Occupational health news in brief

HSE must focus on work-related illness too

The Institute of Occupational Medicine has said the Health and Safety Executive and Health and Safety Commission need to put a greater emphasis on tackling work-related illness. It was giving evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s inquiry into the operations and work of the two bodies.

Work at height warning

Employers have been warned of the importance of implementing safe systems for working at height following a Health and Safety Executive prosecution of Midlands firm Kundi Electrical over the death of a worker who fell through a fragile roof. The company was ordered to pay a £25,000 fine plus £2,301 in costs.

Firms fined £217,500

Three Manchester construction firms have been fined £217,500 and ordered to pay costs of £125,000 in a prosecution over the death of a 17-year-old trainee scaffolder. The Health and Safety Executive, which brought the prosecution against 3D Scaffolding, RAM Services and Mowlem Group said it was vital that firms pay attention to trainees’ health and safety needs and ensure proper supervision.

Refurbishment deaths

During February, 1,000 refurbishment building sites were inspected by the Health and Safety Executive in a crackdown on safety, the organisation has said. Last year more than half of the workers who died on construction sites worked in refurbishment, and the number of deaths on refurbishment sites rose by 61%, it added.

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