Week Commencing 31/01/2022 – In The News

Leamington Spa cedar tree to be felled on safety grounds

Jephson Gardens in Leamington SpaA “much-loved” giant cedar tree in a Warwickshire park is to be felled amid reports last summer’s heatwave accelerated the spread of disease.

Warwick District Council said the tree in Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, would be removed with “great sadness”.

The tree was suffering from honey fungus and had been in decline for a number of years, the authority added.

Councillor Sidney Syson said: “The cedar could be regarded as one of the ‘elder statesmen’ of the gardens.”

Read more on the BBC website.

Could a four-day working week improve employees mental health and wellbeing?

Typing on a laptopA trial of a four-day working week has launched in the UK in a bid to measure whether employees who work less are more productive and have better mental health and wellbeing.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shift the global work model, potentially for good, there have been increased talks surrounding the benefits of a shorter working week.

With longer working hours, stress and anxiety damaging both our physical and mental health, it’s safe to say that many would likely welcome a shorter working week.

Around 30 UK companies will be taking part in a six-month trial of a four-day working week starting in June, where employees will be paid the same amount as if they were working their usual five days.

The UK companies taking part are understood to include software firms and a medical non-for-profit, with the number of employees ranging from 20 to more than 100.

Learn more on the SHP website.

“It’s time to get tough on asbestos”, says IOSH

Man wearing a respiratory mask in front of an asbestos signStronger measures on asbestos management are needed to save lives, according to the global body for health and safety professionals.

A lack of consistency in managing asbestos among duty holders and a lack of awareness and knowledge about the material, particularly among smaller businesses, are among the issues concerning the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

IOSH has highlighted those concerns in a verbal and written submission to the UK Work and Pensions Committee, which is undertaking an inquiry into the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approach to asbestos management.

Ahead of World Cancer Day (Friday 4 February), IOSH is revealing what it says in this submission. It says that although the regulations have been around in the UK for some time, the “full implementation and application” of them is lacking through the responsibility chain, which is putting lives at risk.

For more, visit the IOSH website.

Suspended sentence for owner of Merseyside roofing firm

Tiled roofsA roofing company owner has been given a suspended sentence after a member of the public reported a concern regarding unsafe work at height.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how, on 5 March 2021, company owner Phillip McGinn and two workers were replacing roof tiles on a detached dormer bungalow, in Lydiate on Merseyside, without any scaffolding or edge protection in place to prevent them from falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Phillip McGinn had failed to take suitable and sufficient measures to ensure that work at height was carried out safely. He had failed to provide sufficient work equipment to prevent a fall or to minimise the distance or consequences of a fall.

The court also heard that this was not the first time that HSE had encountered poor working practices from Phillip McGinn. The HSE took previous enforcement action and prosecuted Mr McGinn for a similar offence in 2012.

Read more about the case on the HSE website.

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