HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures – second lowest year on record

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has this week released its annual figures for work-related fatalities, as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2015.

The provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents revealed that 137 workers were fatally injured between April 2016 and March 2017 (a rate of 0.43 per 100,000 workers), the second lowest year on record.

There has been a long-term downward trend in the number of fatal injuries to workers – they have halved over the last 20 years – although in recent years the trend shows signs of leveling.

HSE Chair Martin Temple said:

“Every fatality is a tragic event that should not happen. While we are encouraged by this improvement on the previous year, we continue unwaveringly on our mission to prevent injury, death and ill health by protecting people and reducing risks.”

The new figures show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:

  • 30 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded. While this accounts for the largest share, this is the lowest number on record for the sector. However, over the last five years the number has fluctuated, The annual average for the past five years is 39. The annual average rate over the last five years in construction is around four times as high as the all industry rate.
  • 27 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded. This sector continues to account for a large share of the annual fatality count. It has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times as high as the all industry rate.
  • 14 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded. Despite being a relatively small sector in terms of employment, the annual average fatal injury rate over the last five years is around 15 times as high as the all industry rate.

The fatalities in the waste and recycling sector in 2016/17 include the single incident at Hawkeswood Metal Recycling Ltd in Birmingham on 7 July 2016 which resulted in five deaths.

Martin Temple continued:

“As we approach the one-year anniversary of this incident, our thoughts remain with the families of those who died. We continue to fully support West Midlands Police’s investigation.”

The new figures also highlight the risks to older workers – around a quarter of fatal injuries in 2016/17 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10% of the workforce.

There were also 92 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2016/17. Almost half of these occurred on railways with the remainder occurring across a number of sectors including public services, entertainment and recreation.

Mesothelioma, one of the few work related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, contracted through past exposure to asbestos killed 2,542 in Great Britain in 2015 compared to 2,519 in 2014. The current figures relating to asbestos-related cancer reflect widespread exposures before 1980. Annual deaths are therefore expected to start to reduce after this current decade.

A fuller assessment of work related ill-health and injuries, drawing on HSE’s full range of data sources, will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release on 1 November 2017.

The HSE Chair added:

“We deal daily with the causes and consequences of work-related deaths, injuries and ill health. Today’s updated figures continue to inform our understanding of which areas we need to target.”

“We concentrate our interventions where we know we can have the biggest impact. We hold dutyholders accountable for managing the risks they create in the workplace. This benefits workers, business performance, the economy and wider society alike.”

Further information on these statistics can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics. For more information on any of the above topics, visit the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk, or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 27TH AUGUST 2015

IN THIS UPDATE

Introduction

Self-employed – do I have duties?

Business case studies

Safety Alert – ‘Norfolk Range’ large wheeled dry powder fire extinguishers manufactured before 2009 by UK Fire International Ltd

Links to guidance on CDM 2015

Introduction

With the late summer bank holiday in striking distance, there’s no getting away from the fact that Autumn is on the horizon. And our typical British wet weather is not the only thing to have dampened our spirits over the summer months. Tragic incidents such as the Bosley Wood Flour Mill explosion and Shoreham Airshow crash have brought health and safety very much into the public eye. With investigations ongoing, the causes remain to be seen, but could possibly result in a criminal inquiry at the flour mill if evidence of negligence is found. According to an HSE press release (http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/further-hse-enforcement-notices-issued-at-bosley-wood-flour-mill/), a Prohibition Notice has been served on the mill owners, “preventing work activities until the issues identified involving the processing and bagging of large amounts of paper dust in one of the sheds on site, have been resolved”. In their guidance document “Safe handling of combustible dusts – Precautions against explosions”(http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg103.pdf), the HSE advises that dusts produced by many materials we use everyday are flammable, and, in the form of a cloud, can explode.

Are you self-employed? From 1 October 2015, if your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then health and safety law will not apply to you. If you don’t know whether or not your work activity falls into this category, more information is provided below.

Do you want to know how other businesses manage health and safety? The latest suite of HSE business case studies below provides links to a variety of video and narrative case studies of businesses doing just that, effectively and proportionately, with the help of online HSE guidance.

Do your work activities involve manufacturing, warehousing or engineering? Then you may be familiar with large dry powder fire extinguishers, which are the subject of HSE’s latest safety alert.

Finally, and following on from our previous news updates on CDM 2015, we close this week with links to the following guidance:

  • L153 – Managing health and safety in construction – CDM 2015: Guidance on Regulations
  • INDG411 – Need building work done? A short guide for clients on CDM 2015 (rev)
  • Construction Phase Plan for small projects (CDM 2015) – CIS80
  • Industry guidance for dutyholders
  • CITB CDM wizard app for construction phase plan

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Self-employed – do I have duties?

In 2011, the Löfstedt Review link to external website recommended that those self-employed whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others should be exempt from health and safety law. This recommendation was accepted by Government.

So, from 1 October 2015, if you are self-employed and your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then health and safety law will not apply to you.

HSE estimates that health and safety law will no longer apply to 1.7 million self-employed people like novelists, journalists, graphic designers, accountants, confectioners, financial advisors and online traders.

What the law says

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2015/9780111136980), says:

  • if your work activity is specifically mentioned in the regulations above
  • or if your work activity poses a risk to the health and safety of others, then the law applies to you

What is meant by ‘self-employed’?

For health and safety law purposes, ‘self-employed’ means that you do not work under a contract of employment (http://www.hse.gov.uk/enforce/enforcementguide/investigation/status-contract.htm) and work only for yourself.

If you’re self-employed and employ others the law will apply to you. You may be self-employed for tax purposes, but this may not be so for health and safety. This is a complex area and HMRC have produced employment status guidance (https://www.gov.uk/working-for-yourself/what-counts-as-self-employed).

What is a ‘risk to the health and safety of others’?

This is the likelihood of someone else being harmed or injured (eg members of the public, clients, contractors etc) as a consequence of your work activity.

Most self-employed people will know if their work poses a risk to the health and safety of others. You must consider the work you are doing and judge for yourself if it creates a risk or not.

For example if you operate a fairground ride for the public to use then your work could affect the health and safety of other people and you must take appropriate steps to protect them as the law will apply to you.

Find out more about ‘risk’

HSE guidance on risk management (http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/index.htm) explains more about the risks your work activity may create and how best to manage these.

High risk activities

The law says that there are certain work activities where the law applies because they are high risk. If your work involves any of these activities, then the law will apply to you:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Gas
  • Railways
  • Asbestos
  • GMOs

For more information visit the self-employed workers guidance topic page on the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/self-employed/index.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Business case studies

This is the latest suite of HSE business case studies, where businesses tell their stories of how they manage health and safety effectively and proportionately and how online HSE guidance helps them to do this.

Two of the case studies focus primarily on leadership, while the others describe examples of health and safety management in SMEs.

The video case studies were produced in collaboration with 3rd year Film Production and Media students from Edge Hill University in West Lancashire.

Video case studies

Bootle Containers Ltd

Bootle Containers is a medium sized manufacturing company with 55 employees, specialising in design and production of containers.  This film describes the company’s health and safety management systems and why they think good health and safety is good for business.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/bootle-containers.htm

Lamont Cleaning and Support Services

Lamont is a small company of 15 employees, specialising in commercial and industrial window cleaning. This film shows how they work with their employees to manage health and safety.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/lamont-cleaning.htm

Laser Quest Stourbridge

Laser Quest Stourbridge is a hi tech gaming centre with 11 employees. This film describes how the owner manages the company’s health and safety.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/laser-quest.htm

Merseytravel

Merseytravel is the strategic transport authority for the Liverpool City Region, with 850 employees. This film tells how effective leadership and employee engagement improved health and safety performance.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/merseytravel.htm

Mount Anvil Ltd

Mount Anvil is a medium sized construction and development company based in London. In this film, senior leaders from the company describe how they manage health and safety and why it is so important to their business.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/mount-anvil.htm

Narrative case studies

Applied Industrial Systems Ltd.

Applied Industrial Systems Ltd (AIS) specialises in the creation and provision of software and control systems to a diverse client base across the transport, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/ais.htm

Connors Building & Restoration Services Ltd.

Connors Building & Restoration Services is an asset management company with 33 employees, specialising in building services, ground maintenance and inspection.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/connors-building.htm

Loop Technology Ltd.

Loop Technology is a small, family run business with 21 employees, specialising in industrial automation.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/loop.htm

Technicraft (Anglia) Ltd

Technicraft is a metal fabrication company with 25 employees. It provides services including laser cutting, punching, presswork and welding.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/technicraft.htm

More narrative case studies for SMEs and larger businesses can be found by visiting the Business case studies page on the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/case-studies.htm?ebul=hsegen&cr=2/27-jul-15 or contact us for advice and guidance on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Safety Alert – ‘Norfolk Range’ large wheeled dry powder fire extinguishers manufactured before 2009 by UK Fire International Ltd

Issue Date

12 August 2015

Target Audience

All premises where large dry powder fire extinguishers are likely to be used for example: chemical industry, offshore industry, merchant shipping, nuclear industry, manufacturing, mining, warehousing, engineering, metals and minerals processing and production.

Key Issues

‘Norfolk Range’ large dry powder fire extinguishers, manufactured before 2009, may be affected by moisture ingress at a threaded joint at the base of the unit, rendering the unit inoperable. The problem may not be identified during routine service inspections.

  • Users should identify if their extinguishers are likely to be affected. If yes and the extinguisher has been left exposed to adverse conditions since its last extended service, the condition of the elbow joint at the base of the unit should be examined by a competent service engineer.
  • If you are unsure if your extinguishers are affected by this safety alert, consult Britannia Fire Ltd.
  • Service engineers should closely examine, and if necessary, remove the elbow to confirm if there is evidence of water ingress to the discharge tube. If there is any doubt about moisture affecting the powder in the discharge tube, consider subjecting the extinguisher to an extended service including full replacement of the dry powder.

For more information click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/norfolk-large-wheeled-dry-powder-fire-extinguishers.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Links to guidance on CDM 2015

L153 – Managing health and safety in construction – CDM 2015: Guidance on Regulations

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l153.htm?ebul=gd-cons/jul15&cr=2

INDG411 – Need building work done? A short guide for clients on CDM 2015 (rev)

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg411.htm?ebul=gd-cons/jul15&cr=3

Construction Phase Plan for small projects (CDM 2015) – CIS80

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis80.pdf?ebul=gd-cons/jul15&cr=4

Industry guidance for dutyholders

http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/cdm-guidance-documents/

CITB CDM wizard app for construction phase plan

http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/cdm-wizard-app/

Please note that the HSE are starting to remove the current CDM 2007 web pages and plan to remove them all by October 2015.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

Also contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.