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  • ‘A silent stressor’: Many pregnant workers say they risk their health, safety to...
    pregnant-worker.jpg?1571920845Photo: MaxRiesgo/iStockphotoVancouver, WA — Nearly 2 out of 3 pregnant workers say they stress about being stereotyped as weak or less committed to their job, leading many to conceal their pregnancies and overperform – in turn, risking their health and safety as well as that of their unborn child, according to a recent study.A pair of researchers from Washington State University surveyed pregnant workers in physically demanding jobs at three different times over a two-month span, starting with a group of more than 400. The respondents, who were all at different stages of pregnancy, worked in various industries, including health care, manufacturing and retail.Among the risky behaviors the women said they took part in to avoid being stereotyped were lifting heavy objects and standing for long periods of time. Further, women who reported a higher stereotype threat had almost three times as many work-related incidents at the end of the study period compared with those who felt a relatively low stereotype threat. Moreover, fears of confirming the stereotypes also increased.“The pregnancy stereotype is a silent stressor,” lead study author Lindsey Lavaysse said in a June 29 press release. “It is not always visible, but it really impacts women in the workplace.” Lavaysse and co-author Tahira Probst, a WSU psychology professor, noted that most workplaces have policies in place to accommodate pregnant workers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission adds that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 “forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment.”Still, Lavaysse said, “if the organization’s culture suggests there will be retaliation or that workers will be looked upon differently, then women will shy away from using accommodations that are better for their health and safety.”Sign up for Safety+Health's free monthly email newsletters and get the news that's important to you. SUBSCRIBE NOWLavaysse and Probst recommend better social support for pregnant workers and following maternity leave policies. They also say further study is needed to investigate possible variables that might mitigate some of the negative stigma surrounding pregnancy while working.The study was published online June 5 in the journal Work and Stress.

    from: 
    https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20149-a-silent-stressor-pregnant-workers-say-they-r...
  • ‘We need to do it’: CPWR webinar puts spotlight on contact tracing in constructi...
    contact-tracing.jpg?1595956351Photo: AlexLMX/iStockphotoSilver Spring, MD — Effective contact tracing can be a challenge on construction sites, where supervisors, contractors, workers, vendors and visitors may be onsite at any given time.Still, this disease control measure – used to identify, support and monitor individuals potentially exposed to an infected person – remains essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say.“It is not a panacea. It’s not a perfect system,” said Travis Parsons, associate director of occupational safety and health for the Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America. “But it does help curb the spread of the virus, and we need to do it.”Parsons spoke during a July 16 webinar on contact tracing basics and applications in construction hosted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. His presentation followed remarks by NIOSH medical epidemiologist Sara Luckhaupt, who said that although the concept might be new to some, contact tracing has been part of the public health sphere for decades.The authority and responsibility for implementing contact tracing lies with state, tribal, local and territorial health departments, Luckhaupt said. As detailed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contact tracing is recommended for anyone who has come within 6 feet of an individual with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more within 48 hours of diagnosis.In a hypothetical situation, a health department official would ask an individual with COVID-19 about the people with whom he or she recently has had close contact. Making sure not to share the name of the infected individual, the health department then would alert contacts and assess symptoms.Should a health department official conclude that a case of COVID-19 impacts a work environment, it would notify the employer. Luckhaupt and Parsons stress the importance of employer collaboration.“The sooner that you can get a case and a contact who may potentially become a case out of circulation to the general public, then the sooner you can stop the spread,” Luckhaupt said. “The greater chance you can prevent further cases.”Symptomatic or asymptomatic contacts who test positive for COVID-19 should be treated and managed as a confirmed case, CDC advises. CDC recommends COVID-19 testing for all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients. The agency also recommends that:
    • Asymptomatic contacts who test negative should self-quarantine for 14 days from their most recent exposure.
    • Symptomatic contacts for whom testing isn’t available should self-isolate and be managed as a probable COVID-19 case.
    • Asymptomatic contacts for whom testing isn’t available should self-quarantine and be monitored for 14 days after their most recent exposure, with linkage to clinical care for those who develop symptoms.
    Luckhaupt outlined additional steps that CDC recommends employers take to prepare for a possible case investigation and contact tracing:
    • Identify a COVID-19 coordinator or team to oversee pandemic-related activities.
    • Identify and, if possible, contact or visit the health department website.
    • Create a COVID-19 preparedness, response and control plan.
    • Review CDC guidance on case investigation and contact tracing.
    • Encourage employees to cooperate with the health department.
    Additionally, Parsons said, workers shouldn’t feel a stigma about reporting symptoms, because contact tracing should be kept anonymous and confidential.Sign up for Safety+Health's free monthly email newsletters and get the news that's important to you. SUBSCRIBE NOW“We encourage our workers. They have a role in this. They need to report symptoms,” Parsons said. “They need to report if they’ve had exposures. Everybody needs to work on this together. And the intention is not to interrogate or pass judgment on any one worker whatsoever. It’s to curb the disease and to collect information to keep everyone safe.”CDC has developed a fact sheet for various digital contact tracing applications that may enhance contact tracing data management, daily temperature and symptom checks of patients during isolation and contacts during quarantine, and exposure notification using proximity apps.The National Safety Council recently released an issue paper on contact tracing as part of its SAFER: Safe Actions Employee Returns initiative.

    from: 
    https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20150-we-need-to-do-it-cpwr-webinar-puts-spotlight-...
  • OSHA revises rules on its access to employee medical records, adds new section o...
    Washington — OSHA has finalized amendments to its rules on accessing employee medical records.The agency often reviews employee medical records to carry out its statutory obligations, as well as when gathering information during agency rulemaking to develop or revise occupational safety and health standards, an agency press release states. According to a final rule published in the July 30 Federal Register, the rule revisions “transfer certain responsibilities from the assistant secretary to the OSHA medical records officer. Specifically, the MRO will now be responsible for the overall administration and implementation of the procedures contained in 1913.10.”
    OSHA adds in the press release: “The MRO is responsible for determining the transfer and public disclosure of personally identifiable employee medical information in OSHA’s possession.”Another significant change is the addition of paragraph (n) to 1913.10, covering the agency’s procedures for “access and safeguarding” electronic medical records. The principal OSHA investigator is charged with ensuring personally identifiable employee medical information is secure and properly used.The revisions include a clarification that medical access orders aren’t considered administrative subpoenas.

    from: 
    https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20154-osha-revises-rules-on-its-access-to-employee-...
  • Company fined after an employee died and another worker was seriously injured
    Concrete manufacturer Treanor Pujol Ltd was sentenced for safety breaches following two separate incidents including the death of an employee and series injuries to a second worker.Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators also identified several electrical safety failings.Leeds Crown Court heard how on 5 June 2014 Treanor employee Mathew Fulleylove, 30, was operating a mobile saw unit on Line 12 at the factory in Stourton, Leeds, while another employee was operating a mobile bed cleaner on Line 11. Mr Fulleylove was standing on the footwell of the saw unit as the other machine passed on the adjacent production line. As the bed cleaner came past, Matthew’s head was crushed between the frames of the two machines and he was killed instantly.An investigation by HSE found that it was the nature of production for machines to routinely pass each other on adjacent lines. On lines 11 and 12 the gap between the passing bed cleaner and saw machines was very small – between 65 and 93mm at different parts of the frames. It was identified that Treanor Pujol Ltd failed to identify the risk of crushing posed by the passing machines; failed to devise a safe system of work to control this risk and failed to provide adequate training in such a procedure to employees.On 12 April 2018, in a second incident, a 47-year-old employee was operating a hooks machine, which embeds hooks into precast concrete when a fault developed during the operation. While attempting to reset the machine his elbow leant on a concrete dispenser box and a metal shutter designed to close off the flow of concrete. The metal shutter closed, trapping his hand resulting in a fracture and partial de-gloving of his left hand.An investigation by HSE found that the machine was not fitted with working interlocks, meaning several of the machine doors could be opened to gain access to dangerous moving parts whilst the machine was operating.In the early stages of the investigation into the incident involving Mr Fulleylove, HSE inspectors also noticed several electrical safety concerns with the equipment in the manufacturing shed. Inspectors carried out numerous visits between 2014 and 2018 and discovered further failings, one of which related to electrical equipment not being suitably constructed or protected from the environment. It was left in wet, dirty, dusty and corrosive conditions, which resulted in rapid deterioration and safety features becoming inoperable over time. This exposed employees to a risk of serious personal injury or death.Treanor Pujol Ltd of former Bison Works site, Pontefract Road Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and breaching Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 by failing to comply with Regulation 6(c). The company has been fined £285,000 and ordered to pay costs of £56,324.97.After the hearing, HSE inspector Kate Dixon said: “Treanor Pujol Ltd should have identified the risk of crushing between passing machines on the production lines. The company should have taken steps to reduce and control the residual risk, organising production to minimise the likelihood of machines passing each other on adjacent lines, as well as devising and implementing a safe system of work.“This should have included a designated place of safety where operators were required to stand as a machine passed. The operator’s manual for the bed cleaning machine stated an exclusion zone around the machine at 655mm should be implemented. If this had been in place, it would have addressed the significant crushing hazard and prevented the death of Mr Fulleylove.”Ms Dixon added: “In regard to the second incident, the company should have ensured that the dangerous parts of the Hooks Machine could not be accessed by anyone whilst they were moving by way of suitable guarding arrangements.“Duty holders should ensure they carry out site specific risk assessments to identify any issues relevant to a particular location, task or piece of equipment. It is important to ensure where safe systems of work are required, employees are properly trained and monitored to ensure the correct way of working is followed.”

    from: 
    https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/07/29/company-fined-after-an-employee-died-and-another-worker-was-seri...
  • Fine after employee is burnt following explosion
    A plumbing and heating company has been fined after an employee suffered serious burns following an explosion at a domestic property in Preesall, Lancashire.John Leadley Limited had been replacing a gas boiler in the hallway of a bungalow. As part of this work, an employee was soldering new water pipes when there was a sudden explosion, which caused serious burn injuries. The homeowners were in the property at the time of the explosion, which happened on 13 March 2019, and were also put at risk of serious injury.The HSE’s investigation found that a flammable atmosphere had developed within the hallway of the property, which was subsequently ignited by a blow torch. A gas supply pipe has been cut prior to installation of the new boiler, but the open end of that pipe had not been sealed with an appropriate fitting. It was also identified that the gas supply had not been correctly isolated from the property, allowing gas to pass through the open-ended pipe into the hallway, creating the flammable atmosphere.The company, John Leadley Limited, of Victoria Road East, Thornton Cleveleys pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,756.35.Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Anthony Banks said: “The injuries sustained to this employee could so easily have been avoided, simply by John Leadley Limited carrying out the correct control measures and safe working practices.”

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/in-court/fine-after-employee-is-burnt-following-explosion/
  • 3 technologies that drive safety innovation in site surveying
    Over the past years, technology has played an increasingly important role in a wide variety of trades, including construction and surveying. New software and equipment is available more and more to enable automation and simulated environments in a way that was never possible before. Here, we take a look at three significant technologies that have benefited and are now transforming many areas of activity within the surveying profession.

    UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

    drone-1080844_1920-300x207.jpgYou won’t have failed to notice that drones have, quite literally, taken off. The surveying industry has seen a significant uptake in the use of drone-related technology. These clever little flying objects have a multitude of uses to access hard-to-reach places. With the help of drones, surveyors can now carry out aerial surveys and daily investigations with relative ease and much greater efficiency. Using drones not only reduces the risk of injury to personnel but it also provides a more cost-effective solution for tasks that were previously laborious and time-consuming.In particular, the mobility and verticality of drones mean that areas can now be inspected that were previously unsafe or impossible to reach. “Substantial improvements in camera drone technology in recent years means that it is now possible to take high-quality aerial photographs and high-resolution video footage to inspect building elements with astonishing accuracy,” explains Hutton + Rostron.By using the device’s autonomous controls, the surveyor is able to programme the drone to automatically take a large aerial map of a particular site, then return to base and upload the data to a secure server. The increase in mobility as well as in automation saves time during the actual inspection. More than that, it allows the surveyor to collect several high-res images for future reference. In some cases, images can be collated into detailed, photorealistic 3D maps. Overall, the data can be interpreted through an incredibly accurate visual, which not only eliminates the need for excessive jargon, but also significantly reduces the risk of potential inaccuracies and inconsistencies.Drones, it seems, are now considered so indispensable to the surveying world hat many firms have started to offer CPD training on drone use, though you also need a restricted or full CAA NQE qualification to be able to use a commercial drone.

    AI (Artificial Intelligence)

    There are several new technologies benefitting the surveying industry that are driven by Artificial Intelligence. Chief among them is Building Information Modelling (BIM), which provides a system to create a comprehensive digital description that is worked on collaboratively through each project stage. Exact 3D models contain a multitude of data that relate to each functional and physical element of the build.As regards AI, these systems have already been influenced by the ability to infuse human intelligence with machine learning. For example, the analysis of vast amounts of data requires greater practical applications for QC assessments. And by employing theoretical techniques, Artificial Intelligence can quickly optimise the process and effectively predict and solve any logistical issues well in good time. This, in turn, results in substantial savings for the project before it gets to the build phase.In the world of property surveying, combining Artificial Intelligence and Building Information Modelling has many important implications. Core responsibilities having been automated with BIM, surveyors can now focus on and carry out their day-to-day tasks more efficiently. By having access to a shared 3D visualisation of a site, for instance, process control and project management can be greatly enhanced.

    AR (Augmented Reality)

    GettyImages-1051617224-300x166.jpgAR technology augments a live view of a physical environment with computer-generated input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. In the world of surveying and construction, this could mean the overlay of a BIM construction model on a particular ground site. “The goal is to enrich what the operator knows about the environment he is charting or working in, and to improve both work quality and time to decision for business benefit,” says an expert in the field.The combination of 3D visualisations with AR creates effective reference resources for surveyors. What’s more, it can allow clients to see a realistic rendering of a building before it is actually constructed. This can be particularly useful for surveyors who assess future developments or buildings where repair works have been proposed but not yet carried out.It is clear that the world of construction and property surveying is set to benefit hugely from advances in technology. The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect the industry in significant ways, and further reading on the topic should include this RICS Insight Report: The Impact of Emerging Technologies on the Surveying profession.


    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/technology-2/3-technologies-that-drive-safety-innovation-in-site-surveyi...
  • Poor lighting leads to fire escape death and £80,000 fine
    Aberdeen Market has been fined £80,000 after admitting to safety failures, following the death of an 80-year-old man in June 2018.fire-escape-300x169.jpgMr Frank Finnie was discovered at the bottom of a fire escape stairwell at the market, with poor lighting found to be the primary cause of the incident after an investigation was carried out. The operator has been prosecuted over a contravention of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.The subsequent investigation found that the “Market Village Company Ltd failed to maintain the lighting in the stairwell”.Head of the Crown Office’s Health and Safety Management Unit, noted that the incident was “entirely forseeable”, and that “this conviction should serve as a reminder to other companies to adhere to the regulations and that failure to do so can have tragic consequences”.Firesafe advises: “emergency routes and fire exits must be well lit and indicated by appropriate signs”, while “in locations that require illumination, emergency lighting of adequate intensity must be provided in case the normal lighting fails”.In England and Wales, though not Scotland, Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the maintenance and access to emergency/fire escapes come under the jurisdiction of the responsible person(s) of a non-domestic premises. They should form a crucial part of a property’s fire safety plan.

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/in-court/poor-lighting-leads-to-fire-escape-death-and-80000-fine/
  • Mind responds to ‘huge demand’ for information about how to cope with your menta...
    Mental health charity Mind recently held an invite-only digital event, which SHP was proud to host and support. During the event Mind’s President, Stephen Fry, spoke about his own mental health during the coronavirus pandemic and CEO Paul Famer discussed Mind’s work and plans for the future.Stephen-Fry-300x200.jpgStephen Fry became Mind’s President in September 2011 and has been a tireless campaigner, supporter and advocate for everyone experiencing mental health problems. Stephen was speaking as part of a virtual Mind event to reflect on some of the work the charity has been doing during the coronavirus pandemic and its plans for the future. During his address, he reflected on how lockdown has affected him personally. He discussed the changes he has gone through in response to the virus and the effect social media can have on your mental health, especially when comparing yourself to what others were doing during lockdown.Mind CEO Paul Farmer opened proceedings by discussing the results of a recent survey, published in July, which polled more than 16,000 people to talk about their experiences with coronavirus and its effect on their mental health.The data highlighted that 65% of adults over 25 and 75% of young people aged 13-24 with an existing mental health problem reported worse mental health during lockdown, while 22% of adults  with no previous experience of poor mental health now say that their mental health is poor or very poor.Speaking on coping with the anxieties of living with coronavirus, Paul said: “Like all companies and individuals, Mind has had to adaptable and almost turn the way we work upside down. Our local Minds, which usually deliver face-to-face services, have gone digital and are running telephone-based services and we have sent out hundreds of postcards to support those people who may have been without digital access during the pandemic.“We’ve responded to a huge demand for information about how to cope with your mental health during coronavirus, with well over a million downloads of information from our website.”Paul shared that Mind’s digital peer support community, Elefriends, now has well over 100,000 active users and that a transmission into a new platform, Side by Side, is imminent, due to the scale of demand.

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/mental-health/mind-responds-to-huge-demand-for-information-about-how-to-...
  • Firm sentenced after employee suffers finger amputations

    A paper making company has been sentenced after a worker suffered serious injuries when her hand was caught in machinery.Plymouth based West Design Products Ltd, which manufactures and edits craft paper for retail, including printing, punching and cutting, has been fined after 22-year-old employee Charlotte Sargent had her fingers crushed, leading to the partial amputation of both her middle and index finger on her left hand.Miss Sargent was working on a paper punching machine at West Design Products Ltd in Plymouth. This is used to punch holes in card or paper so that they can be bound together. Paper is inserted into a slot underneath a Perspex guard and the punch operation is activated by pressing a foot pedal on the floor. Whilst adjusting the settings of the machine, Miss Sargent had placed her fingers between the die plates to tighten them in place, her foot inadvertently hit the unshrouded foot pedal. The die plates moved up, crushing her fingers between the plates and a metal bar, Plymouth Magistrates’ Court was told. The incident happened on 14 September 2017.The HSE’s investigation discovered that the company fell significantly below the expected standard. The defendant failed to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that Miss Sargent was not exposed to risks to her health or safety.Neither Miss Sargent or her supervisor were suitably trained. They had not been shown the operating manual or the safe system of work for the Punch machine before the incident. There was no interlocking switch attached to the guard to prevent the use of the machine when the guard was removed. There was also no shroud supplied for the foot pedal, which can prevent accidental activation.West Design Products Ltd of Bush Park, Plymouth pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, they have been fined £89,600 and ordered to pay costs of £5,584.28 plus a victim surcharge of £170.Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Hatti Shipp said: “Miss Sargent’s injuries have been life changing. This incident was foreseeable and preventable.“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”


    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/in-court/west-design-products-fined-after-employee-suffers-finger-amputa...
  • Coronavirus: Review ordered into London bus driver deaths


    Transport for London (TfL) has announced that an independent review is to look at coronavirus infections and deaths among the capital’s bus workers.London-Bus_AdobeStock_61905706-300x200.jA report is set to study TfL’s response during the coronavirus pandemic after it was revealed that thirty-three London bus workers have now died after contracting COVID-19, including 29 drivers. Part of the study will examine the measures introduced to shield drivers, such as how the vehicles are cleaned.In April, SHP reported how passengers using some London bus services would only be able to board through the middle doors as part of increased efforts to protect drivers. At that stage, the virus had claimed the lives of nine drivers.Other safety measures introduced included signs to discourage people from sitting near the driver and adding an extra layer of protection to the clear screen that separates the driver from passengers, as well as the use of anti-viral disinfectant to clean the interiors of vehicles.Mayor Sadiq Khan said the review will “ensure we are taking every possible measure to protect our heroic staff”.University College London (UCL) Institute of Health Equity will undertake the report, which will be fast-tracked within weeks, in order for findings to be quickly implemented across the network.The BBC has reported that a secondary part of the report is due to be commissioned to compare infection and death rates between frontline transport workers and London’s population in general.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recently released figures suggesting that bus drivers in the UK were among workers with higher rates of death from COVID-19 than other staff.Male bus and coach drivers were found to have a rate of 26.4 deaths per 100,000 compared to sales and retail assistants at a rate of 19.8.

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/news/coronavirus-review-ordered-into-london-bus-driver-deaths/
  • COVID-19 pandemic: National Academies webinar examines safety, hygiene strategie...
    open-again.jpg?1595948893Photo: siramatt1988/iStockphotoWashington — With many employers reopening workplaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring facilities are safe and sanitary remains a multifaceted yet vital endeavor.During a June 23 webinar hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, offered multiple recommendations for enhancing the safety and hygiene of public spaces.Nancy Burton, senior industrial hygienist at NIOSH, advised employers to first ensure a building is safe for occupancy by checking that heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems operate properly. Any HVAC systems that have been shut down or are on setback should meet the requirements of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ 180-2018 Standard.Inspect the building for hazards associated with extended facility shutdown, including mold growth, rodent or pest infestation, and/or issues with stagnant water systems. Employers also should complete a thorough workplace hazard assessment to determine and establish physical distancing protocol for work and common areas in which workers traditionally are in close contact with one another. These include break rooms, meeting rooms, cafeterias, check-in areas, and routes of entry and exit.Tips for isolating workers from possible exposure to the coronavirus:


    • Install transparent shields or other physical barriers, where possible, to separate employees and visitors when physical distancing isn’t an option.
    • Turn, drape, space or remove chairs in communal seating areas to ensure physical distancing.
    • Use visual cues such as signs and floor decals or tape marks spaced 6 feet apart when physical barriers aren’t possible.
    • Replace high-touch communal items such as coffee pots, watercoolers and bulk snacks with alternatives such as prepackaged, individual serving items.
    Further, Burton recommends increasing circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors and using fans, unless doing so poses a safety risk. Employers also should consider running the building’s ventilation system to maximize dilution ventilation, even when the building is unoccupied.Sign up for Safety+Health's free monthly email newsletters and get the news that's important to you. SUBSCRIBE NOWRobin Coyne, principal consultant at Schaumburg, IL-based Spike Occupational Health and Safety LLC, said employers are striving to attain a delicate balance between following proper safety and health measures and providing a warm, welcoming environment for workers and visitors.Coyne’s remarks included giving a differentiation between three common hygienic terms:
    Cleaning: to remove dirt and debris
    Sanitizing: to reduce – not “kill” – bacteria, viruses and fungi that may be present
    Disinfecting: to “kill” microscopic organisms on a surface, as claimed on a product label
    Coyne pointed to staggering worker start times and elevator access, and spacing out cafeteria seating, as ways to mitigate exposure. She encouraged the exploration of technology for remote health screening and hands-free, latchless alternatives to doors, where feasible.



    from: 
    https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20148-covid-19-pandemic-national-academies-webinar-...
  • HSE urges Blackburn businesses to take five steps to become COVID-secure
    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is out and about talking to businesses in Blackburn and the surrounding areas to ensure they are COVID-secure to help tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.To support the understanding of any patterns in the confirmed coronavirus cases in the area, HSE is working alongside Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council in the regulation of workplace health and safety and alongside local public health authorities. Inspectors are out visiting businesses across Blackburn and surrounding areas, putting employers on the spot and checking that they are complying with the latest guidance.To be COVID-secure means businesses need to put in place workplace adjustments, keep up to date with the latest guidance and put measures in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others. There are five practical steps that businesses can take to do that:
    • Step 1. carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
    • Step 2. develop increased cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
    • Step 3. take all reasonable steps to help people work from home
    • Step 4. maintain 2m social distancing where possible
    • Step 5. where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk
    Francine Cheney, HSE construction head of operations said: “The number of confirmed cases of the disease are currently high in the area. We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites in and around Blackburn to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.“Becoming COVID-secure needs to be the priority for all businesses to tackle the rise in the number of cases in the area. It is a legal duty for employers to protect their workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. This means making workplace adjustments to become COVID-secure. We advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.”As inspections across the country are ongoing, HSE has been utilising a number of different ways to gather intelligence and reach out to businesses across Blackburn with a combination of site visits, phone calls and through the collection of supporting visual evidence such as photos and video footage.HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of sectors that include: failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime – particularly at busy times of the day – and providing access to welfare facilities to allow employees to frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap.To support businesses, HSE are providing advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers. Where some employers are not managing the risk, HSE will take action which can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.Sally Nicholson, HSE head of operations in Lancashire said: “All businesses are in scope for inspections, that means any size business in any sector can receive an unannounced inspection to ensure they are COVID-secure. By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of the local community as well as support the UK economy.”For the latest information and relevant Safer Workplaces guidance, see www.gov.uk

    FROM: 
    https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/07/27/hse-urges-blackburn-businesses-to-take-five-steps-to-become-covi...
  • Safety breaches lead to fine for automotive firm and occupational health provide...
    A vehicle sales company and an occupational health & safety consultant have been fined for a breach of HAVS regulations.auto-repair-300x200.jpg

    Perrys Motor Sales Ltd (PMS) and S & Ash Ltd (previously known as Sound Advice Safety and Health Ltd.), have both been sentenced for safety breaches, after a worker developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
    An employee working as a small to medium area repair technology (SMART) repairer at the PMS site in Doncaster, who regularly used handheld power tools to undertake small scale vehicle body work repairs, when he was diagnosed with HAVS in 2013, Sheffield Crown Court was told.The HSE’s investigation discovered that that PMS had failed to adequately assess and control the foreseeable risk to SMART repairers. Following the diagnosis, PMS took no action to protect the employee from further damage to his health and his condition was not reported to the authorities in line with legal requirements.At the time, the firm now going by the name of S & Ash Ltd was engaged by PMS to provide HAVS health surveillance for employees. The investigation also found that following the health surveillance, S & Ash Ltd failed to provide suitable and accurate advice to the employer (PMS) or to inform the employee of the results of his health surveillance, even when specifically requested to do so by him.Perrys Motor Sales Ltd of Pavilion Drive, Northampton Business Park, Brackmills Northampton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 8 of The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013. The company has been fined £140,000 and ordered to pay £7,658.67 in costs.S & Ash Ltd of Charles House, Albert Street, Eccles, Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £4,000 and was ordered to pay £8,716.17 in costs.After the hearing, HSE Inspector Heather Cunnington commented: “Vibration can cause long-term painful damage to hands and fingers.“The motor vehicle repair trade must understand the importance of suitable risk assessments and having a robust occupational health and safety management system. Employers should ensure that the results of health surveillance are acted upon and employees are protected from the risks from HAV when working with handheld power tools.“Occupational health providers are in a unique position in safeguarding the health of employees and must provide accurate reports to employers following HAV health surveillance. Employers must act on these reports.”

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/in-court/perrys-motor-sales-ltd-and-sound-advice-safety-and-health-ltd-f...
  • Council fined following fatality after a tree branch struck a moving vehicle
    Wirral Borough Council has been fined after a branch from a tree fell and struck the vehicle of a pregnant mother while she was driving with her two children, resulting in injuries to the mother and the loss of her prematurely born baby.Elizabeth Stear (39), who was 36 weeks pregnant, had been carrying out the daily school run. She was driving along the A551 Arrowe Park Road with her 13-year-old daughter and six-year-old son when her moving vehicle was struck by a large branch falling from a mature horse chestnut tree. The branch broke through the windscreen and front driver window and struck the right side of Elizabeth’s stomach. She was taken to hospital with suspected major trauma and her baby girl, Lucia Jayne Stear, was delivered by an emergency caesarean, living for 15 hours before sadly passing away.The incident happened on the morning of 10 November 2016.An HSE investigation uncovered that the large branch which fell had a crack on its upper edge where it was joined to the main trunk. It had begun to separate from the main trunk for at least one growing season before the failure. The tree, located within the boundary of Arrowe Park, adjacent to the highway, had not been inspected for at least 13 years.HAS said that Wirral Borough Council failed to:
    • Identify and manage the risks from falling trees and branches;
    • Implement a robust system of inspection of trees in its remit despite a similar incident occurring on Arrowe Park Road in January 2015.
    Wirral Borough Council of Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The Local Authority was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £49,363.Elizabeth Stear said “Usually when you think of your children, you remember things like holidays, achievements, sports days, family days out, their favourite foods etc. We don’t have those memories for Lucia. We would like to thank our family and friends, Aintree Hospital, Liverpool Women’s Hospital neonatal team, the midwives, Honeysuckle team, the Police and Claire House who are still supporting me.”After the hearing, HSE Inspector Rohan Lye said: “There are no winners in this sad case. Councils have a duty to proactively assess and control risks to members of the public. This tragedy could so easily have been avoided if the risk had been identified, warnings had been heeded and an adequate tree management system had been implemented.“Tragically, due to these systemic failures, Elizabeth and Alex, together with their two children have been left without Lucia and have had to restructure their lives from the devastating impact they have each individually experienced.”

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/in-court/council-fined-following-fatality-after-a-tree-branch-struck-a-m...
  • Report published into fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Bri...
    The HSE has issued a report that shows agriculture has the one of the worst rates of worker fatal injury in Great Britain. Last year, 21 people were killed in agriculture, one was a child.tractor-385681_1920-300x225.jpgThe report, Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2019/20, was published to coincide with the start of Farm Safety Week (20 – 24 July). Led by the Farm Safety Foundation charity, the week shines a light on safety and wellbeing in the sector. The HSE statistics highlight that agriculture continues to have one of the worst rates of worker fatal injury; eighteen times higher than the average rate across all industries.Transport-related incidents, such as overturning vehicles or being struck by moving vehicles, were responsible for more deaths than any other cause last year. Around half of the workers killed were aged 55 years or older, with older workers being disproportionately most at risk of fatal injuries on farms. The youngest person killed last year was a 4-year old child.HSE’s Head of Agriculture, Adrian Hodkinson, said: “Agriculture is a vitally important part of our economy and has played an essential role during the coronavirus outbreak. However, agriculture still has the poorest safety record of any occupation in GB. Despite the very welcome reduction in numbers of deaths – 18 less than the previous year – much more remains to be done in this sector.“Each individual death is a huge and devasting loss to their family, friends and the wider community. It is not acceptable that agriculture and forestry continue to have such high rates of people being killed, and we will continue to push for a wholesale change of attitude and behaviours toward safety within the sectors.“Farm Safety Week is a timely reminder for the agriculture community to manage and control risk and not become complacent on farms. Death, injuries and cases of ill-health, including poor mental health, are not an inevitable part of farming. The safety and wellbeing of people working and living on farms must be treated seriously and things must be done the right way every day, not just this week.“The recent coronavirus outbreak at a farm shows how important it is for everyone in agriculture to take effective steps to control the risk of transmission and protect people from the virus. Inspectors are carrying out spot checks in workplaces to make sure they are COVID-secure and complying with the law and government guidance on social distancing, hygiene practices and supervision.”

    from: 
    https://www.shponline.co.uk/news/report-published-into-fatal-injuries-in-agriculture-forestry-and-fi...