Most of the building health and safety incidents that we report (for the instruction and information of others) take place on sites away from the passing public. In a minority of cases the site concerned is close to pedestrians – but this is an unusual accident that took place in the financial heart of the City of London and therefore had the potential to be catastrophic. As it was, one worker was badly injured.
On 5th October 2011, the new 7-storey South Place Hotel was being constructed in Wilson Street, London EC2.… Read the article
Posted On December 17, 2014 by MBHS Health and Safety Consultants
In the current building market, where renovation and rebuilding are more vibrant sectors than outright new builds, it is critical for worker safety that the inevitable demolition of old buildings (in part or completely) is managed properly, with all the expected safeguards that one would expect from a well-managed building site. In this instance, this certainly was not the case.
ICG Construction Management Services Ltd. of Sevenoaks, Kent, was the principal contractor on a site in Chobham Road, Woking, Surrey.… Read the article
Posted On December 16, 2014 by MBHS Health and Safety Consultants
Having just regaled our readers with a light-hearted spoof of health and safety as applied to the Christmas carols and traditions, we now return to Christmas Present, in reality – although in the cases that follow, you can be forgiven for thinking that we have drifted back into the realms of fantasy…
The fact is that all of these examples of ‘elf n’ safety gone mad’ have been reported in the press, and in some cases the HSE has responded with its usual ‘myth busters’ response that the legislation does not prevent the activities in question.… Read the article
Posted On December 10, 2014 by MBHS Health and Safety Consultants
The impending seasonal holiday season cannot be allowed as an excuse to relax health and safety vigilance. Here is a summary of a new regulatory assessment.
Father Christmas has clearly pre-planned his Christmas night flight in line with the CDM Regulations, and implemented a method statement that shows how he will accomplish his annual task despite ever-changing multi-site conditions. He makes a list, checks it twice, and his 100% success rate in assessing who is naughty and who is nice is testament to his unrivalled position as the example of best practice in computerised ‘just in time’ delivery.… Read the article
Posted On December 8, 2014 by MBHS Health and Safety Consultants
Electrical accidents are not the most numerous building safety hazards: but when they do happen they can very easily be fatal, and that is why such care needs to be taken to avoid them. This case, where a man was badly injured, emphasises the point.
Ashford Homes (South Western) Ltd. was (in March 2013) the principal contractor on a project to erect a new clubhouse and play area for Trowbridge Rugby Club.
The electricity service company alerted Ashford Homes to the existence of overhead power cables.… Read the article
Posted On December 4, 2014 by MBHS Health and Safety Consultants
A global metal recycling company has been fined £150k for safety failings after a worker was killed when part of a 33-tonne metal barge he was dismantling collapsed on top of him.
Posted on 19 December 2014 | 4:00 pm By HSE RSS feeds » Health and safety
The aim of PSSR is to prevent serious injury from the hazard of stored energy (pressure) as a result of the failure of a pressure system or one of its component parts. The revised PSSR ACOP and guidance is aimed at dutyholders under PSSR who are involved with pressure systems used at work.
Posted on 19 December 2014 | 3:30 pm By HSE RSS feeds » Health and safety
This publication is for those that work with any equipment provided at work and those who employ such people. It sets out what you should do to comply with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). This edition brings the document up to date with regulatory and other changes.
Posted on 19 December 2014 | 3:15 pm By HSE RSS feeds » Health and safety
This publication is for those involved in work within confined spaces, those who employ or train such people and those that represent them. It explains the definition of a confined space in the Regulations and gives examples. This edition brings the document up to date with regulatory and other changes.
Posted on 19 December 2014 | 3:00 pm By HSE RSS feeds » Health and safety
It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Dr Eusebio Rial-González. Seb died peacefully in his sleep on 18 December 2014 in his home town of Vigo, Spain, after a lengthy struggle with cancer.
As Head of the Prevention and Research Unit, Seb has been the architect of the Agency’s current Healthy Workplaces’ campaign on work-related stress and psychosocial risks – an area in which he had specialised earlier in his career as a researcher and consultant. Amongst his other EU-OSHA achievements, he can also count the design and launch of ESENER, the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks, the launch of the Online interactive Risk Assessment project, OiRA, and the setting up of the OSHwiki.
But alongside his many accomplishments, Seb will, above all, be remembered at EU-OSHA as a well-respected colleague and for many of us a real friend. Whatever the issue, Seb’s first thoughts – professionally and personally – were invariably how he might help and support others and if possible to do it with a smile. His generous approach touched friends, colleagues and many others and he had an impressive ability to collect friends as well as professional contacts as he travelled across Europe.
He was a dedicated follower of Bruce Springsteen, having seen him in concert on over 20 occasions in at least five different countries. He would often quote ‘the Boss’ and so it’s somehow appropriate that we close this message with a Springsteen quote: “The release date is just one day, but the record is forever.” And a link to his favourite song
Our condolences go to Seb’s family and many, many friends.
Posted on 18 December 2014 | 3:00 pm By EU-OSHA News Items
This Guidance document offers an overview of the issues surrounding the safe use of MNMs in the workplace, sets out the broad outlines of preventive action and provides a practical tool for complying with specific aspects of ensuring workers’ safety, such as risk assessment and risk management.
This may be of particular value to those who may not have an in-depth technical understanding of the issues involved, and may assist in ensuring compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) legislation when dealing with MNMs.
Download guidance for workers
Download guidance for employers and health and safety practitioners
Posted on 18 December 2014 | 1:00 am By EU-OSHA News Items
Toyota Material Handling Europe, a long-standing official partner of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign, hosted around 80 occupational safety and health (OSH) experts at its Mjölby factory in Sweden for the latest benchmarking session of the current campaign. In collaboration with EU-OSHA, the Toyota Material Handling Safety Days took place on 26 and 27 November and centred on the Healthy Workplaces Campaign and the theme of ‘Indicators of Organisational Safety and Health Performance’. The aim was to encourage sharing of best practices on the management of psychosocial risks, as well as offering participants the perfect opportunity to network and take part in interactive discussions on OSH trends, including work related stress.
The event kicked off with an introduction to the Toyota philosophy and visit to the factory, something Dietmar Elsler from EU-OSHA found particularly insightful. ‘Toyota’s philosophy is to ensure that healthy and sustainable working practices run throughout their whole supply chain,’ reports Elsler. ‘Whether that is making sure their suppliers meet their standards or when Toyota is acting as a supplier itself – to Ikea for example - it is a positive model to emulate.’
Many of these suppliers were in attendance at the two-day event, which allowed EU-OSHA to spread the Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress message even further, reaching companies that are not official campaign partners…yet!
Both days saw a host of interesting topics discussed around the case study, round table and benchmarking sessions. ‘The fact that our participants came from industry, workers associations, and the public sector – reflecting the tripartite structure of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign – allowed for constructive discussions,’ says Tom Schalenbourg, Sustainable Development Director at Toyota.
Day one saw a choice of eight round tables for participants to attend. This included a session on EU-OSHA’s recently released e-guide, which attracted strong interest from participants, as well as the round table ‘Opportunities for collaboration on stress reduction’, chaired by EU-OSHA steering group member Olivier Salvi from ETPIS. Here discussions focussed on how good practice knowledge on stress prevention can be shared with the different companies involved in the supply chain, and Toyota’s production system was noted as a model example.
Day two began with feedback from two previous benchmarking events – from official campaign partner Heineken and LEGO. The global health and safety managers of these two multinationals also gave presentations on their OSH programmes, focussing as much on leadership, communication and people, as on statistics. These themes also came up throughout the afternoon’s four parallel benchmarking sessions, alongside the importance of having other good indicators of OSH performance such as consistency and transparency.
The value of such benchmarking events is manifold and given the number of dedicated participants willing to make the journey to wintery Sweden for the event, it’s clear that these events are highly regarded. ‘The benchmarking events not only facilitate the sharing of best practices but also often act as a starting point for further bilateral collaboration between OSH experts,’ says Elsler.
‘The commitment to the campaign was also very visible among the participants,’ continues Elsler, ‘they really see the advantage of managing stress and psychosocial risks for the competitiveness of their companies, as well as their staff.’
Looking ahead to 2015, there are already signs of strong support for the next benchmarking event that will take place in Brussels on 5 and 6 of March. Hosted by EU-OSHA, it will also feature a ceremony to recognise the achievements of its Official Campaign Partners – more info to come soon! Other benchmarking events from Siemens, General Electric (GE) and new partner SEAT are also pencilled in for next year. Be sure to keep an eye on the campaign’s events page for further details on these and other upcoming events.
Posted on 17 December 2014 | 1:00 am By EU-OSHA News Items
For the last years, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has been asking the European Commission for a solid European health and safety strategy as urgently as ever.
The ETUC expresses its deep concern about the deterioration of working conditions and the increasing inequalities between and within Member States (MSs) in that field. The ETUC agrees that more efforts on OSH are required, as the EC Strategic Framework 2014-2020 offers no real action.
Therefore, it is now the new Commission’s responsibility to develop a proper strategy, in order to launch real action aimed at protecting the lives and health of workers in Europe. This action, however, needs to be developed through a tripartite dialogue with the new European Commission, to boost collaboration between employers and workers in SMEs, support the role and knowledge of the labour inspectorate and safety reps as well as the following urgent issues.
During the Executive Committee celebrated this month, the new President of the European Commission (EC) has finally recognised that worker´s health and safety is one of the areas where action is crucial and urgent, and promised a new approach in order to restore citizen´s confidence.
Posted on 15 December 2014 | 11:00 pm By EU-OSHA News Items