Week Commencing 13/03/2023 – In The News

Safety body warns of non-compliant PPE

safety boots, glasses, gloves and hard hatThe British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) is warning those in charge of PPE and safety product procurement to be vigilant about substandard products, as its latest non-member product tests highlight the availability of high levels of non-compliant products.

Between December 2021 and December 2022, the BSIF completed tests on 127 non-member products, which included checking their compliance with relevant standards and testing whether they perform as advertised. Only 18 (15%) of these products were fully compliant. This means 108 products (85%) failed to meet the regulatory criteria, many of which are still available and being sold to unsuspecting users.

Just a few examples of substandard products the BSIF came across for sale in 2022 include:

  • An ‘indestructible safety trainer’ that failed the midsole penetration test.
  • ‘Cut-resistant gloves’ that didn’t pass the relevant cut test
  • A ‘safety harness & lanyard’ provided without any user instructions or documentation

Learn more about the tests on the HSM website.

Can ChatGPT write HR policy?

robot hands typing on a futuristic blue keyboardPeople Management tasked the prolific AI chatbot with drafting EDI and disciplinary policies, and then asked experts to dissect the results.

Using artificial intelligence to streamline HR processes is a fairly common practice, but experts say using the latest chatbot AI innovation by OpenAI, ChatGPT, to write HR policy could yield mixed results.

AI has predominantly been used in recruitment, with automated decision-making (ADM) software creating personality tests for candidates to streamline and shorten the process, and profiling which can make predictions on your workforce on their performance.

ChatGPT offers something slightly different; It can write almost anything you tell it to. But the question is, can it do it to a high enough standard and deliver a concise, detailed HR policy?

See the results on the People Management website.

Company fined £175,000 after worker suffers brain trauma

concrete being pouredA London company has been fined £175,000 after a worker suffered serious head injuries that saw him hospitalised for seven months.

The man, who was 35 at the time, was working at a domestic property on Elmfield Avenue, Crouch End, London, on 3 March 2019 when he sustained head injuries during concrete pumping operations carried out by sub-contractor Singh Will Mix It Ltd.

A concrete pump operator was cleaning the pump’s hose after it had been used to pump concrete for a ground floor extension at the property. As the pump operator was doing this, the pump became blocked, leading to a sudden release of pressure and causing the hose to whip and strike the worker in the head. The pump operator was not qualified to operate the machine.

The injured worker spent seven months in hospital following the incident, suffered brain trauma, and continues to have difficulties with his speech, memory and movement.

Read more on the HSE website.

Farmer fined after dog walker thrown 8ft into the air and trampled by cow

cows in a farm fieldA dog walker was thrown 8ft into the air by a cow which then repeatedly trampled on him as he tried to crawl away, breaking six ribs of his ribs and leaving him with damage to his lungs and spleen.

Steve Adams, from Coleshill, Warwickshire, was on holiday with his wife Jane near Sidbury, East Devon when they went for a walk with their Springer Spaniel.

They were walking along a public footpath through a field containing cows with calves when one of the cows attacked, leaving Steve badly injured. He spent seven days in intensive care.

Steve, who is now 63, and is a dad of three with two grandchildren, is retired from the transport industry. He said: “My own grandfather was a farmer, so I’d been around cattle as a child, and I wasn’t scared of them. Now, I wouldn’t go into a field with cows, you don’t know what’s going to happen. People should be very wary of cows.”

Steve and Jane were on holiday at the East Devon caravan and motorhome campsite in July 2021 when they decided to go for a walk with their dog, which was on a lead.

Their route took them from a pub through fields. As they headed towards a pedestrian gate at the edge of one of the fields, they came to an electric fence surrounding the fields edge.

They were then surrounded by more than 20 cattle, some with calves. A cow approached, lowered its head and tossed Mr Adams into the air. It then trampled him on the ground until he managed to crawl away.

For more, visit the SHP website.

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