Week Commencing 30/10/2023 – In The News

Unsafe and potentially dangerous ladders are being sold online – experts have warned

Experts have warned that unsafe and potentially dangerous ladders are being sold online after a study found 70% failed to meet minimum safety requirements.

Serious concerns have been raised after research commissioned by the Ladder Association showed every sample tested from Amazon and eBay failed the safety tests, were non-compliant and were unsafe to use.

Every commercially-available multipurpose ladder that failed was actually advertised as ‘compliant’ with the product standard – EN 131-4 – either on the product listing, product packaging or product labelling.

Peter Bennett OBE, Executive Director of the Ladder Association, said: “Making sure consumers are safe is our number one priority and we are committed to raising awareness of potentially harmful ladders.

Working at height can be risky enough, without the additional danger of shoddy ladders – every 11 minutes in the UK, someone attends A&E after sustaining an injury involving a ladder.
“A fall from height can cause life changing injury, and in some cases, can even be fatal.

“We are aware of below-standard ladders being sold to unsuspecting consumers, particularly via online platforms, who pass the sole responsibility for product safety to the seller.”

Read more on the SHP website.

Frontline workers face monthly operational issues

Two-thirds (65%) of frontline workers say they observe operational issues monthly or more frequently, yet less than half (45%) see actions taken to address them within this timeframe.

The ‘Feedback from the Field’ report from global technology company SafetyCulture paints a picture of UK businesses being held back by ongoing operational challenges. Its findings, informed by a YouGov UK-wide survey of frontline workers, show that around 9 in 10 (87%) believe that the business they are working in is failing to operate at its full potential or they are unsure about its performance.

In addition to ineffective management which is cited by 42% of frontline workers as a key reason for their business failing to maximise their full potential, respondents also flagged inadequate communication (39%) and training for staff (31%) as barriers. Three in 10 say the last time they had valuable training from their organisation that helped improve their work was a year or more ago. Concerningly, 13% of UK frontline workers feel they have never had any valuable training from their organisation.

For more on the report, visit the HSM website.

IOSH poll confirms stress as common work issue with more support needed

Those who don’t feel stressed because of their job are in a small minority, while most who do feel stressed would stop short of raising the issue at work.

That was the finding of a snap social media poll, run by IOSH for this year’s International Stress Awareness Week (30 Oct–3 November), that showed 84 percent of those who responded said their work had made them feel stressed in the past 12 months.

And responding to a follow-up question that asked, “If you feel stressed, would you feel comfortable discussing it at work?”, more than half (54%) said “No”.

The poll, which was live for three days, saw 1,870 people respond to the first question, “Has your work made you feel stressed in the past 12 months?”, while 1,306 responses were received to the follow-up question.

These findings suggest that stress has become a familiar aspect of today’s working life, while it appears much could be done to encourage those who are feeling stressed to find support from their manager, employer and/or work colleagues.

Read more about the poll results on the IOSH website.

Demolition company given £60,000 fine as worker seriously injured

A Woolwich labourer is ‘lucky to be alive’ after part of a Victorian building fell on him during demolition work in Kilburn, North West London.

MAC Demolition Ltd, the Middlesex firm contracted to carry out the works, has been fined £60,000 after Tommy Brooks was left with life changing injuries. The 57-year-old had been employed on the site as a labourer for three months before the incident.

The company had been contracted to carry out soft stripping works on the Victorian property on Willesden Lane as well as the demolition of its roof.

On the morning of 2 March 2022, Mr Brooks had been tasked with clearing bricks for reclamation. He was working at the corner of the building when a large piece of masonry fell from the unstable roof, landing on top of him.

He was left with significant long term injuries including a broken shoulder and 12 broken ribs, as well as spinal and internal injuries.

Visit the HSE website to read more.

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