April 2017 – In the News

Tesla recalls 53,000 cars over brake issue

Tesla has issued a voluntary global recall for some of its Model S and Model X cars to fix a problem with the parking brake.

The electric car maker said about 2% of the 53,000 vehicles built from February to October 2016 were affected, but all of those cars are being recalled.

The company added it had no reports of accidents or injuries relating to the brake issue.

In US trading, Tesla shares closed down 1% at $302.51.

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Trump: silencing OSHA and deregulation

When something goes wrong with regards to health and safety in the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will report on it. They issue press releases detailing the levels of fines, who was involved and steps taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

In the USA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) exists to do just the same thing. And right up until 19th January 2017, that’s just what they were doing.

Since Donald Trump took office, all reporting of prosecutions and site inspections has ceased.

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The Wrong Key Performance Indicators Can Drive The Wrong Behaviour

Mieke Jacobs, Global Practice Leader Operational Risk Management & Employee Safety, DuPont Sustainable Solutions explains how to identify the correct indicators and reward system to improve safety performance.

I was recently asked by a client for advice on their plans to introduce a new variable compensation system for employees that relates to safety performance.

The previous bonus system had only been linked to Lost Time Injuries (LTI) performance. That kind of system has two potential drawbacks for companies that do not yet have a mature safety performance.

First, when a bonus system is entirely based on LTI, or other lagging indicators, it can discourage reporting and/or make people come to work when they should stay at home.

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BAM Construction Limited Fined After Man Suffers Life Changing Injuries

BAM Construction Limited and Shoreland Projects Limited have been fined after a man suffered multiple life changing injuries including severe burns to his neck.

Winchester Crown Court heard how BAM Construction Ltd had been appointed by Network Rail to construct a new railway operating centre in Basingstoke. BAM later appointed Shoreland Projects Ltd as the groundworks contractor for this project.

On 26 January 2015, when work began to install lampposts on the site entrance road, the fifth lamp post touched the 11kV overhead power lines when it was being lifted into position by an excavator, causing Mark Bradley to suffer his injuries. A colleague rushed to Mark’s aid, using a piece of timber to push him away from the lamp column.

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Westminster Attack – How Did You Know Your Staff Were Safe?

It was a source of great comfort and confidence to me on the 22 March, as the reports of an attack on Westminster came in, that my colleagues and I knew where all our staff were and how to get hold of them to check that they were safe.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust was set up after Suzy, a 25-year-old estate agent, disappeared during her normal working day in 1986. The trust trains workplaces in safe practice for lone and frontline workers. More than 30 years on, it is striking how few workplaces have robust systems in place to trace their people if they are working alone.

Many of us relied on social media that day to let colleagues, friends and family know that we were safe. And most workplaces we talk to tell us that they know where to start looking if they don’t hear from someone while they are working alone: they have put their appointment in their calendar, they have an in/out system or their manager or team administrator knows where they are.

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Sectors Lose 4.4m Days Due To Illness And Injuries, Statistics Show…  

The construction and education sectors are losing out on 4.4 million working days due to workplace injury and illness, acording to statitics from the Health and Safety Executive.

The data shows that about 4% of workers in both those sectors suffer from an illness they believe to be work-related – like musculoskeletal disorders.

Furthermore, 2% of workers in the education sector and 3% of workers in the construction sector have sustained a work-related injury – with almost half of these in the education sector categorised as a slip, trip or fall.

These statistics result in 2.2 million working days lost in each sector due to work-related illnesses and injuries in the construction and education sectors, making the annual average for the two sectors in 2013/14-2015/16 a total of 4.4 million working days lost.

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£1.8m fine after lone worker drowns

South West Water have been fined £1.8 million following the death of lone worker, Robert Geach, who drowned in a filtration tank. It was an “accident waiting to happen” according to the judge sitting at Truro Crown Court on Friday 21st April 2017.

Father-of two, Robert Geach, died in December 2013. He was working to unblock a filter at the Falmouth Water Treatment Works and fell though a hole into 6.5ft of water.

He had activated the company’s lone worker alarm system but it wasn’t until he failed to respond to a call, some 90 minutes later, that someone was sent to investigate and found him dead.

The judge pointed out that “no correct risk assessment for the procedure had been done”. He also stated that South West Water had been made aware of the dangers of falling into tanks “on a number of occasions”.

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