Chemical/ Substance Exposure
Roofwork/ Working at height
Chemical/ Substance Exposure
Roofwork/ Working at height
When cutting roof tiles, workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica (RCS). This dust, if breathed in, causes severe lung diseases such as silicosis. HSE have produced a video of the effects of silicosis on people’s lives. To view a video on the impact of silicosis visit HSL’s Case Studies Webpage.
For more information on silicosis and lung disease visit HSE’s Lung Disease Webpages.
HSE has identified reducing incidents of ill health as one of the top three strategic priorities for the next three to five years as set out in the construction sector plan, Occupational Lung Disease is a particular focus.
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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been issued with a Crown Censure by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an agency driver, working for the MoD, was fatally injured by a reversing vehicle.
Islington Borough Council has been sentenced after admitting a role in an incident at a London school where a boy was left with serious hand injuries.
The regulations pertaining to the use and maintenance of oxy-acetylene equipment were updated in late 2014 under The Acetylene Safety (England and Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2014 and included a new mandatory requirement to use suitable flashback arrestors.
There is concern that the requirement to use flashback arrestors may not have been fully implemented by all welding operators. The requirement for flashback arrestors is a reasonably practicable control of the risk and that is why the law requires them. Please ensure you and your workers are protected by fitting the arrestors.
Free advice on the law and best practice in this area is available from the BCGA on its Welding Matters Webpage
Clean Air? – Take Care! is a new joint initiative between the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and HSE aimed at reducing occupational lung disease. The initiative is cantered on a range of national activities and educational seminars designed to raise awareness among RPE users, employers, fit testers and advisors on the correct selection, deployment, use, maintenance and storage of RPE. More information including campaign videos, posters and campaign documents visit British Safety Industry Federation’s Webpages.
The Health Risks at Work initiative provides simple, concise information to help small businesses manage five key health at work risk areas:
Find your local Safety group by visiting Local Safety Groups
An Uxbridge manufacturer of ejector seats has been fined £800,000 after three workers developed debilitating lung conditions. Three skilled CNC machine operators developed extrinsic allergic alveolitis after many years of years of exposure to the mist of working metal fluid. More information on the fine visit HSE’s Press Release.
More information on extrinsic allergic alveolitis and metalworking fluids visit HSE’s Website.
An Essex castings company has been fined £250,000 with £12,632.92 costs after a worker suffered injury to his hand when it was dragged into a drilling machine and required skin grafts. More information on the accident and fine can be found on HSE’s Press Release.
Bedfordshire metal company has been fined £130,000 with £2,456 costs for safety breaches after an agency worker suffered severe leg injuries and lost most of his foot. He was was injured when a trolley carrying metal stock fell on his legs causing severe injuries. More information on the accident can be found on HSE’s Press Release.
In order to improve associated death and injury statistics, the HSE and Local Authority inspectors are tasked with focusing on the following priority areas within businesses in 2017:
1. Falls from height – work on/adjacent to fragile roofs/materials
2. Health risks – respirable silica dust exposure
3. Duty to manage asbestos
What does this mean in practice for businesses?
A health and safety inspector may visit a business if its work activities fall within any of these focus topics. This visit may focus solely on these topic areas or form part of a routine inspection where all areas of risk are looked at, but with greater emphasis on these focus topics.
Businesses may think that if their primary activities are not listed above, that they are safe from an inspector’s visit, but this is unfortunately not the case. This makes it even more paramount that businesses stay on top of their health and safety management, especially with the new sentencing guidelines in place.
What do inspectors look for?
What can the inspector do?
The purpose of inspection is to assess how well businesses are managing these health and safety risks and, where they are not, to bring about improvements to achieve this.
Inspectors have a range of enforcement tools they can use to achieve improvement but must be proportionate to the level of risk and used in accordance with their enforcement policy.
This can range from verbal and written advice, through to Improvement Notices, Prohibition Notices and/or prosecution. Under the Fees for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme, the HSE can charge you for their time for inspection, investigation and enforcement action.
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Midlands based firm Enviro-Safe Limited have been fined for failing to meet the standards required when removing asbestos.
A demolition contractor has been sentenced after admitting illegally removing asbestos from a building he was working on.