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Arinite Health and Safety Consultants 2014 Review

Category: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards Twitter | Published on: Dec 30, 2014 | Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Read more: Health & Safety

health safety review planeAirline disasters have been prominent in the news in 2014, highlighted again by the recent disappearance of an Air Asia flight.

According to the website planecrashinfo.com, 1,021 aviation deaths have been registered so far in 2014, including military crashes with 10 or more fatalities. It is a figure that, sadly, looks set to rise to 1,183, with the inclusion of the Air Asia Flight QZ8501. This could make 2014 one of the most tragic years in recent aviation history.

However, the last decade has been the safest in aviation history, with 7,490 deaths, while 2013 was just about the safest year on record with only 265 deaths. By contrast, in the Seventies, there were a total of 16,766 fatalities. It is also worth noting that there are more planes in the sky than ever before. According to The World Bank, 743,096,000 flight tickets were sold in the US last year, for example, compared with 295,329,088 in 1980.

According to Flight global, in 2013 there was one fatal accident per 1.9 million flights. “Based on this metric, airline operations are now almost three times safer than they were 20 years ago.

But what health and safety topics were in the news in 2014? Here is Arinite’s selection of health and safety news in 2014.

January

  • Asbestos was the target of new guidance published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Asbestos related illness remained the single greatest cause of death at work with 4,500 deaths per year (20 per week). Existing asbestos guidance was combined and incorporated into a revised guidance document L143 – Managing and Working with Asbestos and guidance on the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2014.
  • The HSE reminded businesses to focus on legal responsibilities in 2014. Although fatalities had fallen in 2012/2013 to 148, one death is too many and HSE urged employers to “spend time tackling the real dangers that workers face and stop worrying about trivial matters or pointless paper work.”
  • 2014 marked the 40th Anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The Safety and Health Practitioner Magazine (SHP) looked at its origins and relevance today. It argued that the act has resulted in a 70% reduction in workplace accidents. Looking back in 2008, Lord Grocott gave this glowing review of this pivotal legislation: “The record of the 1974 act speaks for itself. Between 1974 and 2007, the number of fatal injuries to employees fell by 73 per cent; the number of reported non-fatal injuries fell by 70 per cent. “Between 1974 and 2007, the rate of injuries per 100,000 employees fell by a huge 76 per cent, and Britain had the lowest rate of fatal injuries in the European Union in 2003, which is the most recent year for which figures are available. The EU average was 2.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers; the figure in the UK was 1.1.”

February

  • An article in the SHP highlighted five common COSHH Mistakes:
    • The COSHH file was a mere a collection of data sheets.
    • A set of COSHH assessments were sitting on the shelf.
    • Lots of trivial assessments hid important assessments.
    • There was a failure to follow the hierarchy of risk controls.
    • There was an unrealistic use of PPE.
  • There was improved HSE Guidance on work at height. INDG 401 – Work at Height and INDG 455 Ladders, were both improved.

March

  • There was revised guidance on COSHH (L5 – ACoP and Guidance on COSHH). The guidance was reviewed in line with wider HSE initiative to review all HSE guidance. The key changes were:
    • New interpretation and guidance on asthmagens, nano particles and wet work.
    • Competency of COSHH Assessors,
    • Risk assessment, action plan and combined assessments.
    • Revised guidance on prevention or control of exposure.
  • New guidance, L143 – Control of Asbestos, was introduced. Consolidated old approved codes of practice. The key changes were:
    • Regulation 2 – Interpretation: revised guidance on deciding whether work needs a license.
    • Regulation 4 – Duty to Manage Asbestos in Non Domestic Premises: better practical guidance and tables.
    • Regulation 10 – Information, Instruction and Training: requirements for licensed and unlicensed work.
    • Regulation 16 – Duty to Prevent Exposure: improved.
    • Regulation 22 – Health Records and medical Surveillance: employers to arrange appropriate medical surveillance for employees.
  • The guidance on Legionnaires Disease (ACOP L8 Fourth Edition) was updated. It was revised to simplify and clarify text. The main changes included the removal or Part II technical guide which was published separately in HSG 274.

April

  • A pupil was killed after a wall collapsed at a School. The free standing modesty wall collapsed at the city of Edinburgh School ().
  • It was reported jointly by the TUC and Association of Personal Injury Lawyers that workplace Compensation Claims had dropped by 50%. In 2002/03 there were 183,342 compensation claims. In 2012/13 there were 91,115 claims. And the government were implementing plans to make it even harder to claim, by removing the strict liability of health and safety legislation, taking the burden of proof away from the employer on to the employee.

May

  • It was reported in the SHP by the Council for Work and Health that good occupational health was vital for economic growth. The report plans the future delivery of a vision of good work and health in the UK for the next 15-20 years.
  • A School received an Asbestos fine of £150,000. The SHP reported that a specialist asbestos company did not adequately protect employees during the demolition of a former school building. Lincolnshire County Council was fined together with the Arhus Group Ltd (£42,000).

June

  • A parliamentary bill to curb H&S culture was announced by the Ministry of Justice. The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (SARAH), was revealed by the Secretary for Justice, Chris Grayling, in a blog for Conservative Home. It was intended to remove the bureaucracy that can deter employers from doing the `right thing’. The blog argued that common sense says that employers should not be penalised where they have H&S arrangements in place and someone gets injured doing something that no reasonable person would be expected to do.

July

  • Costain were fined £615,000 over a telehandler death (SHP). The telehandler toppled due to a lack of space when the boom, non-extended, was raised almost vertical making the vehicle unstable.

August

  • To boldly go – Safety Innovation. A recent industry survey commissioned by DuPont Sustainable solutions (SHP) showed that many companies lament the lack of innovative approaches to workplace safety. It looked at what companies could do to kick-start plateauing workplace safety performance. The report concluded that innovated approaches based on influencing safety-related behaviour was the key. Also, moving away from a reactive `top-down’ approach to a proactive approach involving managers and employees led to lower injury rates.
  • Working beyond 65 – the H&S Impact. A paper by Health and Safety Laboratory Psychologist, Dr Helen Beers, considered the physiological and intellectual downfall with age and the potential impact on safety in the workplace.
  • EMF Directive 2013/35/EU. The original EMF directive (repealed) was replaced by this directive in the light of new research. To be implemented by 1st July 2016. Industries likely to be affected included supply, metals, manufacturing, automotive and health care. The telecoms and broadcast industries already had controls in place.

September

  • DSE assessments need to do more than combat RSI. An article in the SHP (30.09.14) by Rachael Baetz, who suffered RSI after three poor DSE assessments and then went on to become a trained (BSC) DSE assessor. The article emphasised that assessments needed to be deeper and not `tick in the box’ and `commercial’.

October

  • The Acetylene Safety Regulations 2014 came into force on 1st October 2014. Included a new requirement for a flame arrestor to reduce the risk of explosion after decomposition or uncontrolled combustion of acetylene. (HSE Bulletin 06.10.14).
  • L29 Guidance on the Genetically Modified Organisms Regulations 2014. The Regulations came into force on 1st October 2014. Updated guidance covers: carrying out risk assessment, classifying contained use work, notifying the competent authority, applying control measures and accident reporting. HSE Bulletin 06.10.14.
  • The Deregulation Bill on safety exemptions for self employed was voted through in the House of Lords to make certain self-employed persons exempt from H&S requirements. The TUC stated it was unhappy about this controversial bill.

November

  • IOSH launched its occupational cancer campaign – No Time to Lose. In 2012/2013 there were 148 deaths at work but the total work related ill health fatalities was about 12,000, the vast majority caused by asbestos. The campaign was launched on the 3rd November. It focussed on five of the 50 workplace cancer causes identified by the International Agency on Cancer Research:
    • Diesel exhaust emissions.
    • Asbestos – e.g. construction.
    • Shift Work – related to recent research findings on a link between shift work and breast cancer.
    • Silica – rook workers, construction.
    • Solar Radiation – outside workers.

December

  • New revised guidance on the Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations and ACoP (L22) – 2014 Revision. References to legislation and other links had been updated.
  • Director and Safety Consultant Jailed after Labourers Death. A commercial director and a safety advisor were jailed for 3 years three months and 9 months respectively. The Director was aware of the dangerous situation but took no action. The Safety advisor carried out a risk assessment and Method statement but did not ensure his recommendations were followed.

Well that’s it for 2014. I hope you have enjoyed my blogs this year and I look forward to writing more in 2015.

The Arinite Team would like to wish you all a prosperous New Year. It has been a busy and exciting year for Arinite and we look forward to more partnerships with some of you in 2015.

Contact us

In 2014 I have been pleased with the positive feedback from our clients. They appreciate Arinite health and safety consultants
provide practical, no-nonsense advice about what you need to do to establish and maintain a safe and healthy working environment.

If you need to call upon our expertise in Health and Safety Consulting, or just for informal Health and Safety advice, please call me on: mobile 0780 361 2948, office 0207 947 9581, or drop me a line at b.richards@arinite.com.

Bryan Richards 30th December 2014

Arinite Ltd, Warnford Court, 29 Throgmorton Street, London EC2N 2AT

 
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