Week Commencing 24/10/2022 – In The News

Half-term call to keep children safe near farms

Families who live on farms are being urged to keep their children safe this half-term.

Schools across England and Wales break up this week for the October holidays meaning farming children who would usually be in the classroom will now be at home during the day.

This can pose childcare issues for farming families especially at a busy time in agriculture. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Great Britain’s workplace regulator, says for some farmers the family home and the working farm are often side by side, though they should be regarded as separate.

Agriculture has one of the highest fatal injury rates of any industry in Great Britain but is the only high-risk industry that also sees children often present.

Children and young people up to the age of 18 are regularly killed and injured on farms. Eight children were killed on farms in the five years up to March.

HSE is reminding all adults working on farms that children and young people must be kept safe.

Read more on the HSE website.

Government urged to prevent ‘watering down’ of health and safety rights

The UK Government has been urged to ensure worker health and safety rights are not “watered down”.

The warning comes from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in a letter to Government ministers in which it sets out a series of recommendations which it believes can help “unlock Britain’s potential”.

It has since been announced that the Government plans to widen exemptions for businesses from certain regulations and reporting requirements.

In the letter, IOSH highlights the “landmark decision” taken by the International Labour Organization (ILO) this June to include ‘a safe and healthy working environment’ among its fundamental principles and rights at work. IOSH calls for action to ensure the UK respects and promotes the right so the benefits of this decision can be realised and, importantly, that the UK continues to demonstrate commitment, positive action and continual improvement toward workers’ health and safety.

The letters, jointly signed by IOSH Chief Executive Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher and Head of Health and Safety Ruth Wilkinson, say: “We must all take action. This must be universally recognised, inspiring us to renew and act on our shared responsibility to tackle poor working conditions, ill treatment at work and poor health and safety practice.

For more on the letter, visit the SHP website.

Lucky to be alive: NHS worker urging everyone to get a safe gas check

An NHS worker who had a lucky escape after an engineer carried out unsafe work on his house is urging everyone to get a proper gas safety check in time for winter.

Anaesthetic practitioner Tony Deyn unwittingly used an unregistered gas engineer to carry out work on his Cheshire home. The work was so bad it could have caused an explosion.

Now Tony is urging others to make sure they use a registered engineer to carry out an annual gas check. This is especially important ahead of winter when households will be using more gas.

Tony Deyn, 58, who works at Crewe’s Leighton Hospital, had a boiler replaced at his house in Winsford. But the work was carried out by an engineer not on the official Gas Safe Register.

After weeks of leaks from his boiler in his family home in Winsford, Tony called out a registered engineer who found a series of faults – some of which could have led to a serious gas leak and explosion.

Learn more on the HSE website.

Stress and anxiety: biggest cause of concern for most staff demographics, shows research from GRiD

Employers are most concerned about levels of stress and anxiety across their staff demographics, according to new research from GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector.

The baby boomer generation is the only demographic where employers believe their ‘lack of fitness’ is the biggest detriment to their health and wellbeing.

As employers have many different generations in their workforce, GRiD is hoping employers find a way to ‘cater to all different needs’, ensuring that any health and wellbeing benefits they offer meet the requirements of the entire workforce.

GRiD’s research reveals the major concerns that employers have for different demographics within their workforce.

Read more about the research on the SHP website.

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