Week Commencing 02/01/2023 – In The News

HSE scientist recognised in New Years Honours List

safety in a dictionary highlighted in greenProfessor Andrew Curran, Director of Science and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), has been awarded a CBE for his significant contribution to public service in the King’s New Year Honours List 2023.

Professor Curran, who is also Deputy Head of the Government Science & Engineering Profession, has led crucial research into protecting people’s health and safety at work – from occupational diseases to reducing carbon emissions and exposure to harmful substances.

Most recently, he headed up the largest study in the world to better understand the transmission of Covid-19, which helped support the UK’s response to the pandemic.

Reacting to his award, Professor Curran said: “I am absolutely delighted, honoured and extremely proud. I see it as recognition of the contribution HSE’s scientists, engineers and analysts make to providing a strong evidence base for our policy and regulatory activity.

Read more on the SHP website.

National Highways launches mobile tyre-management station

tyreOne in five breakdowns on the strategic road network (SRN) is caused by tyre failure: that’s 50,000 tyre-related breakdowns every year. And 30% of those involve commercial vehicles.

National Highways has analysed tyre breakdowns across the network and found that a major cause of tyre failure is under-inflation – a problem that increases friction, creating higher temperatures, and causing structural damage, premature wear, and a high risk of tread separation. With under-inflated tyres, the vehicle handles less precisely, needs much longer stopping distances, and use more fuel.

National Highways has invested in the Mobile Tyre Safety Station which it has been lending to operators of major fleets.

The tyre technology is installed at any point in a site where vehicles cross, such as entrances and exits. It combines sensors with vision technology and sophisticated software algorithms to read tyre pressure, tread depths and axle weight for vehicles up to 7.5t.  Any unsafe reading is immediately flagged to the transport manager for fixing. Vehicles drive over the station, which can inspect up to 1,000 vehicles a day, and readings take less than 10 seconds.

Learn more about the mobile tyre management station on the HSM website.

Food company fined £858,000 after worker loses arm

industrial food mixerA food production company has been fined £858,000 after an employee had his arm amputated after becoming entangled in an industrial food mixer.

Lee Simpson was removing filling ingredients from a paddle mixer, from which the contents could be removed at the front, at David Wood Baking Limited’s premises in Sheerness, Kent when his right hand and arm were drawn in.

Lee, from Sheerness, who was 26 years old at the time, had to have his arm surgically removed.

He said he has now lost much of his independence. He said: “Life has changed so much since the accident and I am doing everything I can to improve, but it will never be the same.

“Since my accident I have become dependent on others, primarily my family and fiancée, to complete daily activities for me, such as cooking and domestic tasks such as doing the laundry.”

The incident happened on 27 September 2021 at the Mill House, Dorset Road, Sheerness, where David Wood Baking Limited makes sausage rolls, quiches and other food products.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the control measures in place to prevent contact with moving parts were ineffective as the guarding of the mixer was routinely not replaced after cleaning.

The ‘interlocking’ system was also defeated which meant the mixer would still operate without the front guard in place, putting employees, including Mr Simpson, at risk when operating it.

For more on the incident, visit the SHP website.

HSE extends lead in ammunition restriction process by six months

sunset in a marshlandA consultation under UK REACH on restricting the use of lead in ammunition has had an overwhelming response since it launched.

Great Britain’s workplace regulator, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is therefore moving the expected date of publishing its opinions along with a response to the consultation by six months due to the high volume of responses submitted.

The use of lead ammunition for outdoor shooting over wetlands is already subject to regulation in Great Britain. HSE is establishing whether additional controls are needed for outdoor shooting.

The agency has received 2,759 responses including many detailed and technical submissions that need to be worked through. This was nine times that of a similar exercise across the EU, which also saw a six-month extension.

HSE confirmed the extension today, Thursday 5 January 2023, as the agency that operates UK REACH, a system of ensuring that chemical substances used in Britain are safe.

To help HSE understand how to provide the most effective, proportionate and practical approach to manage risks to health and the environment, a public consultation was opened for six months. It was published on 6 May 2022, alongside the  restriction dossier, to gather information from different groups affected.

Read more on the HSE website.

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