One Dead and Several Injured After Crane Collapse
An 85-year-old woman has died and several others have been injured after a 20-metre crane collapsed on houses in East London. On Wednesday afternoon, the crane fell onto houses and a block of flats which were being built in London. The woman was found on the first floor of one of the houses and died at the scene. One other person, a construction worker, is currently in hospital in a critical condition, while several more people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries. London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said the collapse was “a tragedy” and his “heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victim who died”. “We must ensure the lessons are learned so an accident like this never happens again,” he added. No arrests have currently been made.
Read more from BBC News.
Best Available Evidence Supports Wearing Face Masks
A new meta-analysis published in The Lancet, which brings together a significant amount of research on SARS-CoV-2 and related coronavirus protection, provides the best available evidence for mask use, as well as social distancing. In terms of wearing face masks, the meta-analysis, which looks at 44 comparative studies, found that the odds of developing an infection with a coronavirus were reduced by 78% when wearing any mask, compared with the odds of infection when not wearing a mask. When using masks that conform to the N95/FFP2 standard, this figure increased to 96%.
According to co-lead study author Dr. Holger Schünemann, “Although the direct evidence is limited, the use of masks in the community provides protection, and possibly N95 or similar respirators worn by healthcare workers suggest greater protection than other face masks.” In a Lancet podcast, Dr. Schünemann confirmed that even wearing a “self-made face mask is better than having no face mask.” The authors of the study did acknowledge that their analysis has some limits including none of the currently available studies being randomised and many of them not specifying exact distances when looking at social distancing. However, the research presents policymakers and clinicians with valuable interim information on which to base key decisions.
To read more about this study, take a look at the article on Medical News Today.
HSE Releases Annual Workplace Fatality Figures for 2019/20
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released its annual figures for the number of work-related fatalities in 2019/20, as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2018. The provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents revealed that 111 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2019 and March 2020 (a rate of 0.34 deaths per 100,000 workers), the lowest year on record. This represents a fall of 38 deaths from the previous year, though it is likely that this fall was accentuated by the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economy in the final two months of the year. The construction sector accounted for the largest share of this number, with 40 fatal injuries to construction workers recorded which is an increase from the 31 seen in 2018/2019. However, annual numbers do tend to fluctuate: over the last five years, the number of deaths has ranged between 31 and 47, with a five-year average of 37 deaths per year.
The three most common causes of fatal injuries continue to be;
- Workers falling from height (29)
- Being struck by a moving vehicle (20)
- Being struck by a moving object (18)
In addition, the new figures continue to highlight the risks to older workers; 27 per cent of fatal injuries in 2019/20 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers make up only around 10 per cent of the workforce.
To learn more about these statistics, visit the HSE’s website.
New ‘Staying Covid-19 Secure’ Government Poster
An updated ‘Staying Covid-19 Secure’ poster has been released by the government in line with new guidance. This poster confirms your workplace is complying with government guidelines in the form of 5 key steps:
- Carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment of your workplace and sharing the results with the people who work there.
- Having cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance.
- Taking all reasonable steps to help people work from home.
- Taking all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace.
- Where people cannot keep 2m apart, ensuring at least a 1m distance and taking all the mitigating actions possible to manage transmission risk.
This poster is also required by CHAS as part of their assessment process therefore it is worthwhile making sure it is displayed in a prominent position in your workplace.
New Hazard of the Month!
Our new Hazard of the Month is focusing on Returning to Work as many of us may now be back in the office and on-site. Apart from just remembering what it is like to not be in your pyjamas all day, there are a number of considerations to be aware of to make the return as safe as possible for all staff. As a result, this month we will be looking at topics such as making sure your workstation is ergonomically sound, how to ensure you have the right PPE, the ending of shielding and more.
Make sure you follow our social media and blogs closely this month to keep up-to-date!
In addition, for the month of July only, you can get 10% OFF our ‘Display Screen Equipment (DSE)’ and ‘Business Communication’ online training courses with the code ‘ReturnToWork20’. These courses are ideal for employers and employees who are due to return to work and need a reminder about how to get back into the swing of things safely and correctly.