The HSE has published a consultative document on proposed changes to the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The changes aim to make it clearer what duty holders must do to comply with the legal requirements and reduce duplication in the ACoP of duties covered by legislation.
The HSE propose that the publication should be updated to include current statutory provisions as amended by the Miscellaneous Amendment Regulations 2002 and other regulations.
Areas for change are to update the publication to reflect subsequent regulatory change in the following areas:
(i) Building stability
(ii) Workplace insulation & excessive sunlight and temperature
(iii) Accommodating for disability
(iv) Falls from height
(v) Traffic Signs
(vii) Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007)
(viii) Quarry Regulations 1999
Alongside these changes, duties no longer current will be removed, and the language used simplified and clarified where this would be helpful to improve the understanding of duty holders’ responsibilities.
HSE considered the issue of the need to introduce a maximum workplace temperature and following extensive consultation and review of research, concluded there is insufficient evidence for such a change either in the law or in the supporting ACoP. Improved information and advice will be prepared and published alongside the revised ACoP.
The issues about clarity and guidance confirm the need to update the ACoP and review and refresh the associated guidance. Changes have been made to incorporate regulatory changes on smoking in the workplace. Other issues (such as rest breaks) are not within scope of this ACoP or can be dealt with through the revision of, and improved access to, associated guidance.
The HSE has published a consultative document and updated Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) on Legionnaire’s disease: ‘The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems’.
The consultation provides an opportunity to comment on whether the draft ACOP text provides legal clarification and proportionate advice in low risk scenarios. The accompanying guidance provides advice on achieving compliance, and information of a general nature including explanation of the requirements of the law, specific technical information or references to further sources of information.
The revised ACOP gives practical advice on the legal requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) and applies to the risk from exposure to Legionella bacteria and includes information of a general nature including explanation of the requirements of law.
The key changes include:
Some guidance assigned ACOP status to clarify legal requirements where there is an accepted Industry method of compliance.
Some text changed from ACOP to guidance status where the changes do not impact on practical compliance requirements.
Proportionality in low risk scenarios emphasised.
The consultation began on 3 June and will finish on 23 August 2013.
The HSE has published draft proposals for the revision of the Approved Code of Practice for Managing and Working with Asbestos. The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) has been revised in response to Professor Löfstedt’s independent review of health and safety legislation ‘Reclaiming health and safety for all’. The consultation aims to establish if the changes make it easier for employers to understand and meet their legal obligations.
The consultative document seeks views on HSE’s proposed consolidated version of the Approved Code of Practice (L143) – Work with materials containing asbestos Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 incorporating the Approved Code of Practice (L127) – The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises.
The significant revisions and other changes of note that have been made include:
Material supporting regulations 2, 3, 9 and 22 revised to reflect changes to the law on notification of certain non licensed work with asbestos and consequent arrangements for segregation of asbestos work areas, medical examinations for employees and keeping health records.
Material supporting regulation 10 reviewed and updated to help employers understand what they need to do to provide information, instruction and training for employees.
Revisions made to the Control of Asbestos Regulations to reflect the changes made in 2012.
From 1 October 2013 changes will be introduced to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) that will simplify the mandatory reporting of workplace injuries for businesses, while ensuring that the data collected gives an accurate and useful picture of workplace incidents.
To allow businesses time to familiarise themselves with the changes, the following information has been developed to support duty holders with the requirements as recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The changes follow a recommendation by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt in his report ‘Reclaiming health and safety for all: An independent review of health and safety legislation’. Although the process for implementing the changes is on track for implementation from October 2013, they remain subject to Parliamentary approval.
The main changes are to simplify the reporting requirements in the following areas:
The classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers is being replaced with a shorter list of
The existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease is being replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness.
Fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrence’ will require reporting.
There are no significant changes to the reporting requirements for:
Accidents to non-workers (members of the public).
Accidents which result in the incapacitation of a worker for more than seven days.
The Scottish Government is changing building regulations to make sure life-saving carbon monoxide alarms are installed in all new houses, hotels, guest houses and care homes. Firms will be required by law to fit the alarms whenever they install new or replacement boilers, heaters, fires and stoves from 1 October this year.
ARBON monoxide alarms will become compulsory in an effort to prevent deaths from the poisonous gas known as the “silent killer”.
The Scottish Government has announced a change in building regulations which will require the alarms to be fitted when new or replacement boilers, heaters, fires and stoves are installed in houses, hotels, guest houses and care homes.
The change comes into force on October 1.
Building firms will be required to make sure the alarms are fitted in new homes.
Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” because it cannot be seen, smelt or tasted.
Household appliances such as boilers or heaters which are fuelled by solid fuel, oil or gas all have the potential to cause carbon monoxide poisoning if they are poorly installed or commissioned, inadequately maintained or incorrectly used.
Planning Minister Derek Mackay said: “The Scottish Government recognises the devastating effect carbon monoxide poisoning can have on people’s lives.
“Not a year goes by where there isn’t an avoidable death in Scotland from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by faulty heating appliances in buildings. There are also a considerable number of incidents where people are treated in hospital for the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“That is why, from 1 October, the Scottish building regulations will require carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when a new or replacement boiler or other heating appliance is to be installed in a dwelling and other buildings with bedrooms.”
Louis Blake, from the Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign, said: “In the UK, at least 50 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year and thousands more need hospital treatment. An audible carbon monoxide alarm is the only way to protect yourself and your family.
“This change to the Scottish building regulations will see more detectors in Scottish homes, which will save lives. However, we urge people to act now to protect themselves from carbon monoxide and buy an alarm today.”
The fire broke out on the factory floor of the building early on Monday 9th August, and emergency services were alerted at around 5am. Dozens of firefighters have tackled a blaze in Leicester at a paper mill that produces toilet tissue for supermarkets.
Fire crews and a technical rescue team were brought in from around the county to help fight the blaze at Sofidel UK, on the Hamilton Industrial Estate, with around 60 firefighters involved in the operation at one point.
According to incident commander firefighter Paul Purser, the fire started in the central part of the mill and was brought under control after a couple of hours, but at around 10am another fire was found in the roof ducting, meaning firefighters had to be redeployed to the area.
The mill’s senior manager Mohammad Vhora confirmed that there were no injuries and that the factory’s emergency systems, including the sprinkler system, had worked the way they should.
All commercial buildings in England and Wales must carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to identify and remove potential fire hazards
A failure to plan, manage and supervise a renovation job left a man needing to be pulled from rubble by his son after the bricklaying pair fell through two floors.
The unnamed 51-year-old and 20-year-old, who live in Staffordshire, managed to avoid being seriously hurt in the accident at a site in High Street in Bilston, Wolverhampton, despite the floor on which they were working giving way.
Employer Clark Brothers (Builders and Developers), which is based in the same town, has now been prosecuted for the safety failings that led to the accident.
Safety inspectors told magistrates in Wolverhampton that the refurbishment project was immediately declared unsafe and a prohibition notice placed on the site. After the floor collapsed, a section of the High Street had to be closed until the building was made safe.
Clark Bros admitted breaking the law under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It pleaded guilty to not planning and supervising the work and to not taking suitable steps to ensure anyone affected by the renovation work was protected. The firm, which is based in Bilston’s High Street, was handed a fine of £10,000 and told to pay prosecution costs of £1,844.
A worker has received a suspended prison sentence after accidentally killing someone while driving a heavy duty vehicle. Kenneth Miller of Linton, Cambridgeshire, reversed into a lorry trailer and crushed its driver, while operating a tracked loading shovel.
The accident which occurred at a waste plant killed Mark Nyland, 34, from Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, who was hit as he closed the rear doors of his HGV.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation showed Mr Miller, of Tower View, had failed to take reasonable care while operating a large vehicle, and a court gave him a 24-week prison sentence suspended for two years as well as a three-month tagging order. He was also told to pay £600 costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Magistrates heard how Mr Miller, an employee at Waste Recycling Group Ltd in Milton, Cambridgeshire, was helping victim Mr Nyland dump waste from his trailer on the day of the accident in January last year.
The trailer was then towed to a ‘safe area’ by Mr Miller so that Mr Nyland, who worked for a haulage company in Shepshed, Leicestershire, could sweep the back of his vehicle out. The accident happened as Mr Miller then levelled off ruts in the ground in a loading shovel, using back and forth movements. Mr Nyland was crushed against the back of his trailer and suffered fatal injuries.
A private care home in Wallasey has been order to pay £40,000 in fines and costs after it failed to manage the risk of elderly residents catching a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.
Mother Redcaps Care Home Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after it failed to comply with an improvement notice to assess the risk from the Legionella bacteria.
On 23 August 2013, Liverpool Crown Court was told that the care home did not have a system in place for managing its hot and cold water. It was first served with an Improvement Notice requiring a risk assessment in November 2011, following a visit from a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector.
The company was given two extensions to a deadline to comply with the notice. However, it had still failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment by May 2012, despite being offered help and guidance on what was required.
Without proper controls Legionella bacteria can build up in water systems where the temperature is between 20 and 45 degrees celsius, creating the risk that small droplets containing the bacteria could be breathed when water becomes airborne, such as in showers.
The court heard that up to 50 residents, as well as the nursing home’s employees, could have been put at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease if the bacteria had been present.
Mother Redcaps Care Home Ltd, was fined £6,525 and ordered to pay £33,475 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Redman said: “While there is no evidence that residents or members of staff were exposed to Legionella bacteria, there was a clear and inexcusable failure to properly assess and control the risk.
“We gave Mother Redcaps several opportunities to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment after it received the Improvement Notice, but it failed to satisfy the requirements of the notice.
“This case should act as a warning to firms that they will find themselves in court if they ignore enforcement notices.”