Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

January 2019

Contents
  1. Become a #DustBuster and show your support for HSE’s health campaign
  2. Chemicals and EU Exit: Additional Guidance – What businesses need to do in the event of a no-deal Brexit
  3. New year new farming attitudes needed says the UK HSE
  4. Event: Road Safety Conference 2019 – Making our roads safer for vulnerable road users
  5. More backing for Unite’s ‘period dignity’ campaign
  6. UK House of Lords backs protection for shopworkers
  7. Union law firms wants employers ‘under the COSHH’
  8. New manifesto for a ‘safety system fit for workers’
  9. TUC Training Events
  10. Calls to ban low-level letterboxes
  11. Protective gear not protective for pesticide workers
  12. Europe: Glyphosate reprieve based on ‘plagiarised’ report
  13. Canada: Job-related deaths ‘dramatically’ under-reported
  14. China: Over 20 dead after coal mine roof collapses
  15. Event: Creating a Diverse Fire and Rescue Service
  16. ILO Future of Work Commission: ITUC Welcomes Calls for Revitalised Social Contract and Universal Labour Guarantee
  17. Zimbabwe Police Target Trade Union Leaders in Civil Rights Crackdown
  18. ILO’s Centenary year to officially open on 22 January 2019
  19. Robots to fix underground pipes and help cut roadworks
  20. OSHA Now Using Drones to Inspect Employer Facilities by David Sparkman
  21. UK NHS long term plan will help problem drinkers and smokers
  22. USA California OSHA Cites Cannabis Manufacturer after explosion
  23. Event: Future of Gas II
  24. Event: IOSH Mid Shires Annual Conference 2019 – Fire safety
  25. Event: Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes
  26. New ISO stress guide ‘is the last thing we need’
  27. Call for action over the London bus ‘killing machine’
  28. Incidents up, firefighter numbers down
  29. ‘Disappointing’ government response on sexual harassment
  30. New farming attitudes needed, says UK safety watchdog
  31. Work wellbeing ‘comprised’ by ‘incoherent’ practices
  32. Santa’s drones could be dangerous, warn pilots
  33. Cladding plans do not go far enough, say UK firefighters
  34. No confidence vote after firefighter safety reps ignored
  35. Positive signs on protection for shopworkers
  36. Work ‘resilience’ programmes stop ‘meaningful activity’
  37. Rail tragedy’s lessons ‘forgotten’, warn safety experts
  38. Stress and depression hit firefighters post-Grenfell
  39. Nine out of 10 NHS trusts have asbestos in hospitals
  40. Workplace wellbeing – is it working?
  41. New Book: A Handbook of Organised Wellbeing by Tim Marsh and Louise Ward
  42. RoSPA consultant named one of Health and Safety at Work’s 40 under 40
  43. Event: The Future of Blue Light Services Collaboration – Developing a Shared Vision for Effective Emergency Services
  44. FSB 2019 awards are now open for entries
  45. Event: Upholding UK Health and Safety Policy – Protecting Human Rights and Ensuring Healthy Work Environments
  46. US NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update – New reports
  47. ECHA: Companies to provide more information on nanomaterials

We wish all our Readers a Very Happy, Safe and Healthy 2019

Become a #DustBuster and show your support for HSE’s health campaign

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors will be visiting construction sites across Great Britain to see if businesses have measures in place to protect their workers’ lungs from the likes of asbestos, silica and wood dust. The Inspectors will specifically be looking for evidence of construction workers knowing the risk, planning their work and using the right controls. Is your site ready for a health inspection?

Become a #DustBuster and show your support to the campaign by downloading HSE’s free selfie cards and sending us your photos via the #DustBuster and #WorkRight hashtags on Twitter at @H_S_E, or on Facebook via @hsegovuk and @SaferSites. HSE will retweet and repost the best ones so get involved!

More information: www.hse.gov.uk/press/2019/january/become-a-dust-buster.htm

Chemicals and EU Exit: Additional Guidance – What businesses need to do in the event of a no-deal Brexit

The following additional guidance has been published and concerns chemicals regulation in the event that the UK leaves the EU on the 29 March 2019 with no-deal.

This guidance summarises the legal requirements included in the Biocidal Products Regulation, Classification Labelling and Packaging and Prior Informed Consent regulations as retained in UK law, using powers in the EU Withdrawal Act 2018. The Chemicals (Health and Safety) and Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) (EU Exit) (Amendment etc.) Regulations 2019 will make amendments to this retained law to ensure that UK chemicals and Genetically Modified Organisms regulations will continue to operate effectively at the point at which the UK leaves the EU.

This Statutory Instrument (SI) and supporting Explanatory Memorandum was laid in draft in Parliament on 21 January 2019 for consideration under the affirmative process and will be debated by both Houses in due course. The SI is available to view online at www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2019/9780111178911/contents

You are advised to read these updates and take note of any deadlines that may apply to you.

New year new farming attitudes needed says the UK HSE

Farmers are being told they must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace risk or face serious penalties.

The UK Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) programme of inspections will review health and safety standards on farms across the country, and the industry is being reminded that the inspections will soon begin.

The inspections will ensure those responsible for protecting themselves and workers are doing the right things to comply with the law and prevent death, injury and ill-health. If they are not HSE will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements.

Throughout the inspection initiative, inspectors will be checking that risks are being controlled in specific areas including:

More information: www.hse.gov.uk/press/2019/january/new-year-new-farming-attitudes.htm

Event: Road Safety Conference 2019 – Making our roads safer for vulnerable road users

13 February 2019, Birmingham, UK

The RoSPA Road Safety Conference will return in 2019, taking place at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham on Wednesday, 13 February 2019. Make sure you save the date in your diary!

This year’s conference www.rospa.com/events/road will discuss what policies and practical initiatives can be implemented in 2019 to protect Britain’s most vulnerable road users. Hear from key policy makers, leading academics and practitioners delivering case studies within both a rural and urban setting. There will also be great networking and exhibition opportunities.

Are you interested in getting involved? If you’re interested in getting involved as a sponsor or exhibitor, RoSPA will be pleased to hear from you. Please contact RoSPA at events@rospa.com

More backing for Unite’s ‘period dignity’ campaign

A Unite campaign for ‘period dignity’ launched in the summer of 2018 has had another success. The Glasgow University Campus development which is being built by Multiplex has become the latest – and the first construction firm – to sign up to the union’s four-point plan.

Manufacturing firm Rolls-Royce Washington in Sunderland was the first signatory, when in September 2018 it signed up to the campaign’s charter and agreed to offer free sanitary products at no costs in its toilets. As well as free sanitary products, the plan calls for regularly cleaned and emptied sanitary bins and proper handwashing and toilet facilities for women workers.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-881-19-january-2019#_Toc535502544

UK House of Lords backs protection for shopworkers

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw has welcomed cross-party support for the protection of shopworkers during the second reading of the Offensive Weapons Bill in the UK House of Lords.

The bill tightens the law on the sale of corrosive substances and knives in response to a significant increase in acid attacks and stabbings. Usdaw is calling on the government to provide greater protection for the shopworkers who will enforce the new law at the point of sale, a call backed by peers on 7 January 2019.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-881-19-january-2019#_Toc535502546

Union law firms wants employers ‘under the COSHH’

A trade union law firm wants employers to take hazardous substances seriously at work – and is giving employees a toolkit to help make sure that happens.

Thompsons Solicitors says most organisations today use or create substances, but thousands of workers die each year as a result of exposures to these substances at work. It says an estimated 13,000 people die each year from exposure to chemicals or dusts and around 14,000 new cases of breathing or lung problems are reported annually. Thompsons says these exposures could be prevented, if employers observed their legal duty of care and complied with the COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2002.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-881-19-january-2019#_Toc535502550

New manifesto for a ‘safety system fit for workers’

The UK national Hazards Campaign says three factors could make the country’s workplaces safer and healthier at a stroke – strong laws, strict enforcement and a workplace safety push by strong, active trade unions. According to the union-backed grassroots campaign, the British health and safety system is ‘broken.’

Launching a new ‘manifesto’ for health and safety, the campaign’s Janet Newsham said: “Work contributes to a huge amount of public ill-health, to health inequality, lower life expectancy, fewer years of healthy life, kills over 50,000 people in the UK each year, makes millions ill, injures over half a million and the quality of jobs contributes to poverty and ill-health. But all of this is preventable. The right framework of strong laws, strict enforcement and support for active worker and union participation will have massive payback for workers, employers and whole economy.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-881-19-january-2019#_Toc535502551

TUC Training Events

Organising Academy courses are designed for union officers and staff directly employed by TUC affiliated unions rather than activists or reps.

The venue for Organising Academy courses is The Manchester College, St John’s Centre, New Quay Street, Manchester M3 3BE.

There is no charge for the Organising Academy Award and Diploma courses. However, participants will have to make their own arrangements for travel, subsistence and accommodation.

The Organising Academy Award in Supporting Organising

This course is for those union staff members in administrative and other support roles who would benefit from a deeper understanding of core organising practices and their implications for the way that unions operate. For many reps and members, this may be the only contact they have with paid union staff. This course, over three days, gives support colleagues the skills and knowledge needed to support organising work. 

The course covers

The Organising Academy Diploma in Organising

This course is for union officers who would like to take up an organising role or have been undertaking an organising role within their union. Set over 16 days, the course explores the key skills and knowledge required to run successful organising campaigns.

The course covers

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/tuc-organising-academy-2019-course-programme

Calls to ban low-level letterboxes

Low-level letterboxes should be banned to prevent postal workers straining their backs or being bitten by dogs, a UK Conservative MP has said.

Proposing new legislation, Vicky Ford said it was a “key issue”. She called for all new letterboxes to be installed at a height of between 70 cm and 170 cm. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is campaigning for new buildings to meet EU letter box height standards. The union said it did not expect private households or businesses to change their doors immediately, but for the measurements to become a new building regulation in the UK, and to cover replacement doors as well.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-881-19-january-2019#_Toc535502553

Protective gear not protective for pesticide workers

Studies of pesticide use in horticultural workers have found they can be exposed to the chemicals by both skin contact and ingestion despite wearing protective gear, with colleagues and the public also at risk.

A study published online in January in the journal Annals of Work Exposures and Health and conducted by NUI Galway in Ireland, the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) and the Health and Safety Executive, looked at exposures to glyphosate, a herbicide used to control the growth of weeds and invasive plant species such as Japanese knotweed.

The researchers looked at skin contamination and levels of the chemical in urine, concluding: “The results show dermal to be a prominent route of exposure but support inadvertent ingestion potential contribution to the total body burden among this worker group. This study also identified a potential for the spread of contamination among non-pesticide users in the workforce and para-occupational exposures.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-881-19-january-2019#_Toc535502554

Europe: Glyphosate reprieve based on ‘plagiarised’ report

European regulators based a decision to relicense the controversial weedkiller glyphosate on an assessment large sections of which were lifted directly from industry documents, according to a report for the European parliament.

A cross-party group of MEPs commissioned an investigation into claims that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) copy-and-pasted tracts from studies by the pesticide manufacturer Monsanto. The investigation found “clear evidence of BfR’s deliberate pretence of an independent assessment, whereas in reality the authority was only echoing the industry applicants’ assessment.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-881-19-january-2019#_Toc535502556

Close to 1,000 Canadians die each year because of their jobs, according to official numbers from Canada’s workers’ compensation agencies. But a new study says that figure ‘dramatically underestimates’ the true extent of work-related deaths across the country.

The study, published in the journal Labour, argues the widely quoted statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada should not solely be used as a benchmark for work-related fatalities, as these figures only take into account approved compensation claims. As a result, thousands of deaths – such as workers exempt from coverage, stress-induced suicides, commuting fatalities and occupational diseases – are missing from occupational health and safety statistics. Last year, workers’ compensation boards across Canada approved a total of 904 claims involving fatalities. About one-third of those cases involved acute accidents, with the rest due to longer-term illnesses from occupational exposure.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-881-19-january-2019#_Toc535502557

China: Over 20 dead after coal mine roof collapses

At least 21 miners have been killed after a roof collapsed at a coal mine in northern China. Sixty-six other workers were rescued after the incident on 12 January at the Lijiagou mine near the city of Shenmu in Shaanxi province. The cause of the collapse at the site, run by the Baiji Mining Company, is under investigation, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Deadly mining accidents are common in China, however the number of fatalities reported in cave-ins, explosions and other disasters in Chinese coal mines has fallen sharply over the past decade. According to China’s National Coal Mine Safety Administration, there were 375 deaths in coal mines in 2017, a fall of 28.7 per cent from the previous year.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-881-19-january-2019#_Toc535502558

Event: Creating a Diverse Fire and Rescue Service

26 February 2019, London, UK

This Westminster Briefing event will hear about the government’s new plans to improve diversity within the fire service.

In England only 5.2% of firefighters are women and just 3.9% are from an ethnic minority background (BAME). This year the government aims to increase these numbers to encourage greater diversity within the fire and rescue service. At this briefing we will be investigating how institutions can do more in conjunction with government initiatives to recruit employees from all backgrounds and to overcome tired stereotypes.

More information: www.westminster-briefing.com/FRS-Diversity-Briefing

ILO Future of Work Commission: ITUC Welcomes Calls for Revitalised Social Contract and Universal Labour Guarantee

The ITUC has welcomed calls made by the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work for revitalisation of the Social Contract, and for all workers to be protected by a Universal Labour Guarantee which guarantees organising, collective bargaining and other fundamental workers’ rights along with health and safety at work, an adequate living wage and limits on working hours.

The report of the Commission, co-Chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Swedish Prime Minster Stefan Lofven, was launched at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva. Three worker representatives took part in the Commission, Luc Cortebeeck, Philip Jennings and Reema Nanavaty, along with representatives from governments, employers, academics and NGOs.

“This report is an important step on the road to the ILO Centenary Conference in June, where trade unions will be pressing for far-reaching and concrete decisions to shape a world of work that is, in the words of the Commission, human centred. It contains many important recommendations on life-long learning, support for workers to manage transitions at work, gender equality, rural and informal workers, investment in care and infrastructure, climate adjustment as well as social protection. It sets out a crucial role for public policy with governments needing to regulate and ensure the delivery of services across the board, and supports the development of new economic indicators beyond the narrow scope of GDP,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

More information: https://www.ituc-csi.org/ILO-Global-Commission-Future-of-Work-Report-Centenary

Zimbabwe Police Target Trade Union Leaders in Civil Rights Crackdown

The ITUC has called on the government of Zimbabwe to immediately and unconditionally release trade union leader Japhet Moyo, and to restore peace to the country by restraining the security services and restoring social dialogue.

The trade union leader’s arrest follows the violent repression of protests, which saw police open live-round fire on civilians, resulting in the death of 12 people and the reported imprisonment of over 200. The protests – centred on a three day ‘stay away’ from work called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) – were a response to massive price hikes for essential goods and services after the government unilaterally imposed a 150% increase in the cost of fuel.

“After opening fire on its own people, the police are now targeting trade unionists with arrests, intimidation and violence. The world is watching, and President Emmerson Mnangagwa needs to take immediate steps to restore a climate free of violence and fear,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC.

More information: https://www.ituc-csi.org/Trade-Unionists-Arrest-Civil-Right-Crackdown-Crisis-Zimbabwe

ILO’s Centenary year to officially open on 22 January 2019

The report of the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work will be launched officially on 22 January 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The ILO will be celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout 2019 with a series of global, regional and national events. 22 January 2019 will see the official start of the “ILO100” celebrations, with the launch of the report by the Global Commission on the Future of Work in Geneva.

It will be the culmination of a process that began in 2015 with the Director-General’s Report on the Future of Work Centenary Initiative to the International Labour Conference, followed by a series of national dialogues in ILO member States.

The Global Commission was set up to undertake an in-depth examination of the future of work and make recommendations on how to achieve social justice in the 21st century. It is made up of eminent individuals with outstanding personal achievements and vision. They represent a balance of geographical regions and experience.

The work of the Commission has been organized around four “centenary conversations”:

Its report is expected to provide the basis for discussion and engagement with ILO constituents (Governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives) and partners and will be submitted to the Centenary session of the International Labour Conference in 2019.

https://www.ilo.org/100

Robots to fix underground pipes and help cut roadworks

New investment to create tiny robots that can help repair the UK’s vast underground pipe network and prevent disruption of roadworks in the future.

UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Health and Safety Executive, Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation, and Chris Skidmore MP have issued the following information:

New micro robots will be built to repair the UK’s huge underground pipe network, significantly cutting the disruption caused by the 1.5 million road excavations that take place every year.

Scientists from 4 British universities will use £7 million government investment to develop 1 cm-long robotic devices that use sensors and navigation systems to find and mend cracks in pipes. The traffic closures and disruption to businesses of these roadworks is estimated to amount to more than £5 billion. A further 14 projects backed by £19.6 million government investment, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), will see robots sent to hazardous work places such as offshore wind-farms and nuclear decommissioning facilities. Researchers will test new technologies, such as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) software on satellites in orbit to detect when repairs are needed, and drones for oil pipeline monitoring.

More information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/robots-to-fix-underground-pipes-and-help-cut-roadworks

OSHA Now Using Drones to Inspect Employer Facilities by David Sparkman

OSHA’s use of drones requires consent of the employer, who may be wary of granting it due to under-developed guidelines.

Although many employers may not be aware of it, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now using drones to conduct safety inspections of employer facilities – but only if the employer consents.

During 2018, OSHA reportedly used drones with cameras to conduct at least nine inspections of employer facilities after obtaining permission from the companies’ management. The drones were most frequently deployed following accidents at worksites that were considered too dangerous for OSHA inspectors to enter, including an oil drilling rig fire, a building collapse, a combustible dust blast, an accident on a television tower and a chemical plant explosion.

Early in 2018, OSHA issued a memo to its staff formalizing its use of drones for inspection activities, ordering each of the agency’s 10 regions to designate a staff member as an unmanned aircraft program manager to oversee training requirements and evaluate reports submitted by drone teams.

The memo sets forth the parameters OSHA must follow when using drones, including the fact that the employer must agree to their use. It also reveals that OSHA is exploring the option of obtaining a Blanket Public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate drones nationwide.

Because employers must grant the agency permission for it to conduct the flyovers of their facilities, their expanding use puts employers in an uncomfortable position, some attorneys note, observing that OSHA’s use of drones has the potential to expand its violation-finding capabilities during any inspection.

More information: https://www.ehstoday.com/osha/osha-now-using-drones-inspect-employer-facilities

UK NHS long term plan will help problem drinkers and smokers

Problem drinkers and smokers who end up in hospital will be helped by dedicated new services as part of the UK NHS Long Term Plan.

As part of new NHS prevention measures, people who are alcohol dependent will be helped by new Alcohol Care Teams, while more than half a million patients who smoke, including pregnant women and their partners will also be helped to stop, in a new drive that will see all smokers admitted to hospital encouraged to quit.

The schemes come alongside action on obesity and diabetes as part of a renewed focus on prevention that will benefit patients and make the NHS fit for the future, by curbing demands on the health service.

Alcohol Care Teams will be rolled out in hospitals with the highest number of alcohol-related admissions and will support patients and their families who have issues with alcohol misuse.

This will be delivered in the 25% worst affected parts of the country and could prevent 50,000 admissions and almost 250,000 bed days over five years.

Mums to be will also benefit from NHS-funded one-to-one support to improve their own health and give their newborn babies the healthiest start in life.

The most recent figures show that women in England are amongst the most likely to smoke during pregnancy with 10% still lighting up at the time of their baby’s delivery, which doubles the risk of still birth, substantially increases the likelihood of miscarriage and triples the chances of sudden infant death.

Partners of pregnant women will also be encouraged to kick the habit to give new mums the best chance of not smoking again.

Across the country, there is significant variation in the number of pregnant women who smoke, ranging from 2% in Kensington & Chelsea to over one in five in Blackpool.

The areas with the greatest level of need will be prioritised with 600,000 people being supported to quit over the next five years.

More information: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/01/nhs-long-term-plan-will-help-problem-drinkers-and-smokers

USA California OSHA Cites Cannabis Manufacturer after explosion

The worker, who was seriously injured, was hospitalized for several days.

Cannabis product manufacturer Future2 Health Services is facing $50,470 in fines after an explosion seriously injured an employee.

On June 19, 2018, a worker was using propane to extract oil from cannabis leaves inside a 128 sq. ft. storage container. The propane ignited and exploded, which left the worker with serious burns that required an extended hospital stay.

“The process of using a highly flammable gas to extract oil from cannabis leaves is dangerous,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum in a statement. “To prevent injuries and mitigate risk, employers in the cannabis industry must establish and implement an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program, provide effective training to their employees and comply with safety and health standards.”

A subsequent Cal/OSHA investigation revealed that the Santa Cruz, California-based employer did not test the atmosphere inside the storage container for flammable gases or vapours before allowing equipment to be operated.

The equipment created a spark that ignited the propane gas where the employee was working.

More information: https://www.ehstoday.com/safety/calosha-cites-cannabis-manufacturer-after-explosion

Event: Future of Gas II

4-5 February 2019, London, UK

The recently issued IPCC special report “Global Warming of 1.5 degrees” calls the global community to arms to turn urgency into action in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This urgency reinforces the importance of the projects underway in the UK to investigate decarbonising heat, and with this in mind, the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is pleased to announce the second annual Future of Gas Event (Future of Gas II) as part of the Safety Excellence in Energy Series.

Following on from last year’s event, this conference will bring together a high calibre of speakers presenting their views on how decarbonisation can really happen in the UK and the importance of future of the gas system to achieve this. We will have representation from industry, academia, policy and technology covering the full spectrum of opportunities and challenges. New projects will be discussed and updates, new learning and developments from current projects looking at partial and full decarbonisation of the gas supply will be showcased.

In addition, we will bring insights from the transport sector and international views on the future of gas on a global level. We will also touch upon the role of CCUS as part of a future energy system.

More information: https://www.hsl.gov.uk/safety-excellence-in-energy-series

Event: IOSH Mid Shires Annual Conference 2019 – Fire safety

21 March 2019, Rugby, UK

IOSH Mid Shires Branch event in collaboration with IOSH Fire Risk Management Group

The IOSH Mid Shires Branch is pleased to confirm details of its next annual conference, this time focussing around fire safety. Running this event in collaboration with the IOSH Fire Risk Management Group, this seminar will look at the importance of fire safety as a whole and provide a comprehensive overview of its vital importance as a workplace issue for occupational safety and health professionals.

Understanding the role of the occupational safety and health professional in addressing issues relating to fire safety is a vital aspect of ensuring safety for employers and employees alike. The aim of this event is to enhance delegates competence and capabilities around the skills associated with fire management, through a series of sessions focused on providing practical advice in fire prevention, protection and response.

More information: https://www.iosh.co.uk/IOSH/Home/Events/Event%20details.aspx?Name=IOSH%20Mid%20Shires%20Annual%20Conference%202019%20-%20Fire%20safety&Id={207F53EC-8D6C-4BA6-9213-FD6189CCD0ED}&ItemType=VolunteerEvent

Event: Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes

16 May 2019, London, UK

Recognition of the prevalence of student mental health and wellbeing issues has led to a culture change in higher education institutions. This conference will bring together HEIs, public and voluntary sector service providers, service users and mental health professionals to share best practices and develop their approach to improving student mental health outcomes.

Universities are developing strategies and employing teams to support students. Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes will examine how policy can be developed to provide support for HEIs and students; reviewing the impact of HE reforms and existing cultures on student experience and mental health.

Find out about the latest updates on improving student mental health services by Universities, Schools, The NHS, other public sector bodies, third sector organisations and many more.

More information: https://openforumevents.co.uk/events/2019/improving-student-mental-health-outcomes

New ISO stress guide ‘is the last thing we need’

The new draft guide on stress being prepared by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is worrying and ‘total nonsense’, the TUC has said. The union body was commenting on ISO’s proposed guidelines on ‘Psychological health and safety in the workplace’.

According to TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson: “The biggest problem is the fact that it seems to think that the whole process of dealing with the risks is something that management can do on their own. All it wants from the workers is a ‘commitment’,” he says. “There is a section on ‘leadership and worker participation’ that never even mentions worker participation – or consultation, worker representatives, or any kind of involvement in the process. The only reference to ‘workers and their representatives’ is in later sections on evaluation and improvement, which is a bit late in the process.”

The TUC safety specialist notes the draft’s references to ‘human error’, ‘capabilities’ and the ‘competence’ of workers implies they “have to be able to reduce their own risks, rather than it being the responsibility of management. Total nonsense. The draft guidance is opening the door to initiatives such as resilience training, rather than putting the responsibility on management to have the competency to remove and manage risk.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-880-12-january-2019#_Toc534798345

Call for action over the London bus ‘killing machine’

The union GMB has called for ‘decisive action’ to address chilling new evidence of the devastating toll of serious injuries involving London buses. The union says eight people were killed and 719 very seriously injured in incidents involving the capital’s fleet of buses in the 12 months from July 2017 to June 2018.

GMB London regional secretary Warren Kenny, commenting on the region’s new analysis of Transport for London quarterly figures from 2014 to June 2018, said London mayor Sadiq Khan has admitted the figures are ‘chilling’, adding: “So what is needed is decisive action from the top to change the culture at Transport for London to make the safe operation of buses by the outsourced private for-profit operators the top priority. It’s not the top priority under the current contracts. Punctuality has the highest priority and profit margins are linked to punctuality records. This has to change.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-880-12-january-2019#_Toc534798348

Incidents up, firefighter numbers down

Firefighters are expected to do more with less, putting public safety at risk, the firefighters’ union FBU has said.

The union was commenting on UK Home Office figures that reveal that fire incidents in England increased by 3 per cent last year to just under 170,000 – the highest level since 2013/14. Non-fire incidents, such as flooding, rescues and road traffic collisions, have seen a steeper increase, with firefighters responding to over 170,000 incidents in England – an 18 per cent increase since 2010/11.

Fire fatalities also increased in 2017/18, the worst year for fire deaths since 2010/11, only in part because of the Grenfell tragedy. FBU says that since 2010/11, over 9,000 fire and rescue service jobs in England have been lost – a 20 per cent cut. The number of whole-time firefighters has fallen by just under 6,500 – a 22 per cent drop – and the number of fire control room staff, who play a vital role keeping communities safe, has seen a 433 reduction in posts.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-880-12-january-2019#_Toc534798349

‘Disappointing’ government response on sexual harassment

The government’s plan to tackle sexual harassment at work falls way short by not creating a legal duty on employers to tackle the problem, the TUC has said.

The union body was commenting on the government’s December 2018 response to a Women and Equalities Select Committee report, which includes a new code of practice and a commitment to undertake consultations on legal protections and on additional protections for volunteers and interns. Announcing the measures, minister for women Victoria Atkins said: “We are taking action to make sure employers know what they have to do to protect their staff, and people know their rights at work and what action to take if they feel intimidated or humiliated. Everyone has the right to feel safe at work.”

But TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “More than half of women in the UK have been sexually harassed at work, yet only one in five reports it. Sexual harassment has a huge impact on women’s careers and lives. So it’s disappointing that the government is not making the major changes needed for the scale of the problem.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-880-12-january-2019#_Toc534798353

New farming attitudes needed, says UK safety watchdog

Farmers are being told they must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace risk or face serious penalties.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) programme of inspections will review health and safety standards on farms across the country, and the industry is being reminded that the inspections will soon begin. The inspections will ensure those responsible for protecting themselves and workers are doing the right things to comply with the law and prevent death, injury and ill-health. If they are not HSE will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements.

Throughout the inspection initiative, inspectors will be checking that risks are being controlled in specific areas including:

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-880-12-january-2019#_Toc534798358

Work wellbeing ‘comprised’ by ‘incoherent’ practices

Employee wellbeing is being compromised by a lack of understanding of how to implement effective programmes, a safety body has found.

A new British Safety Council (BSC) ‘comprehensive review of the existing literature and market intelligence’ found only one in six (17 per cent) organisations evaluate the impact of their health and wellbeing initiatives. It also reported that in nearly two-thirds of companies (63 per cent), other priorities take precedence over employees’ wellbeing.

The report, Not just free fruit: wellbeing at work, proposes a series of measures to assess and improve the effectiveness of wellbeing programmes and policies. BSC said its findings are ‘a call to action for employers in Britain to place the wellbeing needs of their workers at the top of the executive agenda.’

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-19-december-2018#_Toc532817045

Santa’s drones could be dangerous, warn pilots

Anyone buying or being given a drone this Christmas needs to understand the new drone laws, or they could end up in court, the pilots’ union has warned.

BALPA says that drone users who flout safety rules introduced this year “could face a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.” Official figures show up until November this year there had already been 117 near misses between aircraft and drones in 2018, compared to 93 for the whole of 2017.

Head of flight safety at BALPA, Dr Rob Hunter said: “Even two kilogrammes of metal and plastic, including the battery, hitting an aircraft windscreen or engine or a helicopter tail rotor, could be catastrophic. People who buy these devices need to make sure that they know the rules and stick to them, so they don’t put anyone’s life in danger.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-19-december-2018#_Toc532817037

Cladding plans do not go far enough, say UK firefighters

The first changes to fire safety legislation since the Grenfell Tower fire 18 months ago do not go far enough, firefighters’ union FBU has said.

Echoing concerns raised by the TUC, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The focus on only privately-owned buildings is misguided – the true scale of the problem is much bigger. Buildings up and down the country are unsafe – the government must address it as a whole, rather than providing a sticking plaster.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-19-december-2018#_Toc532817040

No confidence vote after firefighter safety reps ignored

Firefighters in East Sussex have passed a vote of no confidence in their senior management teams after they ignored union warnings about serious safety blunders.

The unanimous vote by FBU’s East Sussex Committee came after East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) managers ignored repeated FBU warnings about planned changes the union believes “seek to reduce both public and firefighter safety.”

It said: “In the latest in a series of judgement errors, the senior leadership team recently agreed to introduce small appliances, which carry less life-saving equipment. This latest decision has led to the vote of no confidence.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-19-december-2018#_Toc532817041

Positive signs on protection for shopworkers

A round-table discussion between the UK Home Office, retailers and the union Usdaw on how to protect staff from violence, threats and abuse was ‘positive’, the retail union’s leader Paddy Lillis has said.

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins agreed to the 11 December 2018 talks during the report stage of the Offensive Weapons Bill. The move was in response to an amendment tabled by David Hanson MP that would create a new offence where a person attempting to buy restricted goods including corrosive substance or knives then abuses, threatens or assaults the retail worker who is enforcing the law.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-19-december-2018#_Toc532817042

Work ‘resilience’ programmes stop ‘meaningful activity’

Workplace resilience programmes are of no proven value but could deflect energy from ‘meaningful activity’ researchers have warned.

The initiatives, which are intended to bolster mental health and wellbeing, might not make any difference at all, according to the study published online in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The research, led by Dr Norman Jones of Kings College London, compared the impact of a resilience-based programme called SPEAR with standard training for new military recruits. The study found ‘no evidence’ that SPEAR made any difference to recruits’ mental health and wellbeing, their attitudes to mental illness and willingness to seek help for mental health or alcohol problems, or their perceptions of military leaders and their unit’s cohesion, when compared with standard training.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-19-december-2018#_Toc532817044

Rail tragedy’s lessons ‘forgotten’, warn safety experts

Thirty years on from one of Britain’s worst train crashes, a rail safety expert has warned that the lessons learned have been forgotten and lives are being put at risk.

The 12 December 1988 crash at Clapham Junction in London, which killed 35 and injured hundreds, led to a drive for safety improvements on Britain’s rail network. But the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Railway Group has said several incidents and near-misses in recent years have sparked new concerns for rail safety. The rail safety professionals say they are particularly troubled by high levels of fatigue among maintenance workers, who are doing long hours to ensure the network runs as smoothly as possible.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-19-december-2018#_Toc532817046

Stress and depression hit firefighters post-Grenfell

The main reason for sickness absence in the London Fire Brigade (LFB) is now stress, anxiety and depression, Commissioner Dany Cotton has said.

LFB has seen a “small increase” in the number of days taken off as sick leave over the last three years, the brigade’s most senior firefighter said, but for the first time mental health has been the leading cause of the absences, she told the London Assembly. LFB’s counselling and trauma team has treated more than 157 personnel since the fire, according to a document submitted to the public inquiry which sets out changes the brigade has made since the blaze.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-19-december-2018#_Toc532817047

Nine out of 10 NHS trusts have asbestos in hospitals

About nine out of 10 NHS trusts say they have hospitals containing asbestos, research by the BBC has revealed.

Of the 211 trusts to respond to a BBC inquiry, 198 said they ran hospitals containing the material, which can cause potentially fatal illnesses including cancer. The BBC sent Freedom of Information requests to all 243 NHS trusts in Britain.

Responding to the BBC findings, Jo Stevens MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Occupational Health and Safety, urged the government to conduct an audit to “ensure every trust knows the extent of asbestos on their premises and has a plan for dealing with it.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-19-december-2018#_Toc532817048

Workplace wellbeing – is it working?

Employee wellbeing is being compromised by a lack of understanding of how to implement effective programmes, reveals the latest research from the British Safety Council

Only one in six (17 per cent) organisations evaluate the impact of their health and wellbeing initiatives (source: CIPD).

In nearly two thirds of companies (63 per cent), other priorities take precedence over employees’ wellbeing (source: Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey).

28% of SME leaders think their companies are too small to take employee health and wellbeing seriously. A third (32%) of them thought health and wellbeing was the domain of large businesses (source: Bupa 2015 survey).

The main reasons for this situation are the difficulties of defining wellbeing, selecting the best tools for assessing wellbeing programmes and measuring the cost-effectiveness of these interventions. Inadequate people skills of many line managers and low priority given by them to employee wellbeing are also important factors.

More information: https://www.britsafe.org/about-us/press-releases/2018/workplace-wellbeing-is-it-working

New Book: A Handbook of Organised Wellbeing by Tim Marsh and Louise Ward

Wellbeing is now on everyone’s agenda and many books have been published on the topic, with increasing understanding that it’s a win-win that can boost profits or make sustainability viable.

“It is not about surviving; it is about thriving with passion, compassion, humour and style.”

This book seeks to present, in a reader friendly way, key wellbeing themes and view these through the lesson learnt from safety excellence because, at present, UK safety is world class but wellbeing is not.

More information: www.britsafe.org/products/a-handbook-of-organised-wellbeing

RoSPA consultant named one of Health and Safety at Work’s 40 under 40

RoSPA associate consultant Edward Braisher has been included in Health and Safety at Work magazine’s “40 under 40”.

The campaign celebrates 40 leading health and safety practitioners who represent the best of the younger generation, as part of Health and Safety at Work’s 40th anniversary in print.

Edward’s role on RoSPA projects includes ensuring health and safety and risk assessment compliance. Around 160 safety specialists put themselves forward, ranging from professionals making their mark at the beginning of their careers, to mid-career practitioners with significant achievements under their belt. Candidates were scored in three areas: personal and professional achievement, evidence of innovation or creative thinking, and contribution to safety in its wider sense.

More information: https://www.rospa.com/media-centre/press-office/press-releases/detail/?id=1607

Event: The Future of Blue Light Services Collaboration – Developing a Shared Vision for Effective Emergency Services

17 January 2019, London, UK

The challenges faced by UK blue light services are multitudinous. The number of emergency admissions to hospitals has risen by 16 per cent over the last five years (NHS, 2018). Fire and rescue services responded to 565,000 incidents between 2017 and 2018, an increase of 6,000, whilst fire-related fatalities increased by 27 per cent from 261 to 334 during the same period (Home Office, 2018). The challenges associated with evolving demand have been brought into sharper focus by the tragic Grenfell Tower fire and exacerbated by continued cuts to emergency service staff and resources. The loss of 21,000 police officers, 18,000 police staff and 6,800 police community support officers since 2010 has raised concerns over perceived levels of community safety and public security (HoC, 2018).

More information: www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/JA17-PPE

FSB 2019 awards are now open for entries

The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards recognise the best small businesses and the self-employed from right across the UK, from every sector and industry and from businesses of all ages and all sizes.

The awards are the leading celebration of small businesses, shining a light on some of the best, most innovative and most determined small businesses.

This is why FSB choose to keep entries to the awards free, and have them open to all small businesses and the self-employed, whether they are current FSB members, or not.

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, with an incredible 5.7 million small businesses in the UK and FSB want you to help us celebrate that. The 2018 awards saw over 2,000 entries across the length and breadth of the UK from some of the most innovative and successful small businesses. The 2019 awards promise to be even bigger offering recognition to small businesses across the whole of the UK and culminating in a prestigious and high profile UK Final in London at Battersea Evolution on 23 May 2019.

Winning a FSB Celebrating Small Business Award is a great way to showcase your business achievements and celebrate business success, brilliance and innovation.

Entries are now open: https://www.fsbawards.co.uk

Event: Upholding UK Health and Safety Policy – Protecting Human Rights and Ensuring Healthy Work Environments

26 February 2019, London, UK

Key Speaker: Nick Pahl, Chief Executive, Society of Occupational Medicine

Health and Safety Executive statistics show that each year, over a million workers are injured or made ill by their work in the UK (2018). In 2017, the total costs of workplace injuries and ill health to the UK economy was £15 billion, and 15.4 million working days were lost due to work related stress, depression or anxiety (MHFA 2018). Not only are employees experiencing work-related ill health, but also many UK workers are subject to inadequate working conditions. A recent Unite the Union study discovered that tens of thousands of workers across the UK are either not provided with proper toilets or have restrictions placed upon them in using facilities.

More information: www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/JB26-PPE

US NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update – New reports

Evaluation of Nonproduction Area Lead Exposures at a Battery Manufacturing Plant

HHE Program investigators found airborne and surface lead in all nonproduction areas and lead on employee hand wipes. Investigators recommended improving ventilation, redesigning employee locker rooms to have distinct clean and dirty sides, and ensuring employees take the recommended amount of time to walk through the air shower when exiting the production area.

www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2013-0226-3314.pdf

Evaluation of a Medicinal Cannabis Manufacturing Facility

After HHE Program investigators found cannabis components on surface wipes throughout the facility, they recommended local exhaust ventilation for grinding operations. They further recommended moving the decarboxylation process to an area with less occupancy and developing a cleaning schedule to remove cannabis components from work and tool surfaces.

www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2016-0090-3317.pdf

ECHA: Companies to provide more information on nanomaterials

A specific revision of the REACH information requirements for nanomaterials has now been adopted by the European Commission. The amendments clarify what information companies placing substances in nanoform on the market need to provide in their registration dossiers. The new rules apply as of 1 January 2020.

The new requirements will enable both companies and authorities to systematically assess the hazardous properties of nanomaterials, how they are used safely, and what risks they may pose to our health and the environment. This information will help authorities in the EU to identify if further risk management measures are needed.

Companies now have to assess whether the new information requirements apply to their substances. The changes are relevant for companies manufacturing or importing nanoforms of substances that fall within the scope of REACH. Nanoforms of substances are those covered by the European Commission’s recommendation for a definition of a nanomaterial.

ECHA strongly encourages registrants of nanoform substances to familiarise themselves with the amendments and assess what action they need to take to comply. ECHA is also currently assessing the need to update existing guidance or issue new guidance to help registrants comply with the new requirements.

More information: https://euon.echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/companies-to-provide-more-information-on-nanomaterials