Category Archives: Safety News

The Health and Safety Executive Welcomes Government’s Draft Bill to Improve Building and Fire Safety in England

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has welcomed the publication of the government’s draft Building Safety Bill, which aim to create the biggest change in building safety for a generation.

The publication of the draft bill, on Monday 20 July, follows the announcement made by Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP in January that HSE would create a new Building Safety Regulator (BSR), with the aim of implementing reforms that go further and faster to improving building safety following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The BSR will oversee the new, more stringent building safety regime for higher-risk buildings, which prioritises blocks of flats more than 18m high or more than six storeys tall in England. It will also have a broader oversight role in the safety and performance of buildings; and in promoting improvements in the competence and organisational capability of all those working in the built environment.

HSE Chief Executive Sarah Albon said: “HSE fully supports the measures set out in the draft bill to move forward and enhance building safety across England.

“HSE is currently working with other parts of government, key regulators and industry to establish how the new legislation can be implemented in a practical way and create a new regime that improves building safety standards and competence across the industry.”
HSE will also lead the government’s Joint Regulators Group (JRG), which will provide coordinated leadership to local authority and fire & rescue regulators during the transition to the new regulatory regime. It will support the development of close working arrangements between the BSR and local regulators, while continuing to work with early adopters to trial new safety approaches.

The JRG will be chaired by Peter Baker, Director of the Building Safety and Construction Division of HSE said: “The BSR will create a new era for building safety, working with wider government, local regulators, industry and residents we want to ensure that a tragedy like Grenfell Tower never happens again.

“Through appropriate use of its enforcement powers under the new regulatory framework, the BSR will ensure that building safety risks are being properly managed and controlled throughout the lifecycle of a building. It will also hold those with legal duties to account for significant failures.”

He added: “In my role as chair of the JRG I will work together with members to ensure that the proposals are both robust and practical.”

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The post The Health and Safety Executive Welcomes Government’s Draft Bill to Improve Building and Fire Safety in England appeared first on HSE Media Centre.

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Ten-year-old boy dies after water incident at building site – STV News

A ten-year-old boy has died after an incident at a building site in Glasgow.

Emergency services were called after the boy got into trouble in water at the site in Drumchapel on Thursday night.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance, but could not be saved.

An investigation into the circumstances is under way, however the death is not being treated as suspicious.

A police spokesman said: “Around 9.55pm on Thursday police were called to a report of a boy seriously injured at a works site near Glenkirk Drive, Drumchapel, Glasgow.

“Emergency services attended and the ten-year-old boy was taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where he died a short time later.

“Police enquiries are continuing to establish the exact circumstances surrounding this incident, however the death is not being treated as suspicious.

“Health and Safety Executive have been informed.”

via Ten-year-old boy dies after water incident at building site – STV News.

Yorkshire MP calls for scrapping of ‘appalling’ health and safety watchdog | Yorkshire Post

Speaking in the Commons today Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock hit out at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for its response to coronavirus cases at a food factory in Wombwell, near Barnsley, where three workers have died.

Ms Peacock said: “Isn’t it time we had a debate on the appalling performance of the Health and Safety Executive?

“Cranswick Foods in Wombwell has had numerous cases of Covid-19 and three deaths, and yet it took the Health and Safety Executive three months to visit the factory, and I’m yet to receive a response to my letter.

via Yorkshire MP calls for scrapping of ‘appalling’ health and safety watchdog | Yorkshire Post.

HSE is checking Covid compliance in Bradford businesses

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is out conducting spot inspections on businesses in Bradford checking they are working right and are COVID-secure. HSE is checking that businesses are aware of the Safer Workplace guidance and advising where necessary on improvements needed to ensure the workplace is Covid Secure.

HSE works with other public local and national government authorities to support the understanding of any patterns they are finding in workplaces in Bradford and other areas. Inspectors are out and about visiting businesses across the city and surrounding areas, putting employers on the spot and checking that they are complying with the latest guidance.

To be COVID-secure mean businesses need to put in place workplace adjustments, keep up to date with the latest guidance and put measures in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others. There are practical steps that businesses can take to do that:

• Step 1. carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
• Step 2. develop increased cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
• Step 3. maintain 2m social distancing where possible
• Step 4. where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk.

Michael Bone, HSE Head of Operations in Yorkshire said: “Given the number of cases in Bradford, becoming COVID-secure should be the priority for all businesses. We are talking to duty holders and inspecting sites across the city to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.

“Employers have a legal duty to protect workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. We encourage businesses to engage their employees in the changes they put in place to become COVID-secure to increase confidence with workers and in turn customers and the local community.”

As inspections are ongoing, HSE has been utilising a number of different ways to gather intelligence and reach out to businesses across Yorkshire with a combination of site visits, phone calls and through collection of supporting visual evidence.

Some of the most common issues that HSE and local authority inspectors are finding across the country include: failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime – particularly at busy times of the day – and providing access to welfare facilities to allow employees to frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap.

HSE will support businesses by providing advice and guidance; however where some employers are not managing the risk, HSE will take action which can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.

Michael continued: “Businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are in scope for inspections. We understand that the vast majority of employers are doing everything they can to keep people and their business safe and healthy.

“Becoming COVID-secure not only benefits the health of our communities and the health of local businesses in Bradford, it benefits the health of the UK economy. Through ensuring that businesses in the area are COVID-secure, we can benefit the health of the nation.”
For the latest information and relevant Safer Workplaces guidance, see www.gov.uk

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