Week Commencing 17/04/2023 – In The News

Action needed to support mental health of finance workers

person typing on calculator and laptopEmployers in financial services should act to retain talent in the industry as new findings from MHFA England highlight the impact of poor mental health. 83% of finance sector employees have considered changing jobs due to the impact of work on their mental health, with nearly half of those taking the plunge.

What’s more, the new data from 1,000 people working in financial services shows employees feel they need more support, with 60% stating their employer could do more on workplace mental health and wellbeing.

Despite progress on tackling the stigma over recent years, more organisations must act to normalise conversations around mental health, as one in four employees said they are not comfortable discussing it with their manager. One in four also cited a lack of managerial support and one in five pointed to company culture as key factors negatively affecting their mental health.

Adding to these pressures is the current economic uncertainty, with half of finance employees stating the cost-of-living is the biggest threat to their mental health over the next six months.

Read more on the HSM website.

Company fined for putting workers at risk of exposure to radiation

radioactive sign on fenceA company in Cornwall has been fined after putting its employees at risk of exposure to ionising radiation over a ten-year period.

In 2009, Terrill Bros. (Founders) Limited’s external Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) identified failings in the access controls and warning systems at the company’s foundry on Guildford Road, Hayle, Cornwall. In the ten years following, the company received further RPA visits, reports and advice, yet remedial action was not taken.

The company’s failure to address these issues continued until the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an unannounced inspection of the foundry in February 2019.

A HSE investigation found the door to the company’s industrial radiography enclosure did not have adequate interlocks nor was there a suitable trapped key system to prevent access. There were also no pre-exposure warning systems or automatic and failsafe warning lights in place. Employees at Terrill Bros. (Founders) Limited were put at risk of exposure to high dose rates of ionising radiation by the company’s reliance on administrative controls, rather than installing industry standard engineering controls.

For more on the case, visit the HSE website.

TUC urges ministers to commit to asbestos removal

person in protective gear removing asbestos panelsAs MPs debate ‘Asbestos in workplaces’ today, the TUC is calling for a national plan to remove asbestos from all public and commercial buildings.

The parliamentary debate takes place just days after an inquest found that former MP Alice Mahon died of an industrial disease linked to asbestos exposure.

Following her death from malignant mesothelioma, Bradford Coroners Court stated: “Mrs Mahon came by her death as a result of an industrial disease.”

Alice Mahon’s death was one of thousands of deaths each year linked to asbestos exposure in workplaces.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), asbestos remains the biggest cause of work-related deaths in the UK, with 5,000 deaths recorded in 2022. And Britain has the highest rate of mesothelioma cases in the world.

Read more about the debate on the HSM website.

Climate change: Fossil fuel emissions from electricity set to fall – report

wind turbines at sunsetThe world will likely use fewer fossil fuels to produce electricity this year in a “turning point” for planet-friendly energy, a new report says.

It would be the first ever annual drop in the use of coal, oil and gas to generate electricity, outside of a global recession or pandemic.

As a result, fewer warming gases would be released during energy production.

The authors attribute the expected change to a boom in renewable energy led mainly by China.

Wind and solar now produce 12% of global electricity with enough wind turbines added in 2022 to power almost all of the UK.

Renewables are set to meet all growth in demand this year, the study from energy analysts Ember says.

Visit the BBC website for more on the research.

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