Week Commencing 19/02/2024 – In The News

Research highlights impact of budget cuts on safety

New research from Watco has examined the complexities of the facilities management (FM) industry, and how they impact the safety and smooth running within the modern facility.

It revealed that almost two thirds (60%) of facilities managers have had their budgets cut by up to 25% in the past year, with a further fifth (20%) hit even harder with a reduction of 26-50%. A third (33%) agree that budget cuts have posed risks to safety within their business in the past year.

The survey of 250 senior FM professionals highlighted the tangible impact of these budget cuts on the frequency of incidents in the workplace. Over a third (36%) revealed that the use of materials handling equipment had resulted in an accident or near-miss in their business in the last year. On top of this, slips, trips and falls were an issue, with only a quarter of respondents claiming they weren’t affected by these in the last year.

Read more on the HSM website.

Employers must offer menopausal support or face legal action, new guidance says

New guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Britain’s independent equality and human rights regulator, on how menopausal women should be treated in the workplace, could see legal action taken against employers if they do not take appropriate steps of workplace support.

The EHRC’s Guidance for employers is designed to help employers understand legal obligations to support workers experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Menopause can be defined as when a woman’s periods stop due to lower hormone levels. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, although age can vary.

Symptoms of menopause includes hot flushes, anxiety and brain fog and can often have long term debilitating physical effects, that may inhibit a worker’s ability to undertake their normal work activity.

For more on the guidance visit the SHP website.

Livestock focus as national campaign bids to improve safety on Britain’s farms

Incidents involving livestock were the number one cause of work-related deaths on British farms.

The finding has driven the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to focus on the dangers of livestock as its Your Farm, Your Future campaign relaunches today, Monday 19 February 2024.

HSE statistics show being injured by an animal was the number one cause of work-related deaths on British farms in 2022/23, when there was a total of eight such deaths.

Agriculture remains one of the most dangerous of all the main industrial sectors across the country.

Last year’s campaign by HSE focused on transport safety, and today the organisation has relaunched the campaign with new advice on working with livestock, hosted on its Your Farm Your Future campaign website, to assist farmers and workers and keep them safe.

There are sensible measures that can be taken to keep animals and people apart but handlers should be in good health, agile and have the physical ability to do the work.

Learn more on the HSE website.

Government urges councils to take action against ‘rogue’ building owners

The Minister for Housing and Building Safety, Lee Rowley, met council chiefs this week to discuss action against building owners who are failing to fix medium and high-rise buildings with safety issues.

The round table meeting of council chief executives comes after the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities provided over £8 million in funding to councils with aims to boost enforcement teams. The Minister asked councils to explain how this funding is being used to force ‘rogue’ building owners to act.

The meeting follows legal action the Government, leaseholders and councils have taken in recent months against building owners to make sure vital safety work is carried out.

Visit the SHP website to read more.

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