Union Opposes Push to Exempt Businesses From Safety Inspections

Push for Workplaces to Be Exempt from Health & Safety Inspections

 
Protecting workers saves money as well as lives, British union UNISON said recently in its response to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announcement that hundreds of thousands of workplaces should be exempt from health and safety inspections.
 
According to UNISON, the government intends to introduce binding new rules on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and councils from April 2013, exempting hundreds of thousands of workplaces that have been designated 'low risk' from regular health and safety inspections.
 
 
Exemptions Include Offices, Schools, Catering & Cleaning
 
Its interpretation of low risk encompasses most of the workplaces where UNISON members are employed including offices and schools, and sectors such as health and social care, catering and cleaning.
 
 
Unison Opposes Exemptions
 
"The government does not take into consideration occupational ill health such as musculoskeletal disorders (aches and pains in joints and soft tissue) and work-related stress, which are the most common types of ill-health in so-called low risk workplaces, and account for more than three quarters of all work-related injuries and illness currently suffered in the UK." commented UNISON assistant national officer James Randall. "It also intends to scrap health and safety regulations which it claims are a burden on business.
 
 
Health and Safety Can Be Driver for Growth
 
However, in 2011 a survey conducted by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health found that health and safety can be used as a driver for growth, given that protecting workers saves money, according to Randall.
 
Work-related accidents and ill health costs businesses nearly $12.83 Billion a year through absenteeism, low productivity and legal bills. The research found the overall cost of health and safety failures to the public purse, including welfare and health bills, is estimated at $35.28 billion.
 
UNISON believes that by reducing inspections by one-third and slashing regulations, business and the taxpayer will face the bigger burden of an injured and unwell workforce.
 
"We must organize and campaign to defend against the government's attack on health and safety at work, added Randall. "If you share our belief that everyone should be able to work without having their health damaged by their job, then join UNISON in speaking up for health and safety."
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


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Brazilian Blowout May Release Formaldehyde in Salon

Federal health regulators have passed along warnings to four manufacturers of hand sanitizing products for making unsupported claims regarding the bacteria-fighting benefits of their products.
 
 
According to the Associated Press, The Food and Drug Administration states the companies claim their lotions and gels can prevent a number of infections, including E. coli and bird flu. Companies that claim their products can stop a disease are required to submit scientific studies to the FDA prior to marketing them. (WCxKit)
 
 
The FDA sent warning letters to four companies: Tec Laboratories, JD Nelson and Associates, Dr. G.H. Tichener Antiseptic Co. and Oh So Clean Inc.
 
 
The warning letters direct each company to fix the unsupported claims within 15 days.
 
 
Meantime, federal safety regulators report a popular hair smoothing treatment known as Brazilian Blowout can release unsafe levels of the chemical formaldehyde, posing a risk to hair salon workers and their customers.
 
 
Formaldehyde, which has been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a likely carcinogen, can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs and mean breathing problems and skin rashes
 
 
Government regulators also report they have discovered the chemical in a number of hair products that are labeled "formaldehyde-free." The Occupational Safety and Health Administration claims it is investigating complaints from stylists and hair salon owners regarding the products. (WCxKit)
 
 
A large number of hair products contain formaldehyde; however government regulations specify the amount, labeling and safe use of the ingredient.
 
  
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Irish Minister Wants Improved Safety on Farms

Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton recently joined with the Health and Safety Authority and the Irish Farmers Association to call on farmers to make safety a priority during what is a period of heightened activity on farms. Six of the 18 deaths reported in Irish workplaces this year have occurred in the agriculture sector.
 
 
According to Bruton, “Farming is the most dangerous of all sectors, and we have seen four people killed on Irish farms in the past eight weeks. If the accident rate continues at this pace, 2011 will be yet another year with a tragically high accident rate on farms. I urge all farmers to keep their safety and that of their families in mind at all times.” (WCxKit)
 
 
The Minister added that he intends to call farming interests together in the near future to discuss farm safety and to encourage them to continue to spread the farm safety message.
 
 
All of the fatal accidents that have occurred so far this year have involved machinery or livestock and these two areas, along with drowning, have been responsible for the majority of deaths in the last 10 years, according to Martin O’Halloran CEO of the Health and Safety Authority.
 
 
Roughly 50% of all farm deaths involve farm vehicles or machinery and unguarded PTO shafts are still the cause of many deaths on farms,” O’Halloran noted. “The next most dangerous area is livestock-handling; with livestock attacks accounting for 15% of farm deaths over the last 10 years and the third most common cause of death on a farm is drowning (14%), with open slurry pits particularly dangerous where children are present.  These are the areas that our inspectors will be looking at first when they visit a farm. ” (WCxKit)
 
 
The Irish Farmers Association is also concerned about the high accident rate in its sector.  In January of this year President McAleese launched the IFA “Think Safety – Farm Safely” campaign to address the matter.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Are Changes Coming to Quebec Occupational Health System

The Quebec Employers Council (QEC) and the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) recently presented the committee examining Quebecs occupational health and safety system with several recommendations to make the provinces system more efficient and less expensive.
 
The working group, chaired by Viateur Camiré, was established on behalf of the province's oh&s board, the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST), in 2008. Its mandate is to hear submissions from stakeholders, with the goal of improving Quebecs oh&s system. (WCxKit)
 
The groups' proposal includes some 25 recommendations surrounding prevention, overpayment, return-to-work, medical assistance, preventive withdrawal and system management, according to a joint release.
 
Among their recommendations, they suggest that any employer with a work force greater than 50 should be obligated to create a joint health and safety committee, and that any employer with a work force greater than 20 be required to implement an oh&s action plan.
 
They also recommend that the CSST tighten its policies with regards to what they perceive as overpayment of injured workers.
 
The two groups suggest that for a disability greater than two weeks and as long as 180 days, a worker's income replacement indemnity should be based on an annual income loss history. Also, measures should be put in place to limit how much indemnity is paid when a worker goes into retirement, and for how long this should remain in place.
 
Surrounding return-to-work, both organizations argue that legislation should be amended to enable physicians to offer opinions on temporary or permanent limitations at each visit to better help the employer find suitable work for the worker.
 
In addition, a release from the CSN contends that the decreased claim rates are actually the result of underreporting by workers, which lowers the statistics considerably. (WCxKit)


Unsatisfied with the employers' recommendations, the CSN has made a number of its own demands, including 300 more CSST inspectors, more prudent financial management, better service for injured workers and "an insurance system more responsive to prevention and less on non-reporting of accidents and disputes."



Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Safety Officials Meet in China to Promote Safety and Health Management

Several American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) members, occupational safety, health and environmental professionals, recently met in Beijing and Shanghai with Chinese officials to exchange ideas, best practices, and concepts related to occupational safety and health management. 
 

The group aims
to contribute to the improvement of workplace processes and help prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities in China. The group met with Chinese officials from the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) and the China Occupational Safety and Health Association (COSHA). (WCxKit)
 

The trip,
organized by a citizen ambassador program, was led by C. Christopher Patton, of Knoxville, TN, and Pamela Ferrante of Pittsburgh. Both are ASSE members, Patton is a past president. Also participating were members of the ASSE International Practice Specialty group.
 
 
Meeting topics while in China were to include: expanding educational, training, and networking opportunities to improve the professional proficiency of those engaged in protecting people, property and the environment; providing information resources to support the knowledge and professional efforts of those engaged in incident prevention; demonstrating new and improved products and services meeting the needs of professionals managing occupational safety and health programs; discussing current occupational safety and health trends impacting both countries; identifying emerging business and industry trends that impact workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities, such as safety management practices for nanotechnology; discussing existing workplace safety and health management practices; and, recommending areas for ongoing mutual collaboration. (WCxKit)
 

This trip follows 
a recent meeting of Chinese executives with the ASSE New York City chapter which provided the guests a tour of the new WorldTradeCenter construction in New York and a roundtable discussion on best practices in the construction industry.


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

UK OSHA Improves Construction Safety Standards

 Great Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has signed an agreement with the Building Control Alliance (BCA), in a bid to work more closely to improve health and safety standards in the construction industry.

The agreement
sets out how HSE and building control professionals will cooperate to help and support each other, for example in providing health and safety advice to the construction industry, but clearly distinguishes their separate regulatory roles and responsibilities. (WCxKit)

The BCA represents
those Building Control professionals responsible for ensuring compliance with Building Regulations, whether in Local Authorities or the private sector, and the professional bodies that accredit them.
Building Control professionals regularly visit sites and are in an excellent position to promote good health and safety practice to duty holders.

Philip White,
HSE‘s Chief Inspector of Construction, signing on behalf of HSE, noted, “This agreement clearly sets out how HSE and BCA members can work more closely together. It is a further example of how everyone involved in the construction industry can spread the health and safety message, especially to the hard to reach small sites where the majority of fatal accidents take place.

Today’s agreement does not change a duty holder’s responsibility to protect workers health and safety but has created another opportunity to get potentially lifesaving advice to those responsible for health and safety standards on construction sites.”

Construction
is one of Britain‘s most dangerous industries. Over the last 25 years, 2,800 construction workers have died. (WCxKit)

Despite a welcome
reduction in construction fatal accidents in recent years, a large number of construction workers still die or suffer major injury or serious ill health as a result of their work.

 

Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. C
ontact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com 
 
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Europe Health and Safety Program Proposed

Plans for a universal qualification and training framework for health and safety professionals across Europe have been unveiled, with the aim of improving international recognition of practitioners skills.
 
 
 
The new EU-funded EUSAFE project was launched at an event in Brussels recently, organized by the European Network of Safety and Health Professional Organizations (ENSHPO). (WCxKit)
 
 
 
The Networks vice-chair, Richard Jones, policy and technical director at IOSH, noted. “Having a single set of European qualifications, which can be equated to each members state existing standards, is fantastic.
 
 
 
“By opting into the European qualifications, health and safety professionals who work across the EU are able to prove their credibility to employers, and employers are also ensured that they are employing a professional of a high caliber.”
 
 
 
The EurOSHM (European Occupational Health Safety and Health Manager) standard, which was launched by ENSHPO in September 2008, will be incorporated into the qualifications that are created as a result of the EUSAFE project.
 
 
 
EurOSHM holder, Peter Andrew, applied for the qualification to make him more credible in the eyes of his employer. Peter is international (European) environment, health and safety manager for The Scotts Company (UK) Ltd, the producers of gardening products such as Miracle-Grow. He said: “Applying to have the EurOSHM qualification could not have been easier – as a chartered IOSH member, I automatically qualified for the status.
 
 
 
“My current job role involves me looking after the health and safety of approximately 1,000 members of staff across the European Union, so being EurOSHM-qualified seemed the logical thing to do. It indicates, a level of competence to people I work with across the EU. The Scotts Company takes health and safety extremely seriously, as good health and safety is good for business, and my EurOSHM qualification reflects well on the company as a whole.”
 
 
 
ENSHPO chair, Giancarlo Bianchi, added: “Creating a standard set of health and safety qualifications for OSH professionals across Europe will have a positive impact on businesses that operate on a multi-national and European level. (WCxKit)
 
 
 
“Professionals who possess the qualification standard will demonstrate to employers that they have the professional skills, knowledge and experience to conduct their job within any country in the EU. Multinational businesses will not be the only ones who benefit from the qualification standard; individual health and safety professionals will also gain, as they will be commended and recognized for their skills at an international level.”


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

EU Trade Union Institute Finds Violation of India Tea Plantation Worker Rights

In early October, the International Union of Food workers (IUF) published the findings of research done after the deaths of three tea plantation workers in the northeast Indian state of Assam.
 
According to the Health and Safety Department of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), the unions fact-finding report entitled In Cold Blood: Death by Poison, Death by Bullets condemns the working conditions and violations of human and labor rights of workers on a tea plantation owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, which markets the well-known Tetley brand of tea. (WCxKit)
 
The union carried out its investigation after 25-year-old worker Gopal Tanti dropped dead in May while spraying the crops with pesticide. His death sparked a spontaneous protest by workers, which was immediately put down by the police in a crackdown in which two others workers were shot dead.
 
Looking at health and safety at work issues, IUF researchers found a complete absence of risk prevention measures.
 
The workers, whose job is to spray toxic chemicals on plantations, have neither protective masks, gloves, nor clothing. When Tanti fell unconscious, he was wearing only shorts, a t-shirt and rubber sandals. The investigation found that the victim had been spraying pesticides for 8 to 12 hours a day for 75 days straight. According to the young mans father, at no time had the employer supplied him with protective equipment. (WCxKit)
 
The report also found that when Tanti collapsed, his supervisor prevented his workmates from coming to his aid. It was not until an hour later that a manager came to inquire about the victim’s health, by which time he was already dead.


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

SCOTLAND Brain Injury From Falling Load Sparks Safety Concerns

 Employers are being urged to make sure safety is always their top priority by a leading Scottish lawyer after a man suffered a serious brain injury at work.
“Businesses may feel as though their current priority should be making ends meet and protecting their bottom line – but their duty to protect their workers never goes away and should remain their top priority,” said Elaine Russell, partner and work accident specialist at the Glasgow office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell. (WCxKit)
Those remarks come as the Health and Safety Executive fined a company for breach of duty after a 49-year-old man was left brain damaged by a falling saw in 2007.
The man was delivering the saws to the Saw Centre in Eglinton Street, Glasgow when one fell off the vehicle, hitting him on the head.
His West Yorkshire-based employer, Joda Freight Limited was fined £5,000 ($7,722) at Glasgow Sheriff Court, after the court found the company did not did not have a reliable system of communication in place to make sure their drivers were informed about the securing and stability of loads.
Russell noted, "A man has been left permanently brain damaged, not because procedures weren't followed, but because they hadn't been installed in the first place. Unfortunately this is not an unusual situation – everyday we deal with people whose lives have been devastated by the effects of accidents at work, which could easily have been prevented by maintaining good health and safety practices. (WCxKit)
"We welcome the HSE's investigation into this matter and hope that lessons can be learnt to prevent further suffering, though sadly no fine will ever demonstrate the devastating impact this injury will have on the employee's life."

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
C
ontact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604. 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Report Says No Increased Risk for Cancer at Scottish Factory

Workers at a Scottish semi-conductor plant are not at increased risk of developing occupational cancers, new research suggests.
 
An independent investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) concluded earlier concerns about occupational cancer at the National Semiconductors UK (NSUK) factory in Greenock were unfounded.
The study follows on from a report in 2001, published by HSE, which found that although the overall number of cancers in the workforce was not unusual there was a possibility that some could have been caused by work. (WCxKit)
The new research updated the earlier study and also looked particularly at the work done by women with lung, breast and stomach cancer and men with brain cancer. It found the number of employees with cancer is within the range expected for a workforce of a similar age and background. This was also true for each of the individual types of cancer studied.
The research failed to find any notable differences between the work done by women with breast cancer and their colleagues. It did not produce any important new results concerning work done by people with lung stomach and brain cancer.
Co-author of the report HSE's chief medical adviser and head of epidemiology, Dr John Oman noted, "While we cannot use this type of research to prove that any workplace is completely safe, I am satisfied the findings do not indicate that NSUK staff face an increased risk of developing occupational cancer.
"This is an independent, robust piece of scientific research and we have taken our responsibilities to the workforce very seriously. The research does not establish a link between cancer and employment at NSUK.
"I hope both present and former employees will find some comfort in these results. They have waited patiently to discover the outcome of this research and I hope this report offers some clarity and reassurance." (WCxKit)
In light of the findings, HSE said there are no plans for further research at NSUK although it will continue to monitor health and safety in the semiconductor manufacturing industry and will issue advice if it finds new areas of concern.
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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