October 2015 Top News

Self-Employed Law Changes – 1st October 2015

Health and safety law will no longer apply to 1.7 million self-employed people tomorrow, following a recommendation from Professor Löfstedt in his review of health and safety law in the UK.

In 2011, the Löfstedt Review recommended that self-employed people whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others should be exempt from health and safety law.

The Government accepted this recommendation and from Thursday 1 October health and safety law will no longer apply to the 1.7 million self-employed people including novelists, journalists, accountants, confectioners and more.


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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations come into Force

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came in to force on 1 October 2015 and we warmly welcome this common sense approach to tenant safety. The regulations state that detectors must be installed in any room where there is a solid fuel burning appliance, such as a gas fire or central heating boiler. The law also requires landlords to ensure that the alarms are maintained in good working order and we will be working closely with our clients to ensure they are fully compliant with all relevant health and safety legislation.

While the regulations provide a great step forward in protecting tenants, we would always say that the first line of defence is to ensure that gas appliances are checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer once a year. According to the Office of National Statistics, each year there are around 40 deaths from accidental CO poisoning in England and Wales – these are tragic consequences considering that poisoning can be so easily prevented.

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The New ISO 14001: it starts with Leadership

The new ISO 14001 standard, published in September, is the first update in a decade. As well as offering easier integration between ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and the new OHSAS 18001 replacement, ISO 45001, published next year, it brings with it additional requirements, grouped around five key areas: leadership, strategic context, interested party analysis and communication, risks and opportunities and lifecycle perspective. These changes are designed to increase corporate resilience and competitive advantage and as such early transition to the new standard is advocated.

Ramboll Environ Manager Greg Roberts is the UK Expert on the ISO Technical Committee overseeing the development of guidance to ISO 14001. Following his initial overview of the changes, he and Mike Shaw, head of Ramboll Environ’s UK health and safety practice, will be examining these five core areas in more detail over the next few months to give senior management teams and health, safety and environmental practitioners a better understanding of these new requirements.

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Reducing Manual Handling Risks in Carpet Retail

This guidance is about the risk of manual handling injury in carpet retail. It is aimed at manufacturers, delivery staff and carpet retailers. It includes examples of risk assessments which can be used to help identify and reduce the risk of manual handling injury to drivers when delivering carpets.

To continue reading on the HSE website click HERE

Download: EU Health and Safety Legislation

With companies now undergoing overseas operations, EU health and safety needs to be approached meticulously and with a clear focus.This latest download looks at health and safety legislation in the European Union, how to work within different cultures and ultimately the best practice for UK companies using an overseas workforce.

The continuous improvement of safety and health at work is a key objective of European social and employment policy. However, given the range and diversity of the occupational safety and health issues facing the member states of the European Union it was recognised that resolving or responding effectively was beyond the resources and expertise of a single Member State or institution.

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The ‘Skills, Knowledge and Experience’ Required by a Principal Designer

Under CDM 2007, duty-holders were obliged to make appointments to key roles on construction projects according to certain competence criteria. Following adverse comments during the consultation on CDM 2015, these criteria were dropped in the new Regulations in favour of a requirement for sufficient ‘skills, knowledge and experience’ on the part of those carrying out the role of principal designers and contractors.

The client must define within their procurement process, and prior to making any appointment, that the principal designer – be it an individual or an organisation – has the required skills, knowledge and experience necessary to undertake the role. And the individual or organisation in question must also be able to demonstrate same.

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Father Recalls Sound of Collapsing Hayes Scaffolding like ‘Bomb Going Off’

A long stretch of roadside scaffolding collapsed at a Galliard Homes offices to flats conversion yesterday in Hayes without warning causing traffic chaos.

A passerby said it was a miracle that nobody was injured when the 40m section of double lift facade scaffold tumbled over on to the pavement and road, near the West London town’s station at around 1pm. The scaffolding, constructed with a traditional tube and coupler system, was being used as a facade for the podium of the old eight storey office block, known as Trident House, on Station Road.

A distraught father was inches away from scaffolding as it came crashing down onto a busy Hayes road this week.

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£200k corporate manslaughter fine after worker dies in wall collapse

Hertfordshire building firm, Linley Developments has been sentenced for the corporate manslaughter of a worker who was crushed when a structurally unsound retaining wall collapsed. The company’s managing director and project manager were both also given suspended prison sentences after pleading guilty to breaching CDM Regulations.

It was heard in court how 28-year-old Gareth Jones died instantly on 30 January 2013 when a wall collapsed on him in on Mile House Lane in St Albans.

Two days before the incident, managing director Trevor Hyatt visited the site to find that the foundations for the store room would leave the floor at a higher level than in the adjoining building. Project manager Alfred Baker suggested putting in a step but the client said he would prefer them at the same level.

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