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Latest News

July 2022

The latest release of workplace fatalities by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed that between April 2021 and March 2022, 123 workers died in work-related accidents in Great Britain. The industries with the highest deaths were construction (30), agriculture, forestry, and fishing (22), and manufacturing (22). A further 80 members of the public were killed following a work-related accident:

HSE


The HSE also published figures for Mesothelioma, a cancer that can be caused by past exposure to asbestos. The figures show that 2,544 people died from the disease in 2020. Current mesothelioma deaths reflect exposure to asbestos primarily occurring pre-1980s and annual deaths are expected to decline during the next decade:

HSE


Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies (UK) Ltd, of Motherwell has pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Regulations 5(1) and 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 9(3) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 after HSE inspections in 2019 revealed injuries to two workers on separate occasions. The company was fined £450,000 plus £41,23.51 in costs:

HSE


The Work and Pensions Committee published its Sixth Report of Session 2021–22, The Health and Safety Executive’s approach to asbestos management (HC 560) on 21 April 2022. The Government’s Response was received on 18 July. The government has rejected the Committee’s key recommendation that policy makers should commit to removing all asbestos from public buildings within 40 years

publications.parliament.uk


Given the record-breaking temperature attained in mid-July, employers must make sure indoor workplaces remain at a reasonable temperature (there is no maximum) and manage the risk of working outdoors in hazardous heat. Indoor temperatures are covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to undertake a risk assessment:

HSE


Around 110,000 people are missing work because they suffer from long Covid, according to the think tank Institute for Fiscal Studies. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people in the UK with long Covid hit 2 million in May – or 3% of the population:

personneltoday.com


Philip White, Director of Regulation, HSE reflects on 50 years since the publication of the Robens Report which led to the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and, a year later, paved the way for the creation of the HSE:

HSE


Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company has been fined £3mn with costs of £90,000 after pleading guilty to charges under sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations after a fatal accident involving the release of ammonia gas at its main UK brewery in Northampton in 2016:

ioshmagazine.com


The HSE recently published the UK REACH Work Programme 2022/23 which sets out the activity that HSE, supported by the Environment Agency and other relevant agencies, will carry out to operate UK REACH. To complement this, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published the rationale used for identifying particular substances for potential regulatory action under UK REACH in 2022 to 2023:

lexology.com


Steve Rae, a survivor of the 1988 Piper Alpha explosion, the world’s worst ever offshore disaster, spoke at the Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) HSE conference in Aberdeen in June. He urged energy bosses to share impactful ‘personal stories’ to inspire a safety culture, and alternative energy technologies must not suffer the “harsh lessons” that oil and gas has learnt:

energyvoice.com


SafetyOn, the health and safety organisation for the onshore wind sector, has released its incident data report for 2021. 593 incidents were reported across a total of 7,083,375 worked hours. There were no fatalities. 71 incidents occurred during routine maintenance; 59 working with electrical systems; and 56 working with access/egress:

safetyon.com (PDF)


June 2022

More hot weather is forecast. Employers are advised to refresh their understanding of their obligations under The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 which deal with the control of temperature and ventilation, and with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which place an obligation on the employer to carry out a risk assessment of the workplace and act accordingly:

businessmag.co.uk


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its 10 year strategy ‘Protecting People and Places: HSE strategy 2022-2032’ which sets out its objectives with regard to enforcement for the next decade:

hse.gov.uk/aboutus/assets/docs/the-hse-strategy.pdf.

This was supplemented by the publication of the HSE Business Plan 2022/23 which covers the first transitional year of the strategy:

hse.gov.uk/aboutus/assets/docs/hse-business-plan.pdf


Long Covid is a disability under the Equality Act, a tribunal has ruled in what employment experts say could result in a “significant increase” in the number of claims brought by people suffering with the syndrome. Terence Burke, who was dismissed from his job as a charity caretaker, has been given permission to bring a case of disability discrimination against his former employer Turning Point Scotland. Figures released in May showed more than two million people in the UK are thought to be living with long Covid:

msn.com


The senior managers of UK food waste recycling site Greenfeeds Ltd, which is now in liquidation, have been jailed and the firm fined £2mn after being found guilty of two counts of corporate manslaughter following the deaths of two workers in a tanker of pig feed in December 2016:

feednavigator.com/Article/2022/06/20/Owners-of-Greenfeeds-Ltd-jailed-after-two-employees-drowned-in-pig-feed


The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has expressed disappointment about the lack of engagement and collaboration from the HSE with its key regulatory partners, particularly local authorities, as the HSE developed its new 10-year strategy to help cultivate safer workplaces:

facilitatemagazine.com


The No Time to Lose campaign from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), aims to explain the causes of occupational cancer and help businesses take action. High quality resources are available on asbestos, silica dust, solar radiation and diesel exhaust fumes notimetolose.org.uk. Here’s an example, on occupational skin cancer which is responsible for over 60 worker deaths a year in the UK shponline.co.uk


The HSE has published its Annual Science Review. This year’s review illustrates the mix of activities that has helped to ensure that HSE’s response to the pandemic was informed by the best available evidence. It has also assisted HSE as an enabling regulator, and to secure justice against those who breach the law:

hse.gov.uk


A study by the Co-Op and New Economics Foundation found that loneliness costs UK employers more than £2.5 billion a year: from increased sick days and time off to care for others, to lower productivity and staff retention levels. Three in five employees admitted to feeling lonely at work:

ioshmagazine.com


The HSE has warned TotalEnergies over a series of failures in its maintenance processes on the Gryphon Alpha Platform, leading to risks of “fire and explosion”:

energyvoice.com


In the year since Amazon pledged to become “Earth's Safest Place to Work,” the serious injury rate at the company's American warehouses rose 15%:

businessinsider.com


Seafood processing company QA Fish Ltd of Scalloway, Shetland has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and fined £80,000 after a worker died following injuries sustained when she was run over by a forklift truck in January 2018:

press.hse.gov.uk


April 2022

A brief run-down of April’s changes to employment legislation, including increases to National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage, SSP, maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay; the gender pay gap reporting deadline; the right-to-work checking process for biometric residence card holders; new limits on employment statutory redundancy; and IR35 checks:

hrmagazine.co.uk


The European Commission’s long-awaited proposal on corporate sustainability due diligence has been published. Under the draft law, companies with more than 500 employees will be required to prevent and mitigate harm to people and planet – such as child labour and pollution – throughout their global value chains:

iosh.com


A case study on Brisko Scaffolding in Ipswich, which pleaded guilty to multiple safety failings and was ordered to pay more than £515,000 after an employee sustained a life-changing crush injury in November 2019 while using a forklift truck to move a bundle of steel weighing around 1.1 MT:

ioshmagazine.com


Innovations in health and safety training is the topic of the first in a new series of free webinars offered by IOSH and the European Network of Safety and Health Professional Organizations (ENSHPO). It is on 7 April at 1 p.m:

iosh.zoom.us


BW Offshore has been served an improvement notice by the HSE after crew on the Harbour Energy’s Catcher field floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel were put in serious danger of exposure to lethal levels of toxic gas:

energyvoice.com


Research shows that women are more susceptible to burnout caused by the stresses of coping with the COVID pandemic, and one in three women has considered downshifting or leaving the workforce in the past year. Occupational health professionals need to work proactively to support women to thrive in the workplace:

ioshmagazine.com


On 7 March, the UK Government became the 11th country to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s Violence and Harassment Convention. This is the first international treaty to recognise everyone’s right to a workplace free from violence and harassment, including that which is gender-based:

shponline.co.uk


The Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) has taken an important step towards the possible inclusion of occupational safety and health as a fundamental principle and right at work. The matter will be discussed at the 110th International Labour Conference in June:

ilo.org


Able UK Limited of Cleveland has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of The Health and Safety at Work act 1974 and been fined £200,000 with £20,991.24 costs after a contractor suffered life threatening injuries in a fall during the dismantling of the Brent Bravo, a former North Sea oil and gas platform:

gazettelive.co.uk


A quick look at five serious books for HR and Occupational Health professionals - with subjects ranging from tackling stress with mental resilience, creating successful hybrid workplaces and tackling worker isolation, confronting racism by encouraging anti-racist leadership, and how to embed purpose as a business ‘must-have’ at a deep level into organisations:

hrmagazine.co.uk


Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd has been found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 8(b)(i) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 after a worker suffered a fatal fall from an overhead crane walkway. The company was fined £1.5mn plus costs of £29,239:

shponline.co.uk


ACAS have published useful advice on Long-COVID for employers and employees.

Firstly, advice on sickness and absence because of Long-COVID: acas.org.uk and, secondly, whether Long-COVID is treated as a disability: acas.org.uk


New mobile phone laws, making it illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving under virtually any circumstance, came into force on 25 March:

shponline.co.uk


Scientific evidence from Dr Theo Compernolle explains that since our thinking brain can only focus on one thing at a time, for work that requires sustained attention and concentration, all task-switching and distractions should be eliminated – especially those coming from walkie-talkies, phones and screens:

ioshmagazine.com


Regulations have been published which will amend the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPEWR). Certain self-employed workers not previously entitled to free PPE will need to be provided with it by the business that they work for:

legislation.gov.uk


A & S Metal Recycling Limited of Stourport-on-Severn has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, fined £66,000 plus costs of £8,192.55 after a 15-year-old employee suffered 22% burns following an explosion and flash fire:

press.hse.gov.uk


International SOS, the world's leading health and security services company, and the Workforce Resilience Council, commissioned Ipsos MORI to survey c. 1,000 risk professionals across 75 countries on health, security, and COVID-19 risks in 2022:

internationalsos.com/risk-outlook


A study of a million individuals in Rome over a 15-year period identified a positive association between long-term exposure to air pollution (NO2, PM10 and PM2.5) and risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism:

ehjournal.biomedcentral.com


A systematic review and meta-analysis of 16 studies identified that people residing less than 5 km from a petrochemical facility (refinery or manufacturer of commercial chemicals) had a 30% higher risk of developing Leukaemia than residents from communities with none:

ehjournal.biomedcentral.com


January 2022

Experts warn that post-Brexit UK rule changes on chemicals would change the way ‘substances of very high concern’ are dealt with by the regulator:

theguardian.com


The Policy paper “Approach to including substances of very high concern on the UK REACH candidate list”, which was published on 9 December 2021, is available here:

gov.uk


Manchester-based hazardous waste treatment company Lanstar Ltd has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after an employee was crushed to death when his forklift truck overturned in April 2017. The company were fined £126,000 plus £17,664 in costs:

HSE


AeraMax Pro AM3 and AM4 air purifiers manufactured by Fellowes have been proven to be effective in eliminating aerosolised concentration of SARS-CoV-2 by 99.9999% through a single air pass test of the purifier:

specificationonline.co.uk


Employers need to consider any additional risks to water hygiene arising from adopting hybrid working:

ioshmagazine.com


The world’s first menopause awards have been launched by GenM to celebrate the organisations improving the menopause for the 15.5 million plus women in the UK, in the workplace, at home and in society:

shponline.co.uk


Safety & Health Practitioner present their annual video round-up of the 10 biggest health and safety prosecutions of 2021:

shponline.co.uk


The Society of Occupational Medicine have a large number and range of free recordings and slides of previous Webinars on key topics of interest to occupational health professionals:

som.org.uk/som-webinars


There remains no removal plan in place for the cold-stacked oil rig “Ocean Princess” in the Cromarty Firth which has been boarded by thrill-seekers posting videos on YouTube:

energyvoice.com


More than 20 past and present employees of PSV Glass and Glazing Ltd of High Wycombe diagnosed with hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) have instructed specialist lawyers after the HSE brought criminal proceedings against the company for breaching the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005:

irwinmitchell.com


December 2021

Marking Human Rights Day on 1 December, Richard Jones CFIOSH, former head of policy at IOSH, highlights key public policy developments:

ioshmagazine.com


The Essar Stanlow Manufacturing Complex at Ellesmere Port has maintained its ‘Gold’ status in the renowned RoSPA Health and Safety Awards:

chesterstandard.co.uk


Personnel Today magazine has published what it considers the 10 most important employment law cases in 2021, counting down from ten to one:

personneltoday.com


The UK government’s chief medical adviser Professor Chris Whitty has told businesses to invest in better ventilation to improve workers’ health in general, help to protect against future health emergencies, as well as aid recovery from the pandemic:

facilitatemagazine.com


The HSE has released new guidance on managing home workers’ health and safety which specifically includes hybrid working and risk assessments, managing stress and mental health and display screen equipment (DSE) assessments:

hse.gov.uk


IOSH and the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) have signed an agreement to enable joint activities that improve working conditions and protect workers around the world:

iosh.com


Royston Lead Ld. of Barnsley, South Yorkshire has pleaded guilty to breaching two charges of Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and fined £80,000 after a worker had to have a finger partially amputated after trapping it in an unguarded lead billet stamping machine in January 2018:

shponline.co.uk


Research by the insurer QBE reveals that senior leaders fear claims as a consequence of Covid-driven decisions. Other concerns include financial turmoil and health and safety:

insurancetimes.co.uk


The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has approved two final reports on accidents that killed six workers. The reports concerned AB Specialty Silicones of Waukegan, Illinois, and an Evergreen Packaging paper mill in Canton, North Carolina. As the CSB’s board had only one member, and another 18 unfinished accident investigations stretching back 5 years, President Joe Biden nominated three more people to the board:

cen.acs.org


A report by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has found that chemical recycling of plastic waste currently covers different technologies with varying potential for contributing to a circular economy. Following REACH registration requirements for recycled materials and finding ways to eliminate substances of concern from plastic waste streams are key to achieving non-toxic recycling:

shponline.co.uk


RoSPA has welcomed the government’s announcement on its ban on using handheld mobile phones for any purpose whilst driving. Drivers holding their phone are four times more likely to crash. In 2020, there were 368 collisions of all severities where use of a mobile phone was a contributory factor:

bdcmagazine.com


Finally, we wish all our customers and website visitors a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year.


November 2021

The UK government’s plan for managing COVID-19 through the winter is available in full here:

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk


Consultancy Dekra has made available a Focus Article, Optimising Safety for the Renewable Energy Sector (sign-up required):

dekra-uk.co.uk


A reminder that by 27 October 2021, GB-based legal entities that had been purchasing substances and mixtures from EU registrants or whose imports had been covered by EU Only Representatives in accordance with Art. 8 of EU Regulation No. 1907/2006 (REACH) will need to submit a Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN) to the HSE:

HSE


Industry accounts for almost 40% of the world's energy consumption and still overwhelmingly uses fossil fuels. The InfluenceMap think tank's "A-List" assessed the climate ambitions of hundreds of companies, but found just 15 were sufficient:

ednh.news


The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) in the UK is calling for universal access to occupational health (OH) provision by a) increasing the proportion of employers providing access to OH, and b) providing an NHS offer to ‘mop up’ those who do not those who do not have access through smaller employers (16m) and self-employed workers (4.4million):

som.org.uk

SOM recently held an online Summit on the topic, and the recordings and accompanying slide presentations are available here:

som.org.uk


The HSE has issued an improvement notice to Ensco Offshore UK Limited, part of Valaris, following an incident in September on one of its jack-up rigs in which a 2.3-tonne object fell from a drill pipe elevator, posing risk of “serious injury” to rig workers. The company has until 30 November 2021 to comply with the notice:

energyvoice.com


A helpful article reminding employers that reasonable adjustments can significantly improve the chances of meeting the needs, and maximising the potential of, those with disabilities:

ioshmagazine.com


Professor Jin Xuan, director of the UK Research and Innovation (URI) Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Chemical Economy, explains the centre’s ambition to transform the UK’s £32bn chemical industry into a fossil-independent circular industry by developing sector-wide solutions for efficient recycling and recovery of chemical resources, such as olefins:

theengineer.co.uk


Hereford Galvanizers Limited of Hereford has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and fined £266,000 plus costs of £14,635.29 after a worker died in February 2019 following the explosion of a tubular steel brace during galvanizing:

HSE


October 2021

Almost a million people in the UK are suffering from Long Covid, which has potentially huge implications for Occupational Health staff. The Society of Occupational Medicine has launched a new Podcast series and provided other resources which may prove valuable:

som.org.uk


Chemical company Briar Chemicals Ltd of Norwich has been fined £1 million plus costs of £10,967 after a maintenance contractor died in a Toluene vapour explosion in July 2018. The company admitted breaching regulation 5 of the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations:

ioshmagazine.com


The 2021 SHP Awards are open for entry until Friday 29 October, with seven categories: Most Influential Individual; Rising Stars in the UK and internationally, in construction, and in manufacturing; Trailblazer in workplace wellbeing; and Trailblazer in Health & Safety:

shponline.co.uk


After a bumper 2021, when nearly 2,000 entries from 49 countries were received, the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards 2022 are open for registrations. A key change is that entrants will be asked to reflect on how they have managed health and safety issues connected to COVID-19. Also new is the “Inspiring Women in Safety Award”, sponsored by L’Oréal:

bdcmagazine.com


A report on a workshop organised by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (HSE Report number: RPS/20/03) to evaluate the impact of climate change on establishments subject to the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH Regulations), in preparation for the new UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) published in June 2021:

documents.manchester.ac.uk


76% of UK utility, telecoms engineering and construction companies have experienced an incident involving a lone worker in the past three years, with a fifth of these incidents described as severe or very severe. Lone worker solution provider StaySafe have produced a useful report on this under-researched subject:

staysafeapp.com


Open burning of waste is a neglected issue with global implications for human safety and climate change:

theengineer.co.uk and ednh.news


Andrea Fried, Associate Professor in Business Administration at the Linköping University, Sweden, and author of “Understanding Deviance in a World of Standards” Why do companies deviate from standards and what shall we do about it?

blog.oup.com


If your organisation is part of a supply chain, it is likely that the Modern Slavery Act 2015 affects you. Private companies with a turnover of more than £36m a year fall under the Modern Slavery Act and it is advisable to be familiar with the issues, and of the risks involved if you fail to act:

ioshmagazine.com


September 2021

The results of a new YouGov survey show that the majority (59%) of people in the UK who had to work from home at least some of the time due to coronavirus want to continue to do so. A separate survey of London workers found that 66% want to be able to work from home once the crisis is over, including 19% who want to do so full-time:

yougov.co.uk


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated its advice on keeping workplaces safe. This section covers ventilation and air conditioning:

HSE


Lincolnshire-based potato processor AH Worth Ltd has been fined £300,000 plus c. £10,000 in costs for breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after several employees were exposed to sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas:

foodmanufacture.co.uk


Researchers at Airotect have developed a new personal air-sampling system that can detect more than 100 different compounds in one device that is worn as a badge:

technologynetworks.com


The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has a range of resources to help OSH professionals perform their role in identifying and managing the risks of suicide in the workplace:

iosh.com


Medical and safety technology company Dräger Safety UK, which assesses the impact of COVID-19, Brexit and workplace culture on health and safety in UK workplaces, warns of a rising use of drugs and alcohol:

hsmsearch.com


Royal Dutch Shell, which employs 86,000 workers in more than 70 countries, is considering making it mandatory for workers in some operations to have COVID-19 vaccinations or risk being fired:

reuters.com


The HSE intends to prosecute Drax Power for failing to properly control the exposure of its workers to wood dust from the biomass pellets used as fuel at its Selby power station:

execreview.com


Useful guidance on managing the risks associated with fatigue, particularly important for safety- critical work in sectors such as aviation, petrochemicals, road transport and the emergency services:

shponline.co.uk


According to a report from the WHO, traffic noise alone is responsible for the loss of more than one million healthy life years annually in Western Europe as a result of noise related disability and disease, including cognitive impairment such as dementia:

bmj.com


Air pollution is likely to reduce the life expectancy of about 40% of Indians by more than nine years, according to a report released by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC):

reuters.com


August 2021

A reminder for businesses re-opening after shutdowns for extended periods to be mindful of the risks of the legionella bacteria, which can be fatal:

HSE


Provisional data released by the HSE shows that a total of 142 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2020-21, an increase of 29 from the previous year, though the number of deaths in 2019-20 (113) was low compared to other recent years:

HSE


Granville Oil & Chemical Company Ltd of Rotherham has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and fined £100,000 plus £9,928.60 in costs after a worker suffered Ultra-Concentrate chemical burns to both arms and a leg in September 2016.

HSE


Cases of suicide clearly linked to work are going uninvestigated, unrecorded and ignored by the UK workplace safety regulator, new research by Leeds University has found. The research authors recommend including suicide in the list of work-related deaths that must be reported to the HSE under the RIDDOR reporting requirements:

ahc.leeds.ac.uk


Mario Possamai, a former senior adviser on the Canadian SARS outbreak, wants the WHO investigated for its failure to address the airborne nature of Covid-19 for more than a year, dooming the world to a preventable level of death and disease:

bylinetimes.com


Skip hire and waste management company Easy Load Ltd of Dartford has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) by virtue of Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 after a worker was seriously injured in December 2018. The MD pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years:

HSE


EU-OSHA has published a report “Prolonged constrained standing postures: health effects and good practice advice” on protecting workers from the health risks of prolonged standing:

osha.europa.eu


EU-OSHA has published a report “Prolonged static sitting at work: health effects and good practice advice” on protecting workers from the health risks of prolonged sitting:

osha.europa.eu


The HSE has released new guidance on workplace ventilation and how it can help resilience against coronavirus:

HSE


The recordings and resources from the Hazards Campaign Hazards Conference 2021, which took place on the weekend 31 July to 1 August are now available online. They include discussion sessions, all the workshops, plus resources posted in the Zoom chat by participants:

hazardscampaign.org.uk


July 2021

The UK government’s decision to temporarily extend the number of hours that heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers can legally work has come in for criticism from several industry bodies:

driving.co.uk


In the light of new understanding of the crucial role of occupational health and safety, the European Commission is renewing its commitment to update occupational safety and health rules by adopting the EU strategic framework on health and safety at work 2021-2027:

eureporter.co


Remote working will remain a permanent fixture of work life, and employers should be prepared to tackle the challenges of isolation, stress and anxiety lone workers can face:

ioshmagazine.com


Agricultural machines manufacturer Superior Machines Ltd of Driffield, Yorkshire, has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,618 after a worker suffered life threatening injuries when he became entangled on a manual lathe in January 2019:

hse.gov.uk


The first global standard to provide employers with practical guidance on how to manage psychosocial risks to staff in the workplace has been published. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has made ISO 45003 free to read:

iso.org


A new research report launched by medical and safety technology company Dräger Safety UK assesses the impact of Covid-19, Brexit and workplace culture on health and safety in UK workplaces, and warns of an impending crisis:

thehrdirector.com


SAFETYON, the health and safety body for the onshore wind industry, has published its inaugural Annual Incident Data Report 2020. Out of the almost 7 million worked hours reported, 532 incidents were reported. There were no fatalities:

safetyon.com


Offshore oil company Apache Beryl Limited has been fined £400,000 after breaching regulation nine of the Offshore Installations Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response Regulations 1995 (PFEER):

hse.gov.uk


Many companies are responding to the climate crisis with ‘green’ marketing, while their core business remains fossil fuels. The Greenwashing Files highlight how advertising doesn’t always match up to reality:

clientearth.org


A year-long Australian population study has found that full time workers employed by organizations that fail to prioritise their employees' mental health have a threefold increased risk of being diagnosed with depression:

news-medical.net


Over 2 million adults in England may have had long COVID according to survey data from the Imperial College London-led REACT-2 study, collected from random samples of the population:

imperial.ac.uk


June 2021

Safety & Health Expo Connect (1-30 June 2021) will bring together the global H&S community through an online marketplace and virtual meetings, while the in-person event – Safety & Health Expo and the co-located Workplace Wellbeing Show – will return to London’s ExCeL in May 2022:

shponline.co.uk


The number of people who have died of work-related Covid-19 is being “massively under-reported” by employers, according to a new TUC report. ‘RIDDOR, Covid and under-reporting’ highlights a huge discrepancy between Covid work-related deaths reported by employers and data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Public Health England:

theguardian.com and tuc.org.uk


As part of the Government’s commitment to move towards a circular economy and net zero emissions, Defra is consulting on how to increase consistency in the collection of recyclable materials from domestic and non-domestic premises in England with the aim of raising recycling levels to an overall rate of 65%:

iwfm.org.uk


Ineos Chemicals Grangemouth Ltd has been ordered to pay £400,000 after a leak from a cracked pipe put 97 workers at risk when c. 17 tonnes of ethylene was released at its Grangemouth plant on 2 May 2017. The company pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 5(1) of the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 and section 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act:

ioshmagazine.com


LED strip-light specialist Mineglow has launched what it says is the world’s first IECEx-certified explosive-proof LED strip light designed to improve safety in high-risk areas:

tunnelsonline.info


Nic Paton from “Personnel Today” examines the implications of ‘hybrid’ ways of working for occupational health practitioners:

personneltoday.com


It is essential that employees suffering from Long Covid symptoms are provided with personalised and early support if their health issues are not to be unnecessarily prolonged:

thehrdirector.com


A new three-part IOSH free webinar series is in preparation to prepare OSH professionals for the new risk environment. The first – What comes next? Dealing with communicable diseases in a world of uncertainty – is on Thursday 15 July (12.30-13.30 BST):

iosh.com


Young's Seafood Ltd in Grimsby has admitted breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act after a workers’ thumb and two fingers were severed in a mixing machine in October 2017. The company was fined £787,500 plus costs of £33,443:

ioshmagazine.com


The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health and Safety Cases) (Amendment) Order 2021 (SI 2021/618) has been made and came into force on 31 May 2021. It protects workers who leave or refuse to attend the workplace in circumstances they reasonably believe are a serious and imminent danger, and which they cannot reasonably be expected to avert:

personneltoday.com


May 2021

The EU Commission has issued three new amendments to Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH):

ioshmagazine.com


DVV Media is running a FREE 60-minute Webinar "CPD: Workplace trauma post-pandemic " to address how companies can assist with the stress and trauma experienced by key frontline and public-facing workers. The Webinar is on Tuesday, May 18th 2021 - from 2:00 PM (BST):

https://app.livestorm.co/p/f18fd296-760c-49f2-8b83-5de38d3e26ef


A new study by the University of York and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science has revealed that household aerosols now emit more harmful volatile organic compound air pollution than all UK vehicles:

news-medical.net


Safety and Health Practitioner’s legislation update eBook, published in April 2021, is free to download and covers the latest progress on the Fire Safety Bill, Building Safety Bill, Environment Bill, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021, Modern Slavery Act, Mental Health Act Reform, Environment and Energy, UK REACH, and ISO45003:

shponline.co.uk


On May 4th, World Asthma Day 2021, the HSE announced it would be targeting businesses whose workers undertake welding and use metalworking fluids to check that they are complying with the welding fumes guidance and metalworking fluid guidance:

projectscot.com


The HSE’s Annual Science Review 2021 has been launched, focusing on ways science and evidence is being used to prevent death, injury and ill-health in Great Britain’s workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic:

HSE


The Good Law Project has renewed its application for a judicial review against the government’s refusal to hold an urgent public inquiry into the hundreds of frontline NHS staff who lost their lives to Covid-19:

goodlawproject.org


The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimate that 2.78 million workers die every year from work-related injuries or diseases. Now, the UN’s Guiding principles on business and human rights: implementing the United Nations ‘protect, respect and remedy’ framework (UNGP) aim to set a global standard for curbing the adverse impacts from business on human rights:

ioshmagazine.com


Official workplace fatality figures are hiding thousands of COVID deaths, said the GMB Union on 28 April, Workers’ Memorial Day, and the official statistics should reflect this in all forms, regardless of whether a RIDDOR notification was made or not:

gmb.org.uk


The pandemic has brought occupational safety and health from the margins to the centre and should provide the context for a reinforcement of OSH and greater investment, not least because every euro invested in OSH pays back more than double for an organisation:

socialeurope.eu


April 2021

HSE Chair Sarah Newton reflects on the past year:

hse.gov.uk


Important material on the six key areas where the UK must increase research scale to maintain resilience against Covid-19 - the National Core Studies:

healthdatagateway.org


In relation to CSR, the most important of the six is Transmission and Environment, looking at how Covid-19 is spread on transport and in the workplace:

sites.manchester.ac.uk


Sanofi has announced several major projects to increase the impact of its Corporate Social Responsibility. These include environmental conservation, and the creation of Sanofi Global Health, a global non-profit unit to provide 40 of the world's poorest countries access to essential medicines:

biospace.com


Does the equality maxim of ‘gender neutrality’ put women at greater health and safety risk, asks Lorenzo Visentin, Group Head of Environment, Health and Safety at Arriva.

shponline.co.uk


Hosted by IOSH magazine, EcoOnline are running a Webinar on “Best Practices of Storage and Segregation of Packaged Chemicals and Dangerous Substances” on Tuesday, 13 April 2021 at 13:00 BST:

ioshmagazine.com


Lancashire-based Enterprise Managed Services Ltd (EMSL), owned by Amey, has been fined £1,020,000 plus costs of £60,476 after a worker was killed by tripping or falling under the reversing waste lorry in April 2016. The company pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974:

mrw.co.uk


The TUC’s latest biennial survey of more than 2,100 workplace safety representatives has found many employers failing to follow Covid-secure rules on risk assessments, social distancing and PPE during the pandemic:

personneltoday.com


Although the UK has left the EU, guidance from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) can be immensely helpful, i.e. their latest material on chronic musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the workplace as working populations grow older and retirement ages rise:

osha.europa.eu


In June 2020, Culture Change specialists Tribe published a report on how c. 125 mostly large organisations in many different sectors could develop more resilient health, safety and wellbeing cultures out of the Covid-19 crisis. Now they have released an update with more evidence on crisis culture insights and outcomes. Both reports can be downloaded here:

tribeculturechange.com


The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded £2m to a project that will use satellite technology to detect methane emissions. The technology has already revealed dramatic increases in large methane leaks around the world. In related news, a new study has revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is underestimating methane emissions from oil and gas production by up to 90%:

airqualitynews.com


March 2021

More than ever, it is important for all types of businesses to have authentic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives that are not a publicity spin. A new book demonstrates that CSR is the future of business:

pressat.co.uk


Managing ‘return to work’ is about much more than just health and safety and ‘Covid-secure’ environments, argues Craig Jackson, Professor of occupational health psychology, Birmingham City University, and a member of the Society of Occupational Medicine:

personneltoday.com


New guidance has been published by the UK Hearing Conservation Association, in conjunction with the Institute of Acoustics, the Association of Noise Consultants, IOSH and BOHS to help employers commission competent technical advice on noise exposure control:

britsafe.org


A useful Q&A on chemical safety legislation post-Brexit from dangerous goods expert Sarah Ingle of EcoOnline, which arose from a recent IOSH magazine webinar:

ioshmagazine.com


Roofing company R4 Industrial Roofing Cladding Systems Ltd of Wickford, Essex has pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and fined £165,000 plus costs of £20,957 after a worker died falling through an industrial roof light in February 2018:

HSE


The British Safety Council has launched a new Safety Management app, which allows readers to browse news on the go and keep abreast of the changing UK and international health and safety landscape:

politicshome.com


An international group of scientists are backing the creation of an international body to oversee chemicals and waste:

chemistryworld.com


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is seeking scientific and technical experts in chemical risk assessment and socioeconomic analysis to join its new multidisciplinary REACH Independent Scientific Expert Pool (RISEP):

HSE


Stephen Wood, Professor of Management, University of Leicester, and a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Science and Academic Fellow of the CIPD, outlines some of the ways working from home has impacted people's wellbeing:

rsph.org.uk


Check out the IOSH Magazine podcast with regulatory lawyer Rhian Greaves on the impact the pandemic has had on the service safety, health and environmental regulatory agencies are providing:

orlo.uk


February 2021

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for 7 March to 28 December 2020 reveal that the mortality rate from COVID-19 in the UK working age population peaked in manual workers in processing plants, security guards and those in ‹elementary occupations› including construction and care work:

ioshmagazine.com


In correspondence published in the Lancet on 23 January, academics from De Montfort, Manchester and Nottingham universities recommend “restoration of an adequate health and safety inspectorate”… with the wherewithal to fulfil its mandate:

thelancet.com


Safety & Health Expo, the UK's largest dedicated event for health and safety professionals, has been scheduled to take place from 12-14 July 2021 at ExCel London. You can now register your interest in attending:

safety-health-expo.co.uk


The EU’s Occupational Safety and Health Agency (EU-OSHA) report, Workforce diversity and musculoskeletal disorders: review of facts and figures and case examples, shows the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and associated physical, psychosocial, individual and organisational risk factors in women, migrants and LGBTI workers.


Although the UK has left the EU, sector-specific guidance from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) helping employers and workers to stay safe and healthy on their return to work during and after the pandemic is immensely helpful:

osha.europa.eu


Hazardex 2021, the conference and exhibition for those in the high hazard and process industries, will be held on June 16th & 17th at the Hilton Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. There will also be a virtual access option to all streams for any delegates unable to attend in person:

hazardex-event.co.uk


Safety and Health Practitioner has published its Top 10 health & safety prosecutions of 2020. The year saw some huge fines for the likes of Leadec Limited, who were fined £2m, Tesco, Phillips 66 Ltd and Costain:

shponline.co.uk


Working remotely: How to spot signs of struggling employees by Dr Nick Zygouris, consultant clinical psychologist and director of mental health at Maximus UK:

covermagazine.co.uk


Pontrilas Sawmills Limited of Pontrilas, Hereford has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after a worker was fatally crushed in December 2017. The company was fined £200,000 plus costs of £22,016.

HSE


Migrant workers are more than twice as likely to be killed or suffer injuries in the workplace due to poor English skills. To address this, Make UK and the FlashAcademy have developed a workplace app to deliver health and safety technical training and general English skills in 20 languages:

personneltoday.com


January 2021

The Supreme Court has changed long-accepted coronial law and practice concerning the ‹standard of proof› that is needed to reach a conclusion of suicide or unlawful killing in inquests. This judgement could have significant repercussions for inquests arising out of workplace fatalities:

ioshmagazine.com


The HSE are providing free podcasts to help SMEs that make, use or supply chemicals understand what actions they need to take now that GB chemical regimes are in place for e.g. Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) and Prior Informed Consent (PIC) regimes, Plant Protection Products (PPP) and Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH):

HSE


Hazards magazine looks at the impact of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) keeping a safe distance from enforcement activity as Covid-19 raged in the workplace:

hazards.org


Chemical company Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (UK) Ltd of Kingston upon Hull has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after a worker had an arm crushed in September 2017. The company has been fined £200,000 plus £8,261.28 in costs:

shponline.co.uk


According to research by Bupa Global, two in five (38%) business leaders in the UK have turned to alcohol or drugs to cope with mental ill health during the pandemic:

bupaglobal.com


A fifth of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 are still exhibiting symptoms five weeks or more after being infected with the virus, with a tenth suffering from “long Covid” for three months or longer, according to research from the Office for National Statistics:

personneltoday.com


The European Commission has launched Re-open EU mobile app to provide regular updates on coronavirus health, safety and travel measures across Europe:

eureporter.co


Dublin-based Doyle Shipping Group has been fined €850,000 following a fatal incident in June 2018. It pleaded guilty to Section 8(2)(a) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 contrary to Section 77(9)(a):

shponline.co.uk


IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign is raising awareness of occupational cancer, which kills 742,000 a year globally. Free resources here on asbestos, silica dust, solar radiation and diesel exhaust emissions:

notimetolose.org.uk (sign-up required). IOSH also provide COVID support materials and webinars: iosh.com/coronavirus


Safety and Health Practitioner has produced a guide to help home workers beat the “January Blues”:

shponline.co.uk


Food manufacturer Müller UK & Ireland LLP has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision of Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 after an agency worker at its Shropshire site required finger amputations in July 2016. The company was fined £66,000 plus costs of £5,024.20:

shponline.co.uk


Sellafield Ltd has been fined £320,000 plus £12,079 in costs after an electrician suffered 15-20% burns while working without adequate training or supervision on high voltage equipment in April 2020:

ioshmagazine.com

For older news items see the news archive