Week Commencing 09/05/2022 – In The News

Mental Health Awareness Week: How to avoid loneliness when working from home

Person standing in front of a body of waterThis year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 9-15 May, will explore the experience of loneliness, its effect on our mental health and how we can all play a part in reducing loneliness in our communities. In this article, Heather Beach provides some tips on how to avoid loneliness when working from home.

Loneliness affects millions of people in the UK every year and is a key driver of poor mental health. The Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health in the Pandemic research found that loneliness has been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. The Foundation has been tracking loneliness levels in the UK during the pandemic and found the experience has been much higher with devastating impact. Loneliness has been an important factor contributing to higher levels of distress, resulting from people’s sense of isolation and reduced ability to connect with others. Further polling also found that loneliness was one of the leading issues that the public felt needed to be addressed.

Read the advised steps on the SHP website.

Six Incredible and Unusual Eco-Innovations

popcornScientists and designers are reimagining how our world works in delightfully different and sustainable ways.

The climate crisis is causing us to rethink how we eat, how we dress, and how we consume in general. Thankfully, various clever inventors are addressing this problem by turning to the natural world for sustainable tech solutions. From flood-resistant concrete to shoes made from discarded chewing gum, here are six of our favourite alternative and eco-conscious materials for building a better tomorrow.

Read about the proposed alternative materials on the BBC Earth website.

Lancashire County Council fined over Hand Arm Vibration issues

Road construction worker using a pneumatic jackhammerLancashire County Council has been fined after several employees carrying out work in the highways department developed a debilitating nerve condition as a result of failure to control exposure to vibration.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that, in February 2019, HSE received a RIDDOR report from Lancashire County Council, relating to the diagnosis of a case of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVs). An improvement notice was served to the council in July 2019 requiring the council to improve their control of HAVs. However, subsequent to this, a further ten cases of vibration- related ill-health, unrelated to the RIDDOR report, were uncovered and reported late. Four more reports were also filed, but these were on time.

Regular use of vibrating tools causes the painful and disabling disorder which, in this case, has left the employees with nerve damage to the hands and arms, making everyday tasks and leisure activities difficult or impossible.

The HSE’s found that there had been insufficient supervision and monitoring by the council to ensure that operatives accurately recorded their levels of exposure to vibration.

Learn more on the SHP website.

HSE publishes two restriction dossiers on lead in ammunition and substances in tattoo inks and permanent make-up (PMU)

Tattoo inks on a shelfThe Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is opening a six-month public consultation on two restriction proposals.

Today (6 May), HSE published restriction dossiers on lead in ammunition and substances in tattoo inks and PMU following a request from the Defra Secretary of State, with agreement from the Scottish and Welsh Government.

Restrictions are developed to limit, ban or set conditions on the manufacture, placing on the market or use of a substance (or group of substances) that are of concern due to risks posed to human health and/or the environment.

HSE has proposed a restriction on hazardous substances present in tattoo inks and PMU as a precautionary measure to address potential risks to human health – there is currently no legislation in Great Britain that addresses the risks presented by insertion into the skin of these substances.

For more, visit the HSE website.

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