Search Results for: health and safety

IWBI launches WELL health and safety rating for buildings

IWBI launches WELL health and safety rating for buildings

health and safetyThe International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has annouced the launch of the WELL Health-Safety Rating for all building and facility types, an “evidence-based, third-party verified rating focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols and design strategies to address a post COVID-19 environment”. The new health and safety rating is one of the earliest outcomes of IWBI’s Task Force on COVID-19, a group of nearly 600 public health officials, virologists, government officials, academics, business leaders, architects, designers, building scientists and real estate professionals, which was established in late March to help guide a response to the pandemic. More →

UK businesses still breaking the most basic health and safety laws

UK businesses still breaking the most basic health and safety laws 0

health and safetyAlmost two thirds of UK businesses are failing to meet basic health and safety laws and are putting their employees in danger, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 employees, working for businesses that have over five employees, found that 65 percent have not received any information on their company’s health and safety policies. This is despite it being a basic legal requirement for all companies with five employees or more. The research, which was conducted by data capture app provider WorkMobile, also revealed that even when workers were provided with written health and safety guidance, the information didn’t explain the risks of the job properly.

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Executive pay should be linked to health and safety performance, claims industry body

Executive pay should be linked to health and safety performance, claims industry body 0

Leaders would have and even greater incentive to improve health and safety if their performance was more transparent and executive pay and bonuses were linked to it, suggests the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). This is one of nine summary recommendations made by IOSH in its response to the UK Government’s Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper proposals, which follow public concern about serious failures, such as those at Sports Direct. IOSH agrees with the Prime Minister’s views, expressed in her foreword to the green paper published last November, where she said: “…big business must earn and keep the trust and confidence of their customers, employees and the wider public”. The suggestions IOSH makes contribute constructively to those aims.

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Good communication is essential to ensure workplace health and safety

health and safetyLast week the HSE marked its 40th anniversary with a series of warnings about the continuing importance of maintaining health and safety. While the number of people killed at work has fallen dramatically since the HSE was launched, it’s important employers don’t get complacent. A lack of education among the workforce about the adequate measures to take when considering health and safety can still make a huge difference. Good communication is vital, so provide in depth, yet cohesive and easy to follow Health and Safety guides, including useful information like fire blanket locations, fire exits, what to do in an emergency and emergency phone numbers which are handed out to all employees. Regular talks about the importance of health and safety should be conducted every few months to reiterate health and safety messages.

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New guidance published to help close the health and safety gap

Guidance on closing the health and safety gapThere is nothing more welcome to the ‘elf n safety’ hating tabloid press than tales of health and safety over-zealousness. So they must have rejoiced today at the publication of a new survey which reveals the extreme lengths some small firms mistakenly go to trying to comply. This included completing a risk assessment for using a tape measure or introducing written guidelines for walking up stairs. However, these examples were actually uncovered by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), itself, which is encouraging small and medium sized employers to use its free online tools and guidance, specifically designed to help them get their risk management right. The H&S ABC is full of straightforward information to help small firms save time, effort and money by identifying the things they really do and don’t need to do. More →

Over 40 percent of refurbishment projects fail September health and safety checks

Working at HeightFollowing the extensive enforcement action it took against construction sites in March, the latest Health and Safety Executive ‘swoop’ on refurbishment projects in September found that more than 42 percent of them failed the subsequent inspection.  During the month, HSE inspectors paid unannounced visits to 2,607 construction sites where refurbishment or repair work was taking place and reported that 1,100 of them failed the safety checks. On 644 of the sites, practices were deemed so poor that enforcement action was taken to protect workers. More seriously, 539 prohibition notices were served to put an immediate end to dangerous activities and inspectors issued 414 improvement notices requiring standards to improve.

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Sometimes health and safety failures can be a laughing matter

Wile E CoyoteOne of the regular refrains from those involved in health and safety management is that while they aren’t killjoys, protecting people from harm is no laughing matter. Well actually yes, sometimes it is. And if the health and safety profession wants to shake off the po-faced image it claims is unjust, it needs to realise that some of the people it is trying to protect are just bloody idiots. And however much you try to make things idiot-proof, you’re unlikely to make them bloody-idiot-proof. Some people will always come up with something you haven’t thought of and a new way to put themselves in harm’s way.

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International report calls for collaboration on AI, highlighting both benefits and risks

International report calls for collaboration on AI, highlighting both benefits and risks

A landmark report claims to shed light on the double-edged sword of advanced artificial intelligence (AI)A landmark report claims to shed light on the double-edged sword of advanced artificial intelligence. Backed by over 30 nations, the International Scientific Report on the Safety of Advanced AI paints a picture of a technology brimming with potential benefits, but also fraught with potential risks if safety isn’t prioritized. This first iteration of the report, launched at the AI Safety Summit, fulfils a key commitment set forth during the historic Bletchley Park discussions and the subsequent Bletchley Declaration. More →

The pandemic may have changed our personalities, say researchers

The pandemic may have changed our personalities, say researchers

While we often view personality as a fixed entity, a new study suggests the COVID-19 pandemic may have left a subtle but enduring mark on some aspects of our personalities. Published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the research suggests that while significant personality changes weren’t widespread, conscientiousness levels generally increased throughout the pandemic, while extraversion dipped slightly. Interestingly, openness to new experiences remained relatively stable. More →

US and UK sign agreement on AI safety

US and UK sign agreement on AI safety

In a landmark agreement, the United States and the United Kingdom have pledged to collaborate on testing advanced AI safetyIn a landmark agreement, the United States and the United Kingdom have pledged to collaborate on testing advanced artificial intelligence (AI). This is the first-ever bilateral deal of its kind focused on AI safety. This agreement builds on commitments made at the AI Safety Summit last year, where both countries established AI Safety Institutes. These institutes will work together to develop robust methods for evaluating the safety of AI tools and systems. More →

Menopause gift bags and monitoring toilet breaks: why are employers getting menopause support so wrong?

Menopause gift bags and monitoring toilet breaks: why are employers getting menopause support so wrong?

What should employers be doing to provide adequate menopause support and why are so many getting it wrong, asks Natasha LetchfordA recent story involving Avanti West Coast, who provided a gift bag to staff experiencing menopause, is the latest in a series of misjudgements of menopause support by employers. The bag contained items such as a fan “for the hot sweats”, a jelly baby “in case you feel like biting someone’s head off” and a paper clip “to help you keep it all together”. The ASLEF Union suggested that rather than “insulting gimmicks” Avanti should focus their efforts on developing workplace policies and procedures that “value and support perimenopausal and menopausal women”. So what should employers be doing to provide adequate support and why are so many getting it wrong? More →

Fitwel Announces 2024 Best in Building Health Awards

Fitwel Announces 2024 Best in Building Health Awards

Fitwel, the building health certification system, has announced the winners of the 2024 Best in Building Health Awards.Fitwel, the building health certification system, has announced the winners of the 2024 Best in Building Health Awards. The awards are designed to honour the most innovative real estate companies and individuals ‘setting the standard for health and wellbeing in the built environment across the globe, leveraging the trusted Fitwel Standard to enhance quality of life and drive value through design and operational excellence’. This year’s winners include projects from Canada, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Thailand, and the United States. More →