Week Commencing 04/04/2022 – In The News

Daughter of former steel worker highlights dangers related to asbestos following father’s death

Man in ppe carrying asbestos panelThe daughter of a former steel erector is working to raise awareness of the dangers related to asbestos after her father’s death from asbestos-related lung cancer.

Terence Burns, from Widnes, died from mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, usually decades previously.

Terence’s daughter, Kate Edgar, 66, instructed asbestos-related disease experts at Royds Withy King to investigate a compensation claim after a post-mortem confirmed the cause of death as malignant mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.

Terence had worked for over 20 companies throughout his 40-year career, which was sadly cut short by an industrial injury in 1986. One of his proudest moments was when, at the age of 29, in November 1960, he became the first person to cross the new Runcorn-Widnes bridge, which has since been renamed the Silver Jubilee Bridge.

Read more on the SHP website.

HSE inspections target woodworking businesses to tackle occupational lung disease

carpenter clapping hands to remove wood dustVentilation, protective equipment and appropriate guarding are some of the measures businesses should consider as Britain’s workplace regulator is carrying out inspections to protect the respiratory health of workers.

From April, health and safety inspectors across Great Britain will be visiting business within woodworking industries such as sawmilling, manufacture of composite boards, and carpentry, as well as other industries where wood dust exposure can occur.

Woodworking industries have the potential for high incidence rates of occupational asthma and work-aggravated asthma caused by worker exposure to inadequately controlled wood dust in the workplace.

Inspectors will be looking for evidence that employers have considered the control measures required to reduce workers exposure to wood dust, that workers understand the risks of exposure to wood dust, and effective control measures have been put in place to protect workers from harm. Inspectors will take enforcement action when necessary to make sure workers are protected.

Learn more about the inspections on the HSE website.

Hospitality venues urged to arrange checks for outdoor installations ahead of busy period

outdoor pyramid heaterPubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues are being urged to make sure electrical installations and electrical equipment for use in outdoor spaces are safe as they enter the spring and summer season.

The Health and Safety Executive is working with both representatives from the hospitality industry and local authority enforcement officers to increase awareness and to improve safety standards.

HSE is stressing that venues should arrange for a competent person to carry out electrical installation work, only using lights and heaters specifically designed for outdoor use, and regularly checking equipment for damage or water ingress. The fixed installation and electrical appliances should be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

John Rowe, HSE’s Head of Operational Strategy said: “The hospitality sector will be looking forward to an exciting and busy period, as it prepares for the spring and summer seasons, which will include major events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Those responsible for outdoor spaces will be planning to make use of them. It is important to make sure electrical equipment is in good condition, particularly as it may have been unused and in storage for a long period of time.”

For more information, visit the SHP website.

PPE supplier warns of changes in the law

yellow blue and white safety helmets in a lineFrom 6 April 2022, the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 2022 will extend employers’ PPE duties, requiring them to provide appropriate equipment for free to casual workers, who were not previously covered under the same regulations that have been in force since 1992.

Derek Brown, managing director of phs Besafe said, “The new regulations now include ‘limb (b)’ workers, who are generally considered to be those who carry out casual or irregular work for an organisation, and work under a contract of service but are not self-employed.

“However, as every employment relationship is different and specific to the worker and the employer, the definition in the new regulations does leave some grey areas that employers need to be careful of. I’d say this is a case of better to be safe, than sorry.”

PPE includes all equipment, including clothing that provides protection against the weather, worn or held by a person at work, which protects them against any risks to their health or safety. Regulations state that employers must undertake a risk assessment for all workers to ensure the correct PPE is provided, and it must be free of charge. PPE must also be appropriately maintained and stored, and the correct training given to workers to ensure it is used properly.

Learn more on the HSM website.

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