News from around the World
- ASH supports calls for more to be done on public understanding of nicotine
- Event: Provisional programme available for UK Technical Meeting
- Asset integrity, ageing and life extension in a challenging economic and efficiencies driven era
- Sleep Glorious Sleep
- Global Energy Firm fined £1.4 million and ordered to pay costs £34,084.05 after worker killed in a UK refinery fire
- Event: Pressure Systems Awareness Training from HSL
- Event: Heat Conference 2015
- Event: The Europlatform access rental conference
- IOSH Singapore members discover health benefits of Marina Barrage
- New HSE Research Report: Corrosion and cleaning of offshore deluge systems
- Britain’s 3 million night workers need fair rights to work-life balance
- ORR and HSL to develop and promote use of risk management model
- Japan: New law to require stress checks for workers
- UK Pilots Advise Air Passengers to Carry Lithium Battery Operated Equipment in the Cabin
- UK Employers warned not to take eye off the ball after rise in worker deaths
- IOSH supports Act requiring supply chain transparency
- Safety, health and leadership theme for IOSH food and drink 2015 conference in the UK
- Welding Fume Campaign in the UK
- The Health and Safety Executive statement on the Government’s final progress report on health and safety reforms
- 3M SafeTea Break 2015 Campaign
- FIG UK Seminar on fake chargers and other fake goods that are fire hazards
- ACGIH Fundamentals in Industrial Ventilation and Practical Applications of Useful Equations educational event
- The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR)
- Evidence mounts linking shift work to breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and a range of other health problems
- Cash-strapped UK local authorities abandon safety inspections
- Asbestos campaigners say “stop playing with cancer”
- Asia: Two gas explosions lead to multiple deaths
- Italy: Fireworks factory blast kills nine
ASH supports calls for more to be done on public understanding of nicotine
The UK Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) supports the call made by the Royal Society of Public Health for more to be done to ensure that medical professionals, the media and the public understand that nicotine is not the deadly component in cigarettes.
In 2013 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) identified a need for better public understanding of the relative safety of licensed nicotine containing products. ASH research suggests that since then public understanding of nicotine has not improved. In fact false beliefs about the risks from electronic cigarettes have grown.
Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at health charity ASH said:
“Scientists have known for many years that it’s the smoke in cigarettes that’s deadly not the nicotine. Unfortunately this is not yet well understood by smokers, medical professionals or the media, many of whom still think nicotine causes cancer and heart disease. The persistence of this misconception will cost lives as smokers who otherwise would switch to alternative sources of nicotine are put off. The time for this misunderstanding to be put right is long overdue.”
Event: Provisional programme available for UK Technical Meeting
16/17 September 2015
FABIG announce that a provisional programme for the forthcoming FABIG UK Technical Meeting covering “New Developments in Fire & Explosion Control and Mitigation” is now available. It will be held on 16th September 2015 in Aberdeen and on 17th September in London & via Webcast.
The following presentations will be given:
- The Application of Evolutionary Optimization for Fire & Gas Mapping
Oliver Heynes – Insight Numerics and Robert Birchmore & Stephanie Dufourmantelle – ARC
- The Method and Benefits of Risk-Based Fire & Gas Detection Mapping
Sava Medonos – Petrellus Engineering
- Mitigation of Vapor Cloud Overpressures by Injection of Solid Particles in the Cloud
Pol Hoorelbeke and Dirk Roosendans – Total
- Design of Turbomachinery Equipment Against Explosions (provisional title)
Stefano Rossin – GE Oil & Gas
- The Risk of Cryogenic Liquid Release Could have been a Show Stopper for the FLNG Market: How did the industry respond?
Robin Wade – International Paint
You can register on the Events section of the website.
Asset integrity, ageing and life extension in a challenging economic and efficiencies driven era
27 October 2015, Aberdeen, UK
Attending this conference will equip you with the essential knowledge, skills and good practice required to ensure effective management of your offshore oil and gas assets.
With the challenges of operating in maturing basins, a low oil price and an industry-wide demand for more efficient working practices, this sixth edition of the EI’s popular asset integrity management conference series will bring together industry experts, operators and regulators to tell you about the good practice initiatives and the latest technical guidance developments in the areas of:
- asset integrity
- ageing and life extension
- corrosion management
This is the information that you need to maximise the benefits of your offshore operations and develop more efficient working practices for your ageing assets.
The conference also features what has been a year-on-year expanding exhibition, which will provide you with the ideal opportunity to discuss key developments in technologies and services, as well as approaches to successful asset integrity.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Susan Mackenzie, Director of Hazardous Installations, HSE
- Gunther Newcombe, Director – E&P, Oil and Gas Authority
- Fraser Selfridge, Integrity Manager, Taqa
- Finbar Hughes, Mechanical Technical Authority, Dana Petroleum
For more information visit: www.energyinst.org/asset-integrity
Sleep Glorious Sleep
Be honest with yourself, how much sleep do you get each night? The likelihood is that you’re one of the third of Britons who sleep for less than six hours a night. If you’re not meeting the recommended 6–9 hours you may not be aware that your sleeping habits are putting you at an increased risk of developing health problems including obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Adults aged 40-60 are the worst culprits for sleep deprivation. Research shows this is due to difficulties in juggling that work-life balance, often whist caring for older relatives as well as striving to meet goals at the peak of their careers. Public Health England have decided to give the nation’s sleeping habits an overhaul and are gearing up to take action in the form of a new national campaign.
In the meantime, Heart Research UK have some sleep suggestions which could help you get more shut eye:
- The ideal temperature
A cool environment is key to helping you get a restful and undisturbed sleep with 18.5 °C (65 °F) being the optimal temperature. Remember to change your duvet as the seasons change to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It’s important that your hands and feet are warm to help you regulate your body temperature so in winter wear socks to bed to keep your toes toasty.
- Screen-free sleep zone
Melatonin is a hormone known to help restful sleep, with levels in the blood rising greatly at night. Natural daylight and the artificial light produced from some device screens reduces the production of melatonin, potentially disturbing sleep. But not only this, using electronic devices before bed stimulates the brain preventing you from falling into that peaceful and relaxed sleepy state. Make your bedroom a screen-free zone by removing televisions, laptops and tablets from your bedtime routine. Try reading a book instead, a much more relaxing way to drift off into a restful slumber.
- Routine exercise
Make regular exercise a part of your routine during the day or early evening. Try not to exercise too close to going to bed as this can make it difficult to un-wind.
- Wind down time
Get into good habits with a calming evening routine. Clear your head before bed with a relaxing bath, aromatherapy, soothing music, stretches and positive thoughts. Alcohol before bed may seem like a good way to get you off to sleep but it’s certainly not the answer; alcohol disturbs sleep quality and causes that next day ‘fuzzy head’, stopping you from being on top of your game.
- Be consistent
Consistency is key so develop a healthy sleep routine and stick to it to ensure you get as much sleep as possible each night. Catch up sleep at the weekend isn’t enough to cancel out sleep deprivation throughout the week. A ‘power nap’ can be helpful but shouldn’t be detrimental to your normal evening sleep patterns so limit napping to no more than 30 minutes.
- Don’t take your sleep for granted
With busy lives it can be tempting to sacrifice sleep to manage conflicting priorities. Don’t take your sleep for granted, just a few extra hours could help you to perform better and help protect you from future health problems too.
Hop into bed, cover up and dream-on till the break of dawn for a brighter, happier and healthier start to your day.
Global Energy Firm fined £1.4 million and ordered to pay costs £34,084.05 after worker killed in a UK refinery fire
Total UK Limited has been fined £1.4 million after a major fire led to the death of a worker at an oil refinery in North Lincolnshire, UK.
Twenty-four year old Robert Greenacre from Grimsby was working near a crude oil distillation unit just before the fire broke out at the Lindsey Oil Refinery (TLOR) in Immingham on 29th June 2010.
The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the oil giant after an investigation found a fire was caused by an uncontrolled release of crude oil.
Hull Crown Court heard on 29 July 2015 that Mr Greenacre who was a contracted fitter was working with a colleague beneath a distillation column containing hot crude oil. The job required them to open equipment beneath the column. When an item of equipment was opened, the crude oil was released. A short time later it ignited. Mr Greenacre’s colleague was able to escape the scene suffering minor burns, Robert did not escape and died beneath the column.
The court also heard operators of major accident hazard establishments must have in place a functioning system of risk assessment for all tasks where hazardous substances could be released.
Operators should always try to eliminate risk through hazard avoidance. In many circumstances this could be achieved by carrying out the task during shut-down conditions. Where this is not practicable, the highest achievable levels of isolation to industry standards are required.
Total UK Limited of One Euston Square, 40 Melton Street, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH) and were fined £1.4 million and ordered to pay costs £34,084.05
Speaking following sentencing, Mr Greenacre’s family said:
“Despite the outcome of this case, it doesn’t change how we have been affected. Rob was our world. We have been left with a shattered and empty future, we are heartbroken and changed forever”
Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector John Moran said:
“If Total had followed well established principles of risk assessment this major fire and the subsequent fatal injury to Robert Greenacre could have been easily prevented.
“Although the accident arose from a simple task, the magnitude of the risk was great. The risk should have been identified before the task started, and action taken to either eliminate or control it. This did not happen.
“Total UK Limited as operator in control of a major accident hazard establishment fell far short of the standard required of them.
“This tragic incident should serve as a reminder to all such operators that if they fail to assess the risks associated with even simple and routine maintenance tasks, the consequences can be severe, and irreparable to the people involved and their families”
Event: Pressure Systems Awareness Training from HSL
The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) at Buxton, UK is repeating the popular one-day Pressure Systems Awareness course on Wednesday 18 November 2015 at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton, UK.
Pressure systems are used in virtually every industry sector. Through a combination of case studies, discussions and a unique live demonstration of a pressure system failure, delegates will gain an understanding of common hazards associated with pressure systems and what can and does happen when things go wrong.
This practical and informative course has been described by previous delegates as “extremely relevant and eye-opening” and as providing a “good demonstration of dangers and safety issues” of workplace pressure systems.
Reserve your place now on HSL’s essential Pressure Systems Awareness course.
Event: Heat Conference 2015
25 November 2015, London, UK
The fourth annual heat conference will look at how meeting the needs of the UK economy can be achieved in a rapidly evolving energy sector. Heat 2015 will examine what the Government has planned and what is being done to drive the transition to a low carbon and affordable energy system.
Heat 2015 takes place immediately before the key Paris climate talks and the new Government’s Autumn Statement – the challenges and opportunities around the economy and decarbonisation will be central in the minds of the Government.
During the conference, different sectors of the heat economy will be examined, what works well and what could be done better. The key questions to be addressed are:
- What can government do to deliver a competitive low carbon industrial sector?
- How will the UK wide ambition for heat networks be delivered under continued austerity?
- As the internet of things enables increasing user control over energy, how can this be harnessed to enable a change in the way homes and business are heated?
Find out more at www.heatconference.co.uk
Event: The Europlatform access rental conference
7 October 2015, Copenhagen Admiral Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark
The Europlatform access rental conference will be held on 7 October 2015 at the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. This year’s theme is “Securing the Future”.
Europlatform is a one-day conference targeted at senior and middle managers of rental companies with access fleets. It is organised by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) with Access International as exclusive media partner.
Confirmed speakers include Petri Paavolainen, managing director of Dinolift; Soren Oleson of Danilift (speaking on the truck-mounted market in the Nordic region), Euan Youdale, editor of Access International (speaking on the powered access rental market, covering Access 50 trends and findings from the IPAF rental market reports); and Chris Wraith, IPAF technical & safety executive (speaking on the impact on fleet management following updates to the European MEWP design standard EN280).
The conference will be held in English. It will be preceded by an evening networking reception on 6 October at the Carlsberg Museum.
More details on the venue and registration are at www.europlatform.info
IOSH Singapore members discover health benefits of Marina Barrage
The ways in which a major dam at the heart of Singapore is helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing were highlighted during a recent international Institution Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) event.
Members of IOSH’s Singapore Branch carried out a technical visit to the Marina Barrage, a dam built across the mouth of the 350-metre wide Marina Channel to create a new freshwater reservoir.
They heard how the opening of the dam and reservoir in 2008 has resulted in it providing around ten per cent of the nation’s fresh drinking water, has helped to alleviate flooding in lower lying areas and created new opportunities for water sports and other outdoor recreation.
IOSH members were welcomed by Khairil Anwar Makktom, Senior Engineer in the Catchment & Waterways Department at Marina Barrage, who spoke about the role the dam plays in Singapore’s water management strategies.
He shared details of some of the standard safety procedures that are observed on a daily basis in light of the facility’s around-the-clock operations.
They include having several back-up and emergency power supplies in case of bad weather, while the dam also has more than one mode of allowing excess water back out into the sea in the event of flooding upstream.
Members also had the opportunity to question Mr Khairul Anwar about various aspects of the water treatment process and marina operations.
The delegates learnt how the marina reservoir water is checked for pollutants before being pumped to other facilities such as the country’s NEWater water recycling plants, for the production of drinking and reusable water.
To emphasise the water’s cleanliness, those who toured the marina were all given a bottle of NEWater to drink, its contents having been recycled from marina and domestic waste water.
Branch members also enquired as to how workers ensure the water is still safe to drink in the event of chemicals being illegally or accidentally dumped into the reservoir; how and where the water is treated; and the use of commercial divers on the barrage facility.
IOSH Singapore Branch Chair Darren Brunton said:
“It was a very informative afternoon involving history of how citizens of Singapore used to live, the vision for the future and leadership to make change, as well as health and wellbeing considerations of a nation.
“We are always focusing on regular safety issues such as construction safety so it was a refreshing that a technical visit to learn about a part of the history of Singapore and how such an engineering success the marina barrage is for the supply of one, if not the most important resources we have on Earth – water.
“I think we all learned a great deal from the visit.”
Darren presented a crystal plaque to Mr Khairul Anwar and his team as a token of appreciation for sharing details of the operations of the Marina Barrage with the branch.
The construction of the Marina Barrage brought to reality a vision of the country’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who envisaged damming the mouth of the Marina Channel to create a freshwater reservoir.
The dam is located at the confluence of five rivers, across the Marina Channel between Marina East and Marina South. It has created the county’s fifteenth reservoir and first at the heart of the city.
IOSH conducted the technical visit to the Marina Barrage on the 31 July 2015.
New HSE Research Report: Corrosion and cleaning of offshore deluge systems
This UK Health and Safety Laboratory report presents the findings of a literature review of the issues surrounding the corrosion of offshore firewater deluge systems as well as inspection and cleaning methodologies which may be used. Contributions of case studies from offshore operators is included, detailing their experiences of corrosion of deluge systems and cleaning methods and maintenance schedules.
The report also includes the findings from corrosion tests performed at HSL on carbon steel coupons immersed in proprietary chemicals used to clean deluge systems and compares these results to corrosion tests carried out in sea water.
The findings of the report were that:
- There was no evidence that cleaning mechanically sound deluge pipework would result in damage to that pipework.
- There was no evidence to suggest that any one cleaning method is more suitable than another.
- Corrosion observed in deluge systems is due to long term exposure to seawater following wet testing.
- Where practical, flushing deluge piping with potable water after wet testing is recommended to removed pooled sea water and salt deposits.
Britain’s 3 million night workers need fair rights to work-life balance
It used to be that night workers were mainly men in manufacturing plants. Men are still more likely to be night workers. In 2014, 14.9 per cent of male employees were night workers, compared to 9.7 per cent of female employees.
However, the number of women working nights is growing at a much faster rate. Regular night working by women has increased by 12 per cent since 2007, as opposed to a 4 per cent increase for men. And the top two sectors for the total number of night workers are female dominated – care workers and nursing (including midwives).
Plans to increase public transport provision at night, and proposals for a seven-day NHS, are likely to lead to further increases in night work. The greater availability of night-time transport may also lead to more retail and leisure services adopting night opening.
Unions don’t oppose night working, but argues that employers must properly consider and address the implications for staff. Decisions to extend night working should always involve consultation and negotiation with workers’ representatives to ensure fair and safe outcomes.
The negative health impacts of night work are already well-documented, such as heightened risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression. However, less attention has been given to the impact on home life and relationships.
A new report published recently by the TUC, A Hard Day’s Night, shows that night working has grown since the recession, and there are now over three million employees who are regular night-workers in the UK. The report highlights the evidence that night working can have a negative impact on work-life balance and family life.
A Hard Day’s Night reviews the available research, which shows that night working can increase the risk of relationship problems, can affect the emotional wellbeing of a night worker’s children, and is associated with higher childcare costs. But the negative impacts of night working are less when employees have more influence and control over their shift patterns.
Fairness and safety for night workers, the TUC recommendations include:
- Employers and unions should ensure that night working is only introduced where necessary.
- Where night working is introduced into a workplace, no existing workers should be forced to work nights.
- Shift patterns should be negotiated between unions and employers.
- Workers should have some element of control over their rotas, so that they can ensure that the shifts they work are best suited to their individual circumstances.
- Workers should always have sufficient notice of their shift patterns so they can make arrangements well in advance. Changes at short notice should be avoided.
- The remuneration paid to those working nights should properly reflect the likely additional costs of childcare and inconvenience that night shifts can entail.
TUC has published recommendations to better protect the wellbeing of night workers and help them give a better service to the public. TUC encourage the government and employers to positively engage with trade unions on fair and sensible rights for night workers, so that we continue to enjoy the social benefits night workers give us without harm to them or the public.
ORR and HSL to develop and promote use of risk management model
The UK Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) have agreed to collaborate on the development, promotion and wider use of the Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3).
ORR developed RM3 as a tool for assessing and managing an organisation’s ability to control health and safety risks, to help identify areas for improvement and provide a benchmark for year on year comparison. RM3 is helping guide the rail industry to excellence in health and safety risk management. Best performing companies are those which have fully integrated health and safety practices into their culture.
RM3 sets out criteria for policy, governance and leadership which describe the steps used to evaluate a company’s progress from ad-hoc to excellent safety management capability. It defines what excellent management looks like, including:
- Leaders inspiring confidence and commitment, safely taking their teams through periods of change.
- Making full use of employees’ potential and actively involving them to develop shared values and a culture of trust, openness and empowerment.
- Health and safety policy being used to challenge the organisation to achieve business performance which is in line with the best-performing organisations.
RM3 has been adopted by the UK railway industry and is also being taken up by the European Railway Agency and being implemented by railways in Hong Kong and Dubai.
HSL, in partnership with ORR, will now develop RM3 to support the rail industry to achieve excellence in health and safety risk management. The focus of activity for the coming year will be:
- Making sure that RM3 continues to reflect best practice in risk management, drawing on the latest academic thinking along with experience from the rail sector and beyond.
- Offering training which enables delegates to develop a thorough understanding of what makes a good management system and why they need one; how they can use RM3 within their organisation, and how an inspector can use RM3 to assess risk management arrangements.
- Developing a community of practice that will enable the sharing of insight into the use of the tool and good practice in health and safety risk management.
More information on RM3 is available at: http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/2623/management-maturity-model.pdf
Overview of the RM3 Model: www.hsl.gov.uk/what-we-do/rm3-model
Japan: New law to require stress checks for workers
Japan’s government plans to introduce stress checks for its workers, as the number of staff on leave due to mental illness remains high. A report in the Japan Times says under the system, the National Personnel Authority plans to conduct a stress survey every year, based on provisions in the Industrial Safety and Health Act, which was revised last year. The paper says the law will oblige private companies with 50 or more employees to introduce stress checks, will come into effect from December 2015.
Employee stress checks will also be phased in at government agencies from December, sources talking to the Japan Times said. According to the personnel authority, the number of government workers taking a month or more off due to mental illness rose from 1,050 in fiscal year 1996 to 2,218 in fiscal 2001 and 3,376 in 2012. In 2013 it reached 3,450 workers. Japan recognises overwork-related suicide, karojisatsu, and sudden death, karoshi, as state compensated occupational diseases (Risks 705).
UK Pilots Advise Air Passengers to Carry Lithium Battery Operated Equipment in the Cabin
UK pilots are asking airlines to advise passengers to carry laptops, phones, tablets, e-books and cameras with lithium batteries safely in the aircraft cabin to cut the risk of fires in the luggage hold.
Lithium batteries in everyday items are highly flammable and, when they short circuit, have a tendency to burst into high intensity fires, which are difficult to extinguish.
Passengers usually carry devices with lithium batteries in their hand baggage, although this isn’t required by airlines. Also a phone, laptop or camera may inadvertently end up in the hold when a passenger is asked at the last minute to put their hand baggage in the hold due to lack of space in the aircraft cabin.
BALPA is encouraging airlines and regulators to look at what steps they could take to ensure devices powered by lithium batteries are only carried in the aircraft cabin, where a build up of gases or fire can be tackled more easily. Passengers should also be provided with advice on how to pack spare batteries safely in their hand baggage.
Lithium battery fires have caused at least three cargo aircraft crashes and the UN safety regulator has banned a specific type of lithium battery (lithium metal) from being carried as cargo on passenger aircraft. BALPA is asking the UK safety regulator to consider extending this restriction to cargo and other aircraft so that no lithium battery of any kind is carried as cargo in aircraft until further research has been carried out on how they can be transported safely in bulk.
BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan said:
“Lithium batteries power the technology that enables passengers, pilots and cabin crew to travel light and stay connected but they carry an aircraft fire risk that we must all protect against. UK pilots are always vigilant to emerging risks because we want to stop accidents before they happen and make every single flight a safe one.
“Small changes to current good safety practices will help keep us all safe while enabling passengers and pilots to carry the phones, laptops, tablets and e-books they depend upon for work and pleasure. We want to work with airlines and passengers to keep everyday lithium batteries on the aircraft but out of the luggage hold.”
UK Employers warned not to take eye off the ball after rise in worker deaths
Employers are being warned not to take their eye off the ball after new figures revealed an increase in the number of workers killed.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said one death in the workplace was one too many after annual data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed 142 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2014 and March 2015 – an increase of six from last year’s all-time low.
Of those killed, 35 were construction workers, while 33 were agricultural workers and 51 were workers in services. There were also five fatal injuries to workers in the waste and recycling field.
RoSPA, a charity with almost 100 years of experience in safety and accident prevention, has warned that the figures are just the “tip of the iceberg” as they do not include work-related road deaths, which accounts for about a third of all deaths on the road.
Dr Karen McDonnell, RoSPA’s occupational health and safety policy adviser, said: “These figures are proof that although things have previously steadily improved over the last five years things can get worse very quickly. It’s important for employers not to take their eye off the ball as we must not become complacent when it comes to people’s lives
“Unfortunately, these figures are just the tip of the iceberg as more employees are killed in at-work road accidents than in all other occupational accidents combined, making it the hidden killer on Britain’s roads, something which the data does not show. We must also remember the number of people who are made ill through work.
“While we welcome the low death rate among waste and recycling workers, the number of people killed in the construction field is troubling.
“One fatality in the workplace is one too many as not only is it tragic for the victim’s family and friends but also the organisations involved. Our message is that we want all workers to come home safe after their shifts and we urge employers to do all they can to ensure their workers are safe.”
IOSH supports Act requiring supply chain transparency
A “world-leading” Act requiring transparency in supply chains has been welcomed by the UK based Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
The Home Office has published the results of a consultation into the issue of transparency in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and announced what the next steps will be.
Under Section 54 of the Act, commercial organisations above a certain turnover must produce a statement each financial year, showing what steps they have taken to make sure there is no modern slavery in their business and supply chain.
The consultation sought views of interested parties as to what the threshold for that should be, with IOSH being among those who responded.
The Government has now announced that the threshold will be set at £36 million which, according to the Companies Act 2006, is the minimum turnover of a large company. The legislation will come into force this October, as long as it gets the necessary Parliamentary clearance.
Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “Modern slavery is absolutely abhorrent and IOSH welcomes this world-leading Act and the new requirements for transparency in supply chains.
“IOSH was pleased to respond to the recent Home Office consultation and recommended use of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework – we note that the government has now published its analysis and the next steps.
“The new reporting requirements should mean that more employers and their stakeholders focus their joint attention on helping eradicate the scourge of modern slavery and human trafficking.”
Modern slavery includes offences of human trafficking, slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude. Victims can be men, women and children of all ages and across the population, with more prevalence in the most vulnerable, minority or socially excluded groups.
Despite the threshold meaning only large companies are governed by the legislation IOSH is encouraging all firms, regardless of their turnover, to voluntarily disclose the required information.
Richard added: “IOSH would urge organisations of all sizes to think more about their supply chains and to review the efficacy of their procurement policies – out of sight must never mean out of mind.”
IOSH recently co-hosted a multi-stakeholder panel debate in the House of Lords, called “Ethical Fashion 2020: A new vision for transparency?”, which examined how improvements in worker health and safety worldwide could be driven through increased visibility to stakeholders.
Safety, health and leadership theme for IOSH food and drink 2015 conference in the UK
The National Food and Drink Manufacturing Health and Safety Conference 2015 will take place at Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK on 6-7 October 2015.
Ways safety professionals can be proactive in promoting occupational health and employee wellbeing will be highlighted at a major food and drink industry conference.
Delegates attending the National Food and Drink Manufacturing Health and Safety Conference 2015 will receive two days of expert insight around the theme of “A healthy recipe for leaders”.
The conference, organised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) Food and Drink Group, will explore fresh ways to address some of the industry’s most pressing safety and health issues including musculoskeletal disorders, working in confined spaces and safety in food hygiene.
Paul Fenner, a member of the IOSH Food and Drink Group’s conference organising committee, said: “Our performance as ‘UK plc’ shows that safety is on an improving trend whereas health is not yet on the same path.
“Thousands of people each year are dying as a result of work-related health issues with many others living with conditions which are a legacy of past exposures to the likes of asbestos and excessive vibrations and noise at work. As a profession we need to identify early the occupational health risks that our employees are exposed to and have a balanced approach to managing them.
“We cannot afford to leave a legacy of work-related health issues for future safety and health practitioners to sort out. It’s about being proactive on these legacy issues now.”
Leading names within the sector including 2 Sisters Food Group and G’s Growers Ltd will share examples of best practice at the conference.
Delegates’ leadership skills will also be brought into focus by the conference’s keynote speakers, Stephen Carver of Cranfield University and performance coach Steve Krause.
Paul said: “When it comes to engaging with people at all levels throughout business some safety professionals have difficulties not because of their technical capabilities, but because they have not had the chance to develop and practice their own leadership skills.
“We wanted to give people the chance to inwardly reflect on their own leadership skills and look for opportunities to get better results for themselves and their organisations.”
In addition, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will address delegates about the revised A recipe for safety guidelines which it published earlier this year.
A recipe for safety has been credited with helping to more than half the number of injuries and fatal accidents in the food and drink manufacturing sector over the last 25 years.
The revised edition includes an increased focus on occupational health and involved input from a number of experts from within the industry, including members of the IOSH Food and Drink Group.
The National Food and Drink Manufacturing Health and Safety Conference 2015 will take place at Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, on 6-7 October.
Delegates will be able to discuss topics and issues highlighted at the conference via Twitter by using the hashtag #fdconf15.
This year’s conference programme can be viewed here. To book a place call the IOSH Bookings Team on +44(0)116 257 3197 or email email@example.com.
The winner of IOSH’s annual National Food and Drink Health and Safety Awards will also be announced during the conference.
Welding Fume Campaign in the UK
This year the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors are focussing on occupational health including the exposure and control of welding fume. The aim of the inspections are to ensure that companies are effectively controlling the occupational health risks, in particular, cancer and asthma. There is more detail on the HSE Website.
Companies must manage carefully to prevent and reduce exposure to hazardous welding fume and provide appropriate control measures to reduce and eliminate the risks, for example, local exhaust extraction (LEV) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
The Health and Safety Executive statement on the Government’s final progress report on health and safety reforms
This final progress report from the Department for Work and Pensions marks a major milestone in the achievements HSE has made in delivering reforms to health and safety legislation and guidance.
Through both the dedication of our staff and close engagement with business and other stakeholders, we have simplified and modernised a large amount of regulation without compromising standards of protection for workers.
3M SafeTea Break 2015 Campaign
3M in conjunction with Safety Groups UK have launched SafeTea Break 2015 Campaign. The campaign has an accompanying toolkit for bite-size “tea break” talks to engage your workforce in discussions about health and long latency occupational diseases.
For more information and to download free discussion packs visit SafeTea Break 2015.
FIG UK Seminar on fake chargers and other fake goods that are fire hazards
Thursday, 17 September 2015, 3.30 pm, Imperial Hotel Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB
The talk is being given by Andrew Vaughan-Davies, London Fire Brigade Investigation Team and is being held on Thursday, 17 September 2015 starting at 3.30 pm in the Imperial Hotel Senate Room, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB.
At the end of the talk there will be a question and answer session and discussion before delegates partake of a Networking drinks / nibbles event which will be available in the Imperial Hotel’s Bar Barella area on the first floor of the Imperial Hotel. This event is included in the cost of the ticket.
CPD certificates will be available on the day.
Cost per delegate is £25.00 which must be paid for by 31 August 2015. FIG UK Members and IFE Members are offered delegate rate of £20.00. Hurry to book your place… bookings coming in fast….
If you are attending please book your place as early as possible by telephoning Sheila Pantry on 01909 771024 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. An invoice will be sent to you for payment – all bookings must be paid for by 31 August 2015.
Please feel free to pass this message onto others who may be interested in booking a place.
ACGIH Fundamentals in Industrial Ventilation and Practical Applications of Useful Equations educational event
14-18 September 2015, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Cincinnati-Blue Ash, 6300 E. Kemper Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Presented by ACGIH and its renowned Industrial Ventilation Committee
Registration and Course Information: www.acgih.org/forms/meeting/Microsite/FundPrac_Sep15
Can’t make these dates? Register for the November course (November 2-6, 2015): www.acgih.org/forms/meeting/Microsite/FundPrac_Nov15
Contact: ACGIH, 1330 Kemper Meadow Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45240, USA | Tel: ++1 513 742 2020 (Customer Service) | Email: email@example.com
The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR)
The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) website (revised June 2015 to offer improved search facilities) is a register of consultants who can offer general advice to UK businesses to help them manage health and safety risks.
Businesses will be able to search the database for consultants according to keyword(s), county, industry or topic, free of charge. OSHCR meets several of the aspirations for improved competence in external health and safety advice, outlined in the Government commissioned report on UK health and safety, Common Sense Common Safety.
Evidence mounts linking shift work to breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and a range of other health problems
As evidence mounts linking shift work to breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and a range of other health problems, the UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) is warning that preventive advice isn’t keeping pace with the evidence of harm. Spelling out the recent of evidence on the health effects of shift work, TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson goes on to ask: “What should unions and employers be doing to protect workers from these health dangers? Some researchers have gone as far as recommending that women with a known predisposition to breast cancer (such as having genetic mutations linked to breast cancer) should avoid shift work. But not all workers have the luxury of picking and choosing what hours we work, nor do most women know their genetic makeup.”
The union safety specialists says that HSE advice is nearly a decade old so pre-dates a lot of the evidence on chronic risks. “That means that unions and employers have absolutely no idea what kind of shift work patterns we should be agreeing. Are rotating shifts better than permanent nights? If so, what are the best type? What steps can employers take to reduce the effects of shift work?” Writing in the TUC’s Stronger Unions blog, he says HSE has declined to act until the findings of new research is available, possibly later this year. But he says the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of the breast cancer link eight years ago. “In that time an estimated 14,000 women will have developed breast cancer as a result of night shift working and 4,400 will have died.” The union safety specialist concludes: “We live in society that is increasingly 24 hours and having revised guidance from the HSE would not of course have stopped all, or even most of these cancers, as shift working will still continue. However we do have the right to make informed choices about what is best for us, and unions have to be able to negotiate agreements that protect their members as best they can. That means clear strong advice. And we need it sooner rather than later. There will always be new research coming out but that is no reason to keep on waiting. After all guidance can be revised.”
Are you on the receiving end of good or bad agreements on shift work? Tell the TUC safety department.
Cash-strapped UK local authorities abandon safety inspections
Funding cuts have driven UK local authorities to almost entirely abandon their statutory role as a workplace health and safety regulator, an analysis by the Financial Times has found. The investigation found councils have faced £18 billion in cuts in real terms since 2010 – with at least another £9.5 billion expected by the end of the decade.
The paper found that as well as decimating council services, the role of councils as a public health and workplace safety regulator has been largely abandoned as a consequence of funding cuts. According to the Financial Times: “The part played by councils in protecting public safety, through local environmental regulation, food inspections and workplace health and safety checks, has also been scaled back by sharp cuts, as government directions to reduce ‘red tape’ have been given further impetus by the need to save money and reduce staff.” It adds: “In 2009-10, council inspectors in England made 56,175 visits to local factories and other workplaces to ensure health and safety rules were being followed and employee health safeguarded.
By 2013-14, the number had been slashed by 91 per cent, to just 4,901 inspections, while 53 councils opted to abandon proactive inspections altogether.” The Department for Communities and Local Government told the paper that councils had “worked hard over the past five years to deliver a better deal for local taxpayers, keeping council tax down while public satisfaction with services has been maintained”.
Asbestos campaigners say “stop playing with cancer”
Asbestos groups, trade unions and campaigners are calling for regulators to ensure people are protected from “possible asbestos contamination of UK imports.” The coalition was speaking out after July reports in the US identified asbestos fibres in crayons and toy fingerprinting kits imported from China. Earlier reports had identified China-sourced baby powder and thermos flasks exported to Europe also contained asbestos. The call from the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK, the Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) and the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS) notes that China is now the UK’s second largest import partner, accounting for 7 per cent of all UK imports in 2014. In a news release, they ask: “How many of these imports contain asbestos?” They add that the toxic brands can be purchased online in the UK.
John Flanagan of the Asbestos Forum noted: “The government needs to assure people that the products are not being sold here and confirm the measures being taken to monitor imports from China and other countries to ensure that no products containing asbestos reaching this country.”
JUAC chair Julie Winn said the organisation was concerned about the inadvertent introduction of asbestos-containing products into schools. “Global internet sales mean that such products can still find their way insidiously into our schools and homes.” She added: “It is now time for a national campaign to raise public awareness about the real dangers from asbestos in our schools and homes – it simply is not good enough for a few to know the truth and for the rest to be kept in the dark.”
Laurie Kazan-Allen of IBAS said: “In 2015, there can be no excuse for the sale of asbestos-contaminated products in the UK. These people guilty of importing or selling these goods should face prison sentences for illegally flouting the asbestos prohibitions and endangering the lives of British citizens.”
Asia: Two gas explosions lead to multiple deaths
Deadly conditions in Asian factories have been highlighted again after over 40 workers died in similar incidents in Egypt and Indonesia. At least 25 people died in a 28 July 2015 fire at a furniture factory north of the Egyptian capital Cairo. A further 22 people suffered injuries from burns and smoke inhalation from the blaze in the three storey building and its warehouse in the city of Obour, media reports said.
The fire is thought to have started after a gas canister exploded while it was being transported in a lift. The furniture factory did not have safety clearances, according to a source quoted by the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA). More than 20 fire trucks eventually brought the blaze under control. In Indonesia, 17 people died as a result of injuries sustained in a 10 July explosion at a cosmetics factory on the outskirts of Jakarta. Dozens of others were hospitalised after the disaster in Bekasi, West Java. The factory, which reportedly manufactured hair spray, is owned by Mandom Indonesia. It is believed a gas canister exploded in the factory, causing an inferno.
Italy: Fireworks factory blast kills nine
An explosion at a fireworks factory in southern Italy died from injuries sustained in the blast in the factory in the port city of Bari.
La Repubblica newspaper reported that a van exploded first, triggering a series of blasts within the factory that lasted around an hour. The Bari prosecutor’s office has opened an involuntary homicide inquiry into the explosion.
Italian president Sergio Mattarella said everything would be done to ensure that the cause of the tragedy would be discovered “as soon as possible”. Two Canadair water-bomber planes were deployed to prevent the fire triggered by the blasts from reaching a nearby forest. The factory was destroyed.