Badger TB spreading moooves on from cattle
Published: 01 Jul 2013
After a seal pup was recently diagnosed with bovine TB, it appears that the spread of TB is not only a worry for cattle, but could also spread to other warm blooded animals, such as pigs, sheep, goats, cats and dogs.
The pup was washed up on a Cornish beach and was so severely affected by TB it had to be put down. Vet Andy Biggs said a badger could have come into contact with the pup after being attracted by the placenta.
Mr Biggs added, "Its quite worrying to me. What's essentially an aquatic mammal who spends very little time on our shore, goes away with a free present of bovine TB."
Nigel Gibbons, the Government's chief veterinary officer, said, "It seems quite unusual. We know badgers are territorial. A bite wound is quite often the way badgers are infected, or other animals infected. It illustrates the possibility that bovine TB can spread from one species to another."
About 10,000 cattle were slaughtered between January and March because they reacted to the TB test, or were in direct contact with the disease.
Yvonne Squire, from Torrington in Devon, had a kitten who caught Bovine TB. She said, "He was attacked by a feral cat. I took him to the vet with a terrible bite. The kitten got worse. I took him back to the vet. They did all these tests. They phoned me up to say my little Alfie had TB, and he had to be put down. He said there was a dog there who also had it."
A badger cull was announced for two test areas earlier in the year. Under the proposals, about 5,000 badgers will be culled in two pilot zones in the South West.
The Government says the action is needed to help tackle bovine TB, a disease of cattle that has been steadily rising since the 1980s. However, wildlife groups, such as that led by ageing rocker Brian May, say killing badgers will have no impact.
New RIDDOR Regulations published for GB
Published: 27 Jun 2013
New RIDDOR regulations have been published which will come into force on 1 October 2013 and will apply to England, Scotland and Wales.
They will revoke and replace the current RIDDOR regulations, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations SI 1995/3163, as well as amending other legislation.
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations SI 2013/1471 introduce a:
- simplified and shortened list of reportable non-fatal injuries to workers sustained as a result of a work-related accident;
- clarified and shortened list of reportable dangerous occurrences;
- simplified and significantly shortened list of reportable ill-health conditions in workers (replacing 47 specified ill-health conditions with eight categories of work-related diseases);
- simplified list of dangerous occurrences within the rail-sector, and removal of the requirement to report suicides on railways.
However, the following requirements remain unchanged:
- recording requirements;
- reports of fatal accidents;
- reports of accidents involving non-workers including members of the public;
- reports of accidents which incapacitate workers for more than seven days;
- requirements to preserve certain incident sites at mines, quarries and offshore workplaces pending investigation and subject to overriding safety needs.
HSE NI drives home risks
Published: 26 Jun 2013
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSE NI) and the 26 local district councils have urged employers to make sure they have all the information they need to manage the risks from vehicles in workplaces.
Between 2004 and 2012, 40 people in Northern Ireland died in incidents related to workplace transport. A statistic which highlights just how dangerous vehicles in the workplace can be. The message comes at the beginning of the new joint inspection and enforcement initiative, where officers from district councils and the HSE NI will carry out 1,000 inspections across a variety of key industries, such as construction, wholesale distribution, retail, agriculture and builders' yards.
During these inspections, the officers will focus on three main areas:
- safe site;
- safe vehicle; and
- safe driver.
They will also discuss with employers what provisions they have made to ensure people's safety on-site.
Deputy Chief Executive for the HSE NI commented, "It is often the most simple and inexpensive measures that make a huge difference in helping to reduce the risk of an accident in the workplace involving a moving vehicle. Employers need to think about things such as checking for potential problems (risk assessments), well designed layouts, good driver training and proper systems to detect and correct unsafe practices. Think about what really happens on-site rather than the theory and then make the changes needed to keep people safe."
He continued, "This will also save companies time and money by reducing incidents and damage to vehicles and products. So I'd urge employers to contact the HSE NI or their local council's environmental health department for advice on how they can make sure their workplace transport is safe – or to discuss any concerns they may have."
Sellafield get it wrong
Published: 26 Jun 2013
The owner of the Sellafield nuclear plant has been fined £700,000 after admitting sending low-level radioactive waste to a landfill site.
Sellafield Limited confessed to sending four bags, containing plastic, paper, clothing, wood and metal, from its plant to the Lillyhall landfill in Workington, in April 2010. The bags should have been sent to the Low Level Waste Repository at Drigg. According to the firm, a wrongly configured monitoring system resulted in the bags being labelled as "general waste", making them exempt from the usual disposal treatment process.
The charges were brought to Carlisle Crown Court by the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive, and included breaches of the Radioactive Substances Act 1993, the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2010/675 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Judge Peter Hughes said the mistakes were the result of "basic management failures". He commented, "this prosecution arises out of the discovery, by chance, that bags of radioactive waste had been wrongly classified as exempt waste and allowed to leave Sellafield and to be transported to a landfill site and deposited there. That such a basic mistake could possibly occur in what needs to be an industry managed and operated with scrupulous care for public safety and the environment is bound to be a matter of grave concern."
A statement from the company, which has held an ISO 14001 certification since 1997, said it regretted the incident and had suspended the disposal of waste from the site until it had identified and corrected the error.
New record for electric car
Published: 26 Jun 2013
Drayson Racing Technologies has produced a new car that has broken the land speed record for a lightweight electric car. The previous record, set at 175mph by Battery Box General Electric in 1974, was beaten by Drayson's Lola B12 69/EV vehicle which reached a top speed of 204.2mph.
In order to qualify for the attempt, the firm had to make its vehicle weigh less than 1,000kg without the driver. It therefore adapted a Le Mans Series car it had previously designed, and replaced its original bio-ethanol fuel engine with a 20kwh battery offering 850 horsepower.
Lord Drayson, who established Drayson Racing Technologies in 2007, said, "What it, I hope, shows to people is just what the future potential of electric cars is. Obviously this is a very special racing car, but by setting this new world record here in Britain we say two things. One it is a pointer to the future - the technology that we developed for this car will filter down to the cars we use every day. And secondly it's a message about how here in the UK we're a world leader with this technology. We've led motorsport engineering, now we're also leading with electric motorsport engineering."
The firm want to enter the vehicle into next year's Le Mans 24 race, saying the competition would act as a test bed for technologies that could find their way into road cars.
It is clear that firms are beginning to take the potential of electric vehicles seriously. At the same time, Nissan, a global leader in electric road vehicles, has also unveiled the Zeod RC (Zero Emission on Demand Racing Car), which can switch between electric and petrol power and which will make its début at next year's Le Mans 24 race.
PPC changes again in Northern Ireland
Published: 26 Jun 2013
The Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2013/160 came into force on 20 June 2013. They implement Directive 2010/75/EU, on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control), which takes account of a review of the implementation of Directive 2008/1/EC, on the same subject, as well as incorporating a number of other EU measures on industrial pollution (including those on waste incineration, large combustion plant and solvent emissions).
The Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2003/46, together with Regulations on waste incineration and solvent emissions will be revoked and replaced on 7 January 2014. Provisions on large combustion plants will be revoked on 1 January 2016.
These 2013 Regulations also revoke and replace the Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2012/453, which only came into force on 6 January 2013.
The revocation was necessary because of an error in the text.
As a result, the main changes are reflected in Part B of section 6.4 of the Full Text of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to these Regulations, which deals with coating activities, printing and textile treatments.
The following legislation which had been revoked by the Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2012/453 remains revoked: