News from around the World
- G7 leaders donate 870 million vaccine doses for low and low-middle income countries over the next year
- Event: FPA, IFE and NFCC are pleased to announce the UK’s leading fire safety conference is back for 2021
- UK Company fined after fatal collision at former television centre
- UK Bromley library workers to strike over under-staffing
- Many new UK school buildings ‘have combustible insulation’
- FBU protects ‘vital’ fire safety apparatus
- Nearly one in three disabled workers surveyed treated unfairly at work during the pandemic – new UK TUC polling
G7 leaders donate 870 million vaccine doses for low and low-middle income countries over the next year
The ACT Accelerator partnership welcomes commitment of 870 million vaccine doses and calls for more investment in all tools to end the pandemic.
At the close of this year’s G7 Leaders’ summit, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland announced a donation of an additional 870 million vaccine doses from attendees, with the majority to be delivered through COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID 19 Tools Accelerator, within the next year. Attendees included heads of G7 Member States plus Australia, India, South Africa and Republic of Korea, invited as guests.
Leaders confirmed their support for all pillars of the ACT-Accelerator across treatments, tests and strengthening public health systems as well as vaccines (link to the communique). Additionally, they indicated their intention to work together with the private sector, the G20 and other countries to increase their vaccine contribution over the months to come. Since their G7 Early Leaders’ Summit in February 2021, the G7 has committed one billion doses in total.
More information: https://www.who.int/news/item/13-06-2021-the-act-accelerator-partnership-welcomes-commitment-of-870-million-vaccine-doses-and-calls-for-more-investment-in-all-tools-to-end-the-pandemic
Event: FPA, IFE and NFCC are pleased to announce the UK’s leading fire safety conference is back for 2021
Tuesday, 9 November 2021, Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London, UK
The UK’s leading fire safety conference is back for 2021. On 9 November, the FPA, IFE and NFCC will once again join forces to deliver a packed programme on the latest industry trends and tackle future challenges facing all areas of fire safety – learning lessons, shaping the future.
Times Radio presenter, Aasmah Mir returns to chair this year’s conference which will cover a variety of themes affecting all types of stakeholders in the sector. Our expert speakers will provide a refreshing and actionable take on these key challenges. These themes include collaboration and efficiency, competence and culture in fire and beyond, equality and diversity, and responsibility and accountability to name a few.
Join us in a unique space for key industry decision makers to come together collaboratively to discuss and debate sector issues head on. The 2021 conference will be delivered in a hybrid format, meaning you can attend in person or online. Whichever way you attend, you will have the opportunity to get involved and help us shape the future of fire safety.
- Amanda Blanc, CEO Aviva – one of our plenary speakers, Amanda will cover collaboration
- Neil Gibbins, Cross-UK Fire Safety Lead – Neil will deliver one of our workshop sessions covering Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures; Sharing knowledge to help create a safer built environment
- Peter Stephenson, IFE UAE representative – International Tall building fire case study
Last year's digital conference saw more than 400 delegates book their place to stay in the know on the latest trends. Book your place today to avoid disappointment.
More information: https://www.thefpa.co.uk/events/our-events/fire-conference-2021
UK Company fined after fatal collision at former television centre
Grundon Waste Management Limited (Grundon), has been fined £550,000 and instructed to pay £96,874.15 in costs after a traffic marshal was struck and killed by one of its vehicles on a construction site.
A jury at Southwark Crown Court heard that on 22 February 2016, a waste lorry had been reversing down a ramp at the former BBC Television Centre in London to collect waste from a customer’s loading bay. In the process, it struck and fatally injured traffic marshal, Kiril Karadzhov.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Grundon failed to identify reversing as a hazard that needed to be eliminated or controlled and that suitable actions had not been taken to control the risk of reversing. This exposed pedestrians to risks to their safety. If reversing had been identified as a risk then the risk could have been eliminated or reduced, such as by developing a clear and safe system of work to access the loading bay on their customer’s sites.
Grundon Waste Management Limited of Oxford Road, Benson, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £550,000 and instructed to pay £96,874.15 in costs.
UK Bromley library workers to strike over under-staffing
Bromley Central Library workers will strike over plans by their employer, Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), to impose late-night openings with fewer staff, Unite has said.
The 17 employees, members of Unite, voted unanimously in favour of strike action over a proposed change to working hours so that staff, instead of working one late night every two weeks, will work four late nights every two weeks. Part-time staff, who currently do not work late nights, will now be required to work one late night per week.
Unite said that the late nights plan, which only involves employees at Bromley Central Library, comes following a reduction in staffing – so it will mean fewer workers to cover longer opening hours. Beginning on 14 June, Bromley Central Library workers will strike every day from 6 pm.
Many new UK school buildings ‘have combustible insulation’
Dozens of schools have been built using combustible insulation since the material was banned on high-rise apartment blocks after the Grenfell Tower disaster, raising fears for safety.
More than 70 schools are likely to have used plastic foam insulation, which burns, since it was banned on residential buildings over 18 metres in height in December 2018, according to industry research. The study by the insulation manufacturer Rockwool also found about 25 recently built hospitals, care homes and sheltered housing complexes that were likely to have been constructed with combustible insulation. The figures are thought to be an underestimate.
The claims came after the Department for Education last week unveiled new fire safety proposals for school buildings that would continue to allow combustible cladding on structures below 18 metres in height. The government closed a separate consultation on whether to extend its ban on combustible materials to shorter buildings a year ago, but has not yet announced its findings.
FBU protects ‘vital’ fire safety apparatus
The UK firefighters’ union Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has successfully overturned a policy it said would have “endangered firefighters’ lives and undermined public safety.”
The policy proposed by London Fire Brigade (LFB) would have allowed firefighters fighting a fire in a tall building, to be deployed without breathing apparatus (BA) including an air supply. The policy move came about because of a crisis in building safety highlighted by the Grenfell Tower fire, the union said. In response, the FBU made submissions to LFB’s Health and Safety Advisory Panel arguing that the proposed policy would breach health and safety legislation, overturn decades of BA safe practice and expose firefighters to toxic fire effluents and other hazardous substances.
Ultimately, the union argued that it could undermine public safety by hampering fire ground operations, winning support from the panel and the subsequent climbdown by LFB in a 25 May 2021 statement. The FBU said ‘alarmingly’ National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) national guidance that would also permit this proposed policy across Fire and Rescue Services in England and Wales.
Nearly one in three disabled workers surveyed treated unfairly at work during the pandemic – new UK TUC polling
Nearly one in three (30 per cent) disabled workers say that they’ve been treated unfairly at work during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new poll published by the TUC ON 5 June 2021
The survey – carried out by YouGov for the TUC – reveals that many disabled people report that they experienced significant barriers in the workplace before the pandemic, and that Covid-19 has made things worse for them.
Structural discrimination in the labour market
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, disabled workers were hugely underrepresented and underpaid in the labour market. The employment gap between disabled and non-disabled workers was 28 per cent. And disabled workers are paid 20 per cent less than non-disabled peers.
Covid-19 risks undoing recent improvements in getting disabled people into work, and pushing disabled people back out of the labour market. Recent government figures show that redundancy rates are now 62 per cent higher for disabled workers
Unfair treatment by employers
Disabled workers told the TUC that their disability or shielding status meant they were treated unfairly, and worse than other colleagues during the pandemic. For example:
- One in 13 (eight per cent) said they were subjected to bullying and/or harassment, being ignored or excluded, singled out for criticism or being monitored excessively at work.
- One in eight (twelve per cent) said they were concerned their disability had affected their chances of a promotion in the future.
- One in eight (13 per cent) said they were concerned their disability had affected how their performance would be assessed by their manager.
The poll also uncovered:
- Shielding workers put at risk
- Hostile workplaces
- Employers failing disabled workers
- Unsafe workplaces