Week Commencing 02/05/2022 – In The News

Employers urged to back Union safety campaign

Black taxiUnite wants the hundreds of councils and authorities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow East Dunbartonshire council’s lead in finding innovative ways to support the late night workforce. East Dunbartonshire has made it a requirement of licensing that all hospitality businesses in the area provide safe transport home for their workers.

The union is also calling for health and safety legislation to be changed to ensure that employers must conduct assessments of the provision for workers to get home safely from late working.

The Get Me Home Safely campaign has been inspired by the experience of one young woman member of the union who, having been promised and then denied a taxi home after a shift, was attacked on her journey home. Unite is now pursuing her former employer for negligence.

The campaign, which has been endorsed by the Welsh Assembly, is working to make safe transport home the norm for late workers.

For more on the campaign, visit the HSM website.

Hybrid workers – here are the best ways to prevent common health issues

Someone holding their wrist in their other hand in front of a laptopMany organisations are embracing hybrid working.

Time split between office and home can benefit workers as well as the organisations they work for. Here are five reasons why:

  • greater flexibility
  • improved work/life balance
  • time and stress saved by not commuting
  • reduced travel/accommodation costs
  • increased efficiency.

But hybrid or teleworking may also contribute to or exacerbate musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – common conditions that affect mechanisms in the body such as the joints, muscles and tendons.

MSDs associated with hybrid work typically affect the lower back, neck, shoulder, arms, hands and wrists. But these are preventable.

Here’s a look at some of the risk factors – along with advice on how to prevent or minimise them – from IOSH in support of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) Lighten the Load campaign.

Learn about how to prevent MSDs on the IOSH website.

Landlord fined for failing to carry out fire safety improvements

Block of flatsA Yorkshire property company has been fined £20,000 for failing to carry out safety and fire safety improvement works on a property in Kirkburn, Driffield after ignoring requests to do so by housing officers.

GAP Properties (Yorkshire) Ltd, which is based in Doncaster, was represented at Beverley Magistrates Court by director George Plant, who pleaded guilty on its behalf to two counts of failing to comply with improvement notices served under the Housing Act 2004.

The prosecution was brought to court by East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s private sector housing team, who had first received complaints from tenants at the property in October 2020.

Following the complaints, an inspection took place and officers found the safety of the tenants was at risk due to a lack of smoke and heat detectors. There was also a collapsed ceiling, no lighting in the hallway, and windows and patio doors that would not open or lock properly.

Read more on the SHP website.

Skip hire employee crushes arm

A full yellow skipBristol Magistrates’ Court heard that on 30 May 2018, an employee of Bateman Skips Ltd was asked to repair a conveyor belt feeding the picking station. He was injured when his arm was drawn into the mechanism while realigning the belt. The employee was rescued by the Fire & Rescue Service. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Bateman Skips Ltd failed to ensure that the workforce was provided with adequate training and suitable safeguards for dealing with blockages and adjusting the equipment.

Bateman Skips Ltd of Broadmead Lane, Keynsham, Bristol pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,205.80.

For more on the case, visit the HSM website.

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