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A 57-year-old employee who was part of the council's "streetscene" department, which is responsible for refuse and recycling collections, street cleaning, grass cutting and highway maintenance, was diagnosed with HAVS in September 2015.
During its investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the council had several policies dating back to 2004 to tackle the risk of HAVS, but had not put them into practice.
The HSE also found that the council did not address the issue of HAVS after an audit in February 2011 had identified its failure to assess the risk to employees from vibration.
After Wrexham County Borough Council introduced health surveillance for vibrating tool users, a further 11 diagnoses of HAVS or carpal tunnel syndrome were made.
It pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. At Flintshire Magistrates' Court, District Judge Gwyn Jones said the starting point for the fine was £400,000 but reduced it to £150,000 because of the council's guilty plea and "other factors", Daily Post North Wales reported. It was also ordered to pay £10,900 in costs.
After the hearing HSE inspector Mhairi Duffy said: "This employee now suffers from a long term, life changing illness. The council should have implemented the policy they devised following the audit in 2011."
The voluntary charter is part of a wider TUC campaign which calls for a terminal illness to be viewed as a “protected characteristic”. Charter signatories agree that terminally ill employees enter a “protected period” in which they cannot be dismissed because of their condition.Although the UK’s 2010 Equality Act does offer some protection for terminally ill employees, employers can dismiss them if they fail a capability assessment after “reasonable adjustments” have been made to their work arrangements, resulting in loss of income and loss of death in-service payments.
However there remains a chance that the current draft could be amended for final publication before the end of 2017, according to IOSH’s head of policy and public affairs, Richard Jones.The working group that is part of ISO/PC 283 – the project committee developing the new standard – met for what is anticipated to be the last time, from 18 to 23 September in the Malaysian city of Malacca.
The order came into effect on Sunday (24 September) and mandates employers to implement the use of “practical and comfortable footwear”. It says they can no longer compel staff to wear heeled shoes that are higher than 2.23 cm, unless the workers choose to do so.The move, which the country’s labour unions have hailed as a victory against sexism, will most likely benefit shop assistants, hotel receptionists and flight attendants who spend long periods standing.
The report has made 40 recommendations for businesses, regulators, the government and the public sector after it found one worker in six suffers from a mental illness and 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems lose their jobs every year.
The estimated global total for fatal occupational accidents and work-related illness is 19% higher than the 2.33 million estimated in 2014, reflecting the inclusion of respiratory cases caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and work-related asthma, which was missing from the 2014 report. Work diseases account for 2.4 million (86.3%) of the total estimated deaths in the latest report, which was compiled by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs in Finland and the Workplace Safety and Health Institute (WSH) in Singapore with the support of the ILO.
Developed with the State Claims Agency, the “Work Positive” tool can be used to carry out confidential psychosocial risk assessments. It has been designed to help employers assess workplace stressors, employee psychological wellbeing and critical incident exposure in the workplace. Intended to cover whole workforces, the HSA said the stress assessment can be carried out over three to six months and be re-used every few years.