Archive January 2012

How Robust Is Your Health & Safety Assessment?

As reported in Health and Safety Practitioner, the number of directors and senior managers prosecuted under section 37 of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA 1974) has risen by 400% in the last five years. This is according to unofficial figures released by the Health and Safety Executive in response to a freedom of information request. The figures, albeit not validated, show that 43 directors, senior managers and company secretaries were prosecuted under this key legislation in 2010/11...
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Stop Press: Environment Agency Update

Please find below an extract from a letter received by a client site from the Environment Agency. It appears that a survey is being conducted to determine waste levels from construction sites with Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP) being used as the source of information. It is always possible that the Environment Agency will take further action if a plan is not compliant. We are currently undertaking a short study in your area to assess whether the information in Site Waste Management Plans...
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Coding Hero Makes His Stamp

Alan Turing, the famous World War II code breaker, is to be commemorated on a new stamp issued by the Royal Mail. The stamp will be officially released on February 24 and will be one of 10 designs remembering famous historical figures. The Turing stamp is especially fitting as 2012 marks what would have been Alan Turing's 100th birthday year. Turing is one of our more famous local heros, based at Blethcley Park, he designed the Bombe machine and the Enigma machine which both played a huge part...
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Changes to RIDDOR Reporting

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) is to change on the 6 April 2012. From April 2012 the trigger point will increase from over three days to over seven days of incapacitation (not counting the day on which the accident happened). Incapacitation means that the worker is absent or is unable to do work that they would reasonably be expected to do as part of their normal work. New guidance that explains the change...
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Large & Costly Asbestos Decontamination

Wales Online reported recently on a story that has shocked a lot of people. The HSE were called anonymously to investigate a Welsh factory that makes knitwear for the Royal Family. The contractor, Paul Hart who is a specialist in the safe removal of asbestos, was called in to decontaminate the factory. He found "clumps and clumps" of the material - which can cause lung cancer and other serious health problems - lying around the premises of Corgi Hosiery Ltd at New Road, Ammanford. It has taken...
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Chinese Firm Erect 30 Storey Building in 15 Days

A Chinese firm, the Broad Group, has built a 30 storey building in just 30 days without injuries to workers. Astounding! Their key to success was that all the key components were prefabricated off-site. The builders took just 46 hours to finish the main structural components and another 90 hours to finish the building enclosure. To view the time-lapse video see The Construction Enquirer.
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HSE Establish Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is supporting a new independent panel to consider challenges to health and safety regulatory advice. The new panel, which will look into issues raised by business where they believe a HSE or local authority health and safety inspector has given advice that is incorrect or disproportionate. The panel will not look at issues where other independent appeals processes exist, such as for enforcement notices or prosecutions. For more detail on this see HSE News.
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TUC Versus Downing Street on Health & Safety

The TUC have dismissed claims made by Downing Street, that UK businesses are in a 'stranglehold' of health and safety 'red tape' and compensation claims. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber stated "It is clear that Downing Street does not have a clue about what life is like for the millions of ordinary people who work in shops, offices, schools, factories, call centres and other workplaces across the UK" Downing Street had suggested that the UK's compensation culture has become rife and that it...
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400% Increase in Prosecutions: Senior Management

An interesting article in SHP (Safety & Health Practitioner) states that there has been a substantial increase in the number of prosecutions under the HSWA 1974 last year. These are the unofficial figures recently released by the HSE. The figures indicate a 400% increase in prosecutions over the last 5 years, which is enough to ring alarm bells for those who see Health and Safety regulations as a burden on their time, resources and funding. A wake up call indeed! For more on this story see...
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Google Donate to Bletchley Park

Our readers will know that, being local, we are very interested in Bletchley Park and have held our Annual Conference there in previous years. We support our local heritage and are proud of the achievements of Alan Turing and the code breakers who helped shorten the Second World War. We are delighted to tell you that internet giant Google has donated £550,000 towards Bletchley Park's plans to create a world-class heritage and education centre. The grant will also enable The Bletchley Park...
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Weather Damage

There are a lot of stories about weather damage in the news at the moment, wind, storms and tree damage. The met office has issued weather warnings as they believe we are not out of the woods yet. As an example, just weeks before St Helens rugby stadium was due to be handed over for the opening fixture, high winds ripped off part of the roof. The Contractor 'Barr' will wait for the winds to die down before workers examine the damaged sections. However, it apparently looks 'worse than it is' as a...
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Construction Set to Fall in 2012

Economists at the influential Construction Products Association have downgraded their previous forecasts of a 3% decline in workload in 2012 to an eye-watering 5% drop. Contractors will feel the squeeze as public spending slows and this won't just be within the housing market; it looks like contractors who undertake larger projects will start to suffer. There is a possibility that the 'recovery' will be as late as 2014 which may well mean that many smaller businesses may go under. For more on this...
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HSE Update on Occupational Risk: Asthma

The HSE have provided details on the jobs with the highest rates of occupational asthma. Follow the relevant link on HSE's website to find top tips and advice on how to protect yourself in the workplace. Remember that everybody has a role to play - employers, employees, government, industry and unions.
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Newsletter - January 2012

The January 2012 edition of the Ai Solutions Newsletter is now available: January Newsletter.
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Hammersmith Flyover Closed

The Hammersmith flyover is closed for the week after serious defects were found in its structure. TfL (Transport for London) revealed that a "serious structural defect" on the Hammersmith Flyover, on the strategically vital London A4 route, has forced its closure. Investigations are underway by structural engineers to gauge the full impact of the damage, meanwhile commuters will have been told to alter their journeys until a full report has been made. For more on this story, including video footage,...
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Knighthood For Olympic Construction Chief

Credit where credit is due, we understand that John Armitt, the chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, has been knighted in the Queen's New Year's Honour list for 2012. This is in recognition of his contribution to construction and engineering, in particular the Olympic Park as well as his involvement in the Channel Tunnel. If you would like to know who else has been honoured go to BBC News.
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