This week’s news
Fine for fire
Medical manufacturer Smith & Nephew has been fined £20,000 following an
accident in which a contractor was engulfed in flames. The incident happened at
the company’s Hessle Road site in Hull. The company was also ordered to pay
£9,000 in costs.
New stress clinic
The Priory Clinic has opened a branch in the City of London to help deal
with stress among City workers.
Sun protection advice
The Health and Safety Executive has published a leaflet for employers on how
to protect staff who are working outside for most of the day. Sun Protection
Advice for Employers of Outdoor Workers offers a toolkit for reducing the
health risks for employees exposed to ultra violet radiation from the sun.
Public involvement awards unveiled
Left-of-centre think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research has
unveiled its Public Involvement Awards for this year. Run in conjunction with
The Guardian newspaper, the awards are designed to recognise organisations that
involve the public in decision-making. Details and an application form can be
downloaded from the IPPR’s website, www.ippr.org/publicinvolve.
The closing date is July 31.
Risk and outdoor activities
The Health and Safety Commission has published a statement on the balance of
risk and risk perception concerning adventure and outdoor activities. Sensible
risk taking, it argues, helps individuals understand risk awareness, risk
assessment and risk management, which might, in turn, help everyday situations.
Most people are unaware of what they should do if someone was to collapse in
front of them with a suspected heart attack, according to research by the British
Heart Foundation. More than three quarters of people questioned in a survey
said they would not carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation as their first
course of action if they found someone in cardiac arrest.
CNC turning machine safety
Guidance on the safety of Computer Numerically Controlled turning machines
has been published by the Health and Safety Executive. It shows that
polycarbonate, the material commonly used to manufacture vision panels for the
machines, degrades significantly over time, increasing the risks of major
injuries or fatalities. The guidance provides a step-by-step method of risk
The HSE has published revised guidance aimed at small firms that work with
systems or equipment containing liquid or gas under pressure. Pressure Systems
– Safety and You reflects changes to regulations made in 1999.
Two studies looking at how pre-existing software packages not originally
designed for safety might be used in safety-related programmable systems have
been published by the HSE. The HSE now intends to issue guidance on good
practice in the use of software packages.
Deadline for wood chipper safety
The HSE has proposed that a deadline should set for retrofitting all wood
chippers to ensure they meet new guarding standards. Since new guidance was
issued six months ago between 25 and 30 per cent of machines have been, or are
planned to be, retrofitted. The HSE will now consult on the issue.