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February 2020

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recognised by Rail Safety Body

The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has certified the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as an affiliate member.

The affiliation, awarded recently at a collaborative workshop between the two organisations, heralds a new era for sharing best practices and collaboration in all areas of health and safety.

Topics where HSE can offer significant expertise and experience include: the decarbonisation landscape, future standards as well as worker health.

Receiving the accolade on behalf of HSE, Strategic Account Manager Lorraine Gavin commented: “We are really excited to work alongside RSSB and their members to support their mission for a better, safer railway”.

More information:

Coronavirus: latest UK information and advice

The UK Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) are leading the UK government response to the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak.

You can get up to date information about the situation in the UK and guidance for the public on the risk from Coronavirus on the government’s website.

The Health and Safety executive (HSE) is working closely with the DHSC, PHE and other government departments to provide support when it’s needed, including technical advice on the protection of workers.

Full details:

Maritime bosses urged to heed union coronavirus guide

Seafarers have been advised to familiarise themselves with new global guidance on the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has created a containment lockdown in central China and prevented some ships from calling at the major trade hub Wuhan.

Global transport workers’ union federation ITF has issued advice on the coronavirus, a never-before-seen virus that is reported to have mutated and is now transmissible from human to human.

The virus, which originated in China in late 2019, causes pneumonia-like symptoms and can be life-threatening. There are no international travel restrictions currently in place, although the Chinese authorities have taken steps locally to limit the spread of the virus.

The Wall Street Journal reported that vessels are being held back by China from entering Wuhan, in Hubei Province. The city is a major trade hub in the region and is located on the Yangtze River. The ITF alert “advises that those in China should avoid unprotected contact with live animals, ensure all animal products (including meat and eggs) are thoroughly cooked, practise good hygiene, and avoid contact with anyone displaying symptoms.”

More information:

Thursday, 6 February 2020 was Time to Talk day… having a conversation about mental health

USDAW encouraged everyone to take part in Time to Talk Day by having a conversation about mental health.

The event is run by Time To Change – a national organisation campaigning to end the stigma surrounding mental health. With 1 in 4 people now expected to experience a mental health problem every year, speaking out about mental health and wellbeing has never been more important.

There are many different ways to talk about mental health and you don’t have to be an expert to ask someone how they’re doing. So, however you decided to check in with your friends, family or colleagues start the conversation that counts.

Learn more about mental health:

Event: RMT’s National Health and Safety Conference

26 February 2020, Earl of Doncaster Hotel, Bennetthorpe, Doncaster, DN2 6AD, UK

In line with previous practice a training course will be provided to all delegates and will be related to the conference theme. In the past this has made it easier for delegates to obtain release with pay from their employers.

As in previous years the 2020 Health and Safety Conference will have a theme; this year’s theme will look at the challenges that violence at work increasingly brings to the workplace.

As part of the conference programme all delegates will be allocated a place on the RMT’s new training course which will be offered either the day before conference, Tuesday, 25 February 2020, or the day after, Thursday, 27 February 2020.

More information:

Events: HSE March 2020 courses in the UK

The following list of training events provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), listed in date order:

Full details:

Event: EEMUA 159 TankInspector Training

2-5 March 2020, classroom-based course, near London, UK

Certification valid for five years

Be among the first engineers to gain certification as an EEMUA 159 TankInspector.

The first full course for EEMUA 159 TankInspector Certification starts on 2 March 2020. The course is based on EEMUA Publication 159: Above ground flat bottomed storage tanks – a guide to inspection, maintenance and repair, and its 3.5 days of training provide participants with understanding of:

Successfully completing the exam on the final morning of the course will earn participants certification as EEMUA 159 TankInspectors.

More information:

Event: Two Day Efficacy Workshop – Efficacy Requirements and Assessment under EC 1107/2009

4-5 March 2020, York, UK

This two-day workshop will provide an overview of the European efficacy data requirements for pesticide active substances and their plant protection products (Regulation EC 1107/2009). Particular emphasis is given on generating data to support product zonal authorisations, supporting UK-only authorisations, and assessment and presentation within a draft Registration Report (dRR).

More information:

Event: The Building Regulations and Fire Safety Conference

18 March 2020, London, UK

With the Fire Safety Bill promised in the Queen’s speech and a new regulator being appointed, are you prepared for how these vital safety changes will impact your day-to-day role?

The conference is geared to provide you with step-by-step lessons to understand how these changes impact the way you operate, including changes to Fire Risk Assessments and how to fully mitigate the risks of any external wall systems and fire doors.

Confirmed speakers include:

More information:

Event: Two Day Efficacy Workshop – The presentation and interpretation of Efficacy trials data in Biological Assessment Dossiers to support authorisations under EC 1107/2009

24-25 March 2020, York, UK

This two-day workshop will provide an overview of the importance of efficacy trial design and trials reports, how to approach and critically assess data, and effective presentation of data in a Biological Assessment Dossier (BAD).

It will provide an overview of the European efficacy data requirements for pesticide active substances and their plant protection products (Regulation EC 1107/2009). Particular emphasis is given on generating data to support product zonal authorisations, supporting UK-only authorisations, and assessment and presentation within a draft Registration Report (dRR).

More information:

Event: Hazmat 2020 Annual Conference

13-14 May 2020, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, UK

NCEC’s Hazmat conferences are now well established as the ‘must go’ event for Hazmat Professionals to share experiences and gain knowledge with like-minded professionals working in the chemical incident industries.

Now in its 13th year, the event draws upon the knowledge and experience of a broad range of hazmat professionals and industry leaders, as well as NCEC’s own emergency responders and experts. Bringing together international speakers from across sectors, delegates will benefit from world-standard presentations, case studies and practical, hands-on workshops in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Using delegate feedback gathered at previous events, the format for Hazmat 2020 will again include a range of case studies and interactive exercises. We will be encouraging speakers to include practical elements and group interaction where relevant. Sessions will also cover a cross-section of subjects as we look to increase multi-agency representation. Delegates will have the opportunity to tailor their experience by registering for specific workshops once the programme has been finalised.

More information:

Event: Safety & Health Expo 2020

19-21 May 2020, Excel, London, UK

More information:

Registration will give you access to the following shows held at the same place and time:

Facilities Show

As the world’s largest dedicated facilities management event, Facilities Show welcomes over 12,000 global FM professionals to experience the latest technological solutions and hear from industry trailblazers – all under one roof, over three days.

FIREX International

Your chance to stay up to date with the latest technologies and legislation within the fire and life safety industry. Join the fire safety community at FIREX 2020 to source hundreds of solutions across passive fire protection, fire prevention and detection; sprinkler and suppression systems, emergency lighting and much more.

Workplace wellbeing show 2020

Start your wellbeing conversation discover solutions, guidance and expertise on the growing challenge of mental and physical wellbeing in the workplace exclusively at workplace wellbeing show.

A full seminar programme featuring industry leaders, a comprehensive range of products and solutions, an unrivalled networking experience with your fellow professionals and access to eight other co-located shows makes workplace wellbeing show an essential event for the modern wellbeing professional. expand your network, develop your expertise and grow your business.


15-20 June 2020, Hanover, Germany

NCEC will be exhibiting at INTERSCHUTZ 2020.

INTERSCHUTZ is the world’s leading trade fair for the fire and rescue services, civil protection, safety and security. It is a magnet for companies from all around the world seeking to develop new markets for their solutions. It’s also the go-to show for pros wanting to learn about the latest innovations and share expertise with their international peers.

If you are planning to attend the event, then please join their experts who will be on hand to discuss NCEC’s expertise in both the areas of emergency response and chemical regulatory compliance including incident notification, poison centres and REACH regulation concerns.

Event: The Health, Safety & Environment Directors’ Forum

24 November 2020, The Belfry, Birmingham, UK

It is rare to find the biggest names in the UK HSE industry are available in one place, actively looking to build lasting business relationships.

Just a few of the companies confirmed to attend include:

More information:

UK RMT demands immediate action on violence at work

Tube union RMT is stepping up its ‘Stop Violence Against Tube Staff’ campaign as ‘shocking’ new figures revealed assaults on staff have risen by almost a quarter over the past three years.

Assaults on Transport for London (TfL) employees shot up from 505 in 2016 to 628 in 2019. Knife-related violence against workers almost doubled, from 19 incidents in 2016 to 35 in 2019.

Commenting on the TfL statistics, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Violence on the Tube network is out of control and I am sick and tired of hearing warm words from the politicians and bosses running the system while my members are risking their lives every time they book on for work. The situation is that serious and RMT is demanding real action right now.”

More information:

Conflicted Grenfell adviser resigns from inquiry

A recently appointed Grenfell Tower fire Inquiry panel member has resigned after she was linked to the charitable arm of Arconic, the firm that supplied the block’s deadly cladding.

Benita Mehra said she recognised and respected the ‘depth of feeling’ among some about her appointment. Downing Street said it had accepted her resignation but maintained there was no conflict of interest. It was announced shortly before Christmas that the engineer would replace academic Prof Nabeel Hamdi as an expert panellist for the second phase of the Inquiry.

Last week Grenfell United, the survivor’s and bereaved group that first discovered Mehra’s link to Arconic, had insisted her position represented a conflict of interest and called for her to stand down. The group said her appointment by prime minister Boris Johnson was “a slap in the face”.

More information:

Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry told firms ‘deny responsibility’

None of the companies involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower have accepted responsibility for the deadly fire, an Inquiry has heard.

Firms expressed “no trace” of accountability despite previous findings that the work did not comply with building regulations, counsel to the Inquiry Richard Millett QC said. His remarks were at the start of the Inquiry’s second phase, which will look at issues like the block’s cladding.

The 2017 London fire claimed 72 lives. The QC said that, with the “sole exception” of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, all organisations had denied responsibility in “carefully crafted statements,” adding: “Any member of the public reading those statements and taking them all at face value would be forced to conclude that everyone involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower did what they were supposed to do and nobody made any serious or causative mistakes. In every case, what happened was, as each of them would have it, someone else’s fault.”

More information:

Ex-England footballer blames her dementia on headers

A Pioneer of women’s football has become the first female player to publicly blame her dementia on years of heading the ball.

Sue Lopez, 74, was the first British woman to play semi-professionally abroad and represented England 22 times during a career spanning three decades. She told the BBC she wanted young footballers to stop heading the ball amid research suggesting women are concussed more easily.

Lopez, who spent the majority of her playing career at Southampton and spent a season at Roma, told the BBC she felt “sick” when she was given her diagnosis in 2018. She said heading the ball resulted in her suffering several concussions during her time competing at the top level between 1966 and 1985.

More information:

New Guidance: LGBT+ inclusive apprenticeships: A resource for union negotiators and reps

This UK Trade union Congress (TUC) guide aims to help trade union negotiators promote participation and support achievement for apprentices who identify as LGBT+.

It identifies practical points that unions can include in dialogue with employers around apprenticeship schemes and steps to take when developing a bargaining agenda.

The guide considers issues around new-starter apprentices, although many of the points discussed have relevance for LGBT+ workers more generally, including existing employees participating in apprenticeship schemes.