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Asbestos: The Hidden Killer

Every week 20 tradesmen, including plumbers, joiners and electricians, die from asbestos related diseases, caused simply by breathing in asbestos fibres. Overall, the number of deaths continues to rise and is not likely to peak until 2011 - 2015.

HSE is launching a national campaign, Asbestos: The Hidden Killer, on 13 October 2008 to target such tradesmen, who are still at risk from exposure to asbestos.

The campaign will run for 6 weeks and will include national radio advertising, PR activity using real-life case studies, adverts in national newspapers and posters. Full details of the campaign will be available from the ‘Hidden Killer’ web page.

Environmental Health Officers can obtain further details of the campaign from HELex

Sensible Risk Campaign

29 Example Risk Assessments (ExRAs) covering a wide range of industries are available on the HSE website (5 more currently in production for publication in October) demonstrating to small firms what a ‘good enough’ record of a risk assessment for a particular industry or work activity looks like.

The ExRAs have been well received by business, industry and unions alike; and we have had positive feedback from Small Business Trade Associations who are now busily promoting them to their members.

We are planning a number of different activities and materials to help raise awareness of the ExRAs, including the preparing an e-pack for distribution via the Small Business Trade Associations and other third parties containing a briefing on the example risk assessments, a guide to completing a risk assessment and an example risk assessment for the relevant sector.

We need the continued support of local authority’s to increase market penetration and take up of the ExRAs and ask that you promote these. Flyers are available for you to distribute at conferences and on visits. They can be ordered from HSE Books on Code: MISC845

Ladder Exchange 2008 – Now Underway!

This year’s Ladder Exchange began on 1 September, but it’s not too late to get involved!  So far, nearly a quarter of Local Authorities have signed up to the campaign and are actively spreading the message: “Don’t let a ‘dodgy’ ladder shatter your life” through photo calls, radio interviews and other ways of attracting local media interest.

The aim is to reduce further the 12 deaths and 1183 major injuries a year caused by falls from ladders.

Full information on our partners’ discounted part-exchange deals, as well as Campaign material, is available from the Ladder Exchange website. Alternatively, campaign material can be ordered free of charge from HSE Books: Tel: +44 (0)333 202 5070 quoting: Poster (MISC846a), Postcard (MISC846b)

New Gas Installer Registration Scheme

Capita Group Plc has been awarded a 10 year contract to run the new gas installer registration scheme from 1 April 2009. This scheme will replace the one currently operated by CORGI.

The HSE Gas Safety Site contains background information on the procurement exercise and the gas safety review.

Further information about the terms of the contract will be made available after it is signed on the 8 September.

Health and Safety Executive/Local Authority Enforcement Liaison Committee (HELA) and HSE/Local Government Panel (LGP)

Last months editorial announced we would include information on an area of our work in future editions of LAU News. This month we are looking at the work of HELA and HSE/Local Government Panel.

HSE/LA Enforcement Liaison Committee (HELA) – What is it and what does it do?

HELA’s aim is to provide strategic oversight of the partnership between HSE and LAs, with a view to maximising its effectiveness in improving health and safety outcomes.

It seeks to ensure that health and safety legislation is enforced in a consistent way among LAs, and between LAs and HSE. HELA provides a national forum for discussion and exchange of information on enforcement of legislation. It promotes the achievement of good health and safety standards and practice.

HELA meets twice a year and is chaired jointly by the Deputy Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Chair of the LACORS Health and Safety Policy Forum. The current Chairs of HELA are Sandra Caldwell, HSE's Acting Deputy Chief Executive and Paul Unsworth of Arun District Council.

HELA membership comprises senior LA and HSE officers. These members represent the Local Government Association in England, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in Scotland and the Welsh Local Government Association as well as HSE officials concerned with policy development and operations. Also represented are The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland.

HELA also appoints and works with task and finish groups as and when required (currently a HELA task and finish group is working on compliance with the new Section 18 Standard)

HELA also attends meetings of the HSE/Local Government Panel. It is supported and administered by a Joint Secretariat from HSE’s Local Authority Unit and LACORS.

HSE/Local Government Panel - What is it and what does it do?

The HSE/Local Government Panel (HSE/LGP) promotes strategic dialogue on local, central and devolved government issues that impact on health and safety regulatory functions.  It also reviews the effectiveness and performance of the partnership between the enforcing authorities – the Health and Safety Executive and Local Authorities.

The HSE/LGP meets twice a year. It is chaired jointly by the Chairman of LACORS and the Chair of HSE. The current Chairs are Councillor Geoffrey Theobald OBE, LACORS and Judith Hackitt CBE, HSE.

The HSE/LGP membership comprises LA elected members from England, Scotland and Wales. These members represent the Local Government Association in England, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in Scotland and the Welsh Local Government Association in Wales.

Meetings are hosted and chaired alternately by HSE and the LGP and the group is supported and administered by a Joint Secretariat from HSE’s Local Authority Unit and LACORS.

Local Authority Circulars (LACs)

Local Authority Circulars which have passed their review date or cancellation date are being withdrawn from the website. Local Authorities and HSE enforcement officers may view archived LACs on HELex under Guidance and Procedures on the HSE extranet site. The current information should be available through more recent pages or in other documents on the website if you search using key words.  When guidance is published you will be advised on the ‘What's New’ pages of the website.

Upcoming CIEH Events 

Visit for information and details of all forthcoming events and training courses.

The following Health & Safety related courses may be of interest to you:

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Updated 2019-01-31