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Foreword - Feb 2019

14 February 2019

WELCOME TO the first issue of 2019, and with Brexit uncertainty still upon us, there are lots of unanswered questions about what will happen and how things will unfold. The government has launched the design for the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking, which is the new UK product marking that will be used for certain goods being placed on the UK market if we leave the EU without a deal.

The CE mark is placed on specific products such as PPE to show that it is compliant with the relevant EU regulatory requirements, and if we leave the EU without an arrangement in place the process of replacing the CE mark with the UKCA will begin. 

In the event of a no-deal you should still be able to use the CE marking to demonstrate compliance and sell products on the UK market after 29 March 2019. However, in some cases you will need to apply the new CE marking to products being sold in the UK.

The BSIF's chief executive Alan Murray has made this topic the theme for his column this month, and you can find out more about the UKCA on his page.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 12,000 deaths in the UK are the result of lung diseases linked to exposures at work and even more new cases of lung or breathing problems reported are a result of airborne hazards. Despite better knowledge, there doesn't seem to be any let up in these figures. Our airborne hazards feature explores why we don't seem to be making progress in this area.

Manufacturers are certainly doing all they can to improve above the neck PPE, which includes respiratory protection, and there is a move towards a higher level of protection. Investment from manufacturers is seeing more innovative features and demonstrates their desire to protect the immediate and long-term health of individuals. Our Above the Neck feature looks at what's new in the market.

Slips & trips

Injuries from slips and trips have huge implications for companies with employees having to take time off work to recover having huge consequences for businesses. Even more costly than workers being off, are liability claims.

HSE statistics indicate that 95% of major slips and trips results in broken bones. Slips and trips represents 33% of reported major injuries and account for 21% of all liability claims. 65% of fall related injuries result from falls from same-level surfaces because of a slip or trip. While accidents are inevitable, there are plenty of ways to reduce the number, and certainly the severity of incidents. Reading our Slips and Trips feature could help you reduce the number of incidents, and if this is not enough to make you implement so me changes, ready this month's Myles Francis column as it focuses on the top 10 largest fines in 2018.

The next issue of HSM will contain our Health and Safety Event Preview and the short-listed Awards list. We will also have features on footwear, training, head protection, fire safety and transport and logistics. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at krose@western-be.co.uk.

Kelly Rose


Health & Safety Matters