Safety warnings for bottling plant days after being caught illegally taking water
A water bottling plant in Christchurch has been ordered to tighten its health and safety measures just days after it was caught illegally taking water from a city aquifer.
WorkSafe inspectors discovered a number of failings when they visited Cloud Ocean Water’s site in Belfast on Monday.
A WorkSafe spokeswoman said: "As part of an assessment visit, Cloud Ocean Water was issued with two prohibition notices relating to machine guarding, five improvement notices relating to machinery, personal protective equipment and site traffic management.
We will be monitoring compliance of these notices."
A spokeswoman for the company said: "As we are in the process of commissioning the plant, Cloud Ocean Water is working with our health and safety consultants and authorities to resolve teething issues as soon as possible.
In 2016/17 it issued more than 2000 improvement notices and 1000 prohibition notices as part of its regulatory activities.
It is not the first time Cloud Ocean Water has been censured for health and safety failings at the plant, which is being built on the site of the old Kaputone wool scour.
Photographs revealed workers standing precariously on the raised forks of a forklift truck while they carried out dangerous jobs, one apparently welding.
Another was spotted straddling the forklift as he worked on a roller shutter beneath a scissor-lift, which could have crushed him if it failed.
The company also failed to provide data on how much water it has taken – another breach of its conditions – though a Cloud Ocean Water spokeswoman said only a "small" amount of water had been taken illegally.
Bottler caught illegally taking water likely to avoid serious punishment
* Environment Canterbury orders China-based firm to stop water bottling after it breached consent * Slow progress on bottled water export tax * Foreign firm allowed to bottle millions of litres of water a day from Christchurch aquifers * Environment Canterbury accused of ‘bending the law’ over water bottling consents * Fundraising for challenge to water bottling consents has a ‘tailwind’, litigant says But ECan served an abatement notice on the company on Friday after it emerged it had been taking water without informing authorities.
The firm is unlikely to face serious sanction because the notice only requires it to stop taking the water and meet the conditions of its resource consent.
Enforcement is dictated by the Resource Management Act (RMA).
It was Cloud Ocean Water’s first consent breach.
It issued the abatement notice after the company failed to heed its instructions to stop.
The abatement notice means it must now stop taking groundwater until it meets all consent conditions.
A Cloud Ocean Water spokeswoman said: "This is a new business and the company is making a $50 million investment in Belfast and creating 200 new jobs turning a disused wool scour into an exporting plant.
It is not clear when Cloud Ocean Water began illegally taking water or how much has been extracted, though the spokeswoman said the amount was "small" as production is yet to begin.
Because water cannot be priced, the public recoups little from water bottling operations, other than minor administration costs.
A WorkSafe spokeswoman said: "WorkSafe has been aware of health and safety concerns at the Cloud Ocean Water site since September 2017.
Water boil advisory caught some DC residents by surprise
“We’re going to have a thorough review of that to be sure we have an effective communications strategy so that in the event anything like this happens again … people are notified more quickly.” D.C. Council member Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1 said pregnant women and mothers with babies were among constituents who complained that they were unaware of the boil water advisory Friday morning.
“We’re always so quick to put things out on Twitter or Facebook, but that certainly doesn’t reach everybody,” she said.
“We began sharing updates and alerts well before dawn with the hope that it would reach as many people as possible and we’re sorry if it did not reach some of those individuals,” he said.
Nadeau said DC Water should have contact information for each and every one of its customers.
Residents rushed to the DC Water website and customer service line Friday, which ended up overwhelming the system.
“For that, I apologize.
And I promise we’ll do better.” The utility said it’s looking at other methods that can be used to alert customers of any potential safety risks to water.
“We want to review the communications,” Wells said.
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Drop in catch forced 80K fisherfolk to pull out sand in Thane
Drop in catch forced 80K fisherfolk to pull out sand in Thane.
“Locals who struggled to make ends meet were swayed away by the sand mafia to pull out sand illegally for quick money,” said Nandkumar Pawar, head, SEAP.
Several come from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand for employment opportunities.
Fishermen from Gaimukh, Mandve, Kemnidive, Kharbao, Kolshet, Kalher, Kasheli, Waghbil and others, all mostly in Thane and Palghar district, act as the mafia and allocate 12 labourers on each of their boats,” said Pawar.
It is collected and transported to the heads, who send it to industries for construction purposes,” he added.
The state government, in accordance with the national guidelines for sustainable sand mining has appointed district level committees to control illegal sand mining.
On Saturday, the Thane collector, MMB officials and Sumaira Abdulali from Awaaz Foundation inspected sites to for illegal sand mining at various locations in Thane district.
Raids will be carried out in the coming weeks under the supervision of the Thane collector, local police and MMB officers,” said a local MMB officer who accompanied the group.
There was no back up or protection,” she said adding, “The state has to use modern technology to implement policies that can track the extraction, transport and use of this sand.
“There are no boats to enter deep creeks or river areas, where the work is carried out.” State government officials said that the responsibility to reduce sand mining was solely upon the district collector.