Writers in OSH publications – this one excepted – often start articles with aggregated figures on the billions a type of accident or illness costs the UK, European or even world economy.However immediately impressive they are, these telephone number totals demand a leap of imagination (or some quick-footed mental arithmetic) to work out their local implications. Better to save your audience the trouble.
Now in his 90th year, Schein is still at the cutting edge of human psychology.This is the fifth book in his “humble” series – co-authored with his son, Peter – and extends the belief Schein has preached tirelessly: that we all need to be more human – whether at work, in consulting others, when asking questions, or when seeking to support. It’s an essential companion for OSH practitioners.
“The use of PPE must not increase the overall level of risk,” says the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance (L25) on the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations, “ie PPE must not be worn if the risk caused by wearing it is greater than the risk against which it is meant to protect.”
Barrie John Henry Birch was sentenced to 18 months’ jail, suspended for two years, and disqualified from being a company director for five years after his firm, BBS Improvements, carried out unsafe and unnecessary building work. Workers were put at risk because there was no scaffolding.The fraudulent activity was uncovered when a member of the public lodged a complaint with Worcestershire Trading Standards about BBS Improvements’ work on the roof of a domestic property in Redditch in May 2017.
Humans have been making equipment to protect themselves for thousands of years. There are numerous examples throughout history – many related to warfare. Even in this field there are examples of provision for women, perhaps most famously Joan of Arc, who was provided with a suit of armour by Charles VII. And yet, almost 300 years into the industrial era, the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) that genuinely takes into account the needs of a female workforce is still shockingly poor.
“Quite damning”. That was the verdict of Giles Hyder on new research by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showing that only half of workers in all business sectors are confident in their employers’ competence to manage safety and health. Opening the sessions at the Food and Drink Manufacturing Health and Safety Conference at Nottingham’s Belfry on 2 October, Hyder, the HSE’s operational policy lead for manufacturing, said that while just 1% of employers surveyed thought their company’s management of musculoskeletal disorder risk was poor, this rose to 19% for employees.
The “bonkers conkers” story – arguably the most pervasive and, for the status of OSH practitioners, damaging safety myth in the UK – originated in a school playground. The legend that a head teacher insisted children wear safety goggles when playing the autumnal game had little grounding in reality. But it drew attention to a more important question about how we manage students’ earliest experiences of safety and health management.
Even as a youngster I was into radio-controlled vehicles. I come from a family of engineers, and I’ve always been a builder. I was the child that liked to take things apart to see how they worked. Earlier in my career, I spent many years as a specialist vehicle body builder, constructing vehicles for the military, Middle Eastern royalty and Formula One racing.
Only two-in-five manufacturers surveyed (42%) said FFI, introduced in 2012 to make dutyholders pay for notification of minor breaches, had made them think less favourably of the regulator, down from almost three in five (56%) two years ago. The proportion saying FFI made them less likely to ask a visiting inspector for advice had also fallen from 57% to 41%, despite inspectors being obliged to charge them £129 an hour for notification of any material breaches they find during site visits.