Attwood praises waste decrease
Published: 20 Jan 2011
Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood has welcomed figures which show that household and municipal waste collected by district councils between July and September 2011 fell by almost 5% compared to last year.
As a result, both the household and municipal recycling rates have climbed to almost 43% and 42% respectively, compared to the same period last year. These figures contain biodegradable material recovered via composting which is at its seasonal peak during this Summer period. The amount of both waste streams sent to landfill also decreased by around 10% compared to last year. This means that just over 54% of household and almost 56% of municipal waste was sent to landfill.
Mr Attwood said, "Not only is it common sense to minimise the amount of waste we produce to allow our councils to spend more money where it's needed most but from an environmental view less waste means less impact. Whilst the phrase Reduce Reuse Recycle has been around for many years now, it is the foundation of my Department's Rethink Waste campaign. I am also pleased to note the continuing increase in both the recycling rates and the decrease in waste sent to landfill and want to thank all those who are doing their bit. Together we will make a difference. The challenge for NI is - can we become a world leader in carbon reduction? Do we have the capacity to take our clean and green reputation to a new level? This is where we can go and this is where we should go. Today's figures give added impetus".
For more information, see:
Changes to chemicals and hazardous substances
Published: 12 Jan 2011
Regulation (EC) 1907/2006, on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), has been amended several times.
Annex 17, which sets out the restrictions on the manufacture, placing on the market and use of certain dangerous substances, mixtures and articles, has been amended by the following to add and remove various substances which are subject to restrictions:
Annex 13 which sets criteria for the identification of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances and very persistent and very bioaccumulative substances, has been replaced by Regulation (EU) 253/2011.
In addition, Annex 1, which sets provisions for assessing substances and preparing chemical safety reports, has been amended by Regulation (EU) 252/2011 to adapt it to the criteria for classification and other relevant provisions set out in Regulation (EC) 1272/2008, on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures.
These amendments are the result of actions taken in respect of certain chemicals in accordance with:
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.