News

This month’s news

Workplace accidents

Employers will have a single address, telephone number, fax or web site for
reporting workplace accidents from next April, the HSE has announced. It has
been awarded £448,000 to set up a central system for reporting any incidents.

Bullying issue

A survey, funded by the British Occupational Health Research Foundation, has
found that almost half of Britain’s employees have witnessed workplace
bullying, with one in 10 being bullied in the last six months.

AOHNP event

The AOHNP UK annual symposium, Staying Ahead with Professional and Clinical
issues in the 21st Century will look at OH’s role in prevention and a round up
of OH health policy. The event will be held on 18 May at Regents College,
London.

Absenteeism ache

A shocking 81 per cent of employees experience work-related back pain,
according to a survey by public sector union Unison. One in five people had to
take time off work in the past 12 months, due to the severity of their back
pain.

Expertise pays off

Nurses and health visitors who have developed their expertise in line with
the UKCC’s 1992 document The Scope of Professional Practice are delivering
better patient care and achieving higher levels of job satisfaction, according
to the body. Half the practitioners it surveyed said the document had given
them confidence in their role.

Counselling boost

Two million employees are covered by telephone helpline and counselling services,
according to the IRS Employee Health Bulletin. The availability of workplace
helplines has more than doubled in the last decade as a result of employee
assistance programmes (EAPs).

Menopause drive

TV presenter Angela Rippon was a guest speaker at last month’s launch of
Choices – a campaign encouraging women to discuss menopausal symptoms with
employers, GPs and nurses.

Research report

The Trade Union Research Unit (Turu) has published new guidance on drug and
alcohol misuse. The Test to Come: Trade Union Attitudes to Drugs and Alcohol
examines the problems caused by misuse in the workplace and while driving.

Web site launch

The Health and Safety Executive has launched the Government’s first
commercial web site, providing access to one of the world’s largest collections
of health and safety information and guidance. More than 1,400 free and priced
publications will are available at http://www.hsebooks.co.uk

Back care week

A European Week for Safety and Health will take place in the UK from 16
October. Coinciding with Back Care Week, the initiative aims to reduce the
problems of back pain and musculoskeletal disorders by increasing awareness and
supporting workplace projects.

Safety passports

A passport scheme set up in 1995 to improve safety performance on
engineering projects has made its 100,000th award. Organised by a consortium of
firms from the steel, oil, gas and chemical industries, the scheme requires
trainees to complete a multiple choice paper. Those who pass receive a
three-year passport.

Cylinder advice

New HSE leaflet The Safe Use of Gas Cylinders provides information on
reducing the risks of cylinder use in the workplace. Training in testing is
among the advice given.

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