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Arinite reviews Health and Safety in 2013

Category: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards Twitter | Published on: Dec 23, 2013 | Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Read more: Health & Safety

Nelson Mandela 2013 has been a big year for breaking news, but none more than the death of Nelson Mandela on 6th December.

But what health and safety topics were in the news in 2013?

Here is Arinite’s selection of the health and safety news in 2013.

January

  • The Prime Minister, speaking to an audience of small businesses said that health and safety discourages work-experience placements.
  • The SHP reported that new research showed a link between uninspected areas and an increase in fatalities.
  • The Health and Safety Executive announced they were to go ahead with their proposal to withdraw the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations Approved Code of Practice, despite considerable opposition from those consulted.
  • Cost Cutting Alert for Business amid rise in Corporate Manslaughter Investigations. Directors and managers should not be lulled into false sense of security when cost cutting. Although there have been only three cases since 2008, there had been 141 cases raised to the Crown Prosecution Service.

February

  • Health must be given equal status to Safety said the TUC. They produced a document called Time for Change which highlighted disappointment at the Governments lamentable approach to H&S laws and classifying some workplaces a low-risk.
  • Fee for Intervention. It was expected that the controversial HSE cost recovery scheme will generate fierce debate in 2013.

March

  • The TUC argued in their new guide, Work and Well Being, that healthy workplaces were key to improving productivity. For example: site gyms, cycling to work, canteen healthy options and employee assistance programmes.
  • In the 2013 Budget, the Government announced tax relief to incentivise workplace health interventions. Guidance would be developed on how this would be managed.

April

  • Proposal to remove strict liability after a criminal H&S case. It was foreseen that this government proposal could have major implications if civil claims cannot be made on the back of a criminal H&S prosecution.

May

  • A new HSE enforcement code to result in less safety checks with lower risk premises being visited less or not at all.

June

  • IOSH reported it was estimated that £7.2 billion was lost by firms in Sick Pay due to badly set up workstations. This was based on survey carried out by Ergonomics firm Fellowes. The survey estimated that 20% of workers take off 14 days a year.

July

  • SHP reported that the SME spend on external help for H&S compliance had soared.

August

  • A third of workers choose money over safety. Research carried out by You Claim found that 28% would do: work in extreme weather (60%), work with dangerous machinery (40%) work at height (39%) and use dangerous chemicals (35%). Also, 27% of workers felt their job was unsafe.
  • The HSE’s long-standing guide on health and safety management, HSG 65, was re-launched on line in a new format following the Plan Do Check Act principles of OHSAS 18001.

September

  • promoting employee wellbeing improves returns reported Canadian Health and Labour Economist Emile Tompa. Health promotion programmes showed 65-85% positive returns in worker wellbeing.
  • The SHP reported that provisional figures showed a reduction in worker fatalities. For the period 1st April to 30th June the total number of fatalities were 57 with 34 under services and 19 to members of the public in the service sector.

October

  • On 1st October the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) came into force, replacing the 1995 regulations. The main changes included changes in the definitions of major injuries, now called specified injuries.
  • Also on 1st October, Section 47 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was amended in relation to strict liability following a criminal prosecution.
  • Further changes in H&S legal guidance for the end of 2013 and 2014 were announced including; L34 Dangerous Substances, L15 Hazardous Substances, L127, L143 Asbestos, L56 Gas Safety, L21 MHSWR, L8 Legionella.

November

  • One in ten workers is limited by poor health. Over a quarter of the UK workforce has a health problem that has lasted more than a year according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
  • A revised version of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 ACoP was released. The document had been made easier to understand in line with the Lofstedt report.
  • Reluctance to call the HSE. A survey of construction firms found that they were reluctant to call the HSE for fear of Fee for Intervention. (SHP 21st November 2013).

December

  • A revised version of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1992 and ACoP was issued by the HSE.
  • The new guidance on the Dangerous Substances in Explosives Atmospheres Regulations 2002 was released.
  • And finally…. Even at Christmas time there are health and safety excuses not to do things and a Christmas craft fare was recently in the news for charging entry to control numbers attending for health and safety reasons. In response the HSE has highlighted the myth:
    “Whilst the HSE can understand why the organisers need to control numbers of people attending this event, using health and safety as the reason for charging people to gain entry to the event is wrong. A practical way to control visitor numbers is to issue tickets for entry but the decision to charge for the tickets is a commercial decision (which the organisers are free to make) not a safety factor. Rather than blame the entry fee on health and safety, it would have been more helpful if the organisers had explained that the ticket costs were simply to cover the cost of staging the event and managing visitor numbers.”

 

Well that’s it for 2013. I hope you have enjoyed my blogs over the year. I look forward to writing more in 2014.The Arinite Team would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and 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 2014.

Contact us

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 23rd December 2013

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

 
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