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Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Major Workplace Disasters

28-04-2015

Research indicates that since the Introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974, fatal injuries to employees have fallen by 87%, and reported non-fatal injuries have fallen by 77%.

However, recent figure provide evidence that 153 workers have a work-related accident every 53 seconds in the UK. Over 1.2 million people are suffering from a work related illness.133 workers have been killed at work between 2013 and 2014, and 28.2 million days have been lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury. It is abundantly clear that more must be done to increase awareness and the education of people in the workplace.

Certain industries provide greater risk than others. For example one in every 100 workers in the UK is employed in the agricultural sector, and it accounts for …

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What you need to know about the new 2015 health and safety legislation

27-04-2015

Photo shows a representation of JusticeIt was back in 2011 when the UK government commissioned a review of health and safety legislation by Professor Löftstedt. Despite the fact that Professor Löftstedt concluded no real modifications were required, the government tasked the Health and Safety Executive Executive (HSE) with evaluating and repealing H&S legislation and guidance by April 2015.

This has resulted in a review of over 20 H&S Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP). A key change was the cancelation of the ACOP concerning the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in 2014. This was allegedly balanced by a review of the HSE's guide to Managing Safety (HSG65) at the end of 2013.

What does this mean? In making these variations to `simplify' guidance and ACOPs, some of the changes have caused a loss in i…

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Male workers 20 times more likely than females to die at work

20-04-2015

Photo shows a woman wearing personal protective equipmentAccording to a recent data analysis from health and safety consultants Arinite, between the years of 2009 and 2014 male workers were more than 20 times as likely as females to suffer a fatality whilst at work.

In 2013/14 alone, 85 male workers died on the job compared to just four women. Of those 89 deaths, 42 were related to the construction industry. The most common cause of these workplace fatalities was falls from height.

Male workers were also almost as twice as likely to suffer a major or minor work-related injury than their female counterparts. You can see the exact year on year figures on this health and safety data tracker.

So why the gender gap?

Despite pushes from organisations such as The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), the number of women ac…

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Fire Safety: Foam Vs. Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers

25-03-2015

Click for full size image of the fire extinguisher colour codeA fire extinguisher is one of the most important pieces of fire safety equipment you can have in your car, home, or place of work. What is vital to know is that different extinguishers work on different types of fires. 

Unfortunately, all fire extinguishers are red, making it difficult to decipher between the different types. However this does not have to cause you stress - each extinguisher has a colour-coded label. 

There are 6 classes of fire and there are 5 colour-coded labels.  Each class of fire requires different methods of extinguishing. The most common fire extinguisher is labelled red and contains water however this is limited to use on class A fires and has some shortfalls (for example it can create an electrical hazard or spread flammable liquids if used improperly). …

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Safety at Height: Ladders Vs. Scaffold Towers

23-03-2015

Photo shows a woman using a ladder incorrectly for DIYIn the UK every single year there are accidents related to falling from height that could and should have been avoided. In total, between 2013 and 2014 there were nearly 3,000 incidents where employees were injured from falls from height. Of that figure, 39 people died; that’s 39 people whose lives may have been saved if they had been following correct safety precautions or provided with the correct equipment. The majority of the accidents come from falls from ladders, something that easily could have been avoided if they either had proper training, or were using this equipment as it is intended.

Ladders are not designed to be used as platforms to be working from. Ladders should only be used to access areas at height. The stability of a ladder relates directly to the size of its foot…

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Loft company fined after employee injured in scaffold collapse

16-03-2015

Photo shows the aftermath of the scaffold collapseA loft conversion company has been fined for safety failings after an employee was injured in a dramatic scaffold collapse outside a property in North London.

The structure buckled, tipped towards the home it was being used to serve and bent in on itself – effectively creating a chute that sent the worker and an array of materials, including plaster boards, wood and lead rolls, crashing six metres to the ground below.

Thomas Pastura, 24, broke two ribs in the fall at the property in Hornsey, on 4 October 2013.

His employer, Acton-based Lofty Creations, was prosecuted on 11 March by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation identified clear failings with the design of the scaffold.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard it was being used to provide access to t…

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