corporate social responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility - compliance solutions

In Brief

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February 2024

The UK’s regression from EU environmental standards are on such a scale that environmental legislation in Britain is facing death by a thousand cuts:

theguardian.com


The government has rejected - on the grounds it already has sufficient legal powers to enforce higher standards of air quality under the Environment Act 2021 - a private member’s bill calling for a new Clean Air Act. The government’s claim has been disputed by, amongst many others, the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA):

news.fmbusinessdaily.com


The HSE has issued an improvement notice to the Chinese state-backed operator CNOOC over its inspection routines for process equipment on the North Sea Buzzard platform:

pressreader.com


UK workplaces are facing “a perfect storm” when it comes to wellbeing at work, with sickness absence barely improved since the pandemic, according to the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey by Vitality and the Financial Times. Employers lost the equivalent of 50 days of work per employee last year because of poor physical and mental health:

personneltoday.com


Liquidated waste firm Ward Recycling Limited has been found guilty of breaching Section 1 of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £2.1mn after an agency worker was killed by a loading shovel in January 2020:

shponline.co.uk


An article by fire safety experts SOCOTEC on how to safely use and store lithium-ion batteries in the workplace:

shponline.co.uk


Peterborough-based Electrostatic Magic Limited has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7(1) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and Article 67 of the REACH regulation after a worker died from multiple organ failure, chemical pneumonitis and cutaneous burns from exposure to dichloromethane, hydrofluoric acid and methanol:

press.hse.gov.uk


Tickets are now available for the WEEE Conference 2024 to be held on 21 March at the Royal College of Physicians NW1 4LE, which will focus on the latest breakthroughs in the recovery, reuse, recycling, and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment:

web-eur.cvent.com


A retired draughtsman who had worked at the former Engelhard precious metal factory in Cinderford and subsequently at GlaxoSmithKline, died from malignant epithelial mesothelioma, the effect of asbestos exposure, in January this year:

theforestreview.co.uk


The HSE has put Petrofac on notice after it found poor COSHH risk assessments left offshore workers on the North Sea Kittiwake platform at risk of exposure to hazardous fumes, in particular welding fumes - a known human carcinogen:

energyvoice.com


January 2024

A New Year reminder that the HSE provides an extensive collection of free updates on a vast range of topics (from Asbestos to Workplace Transport) and industries (from Agriculture to Woodworking) via an eBulletin:

HSE


An estimated 4% of the world’s annual GDP is lost to workplace accidents and diseases. This cost the global economy c. £4 trillion in 2021; and in the UK, the annual cost is around £30 billion. A new tool, which can be used on a site with 40 employees, provides calculators to help put a cost and value on safety performance at business or even site level:

rospa.com


A new study by non-profit organisation the Alliance to End Plastic Waste highlights potential pathways to significantly increase waste collection and plastic recycling rates globally. The Plastic Waste Management Framework has policy levers and actions that can be used to develop national action plans for advancing waste management systems.


Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery fires are on the rise. Firechief Global have provided an eight-step action plan on how to mitigate the risk:

shponline.co.uk


The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) has published a new guide for individuals undertaking auditing to determine whether appropriate health and safety management systems are in place and that suitable risk control systems and workplace precautions are being implemented. The NEBOSH Quick Reference Guide to Auditing for Health and Safety is available from:

shop.nebosh.org.uk


Plastics recycling is vital to fight the deluge of plastic waste and plastic pollution. While mechanical recycling has been around for decades, chemical recycling is the new kid in town. But do they compete or cooperate?

waste-management-world.com


There were 29 fatalities in the UK in 2022/23 caused by contact with moving vehicles or machinery. HSE guidance can be found at:

HSE


More than 100,000 people in the UK could be at risk of developing long Covid in the coming weeks as infections and hospitalisations are rising sharply during the winter months:

personneltoday.com


Alex Spencer, COO chief operating officer of energy industry-owned not-for-profit standards and training organisation OPITO examines why safety, skills and sustainability are all key for future energy workers:

energyvoice.com


A reminder that entry is now open for The Safety & Health Excellence Awards. Free to enter, the deadline is 16 February 2024. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony at the NEC Birmingham on 1 May 2024:

she-awards.com


December 2023

The HSE has reminded employers that temperatures in indoor workplaces are covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The Approved Code of Practice suggests the minimum ‘reasonable’ temperature should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius, or at least 13 degrees Celsius for work involving rigorous physical effort:

HSE


Staffordshire-based lift maintenance company Lift Monitoring Systems Ltd has been fined £200,000 after an employee died while working on a goods lift at a factory run by Muller Yogurt and Desserts:

HSE


Comprehensive analysis ranking 38 member states of the OECD according to the environmental impact of their waste management has been published:

sensoneo.com/global-waste-index/.
The UK comes 18th. The report also draws attention to the fact that high recycling rates for plastic waste are misleading as the number is taken from the volume of waste that arrives at the recycling plants, but not everything is recycled through material recovery.


A look at how the European waste industry is preparing for the challenge of recycling millions of discarded e-vehicle batteries, and the revision of the EU Battery Directive:

waste-management-world.com


The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) is launching a new series of occupational hygiene qualifications as part of a significant overhaul of pathways into the profession:

personneltoday.com


Cider manufacturers H Weston and Sons Ltd of Ledbury has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and fined £1.4 million plus £26,756.50 in costs after a driver was killed by a horizontal security barrier:

HSE


The HSE has issued an Improvement Notice to Apache North Sea Ltd after finding nearly 26,000 hours of safety-critical maintenance work left outstanding across seven Apache North Sea platforms:

HSE


On 30 November 2023, Directive (EU) 2023/2668 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 November 2023 amending Directive 2009/148/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work was published in the Official Journal of the EU:

eur-lex.europa.eu


The HSEs annual statistics on work-related ill health and workplace injuries report that of the 1.8 million UK workers suffering from work-related ill health, 875,000 said they had suffered stress, depression or anxiety; 473,000 were suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder; there has been 2,268 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures; and 135 workers killed in work-related accidents.


Entry is now open for The Safety & Health Excellence Awards. Free to enter, the deadline is 16 February 2024. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony at the NEC Birmingham on 1 May 2024:

she-awards.com/award-categories


November 2023

A report from Advance Market Analytics shows strong growth in the Environmental Health and Safety Market between 2022 and 2027. The report covers EHS Software:

industrytoday.co.uk


The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) explain why the King’s Speech failed to include societal wellbeing legislation that would deliver decent living and working conditions. They highlight seven key measures - ‘The Secret Seven Go Missing’:

iosh.com


A landmark scientific article, ‘Work-related causes of mental health conditions and interventions for their improvement in workplaces’, presents sound epidemiological evidence based on large-scale international cohort studies that adverse working conditions contribute to an increased risk of onset of depressive disorders:

medicalupdateonline.com


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a warning to Stena Drilling of Aberdeen relating to potential risks of legionella bacteria exposure on its Stena Don installation:

www.energyvoice.com HSE guidance on Legionella and legionnaires' disease is here: www.hse.gov.uk


KPMG has released its 2023 Net Zero Readiness Report. It concludes that governments and industry are hamstrung by significant barriers to delivering transformative change on net zero, including global public debt, domestic tensions, increased opposition to decarbonisation plans, and the need to guarantee energy supply:

kpmg.com


Electric vehicles (EVs) may reduce emissions, but the lithium-ion batteries on which they run pose a unique sustainability challenge. Here are five innovators working on making them more sustainable:

waste-management-world.com


An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) report on Preventing Fire and/or Explosion Injury from Small and Wearable Lithium Battery Powered Devices:

www.osha.gov


On 25 October ACAS launched a consultation on a draft Code of Practice on handling flexible working requests, which is intended to sit alongside the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023. The consultation ends on www.acas.org.uk. ACAS has also launched a “Flex at Work” toolkit which includes guidance, resources and training to support the implementation of the Act: www.acas.org.uk/flexible-working


A survey by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has revealed that more than two-thirds of neurodiverse workers have not told their current employer about their condition. It is estimated that as many as one in seven people are neurodiverse, with conditions including ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia:

iosh.com/news/two-thirds-of-workers-won-t-disclose-neurodiversity-to-bosses. IOSH webinars on neurodiversity are free to view on YouTube: iosh.com/health-and-safety-professionals/improve-your-knowledge/events/webinars/webinar-recordings/#neurodiversity


October 2023

If you are a ‘Responsible Person’ on whom duties are imposed under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, find out what new responsibilities you have as the result of amendments made to the Fire Safety Order by Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022. These new requirements came into force on 1 October 2023:

www.gov.uk


The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has opened entries to its flagship Health and Safety Awards. Award categories include: Industry Sector Award, Achievement Award, Fleet Safety Award and Leisure Safety Award:

www.rospa.com/awards


Bin Busy Recycling Limited, of Erith, Kent, has pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 9(3) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 after a worker was fatally crushed in July 2019:

HSE


According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), there were an estimated 1 million serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs) in 1999 and 2.78 million in 2017. It is a global problem overly represented in agriculture, construction, forestry, fishing/hunting, manufacturing, mining, and transportation/warehousing. Dr. Dom Cooper investigates:

www.shponline.co.uk


From 6 April 2024, it will become law for all businesses, charities and public sector organisations in Wales to sort their waste for recycling. It also applies to all waste and recycling collectors and processors who manage household-like waste from workplaces:

Workplace recycling | GOV.WALES


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued its second warning in six months to the offshore oil and gas sector in the wake of the investigation into an incident involving 50-year-old Jason Thomas. The worker went missing from the Valaris 121, 100 miles off Aberdeen, during a rig move in January. It is believed he fell through a hole in the deck arising from a dislodged grating:

www.energyvoice.com


Crediton Dairy Ltd, of Crediton, admitted two charges under the 2012 Control of Asbestos Regulations and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 relating to the storage, distribution and spread of asbestos, and has been fined £300,000 plus £3,215.25 in costs and statutory surcharge:

www.okehampton-today.co.uk


On 3 October 2023, the European Parliament plenary session formally adopted at first reading a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2009/148/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work. 78% of occupational cancers recognised in EU member states are related to asbestos exposure, killing more than 70,000 people a year in Europe:

www.europarl.europa.eu


Research by the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) has led to calls for more supportive working cultures to reduce employee absence - which is at the highest rate in more than a decade. UK employees were absent an average of 7.8 days over the past year, compared to the pre-pandemic rate of 5.8 days:

www.shponline.co.uk


On 6 September 2023, at Loughborough Magistrates’ Court, Valencia Waste Management Limited, formerly known as Viridor Waste Management Limited, was prosecuted for two fatalities. In relation to the first, it admitted breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £1 million. In terms of the second, it pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £2 million:

www.ioshmagazine.com


A webinar organised by the OECD/UNEP Global PFC Group will share examples of approaches to measure per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) environmental releases, as well as on the collection of information on toxic releases and the development of pollution prevention measures. 12 October at 13:00-14:00 CEST:

meetoecd1.zoom.us


August 2023

Louise Hosking, Executive Director at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), says a strong collaboration between the health and safety and environmental health sectors could create safer, cleaner and healthier environments for the benefit of all:

www.shponline.co.uk


HSE guidance on working with electric and hybrid vehicles (E&HVs):

Electric and hybrid vehicles (hse.gov.uk)


BP Exploration Operating Company Limited has been found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 after a worker died when he fell about 22m into the sea through an open grating on the Unity installation, about 112 miles (180km) north-east of Aberdeen, on 4 September 2014. The company has been fined £650,000:

www.bbc.co.uk & www.scottishlegal.com


How plastics are poisoning us: They both release & attract toxic chemicals, and appear everywhere from human placentas to chasms thirty-six thousand feet beneath the sea:

www.newyorker.com


A total of 135 workers died in work-related accidents in Great Britain in 2022/23, according to the HSE’s latest data. The figure is an increase of 12 on the 123 workers who sustained fatal injuries in 2021/22:

www.ioshmagazine.com


Nick Wilson, Director of Health & Safety Services at WorkNest, attributes the latest figures on work-related fatalities in Great Britain to a combination of factors, including a culture of complacency and poor leadership:

www.thehrdirector.com


This HSE alert aimed at wind farms and off shore platforms is worth reading if you have industrial polymer floor grating systems:

www.hseadvisor.co.uk


An HR alert from law firm Taylor Wessing on employees’ entitlements during heatwaves:

www.taylorwessing.com


In the survey Gender Disparity in HSE, collated by HSE recruitment Network, which canvassed 200 health and safety professionals about gender imbalance in the sector, 71% said there was an issue. Download the report:

info.executivenetworkgroup.com/genderdisparity-hse


IOSH have called for action to improve & enforce laws around human trafficking. Download their free report “Tackling #modern #slavery together: the roles of governments, employers, professionals and the public’

iosh.com

July 2023

6th July marked the 35th anniversary of the 1988 Piper Alpha production platform explosion in the North Sea 120 miles NE of Aberdeen in which 167 men died. Subsequent legislation sounded the death knell of ex-side trawler standby vessels close to rigs. By 1992 these had been almost entirely replaced by ex stern trawlers, and these in turn have been superseded by purpose-built Standby Safety Vessels:

visserij.nl (PDF)


Health and Safety Executive (HSE) documents have exposed a series of concerning safety failures on 15 North Sea platforms, with operators receiving warnings. A freedom of information request has unveiled 28 inspection letters sent by HSE to North Sea firms since October:

oilandgaspeople.com


A “devastating” flat fire that killed a woman and two young children in Cambridge in June was started by an e-bike that had been left charging:

www.msn.com


There is significant fire and explosion risk associated with lithium-ion batteries. TÜV SÜD provide safety guidance for their use in commercial and industrial environments:

www.tuvsud.com


The independent UK Covid-19 Inquiry has launched a listening exercise, ‘Every Story Matters’, which seeks individual’s stories about experience of the pandemic. The stories will be submitted to each relevant investigation as evidence:

iosh.com


Just launched, the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) Global Safety Report 2023, covering 2012 - 2022 data, analyses the main causes of serious injuries and fatalities occurring when using powered access machines to conduct temporary work at height:

www.ipaf.org


Optimising Offshore Renewables Projects, is a new guide from Black & Veatch to help organisations reduce risk and ensure successful outcomes for offshore wind and marine energy projects.


HSE inspectors have begun a targeted inspection initiative focusing on manufacturing businesses where materials that contain respirable crystalline silica are used. This will include brick and tile manufacturers and foundries:

press.hse.gov.uk


Should occupational mental health and wellbeing form part of the role of OSH professionals? That’s one of the questions posed in the 2023 Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) member survey which all members are urged to complete:

iosh.com


A summary of key points made by Alison Margary, British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) Past President, at the Safety & Health Expo in May this year, on why she feels women’s workplace health is neglected:

www.shponline.co.uk


According to the HSE, an estimated 2 million tonnes of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling (WEEE) items are discarded by householders and companies in the UK every year. This article explores why recycling it is so important:

governmentbusiness.co.uk

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