The environmental and human impacts of shipbreaking are significant – it's one of the most dangerous industries in the world. Thanks to Covid, thousands of large, unwanted ships are being sailed to South Asia coastlines and dismantled using blowtorches, usually with a minimum of PPE, training or safety protocols. The ship-recycling industry has long been under pressure to reform health and safety – it has killed more than 400 workers in the past decade. We look at what OSH practitioners can do to raise awareness.
Following the implementation of The Sentencing Council's Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety & Hygiene Offences Definitive Guideline, on 1 February 2016, the average fine handed out by courts increased from just over £54,000 in 2015-16, the year before the guidelines were introduced, to over £150,000 in 2018-19.
A Dhaka factory collapse in 2013 threw the international spotlight on the working conditions in Bangladesh garment factories. Thankfully, concerted efforts to clean up the sector are now making a real difference.
IOSH is driving efforts to put people at the centre of business, highlighting the place of human capital and safety and health in corporate sustainability, and OSH professionals’ role in promoting this.