In tests commissioned by Trading standards, the Jo-El COA-001 domestic CO alarm (stocked by John Lewis amongst others) failed to respond to potentially harmful concentrations of carbon monoxide, an immediate recall was issued at the end of July. Further information on the product was shown on the Jo-El website (www.jo-el.co.uk)
Trading Standards has advised that retailers and consumers should only purchase alarms that have been proven to comply with the European standard EN 50291.
The latest statistics on work related illness and workplace injuries, produced by the Health and Safety Executive, were released on 29 October 2008. Below are some of the key statistics for 2007/08.
The release also includes a pocket-sized booklet providing headline figures and commentary supported by a range of material on the Statistics website.
The booklet 'Health and safety statistics 2007/08' provides statistics on work-related illness, workplace injuries and enforcement action, in Great Britain, for the period 2007/08
The 2007/08 Local Authority Prosecutions Report has been published on the LAU pages of the HSE website.
The report, once again, shows an increase in the number of successful health and safety prosecutions being taken by Local Authority Enforcement Officers, as well as an increase in the average fine.
Ministers and HSE welcome the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008, which received Royal Assent on 16 October 2008. The Act, which comes into force on 16 January 2009, raises the maximum penalties that can be imposed for breaching health and safety regulations in the lower courts from £5000 to £20 000. The Act also broadens the range of offences for which an individual can be imprisoned.
HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said: "The new Act sends out an important message to those who flout the law. However, good employers and good managers have nothing to fear. In fact, they have much to gain.
"I want to remind businesses that there are no changes to their existing legal duties and that important safeguards are in place to ensure these new powers will be used sensibly and proportionately.
"Our enforcement policy targets those who cut corners, gain commercial advantage over competitors by failing to comply with health and safety law and who put workers and the public at risk."
Further information cam be found on the DWP website.
HSE is currently working with its partners to develop a new Health and Safety Strategy. The focus will be about getting all partners to play their part in driving forward improvements in health and safety. A three-month Consultation on the draft Strategy will follow its launch on 3 December. The main areas of the strategy will probably include:
HSE will also be running workshops, around Great Britain, getting groups together to discuss the strategy and other specific contributions to its delivery. We will provide further information on this next month.
The Government will be publishing its response to the Dame Carol Black Review, Working for a healthier tomorrow, shortly.
Dame Black highlighted the importance of preventing work-related ill health and the importance of keeping people in employment. In response to this and the success of the Local Area Agreements guide (published February 2008), we are collecting examples of local good practice where occupational health and safety is contributing to the health, work and well-being of local communities.
Back in July, we told you about a new product called STEP, an eLearning package providing slip and trip guidance through interactive learning.
Although it has not yet been launched, it has already proved to be popular. Over 700 businesses have already registered their interest in it.
STEP is an easy way to learn about slips and trips, how they are caused, why preventing them is important and how to tackle them. Anyone can use it, including you, because it contains three levels of information - introductory, intermediate and advanced. STEP contains a generic course suitable for many different industries and courses specifically designed for Food Manufacturing, Hospitality & Catering, Education and the Health Services
STEP will be free to use online and will be available on DVD for a small charge.
If you would like more details or be informed when it go live visit the STEP page.
A national lead inspector initiative for corporate social care providers has been established. Currently BUPA, Four Seasons, Craegmore Healthcare, Care UK and Southern Cross Healthcare have a nominated lead inspector with others under consideration.
In order for this to work effectively, the lead inspector will be reliant on HSE and Local Authority Inspectors sharing information with them about forthcoming interventions, investigations and any issues which may have national implications.
The scope of the initiative is described in LAC 79/10.
Due to a need to update the document regularly, a separate table listing details of lead PIs, the social care providers and information of the proposed approach can be found on public service sector online communities and on HELEX for Local Authority inspectors.
The 2008 LA/HSE Partnership Conference was held on 5 November at the Deansgate Hilton Hotel, Manchester. It was well attended, attracting around 200 delegates, some fifteen percent of whom were elected members/portfolio holders.
Lord McKenzie of Luton, Minister with responsibility for health and safety, delivered the keynote address, ‘Delivering Priorities Together'. Judith Hackitt, HSE Chair provided an early sight of the issues likely to be included in forthcoming HSE Health and Safety Strategy. Councillor Keith Evans, Vice Chairman of LACORS responded on the subject of the challenges facing local authorities.
The conference saw the return of the HELA Awards for Innovation with a record number of entries received. As well as a winner and runner up being selected by HELA judges in advance, this year saw the introduction of the ‘People's Award for Health and Safety Innovation' voted for by delegates. Six short-listed finalists were invited to attend the conference and gave five-minute presentations on their initiative as well as an exhibition stand.
This year's runner up in the HELA Awards was the North Wales Health and Safety Task Group for their safer installation of aerials and satellite dishes initiative. The overall winning entry was the Greater Manchester Health and Safety Technical Group for their collaborative initiative to tackle violence in the workplace.
Delegates at the Conference were in agreement with the HELA judges and selected the Greater Manchester Health and Safety Technical Group to receive the first People's Award for Health and Safety Innovation.
The East of England Caravan Project was designed to raise awareness/compliance, by duty holders, of health and safety obligations including meeting site licence conditions at residential and holiday caravan sites. Project delivery was through a range of interventions including a targeted mail shot, publicity, inspection and enforcement.
The project aimed to maximise outputs by co-ordinating resources and inspection across the six counties in the East of England. HSE operational and specialist support was provided on priority topics, matters of evident concern e.g. asbestos, electricity and Legionella.
Over 141 visits took place to both residential and holiday sites in 14 authorities and contributed approximately 120 staff contact days concentrating on Fit3 topics, electrical safety, and site licence conditions.
The project led to engagement with the industry representative body and developed a campaign pack. Fuller details of the campaign, including the pack, are available from HELex
More than 50 employees from golf courses around Cheshire got together with health and safety enforcement officers to make sure their management and maintenance practices are on target.
A total of 65 managers and staff from Cheshire golf courses and 26 health and safety enforcement officers from Cheshire and Merseyside attended the ‘Health and Safety in Golf Course Management and Maintenance' seminar.
The event took place at Sandiway Golf Course, Northwich, on 22 October 2008, and was organised by the Cheshire Health and Safety Liaison Group and funded by HSE.
Representatives from golf courses and enforcement officers heard presentations given by Jon Allbutt, co-author of the new revised guidance of health and safety in golf course management and maintenance.
A presentation on the practical solutions to hand-arm vibration and whole body vibration was delivered by Paul Woodham – Course Manager at Gay Hill Golf Course in Birmingham and Midland Region Chairman for the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association.
Feedback indicated that the seminar will help forge positive relationships between golf course management and enforcement officers.
Related guidance is available for free download on the Greenkeepers' Training Committee (GTC) website and is also available in print (price £20) by contacting The Greenkeepers Training Committee Ltd, Aldwark Manor, Aldwark, Alne, York YO61 1UF, tel 01347 838640.
Linda Green – Vale Royal Borough
Tel: 01606 867852
On 29 September, riding school owners and instructors took part in a free training day designed to update their awareness of health and safety issues.
Twenty-six representatives from riding schools across County Durham attended the event, which was organised by Members of County Durham Health and Safety Liaison Group.
Held at the South Causey Equestrian Centre in Stanley, the event provided local businesses with up to date information on health and safety regarding the running of riding schools. This included complying with legal requirements, accident reporting and risk management.
There was also a talk by a fire safety officer about arson and fire prevention.
Ian Bousfield, Senior Environmental Health Officer, who helped organise and spoke at the event, said: "We are delighted with the take up and interest shown in the event by local business. It has been both informative and enjoyable for everyone concerned, and we hope to run similar events in the future."
There is the possibility that a similar event may be held in the New Year, but this time for Environmental Health Officers. If anyone would like to attend, please get in touch to register your interest.
Kirstin Tranter, Teesdale District Council
Tel: 01833 696 273
As part of Sheffield City Council's Fit 3 commitment for 2008/09, the LA focused on the control of slips and trips in catering premises. All food enforcement officers in Sheffield received internal briefing sessions on the control of slips and trips and the key messages in the "Shattered Lives" campaign and a visit protocol developed to ensure consistency in approach.
The initiative incorporated slips and trips interventions in food related inspections without significantly increasing inspection time. Officers handed out the HSE "Stop Slips in Kitchens" packs, checked for obvious hazards and discussed good practice and relevant control measures with business occupiers.
If serious contraventions were identified, food enforcement officers discussed these with senior health and safety enforcement officers to ensure an appropriate enforcement intervention was followed.
To date, food safety officers have covered slips and trips, including handing out the campaign pack, in approximately 100 premises visited.
HSE Partnership Team in Yorkshire & the North East recently organised an "Exposure to Noise in the Workplace" event.
The event focused on noise and music in the entertainment industry.
Specialist speakers from the Health and Safety Laboratories shared their knowledge and experience in dealing with "Noise related issues in the Workplace" including contributory factors leading to hearing loss at work, identifying levels of noise and how this impacts on the workers, how to control the risks of deafness in the workplace and implementation of noise controls in the workplace. There were also demonstrations of different pieces of equipment used in noise surveillance and offers to assist LAs in planned noise initiatives in their enforced premises.
The event also gave an overview on enforcement of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 with an explanation of the relevance of the training delivered at this time. "The regulations came into force on 6 April 2006, but for pubs and clubs they didn't come into force until April 2008. The two-year lead in period was provided to give pubs and clubs enough time to prepare for the regulations".
Finally, delegates had an opportunity to consolidate all what they had learnt throughout the day into practice. Splitting into groups, each group was given an exercise looking at a different scenario – an outdoor event, pub, nightclub and a working men's club. The groups had to identify risks from exposure to noise and propose solutions.
Visit CIEH events for information and details of all forthcoming events and training courses. For further information of offers running on some events, contact Karen Gough on 020 7827 5856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following Health & Safety related courses may be of interest to you: