Week Commencing 13/09/2021 – In The News

An annual gas safety check can keep us all safe

A lit gas hob

During Gas Safety Week, from 13 to 19 September, I urge everyone to continue in that spirit by encouraging relatives, friends and neighbours to get a gas safety check. Those who shielded through the lockdown months, are clinically vulnerable or having to work at home, may feel particularly nervous of allowing strangers into their home. I would like to reassure everyone that Gas Safety registered engineers are mindful of people’s concerns and all comply with Covid guidance procedures and protocols including wearing appropriate PPE and observing social distancing.

As winter approaches, we are all looking to crank up the central heating ready for that first cold snap. While gas is a safe and efficient way to heat our homes and water, if not properly maintained, appliances can pose a potential risk to ourselves and our neighbours. It’s important that we make sure our boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances are checked on an annual basis.

In rented premises, landlords have a responsibility to their tenants to ensure that appliances in rental properties are regularly maintained by a registered engineer.

Read more on the HSE website.

Covid rules: What’s in England’s ‘Winter Plan’?

Image of the coronavirus

Measures to deal with rising Covid cases in England over the winter have been announced – with a contingency “Plan B” if things get worse.

Single vaccines will be offered to children aged 12-15 and booster jabs to over-50s, health workers and the most vulnerable. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have confirmed they will offer the same.

What is England’s Plan A?

Covid booster jabs will be offered to around 30 million people, including the over-50s, younger adults with health conditions and frontline health and social care workers.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Plan A would also include offering vaccines to youngsters aged 12-15 and continuing to encourage unvaccinated people to get jabbed.

Plan A also includes:

  • continuing the work of NHS Test and Trace and with free PCR tests
  • encouraging free flu vaccine take-up (extended to over-50s and secondary school pupils)
  • reminding people to let in fresh air if meeting indoors and to wear face coverings in crowded settings

For more information, read the full article from the BBC.

IOSH urges businesses to make own work from home judgements

Miniature wooden house with stacked up wooden blocks spelling 'WFH'

Businesses shouldn’t just wait for Government advice to work from home – they should regularly review their COVID-19 safety measures to ensure they remain effective, according to IOSH.

With many countries continuing to see rising virus cases, Governments are reviewing existing measures, including how and where people should be working.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that businesses may be asked to revert to home working should virus cases rise significantly in the coming months. This could, he said, form part of the Government’s ‘Plan B’, which would be enacted if serious concerns emerge about the National Health Service coming under severe pressure.

But IOSH is urging organisations to judge for themselves whether they should make such a move, adding that looking after workers should be their priority.

Learn more about the IOSH advice on their website.

Two companies fined for failing that led to crush injury

Close up of plastic clear bottles

Chivas Brothers Limited and Fire Protection Group (FPG) Limited pled guilty to health and safety breaches, committed between 20 December 2016 and 22 February 2017, at Dumbarton Sheriff Court.

The companies were each fined £50,000.

The court heard that on 22 February 2017 at Chivas Brothers Limited’s bottling plant in Kilmalid, Dumbarton, a fire engineer employed by Fire Protection Group (FPG) Limited was trapped and crushed inside a vertical storage and retrieval unit.

The engineer was undertaking a visual inspection of fire suppression systems at CBL’s bottling plant. Side panels that act as fixed guards preventing access to dangerous moving parts inside of the machines were removed so that the FPG employee could gain access inside to carry out the inspections. Only part of the machine was isolated from power sources. He suffered crushing injuries to his right side, including the chest wall, shoulder and upper leg and sustained a cut to the top of his head when an extractor device in the unit moved down on top of him and pinned him to the ground.

For more information about the incident, head to the SHP website.


To keep up to date with the latest health & safety news and advice, follow us on social media:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn