60,000 UK Construction Workers Lay Down Tools to Promote Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

60,000 UK Construction Workers Lay Down Tools to Promote Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

Around 60,000 UK construction industry professionals laid down their tools on April 18th for Stop. Make a Change, a one-day event aiming to highlight the health, safety, and wellbeing challenges faced by the industry. Over 50 organisations, including big names such as HSE and Skanska, signed in support of the event which will took place in over 1,000 sites, offices, and production facilities across the country. Over 30 of these organisations made commitments to improve mental health, fatigue, plant safety, and respiratory health among their workers.

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Trades Union Congress: Nearly Half of UK Workplaces Lacking Safety Inspections

A new survey put out by the Trades Union Congress shows that nearly half of UK workplaces have never had a health and safety inspection, with more that 80% of construction workplaces lacking any Health and Safety inspections at all. Manufacturing was the only sector that boasted a majority (57%) of safety reps claiming to have had an inspection from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) during the past year. By 2019/2020 government funding of the HSE will have been slashed by nearly half, and in recent years, local councils have reduced workplace inspections by 97%. The General Secretary for the Trades Union Congress has stated how “huge cuts to the HSE and to local authorities continue to undermine vital safety protections at work. That means more workers at risk of accidents in unsafe workplaces every day.” Read more here.

Insufficient Risk Assessment and Unsafe Work System Lead to UK Worker Losing His Arm in Dangerous Machinery

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) lead an investigation into a 2013 accident where a worker lost his arm while cleaning a potato grinder. The investigation found that there were unsafe systems of work being used, which involved cleaning and clearing blockages from the rollers while they were still rotating under power. On 25 January 2016, W B Daw & Son of Staffordshire, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000 after being found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.  HSE Inspector David Brassington said: "Incidents of this kind are all too common and generally have serious consequences. The onus is on employers to ensure that suitable and sufficient risk assessments are undertaken for work activities involving exposure to dangerous parts of machinery, and to make sure that robust safe systems of work are implemented to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery."  Read more here.

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Cynthia Chiles

Cynthia Chiles is President and founder of convergence consulting LLC, and she is located in the Los Angeles, California office. Cynthia developed the innovative business model on which the company is founded and named. She has 25 years of environmental, health, safety, and social responsibility (EHS), management consulting experience to multi-national clients. She has an expertise in the development and management of global EHS management programs, in particular compliance audit programs, management system implementation programs and performance enhancement programs. She has conducted hundreds of EHS audits in over 17 countries, and currently manages many large scale multi-country audit and consulting support projects for our clients in the pharmaceutical, electronics and retail sectors. Cynthia recently served a four term on the Auditing Roundtable Board of Directors and currently sits on the Standards Board for the Board of Environmental Health and Safety Auditor Certification (BEAC). She holds a Bachelor of Science in both Political Science and Business Management, and is a BEAC certified environmental auditor.