Week Commencing 03/06/2024 – In The News

Seven hospitalised after fire at construction site

Seven people have been hospitalised after a fire broke out at a construction site in east London.

Ten fire engines and about 70 firefighters were called to the blaze near Silvertown Way in Canning Town just after 08:20 BST, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) said.

One person was rescued from the second floor of a building. Seven people were taken to hospital after inhaling smoke and a further three were treated at the scene, LFB said.

It happened at a 10-storey construction site, where the ground floor of a commercial unit caught light.

Thick black smoke was seen billowing between high-rise buildings in video footage from the scene.

The LFB spokesperson said: “The fire has been producing significant amounts of smoke. People in the area are advised to keep windows and doors closed and avoid the area where possible.”

They said that the one of the brigade’s 64m ladders had been deployed to the scene.

Read more on the BBC website.

IOSH urges next Government to focus on protecting workers

Nine in 10 health and safety professionals believe the next Government should prioritise improving occupational health services to cut the number of people being made ill by work, according to a new survey.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has revealed the findings of a survey of its members as it launches its manifesto for the upcoming UK General Election.

In the manifesto, called Safer, healthier, happier, IOSH says whichever party forms the new Government must have a focus on protecting people at work if it is to rebuild the economy and reduce NHS waiting lists.

“We know that poor health and safety harms people, communities, businesses, our NHS and the economy,” said Ruth Wilkinson, IOSH’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs. “The most recent figures from the Health and Safety Executive showed that workplace injury and new cases of work-related ill-health, including the growing issue of mental health problems, cost Britain £20.7 billion.

“And more people being injured or made ill by work means more people seeking treatment, which adds additional pressure onto the NHS. This is pressure that can be avoided by good workplace health and safety.”

For more on the manifesto, visit the SHP website.

Openreach fined following death of engineer

Openreach Limited has been fined £1.34 million after an engineer died whilst trying to repair a telephone line.

Alun Owen, from Bethesda, died after he slipped and fell into the River Aber in Abergwyngregyn and was swept away on 6 October 2020.

The 32-year-old has been described by his family as a ‘loving and selfless character’.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and North Wales Police, found that a number of Openreach engineers had been attempting to repair the telephone lines, which ran across the river, over a period of two months. They had been working both near and in the river.  At the time of the incident, there had been flooding in the area which meant the river was much higher and faster flowing than usual.

Mr Owen entered the water and made his way to an island in the middle of the river in order to try and throw a new telephone cable across to the other side by taping it to a hammer and then throwing the hammer. Whilst attempting to cross the remaining section of the river, he slipped in a deeper part and the force of the river swept him away.

Learn more on the HSE website.

Call for road safety improvements

The UK has passed a grim and shaming milestone – some 500,000 people have died on the roads in Great Britain since records began in 1926.

During the same period, in context, there have been about 375,000 UK citizen deaths due to warfare since 1926 – a period that includes the Second World War, among many other conflicts.

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has coordinated a groundbreaking manifesto calling for immediate and strategic action to address the persistent issue of road fatalities and serious injuries in the UK. With support, now from more than 60 leading organisations and growing by the day, the manifesto outlines four strategic priorities aimed at revolutionising road safety and significantly reducing fatalities and serious injuries on UK roads.

Visit the HSM website to read more.

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