Week Commencing 10/10/2022 – In The News

‘Mental health support must be fit for purpose, and take into account different global cultures,’ says Towergate Health & Protection

Hands holding puzzle piecesThis World Mental Health Day, Towergate Health & Protection is encouraging employers to use the opportunity to ensure any mental health support they offer is fit for purpose, and to take into account global cultural differences. SHP hears more below…

Debra Clark, Head of Specialist Consulting at Towergate Health & Protection says: “The market is flooded with potential support that employers can offer their staff, from EAPs to in-patient psychiatric care, and it can be confusing for employers to know what to offer. We would urge employers not to take the first thing they’re offered or simply follow the current trend: if it’s not right for their staff, it won’t provide the support their staff need.

“The starting point must be to talk to staff. Companies need to understand their particular workforce demographic, their mental resilience, and what mental health risks they face. They need to ask employees what they might be struggling with and what help they need. In our experience this often throws up many surprises. This then enables companies to offer tailored, personalised support that’s actually going to make a difference. Without going through this process, companies need to accept that any support they offer may not be fit for purpose, and the mental wellbeing of their staff may well suffer.”

Read more on the SHP website.

PPE buyers urged to Check-Select-Protect

PPE hanging upThe British Safety Industry Federation (BSiF) is urging buyers and end users of PPE and safety equipment to follow a simple process when specifying products to ensure that they are fit for purpose.

Under PPE Regulations, buyers of PPE and safety equipment have a responsibility to ensure that the products they buy are compliant, but many buyers don’t have the knowledge and resources to validate suppliers’ claims.

It is easy to assume that if products look like PPE and safety equipment and are marketed as such, they will provide the protection that’s needed. However, mounting evidence shows that this is not always the case, and the use of ineffective products that put people at risk of injury, or worse, is on the rise.

The simple solution is to ensure that your supplier is a member of the BSiF’s Registered Safety Supplier Scheme. Therefore, if you are a business or organisation in the UK that is buying PPE and safety equipment, the BSiF urges you to:

  1. CHECK your supplier is BSiF Registered. BSiF audited suppliers are compliant, competent and trustworthy.
  2. SELECT appropriate, certified and approved products. Registered Safety Suppliers can support the product selection process through their competence, capability and knowledge.
  3. PROTECT your people, your most precious asset, and help your business to thrive.

Learn more on the HSM website.

£400k fine for Bernard Matthews after health and safety breaches left worker paralysed

Raw meat on conveyor beltBernard Matthew’s Food Ltd has been fined £400,000 following two separate incidents where employees were seriously injured.

Colin Frewin was left permanently paralysed and spent six months in hospital following an incident at the company’s Suffolk manufacturing plant.

Mr Frewin suffered multiple serious injuries, including a pierced left lung, several broken ribs, four fractured vertebrae and a spinal bleed. He was put in an induced coma for three weeks and is now classed as a T6 paraplegic and has been diagnosed with autonomic dysreflexia (AD).

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how 54-year-old Mr Frewin suffered the injuries on 28 January 2020. He’d been tasked with cleaning a large screw conveyor used to move poultry turkeys along and chill them. While working on the gantry between the spin chillers he noticed a turkey stuck at the bottom of it.

As he attempted to dislodge the turkey using a squeegee, Mr Frewin was drawn into the machine. It was only when a colleague noticed Mr Frewin was missing from the gantry and heard his cries for help, the emergency stop was pulled.

The HSE investigation found an unsafe system of work meant the chillers remained running as Mr Frewin went to dislodge the turkey.

For more on the incidents, visit the HSE website.

Ipswich Poundland fined over asbestos failings

Asbestos workerRetailer Poundland has been fined for a series of asbestos management failures.

Prior to taking on the former Woolworths store, the retailer had a survey conducted which found several types of asbestos in different locations throughout the building in Carr Street, Ipswich.

Although consultants were brought back annually to monitor the store, Poundland did not have a “proper asbestos management plan for staff and visitors”, Ipswich Borough Council said.

It meant there was no plan for precautions needed to ensure the asbestos was restricted to secure locations, which was required by law.

Poundland Limited was fined £565,000.00 with £75,000.00 costs to Ipswich Borough Council as well as a Victim Surcharge of £15.00 at Ipswich Crown Court on 23 September 2022 for asbestos management failures between 2011 and 2018.

The use of all asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1999 after the discovery that breathing in asbestos dust or fibres could cause fatal diseases, including cancer.

Learn more about the case on the SHP website.

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