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Body cams to boost safety of ambulance crew 09/06/2021

THOUSANDS OF ambulance crews across the country will be provided with body cameras as part of an NHS crackdown to reduce attacks on staff.

The introduction of the cameras comes alongside data that 3,569 ambulance staff were physically assaulted by the public last year – 30% more than five years ago.

Following successful trials in London and the North East, the NHS in England will roll out the cameras to crews in the 10 ambulance trusts across the country – three years ahead of the NHS Long Term Plan target.

Medics will wear the cameras and be able to press a button to start recording if patients or the public become aggressive or abusive, with filming made available to police where needed.

The announcement follows the launch of the first ever national Violence Prevention and Reduction Standard at the beginning of the year, with every NHS trust in the country expected to publish a plan to tackle violence towards staff.

Prerana Isaar, chief people officer for the NHS, said: “Every member of our dedicated and hardworking NHS staff has the fundamental right to be safe at work and it is our priority to eliminate violence and abuse, which we will not tolerate.

“As well as reducing the number of incidents towards our staff, these cameras are a vital step towards ensuring our people feel safe too."

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Health and Safety Event set to reunite OSH community 09/06/2021

THE HEALTH and Safety Event is set to be the first and only major event to reunite the UK’s occupational safety and health community when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham.

As the country continues to follow the government’s roadmap to recovery in the wake of COVID-19, The Health and Safety Event will be the only major UK in-person event to take place in 2021 that’s dedicated to OSH professionals. The exhibition will feature 1000+ exhibitors and is expected to welcome more than 16,000 delegates across the three days. The event is uniquely co-located with The Fire Safety Event, The Facilities Event, The Security Event, The Emergency Services Show and the all-new National Cyber Security Show. 

This means delegates will only have to register once and get free access to all six events, which showcase products and solutions that cover the entire buying chain. The event will not only be the first of its kind in the UK to open its doors and reunite the OSH community, but it also has the largest floor space and number of exhibitors in the sector. Delegates will save time and money by traveling to this all-encompassing event, which provides an unmissable opportunity for health and safety professionals to come together, share best practice and explore the latest innovations and trends in the sector.

New features

The Health and Safety Event will boast a number of exciting new features, including the Registered Safety Supplier Trail in partnership with The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF). All suppliers of this trail are members of BSIF and have signed a binding declaration that the safety equipment and services they offer meet the appropriate standards, fully comply with the PPE regulations and are appropriately marked. Follow the trail and be assured that the PPE you are buying, is from a Registered Safety Supplier.

The new Professional Development Zone will be manned by HSE Recruitment Network's team of advisors who will be on hand to offer expert advice to advance your career and support your future growth as a health and safety professional. Featuring live onstage interviews and a series of training, workshops and content sessions, this interactive zone will equip you with the tools and techniques to unlock your potential.

In addition, HSE Connect will debut at this year’s event and will see the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) bring a highly engaging programme and speaker line-up of experienced professionals to address the practical issues, latest policy developments and solutions you need to run a safe, healthy and sustainable working environment.

The new Machinery Safety Zone, which is supported by our Premier Partners Pilz UK and PUWER Machinery Guarding, offers a dedicated area that showcases the latest technologies and solutions around this vitally important area of the workplace. While cost reductions and efficient production lines are important, the safety of employees and managing the risks from equipment and machinery are important factors in purchasing decisions. The Health and Safety Event will provide a unique range of seminars, practical workshops and suppliers for visitors who are actively looking for machinery safety solutions.

CPD Content

The Health and Safety Event will boast six theatres offering CPD-accredited content and the centrepiece is the Knowledge Exchange Theatre (sponsored by Southalls), which is supported by Health & Safety Matters (HSM), that will feature a series of panel discussions covering the challenges faced by health and safety professionals and practitioners. Hear from industry experts who are making a difference in workplace and safety culture. The seminars feature industry leaders sharing best practice on a number of key topics including RIDDOR and the Responsible Person, mitigating the risk of mental ill-health, UKCA marking and what it means for PPE, the future of health and safety legislation and much more.

The British Safety Council Conference will also return, where delegates can discover the latest updates and developments in health and safety management. With a line-up of industry experts sharing their insights and expertise, develop the skills and competencies you need to raise standards. Key sessions include the impact of the revised sentencing guidelines on senior management commitment, the implications of changing regulations post-Grenfell, COVID-19 workplace risk management and more.

The popular Lone Worker Theatre (Sponsored byLone Worker Safety Live) also returns to bring together experts in their field to explore the challenges for lone and remote workers as we settle into new ways of working. Topics discussed will include best practice ways to manage the key issues of wellbeing, safety and security for lone and remote workers as we change our working practices post COVID-19.

The Health and Safety Event takes place on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information or to register for your free pass visit https://www.healthandsafetyevent.com/

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Enter the Safety & Health Excellence Awards 2021 09/06/2021

ENTRIES ARE now open for the Safety & Health Excellence Awards 2021, which celebrates innovation and achievements in the health and safety sector.

The awards are completely free to enter and the deadline to enter is 31 August 2021. The winners will be announced a virtual awards ceremony that will take place as part of the Health & Safety Matters Live Digital Conference on 13 October 2021. 

This year’s headline sponsor for the Safety and Health Excellence Awards is Lyreco and the 10 categories includes:

  • Health and Safety Manager of the Year 
  • Health and Safety Team of the Year – Sponsored by NEBOSH
  • Alan McArthur Unsung Hero Award – Sponsored by 3M
  • Best Health and Safety Project
  • Best Health and Safety in Construction – Sponsored by Turner and Townsend 
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Safer Logistics Award
  • Best Health and Safety in Manufacturing - Sponsored by Health & Safety Event
  • Rising Star Award – Sponsored by SHE Software
  • Campaign of the Year

The Awards will also once again incorporate the British Safety Industry Federation Awards. These will have a small fee to enter and you can do so by visiting www.bsif.co.uk

The Safety & Health Excellence Awards are FREE to enter and the deadline is 31 August 2021. You can enter now by visiting www.she-awards.co.uk.

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£600k fine following death of young forklift driver 09/06/2021

A PAPER recycling company has been fined £600,000 following the death of a 20-year-old agency worker who suffered fatal crush injuries at a plant in Crayford, London.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that on 9 October 2018, agency worker Jamie Wright was driving a forklift truck at Restore Datashred Ltd’s plant when it overturned. He was not wearing a seatbelt and became trapped between the forklift’s rollover protective structure and the floor. He sustained fatal crush injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found significant failings in the management of workplace transport risks at the site, including issues relating to operator competence and supervision and monitoring.

Restore Datashred Ltd of Queen Elizabeth Distribution Centre in Purfleet, Essex pleaded guilty to a breaching of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,860.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Sarah Whittle said, “This was a tragic and preventable work-related incident.

“Companies need to ensure that work equipment, such as forklift trucks, is only operated by those who are trained and competent to do so, and that temporary workers are not allowed to slip through the cracks with regard to appropriate training, supervision and management.”

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BSC responds to RCN sharp injuries survey 09/06/2021

BRITISH SAFETY Council welcomes the publication of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) survey results on sharps injuries in 2020. The results reveal that sharps injuries have increased by 50%. In 2020, 15% of survey respondents said they had suffered a 'sharps injury', compared to 10% in 2008.

A sharps injury is an incident, which causes a needle, blade (such as scalpel) or other medical instruments to penetrate the skin. Such injuries pose a diseases-transmission risk and psychological stress to health care workers. However, little UK national data is published on their incidence.

According to the RCN report, reasons for the increase include low staffing levels, lack of training, and safer sharps and sharps bins not being available. Another factor may be the rapidly changing role of nursing staff who have taken on many of the tasks traditionally carried out by doctors. For example, some nursing support workers now administer insulin injections. This increases the risk of a sharps injury.

The British Safety Council is concerned by these findings and urges all relevant organisations to review annually their sharps injuries data and prevention policies. It is worrying that one in four nurses had no training on safe sharps use, which must be improved. It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure all nursing staff using needles, and other sharp instruments, get the training they need to prevent both the risk and occurrence of injury. Sharps bins must also be provided.

Mike Robinson, chief executive at the British Safety Council, commented, “These results show a significant rise in sharps injuries but represent only a snapshot. Although a requirement to capture injuries of this nature through RIDDOR reporting, many employers clearly need to take more effective measures to reduce the risk of sharps injury.”

“The onus remains on employers to assess all factors which increase sharps injury risk including workloads, fatigue, stress, poorly lit environment, staff shortages, wearing of additional PPE, and lack of space, and to put measures in place to reduce the risk of harm.”

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Manufacturer fined after worker crushed by stillages 09/06/2021

A UPVC window and door manufacturer has been sentenced after a worker was crushed while moving a stack of stillages weighing 3000kg.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on the 9 January 2020, the worker, with two other employees of Sovereign Group Ltd, was locating a stack of three stillages loaded on a side loader into a gap in the aisle of the despatch area. While manoeuvring the stillages away from the aisle, to make another attempt to push the stillages into the gap, the stack of stillages fell over onto the employee breaking both legs and causing ligament damage. The incident has caused lasting injuries which affect everyday life and the employee has not been able to return to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had no formal safe system of work in place and the operatives had developed their own system for swapping stillages, which involved unsafe lifting operations. The method adopted by the company was not safe and employees were not adequately trained or instructed. The despatch area was heavily congested at the time of the incident and poorly laid out for the stillages to be stored safely.

Sovereign Group Ltd of Vale Street, Nelson, Lancashire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £33,333 and ordered to pay costs of £5,191.58

HSE Principal inspector Lisa Bailey said after the hearing, ”Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure they provide safe methods of working and a safe working environment. If suitable controls had been in place the serious physical injuries sustained by this employee could easily have been prevented.”

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Workers injured when scaffolding collapses 08/06/2021

A FACILITIES and construction management company, along with the director, have been fined after unsuitable scaffolding partially collapsed, injuring two workers.

Newport Magistrates’ Court heard that on 8 March 2018, workers on a six-metre high scaffolding tower were carrying out demolition activities at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Church Place, Bargoed when the platform of the tower partially collapsed. One man suffered broken ribs, tendon damage and since the incident depression and short-term memory loss. The other man suffered three broken vertebrae and has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the tower scaffolding was not suitable for the type of work being undertaken. It was not erected by a person trained and competent to do so, had been erected to a height above recommendation and was loaded with a weight greater than the safe working load stated by the manufacturer.

Invictus Facilities and Construction Management Limited of Pontprennau, Cardiff pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £106,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,501.

Director of the company Simon Paul Wright of Tredegar pleaded guilty to Section 33 (1a) by virtue of Section 37(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gemma Pavey said, “Failure to select suitable and sufficient scaffolding towers and the failure to have them erected and dismantled by a competent person creates risk to workers who could be injured by a fall or collapse. 

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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Report finds staff shortages responsible for nurse burnout 08/06/2021

A NEW report from the Health and Social Care Select Committee says workforce burnout across the NHS and social care in England has reached an emergency level and poses a risk to the future of both services. Only a total overhaul of workforce planning can provide a solution, say the group of MPs.

The RCN submitted oral and written evidence to the committee, stressing the link between staff shortages, nurse burnout and patient outcomes. They insisted chronic workforce shortages must be addressed urgently and demanded accountability in law for safe nurse staffing levels. 

The committee has listened to what was said about poor workforce planning being responsible for unacceptable pressure on staff and concludes that available funding, rather than demand, has been the driver behind workforce planning for many years. 

Responding to the report’s findings, RCN acting general secretary & chief executive Pat Cullen said: “The unprecedented demand on nursing staff during the pandemic has had a huge impact on their own wellbeing. But, as this report shows, the cracks in the systems designed to look after nursing staff appeared years ago.

“The Department of Health and Social Care needs to prevent more nursing staff ‘burning out’ or leaving the profession entirely by boosting recruitment and retention.

“The forthcoming Health and Social Care Integration Bill provides an important opportunity to address this by making population-based workforce assessments and overall safe staffing levels of the whole health and care system a legal duty for the Health Secretary.”

The committee’s report echoes our calls for the government to publish workforce projections for both the NHS and social care, covering the next five, 10 and 20 years, including an assessment of whether sufficient numbers of staff are being trained. 

It also recommends that the level of resources allocated to mental health support for health and care staff be maintained after the pandemic.

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Poor mental health takes toll on drivers 09/06/2021

VENSON AUTOMOTIVE Solutions is urging businesses to back the charity IAM RoadSmart as it calls for urgent changes to be made to support working drivers in its new report ‘Driving for Work’.

Now more than ever, solutions such as driver training, policies, advice and procedures should be implemented as increasing numbers of occupational drivers return to the UK’s roads.

Poor mental health can affect concentration levels as well as reduce reaction times, and disturbed sleep, due to anxiety and depression, can lead to driving while tired – both of which are major contributors to road accidents. With a third of road deaths and a fifth of serious injuries sustained in accidents involving a working driver or rider, and with 39% of pedestrians killed after being hit by someone who was driving as part of their job1, the importance of driver wellbeing plays a crucial part in road safety. 

And according to the 'Driving for Work’ report, it is not just fatigue and mental health that suffer but also the physical wellbeing of drivers too. Stress can have physical side-effects and with some drivers working longer and demanding hours it is important the businesses communicate effectively with employees to ensure the signs of poor physical health are not missed.

Simon Staton, client management director at Venson Automotive Solutions commented, “As lone and remote workers, drivers can often be ‘out of sight, out of mind’. It is important therefore that businesses have processes in place to ensure that driver well-being is at the top of their health and safety agenda.”

With IAM RoadSmart calling for further changes to happen through increased prosecution of liable companies, Venson believes businesses need to take action now. This includes reviewing the resources available to drivers, such as motorway services and roadside facilities, as many drivers are deterred from stopping for essential rest due to prices.

Continues Simon Staton, “With the stress and uncertainty of the last year, many more employees are feeling the strain and businesses need to ensure that employees are supported. Driver well-being, or the lack of it, has a direct impact on how well a business performs and as we take on a world that will be forever changed due to the pandemic, fleets can play a huge part in the ongoing success of their organisation and ensuring a supported and productive workforce.”

Venson’s free whitepaper ‘It is good to talk: Caring about Mental Health’ guides businesses and fleet managers on how to promote good mental health at work practices and offers practical help and advice. It can be downloaded at https://www.venson.com/Media/ViewWhitePaper/32

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Entries open for new Fire and Security Matters Awards 09/06/2021

ENTRIES ARE now open for the new Fire and Security Matters Awards organised by Fire Safety Matters and Security Matters magazines – both of which are published by Western Business Media – in association with the Fire Industry Association (FIA).

The Fire and Security Matters Awards are free to enter and recognise excellence and innovation in the fire and security sectors. The winners of the Fire and Security Matters Awards will be revealed at a gala dinner and ceremony to be held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Thursday 28 April 2022, which will be hosted by popular impressionist and comedian Alistair McGowan.
The Fire and Security Matters Awards are being supported by a number of key industry bodies including BAFE, the Institute of Fire Safety Managers, the National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers, the Independent Fire Engineering and Distributors’ Association, The Security Institute, the National Security Inspectorate, the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board, ASIS UK, the Institute of Strategic Risk Management and the International Foundation for Protection Officers.

It only takes a few minutes to enter the Fire and Security Matters Awards. It’s the perfect way to gain much-deserved recognition for either yourself, your team, a colleague, your organisation, a product/service or a project. The list of categories is as follows:

Security Categories

  • Security Manufacturer of the Year 
  • Guarding Company of the Year
  • Security Installer/Integrator of the Year
  • Security/Risk Manager of the Year 
  • Security Company of the Year 
  • Security Team of the Year 
  • Security Project of the Year 

Fire Categories

  • Fire Innovation of the Year
  • Fire Manufacturer of the Year
  • Fire Safety Installer/Integrator of the Year
  • Fire Safety Project of the Year
  • Fire Safety Manager of the Year
  • Fire Safety Team of the Year

The closing deadline for entries is Tuesday 30 November 2021. You can enter for FREE at https://firesecurityawards.com/

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