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Workplace Stress – Not to be ignored…

  Stress Stress – state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.   I am pretty sure all of us have experienced stress in some form, at some point throughout our lives. Many of life’s demands can cause stress. This maybe something temporary and short lived, such as being briefly in a situation where we feel uncomfortable, however medium to long term stress factors (work, relationships, money worries) can have a severe affect on our lives.   Stress can and will affect us all... Read More

Proper approach to real Health & Safety…

Safety chief uses high-hazard visit to distinguish real health and safety from the nonsense The Chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has used a visit to a Cheshire oil refinery to highlight a shining example of a proper approach to health and safety. Judith Hackitt visited the Stanlow Oil Refinery in Ellesmere Port on Tuesday 31 January, where she met apprentices taking part in training to work in the chemical and oil industries.   Ms Hackitt, who herself worked in the chemical industry for more than 30 years,... Read More

Changes to accident reporting…

From 6 April 2012, subject to Parliamentary approval, RIDDOR’s over three day injury reporting requirement will change. From then the trigger point will increase from over three days’ to over seven days’ incapacitation (not counting the day on which the accident happened). Incapacitation means that the worker is absent or is unable to do work that they would reasonably be expected to do as part of their normal work. Employers and others with responsibilities under RIDDOR must still keep a record of all over three day injuries – if the... Read More

Newport Salmonella Outbreak – Potential Link to Watermellons

One person has died and at least 50 more have fallen ill from salmonella poisoning which may be linked to watermelons imported from Brazil. The outbreak, which began in December, is believed to involve packs of ready-to-eat sliced watermelon. Health chiefs say the public can protect themselves by washing all types of fruit and vegetables. The one British fatality was suffering from a number of other underlying health problems. Details of the outbreak – involving the Salmonella Newport form of the bug – were revealed by the Health Protection Agency,... Read More

FSA Updates answers on cross-contamination control

            The Food Standards agency has published the second edition of the Q&A on its guidance document ‘E.coli 0157:control of cross-contamination’. http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/enforcement/crosscontaminationqanda.pdf The new version of the Q&A address a number of issues that have arisen since the original document was published in June 2011. Among the issues addressed are: expanded information on the scientific basis of the guidance a definition of ‘complex equipment’ detailed advice on ‘temporary clean areas’ applicable to ALL food businesses advice on the preparation and use of fruit and vegetables for ready-to-eat... Read More

New BS-8599 British Standard for Workplace First Aid kits

New BS-8599 British Standard for Workplace First Aid kits   The New BS-8599 standard for workplace first aid kits has been effective since 30th of June.  This standard replaces the BHTA-HSE kits universally used in the UK, and are based on HSE guidelines.  The old standard, first published in 1997, will be withdrawn from 31st December 2011.   Despite many EU states having a national standard for workplace first aid kits, until now, the UK did not.  The BHTA guidelines were in need of revision because training protocols have changed,... Read More

FSA Updates its Advice on E. coli

  Following further cases of E. coli in France, the Food Standards Agency is revising its guidance on the consumption of sprouted seeds such as alfalfa, mung beans (usually known as beansprouts) and fenugreek.   Following reports of E. coli cases in France, the Agency is, as a precaution, advising that sprouted seeds should only be eaten if they have been cooked thoroughly until steaming hot throughout. They should not be eaten raw.To date, no cases of food poisoning have been reported in the UK linked to the outbreak in France. The Agency also advises that equipment... Read More

The Importance of Safe Systems of Work

    The lack of a safe system of work and the failure to ensure the health, safety and welfare of a man who ventured on to a fragile roof led to a fatal accident and prosecution. The joint owners of Allenbrooks Developments Ltd, one of whom was the accident victim, were replacing skylights in the roof of one their units in Wymondham, Norfolk, in the company of an employee. On 6th April 2010, the deceased fell 10m through the corrugated asbestos cement sheet roof. Edge protection was in place... Read More

HSE Safety Alert

There have been two recent fatalities involving shellfish diving in inshore waters leading to HSE issuing a safety. In recent weeks, HSE has investigated two separate fatalities involving diving for shellfish. This can be a dangerous activity and needs to be carried out by competent and appropriately qualified divers. Suitable plans and procedures are key to the whole diving team conducting activities safely and reacting effectively in a diving emergency. Any diving activity undertaken without regard for the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 will be putting people’s lives at risk.... Read More

6 Steps to Protect New Starters in the Workplace

  According to the HSE Workers are as likely to have an accident in the first six months at a workplace as during the whole of the rest of their working life. This extra risk  has been attributed to a number of  factors:- lack of experience working in a new industry or workplace – not recognizing hazards as a potential source of danger lack of familiarity with the job and the work environment –  may not understand ‘obvious’ rules for use of equipment; reluctance to raise concerns (or not knowing how to) – may be... Read More