Week Commencing 05/10/2020 – In The News

Asbestos Training in the Construction Industry Sinks to 5 Year Low

Blocks of high-rise flats.The coronavirus pandemic has seen the numbers of workers undertaking asbestos training drop by over 66%. Despite the re-opening of construction sites in May, the number of workers undertaking asbestos training courses continues to remain well below average and are at their lowest level for five years, prompting UKATA to speak out.

Prior to the pandemic an average of 18,000 workers a month completed asbestos training. Over the last six months (March – August), an average of 6,000 workers a month undertook asbestos training delivered by UKATA-approved training providers, a fall of over 66%.

You can read more about this lack of Asbestos training in the construction industry from SHPOnline

Text which reads "If you need to get your Asbestos Awareness training up-to-date, our e-learning course is an easy and accessible alternative to in-person training. Learn more on our website" in a blue font. There is also a blue and white warning symbol with two horizontal lines either side of it, against a white background.

Manufacturing Company Fined £100K After Serious Injuries

A man completing work in a factory with protective gloves on.A manufacturer of plastic tubing and blown fibre tubing for telecoms and water piping has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries to his left hand when it came into contact with the exposed clamp of a socket machine.

On 3 November 2016, an employee was working on a socket machine, building a pipe into a socket, at their site in Jedburgh, Roxburghshire. He was placing a pipe into a socket when the shorter length of pipe fell out, the worker reached to catch the pipe to prevent it being clamped and his left hand came into contact with the exposed clamp causing serious injury.

An investigation by the HSE found that the company had carried out a risk assessment in 2006 for the socket machine, however this did not cover working with shorter length pipes and did not identify a risk from entrapment. It was noted that the socket machine had no guard in place, with the result that the clamping mechanism was exposed.

Emtelle UK Limited, Haughhead, Hawick, Roxburghshire pleaded guilty to Regulations 11(1) and (2) of the Provision and Use of work Equipment Regulations 1998 and were fined £100,000.

Read more from the HSE.

A railroad track.

Hydrogen-Powered Train Makes UK Maiden Journey

A hydrogen-powered train has travelled on Britain’s rail network for the first time. The prototype, called the Hydroflex, made a 25-mile round trip through Warwickshire and Worcestershire, reaching speeds of up to 50 mph.

Its next phase is to move the hydrogen tanks, fuel cell and battery out of a carriage and stash them underneath the train. The aim is for the train to start carrying paying passengers by the end of 2021.

Hydrogen is the lightest element on earth and an eco-friendly option with its only direct emission when generating electricity being water.

Learn more about the train from the BBC.

World Mental Health Day 2020

White text against a highlight which reads "Be open to mental health, talk and listen" against a yellow background with a pink illustration of speech bubbles. There is also a hashtag for #World MentalHealthDay in the right corner.On Saturday 10th October, it is World Mental Health Day. Now more than ever it is important to check in on your friends, family and colleagues and have open conversations about mental health.

Stress, depression and anxiety are the second biggest cause of work-related ill health in the construction industry. As part of efforts to prevent work-related stress in construction, the HSE has launched a draft ‘Talking Toolkit’. This is aimed at small businesses with a regular workforce (employed and contracted) who want to start looking at this issue. It will also help site managers
wanting to identify project-specific issues.

You can view the draft copy from the HSE here. They are also asking for feedback on it through the completion of a short survey.

If you would like to learn more about supporting your staff’s or your own mental health, our Mental Health Awareness e-learning course is a great resource to help with this!