Week Commencing 06/02/2023 – In The News

New lifesaving defibrillators fitted in more than 200 high street stores

defibrillatorNew lifesaving defibrillators have been fitted in more than 200 high street stores across the UK and staff are being trained in how to use them.

The equipment is being fitted in all O2’s owned stores in the UK as part of a partnership between The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Virgin Media O2.

In addition, the telecoms company is rolling out the BHF’s online CPR training tool RevivR to its staff and customers – the tool teaches the user CPR and defibrillation skills in 15 minutes using a phone and a firm cushion.

Adam Fletcher, Head of Community Health Programmes at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that O2 is equipping its stores with these lifesaving devices and rolling out RevivR to its staff and customers.

“By installing and registering its defibrillators onto The Circuit, O2 is helping to ensure ambulance services can quickly direct bystanders to a defibrillator in the event of a cardiac arrest.

“We’re urging every organisation that owns defibrillators to follow Virgin Media O2’s example by registering their defibrillators on The Circuit. It really could be the difference between life and death.”

Read more on the SHP website.

Siemens fined £1.4m following death of contractor

rail tracksSIEMENS PLC has been fined £1.4m after pleading guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, which followed an investigation and prosecution by industry regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

The incident involving Mr. Ian Parker, 58, a self-employed contractor at Siemens, happened on 13 June 2017 at the company’s Train Care Facility in west London.

The technician was killed when a 650kg traction motor he was preparing for removal from an electric locomotive fell on him and caused him fatal crush injuries.

It was found that the accident was caused or contributed to by the failure to implement a safe system of work for the task being undertaken.

An investigation by ORR revealed defects in task planning, which included the failure to carry out an appropriate task specific risk assessment and a lack of clear allocation of responsibility for supervision of the task.

Learn more on the HSM website.

Construction workers get access to new mental health support after statistics show worrying trends

two construction workersConstruction workers will now get access to new mental health support after statistics found two people in the industry take their own life every working day.

Thousands of workers will be able to speak to independent people with lived experiences offering emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support at the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity (Lighthouse Club).

Kier UK has become an annual Company Supporter of the charity meaning all colleagues and people working within Kier’s wider supply chain will have access to support when they need it.

Kier Group’s Health, Safety, Wellbeing and Sustainability Director Chris Lilley said: “We want to ensure our people and supply chain go home safely every day.

“By looking after the wellbeing of our people and those from our valued supply chain, we’re supporting them to bring their best selves to work and encouraging them to make safe decisions.

“By supporting the construction charity, the Lighthouse Club, we’re ensuring our people and supply chain have direct and immediate access to support that is adapted to their needs, tackling issues they may be facing and giving them the best support possible.

“At Kier, we prioritise wellbeing in the same way as health and safety. We currently provide mental health support through a network of over 500 mental health first aiders and our employee assistance programme.”

Read more about the charity on the SHP website.

Air quality targets fall short, says BSC

air qualityBritish Safety Council has warned that new legally binding air quality targets for the UK, which passed the final stages of parliamentary scrutiny last week, fall well short of what is needed to keep people safe.

Commenting on the new air quality targets, British Safety Council chairman, Peter McGettrick said, “It is disappointing that, given what we now know about the risks to people’s health from air pollution, this is where we have ended up on the new legally binding air quality targets.

“The Government wanted to be ambitious. And, yes, they will address small particulate matter for the first time. But they fall well short of being ambitious, and they won’t get us anywhere near what the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the limit should be for PM2.5.”

In September 2021, the WHO completed a review of the guideline air quality levels it set in 2005, halving its air quality guideline limit for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) to 5 micrograms of PM2.5.

Peter added, “Even if the Government carries on doing what it’s doing, we should get to around 10 micrograms by 2030, so why couldn’t it have gone further? And its target of reducing general exposure in the population is also too little too late.

“As the Government publishes some eye-catching proposals for turning the tide on nature depletion in England, let’s not forget that it still needs to do more on the pollution you can’t see which we breathe into our bodies, as well those you can.”

For more on the UK air quality targets, visit the HSM website.

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