Week Commencing 05/09/2022 – In The News

Farmers warned of machinery fire risk

Combine harvesterArdent has issued a warning to farmers following a surge in machinery fires as a result of the ongoing heatwave.

The extreme heat and dry conditions experienced by the country throughout July and August have seen a dramatic increase in combine harvester fires. Ardent warns that the combination of grain dust and other debris, extreme heat from moving parts and electrical components, and combustible fuel presents a severe fire risk in hot weather.

Managing director of Ardent Neil Crowther said, “We would recommend farmers continue to take extra steps to maintain their machinery in the immediate aftermath of the heatwave, particularly in the case of combines and tractors. The hot, dry conditions make it much more likely a fire will break out as dust and other debris can clog hot components like particulate filters and torque converters. Where there is extreme heat, there is always an increased risk of ignition occurring.

Read more on the HSM website.

Gibraltar collision: Race to remove fuel from stricken ship

Oil spillSalvage teams have rushed to pump fuel off a grounded ship after it collided with a gas tanker off Gibraltar and began leaking into the sea.

Authorities said there had been a significant leak from the OS 35 on Thursday and conservationists fear major ecological damage.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo described the next 48 hours as crucial.

By Friday afternoon, the British overseas territory said all the ship’s 250 tonnes of diesel had been removed.

They were now starting to remove 215 tonnes of heavy fuel oil.

The chief minister said it was the most polluting fuel on board: “I am very concerned about a potential spill and will not be relaxed until the vessel is entirely removed.”

Marine biologist Lewis Stagnetto, from the Nautilus Project, said the smell of fuel was tangible outside the harbour on Gibraltar’s western shoreline on Friday.

For more on the incident, visit the BBC website.

HSE guidance refreshed to support brick, tile and stone manufacturing firms to reduce the risk of work-place silicosis

Pile of bricksProlonged exposure to airborne particles of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) can lead to life-changing respiratory conditions such as silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease warns Britain’s workplace regulator. 

As part of the Health and Safety Executive’s role as an enabling regulator it has recently refreshed its silica guidance for brick and tile manufacturingstonework and foundries ahead of manufacturing sector focused inspections in autumn/winter and has an ebulletin to support this industry. 

Silica is a natural substance found in most stone, rocks, sand, quartz and clay. Silica particles are produced during many manufacturing tasks involving these materials. Silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer can all be caused by breathing in tiny particles of silica. Over time, exposure to silica particles can harm a worker’s ability to breathe and cause irreversible, often fatal, lung disease. 

Starting in October, HSE inspectors will begin a targeted inspection initiative focusing on manufacturing business where materials that contain silica are used, to ensure they have control measures in place to protect workers’ respiratory health. This will include brick and tile manufacturers, foundries, stone working sites and manufacturers of kitchen worktops.  

Read more about the guidance on the HSE website.

Lantra leading calls for Government pesticides plan to be fit for purpose for all

Sprayer spraying pesticidesLantra, a UK awarding organisation, providing training and qualifications for the land-based sector, has said it is looking forward to the delivery of a Government plan looking at the safe and sustainable use of pesticides.

Lantra is working with those across the land-based sector, ahead of the delivery of the Pesticides National Action Plan (NAP) which is expected to be released this Autumn. A date for its publication is still to be confirmed.

The organisation’s work to update its related training and qualification products has therefore been on-hold until the full details of the plan are agreed and released.

The high-level aim of the revised NAP is to minimise the risks and impacts of pesticides to human health and the environment, while ensuring pest and pesticide resistance is managed effectively.

Learn more on the SHP website.

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