Making Sense of Health and Safety

Health and Safety News

We scour the Internet for Health and Safety related news items on an almost daily basis.

The news articles and clippings, curated by MD Safety, highlight the requirements for compliance with UK Health and Safety Legislation and best practice across all industry sectors.

The majority of the information and cases will apply to a greater or lesser degree to our broad range of Clients and lessons to be learned will be able to be gained.

HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures for 2019/20

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today released its annual figures for the number of work-related fatalities in 2019/20, as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2018.  The provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents revealed that 111 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2019 and March 2020 (a rate of 0.34 deaths per 100,000 workers), the lowest year on record.  This represents a fall of 38 deaths from the previous year, though it is likely that this fall was accentuated by the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economy in the final two months of the year.

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Worker’s leg crushed by tonne of concrete

The owners of a farm have been fined after an employee lost part of his leg when a wall panel trapped him during the build of a silage pit.  On 7 November 2017, William Thomson, who had worked at Flatfield Farm Steadings for around 10 years, was asked to help the farm's partnership manager with the erection of a silage pit. He'd been experiencing difficulties in placing the panels in the correct position.

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Hotel owner sentenced for ‘extremely serious’ fire safety failings, including a switched off fire alarm

The owner of a hotel has been handed a nine-month sentence after putting ‘anyone staying on the premises at risk of death or serious injury,’ following a lengthy investigation.  Alan Diamond, owner of the Cornhill Hotel in Blackpool, has been given a nine-month sentence suspended for 18 months after a two-year long investigation by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS).

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School fined after a pupil was severely injured using a band saw

Cargilfield School has been fined following the incident where a pupil sustained severe cuts to his middle and index finger on his right hand and serious tendon damage, when using a band saw.  Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that, between 1 September 2015 and 2 November 2017, in the Construction Design and Technology Workshop at Cargilfield School, Edinburgh, pupils made wooden boxes using a band saw which is classed as a dangerous machine.

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Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a lot of information about the virus and its effects on mental health.

That’s because coronavirus and the social, financial and psychological implications it carries can seriously impact one’s mental wellbeing.

Government legislation, mass media coverage, and the increasing global death toll will cause a lot of stress, especially for the older population, children, and people with a history of mental health problems.

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Government Covid-19 guidelines: Business owners face two years in jail if they fail to follow new safety rules after reopening

Business-owners who do not follow government rules to protect staff and customers as coronavirus lockdown is eased could find themselves in prison for breaking health and safety laws.  Business Secretary Alok Sharma said protections would have to be in place for staff who feel unsafe while working under the new “one metre-plus” rules when pubs and restaurants reopen in July.

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Coronavirus: Lockdown relaxed in England as 2m rule eased

Pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can open from 4 July in England, when social distancing rules will be eased.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people should remain 2m apart where possible but a 'one metre plus' rule will be introduced.

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Air conditioning and ventilation during the coronavirus outbreak

The HSE states that the risk of air conditioning spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace is extremely low.  You can continue using most types of air conditioning  system as normal. But, if you use a centralised ventilations system that removes and circulates air to different rooms it is recommended that you turn  off recirculation and use a fresh air supply. 

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Company director failed to plan roof lift

The director of a construction firm has received a six-month custodial sentence, suspended for 24 months, for failing to plan a timber lift.  The Health and Safety Executive investigated an incident in which a worker was crushed when packs of roof trusses toppled over while being moved by crane at a site in East Mersea, Essex in July 2017.

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Crucial gaps found in façade fire safety regulatory regime

New research, led by academics at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), has found that the test regime which allowed combustible materials to be used in the external walls of thousands of tall buildings across the UK omits key details that are critical in evaluating the fire safety of materials used. The multidisciplinary team of designers, fire safety experts, regulators and researchers undertook a detailed review of the façade fire tests and classification criteria used in the UK to demonstrate the compliance of combustible façades with Building Regulations; specifically, the BS 8414 test methodology and the BR 135 criteria.

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