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Getting the Numbers Down

The launch of the Health and Safety Statistics 2006/07 prompts us to remind all authorities of the need to pass on to the Incident Contact Centre (ICC) any RIDDOR reports that come directly to the local office.

HSE statisticians have learnt, in the press, of a few examples of accidents of which they had no record. The duty holders had reported the incident to the authority, but it had not been forwarded to the ICC and hence there was no national record.

Please help to get the figures complete by passing on all report sent directly to you, onto the ICC.

Risk Assessments (RAs) - Examples

As previously announced in the August edition of this newsletter, HSE working with LACORS and others is producing clear and concise examples of what a 'good enough' risk assessment might look like for particular industries and business sectors.

These example risk assessments will not be ready-made assessments that businesses can just adopt as their own. Instead, they are intended to:

12 new additional example risk assessments were recently published - for a hairdressers, an office-based business (eg insurance company, solicitor, etc), office work in a manufacturing company, a betting office, an off license, travel agents, motor vehicle showroom, butcher's shop, cleaning large retail premises, cleaning a shopping centre concourse, cold storage warehousing and chilled storage warehousing. These can be viewed at

More example RAs are intended for publication in the coming months, including for industries such as parking, entertainment and haulage, and will be announced in this newsletter.

EEF/HSE Noise and Vibration Roadshows

Following the success of the EEF/HSE Noise and Vibration Roadshows, EEF in partnership with HSE are running three Vibration Surgeries which will be held in Sheffield on 8 January 2008, in the West Midlands on 29 January 2008 and Kent (to be confirmed).

The surgeries are to share good business practice on vibration solutions, answer questions on real vibration problems and to present practical case studies. The surgeries focus on hand-arm vibration.

The Surgeries cost £195 +VAT (discounted for EEF members)

For more information, see the HSE websites at:

Tackling migrant worker health and safety – the Local Area Agreement way

‘Local Area Agreements offer a creative opportunity for Local Authorities to address the HSC/E migrant worker health and safety agenda’. This was the conclusion of HSE’s migrant worker policy adviser, Jeremy Bevan, addressing the topic at recent joint HSE/LACoRS strategic planning events in Birmingham and Manchester.

There are well in excess of one million migrant workers in the UK workforce – defined as those who are working in the UK and have come here from abroad within the past 5 years. They can be found working across many employment sectors, including those where health and safety legislation is enforced to a significant extent by Local Authorities - warehousing/distribution, care homes and cleaning, for example. HSC/E is concerned to ensure that the health and safety of this potentially vulnerable group is being managed properly, amid continuing media reports of abuse and exploitation. More widely, Government is concerned to ensure that agencies who deal with migrants – whether in the workplace or as service providers more widely – act in as joined-up a way as possible to ensure they are properly and fairly treated.

HSC/E wants to ensure migrant workers get basic awareness information that makes it clear the employer must manage their health and safety whatever their employment or migration status. We are also concerned to make sure they know how to contact the HSE, and that they can speak to an adviser in their own language if need be. We want to check, too, that employers are addressing the key area of health and safety information, instruction, training and supervision for this group of workers, for whom English may be a problem and for whom exemplar health and safety is viewed as a high priority. More broadly, we are aware that some employers are providing unsuitable accommodation, which has implications for, among other things, gas appliance safety.

This is the context for future work on ensuring migrant workers’ health and safety is properly managed. For Local Authorities, any work on the topic of course has to ‘fit’ one or more of the National (or local) Indicators that are part of the New Performance Framework (NPF) for Local Area Agreements. While investigations and inspection activity will continue, the National Indicators offer scope for addressing the HSC/E agenda in imaginative new ways.

Jeremy outlined various ways in which the National Indicators (NIs) in the NPF could be used to deliver on migrant worker health and safety as part of a wider tranche of work towards NI targets under Local Area Agreements:

These are examples only. We have already seen good partnership working where HSE, Local Authorities and other agencies have come together to tackle the complex of issues surrounding the employment of migrant workers. An example is Operation Fuchsia, run in Cornwall early in 2007. Migrant workers are vital to the UK economy, and will be a feature of our labour force for many years to come. Local Area Agreements offer a potentially golden opportunity for tackling a range of high-profile concerns in one go, while at the same time delivering on joined-up working with other agencies. Too good an opportunity to miss?

Safety at Pinspotter/Pinsetter Machines in Bowling Alleys

Safety standards on the existing installed base of these machines leave much to be desired. In addition, those supplied in recent years almost certainly do not fully comply with the requirements of the Machinery Directive particularly in relation to dangerous moving parts and falls from a height, both for site operatives and to some extent for members of the public using them "front of house".

In 2006, there was an incident in the London Borough of Newham where an operative, who was cleaning the pin cups inside of one of these machines, became trapped and died as a result. The incident highlighted problems with the standards of safety both with the hardware and with the management systems in place at that site.

Around the same time as the fatal incident, Westminster City Council requested HSE look at the safety of these machines. Over the last year, with the assistance and cooperation of a number of users, local authorities and the main UK suppliers Brunswick and Qubica AMF, work has been undertaken to examine the options for improving safety. These have concentrated on potential hardware upgrades that could be made by users on whom the duty under The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations1998 falls to overcome the deficiencies identified in the machines currently in use and design modifications to ensure full compliance with the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations by the manufacturers/suppliers for future supply.

Detailed proposals for safety upgrades are nearing completion and users should be notified by their respective suppliers of these, although users will be free to adopt other solutions, which meet the minimum safety objectives, guidance on which HSE will be providing shortly. Because of the number of machines in use (over 3000 across the UK) and the extent of potential modifications necessary for safety, implementation may take some time. It is therefore important that in the interim users review, and where necessary improve, their systems and procedures for operation, trouble shooting and maintenance to ensure a reasonable level of safety in advance of implementing any hardware upgrade. In the interests of safety, Brunswick and Qubica AMF have been asked to contact known users and intermediate suppliers with specific advice on these issues.

It is desirable that all in the industry (manufacturers, suppliers and users) and the regulators (HSE as the enforcing authority for the supply issues, Local Authorities for the user end) are aware of what is going on so that there can be a managed coordinated response on this issue. To ensure this, HSE continues to engage with the main suppliers on this matter and will be engaging with others (so far we are aware of Via, Switch and Xima).as well as communicating through relevant forums and channels with local authority inspectors across the UK and also with the industry direct, including via the Ten Pin Bowling Proprietor’s Association.

Local authority inspectors may be interested in the Safe Interventions questionnaire (linked below) which HSE inspectors have been using at visits to users of any large equipment where access inside could result in significant or fatal injury. It provides one way of examining more closely the hardware, systems and management of risk with such plant, and promoting improvements.

There appears to be a fair bit of ‘catching up’ required to achieve reasonable safety on the existing installed machines, and it will probably take some time to implement, even with the full cooperation of all in the industry. Any enforcement on users (which could include systems of work issues in addition to hardware) will almost certainly fall to local authorities, but it is suggested that initially the voluntary cooperation of bowling alley operators is sought. A small team of Specialist HSE Mechanical and Electrical Inspectors have been supporting this work from the outset and may be able to provide support to any local authority considering formal action. We suggest that any contemplated formal action is mindful of this background, takes account of the practicalities, and is coordinated so that reasonable standards safety across the UK bowling industry are realised within a sensible timescale.

Communicating with drivers to prevent falls from vehicles

Clear and understandable safety communication with workers is an essential part of managing the risks of falls from vehicles during deliveries.

There has been a good response to the pocket card "Preventing Falls from Vehicles" INDG413 [98KB] that targets drivers and workers who are involved in working on vehicles.

We hope that Inspectors and visiting staff will draw attention to both versions of the leaflet during Moving Goods Safely haulage inspections, Third Party Logistics audits and contacts with stakeholders over the coming months. We hope to publicise the translation through the Trade Union Congress migrant workers website.

HSC Performance Report 2007 – Way Ahead

Way Ahead - Performance Report 2007 looks at how HSE and Local Authorities are reacting to the ever changing workplace.

A copy of the report can be down-loaded here: Performance Report 2007 [1.4MB]

As well as a summary of the latest key statistics, its themes include:

Upcoming 2008 CIEH Events

Noise as a Nuisance: Training on the new provisions

The New Private Water Regulations: Meeting the challenges

The Legal Implications of Drains and Sewers

Mobile Working Conference: Free to CIEH members

Email: to register for details coming soon  

Noise in the Entertainment Sector

Email: to register for details coming soon

Managing Health and Safety in the Beauty Sector

Email: to register for details coming soon

Delegate fees

CIEH members/ CIEH registered trainers £235.00 + VAT
Non-members £290.00 + VAT
CIEH students £95.00 + VAT

December issue of the Solace Pamphlet published

The latest edition of the Solace pamphlet titled ‘Regulating right’ is now available from the Solace web site.

Updated 2019-01-31