to traders and shipbrokers. Iran already faces insurance, financing and legal obstacles despite the lifting of sanctions linked to its oil industry in January. More

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

March 25, 2018

Star company of BBC series prosecuted over worker injury

A Bolton based scrapyard that featured in a recent BBC documentary series has been sentenced after an employee suffered facial injuries at work. Vehicle breakers firm, The Scrappers Ltd and Terry Walker, a consultant for the company, appeared at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester where they denied breaches of health and safety law. Both defendants pleaded not guilty to health and safety charges in relation to the incident. Terry Walker was acquitted by jury after trial while The Scrappers Ltd was convicted. The court heard that Mr Aaron Sparrow, an employee at the firm’s Waterloo Road site was working as a ‘spanner man’ which involved taking batteries, wheels, petrol and catalytic convertors (cats) out of the cars in order to be sold on by the company. On 10 September 2014, employees were instructed to start taking the ‘cats’ and batteries off the cars. Giving evidence in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Mr Sparrow told the court he and his colleague raised cars off the ground slightly using a fork lift truck (FLT) where they would remove the wheels and the battery. The FLT forks were then raised above head height so they could place fuel retrieval equipment under the car to take the fuel out. They would then cut the ‘cat’ off the exhaust using a petrol saw with a metal cutting blade. A number of separate cuts would be made into the exhaust depending on the type of car. The court was told on that morning they had done this to around 10 cars. However, while taking a catalytic convertor off a car exhaust with the petrol saw above his head, the saw flicked back of the exhaust and spun 180 degrees in his hands before the saw hit him in the face. He was taken by ambulance to hospital and received over 40 stitches and underwent plastic surgery on his brow and eye lid. He was later told that the saw blade missed his brain by 3mm. The HSE investigation found there was no record of formal training, and a tool specifically designed for the job was not generally used. There did not appear to be any formal supervision arrangements at the time, and there was no safe system of work in place for operating the petrol saw at the time of the incident. HSE said the system of work described by workers demonstrated that using the petrol saw in this manner was custom and practice in the company. However the company denied this and told the court this system of work was not allowed and not carried out. The Scrappers Ltd, of Watling Street Road, Fulwood, Preston was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £26,687,88. After the case, HSE inspector Mike Lisle said: “It is essential that companies devise, implement and monitor suitable safe systems of work for hazardous activities. “This incident was entirely avoidable and had a safe system of work been in place then it would likely have been avoided. As it is a young man is scarred for life and could easily have been killed.” Notes to editors: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk Journalists should approach HSE press office with any queries on regional press releases. Source link

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Rents down in all Australian cities apart from Melbourne and Hobart

Residential rents in Australia fell in all cities except for Melbourne and Hobart in July taking the combined capital city median weekly rent to $483 a week, the lowest since December 2015. Combined capital city rental rates are $485 a week for houses and $467 a week for units, according to the latest rent index from real estate firm CoreLogic. Overall the index fell by 0.3% over the month and is 0.6% lower than it was in July 2015 and it is anticipated that the rental market weakness will persist and that on an annual basis rents will continue to fall over the coming months. A breakdown of the figures shows that over the past 12 months rental rates have increased in Sydney by 0.4%, in Melbourne by 2%, in Hobart by 6.2% and in Canberra by 1.9%. Rents fell by 1% in Brisbane, by 0.5% in Adelaide, by 9.2% in Perth and by 15.7% in Darwin. CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher pointed out that Hobart and Canberra are the only capital cities to have recorded stronger rental growth over the past year compared to the previous year. He explained that the market is currently seeing the softest wages growth on record and the declines are being cause by relatively high levels of housing investment following record highs recently and well as historically high levels of new dwelling construction as most of them are units which are more than twice as likely to be rented. He also pointed out that slowing population growth creates less overall demand for housing at a time when home commencements and the number of dwellings under construction were at historic high levels in March 2016. ‘The combination of all these factors means that landlords have little scope to increase rental rates in this current market. Potentially, the changing rental market conditions will have a flow on effect for older stock, particularly units given we’re seeing so much new unit supply being added to the rental market, much of which is located in inner city locations,’ he explained. He also said that while rental rates are falling and values continue to rise, gross rental yields remain at record low levels. ‘As a result of record low rental yields and the weakest rental market on record, those investors currently active are clearly focusing on capital growth potential,’ he added. Source link

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Saudis act to slow Iran’s oil exports

©AFP Saudi Arabia has taken steps to slow Iran’s efforts at increasing oil exports, banning vessels that transport Iranian crude from entering their waters, according to traders and shipbrokers. Iran already faces insurance, financing and legal obstacles despite the lifting of sanctions linked to its oil industry in January. More On this topic IN Oil & Gas Under a nuclear deal with world powers, Iran was allowed to resume crude exports to Europe and other destinations. Since the lifting of sanctions, Iran has managed to sell only small volumes of crude to Europe, including barrels to Spain’s Cepsa, Total of France and Russia’s Litasco. By mid-April, only about eight tankers will have sailed from Iran’s Kharg Island for Europe, said shipbrokers, with only 12m barrels booked to sail. Iranian vessels carrying the country’s crude are restricted from entering ports in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to a circular sent by a shipping insurance company to its members in February. The notice said ships that have called to Iran as one of its last three ports of entry will also require approval from the Saudi and Bahraini authorities before entering their waters. Shipbrokers and traders have relayed the same messages since. Iranian oil executives have expressed their concern about the message circulating in the market, saying it is only adding to problems they face in selling their crude. Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, and The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) did not respond to requests for comment. Iran is also yet to regain access to storage tanks at a key oil transit hub on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, which is part-owned by Saudi Arabia. Oil tanker association Intertanko and other industry participants say no formal notice has been given by Saudi Arabia but uncertainty is making some charterers less willing to lift Iranian crude. ”It’s seen as an unknown risk,” said one shipbroker. “No one wants to disrupt their relationship with the Saudis.” The amount of oil being stored at sea off the coast of Iran has risen by 10 per cent since the start of the year, data from maritime data and analytics company Windward show, and now stands at more than 50m barrels. Diplomatic tensions between Saudi and Iran, which have worsened during the bloody conflict in Syria, are seen influencing the commercial sphere with both countries battling for market share amid the collapse in oil prices. Major oil producers are set discuss plans to freeze output on April 17 — the first concerted action to halt an oil price rout that has shredded producer country budgets. But last week Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Saudi Arabia would not hold output steady unless joined by Iran, which has said it plans to regain its post-sanctions output level before agreeing to any freeze. Part of the slow increase in exports to Europe has been the lack of access for Iran to facilities operated by the Arab Petroleum Pipeline Company, known as SUMED. Before the imposition of sanctions Iran used to send crude from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean on the company’s lines. The facility is 50 per cent owned by Egypt, with Gulf Arab allies Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE together owning 45 per cent. Some traders believe Saudi is blocking Iran’s access to SUMED, though others have said it is possible a pre-sanctions contract could be resumed in time. SUMED did not return calls seeking comment. Once the second-largest oil producer in Opec, Iran’s exports dropped to about 1.1m b/d last year, half their pre-sanctions level. Iran’s oil minister Bijan Zangaeh said Sunday exports of crude and condensate have reached 2m b/d, though this is higher than many estimates. Some of Tehran’s problems have been self-imposed, traders said, with the country reluctant to discount its crude and attaching stringent destination clauses and other stipulations to its sales. Insurance and US banking restrictions also remain. Charterers of vessels for moving Iranian barrels have at times paid premiums of almost a third. “Shipowners are charging above market rates given the problems with insurance, in particular,” said another shipbroker. Additional reporting by David Sheppard Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web. Source link

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