Archive for June, 2014

New guidance on musculoskeletal disorders published

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has brought out new guidance on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace.

MSDs are conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. They often appear in the tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels and/or nerves of the limbs and back.

The Guide on the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace aims to bring together information from different sources on the prevention and management of MSDs in the workplace.

This may be seen by some as essential guidance at a time when MSDs have been cited as the leading cause of work disability in the European Union (EU).

A massive 29% (34,654 days) of all absences in Northern Ireland councils (local authorities) were due to musculoskeletal problems or back and neck problems according to the Northern Ireland Audit Office 2010.

The guide advises that the main elements for preventing MSDs are policy on prevention and management of MSDs, risk assessments and safe systems of work plans (SSWPs), training, accident and near miss reporting and investigation, injury management (retention, rehabilitation and return to work) and internal auditing.

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Builder acts as gas fitter in Hyde, puts lives at risk

A builder in Hyde has been caught carrying out illegal gas work at two homes after an investigation found he had left a boiler in a “dangerous condition.”

Monwar Ali, 40, is being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a home on Norbury Avenue and another on Harbour Farm Road were left with faulty boilers. These put the lives of both families at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Norbury Avenue address had paid Mr Ali £21,000 to carry out a loft conversion in 2011. As part of this, he removed the flue pipe which connects to the boiler. Such a procedure requires a qualified, registered professional. The pipe was left disconnected for almost two months.

In the case of the Harbour Farm Road address, Mr Ali had fraudulently provided the family with a Gas Safe Register logo on his quotes, and was subsequently paid nearly £50,000 to build a two storey extension, and moved the gas boiler on two occasions.

Mr Ali has pleaded guilty to six breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations SI 1998/2451 between 28 December 2010 and 31 August 2011. He was sentenced to 220 hours unpaid work to be completed within 12 months and to pay £2,000 towards prosecution costs.

Russel Kramer, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register has stressed the importance of safe gas work, advising prospective customers to check all Gas Safe engineers carry a valid Gas Safe ID card. Customers can also call 0800 408 5500 or visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk to ensure their gas engineer is fully qualified.

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Regulation (EU) 678/2014 (OJ:L180/11/2014) amending Regulation (EU) 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances clopyralid, cyprodinil, fosetyl, pyrimethanil and trinexapac

This Regulation amends Regulation (EU) 540/2011, which implements Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 as regards the list of approved active substances, in order to extend the approval periods of the active substances:

clopyralid;
cyprodinil;
fosetyl;
pyrimethanil; and
trinexapac.

The approval for each of these active substances will now end on 30 April 2018.
Revocations and amendments
This Regulation amends:

Regulation (EU)…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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HSENI – Guide on the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Fuel and Electricity (Heating) (Control) (Revocations) Order SI 2014/1509

This Order came into force on 9 July 2014 and applies to England, Scotland and Wales.
It revokes the Fuel and Electricity (Heating) (Control) Order SI 1974/2160, and the Order which amended it, to remove a prohibition on the use of fuel or electricity to heat premises above 19°C.
Legislative background
The Fuel…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Move over, Rover and let health and safety take over!

Organisers of the annual Scruffs dog show in Keswick, Cumbria took the decision to remove 'highest frisbee catch' from its line-up of events due to health and safety concerns.

There were also fears for the 'highest biscuit catcher' event, however this was turned into a sitting down event and went ahead, alongside other events such as the 'dog with the most appealing eyebrows'.

Tony Lywood, a town councillor and one of the show's organisers, said: “A couple of members of our organising committee, who have experience of larger scale dog shows, suggested there may be risks to dogs that jump high to catch frisbees.

“We did some due diligence and reluctantly agreed that we should scrap the frisbee category and amend the biscuit catching category so that the dogs are sitting down. It is a strange and bizarre decision to make, but one which I suppose we had to make if there is a risk that animals could get hurt.”

He added: “In shows elsewhere, there have been occasions where dogs have jumped high and twisted their back, and there was one where the dog had to be put down.”

The Kennel Club, the country's biggest charity devoted to protecting the welfare of dogs, has twice previously named Keswick as the most dog friendly town in the UK.

A spokesman backed the decision of the show's organisers. “The Kennel Club encourages fun sports and activities for dogs in order to keep them fit and healthy. But it has concerns about the game of frisbee, particularly in its more extreme forms.

“While it can be safe in controlled conditions, if it is thrown at great heights or awkward angles, leading the dog to jump and twist, it can cause strain and injury on landing so care should always be taken.”

Editor's note

We must have missed the amendment that said animals were covered under safety legislation…!

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Consultation on the alignment of safety regulations with CLP

A consultative document has been published, which outlines proposals on the alignment of health and safety regulations with the EU direct acting Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 (CLP Regulation).

The CLP Regulation progressively replaces the Dangerous Substances Directive 1967/548/EEC (DSD) and the Dangerous Preparations Directive 1999/45/EC (DPD), which deal with the classification, hazard communication and packaging of chemicals.

The key changes include:

  • the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (GHS) will be used across Europe and the United Nations for the classification and labelling of chemicals;
  • any existing European classification system and hazard warning symbols will be replaced by the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) and a new set of hazard pictograms.

Responses should be received by 22 July 2014.

For more information, see:

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Consultation on revised DSEAR ACOP

A consultative document has been published, which seeks views on HSE's proposed revised version of the Approved Code of Practice on the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations SI 2002/2776 (DSEAR), L133 – Unloading petrol from road tankers.

The key changes include:

  • increased emphasis on the importance of complying with the risk assessment elements of DSEAR;
  • expanded sections on overfill and spillage to provide further guidance in relation to these issues;
  • clearer definitions of some terms, for example maximum working capacity of storage tanks;
  • reorganisation of the text to ensure clarity on what is required to comply with the law for the various parties involved;
  • signposting to separate HSE guidance on working at height which enables the ACOP to focus on the key DSEAR elements of unloading of petrol.

The Regulations are unchanged and so there are no new requirements for compliance.

Responses should be received by the HSE by 22 July 2014

For more information,see:

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HSE to target health in construction

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a two week drive in order to check ill health on construction sites. The HSE will make unannounced visits to construction sites across Britain, but will be specifically looking at respiratory risks from dusts such as silica materials, exposure to other hazardous substances such as cement and lead paint, manual handling, noise and vibration.

Poor working conditions could lead to ill health, especially on construction sites. For instance, it is believed that over 500 deaths a year are caused by exposure to silica. It is hoped that these targeted inspections will help to reduce death, injury and ill health in the construction sector.

HSE Chief Inspector of Construction, Heather Bryant, said, “The construction sector has made good progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured by its activities. We need to tackle where workers are unnecessarily being exposed to serious health risks, such as silica dust, which can have fatal or debilitating consequences.

“This initiative provides a chance to engage with these firms to help them understand what they need to do, so they can put in place the practical measures needed to keep people safe.”

Ms Bryant also issued a stark warning, saying, “However, let me be clear – poor risk management and a lack of awareness of responsibilities is unacceptable. Companies who deliberately cut corners can expect to feel the full weight of the law.”

For more information, see:

  • INDG463 – Control of exposure to silica dust;
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations SI 1992/2793;
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations SI 2002/2677;
  • Control of Noise at Work Regulations SI 2005/1643.
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Regulation (EU) 139/2014 (OJ:L44/1/2014) laying down requirements and administrative procedures related to aerodromes pursuant to Regulation (EC) 216/2008

This Regulation implements detailed rules in particular concerning the safety regulation of aerodromes, in order to maintain a high uniform level of civil aviation safety in the Union while pursuing the objective of an overall improvement in aerodrome safety.
The rules included in the Regulation cover the:

oversight of aerodromes;
providing of information…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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