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 2020/21

Provisional data released today shows that a total of 142 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2020/21, an increase of 29 from the previous year, though the number of deaths in 2019/20 (113) was low compared to other recent years. In statistical terms the number of fatalities has remained broadly level in recent years – the average annual number of workers killed at work over the five years 2016/17-2020/21 is 136.

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New research shines light on technology’s role in lone worker safety 

New research amongst over 120 health and safety specialists has highlighted the rising importance of technology to help prevent, manage and respond to workplace risks and adapt to changing working practices, The report, published by lone worker protection specialists Peoplesafe, documents how COVID-19 has created a rise in employee safety requirements and lone working for more than three quarters (77%) of businesses, accelerating technology adoption and making personal safety and mental wellbeing a primary concern.

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Health & Safety Executive approach to asbestos management examined

The Work and Pensions Committee launches an inquiry into how the Health & Safety Executive manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.  Despite the importation, supply and use of the material being banned in the UK since 1999, asbestos remains the largest single cause of work-related fatalities, with more than 5,000 deaths each year from diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

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£1/4 million fine for G4S after employee’s life-changing assault injuries

A security company has been prosecuted after an assault at a young offender’s training facility left a secure care officer in an induced coma.  G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd was fined £250,000 after an employee suffered life-changing injuries when he was assaulted by four young offenders at a training facility in Milton Keynes.

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Grenfell prompts creation of building safety regulator

A new regulator will be set up with the power to prosecute property developers that do not meet safety standards, the government has announced.  The new safety regime is designed to prevent any repetition of the Grenfell Tower disaster, which killed 72 people in 2017.

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Contractor fined after pedestrian dies in its trench

M&S Water Services (Utilities) Ltd was excavating a footpath on Devon Road, Luton to access a stop tap that needed replacing. The stop tap could not be reached by hand and so it was left protected by plastic barriers until a deep dig team could attend a few days later.  Luton Crown Court heard that on 28th May 2017, over a bank holiday weekend, a member of the public, Matthew Wilmot, was walking home when he fell into the excavation site. His body was found the next morning.

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Construction suicide rates on the increase

Glasgow Caledonian University analysed suicide statistics from 2015 to 2019 and found that the number per 100,000 for construction workers rose from 26 to 29 over the four years.  The issue is most acute for construction’s unskilled and blue collar workers, where the suicide rate increased from 48 to just over 73 per 100,000.

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Warehouse management company fined after employee killed in electrical incident

A warehouse management solutions company has been fined after an employee was electrocuted while servicing an air compressor.  Maidstone Magistrates’ Court heard that on 8 December 2017, Andrew Meade was carrying out pre-planned maintenance on an air compressor at a distribution centre in Gravesend, when he was electrocuted. He was not found for more than an hour following the incident. His injuries were fatal.

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Company fined after a worker was injured by a forklift truck

A facility services company operating at Winchester prison has been fined after a worker suffered a broken leg when he was struck by a forklift truck (FLT).  Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court heard that on 23 May 2019, the Gov Facility Services Limited employee was injured whilst carrying out inspections of drain covers adjacent to a workshop. He was struck by a FLT, breaking the bone in his right leg.

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Hull manufacturer fined £60,000 after man loses arm in horrific factory accident

A worker lost his arm in a horrific accident at a machine manufacturer near Driffield in which he nearly lost his life.  Agricultural machines manufacturer Superior Machines Ltd has been fined tens of thousands of pounds for safety breaches after the 68-year-old man became entangled in a machine.

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