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HSE warns farmers of livestock risks 23/04/2019

FARMERS ARE being told they must pay closer attention to health and safety after HSE raises concerns over recent livestock handling incidents.

Each year a number of people are killed or injured in incidents involving cattle and HSE is reminding farmers that these incidents can be prevented.

HSE inspectors will be visiting farms to remind farmers of their duty to protect themselves, their workers and members of the public from the risks of cattle. If they are not inspectors will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements

Throughout the inspections, HSE will be reminding workers that when working with livestock, they should have the appropriate controls in place:

  • proper handling facilities, which you keep in good working order;
  • a race and a crush suitable for the animals you handle;
  • trained and competent workers; and
  • a rigorous culling policy for temperamental animals.

The focus on livestock is part of a programme of inspections over the next twelve months to ensure farmers are doing the right things to comply with the law and prevent death, injury and ill-health.

HSE’s Head of Agriculture, Andrew Turner said: “The campaign focus is timely as last year eight people died on farms in cattle related incidents, nearly one quarter of the total deaths on British farms.

“Last year 33 people were killed in agriculture across Britain and those working in the industry need to realise that death, injuries and cases of ill-health are not an inevitable part of farming and can be prevented.

“We must not become complacent and accept this as the norm. Farmers should plan their work, know the risks and use the right controls to ensure that everyone can go home healthy from their work.”

HSE has a range of resources and guides available to help those working on the farm manage the risks appropriately. More information on what topics the inspectors will be looking at when they visit farms can be found in this guide.

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Worker struck by telehandler load 23/04/2019

A POTATO processing company has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker, Colin Smith, was struck by a telehandler load.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 5 January 2018, Mr Smith, aged 62, was walking across the middle yard to the maintenance workshop when he was struck by three potato boxes loaded on the tines of a telehandler being operated by another employee. The impact knocked him to the ground and caused a fracture to his left leg.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had insufficient measures in place to prevent people being struck by a vehicle and that a protected walkway was provided to only two sides of the yard, but not to the right side between the production sheds and the engineers workshop, a well-used pedestrian route. The investigation also found a large number of boxes had been stored in the yard which meant there was less room resulting in pedestrians, including Mr. Smith, having to take a route further into the transport area than was necessary.

The company also failed to ensure forklift truck and telehandler operators were clear what the site rules were around the transportation of potato boxes and to effectively enforce these.

Braegate Produce Ltd of Mill Hill, Braegate Lane, Colton, Tadcaster pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Workplace (Health and Safety Welfare) Regulations 1991. The company has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £962 in costs.

 After the hearing, HSE inspector Kate Dixon commented: “Companies need to organise transport operations to reduce the risk it poses to pedestrians. This should include consideration of the site, driver and vehicles. There are some quick, easy and inexpensive steps that can be implemented.

“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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HSM workplace wellness webinar 23/04/2019

HSM MAGAZINE'S next free webinar takes place on 1 May 2019 and features experts from Cority and IOSH and will focus on workplace wellness.

IOSH recently produced a white paper on the role of line managers in promoting positive mental health. It highlighted the results of an IOSH-commissioned survey, which revealed that 62% of line managers don’t get enough help from their organisations to support the mental wellbeing of staff. Only 31% of respondents say they feel they have been sufficiently trained to recognise the signs of poor mental health

IOSH Vice President Jonathan Hughes will explain that organisations need to take a more proactive approach to building and maintaining a positive, supportive workplace culture – early action can make a vast amount of difference in helping avert any issues.

Worker wellness has evolved tremendously over the past few years. Traditionally, when we think about health at work, the first thing that often comes to mind is how we can prevent and mitigate physical hazards and task-related risks - slips, trips, and falls, exposure to asbestos and radiation, to name a few.

But what about less traditional, non-physical or task-related workplace health hazards that can also put our employees at risk, like drug abuse, cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, and sleep disorders? To build a holistic workplace wellness program, EHS professionals should expand the definition of what fits in the scope of workplace health to include these less traditional risk factors.

Investing in employee wellness is one of the best ways to mitigate risk and solve these growing challenges. In many companies, safety, health, and risk functions operate separately, but holistic workplace wellness programs bring together these elements and include things like disability management, counseling, smoking cessation, exercise, nutrition, stress management, and more.

This webinar

 will cover how technology can be used to better manage workplace wellness programs by streamlining and automating processes, capturing and reporting on wellness data, and using that data to drive better decision making.

The webinar, which is sponsored by Cority, takes place on 1 May 2019 at 10:30am. You can register for FREE at https://events.streamgo.co.uk/workplace-wellness/

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Southampton hospital security staff to strike 18/04/2019

SECURITY STAFF at Southampton General Hospital, who are being attacked in the A&E department, will go ahead with a second day of strike action on Good Friday 19 April.

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said that talks with the employer Mitie Security Ltd made progress, but not sufficient for the strike to be called off.

Unite lead officer for health in the south east Scott Kemp said, “We had talks with Mitie yesterday and some progress was made, but it was not sufficient for our members to suspend their Good Friday strike.”

National media attention has focused on the plight of the 21 security staff, who are being attacked on a regular basis by members of the public either under the influence of drink or drugs, or with mental health problems. There has been a lack of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as stab vests and safety restraints.

Scott Kemp added, “The company has increased its offer to £9.50 an hour, but our members are seeking £10.50 for security officers and £12.16 for supervisors for what is generally acknowledged to be a stressful and, on occasions, dangerous job.

“The company made no new offer on unsocial hours payments for weekend working and there was also no increase in sick pay forthcoming.

“However, most PPE issues are resolved pending further talks with the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

“We have consulted with our members overnight and while there has been some progress with the company inching towards our position, it was considered that not enough ground had been made to justify calling off the strike on Good Friday.

“That said, Unite’s door remains open for constructive talks 24/7 over this Easter holiday period.”

The security staff voted unanimously for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. A 48 hour stoppage starting on 3 May, a 24 hour strike on 24 May and a further 72 hour strike on 7 June are scheduled. All the strikes will start at 00.01. The first day’s strike action was taken on 5 April.

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Campaign highlights the real impact of falls 18/04/2019

A NEW hard-hitting campaign highlighting the long-term, life-changing impact that falls can have on family and friends has been launched by The Ladder Association and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Falls from height are the single biggest cause of injury in the workplace, with 29,000 people reporting such an injury over the past five years1, and the cost is estimated at £800m2. Meanwhile, falls in general are consistently the number one cause of hospital admissions from accident3.

The Get a Grip safety campaign features Abbi Taylor, whose father Jason Anker was paralysed after a fall from height when she was aged just three, and who talks openly about how her life with him has been profoundly affected.

As part of an emotional awareness-raising video and leaflet, Abbi says how he could not walk her down the aisle or dance with her on her wedding day, or play with or babysit his young granddaughter.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of using ladders and stepladders safely, both at work and at home, reducing accidents and the heartache they cause for everyone – which is particularly important ahead of the bank holiday weekend, when many people will be spending time doing DIY.

Abbi said, “It’s hard to talk about how my dad’s fall has impacted our lives, but I felt it was so important to get that message out – there are real-world consequences of your actions when using ladders incorrectly. My dad was lucky, as he got to see me grow up; there are many families out there who have a hole where one of their loved ones should have been, because they had a fall.”

Gail Hounslea at The Ladder Association, said, “Everyone involved in this campaign has been overwhelmed by Abbi’s story. There’s always a focus on the impact of an accident on the injured party themselves, but what we often forget is the impact on those connected with them. Behind every person who falls from height is a family, friends and colleagues who will all be affected in some way.

Abbi’s story is a powerful one which we hope will hit home with those who use ladders both for work and at home. We are immensely grateful to her for being a part of this campaign.”

Dr Karen McDonnell, occupational safety and health policy adviser for RoSPA, said, “We know that there can often be a temptation for workers, and those working on their own homes, to exclude the proper safety steps when using ladders, as happened when Jason had his fall. We are aware people have deadlines and other pressures, but by cutting corners you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. While that might not worry some, hopefully, by making them think about what could happen to family and friends in the event of a fall, we can get them to think twice about their safety.”

Alison Thewliss MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Working at Height, said, “Abbi’s powerful testimony really brings home the devastating impact that a fall from height can have, not only on the person involved, but also on their loved ones.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height has recently published an inquiry report regarding falls from height. Amongst other things, the report draws on testimony of victims and their families, and seeks to draw out best practice from industry in order that we can improve the figures around serious injuries and fatalities in the workplace as a result of falls from height.

The published report makes a number of recommendations that the APPG will continue to present to UK Government Ministers – via debates and questions – to help drive improvements in safety for employers and employees alike.”

To find out more about the campaign and to watch Abbi’s video see www.ladderassociation.org.uk/get-a-grip


References

[1] RIDDOR, 2013/14-2017/18p. Fatal injuries to workers by most common accident kinds

[2] Health & Safety Executive, costs to Britain of workplace fatalities and self-reported injuries and ill health, 2016/17

[3] NHS Digital, Hospital Episode Statistics, admitted patient care, England, 2012/13-2016/17. Read more at www.rospa.com/national-strategy

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First ever Third Party Certificate awarded 18/04/2019

THE NATIONAL Security Inspectorate (NSI) and BAFE, the independent register of quality fire safety service providers, awarded the first ever Third Party Certificate of Approval and Registration to the new Kitchen Fire Protection Systems (SP206) Scheme at NSI’s annual Summit, Birmingham on 21st March 2019.

The new scheme addresses the design, installation, commissioning, recharge and maintenance of kitchen fire protection systems (extinguishing/suppression systems). Adopting a rigorous Third Party Certification process the scheme assesses the competency of kitchen fire protection system providers from the design stage all the way through to periodic maintenance visits, evidenced by Certificates of Compliance.

The first company to achieve this new Third Party Certification (offering Ansul R-102 systems) via NSI and BAFE Registration is Abbot Fire Group, based in Buckingham, who are strong advocates of Third Party Certification. Founder Nigel Walton was awarded their certificates by Jonathan O'Neill OBE, FPA managing director, during the opening session of the Summit.

Mr. Walton commented, “Third party certification is continuing to be an important factor in the fire safety industry. We are grateful to BAFE for establishing this scheme which allows us to demonstrate our skill and expertise in providing our kitchen fire system offerings. I am immensely proud of my hard working and diligent team that all helped earn this certification.

This is a combination of a two year development process and a personal campaign of mine as the industry requires Third Party Certification for kitchen system work to appropriately assess competency. My thanks go out to BAFE, NSI and the whole development team for this.”

Certification was also awarded at the Summit to Nobel Fire Systems, who manufacture, design and install their own K-Series systems for Kitchen Fire Protection.

Chris Auger, BAFE schemes manager stated, “The NSI Summit is a great event to present this certification, with NSI being the first UKAS Accredited Certification Body to offer this scheme. We are confident the BAFE SP206 scheme represents the best levels of quality and service excellence to help reduce the risk of injury and increase property protection from commercial kitchen fires.”

NSI Head of Field Operations (Systems) John Davidson added, “As the first certification body in the UK to be accredited by UKAS and licensed by BAFE to deliver the SP206 scheme we are delighted to announce these new approvals and look forward to more companies within the sector undergoing independent assessment. The over-arching aim is to help duty-holders select competent contractors, and so reduce risk, raise standards and protect those who use and/or occupy premises housing commercial kitchens.

“NSI fully supports the drive for fire safety by BAFE, insurers and professional installers and we welcome the authority this scheme gives professional approved installers to issue operators of commercial kitchens with NSI/BAFE Certificates of Compliance as evidence their kitchen fire protection systems are fit for purpose.”

Both BAFE and NSI would like to congratulate Abbot Fire Group and Nobel Fire Systems on their certification and all those involved in the development of the BAFE SP206 Kitchen Fire Protection Systems Scheme including Dr Jim Glockling, RISCAuthority Director and FPA Technical Director, who Chaired the group.

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Court rejects Royal Opera House appeal 18/04/2019

THE ROYAL Opera House has lost its appeal over the damage caused to the hearing of viola player Christopher Goldsheider at a rehearsal of Wagner's Die Walkure.

The unanimous decision was that the Royal Opera House failed to take reasonable steps to protect his hearing and failed to at on dangerous noise levels.

Goldscheider won a landmark High Court case last year, when he sued, claiming damages for acoustic shock after being exposed to noise levels of more than 130 decibels.

The Royal Opera House, challenged the decision, claiming the that hearing damage to its musicians was inevitable. The appeal was rejected by the court.

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Chemical Awareness & COSHH Management free workshop 17/04/2019

The Chemical Awareness & COSHH Management half day workshop takes place on the 2 May 2019 at the NEC, National Exhibition Centre.

If you handle health-hazardous chemical products at your workplace, comprehensive legislation applies for the registration and documentation of the products. eg. What is required from you as a health and safety professional managing chemical safety, what are the requirements for labels, updating of safety data sheets, COSHH risk assessments etc.

EcoOnline as a partner of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work now offer a free half day workshop that outlines the most important issues in the legislation regarding handling and documentation of chemicals and COSHH compliance in a few hours. In this workshop we will demonstrate how our system Chemdoc will be able to help your company to control chemical safety.

The content of the seminar will be:

  • An overview of chemical safety in the workplace and chemical safety legislation.

  • When a safety data sheet is required and its key elements.

  • When a workplace chemical COSHH risk assessment is required and best practices.

  • What is the requirement for new CLP colour labels

  • Requirements for substitution of hazardous chemicals on certain chemicals (candidate list, carcinogens, etc.)

  • How often do you need to update your safety data sheets.

  • Training of employees in chemical safety.

  • Dangerous goods handling and transportation

  • Your obligations as a HSE professional and your company requirements to staff.

  • Concrete examples of how this can be solved in Chemdoc

  • Questions and networking

The free half day workshop will address quality, environment and health and safety personnel in all types of companies that use chemical products for daily tasks, such as manufacturing facilities, government bodies such as county councils and transport groups, third level education facilities etc.

All attendees will also get a free Healthy Workplace Manage Dangerous Substances information gift pack.

Please register here

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Company fined after boy falls from scaffolding 17/04/2019

WESTDALE SERVICES Limited has been sentenced after a 12-year-old boy slipped off a scaffold ladder, falling approximately 10 metres.

Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 6 May 2017, two boys were able to climb the rungs of a ladder within scaffolding erected by Westdale Services Limited at Southville Flats, St David’s Road, Cwmbran, by placing their feet either side of a ladder guard that did not cover the rungs of the ladder. One boy climbed to the top platform of the scaffold and climbed the uppermost ladder to a height of approximately 10 metres. The ladder slipped, causing the boy to lose his balance and fall to the ground, causing life-changing injuries requiring multiple operations. The boy now has no bladder or bowel control and is only able to walk short distances due to being unstable on his feet.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the security arrangements for preventing access to the scaffolding, especially by children from a nearby school, were inadequate.

Westdale Services Limited  of Doncaster Road, Askern, Doncaster pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £160,000 and ordered to pay £22,310 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Michael Batt commented: “The death or injury of a child is particularly tragic and a lot of thought must go into securing construction sites. Children do not perceive danger as adults do. The potential for unauthorised access to construction sites must be carefully risk assessed and effective controls put in place.

“This incident could have been prevented by removal of the ladder completely or installing an appropriately sized ladder guard to cover the full width of the rungs.”

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Two workers fall from height 17/04/2019

A CONSTRUCTION company has been fined after two workers were injured after falling through a ceiling at a site in Watford.

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 6 December 2017, four bricklayerswere working on a new build of three terraced houses, when they gained unrestricted access to a timber joisted floor. The floor collapsed. Two of the four workers managed to jump off during the collapse whilst the other two fell and suffered serious injuries.

Both of the employees are still unable to return to full time work. One  spent two days in hospital after the incident and the other is still recovering from his injuries; it is not clear whether or not his injury will be life changing.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the Principal Contractor, S McMurray Ltd, had failed to safely install joist hangers correclty. There was no other structural support arrangement in place, such as propping the first floor from underneath. The floor was also overloaded with blockwork.

S McMurray Ltd, of Sacombe Road, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The Company has been fined £16,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1236.60.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed said, “Structural stability of floors under construction must be carefully risk assessed to ensure the appropriate control measures are in place to prevent collapse.

“ This incident could have been prevented had there been a sufficient risk assessment in place and the appropriate controls implemented.”

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