In brief

Occupational Health news in brief

Lower back pain

Lower back pain is associated not only with frequent mechanical activity,
but also organisational, psychological, and social work factors, such as
night-shift work, perceived lack of support, and perceived lack of an
encouraging culture, a Norwegian study has concluded. Occupational and
Environmental Medicine 2004;61:398-404

Killing law delay

The TUC has expressed concern at the Government’s continuing delay in
introducing legislation on corporate killing. TUC deputy general secretary,
Frances O’Grady, has called on ministers to bring in the legislation.

Pregnancy dangers

More than two-thirds of pregnant workers are exposed to danger in the
workplace because employers ignore a legal duty to carry out risk assessments,
a survey by union Usdaw has reported.

Improving workloads

A report on improving the workload of nurses in Scot-land has argued that
predict-able absence allowances should be set at a minimum of 21 per cent.
Facing the Future also suggested more flexible working patterns.

Construction firms fined £37k for collision

Four construction companies have been fined a total of £37,000 for breaches
of health and safety legislation. It followed an incident in which two vehicles
collided on the A229 near Chatham, Kent, in November 2001. Costain, Skanska JV
Projects, Mowlem and Ovendens Earthmoving all pleaded guilty to a breach of

Building designers failing to cut out risks

Building designers are still not doing enough to design out risk, the Health
and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned. Designers who went on site and consulted
with builders had a better appreciation of the problems created by some of
their ideas.

Manufacturing company breached regulations

A manufacturing firm has been fined £1,000 for breaching manual handling
operations regulations. Willowcrete, of Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, was fined
after the Health and Safety Executive found employees lifting concrete posts
and lintels without having had manual handling assessments.


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