The HSE are running 8 free, open forums across Great Britain to get a broad range of views from large audiences on the extent to which the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) have met HSE's aims for the regulations which came into force in April 2007.
Frontline has been commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to evaluate the impact of these regulations on the construction industry in Great Britain.
If you wish to register to attend one of these forums then you need use the online registration form.
SHP (Safety & Health Practitioner) has reported that the positions of the HSE and Environment Agency are still to be decided, according to a leaked Cabinet Office document on reform of public bodies.
The coalition government has pledged to slash the number and cost of public bodies primarily, it claims, to increase accountability. But the programme is also designed to cut costs and supports the aims of David Cameron's Big Society plans by encouraging alternative, devolved, or non-state models of service delivery.
This could be a severe blow to Health & Safety; in particular the role the HSE plays in investigating accidents and bringing those at fault to account. Who would marshal this? In addition some organisations will start to let things slide regarding health and safety. The upshot of this will be more likelihood of accidents occurring and in the worst case more deaths and therefore more lives and families affected. We hope that issues like these will be considered as part of the decision making process!
We all know the importance of reporting under RIDDOR, but it seems that some organisations believe they are above this duty. In fact there are some who deliberately falsify this information and, on top of this, pay themselves bonuses based on their health and safety statistics!
The whole point of the RIDDOR reporting is to keep the level of accidents on everyone's radar and to highlight where there is a potential risk of more serious occurrences. Under reporting the level of minor incidents or even worse, not reporting at all is a slippery slope. There are no excuses and so many ways to report an incident; how can under reporting still be going on?
Luckily there are watchdogs out there whose specific role is to identify where this sort of practice goes on. However we must all be vigilant - from workers on the shop floor, through to senior management. Health & Safety is a 'necessity' and should be part of an organisation's management culture and practice.
For more, see RIDDOR on the HSE website.
The TUC are campaigning to secure tougher controls against the threats posed by asbestos on ships.
It was stated that shipping is the most international of all industries, and their worry is that asbestos is still commonly used in more than 100 countries around the world. They added that seafarers face a very real risk of exposure to asbestos during repair or maintenance and big efforts need to be made to raise awareness among crews, ship-owners and regulatory authorities.
The maritime industry is still responsible for exposing its workers to asbestos and thus creating victims for decades ahead.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has recently received a formal Crown Censure from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after potentially exposing workers to deadly asbestos fibres. Being a Crown body the MoD cannot be prosecuted as a private company would be in the criminal courts.
The HSE stated that around 4,000 people die each year from past exposure to asbestos. It is essential that duty holders and facilities managers are aware of the risks it still poses and their responsibilities in managing it. Workers also need to be protected and informed about the risks and exposure, as far as practicable, be prevented.
The use of timber frame as a method of construction, together with other innovative construction products and techniques has increased the fire hazard within the construction industry.
In light of the recent significant fires involving large timber framed buildings under construction including Peckham, Camberwell and Basingstoke (which all resulted in fire damage to adjacent buildings), the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) is now calling for an urgent review of the Building Regulations to consider the issue of external fire spread from fires involving construction sites.
We regularly receive updates from our customers and contacts about changes to legislation, the latest rumours and so on. We try to be selective with what we pass on and acknowledge our sources as appropriate. If you have information of general interest in the Health & Safety, and particularly, CDM and Asbestos Management arena, then please let us know by e-mail if possible.