Welcome to the latest edition of HSE’s Treework eBulletin. As the festive season approaches we would like to wish all our subscribers a Happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. In this edition, we cover news from HSE, forthcoming events, new guidance and research and recent enforcement action.
Dr Richard Judge has been appointed chief executive of Britain’s workplace health and safety regulator. His appointment began in November 2014.
The Independent Panel report ‘Fee for Intervention (FFI): The First Eighteen Months’ concludes that FFI is effective and should remain in place.
Campaign aimed at tradespeople, including construction workers, carpenters and painters and decorators, who could come into contact with deadly asbestos.
HSE’s most recent information on injury and ill-health statistics is available at 2014 injury and ill-health statistics.
Revised guidance on managing health and safety in forestry is now available on the FISA website.
AFAG met on 11 November 2014. The agenda for this meeting and action notes from previous meetings are now available.
HSE will be hosting 2 Safety and Health Awareness Days for the forestry industry in March 2015. Run by the Forestry Commission’s Learning and Development team, the purpose of the events is to raise awareness about important health and safety issues affecting commercial forestry operations. The days are aimed chiefly at those directly involved in forestry operations, from forestry work managers to site supervisors, to those actually carrying out the work.
The free events are being held in the Forest of Ae, Dumfriesshire on 10th March and the New Forest, Hampshire on 24th March.
Trainers who have years of forestry experience will cover issues relating to the use of forestry machinery and forestry chainsaw work, including directional felling, the use of hydraulic wedges and bottle jacks, hand-arm and whole body vibration, and public access issues.
Further details including instructions on how to apply for places will be issued in January 2015.
The Arboricultural Association has been awarded the HSE contract to deliver a Safety and Health Awareness Day aimed at arboricultural contractors. This will be a chance for contractors to get a ‘one stop shop’ view of good practice, covering legislation, training, safety guidance, risk assessment, PPE and equipment inspection, plus a practical demonstration session with climbing, site management, supervision, tree rescue and equipment use all under the spotlight.This free event will be held on 17 March 2015 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwicks CV8 2LZ. Places are limited and must be pre-booked. From January, you will be able to email the AA or visit the AA website for booking details.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) recently ran a workshop on health and safety in forestry. The purpose of the event, organised by IOSH’s Rural Industries Group, was to bring together health and safety professionals working in the forest industry with the aim of finding ways to work together over a range of topics to improve health and safety in the industry and support the work of FISA. The event is likely to be the first in a series intended to provide a forum to help promote the exchange and adoption of good practice in forestry.
The inaugural workshop was held at Birches Valley Forest Centre, Cannock Chase and focused on electrical safety in forestry, in particular work near overhead power lines.
Further information about the event and the plan to create a forum for health and safety professionals working in forestry will be posted shortly on IOSH Rural Industries Group website.
Revised guidance on the selection, management and use of mobile elevating work platforms is also available on the treework website.
The revised PUWER ACOP L22 is available at L22 – Safe use of work equipment: ACOP and guidance (4th edition). Guidance on the training requirements for chainsaw operators is detailed in paragraphs 133 -137.
Following a fatality caused by an acetylene gas explosion involving a van carrying oxy-acetylene welding equipment, HSE commissioned research to investigate foreseeable gas leak rates, vehicle ventilation rates and possible vehicle modifications that would increase the ventilation rate and hence help to mitigate the explosion risk.
An arboricultural contractor has been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £780 costs following an accident in which an employee dislocated his hip. The employee fell 10m when the limb of a diseased tree he was working on gave way.
A company has been fined £ 7000 after an employee received injuries to his leg whilst using a chainsaw. The employee had not received appropriate training and was not wearing the correct PPE.
A tree surgeon from Clacton-on-Sea has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £889 after he fell nearly four metres, still clutching a running chainsaw, and landed on a colleague as they were pruning a garden tree.