News in brief

HSE guidelines on rubber work

The Health & Safety Executive has issued supplementary guidance on threading up ‘calenders’ used in the rubber industry. These are horizontal rolls through which material or rubber is passed under pressure. When material is threaded, fingers, hands or arms can be at risk of becoming trapped. The new advice, for machines installed before 1998, requires safety guards to be in position, at least two people to be in attendance and for it to operate at a slow crawl throughout.

Construction firms fined over mud

Two construction firms have been fined a total of 40,000 following the death of a worker in February 1999. Mark Lewis, from Sunbury, was driving when his car skidded on mud from the site and crashed into an oncoming delivery van. They were also required to pay costs of 30,000.

Specialist docs working too long

A key group of hospital doctors is working far above European limits on hours, according to a survey by the British Medical Association (BMA). The survey of 2,500 staff and associate specialist doctors found those on full-time contracts worked on average 73 hours a week, far in excess of the European 48 hour limit. Half suffered from low morale and around one in five were considering retirement.

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