This month’s Occupational Health news

Heart attack response service

The Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester has become one of the
first museums in the country to provide a rapid response service to heart
attack sufferers. The museum, in partnership with Greater Manchester Ambulance
Service, has set up a training scheme for staff to learn how to operate
automatic external defibrillators.

Noise risk

Owners of pubs and clubs need to be better educated about the dangers of
exposing employees to too much noise, according to research for the HSE. There
was a definite potential effect of noise, but it was not possible to establish
the number of individuals whose hearing may be impaired as a result.

Guide for stress

The CIPD launched a new guide to managing occupational stress to coincide
with October’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work. It looks at ways of
solving problems so that individuals feel supported.

Online advice

An online resource on workplace health matters has been set up by the Health
Development Agency. Called Workplace Health and Wellbeing, it was launched in

Driver safety

Ministers are being urged to encourage employers to take more responsibility
for accidents involving employees killed while driving for work. The TUC said
such action would help reduce the 1,000 employees fatally injured every year on
the roads. It called on the HSE to investigate the safety management practices
of all employers whose staff drive at work.

Fine for rail firm

A railway maintenance firm has been fined £17,500 for breaching health and
safety rules, following an investigation into electrical burns sustained by a
track worker. GT Railway Maintenance was investigated by the HSE after track
worker Simon Rosier received burns while loosening nuts on a track adjacent to
a live 650-volt conductor rail.

Oestrogen protects against stress

Female nurses are less susceptible to stress and serious stress-related
illnesses than their male colleagues because of the protective properties of
oestrogen, a study by doctors at Greenwich University has concluded. The urine
of 315 male and female nurses was studied and stress hormones were found to be
significantly greater in younger males.

Heat stress

Large parts of UK industry have difficulty in managing and assessing heat
stress, a study by the HSE has concluded. The Human Thermal Environments
Laboratory, Loughborough University, which carried out the research, has now
developed a checklist risk-assessment method.

Fall arrest equipment

The HSE has published guidance on using fall arrest equipment when working
at height. Inspecting fall arrest equipment made from webbing and rope advises
employers on effective inspection regimes, including the frequency and type of
inspections, the types of defects and damage to look out for.

Transport accidents

The results of a discussion document on preventing workplace transport
accidents have been published by the HSE. Around 70 people are killed and 1,200
seriously injured each year in workplace transport accidents. Responses to the
document, Preventing workplace transport accidents, concluded that more
guidance was needed.




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