This month’s news

Reproductive health

A booklet targeting general managers and non-specialist personnel on how to
protect employees from risks to their reproductive health has been published by
the Chemical Industries Association.

Woodworking safety

Health and safety training on machinery across all the woodworking
industries is in "a grim state", according to the HSE. While there
are more than 1,000 woodworking training providers in the country, only 139
offered wood machining training, and about half of these are dormant, it said.

Mental health

Middlesex University and the Tavistock Clinic have launched a new Centre for
Mental Health Nursing in London. It plans to provide courses for mental health
nurses, health visitors, district nurses, school nurses, practice nurses and
nurse practitioners.

Scottish OH award

Lothian Occupational Health Service, based at Edinburgh’s Astley Ainslie
Hospital, has been awarded the Government quality standard BS EN ISO 9001. The
service works with all NHS employees in the Lothian region as well as
commercial organisations throughout Scotland. It also has a 24-hour on-call
service for needlestick incidents.

UKCC increases fees

The UKCC is planning to nearly double its registration fee for nurses,
midwives and health visitors, from £36 to £60 every three years. But it will
scrap the £10 fee when people first qualify. It is seeking agreement from
Health Secretary Alan Milburn for the move. It is eight years since it was last

Holiday danger

Health and safety professionals are being warned to watch out for the safety
of children coming into contact with their operations during the school
holidays. Each year, said the HSE, one child dies and 100 major injuries are
reported by the construction industry; five die and 45 suffer major injuries in
the agriculture sector and last year 10 died and 13 were injured on the

Compensation payment

A former winner of the British Safety Council’s National Safety Award has
been ordered to pay compensation after one of its workers slipped a disc while
on lifting duties. The decision by Devon-based gas turbine generator company
Centrax to move the worker to heavy lifting duties was "wholly
causative" of her prolapsed disc, a judge at Plymouth County Court ruled.

Disinfectant safety

New guidance on controlling exposure to disinfectants used in the food and
drinks industry has been published by the Health and Safety Executive. The Food
Information Sheet No 29 advises employers on how to select disinfectants
safely, without compromising food hygiene. It also advises on actions and
precautions needed to ensure employees’ exposure to disinfectants is adequately

Change of hazard classification

The hazard classification for trichloroethylene, or "trike", is in
the process of being changed, the Health and Safety Executive has warned. The
substance is commonly used as a powerful solvent for removing grease and
cleaning metal parts. Currently in the lowest category of human health hazard
classification (category 3), it is being upgraded to a category 2 carcinogen, a
change that will come into effect from next spring.

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