Archive for August, 2017

Environment Agency trial of body worn cameras

The Environment Agency has launched a six month trial in the North East to equip enforcement officers with body worn cameras.

The first trial of its kind within the organisation, aims to improve the safety of the enforcement officers, who are often exposed to anti-social behaviour, threats and assaults, commonly when inspecting poorly performing sites, illegal and regulated waste sites, remote fisheries and navigation patrols and even during incident response.

The scheme has been launched after an Environment Agency employee, ex-police officer, Paul Whitehill, was threatened with violence on an illegal waste site during a routine visit. He suggested, that the police force works with body cameras on a daily basis and they are proven to be effective and prevented some threatening situations from escalating, therefore they could improve the safety of environmental enforcement workers.

Environment Agency waste enforcement officers encounter aggressive behaviour on a regular basis across the country. Since 2001, the Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted 59 cases of obstruction, hostility or threatening behaviour towards the officers, 22 of which were in the North East.

Rachael Caldwell from the Environment Agency's Waste and enforcement Department said: “The safety of our staff is paramount. They are well trained in dealing with hostile situations and we take any threat against them very seriously. But our preference is to prevent hostility in the first place.”

Officers who take part in the pilot scheme must follow specific guidelines on the use of body cameras. They will not be permanently switched on, and people will be informed that they are being filmed. If they are filmed, the footage is automatically deleted after a month, unless it is required for evidential purposes.

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HSE plan to lower frequency of asbestos medicals

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are looking to amend the frequency of medical checks from every two years to every three years for workers carrying out licensed work under the Control of Asbestos Regulations SI 2012/632.

If the medical checks were changed to every three years, it would bring them into alignment with the statutory frequency for workers undertaking notifiable work.

This shift comes as part of the HSE's post implementation review (PIR) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations SI 2012/632, which was published in March this year. The majority of the report was happy with the way those Regulations were working, but included some minor recommendations.

The current two yearly medical checks for workers carrying out licensed work goes beyond what is laid down in Directive 2009/148/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work. For this reason the PIR suggested the HSE should “explore” aligning the two types of medical checks for workers carrying out licensed work and undertaking notifiable work.

The HSE report stated that health and safety impacts of any changes to the Regulations would be considered in consultation with stakeholders.

This seems to have been given the green light with a spokesperson for the HSE stating:

“The HSE is considering options on how to take forward the recommendation to align the frequencies of medical examinations – this will require a change to the law.”

The report also recommended the HSE should provide:

  • greater clarity around the distinction between licensable, non-licensable and notifiable work with asbestos;
  • more information on dutyholders' roles and responsibilities around the duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises;
  • practical examples of written plans of work as guidance for dutyholders.

Hugh Robertson, health and safety policy officer at the Trades Union Congress (TUC), argued the changes were not positive:

“Given the very high risk to these workers should they have any exposure, I hardly think that giving a medical examination every two years is an onerous burden on business”.

Discussions on the changes are in the early stages and a timetable has not yet been agreed.

For more information see, the:

  • Directive 2009/148/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work;
  • Control of Asbestos Regulations SI 2012/632.
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The bells! The bells!

In what has been a particularly controversial move, Big Ben will be silenced for four years whilst repairs to the Elizabeth Tower are carried out. The move is part of health and safety control measures as there is a risk to hearing loss for those working on the tower and who may be particularly close to the bell when it chimes.

This has led to a furious response from certain media outlets and once again health and safety has been blamed for unnecessary regulation. The silencing of Big Ben has even prompted a response from Prime Minister Theresa May, who said that it “can't be right” that the famous bongs from the bell will be silenced for four years, whilst the House of Commons has said it will review the length of time that Big Ben will be quiet.

In response to the negative press around the move, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has commented that people's health should “not be made worse by the work they do and that no worker should suffer any hearing loss whilst working on this project.” Whilst the HSE has pointed out it was not responsible for the control measures implemented, it did work with the contractors during the planning stage of the project.

Cedrec's take

This particular issue seems to have been hotly debated in the media, but it is important to consider an important point.

The assessment of the risk posed to workers taking part in the repairs of the Elizabeth Tower has clearly highlighted the noise from the bells as a potential risk, however big or small. Many safety practitioners and competent experts will also be familiar with the safety hierarchy of control, which suggests that if a potential risk can be eliminated, that is the course of action that should be taken before any other control is considered. Furthermore, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999/3242 outline general principles of prevention, the first principle being “avoiding risks” (there are also other areas of safety law that are applicable to this story). In this case, stopping Big Ben from chiming is an easy control measure to take and completely eliminates any risk posed to employees by the noise coming from the bell.

It may be an unpopular choice, but by law, the health of those at work must be protected, and it would make sense that stopping the chimes of Big Ben ensures that the hearing of those working close to the tower is not compromised.

Do you work in the safety or construction sectors? Let us know what you think about the silencing of Big Ben by tweeting us @cedrec_news.

For more information see, the:

  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999/3242.
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Regulation (EU) 1228/2017 (OJ:L177/4/2017) on the conditions for classification, on external renders and internal plasters based on organic binders covered by the harmonised standard EN 15824 and rendering and plastering mortars covered by the harmonised standard EN 998-1 on their reaction to fire

This Regulation sets out, that external renders and internal plasters based on organic binders covered by the harmonised standard EN 15824 and rendering and plastering mortars covered by the harmonised standard EN 998-1 are considered to satisfy the classes of performance indicated in the Annex to this Regulation without testing.

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

Comments Off on Regulation (EU) 1228/2017 (OJ:L177/4/2017) on the conditions for classification, on external renders and internal plasters based on organic binders covered by the harmonised standard EN 15824 and rendering and plastering mortars covered by the harmonised standard EN 998-1 on their reaction to fire more...

Regulation (EU) 1164/2017 (OJ:L170/3/2017) amending annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for acrinathrin, metalaxyl and thiabendazole in or on certain products

This Regulation amends Annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005, on maximum residue levels (MRLs) of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin, in regards to the MRLs for acrinathrin, metalaxyl and thiabendazole in or on certain products.
Legislative background
Regulation (EC) 396/2005 establishes the need to make sure of…

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

Comments Off on Regulation (EU) 1164/2017 (OJ:L170/3/2017) amending annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for acrinathrin, metalaxyl and thiabendazole in or on certain products more...

Regulation (EU) 627/2017 (OJ:L96/44/2017) amending annexes 2, 3 and 5 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for fenpyroximate, triadimenol and triadimefon in or on certain products

This Regulation amends Annexes 2, 3 and 5 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005, on maximum residue levels (MRLs) of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin, in regards to the MRLs for fenpyroximate, triadimenol and triadimefon in or on certain products.
Legislative background
Regulation (EC) 396/2005 establishes the need to…

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

Comments Off on Regulation (EU) 627/2017 (OJ:L96/44/2017) amending annexes 2, 3 and 5 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for fenpyroximate, triadimenol and triadimefon in or on certain products more...

Regulation (EU) 1135/2017 (OJ:L164/28/2017) amending Annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for dimethoate and omethoate in or on certain products

This Regulation amends Annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005, on maximum residue levels (MRLs) of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin, in regards to the MRLs for dimethoate and omethoate in or on certain products.
Legislative background
Regulation (EC) 396/2005 establishes the need to make sure of a…

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

Comments Off on Regulation (EU) 1135/2017 (OJ:L164/28/2017) amending Annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for dimethoate and omethoate in or on certain products more...

Regulation (EU) 1228/2017 (OJ:L177/4/2017) on the conditions for classification, on external renders and internal plasters based on organic binders covered by the harmonised standard EN 15824 and rendering and plastering mortars covered by the harmonised standard EN 998-1 on their reaction to fire

This Regulation sets out, that external renders and internal plasters based on organic binders covered by the harmonised standard EN 15824 and rendering and plastering mortars covered by the harmonised standard EN 998-1 are considered to satisfy the classes of performance indicated in the Annex to this Regulation without testing.

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

Comments Off on Regulation (EU) 1228/2017 (OJ:L177/4/2017) on the conditions for classification, on external renders and internal plasters based on organic binders covered by the harmonised standard EN 15824 and rendering and plastering mortars covered by the harmonised standard EN 998-1 on their reaction to fire more...

Regulation (EU) 1164/2017 (OJ:L170/3/2017) amending annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for acrinathrin, metalaxyl and thiabendazole in or on certain products

This Regulation amends Annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005, on maximum residue levels (MRLs) of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin, in regards to the MRLs for acrinathrin, metalaxyl and thiabendazole in or on certain products.
Legislative background
Regulation (EC) 396/2005 establishes the need to make sure of…

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

Comments Off on Regulation (EU) 1164/2017 (OJ:L170/3/2017) amending annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for acrinathrin, metalaxyl and thiabendazole in or on certain products more...

Regulation (EU) 627/2017 (OJ:L96/44/2017) amending annexes 2, 3 and 5 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for fenpyroximate, triadimenol and triadimefon in or on certain products

This Regulation amends Annexes 2, 3 and 5 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005, on maximum residue levels (MRLs) of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin, in regards to the MRLs for fenpyroximate, triadimenol and triadimefon in or on certain products.
Legislative background
Regulation (EC) 396/2005 establishes the need to…

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

Comments Off on Regulation (EU) 627/2017 (OJ:L96/44/2017) amending annexes 2, 3 and 5 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for fenpyroximate, triadimenol and triadimefon in or on certain products more...

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