Week Commencing 29/01/2024 – In The News

Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity shines in 2023

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity continues to be a steadfast beacon of hope for those in need and in 2023, they saw 4438 people reaching out for support through its 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline, a 30% increase on the previous year.

Its charitable spend also increased by 12% to £3,727,386. This support has been delivered against the backdrop of a challenging year for the industry, with continued increases in the cost of materials, the cost of living crisis and ongoing labour shortages.

The charity is in the unique position of being able to offer every aspect of emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing support. This means that it deliver a truly holistic approach, responding quickly to the needs of the construction workforce and ensuring they are equipped with the life skills to facilitate a sustainable future.

Charity caseworkers played a key role in this achievement and through collaboration with other charitable organisations and ensuring that people accessed their statutory entitlements, they leveraged a staggering £1,524,508 of financial support.

One of the charity’s most successful front-line interventions has been the hugely popular MakeItVisible on site initiative. In 2023 the team visited 390 worksites and engaged with more than 25,000 site workers. These on-site visits are a crucial component of ensuring the message of support reaches some of our industry’s most vulnerable workers, including the trades and contractors. Last year alone, the on-site team made a life-changing and life-saving impact with 147 workers experiencing suicidal thoughts. Through simple conversations they were able to provide immediate support, implementing positive interventions and signposting to expert help.

Learn more on the HSM website.

What can OSH learn from the Post Office Horizon scandal?

Faulty technology has had catastrophic consequences for UK sub-postmasters, and with AI set to play a significant part in health and safety, it’s fundamental we continue to acknowledge the human element, warns Kevin Barr.

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, where our workplaces are increasingly intertwined with digital systems, the inherent risks become more pronounced with each technological hiccup. The recent Post Office Horizon incident serves as a glaring example of the potential catastrophic consequences when technology overshadows the essential human element in our systems.

It’s crucial to recognise that technology and AI were conceived and crafted by people, for the benefit of people. Their purpose was never to replace human intuition but to augment our capabilities, enhancing efficiency and productivity. The Post Office Horizon incident underscores the importance of retaining the key human elements — transparent communication, judgement, and oversight — in any system.

In our ever-growing reliance on technology, there’s a tendency to place unwavering trust in its capabilities. The Horizon incident vividly illustrates the repercussions of this blind trust. As the system faltered, trust in technology diminished, leading to a broader erosion of trust in leadership. The aftermath has left an indelible mark on the Post Office, raising questions about the future trajectory of its operations and the integrity of its systems.

Read more about what we can learn on the SHP website.

Workplace fire safety knowledge gaps highlighted

New research has revealed that 2 in 5 Brits (44%) would not know what to do in the event of a fire at work.

The study1, commissioned by Phoenix Health & Safety, surveyed 1,500 participants UK-wide to uncover how well Brits understand fire hazards in the workplace.

Each year there are around 22,000 workplace fires around the UK2, highlighting the importance of having adequate fire safety knowledge.

Phoenix Health & Safety has gathered insightful data to understand if Brits would know what actions to take in the event of a fire, and how businesses should take action to reduce the risk of fire-related workplace incidents.

Overall, the study found that 2 in 5 Brits (44%) would not know what to do in the event of a fire at work. Commenting on this finding, Nick Higginson, CEO of Phoenix Health & Safety says, “For fire safety to be most effective in a workplace, it’s key that individuals at every level of the organisation understand the procedures in full.

Visit the HSM website to read more.

Speedy Hire launches mobile defibrillator network

Speedy Hire has launched a life-saving initiative which will see defibrillators (AEDs) be installed in its engineer vans across the country. Starting with 18 defibrillators, once the rollout is complete, over 300 new portable defibrillators will be placed in the vans of Speedy Hire’s engineers.

ed by Speedy Hire, the initiative is supported by British Heart Foundation (BHF), Trustford, Lex, and Aero Healthcare. Statistics from the British Heart Foundation show that over 30,000 people in the UK suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year. Sadly, less than 1 in 10 survive, thus making access to a defibrillator a matter of life or death.

As further commitment to supporting this important cause, Speedy Hire is also registering over 150 AEDs installed at its depots to The Circuit, the UK’s national defibrillator network, making it easier for emergency services and the public to find their closest device.

Aaron Powell, fleet director of Speedy Hire said, “We are very proud to be launching this life-saving initiative today. Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by up to 10% and our national presence through our engineer vans and depots enables more people to access the vital equipment in their time of need.

“This is a very important cause for Speedy Hire, having team members who have affected by heart issues in the past. We are committed to supporting not just our employees but also the communities in which we operate to help make a positive impact, particularly in those areas without easy access to a defibrillator.”

Learn more about the initiative on the HSM website.

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