Week Commencing 19/09/2022 – In The News

Jacobs’ plan for the World’s Biggest Mental Health Check-in

Ripple in waterOn 10 October 2022, to coincide with World Mental Health Day, Jacobs is inviting all organisations and industries to come together and join them in touching one million lives. The aim is to create the ‘World’s Biggest Mental Health Check-in’. SHP hears more from Jacobs about the initiative…

WHO is working with partners to launch a campaign around the theme this year of ‘Making Mental Health & Well-Being for all a Global Priority’. This will be an opportunity for people with mental health conditions, advocates, governments, organisations and other stakeholders to come together to recognise progress in this field and to be vocal about what else needs to happen to achieve this goal.

Making mental health and wellbeing a priority for all is at the core of Jacobs’ One Million Lives campaign. The free mental health check-in tool was created to help enhance users’ understanding of their current state of mind and provide proactive strategies for personal mental health development. It’s accessible to everyone — no matter where they live, who they are or what organisation they work for. And this October’s World’s Biggest Mental Health Check-in is an opportunity and reminder for people to hit pause for a moment and come together to check-in on their mental health. By completing a check-in, people will ideally be better equipped to understand how they are currently coping, assess the early indicators of associated mental health challenges, start positive and active conversations and get support much earlier.

Learn more on the SHP website.

Noisy offices lowering productivity

Oscar Acoustics has released findings from its latest study into workplace noise, with 2,000 office workers polled.

Once again workplace topics surrounding low productivity, problems filling job vacancies and a four-day week for the same pay are in the UK headlines, highlighting that bosses need to prioritise employee wellbeing and efficiency.

The UK has seen fewer workers return to the office full time than in any other European nation. While this is frequently put down to long commutes, there’s another potential reason…our offices are just too noisy.

Highlighting this concerning situation, Oscar Acoustics’ study found just 8% work in a quiet office, with only a quarter of office workers working in a space that’s been well designed for their job.

The sounds most likely to stop people from working effectively are colleagues talking to each other (38%), and other people on calls (34%). Colleagues eating (21%), co-workers singing/humming (19%) and a similar number are troubled by others’ bodily sounds (e.g. scratching).

Four in ten office workers said poor acoustics were impacting their concentration, and a third said their mood was negatively affected, with a quarter reporting stress induced by exceptionally high noise levels.

Read more about the study on the HSM website.

Manufacturing company fined after worker injured by machinery

A manufacturing company has been fined £20,000 after a worker’s hand was partially severed when it was caught in machinery.

The employee of ADA Machining Services Ltd, Ashton-under-Lyne, was operating a Richards 16ft vertical boring machine on 24 March 2021 when he stepped on to the rotating table to check the internal boring cut but slipped and fell on the table.

On his third attempt to steady himself after slipping, his hand was drawn into the in-running nip, and he suffered a partially severed hand. He remains unable to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was inadequate guarding to prevent access to dangerous parts of the machinery and an inadequate risk assessment for operating the vertical boring machine.

The investigation found that it was also custom and practice to walk on the rotating machine table during operation of the vertical boring machine.

For more, visit the HSE website.

Firm fined for causing employee exposure to vibration

Two partners in a construction firm have been fined for failing to adequately control the risk to its employees from exposure to vibration when using vibrating tools.

Employees of Roywood Contractors worked at various construction sites using vibrating tools without adequate control. As a result, an employee who had been working at the company for 12 years suffered significant ill-health from hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to adequately assess the risk to employees from exposure to vibration on or before the 15 January 2020.

They did not have appropriate measures to control exposure or place employees under suitable health surveillance to monitor their condition.

Andrew Hatto and Paul Kiff, trading as Roywood Contractors, of Tilford Road, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (1) and 7 (1) of the Control of Vibration Regulations 2005. They were each fined £1,150 and ordered to pay costs of £3,500 each at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on 20 September.

Read more on the SHP website.

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