Week Commencing 21/02/2022 – In The News

7 simple steps to reduce work-related back pain

Close up of a man holding his lower back in painNeck pain. Back pain. Tendonitis. Osteoarthritis. Most of your workforce has had them. Or will do.

But do you know as much about these common conditions as you think – including how badly they impact your business?

The above, along with a host of other ailments, are known as musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs. They affect mechanisms in the body such as the joints, muscles and tendons.

They can be caused or made worse by work or the effects of the work environment, such as manual handling of heavy loads, unfavourable body postures, monotonous/repetitive tasks and high job demands.

The emphasis is on ‘can’ – as these conditions are preventable.

Yet MSDs remain one of the most frequent causes of disability, sick leave and early retirement, plus the most common work-related health problem in Europe.

By preventing and managing MSDs in the workplace, organisations will lower costs, improve productivity, gain worker engagement, reduce staff turnover, improve morale, reduce absence rates and more.

Read the seven steps on the IOSH website.

Mayor of London launches new fire safety planning guidance proposal

Floorplan of a houseThe Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a public consultation on draft guidance that puts fire safety at the centre of the planning process for new developments.

Sadiq Khan’s London Plan sets out guidance for development and building across London, with Khan stating that existing building regulations are ‘not fit for purpose’ and the progress of reform is too slow.

The London Plan Guidance (LPG) relating to fire safety sets out how applicants seeking planning permission should demonstrate compliance with London Plan Policies that relate to fire safety (known as D12 and D5 (B5)). The aim is to ensure that fire safety is considered at the earliest design stage of a development and addressed in planning application.

The fire safety LPG considers developments that include a new residential or commercial unit, a new lift, or alterations to external walls or communal areas that form part of an evacuation strategy.

Planning applications for non-major developments will need to provide fire safety information in a Planning Fire Safety Strategy.

The draft guidance states that the author of the PFSS should: “demonstrate they have suitable fire safety knowledge, understanding and qualifications, commensurate with size, scope and complexity of the proposed development.”

Major developments will require a Fire Statement, with householder developments needing to complete a Reasonable Exception Statement.

Learn more on the SHP website.

Motor vehicle scrap company fined after worker suffers crush injuries

Man in warehouse driving a forkliftA motor vehicle scrap company and a director have been fined after a worker suffered crush injuries in an incident involving a forklift truck.

Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard how on 1 March 2021, an employee of Queensferry Car Breakers Limited was injured when he was hit and run over by a forklift truck driven by his employer Ghol Mohammad Navabi. The forklift truck was being used to transport engine parts from the scrap yard up a loading ramp into the back of a metal container.

Whilst Mr Navabi was inside the container, he asked the worker to collect a car bonnet. The worker left the container and walked down the ramp returning quicker than Mr Navabi expected. As he was walking back up the ramp Mr Navabi reversed down it and ran over him, which resulted in multiple fractures to both his legs.

For more on the incident, visit the HSE website.

‘76% of travel & transport workers surveyed now suffer from ‘pleasanteeism’’, according to new research

Woman with a piece of paper with a smile on it over her mouth‘Pleasanteeism’ – the pressure to put on a brave face – is on the rise across the travel and transport sector, as 76% of workers surveyed admit to feeling like they have to put on a brave face in front of their colleagues regardless of how they’re really feeling.

According to new research, released by Lime Global, the provider of affordable and accessible whole of workforce health and wellbeing solutions, pleasanteeism is up by 25 percentage points from May 2021 – when (51%) of travel & transport workers admitted to suffering from this phenomenon.

With more workers masking how they really feel than ever before, pleasanteeism is having a significant impact on the productivity of travel & transport businesses. Findings from the research revealed that 43% of employees have taken time off work due to feeling like they have to put on a brave face.

In fact, on average, workers in the industry take 2.55 days off per year as a result of this brave face culture. Across the entire UK workforce, pleasanteeism could therefore be accounting for as many as 67 million[1] days lost each year due to this phenomenon alone.

Visit the SHP website to read more about the research.

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