Published: 10 Jan 2011
The publication of the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) (Amendment) Regulations SI 2011/686. They amend the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations SI 1998/2573, by exempting the following from the requirement to hold employers' liability insurance:
- Auditor General for Wales;
- Electoral Commission;
- Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration;
- Health Service Commissioner for England;
- National Assembly for Wales Commissioner for Standards;
- Public Services Ombudsman for Wales;
- Comptroller and Auditor General;
- Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
Marketing construction products
Published: 03 Jan 2011
Regulation (EU) 305/2011, sets out new conditions for marketing construction products by establishing harmonised rules on how to express their performance in relation to their essential characteristics. It also deals with the use of CE marking on those products.
Member State rules require that construction works be designed and carried out in a manner that does not endanger the safety of people, domestic animals or property, or damage the environment. Those rules have a direct influence on the requirements of construction products. Those requirements are reflected in national product standards, national technical approvals and other national technical specifications and provisions related to construction products.
Directive 89/106/EEC, on the same subject, previously made provision for this. However, this has been replaced by Regulation (EU) 305/2011, in order to simplify the existing framework and improve the transparency and effectiveness of existing measures.
Government to get RIDDOR health and safety regulation
Published: 01 Jan 2011
Lord Young’s health and safety report recommended that RIDDOR be amended, “by extending to seven days the period before an injury or accident needs to be reported.” In line with commitments made in the Government's formal response to the report, the HSE will this month open a three-month consultation.
Employers are currently required to report an incident to the enforcing authority (either the HSE or local council), if an employee is absent from work for more than three days following an incident or injury at work.
The proposed amendment increases this period to over seven consecutive days and would align the incident reporting threshold with that for obtaining a “fit note” from a GP for sickness absence. It would also ensure that someone who has suffered a reportable injury has had a professional medical assessment.
Judith Hackitt, HSE Chair said, “The Board discussed the proposals at length, and asked for some additional work to be done prior to the launch of the consultation in January. Whilst there will be some obvious advantages in reducing the reporting requirements on business, there will be other factors which need to be taken into account. We hope that interested parties will use the consultation exercise to provide the range of perspectives we need to consider in order for us to advise the Government appropriately."
The consultation paper will be published on the HSE’s website in the week beginning 17 January 2011. The deadline for responses will be 11 April 2011, after which the HSE will consider the responses. It expects to be in a position to submit recommendations to the Secretary of State by the end of May.
Old McKie had a farm, Ee i ee i oh!
Published: 01 Jan 2011
As part of a campaign to warn children across Northern Ireland of the dangers on farms, Chairman of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), Professor Peter McKie, visited Lisfearty Primary School in Dungannon to launch the 2011 “Be Aware Kids” Child Safety calendar.
The “Be Aware Kids” campaign, which was introduced by the HSENI in 2004, targets children, parents and the wider farming community to help them become more aware of the everyday risks associated with farm life. Health and safety legislation was also introduced in 2006 to combat farm-related deaths by preventing children under the age of 13 from operating, driving or riding agricultural machinery.
Children from rural primary schools are encouraged to be involved in the campaign by entering an annual poster competition, the winning 12 posters then feature in the ‘Be Aware Kids’ Child Safety calendar. This year, Pearse Toner of St. Mary’s Primary School Cookstown and Caron Jones of Lisfearty Primary School were the overall winners and were presented with framed copies of their entries.
The campaign has had great success with no child farm-related deaths between 2005 and 2008, however, there was one farm-related child death in 2009. This is a big improvement on the previous decade when 16 children died in farm-related incidents.
The calendar is being sent to every farm with primary school age children across Northern Ireland to promote key safety messages and to help ensure these are communicated in a fun and engaging way.
Professor McKie said, “Farms are not only places of work but they are home to many families and children across Northern Ireland. Whilst farms are extremely enjoyable places for children to grow up on, they can also be very dangerous.”
For more information, see:
- Agriculture (Safety of Children and Young Persons) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2006/335.
REACH registration reached
Published: 01 Jan 2011
On the first REACH registration deadline of 30 November 2010, 24,675 registration dossiers had been successfully submitted for 4,300 substances including nearly 3,400 phase-in substances. The final number of registrations and substances, including a breakdown of “phase-in” and “non phase-in” will shortly be available, when all submitted dossiers have been processed.
REACH aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment as well as the competitiveness of industry through the safe use of chemicals. This registration deadline is an important step towards its goal.
Geert Dancet, Executive Director of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), said, “This is a momentous day, something that many people inside and outside Europe have been working towards since the REACH Regulation was published at the end of 2006. I congratulate companies for rising to the challenge to comply with REACH, colleagues in the Member States and the European Commission for their support to companies, and to my Agency and my own staff who have performed magnificently in enabling this to happen.”
Thomas Jakl, Chair of the ECHA Management Board, said, “Today’s deadline is an important milestone within the reshaping of the EU’s chemicals policy. A process launched in 1998 when the first political discussions were held and which culminates today where we see absolute commitment from all stakeholders and ECHA as a strong and competent European Agency”.
Approximately 86 percent of registrations were made by large companies and 14 percent by small or medium-sized companies. Companies representing non-EU manufacturers made 19 percent of registrations, which demonstrates the ability of non-European companies to take part in the Substance Identity Exchange Fora (SIEF). Most of the registrations came from companies based in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, France and Belgium.
More statistics are available on the ECHA’s website http://echa.europa.eu/home_en.asp.
Crane hook tragedy
Published: 01 Jan 2011
In May 2007, a tragic accident occurred at a recycling company when an employee was struck by a crane hook weighing nearly 4 tonnes. John Penhalagan of Bridgend, suffered fatal head injuries from the hook carrying ladles of molten steel, and later died at the University Hospital of Wales.
Celsa Manufacturing (UK) of Castle Works, Cardiff pleaded guilty to breaching its duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £200,000. It was also ordered to pay costs of £36,294.
The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that, although there was no mechanical defect with the crane, the hooks were able to move at head height near to operators on the ground without adequate safeguards.
After sentencing, HSE inspector Stephen Jones said: "This was a horrific incident - an extremely heavy, moving piece of equipment was able to strike Mr Penghalagan directly in the head because Celsa Manufacturing didn't have safe systems of work in place."
"The system of work did not enable crane operators at the site to clearly see employees working on the ground, putting them at serious risk of being struck by moving objects.”
"Celsa should have put in place a thorough risk assessment and most importantly acted upon that assessment, given the generally hazardous nature of this type of operation - but sadly the plans in place were just not adequate and led to this man's terrible death."