Week Commencing 29/03/2021 – In The News

Secret Filming Exposes Contamination Risk at Covid Test Results Lab

A quote by Chris Denning, Director of the University of Nottingham Biodiscovery Institute, which says ""What you're seeing here is absolutely crazy. There is almost zero question that this would lead to contamination."Evidence of potential contamination, discarded tests and pressure to hit targets has been revealed at one of the biggest UK Covid testing labs after secret filming by a BBC reporter working as a lab technician was released.

The reporter filmed staff cutting corners and processing samples in a way that could cause contamination. This means some people who had taken a test via NHS Test and Trace may have received no result or a wrong result. The lab said it had followed all necessary rules and regulations.

Evidence at the lab captured on film shows:

  • Checks to ensure samples could be identified, were rushed, meaning tests were sometimes discarded unnecessarily.
  • Some test samples “glooped” across an area where other samples had been placed, risking contamination.
  • Swabs used by people to take Covid tests were left in their tubes when processed, presenting a further contamination risk.
  • A quality control scientist telling the reporter that the quality of the results progressively got worse throughout the day.

The findings have led experts to question the way the lab was operating.

Read more from the BBC.

WA Management IOSH Leading Safely Course Benefits of IOSH Leading Safely course: Improve employee confidence and productivity, increase productivity, enhance corporate reputation and strengthen brand recognition.– 29th April

WA Management are pleased to announce that we will be running a remote IOSH Leading Safely course on 29th April.

This course will run through Microsoft Teams at a discounted rate of £99+VAT per person. Please note you will need a smartphone for this course.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to make a booking so we can register attendees with IOSH in time for the course!

Two Construction Companies Fined After Working Platform Failed

A crane among scaffolding.Two construction companies have been sentenced following an incident were a working platform failed and a bricklayer using the platform was injured.

On 1 July 2019, Dere Street Homes Limited were acting as principal contractor and provided components for a proprietary polypropylene working platform at a new build in County Durham. SGS Construction & Design Limited were acting as a contractor and supplied workers to erect the working platform. The working platform failed and a worker was injured.

A HSE investigation found numerous failings, including:

  • a number of components were missing from the working platform.
  • although previously workers supplied by SGS were formally trained in the erection of the components to form a safe working platform, the worker who erected the failed platform had not received adequate training.
  • the signing off as a safe working platform had earlier been undertaken by a site manager working for Dere Street Homes. When this manager left, a number of months prior to the incident, the inspection and signing off of the working platform was no longer undertaken.

Dere Street Homes Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations and was fined £38,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,367.30.

SGS Construction & Design Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,683.60.

Read more from the HSE.

New Hazard of the Month!

New Hazard of the Month for April 2021: AsbestosOur hazard of the month for April is Asbestos! This fits in with it being Asbestos Awareness Week on 1st – 7th April but throughout the whole month, we will be providing you with a range of resources to manage the risks of Asbestos!

It is also Stress Awareness Month. Many of us have had higher stress levels than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic which can be very damaging to our health. In fact, a study found that 65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020 with key causes for concern being feelings of disconnection, uncertainty and a loss of control. It is crucial to continue looking after yourself and make time to relax to help relieve stress.

Stress Management Society have some great resources on how to manage stress whilst WA Management’s Stress Awareness course is ideal for workplaces wanting to help support their employee’s mental wellbeing.

Look out for more resources being posted on our social media and blogs throughout the month!


10% off Asbestos Awareness and COSHH E-Learning courses with the code 'asbestos10'.

For this month only you can also get 10% off our Asbestos Awareness and Control of Hazardous Substances (COSHH) E-Learning courses! Just use the code ‘asbestos10’ at checkout!