Week Commencing 18/09/2023 – In The News

“Blanket approach to return to work will be ineffective”, says IOSH

A “blanket approach” to getting people in the UK with back problems and other musculoskeletal issues to return to work will be ineffective, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Responding to a pledge by Health Secretary Steve Barclay to provide support for people with back issues, IOSH said it is crucial that employers seek to provide rehabilitation and return-to-work programmes which can be tailored to individuals.

IOSH believes any Government commitment to reform occupational health provision needs to be firmly aligned with a gradual shift from businesses to provide more supportive workplaces.

Its Head of Policy Ruth Wilkinson said: “It’s crucial that we do more to ensure people can return to work, stay in work and thrive at work. But a blanket approach to this, one which doesn’t take account of individual differences, will simply not work.

“Employers have a huge role to play in helping individuals with health conditions transition back into the workforce. We urge them to invest in prevention, occupational rehabilitation programmes and return-to-work policies and practices which can be tailored to the needs of individuals.”

Read more on the IOSH website.

National Eye Health Week: Understanding the role of the dispensing optician

To coincide with National Eye Health Week which takes place between 18-24 September 2023, Clair Weston at uvex, takes a look at the essential role of Dispensing Opticians in ensuring workers get the right prescription safety glasses.

Dispensing Opticians (DOs) play a key role in ensuring workers have access to prescription eyewear that delivers optimal protection and comfort.

Sight is indispensable. Safety eyewear is therefore essential PPE for those working with hazards that pose a threat to the eyes including chemicals, metals, dust, projectile objects, vapour, heat and ultraviolet radiation.

Quality protection is paramount, but wearability cannot be overlooked. One size does not fit all, with individual fit, comfort, product performance and style all key to compliance. To encourage people to wear safety eyewear over long periods, eyewear must be capable of adapting to individual head shapes whilst ensuring a pressure-free fit and providing total eye protection.

For more on the role of DOs, visit the SHP website.

Quarter of tradespeople don’t protect their eyes

Many tradespeople are putting their health at risk with more than a quarter (26%) of workers admitting they don’t protect their eyes on-site, according to a new survey from Specsavers.

This comes despite more than one in three (35%) of tradespeople admitting they know of someone who has injured their eyes at work.

Painters were the worst culprits, with 26% admitting they never wear safety eyewear, followed by brickies (24%) and sparks (22%). That’s a real risk for workers’ health, according to experts from Specsavers.

“Things commonly found on building sites such as paints, solvents and debris can cause serious harm if you get them in your eyes. This National Eye Health Week we’re asking workers to open their eyes and put safety first by making sure they are equipped with the proper PPE,” said Giles Edmonds, clinical services director at Specsavers.

Learn more on the HSM website.

Time running out as deadline to register high-rise buildings nears

Time is running out for high-rise residential buildings to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

The new watchdog will better protect people who live in high-rise buildings. It was set up as part of the Government’s response to the Grenfell fire.

If anyone lives in a building in England that is 18 metres tall or higher, or at least seven storeys tall, it must be registered with BSR. So far more than 10,080 registrations have started.

It will be a criminal offence for any qualifying building not to be registered with the new regulator after 1 October 2023. Registration opened in April 2023.

Those responsible for high-rise buildings not registered by the deadline could face significant sanctions, including prosecution.

Visit the HSE website to read more.

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