Occupational health news in brief

Business owner risk

Small business owners are putting their work before their health, a survey by Abbey and Alliance & Leicester Business Banking has concluded. The poll of some 300 small businesses found more than one-quarter of them had missed, cancelled or put off a health appointment in the past year due to work commitments. One-third were also working more than 50 hours a week.

OH needs to prove worth

Health and safety professionals must do more to demonstrate their value to employers, the new president-elect of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health has said. Steve Granger, director of health and safety consultancy The Granger Partnership, will take over from current president John Holden in November 2010 and hold the office for three years.

Plant operator guilty

A heavy plant operator has been found guilty of killing a bricklayer in a building site accident in Plymouth in 2007. Reece French, 20, died when a skip weighing 280kg fell on his head. The skip was being lifted by specialist equipment being operated by an employee of construction firm Kier Western, which declined to comment on the ruling.

Safety scholarship call

Researchers are being urged to apply for the next round of funding from a £500,000 safety scholarship scheme. It is run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and nuclear energy company BNFL, and provides grants of up to £20,000 for research into safety-related areas. The closing date for applications is 2 April. Go online for more details.

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