Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

July 2017

Contents
  1. New UK Health and Safety figures reveal work’s deadly toll
  2. Errol Taylor appointed as new chief executive of RoSPA
  3. New work deaths figures are ‘the tip of the iceberg’
  4. Unite calls for ‘radical’ improvements after Grenfell fire in London
  5. Building control staff are overworked and stressed
  6. Pilots press for action after latest drone near miss
  7. Seven dog attacks on postal workers every day
  8. Union action on asbestos in schools ‘scandal’
  9. Global: Unions urge world leaders to follow the Accord
  10. Bangladesh: Deadly factory blast shows need to expand Accord
  11. Indonesia: Precarious jobs and poisons in palm oil industry
  12. NASC present at London Work at Height Seminar 2017
  13. HSE Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of Chemicals (REACH) eBulletin
  14. European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC)
  15. Canada publishes CSA Z1005 Management System Standard on Incident Investigation
  16. Event: How prepared are you for the future of health and safety?
  17. Grenfell fallout: The 10 questions that need answers
  18. Sprinkler retrofits can be done inexpensively without moving residents out: BAFSA
  19. Event: Human factors application in major hazard industries
  20. UK HSE is recruiting
  21. UK Government urged to end health and safety deregulation following Grenfell Tower blaze
  22. REACH inspectors find that not all companies are complying with authorisation requirements
  23. Hi-rise workplaces must be tested too
  24. FBU spells out Grenfell inquiry demands
  25. Brexit minister ‘supports removing asbestos laws’
  26. England a decade after the smoking ban – heading for a smokefree future
  27. Smoking rates among pregnant women should be a wake-up call for the Government
  28. Event: For a Healthy Digital Work Environment
  29. Event: National Health & Safety Conference for Social Care 2017 – “The Fair Way to a Safer Way”
  30. European Chemicals Agency News
  31. Event: Get up-to-date on biocides
  32. RoSPA’s 100-year history of saving lives to go on display at Library of Birmingham
  33. Event: Understanding and Using the Risk Management Maturity Model (RM³) Training Course
  34. Relax workplace dress codes during heatwave, says TUC
  35. Event: The Future of Blue-Light Services – Assessing the Policing and Crime Act and Embedding Collaboration in Every Area
  36. Pilots furious at laser pen inaction
  37. Freightliner workers to strike over bullying
  38. Trade unions tackling insecure work
  39. Europe: Campaign says work shouldn’t hurt
  40. Global: Violence and repression of workers on the rise

New UK Health and Safety figures reveal work’s deadly toll

Latest figures on deaths at work confirm the UK workplace remains a major killer. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) annual statistics on deaths in Great Britain resulting from the asbestos cancer mesothelioma and from fatalities at work show an overall increase on the previous year. Fatalities dropped from 147 in 2015/16 to a provisional figure of 137 in 2016/17, the second lowest level on record.

However, the figures for mesothelioma deaths showed an increase from 2,519 in 2014 to 2,542 in 2015 – the most recent data available. There was a record low 30 construction deaths in 2016/17, but the sector’s death rate is still around four times the all-industry average. Agriculture saw 27 fatal injuries recorded, the same as the previous year. This sector has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times as high as the all industry rate. There were 14 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers recorded.

Despite being a relatively small sector in terms of employment, the annual average fatal injury rate over the last five years is around 15 times as high as the all industry rate. HSE’s headline fatality figure does not include the 92 members of the public fatally injured in incidents connected to work in 2016/17.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115910

Errol Taylor appointed as new chief executive of RoSPA

The UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the appointment of Errol Taylor as the charity’s new chief executive.

Errol, who has been leading the organisation in an interim capacity since November 2016, joined RoSPA in 2004, initially heading up RoSPA’s commercial activities before developing the case for accident prevention as a public health priority and establishing RoSPA’s Ofqual-recognised qualifications business. He has been RoSPA’s deputy chief executive since 2006.

RoSPA is currently marking its centenary and highlights so far have included the launch of a RoSPA exhibition at the iconic Library of Birmingham, a visit by HRH The Duke of York and the RoSPA Centenary Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. RoSPA is also leading the development of a National Accident Prevention Strategy.

More information: https://www.rospa.com/media-centre/press-office/press-releases/detail/?id=1533

New work deaths figures are ‘the tip of the iceberg’

New official Health and Safety Executive fatality figures showing 137 people died at work in 2016/17 ‘are just the tip of the iceberg’, the union GMB has said. Commenting after HSE’s provisional fatality statistics were released this week, the union said every death demands justice and enforcement. GMB health and safety director, Dan Shears, said: “Whilst this is a low figure compared to the plateau of recent years, it is absolutely no cause for celebration. Each of these avoidable deaths is a tragic cutting short of a life, and leaves behind devastated family, friends, and colleagues. Every one of these deaths deserves full investigation, with enforcement and prosecution where warranted.”

The union safety specialist added: “In an economy moving from industrial manufacture to service provision, it remains shocking that 137 died at work – and this figure excludes tens of thousands of deaths due to industrial disease, work-related suicide, and deaths on road, rail, air and sea. It gives a misleading picture of the true ‘burden’ of health and safety failings on our society.” Shears said more needed to be done to protect workers.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115902

Unite calls for ‘radical’ improvements after Grenfell fire in London

A radical new approach to safety and building laws is necessary following the Grenfell Tower fire, the union Unite has said. The union has three key demands; an overhaul of building regulations, the end of attacks on existing regulations, and the implementation of an official licensing regime across the construction industry.

Unite’s national construction committee is calling for an urgent review of the existing building regulations and says this “must place safety first rather than profit at its core.” It wants a new licensing system across all construction trades – paralleling the existing Gas Safe system for gas engineers – to make it illegal for non-licensed practitioners to undertake construction work. Unite is also calling for a ‘sea change’ in the government’s approach to regulations.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115903

Building control staff are overworked and stressed

Building control staff in Scotland are overworked, stressed and stuck in the office, a UNISON Scotland survey has found. The union’s report, ‘Building stress: a survey of building control staff’, is the latest to examine ‘the impact of austerity cuts on the country’s public services and the people who deliver them.’ Scotland’s building standards service, which checks both building plans and that existing premised are safe, is provided by local authorities.

UNISON’s survey found almost 9 out of every 10 building standards workers (89 per cent) reported their workload was increasing, and almost half (47 per cent) said they should be spending more time on site visits. Almost half (48 per cent) described morale as low, with over threequarters (78 per cent) saying they don’t expect it to improve in the face of budget cuts, increased workload and stagnant pay.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115904

Pilots press for action after latest drone near miss

A drone flying close to passenger aircraft at Gatwick Airport and causing runways to be closed twice has prompted the UK pilots’ union BALPA to renew its call for better regulation and education. The incident on 2 July 2017 led to the airport closing the runway for two periods of nine minutes and five minutes. BALPA has repeatedly voiced concern about the rise in near misses involving drones. The union is calling for better education of users, compulsory registration during which the rules are made clear and more high-profile prosecutions for offenders.

BALPA flight safety specialist, Steve Landells, said: “Yet another incident at Gatwick involving drones shows that the threat of drones being flown near manned-aircraft must be addressed before we see a disaster. Drones can be great fun, and have huge commercial potential, but with a significant increase in near-misses in recent years it seems not everyone who is flying them either know or care about the rules that are in place for good reason.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115906

Seven dog attacks on postal workers every day

Over the last five years there have been around 14,500 dog attacks on postmen and woman across the UK, with around 2,500 in the last year alone, new figures from Royal Mail have revealed. Announcing the figures at the start of the fifth annual Dog Awareness Week on 3 July 2017, the company said on average there are seven attacks each day on delivery workers, some leading to a permanent and disabling injury. Royal Mail’s research also shows that the number of attacks rises during the school holidays and in the summer months when parents and children are at home. The analysis shows in the last year, 71 per cent of dog attacks on postal workers have happened at the front door or in the front garden.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115912

Union action on asbestos in schools ‘scandal’

The continuing presence of asbestos in UK schools is a ‘scandal’, as is the ‘shocking’ lack of consistency in the way in which it is managed across the country, education unions have said. The statement came from the Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) ahead of its first national conference on 4 July 2017. JUAC warns that around 86 per cent of schools contain asbestos and adds that in 2014, 17 teachers aged 74 and under died of mesothelioma. The total number of support staff deaths is not known, it says, and notes that the risk to children is greater still. JUAC is calling for a national audit of asbestos in schools, a long-term removal strategy and sufficient funding for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) “to routinely inspect schools”.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115908

Global: Unions urge world leaders to follow the Accord

Ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg on 7-8 July 2017, global unions have called on the leaders of the major industrial nations represented to look to the recently re-signed Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety as a model for promoting sustainable business practices. IndustriALL general secretary, Valter Sanches, said: “The legally binding Accord is, at present, the only credible option for health and safety in Bangladesh garment factories and has saved lives since its creation. The new agreement puts greater emphasis on the right of workers to organise and join a union, recognising worker empowerment is fundamental to assuring workplace safety.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115919

Bangladesh: Deadly factory blast shows need to expand Accord

The death of at least 13 garment workers in a boiler explosion at the Multifabs Limited factory in Bangladesh on 3 July 2017 demonstrates that the current safety accord must be extended to include boiler safety, unions and labour rights campaigners have said.

UNI deputy general secretary Christy Hoffman said: “The Bangladesh Accord has made significant progress in making work safer in this sector, but this explosion shows the need to expand the agreement’s scope to include boiler safety.” The non-union factory was covered by the Accord, but its current scope does not cover boiler inspections, which are monitored instead by the Bangladesh government. In light of the explosion, UNI, with IndustriALL, the Clean Clothes Campaign and other labour rights campaigns are demanding that it be expanded to include boiler safety.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115920

Indonesia: Precarious jobs and poisons in palm oil industry

Women workers in Indonesia’s palm oil industry face insecure work, toxic pesticides and lower pay then male workers. “The women on the plantations have no rights, not even the right to a salary in many cases,” said Herwin Nasution, president of SERBUNDO, a trade union alliance representing mainly agricultural workers in Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer. “They live in a paternalistic society, where no one listens to them.”

A major problem for the workers is their constant exposure to chemicals, including the highly toxic pesticide paraquat, without the necessary safety measures. Workers suffering ill-health from their exposures are often required to see the doctor who works for the plantation, rather than going to the local hospital, according to SERBUNDO.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-807-8-july-2017#_Toc487115921

NASC present at London Work at Height Seminar 2017

The National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) took part in the London Work At Height Seminar 2017 at the City of London’s prestigious Guildhall on Monday 10 July 2017 – presenting on developments within the scaffolding and access sector, and recently published guidance, to a substantial gathering of industry professionals.

The second London Work at Height Seminar built on the success of the highly regarded 2016 event, “providing opportunity for our industry to collaborate in the interests of safety awareness, best practice and knowledge sharing; and to demonstrate a variety of work at height methodologies and industry innovations.”

The event is largely aimed at Local Government Authorities, Procurement Professionals, Health & Safety Professionals, Building & Facilities Managers and all other professionals who have an interest in work at height within the City of London and beyond.

More information: https://www.nasc.org.uk/nasc-present-london-work-height-seminar-2017

HSE Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of Chemicals (REACH) eBulletin

The aim of this e-bulletin is to provide you with a free regular update of news and information from the UK REACH Competent Authority and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Below you will find brief information on a number of topics and issues, each linking to more detailed articles on the HSE or ECHA REACH websites.

Update – Correction to EC/CAS numbers

The 88th edition of the REACH Competent Authority e-bulletin contains an error relating to the EC/CAS numbers for the new intentions to identify substances of very high concern (SVHC). This typographical error was inadvertently reproduced from an ECHA newsletter. The correct EC/CAS numbers are listed below:

New intentions to identify substances of very high concern (SVHC)

New intentions for identification as a SVHC have been received for the following substances:

The expected submission date for these is 7 August 2017. The registry of current SVHC intentions is available on ECHA’s website.

European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC)

The Summer 2017 (Issue 33) of the ECETOC e-newsletter has been published. Contents:

For the latest edition visit: www.ecetoc.org/news/e-newsletter

Canada publishes CSA Z1005 Management System Standard on Incident Investigation

CSA Z1005 replaces our old Z795 Accident Investigation (procedural) Standard.

As the latest addition to our Z1000 series of standards, Z1005 deals with the structure and administration of an incident investigation program. It also guides users on best practices for integrating incident investigation as part of an organization’s OHS management system.

CSA Z1005-17 is now available on CSA’s Online Store: http://shop.csa.ca

The French version will be published in the near future.

Event: How prepared are you for the future of health and safety?

4 October 2017, The King’s Fund 11–13 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0AN, UK

Dame Carol Black DBE, FRCP, FMedSci, Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge. As our keynote speaker Dame Carol Black will discuss the evolving issue of mental wellbeing and will share simple steps that organisations can take to support mental wellbeing at work.

David Snowball, Director for Regulation, HSE – Is your compliance regime in step with government priorities? David will explain how regulation is changing, and reflect on some of the key themes from HSE’s strategy.

Professor Paul Almond, Research Division Leader, Law, University of Reading – Paul will discuss the impact that Brexit could have on the health and safety legislative framework in the UK, and how this could affect businesses.

Calvin Morriss, Senior High Performance Consultant, World Rugby – Calvin’s session will draw lessons from the world of elite sport and apply them to the workplace in order to build effective teams.

Professor Andrew Curran, Chief Scientific Adviser and Director of Research, HSE – Andrew will talk about the changing face of workplace risk and reflect on some of the research being undertaken to inform future control strategies.

Simon Caiden, Director Safety, Health and Sustainability, The Francis Crick Institute Case study – Simon will explore the challenges and opportunities of designing health and safety management in to a state of the art research facility from scratch.

Francis Paonessa, Managing Director of Infrastructure Projects, Network Rail Case study – Francis will reflect on the approach that Network Rail have taken to assuring health and safety in their supply chain.

Find out more: https://www.britsafe.org/awards-and-events/events/conferences-and-workshops/2017/annual-conference-2017-preparing-for-the-future

Grenfell fallout: The 10 questions that need answers

IFSEC Fire Global article says:

The Grenfell fire has vindicated many in the fire industry’s worst fears about several longstanding problems.

Not only that, a drip-drip of revelations is revealing a litany of other shortcomings – of the council, firefighting equipment and the government’s response, among others – that have shocked even fire industry insiders.

Here are 10 of the most pressing questions that need satisfactory answers if councils, the government, the construction industry and the fire sector can work together to prevent similar tragedies happening again.

Full article: www.ifsecglobal.com/grenfell-fallout-the-10-questions-that-need-answers

Sprinkler retrofits can be done inexpensively without moving residents out: BAFSA

While it has been the view of many fire safety professionals that automatic fire suppression systems can supplement existing fire safety provision in high rise buildings, the underuse of sprinkler systems is in question following the Grenfell tower block fire.

Since 2012 the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) in collaboration with the UK fire and rescue services have invited local authorities, central government and housing associations to numerous free-to-attend seminars that focus on protecting lives, high rise communities and properties from fire.

According to BAFSA, around 100 blocks of the estimated 4,000 throughout the UK have been retrofitted as a direct result.

More information: https://www.ifsecglobal.com/sprinkler-retrofits-inexpensively-moving-residents-bafsa

Event: Human factors application in major hazard industries

17-18 October 2017, Energy Institute, 61 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7AR, UK

This biennial 2-day conference returns in 2017, exploring the practical application of human factors in the management of major accident hazards (MAH).

The event will focus on two key themes:

More information: https://www.energyinst.org/events/human-factors-conference

UK HSE is recruiting

The Health and Safety Executive need experienced engineers and professionals dedicated to improving health and safety. Together their work has substantial impact, helping to protect people from risks, whether in chemical plants and construction sites or oil and gas facilities.

Find out more visit http://careers.hse.gov.uk

UK Government urged to end health and safety deregulation following Grenfell Tower blaze

The UK Government has been urged to scrap its approach to deregulation of health and safety legislation in light of the Grenfell Tower blaze.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, more than 70 leading organisations and figures from the UK’s safety and health profession have jointly called for a political sea change in attitude towards health and safety regulation and fire risk management following the tragedy.

The collective has also pressed the Government to complete its review of Part B of the Building Regulations 2010 – the regulations which cover fire safety within and around buildings in England – as a matter of urgency, and to include a focus on improved safety in the forthcoming Parliament.

The letter is signed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Park Health and Safety and the British Safety Council.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Unite the union have also given it their backing, alongside senior health and safety professionals.

More information: https://www.rospa.com/media-centre/press-office/press-releases/detail/?id=1526

REACH inspectors find that not all companies are complying with authorisation requirements

Inspectors in 17 European countries have checked compliance with the authorisation obligations under REACH for the use and placing on the market of 13 substances of very high concern with sunset dates in 2015. Inspections in companies that used or placed the substances on the market showed a rate of non-compliance of 10.7 % and 8.9 % respectively.

A pilot project under the Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement of 13 substances of very high concern subject to authorisation with sunset dates in 2015 has shown that most of the inspected European companies complied with REACH authorisation obligations.

The inspections checked if the substances were used or placed on the market without an authorisation and whether other authorisation-related duties were fulfilled. Where an authorisation had already been granted, inspectors were also checking compliance with the conditions of the granted authorisations.

The inspectors from 17 participating countries reported a total of 802 inspections within the framework of this project. 78 % of the inspected companies were SMEs. The vast majority of the companies did not actually use (93 %) or place on the market (92 %) any of the substances that had a sunset date in 2015.

Inspections in companies that used or placed the substances on the market showed a rate of non-compliance of 10.7 % and 8.9 % respectively. Infringement of authorisation provisions is considered a serious offence. In all cases of non-compliance, inspectors took appropriate enforcement measures, such as verbal or written advice, filing administrative orders or criminal complaints to remedy the non-compliances.

The report from the project is publicly available.

Further information: https://echa.europa.eu/-/reach-inspectors-find-that-not-all-companies-are-complying-with-authorisation-requirements

Hi-rise workplaces must be tested too

The TUC has welcomed a government announcement this week that cladding on hospitals and schools will be tested for safety following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, but has expressed concern that those workplaces are tower blocks are being ignored. The union body says no guidance has been given to other employers who may have staff working in high-rise buildings.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Millions of people across the UK work in high-rise buildings, many of which could have cladding and insulation similar to that used in Grenfell Tower. Those workers need urgent reassurances about their safety, and if there is any risk to them, there must be immediate action.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-806-1-july-2017#_Toc486491908

FBU spells out Grenfell inquiry demands

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has written to all MPs demanding that the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster is a judge-led full judicial inquiry. The FBU also says it must be a ‘core participant’ at the hearings, along with families of victims and survivors. It wants clarification from the prime minister on the inquiry’s scope and terms of reference.

Dave Green, FBU national officer and a former firefighter, said: “Firefighters want justice for the victims of this appalling tragedy, and all of those who were affected by it. Firefighters responded with great courage and professionalism to this unprecedented fire, seeing sights that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. They need to be heard as part of this inquiry.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-806-1-july-2017#_Toc486491909

Brexit minister ‘supports removing asbestos laws’

New Brexit minister Steve Baker has lobbied the government to weaken asbestos laws, Unite has revealed. The union says it is concerned by the minister’s ‘alarming’ position and is demanding that the government now provide ‘cast-iron guarantees’ that asbestos regulations won’t be watered down. Much of the existing legislation, which bans the use of asbestos and controls how the substance is removed, is based on European Union directives. Unite says Mr Baker’s appointment raises concerns that when the Tory’s ‘Great Reform Bill’ becomes law, he will be able to use his position to weaken asbestos laws, bypassing effective parliamentary scrutiny.

In October 2010, in a series of parliamentary questions regarding asbestos, the Conservative MP asked the secretary of state for work and pensions: “If he will bring forward proposals to amend the provisions of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 to distinguish the white form of asbestos and the blue and brown forms of that substance,” also questioning: “If he will commission an inquiry into the appropriateness of the health and safety precautions in force in respect of asbestos cement.” In a further question, Baker asked the minister if he would “bring forward proposals to amend existing regulations governing the safe use of asbestos cement…”.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-806-1-july-2017#_Toc486491911

England a decade after the smoking ban – heading for a smokefree future

Since the introduction of smokefree legislation in England ten years ago, there has been significant growth in support for this and other legislation introduced by government, particularly among smokers themselves, reports public health charity ASH.

The last decade has also seen the UK become a world leader in implementation of the World Health Organisation’s tobacco treaty. Our smoking prevalence rates for adults 18+ are now neck and neck with Australia (15.5% in England and 15.6% in Australia), the first country in the world to put cigarettes in standardised ‘plain’ packaging. This is due to a faster decline in smoking in England over the last five years. (Smoking rates in England fell by 0.88 percentage points per annum in compared to 0.57 percentage points per annum in Australia between 2010 and 2016).

The ASH report released today, Smokefree: The First Ten Years, also notes increasing public support for further measures such as a licensing scheme for tobacco retailers and a levy on the tobacco industry to pay for measures to reduce smoking prevalence. The data comes from ten years of the data for England in the ASH Smokefree GB survey carried out by YouGov.

Back in 2007 when smokefree laws in England came into effect, 78% of all respondents to the survey were in favour. In the ten years since, support has grown to 83%, primarily due to an increase in support from smokers from 40% to 55%. The overall change is entirely due to changing attitudes among smokers – support among non-smokers has been stable.

This pattern is repeated elsewhere. In 2008, 48% of smokers supported a ban on smoking in cars with children. Prior to the implementation of the new law in October 2015, 74% of smokers expressed support, rising to 82% in 2017. The same trend applies to a potential ban on smoking in outdoor children’s play areas. While support for this from non-smokers has grown slightly from 83% of non-smokers in 2009 to 85% this year, support from smokers has strengthened significantly – from 52% of smokers in 2009 to 64% this year.

More information: http://ash.org.uk/media-and-news/press-releases-media-and-news/england-a-decade-after-the-smoking-ban-heading-for-a-smokefree-future

Smoking rates among pregnant women should be a wake-up call for the Government

New figures point to a slowdown in progress to reduce rates of smoking in pregnancy. This comes on the day when national figures show that overall rates of smoking have fallen to a record low raising concerns about growing inequalities as women who smoke in pregnancy are more likely to be experiencing disadvantage.

The data finds that rates of smoking among pregnant women have hardly changed over the last 12 months with only a 0.1% decline from 10.6% in 2015/16 to 10.5% today. It is particularly concerning that maternal smoking at time of birth rose in quarter 4 2016/17 to 10.8% [1]. This should raise concerns for the Government given their national target was 11% in 2015. In comparison, data on adult smoking rates released today shows a record decline of 1.4% between 2015 and 2016.

Good progress has been made in recent years to reduce rates of smoking in pregnant women and it is unclear why they should have stalled in the last 12 months. However, the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group [3], a coalition of health charities working to reduce rates of smoking in pregnancy, is concerned that cuts to local services and the capacity of maternity staff to appropriately support and encourage women to quit, have not helped.

More information: http://ash.org.uk/media-and-news/press-releases-media-and-news/smoking-in-pregnancy-challenge-group-media-release-smoking-during-pregnancy-rates

Event: For a Healthy Digital Work Environment

18-20 October 2017, Hotel Scandic Continental, Stockholm, Sweden

The digital work environment presents challenges in terms of information and communication overflow, flexible/boundless work, poor usability of IT systems, technology hassles and competence problems. These are stressors that contribute to mental and physical strain, as well as to productivity loss. And these factors are well known as they have been researched for decades in the Nordic countries and internationally.

Course objectives

Main topics

More information: https://niva.org/course/for-a-healthy-digital-work-environment

Event: National Health & Safety Conference for Social Care 2017 – “The Fair Way to a Safer Way”

12-13 September 2017, Hellidon Lakes Golf & Spa Hotel, Northamptonshire, UK

Working in the Care sector presents everyone with an emotional seesaw; on the one hand isolated and getting bogged down in complex topics, on the other to delivering fantastic outcomes for all those people being supported and cared for. So, are you responsible for Safety & Health?

The Fair Way to a Safer Way will give a unique opportunity for care providers to find solutions and hear about good practice that will help with the day to day Health and Safety challenges while networking with like minded colleagues.

Subjects will include: regulation & enforcement, robotic technology, health & wellbeing, fire evacuation, legionella, property maintenance, night working, window restriction, new fire safety guidance as well as incorporating a Mock Coroner inquest.

Two of our key regulators, CQC and HSE will share the platform and address delegates.

Speakers from: CQC, HSE, UNISON, Universities of York, Sheffield, as well as a range of technical experts will make for a highly engaging time.

More information: www.nashics.org/event/national-health-and-safety-conference-for-social-care-2017

European Chemicals Agency News

More information on all these items: https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/echa-weekly-21-june-2017

REACH

SEAC adopts restriction proposals on four phthalates and TDFAs in sprays used by the public

The Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) adopted their opinions on two restriction proposals on four phthalates (DEHP, DBP, DIBP and BBP) in articles and on TDFAs in sprays used by the general public. The committee also agreed on 14 draft opinions on 10 applications for authorisation and adopted one final opinion.

New form to help describe the manufacturing process of UVCB substances

Substances of unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products or biological materials (UVCB substances) are identified by, among other things, the description of the manufacturing process. A new form has now been published to help EU manufacturers and importers report or request this information. The description must be included in the IUCLID dossier for PPORD notifications, inquiries, registrations and CLP notifications.

How to hire a good consultant

Are you considering hiring external help to manage your REACH 2018 registrations? Have a look at our Checklist to hire a good consultant to make sure you get the best fit for your company.

Submit your substance in articles notification

The deadline for submitting substance in article notifications for four substances of very high concern added to the Candidate List on 12 January 2017 is 12 July 2017. The information below on the type of articles/materials that may contain the substances is based on REACH data but is not exhaustive.

Importers and EU producers of articles are invited to check if these substances in their articles meet the conditions for the notification obligation under Article 7 of REACH. The notification can be submitted through the substance in article webform, or through REACH-IT using IUCLID.

New questions and answers on completeness check and preparing registration dossiers

New Q&As have been published on the preparation and completeness check of REACH registration dossiers. The questions cover topics such as the completeness check process and manual verification, as well as how to report data waiving and substance identification information in IUCLID. Have a look at the new Q&A under the headings Completeness check, Preparing a registration dossier in IUCLID, and Substance Identification – part C.

Commission authorises eight uses

The European Commission has granted authorisations for:

The review period for these uses expires on 21 September 2029.

The Commission has also granted an authorisation for:

To date, the Commission has made 89 authorisation decisions in total.

Committees’ opinions on applications for authorisation available

The consolidated opinions of the Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) for uses of the following substances are available on our website:

CLP

ECHA’s opinion on classification of glyphosate published

The Committee for Risk Assessment’s opinion regarding the harmonised classification of glyphosate has now been sent to the Commission. The opinion is also available on ECHA’s website.

Calls for information

Public consultation launched on the proposed restriction of lead and its compounds in shot

ECHA has submitted a report proposing a restriction on the use of lead and its compounds in shot (containing lead in concentrations greater than 1% by weight) for shooting with a shotgun within a wetland or where spent gunshot would land within a wetland, including shooting ranges or shooting grounds in wetlands.

This consultation is open from 21 June 2017 to 21 December 2017. ECHA’s Scientific Committees welcome early comments by 21 August 2017 to assist them in the first discussion of the proposal in September 2017 and additional comments by 21 November 2017, to assist them in the second discussion of the proposal in December 2017.

Event: Get up-to-date on biocides

26-27 September 2017

Book your seat at ECHA- European Chemicals Agency free Biocides Stakeholders’ Day on 26 and 27 September 2017. The event gives you the latest information on the Biocidal Products Regulation from ECHA and the European Commission and case studies from companies. You can also take part in training on biocides IT tools and book a one-to-one session.

Register: https://echa.europa.eu/-/biocides-stakeholders-day-2017

RoSPA’s 100-year history of saving lives to go on display at Library of Birmingham

An exhibition spanning the history of family-safety charity RoSPA, including a selection of its famous and much sought-after posters, is at the Library of Birmingham to celebrate the organisation’s centenary.

The family-friendly exhibition in the library’s main foyer will feature highlights from the last 100 years, beginning with RoSPA’s inception and early work on road safety during the blackouts of the First World War. It will also reveal details of the charity’s current activities, including the Keeping Kids Safe campaign, which offers free online and telephone advice to parents and carers of under-5s.

Some of RoSPA’s most popular vintage safety posters from the 1940s – 1970s will be on display in the main exhibition area, as well as in the library’s Café Mezzanine, while the country’s most famous road safety squirrel, Tufty, will also put in an appearance. The exhibition will also feature fun activities for children, to help them learn about some of the hazards they might encounter every day.

Visitors will be able to take home leaflets about a variety of safety issues, including nappy sacks, blind cords and driveways.

More information: https://www.rospa.com/media-centre/press-office/press-releases/detail/?id=1521

Event: Understanding and Using the Risk Management Maturity Model (RM³) Training Course

20-21 September 2017, Marble Arch, London

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) expect the rail industry to achieve excellence when controlling health and safety risks. They believe that this is only possible through effective and efficient management. ORR have described what excellent management capability looks like in the Risk Management Maturity Model (RM³). ORR inspectors use this model to assess duty holders’ risk management arrangements as required by the Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. RM³ has been embraced by the UK railway industry and is increasingly influencing activity in Europe through its adoption by the European Railway Agency.

This course, designed in collaboration with ORR, will provide you with

More information: http://www.hsl.gov.uk/health-and-safety-training-courses/rm%C2%B3---understanding-and-using-the-risk-management-maturity-model-(rm%C2%B3)---london

Relax workplace dress codes during heatwave, says TUC

With temperatures hitting over 30°C in parts of the UK this week, the TUC is calling on employers to temporarily relax their workplace dress codes so staff can work through the heatwave as comfortably as possible.

Where people are working outdoors, employers should consider reviewing working times so that, where possible, work is done in the morning and afternoon, rather than around midday when temperatures are highest.

Bosses can also help their workers keep cool by letting them come to work in more casual clothing.

While staff are not expected to work when the temperature drops below 16°C (or 13°C if they are do physically demanding work) there are no restrictions for when the workplace becomes too hot.

The TUC would like to see a change in the law to introduce a new maximum indoor temperature, set at 30°C – or 27°C for those doing strenuous jobs – with employers obliged to adopt cooling measures when the workplace temperature hits 24°C.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/workplace-health-safety-and-welfare/relax-workplace-dress-codes-0

Event: The Future of Blue-Light Services – Assessing the Policing and Crime Act and Embedding Collaboration in Every Area

Thursday 26th October 2017, Central London

Over recent years we have witnessed a significant shift in the risks and demands facing our emergency services. In the decade leading up to 2013, incidents requiring the attendance of fire and rescue services dropped 40% whilst police recorded crime underwent a similarly marked decline. Ambulance services conversely find themselves under unprecedented strain, with the Department of Health response time target of reaching 75% of category A calls within 8 minutes being missed every month since January 2014. Indeed, in March 2016 only 66.5% of category A calls were reached within this time.

In response to the growing pressures on blue-light services, collaboration between each of the services has been increasingly encouraged in order to alleviate pressures on individual departments. The Policing and Crime Act 2017 identifies collaboration as a priority for blue-light Services mainly by allowing Police and Crime Commissioners to take control of Fire and Rescue Authorities. Collaboration is an integral part of producing strong blue-light services but there have been doubts as to whether amalgamating different sectors will be beneficial to the service. With many PCC’s such as South Yorkshire and Surrey already considering joining both departments, this symposium will offer an opportunity to consider the potential impact this may have on blue-light services.

Moreover, it is clear that emergency services still face critical challenges undertaking the transformation demanded by Government, and in continuing to ensure public safety and health. Average response times to both dwelling and building fires increased in 2015/16, whilst we have seen an increase in fire deaths over the last year. Equally, recent terrorist attacks in Europe have sharpened the public’s focus upon the police forces’ ability to deal with a similar incident in the UK.

In light of these recent political developments, this symposium provides a timely opportunity for local authorities, ambulance trusts, police organisations and fire and rescue services to discuss how they can respond to these statutory changes and work together in the interests of improving effectiveness, efficiency and public safety. The event will also provide all relevant partners with the opportunity to consider the implications of the UK’s decision to leave the EU upon the delivery of blue-light services.

More information: www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/HJ26-PPE

Pilots furious at laser pen inaction

Despite ‘dangerously high’ figures on laser attacks on aircraft, the new government has dropped plans to introduce tougher laws, a move the UK pilots’ union BALPA says is “infuriating and dangerous”. Before the general election, the union had welcomed a specific laser offence included in the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill. BALPA had been campaigning for the tougher laws in response to consistently high reports of laser attacks on planes year on year.

Last year’s figures stood at more than 1,200 reported attacks. The new offence proposed that offenders could face up to five years in prison if they shone a laser at an aircraft. However, the union says it has learned the Bill will not now include the laser regulations. The union has warned repeatedly that shining a laser at aircraft is extremely dangerous, particularly in critical phases of flight such as take-off and landing, putting lives at risk.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-806-1-july-2017#_Toc486491914

Freightliner workers to strike over bullying

Dozens of RMT members at Freightliner Coatbridge are set to strike in a dispute over bullying and harassment, after voting overwhelmingly for action. The move comes after one of the union’s members was assaulted by a senior member of staff earlier this year. This is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’, according to employees, who are demanding management take action.

RMT’s national executive said it believes that industrial action is necessary to force management to resolve the issues as a matter of urgency, with a 24-hour walkout scheduled to start on 3 July 2017.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-806-1-july-2017#_Toc486491915

Trade unions tackling insecure work

Over three million people – one in ten of the UK workforce – now face insecurity at work. Not only do they often face uncertainty about their working hours, they also miss out on rights and protections that many of us take for granted, including being able to return to the same job after having a baby, or the right to sick pay when they cannot work.

A new TUC report, ‘The gig is up: Trade unions tackling insecure work’, shows the impact of insecurity at work on workers, and on the UK’s economy and public finances. It reports back from a TUC survey of people in insecure jobs, enabling them to communicate their experience of work in their own words. The report also sets out what policy-makers could do to ensure that the modern world of work is one in which everyone can have a decent job – not one of ever-increasing insecurity.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-806-1-july-2017#_Toc486491923

Europe: Campaign says work shouldn’t hurt

The European Union and national governments must do more to support workplace health and safety reps tackle work-related strain injuries, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has said. The union body says back, neck, shoulder pain and strain-related occupational conditions affecting hands, elbows and knees - known collectively as musculoskeletal disorders (or MSDs) – are the most common work-related disease in Europe. The most common causes are repetitive hand or arm movements, and sitting for long periods of time.

ETUC says European directives put obligations on employers to prevent such disorders. But further action to prevent strain injuries has been stalled for a decade.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-806-1-july-2017#_Toc486491925

Global: Violence and repression of workers on the rise

The number of countries experiencing physical violence and threats against workers has risen by 10 per cent in just one year, according to the annual ITUC Global Rights Index. The global union confederation says attacks on union members have been documented in fifty-nine countries, fuelling growing anxiety about jobs and wages. Its report shows that corporate interests are being put ahead of the interests of working people in the global economy, with 60 per cent of countries excluding whole categories of workers from labour law.

“Denying workers protection under labour laws creates a hidden workforce, where governments and companies refuse to take responsibility, especially for migrant workers, domestic workers and those on short term contracts. In too many countries, fundamental democratic rights are being undermined by corporate interests,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/tuc-risks-806-1-july-2017#_Toc486491926