Week Commencing 02/12/2019 – In The News

10% Off Our Online Training Courses!

10% Off 'Security and Terror Alerts' and 'Managing Health and Safety' for November's HOM Trespassing.December‘s, and the last of 2019‘s, Hazard of the Month has been announced to be ‘Trespassing’ in honour of the festive visitor that drops down the chimney every Christmas Eve! Whilst he is a welcome guest, unwanted visitors to sites can be put in danger if they come into contact with possible hazards. Those in charge of Health & Safety should make sure their construction sites are as secure as possible to minimise the risk of all trespassing; the law also says you must conduct your business without putting members of the public at risk. We have a selection of online training courses to help keep your site safe but to help you prevent and manage the case of a trespasser on-site, we are offering 10% OFF our ‘Security and Terror Alerts’ and ‘Managing Health and Safety’ with the code ‘Trespass19’! Don’t miss out on this amazing offer and the chance to expand on your Health & Safety knowledge!

What is Burnout and How to Avoid It

A man sat at a desk which has a laptop, papers and a phone on it. He is holding his heads in his hands, looking stressed.In May 2019, the World Health Organization announced that in the ICD11 (international classification of mental illnesses) there would be a new category of “burnout” as an occupational phenomenon – not a medical condition. Burnout is defined as:

“A syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
  • Reduced professional efficacy.

Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”

Whilst it is clear burnout relates to work-related stress, it is not entirely certain what specifically causes it at work but it can include job insecurity, a lack of meaningful work, a lack of autonomy, the demands of work and a lack of resources available to the employee.  Key to avoiding burnout is understanding yourself and challenging any unhelpful thinking patterns, rules and assumptions you may hold in terms of your work performance. Another crucial factor is the relationship with your manager – what is often missing in organisations is an ability for managers to support their teams in understanding their own boundaries (which those among us who are very conscientious may struggle with) and individuals having confidence and the self-esteem necessary to discuss them.

To learn more about Burnout, click here to read the article from SHPOnline.

Company Fined After Workers Suffered Serious Burn Injuries

A person drilling with a yellow and black drill, wearing a pair of bright green safety gloves.A company has been fined after two of its self-employed workers suffered serious burn injuries.  On 28 November 2018, two self-employed workers were using a drill to attach a pre-fabricated cowling to a cable tray at AVL Powertrain in Coventry when they suffered burns to their hands. The incident occurred when one of the fixings went into a cable, striking one of the phases and causing an explosion. The HSE’s investigation found that Unique Envelope Façade Solution Limited’s risk assessments and method statements did not consider the risk of drilling into cable trays containing live cables, isolating the electrics to complete work, or other methods of fixing which did not involve drilling. As a result, the company was fined £20,160 and ordered to pay costs of £1,1788, as well as a victim surcharge of £170. Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Gareth Langston said: “This incident demonstrated the importance of the role of those preparing the job. The company overlooked the 415V 3 phase cabling they were drilling in towards. A cable strike, even at this voltage, can cause a major explosion. This incident has left two men with long-lasting burn injuries and they are now unable to work for a long time.”

Read more on the case from SHPOnline.

Worker Permanently Paralysed After Fall From Height

Two white paneled roofs with a black trim and windows below it.A worker suffered severe injuries that left them permanently paralysed after falling from height. On 7th August 2018, an employee of Ian Ramsay, a Northamptonshire painting and decorating employer, was hired to paint the exterior windows and soffit boards of a property, including the painting of dormer windows within their roof. He was in the process of setting up ladders to access the dormer windows when he fell from height. The fall resulted in the employee being permanently paralysed from the chest down. Investigating, the HSE found that the incident could have been prevented if the work at height hierarchy had been followed in the planning process and if appropriate equipment had been provided to employees, such as fully compliant scaffolding. The risk assessment should have identified that this work was not short duration and that the use of ladders was not appropriate. Ian Ramsey of Northamptonshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, 160 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £2,124.28 with a surcharge of £85.

Read more on the case from SHPOnline.

Bioservices Company Sentenced For High-Hazard Biological Agent Breach

A scientist wear face protection looking into a microscope.A bio-sciences company has been sentenced for being in possession of high hazard infectious biological material without a licence. In September 2017, Thermo Electron Ltd (trading as Fisher BioServices) was investigated regarding the nature of biological agents that had arrived at its site in Bishop Stortford, in a shipment from overseas. The HSE found that between April 2016 and February 2018, Thermo Electron Limited was in possession of a large quantity of infectious avian influenza and West Nile virus. Both of these biological agents are specified as requiring a licence under the Specified Animal Pathogens Order 2008 (SAPO); enquiries confirmed the company had obtained no such licence. Thermo Electron Ltd (trading as Fisher BioServices) admitted to two breaches of Section 73(a) of the Animal Health Act 1981 and was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £80,000. Speaking after the hearing, HSE specialist inspector Dr David Johnson said: “The use of high hazard animal pathogens is tightly regulated in the UK to ensure that exotic animal diseases such as Avian influenza, are not introduced which could threaten the UK livestock economy. The licencing regime enables HSE to authorise possession of such agents and requires the implementation of strict conditions for those wanting to conduct work with specified animal pathogens.”

Read more on the case from HSE.