Occupational health news in brief

Refurbishment hazards

An inspection programme of construction refurbishment sites by the Health and Safety Executive has found that nearly one in three put the lives of workers at risk. More than 1,500 inspections resulted in enforcement action on 426 occasions in just two months, it added. And on 244 occasions, work was stopped immediately.

Call for better UK safety

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has called for a “step change” in the UK’s health and safety performance. Chief executive Tom Mullarkey told a conference of directors: “We have a duty to show the way on health and safety both in Europe, especially in the new EU states, and throughout all emerging economies.”

Farming danger warning

Farmers have been reminded by the Health and Safety Executive to take appropriate safety precautions during baling work. A 70-year-old was killed by falling hay bales he was unloading in Cheshire, and a 21-year-old was badly injured by a falling silage bale in Burnley.

Quick-fix dangers

Building firms have been warned against improvised procedures when dismantling machinery after Dawson-Wam was fined £100,000 in September and ordered to pay £76,128.68 for a worker’s death in 2002. The auger drive unit of a piling rig he was trying to dismantle flew off its stand and struck him.

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