HSE International

Aircraft accident rates at historic low despite high-profile plane crashes

The rate of aircraft accidents is at a historical low, despite the series of high profile crashes in recent years that have seen a rise in the number of fatalities.

Figures from the Bureau of Aircraft Accident Archives (BAAA) make the Germanwings crash in the Alps the 17th such incident in 2015 compared to 33 that occurred up to the same point in 2014.

It also takes the total number of fatalities for 2015 so far at 247, which assumes the 150 on board today’s Germanwings crash have all died.

In 2014, the BAAA say 1,328 died in aircraft accidents – the highest annual fatality figure since 2005 due to a series of crashes including AirAsia flight QZ8501 andthe downing of MH17 in Ukraine . The organisation counts military transport planes and any aircraft capable of carrying six or more passengers.

The Aviation Safety Network put the number of fatalities, excluding QZ8501, at 526 for 2014, the highest since 2010. The ASN figures only include aircraft capable of carrying 14 or more passengers and excludes military aircraft. It also reportedly excludes casualties from hostile actions, such as the MH17 incident.

Using annual aircraft departure figures collated by the World Bank and theInternational Civil Aviation Organization, we can calculate the rough accident and fatality rate per million departures for the BAAA and ASN (with AirAsia added) figures up to 2014. I say rough as the coverage of countries in the World Bank dataset varies from year to year.

For comparison, I’ve also included aircraft accident rates up to 2013 from a report produced by Boeing:

Aircraft accidents graph


The rate of accidents for 2014 is at the lowest since at least 1973 and the overall trend is towards flights having fewer accidents overall.

Despite the decreasing rate for accidents, the rate for fatalities has increased in 2014 over 2013, though historically it is still relatively low, with the overall trend being downwards:

Aircraft accidents graph


This is consistent with fewer accidents but the crashes that did happen in 2014 were particularly severe in terms of lives lost. This is especially apparent when you look at the ratio of fatalities to accidents:

Aircraft accidents graph


Original Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/datablog/2014/dec/29/aircraft-accident-rates-at-historic-low-despite-high-profile-plane-crashes?CMP=share_btn_tw

Health and safety responsibilities – 12 essential facts every director needs to grasp

Calling all directors – the onus is on YOU to manage health and safety. Here IOSH President Elect, and RoSPA OSH Policy Advisor, Dr Karen McDonnell tells you what you need to know when it comes to taking control of health safety in the workplace…


  1. The board has not just a legal but a moral duty to ensure that the organisation manages effectively for good health and safety outcomes. The universal Plan, Do, Check, Act approach (HSG65) demonstrates how to integrate health and safety into standard management practice.


  1. The overall goal must be to ensure that safe and healthy systems of work are in place so that, so far is reasonably practicable, employees and others affected by the organisation’s activities do not suffer avoidable harms.


  1. This is not just about ensuring that the right controls and precautions are in place at the workface but that the right policies, effective processes, competent people – and above all, the right culture – are in place to enable the organisation to work safely at all times.


  1. All managers must manage for safety and health, fully involving all staff and volunteers. Remember, you can only do H&S with people, not to them!


  1. Obeying the law is important but should be regarded as a basic minimum. H&S needs to be seen as a key business performance issue, not a bolt on extra or a regulatory compliance burden. As with any other key business outcome, the board needs to establish meaningful measures of performance for 1) systems, 2) culture, 3) safe working and 3) the extent of H&S failures.


  1. If it is to be safe, avoid accidents and incidents and the legal and financial consequences that can flow from these, the organisation needs to be risk led not law led. Risk profile your business What are the hazards? Who can they harm? How are you going to manage the risk? This must become embedded within your organisation, not a bureaucratic nightmare!


  1. Your staff are your biggest asset, encourage the transfer of positive safety behaviour to road, home and leisure activities. Your staff are more likely to be absent from work as a consequence of an accident that happens outside the workplace.


  1. The board and the management team must ensure that there is suitable risk literacy in the organisation – avoiding ignorance among staff of significant risks as well stopping them going over-the-top when confronted with trivial ones.


  1. The organisation must develop an open reporting and investigation culture. You can only find out how to make things go right if you are prepared, honestly and professionally, to establish why they go wrong.


  1. All board and SMT members and all senior managers must lead on H&S, not just giving clear indications of what the corporate priorities are but by being prepared to lead personally by example in the attention they give to working safely. They should regularly assess their own performance against the advice in INDG 417.


  1. The board must reinforce the message that good H&S pays! Good H&S is good business – the hallmark of a professionally managed organisation.


  1. Finally, the board must recognise and celebrate outstanding H&S performance through safety award schemes – which, as we’ve discussed in the past, are a great way to boost both standards and morale!


Looking for more information about a director’s role in safety? Check out these industry leading training courses, guaranteed to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need:


Director Responsibilities

Health and Safety Policies

Risk Assessment Training

Incident Investigation Training


For more expert analysis, advice and tips, don’t forget to sign up to SafetyMatters, RoSPA’s free fortnightly newsletter, and receive our collection of free original e-books!!!

Original Source: http://rospaworkplacesafety.com/2015/03/24/health-and-safety-responsibilities-12-essential-facts-every-director-needs-to-grasp/

£3 million fund means thousands more tenants will have working smoke alarms

Fire Minister announces boost to support the delivery of working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to privately rented homes.

Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt today (19 March 2015) announced a £3 million boost to support the delivery of working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to privately-rented homes across the country.

The funding will provide around 445,000 smoke and 40,000 carbon monoxide alarms which will be free from fire and rescue authorities to private sector landlords whose properties currently do not have alarms.

All 46 fire and rescue authorities in England will receive alarms to distribute according to the number of privately rented properties in their area.

The minister praised the work of the Chief Fire Officers Association in helping bring forward the new rules to require landlords to install smoke alarms in their properties.

Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt said:

Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants – and with people at least four times more likely to die in a fire in a home where there is no working smoke alarm, this is an important measure to ensure this is met.

From October, anyone renting out their home will need to ensure there is a smoke alarm on every floor of the home at the start of a tenancy.

Today’s £3 million boost will ensure England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities can distribute smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to landlords in their communities, making it easier for them to do the right thing and abide by this new rule.

Home Safety Lead at the Chief Fire Officers Association Mark Cashin said:

The announcement of the change in legislation and the funding will greatly help to improve the safety of families and prevent dozens of people from losing their lives to fire each year.

While the cost to landlords is small, it will also go a long way to increasing tenants’ confidence of their landlords and reducing the devastating impact and losses house fires can cause.

A 10-year sealed alarm costing around £15, which is a small price to pay for protection of tenants and property and possessions.

From October 2015, the proposed measures would require landlords to ensure a working smoke alarms is installed on every floor of their property and test them at the start of every tenancy.

Landlords that fail to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will face a civil penalty.

Ensuring tenant safety

The measures are part of wider government steps to ensure there are sufficient measures in place to protect public safety, while at the same time avoiding excessive regulation which would push up rents and restrict the supply of homes, limiting choice for tenants.

Under the new measures, landlords will be under a duty to install and initially test alarms, but it remains the tenant’s responsibility to test them regularly.

Figures show people are at least four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is no working smoke alarm. The Fire Kills campaign, run jointly by government and the fire and rescue authorities, urges every household to test their smoke alarms when they change their clocks and then at least monthly.

Further information

New regulations requiring landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties have been laid in Parliament and are expected to come into force, subject to Parliamentary approval, on 10 October 2015.

England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities will have discretion to determine their own arrangements for the distribution of the alarms to private rented sector landlords in their area between now and October 2015 when the regulations come into force.

The government’s Fire Kills campaign is currently taking place, encouraging people to test their smoke alarms when they change their clocks to British Summer Time. The ‘Tick Tock Test’ campaign will run on radio, online and in the press until 29 March 2015.

Original Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/3-million-fund-means-thousands-more-tenants-will-have-working-smoke-alarms

Leeds trader’s suspended jail sentence over asbestos exposure

A Leeds trader has been given a suspended jail sentence after exposing a household and workers to potentially dangerous levels of asbestos fibres at a home in Bramhope.

Clive Raper, 49, trading as Bramley Asbestos Removals, took on a job to remove asbestos insulating board from the garage of a couple’s home despite the fact that he did not hold the legal licence required to carry out the specialist work.

He hired a couple of workers to help him but totally failed to take any of the vital safety measures needed, or implement the tight controls imposed by law, to protect workers, local people and the environment when working with the material.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Raper for safety breaches at Leeds Magistrates’ Court (20 March) after investigating the incident in July 2011.

The court was told Mr Raper accepted the job from the couple knowing full well he did not have the necessary licence to do the work. He then took on a couple of labourers to help him, neither of whom held licences.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and asbestos-containing materials will release fibres into the air when damaged or disturbed. If inhaled, they can lead to serious and fatal disease, often years down the line.

Mr Raper had not used any of the standard control measures that licensed operators employ, such as a protective enclosure, full-face respiratory equipment, negative pressure units and specialist vacuums.

The poor standards employed by Mr Raper meant that asbestos debris and residue was left, compounding the risk to the homeowners of exposure.

The homeowner was so concerned with how Mr Raper had left the garage he contacted Leeds City Council. They identified a suitable contractor who went to the home and carried out an environmental clean of the property, at added cost to the homeowner. The council also reported the matter to HSE

Clive Raper, trading as Bramley Asbestos Removals, of Fawcett Gardens, Leeds (previously Summerfield Drive, Bramley), was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay a contribution of £260 toward costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and a separate breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Yeadon said:

“It is appalling that a trader who is fully familiar with the restrictions governing asbestos wilfully ignores them and puts a household and the workers he has hired in danger. It would appear that he has put profit ahead of the health and wellbeing of others, and in this case quite bafflingly, he put his own health at risk as well.

“We were unable to identify the two workers involved as Mr Raper could not provide their full names or contact details. We do think, however, that they were probably both exposed to asbestos fibres above the action level.

“This kind of work must be carried out by competent people with the necessary licence to do so.”

Members of the public can find potential contractors on the HSE’s website; http://webcommunities.hse.gov.uk/connect.ti/asbestos.licensing/view?objectId=7076&expa=exp&expf=7076&expl=1


Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/leeds-traders-suspended-jail-sentence-over-asbestos-exposure/

Health and safety: an election issue?

The British Safety Council has written to six of the main political parties in advance of the General Election on the 7 May to find out more about their plans, if elected, for health and safety.

A copy of the letter can be accessed here.

“With less than two months to the General Election,” said Neal Stone, Acting Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, “we wanted to hear from the parties ahead of the election what their plans and priorities are for ensuring that those at work are kept healthy and safe.

“We focussed on six political parties, namely the Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP and UKIP. It is certain that one, or more, of these parties will be in government come 7 May. Their views on how they plan to help grow a sustainable economy, and the role that good health and safety will play in achieving that goal, are of vital importance to British Safety Council, our member organisations and their employees.

“We put three questions to them. The first concerned how health and safety is regulated, and in particular how each of the parties would support the Health and Safety Executive and Local Authorities, to ensure that risks are being adequately controlled. As budgets are tight and public spending on regulation and enforcement reduces, we want to hear from parties what they will do to ensure regulators are adequately resourced including their views on HSE becoming more commercial.

“We also sought views on the role and responsibility of employers to help address the nation’s health issues through workplace interventions.  Health risks are always difficult to tackle and in many ways have been a second order priority as we focussed largely on the prevention of injuries at work. However our failure to effectively manage occupational health risks, costing some £8bn each year, is a huge burden for the country. The workplace can be a very convenient place to convey important health messages from occupational disease like cancer, to obesity and the dangers of physical inactivity.

“Finally, we wanted to hear party’s ideas on how to we can incentivise employers to do more to invest in good health and safety. There are many innovations in the field of insurance and taxation, some already in operation other countries, which could encourage sound investment to help prevent workplace injury and ill health occurrences. Getting businesses to invest in effective health and safety measures, is critical. We know that investment in training and the proper maintenance of plant, equipment and machinery can help reduce lost time and maintain productivity whilst saving the public purse billions spent by the NHS on healthcare.”

The British Safety Council is planning to publish the responses we received from the six parties in May 2015 edition of Safety Management. A copy of the letter can be accessed here.

Original Source: https://www.britsafe.org/news/health-and-safety-election-issue#sthash.PNlX1Hn7.dpuf

Industry unites to launch Health & Safety Week 2015

Leading members of health and safety community gathered in London last night to kick-off the second UK Health & Safety Week campaign

On Wednesday 18th March, 50 selected key influencers from across health and safety came together to celebrate the second edition of UK Health & Safety Week and confirm their commitment to the 2015 campaign.

Taking place from 15-19 June 2015, UK Health & Safety Week will once again celebrate the achievements of UK practitioners and this year will focus on Protecting Worker Health.

The launch event, hosted by UBM at their new smart building 240 Blackfriars, included presentations from Lawrence Waterman, Director of Health and Safety for the Battersea Power Station Development, Steve Perkins, the Chief Executive of the British Occupational Hygiene Society, and Gareth Mullen who heads up the Health, Safety and Wellbeing programme at Thames Water.

A particularly moving and poignant address came from Linda Lakin, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2014. She spoke of the shock and disbelief of discovering she had contracted an asbestos-related disease after unknowingly being exposed to the fibres when she worked at a dry-cleaners in the 1970s.

She explained that doctors had told her that very low-levels of asbestos exposure, just inhaling three or four fibres, could cause mesothelioma. Her story really highlighted why occupational health issues need to be at the top of the agenda for businesses.

Following her address, companies present were asked to pledge to run a ‘Health Week’ within their organisation during this year’s UK Health & Safety Week.

Heather Beach, Director, OSH Global, UBM EMEA said: “We are delighted to kick-off UK Health & Safety Week 2015, and it was great to feel such partnership in the industry between key stakeholders all committed to raise the profile of occupational health. With an estimated 13,000 people a year dying of health issues resulting from the workplace, the challenge is multi-faceted. Workers and the public need informing that this is happening; businesses need to understand the case for health when long latency can provide an excuse to tackle it, and professionals in our industry need up skilling to deal with it.”

Key industry supporters for UK Health & Safety Week 2015 include British Safety Council (BSC), British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), the Association for Project Safety (APS), The Association of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners (UK) (AOHNP (UK)), the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), Institute of Risk Management, NEBOSH, RoSPA and Safety Groups UK.

To find out more about Health & Safety Week 2015 and how you can get involved please visit www.healthandsafetyweek.com

Original Source: http://www.shponline.co.uk/industry-unites-launch-health-safety-week-2015/

Unlimited fines for health and safety and environmental offences in the magistrates’ court

Companies and individuals charged with health and safety offences in England and Wales will be likely to change their tactics in the courts following last week’s removal of the cap on fines imposed by the magistrates’ courts, an expert has said.

The changes will affect the disposal by the courts of many different kinds of regulatory offence, and are designed to free up the Crown Court to deal with only the most serious of cases, said health and safety expert Kevin Bridges of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com. However, as most health and safety offences can be tried in either court, the removal of the cap would effectively remove the incentive for corporate offenders in particular to have their cases heard before the magistrates, he said.

“The now-abolished cap on fines previously available in the magistrates’ court has always weighed heavily in the minds of those charged with health and safety offences as summary disposal of the case placed a maximum upper limit of £20,000 on the fine that could be imposed, contrasted with the unlimited fines available if the case was sent to the Crown Court,” he said. “When the decision had been taken to plead guilty in the magistrates’ court, it was often the objective of the advocate to seek to persuade the bench that they had sufficient sentencing powers available to dispose of the case. This type of advocacy will become a thing of the past.”

“Those found guilty of health and safety offences should now expect to be sentenced by the magistrates’ court in all cases. In the absence of any limit on fines, the potential uncertainty this creates about the level of fine that might be imposed will be of serious concern to many corporate offenders. Tactically, they may prefer to indicate a not-guilty plea at this stage, elect for Crown Court trial and then consider changing their plea to guilty when it first comes before the Crown Court. While this may result in sacrificing some of the credit for an early guilty plea, it will ensure the case is sentenced by a Crown Court judge rather than a bench of lay magistrates,” he said.

Section 85 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act(LASPO) removes existing limits on magistrate court fines of £5,000 or more, however that amount is expressed in the legislation governing that offence, on conviction by the magistrates’ court. It also modifies powers to create offences which are punishable on summary conviction by a fine with a limit of £5,000 or more so that they are punishable by a fine of any amount. These provisions came into force on 12 March 2015, but will only affect fines issued for offences committed on or after that date.

The changes apply to all offences other than those explicitly listed in the legislation that are triable either in the magistrates’ court, or ‘either way’, meaning that the offender can opt to be tried in either the magistrates’ court or the Crown Court. They will affect a wide range of offences including those under corporate and commercial law, data protection and IP law, corruption and financial crime, financial services law and environmental offences, as well as health and safety cases.

Health and safety law expert Kevin Bridges said that corporate offenders in complex health and safety cases traditionally opted to have their cases heard by the Crown Court due to “the perceived inexperience that many magistrates have in sentencing” in these cases. Although new sentencing guidelines for health and safety and corporate manslaughter cases are due to come into force later this year, this would not necessarily alleviate all their concerns, he said.

“One of the reasons behind the recent consultation on proposed sentencing guidelines for these offences is to better equip magistrates to sentence such cases given their new unlimited sentencing powers,” he said. “However, the draft guidelines are not necessarily easy to apply given the need firstly to determine the appropriate ‘offence category’ by reference to various harm and culpability factors and then go on to consider other mitigating and aggravating features to ultimately decide where in the appropriate range the fine should sit. The reality is that many cases sentenced by magistrates could well be appealed if this process is incorrectly followed, resulting in a disproportionate fine being imposed.”

“When the sentencing guidelines come into force later this year, fines are likely to rise significantly for all health and safety offences. Therefore, as a matter of overall case tactics, defendant companies may be more inclined in appropriate cases to plead not guilty and opt for a trial by jury in the Crown Court in more cases than we see now, rather than plead guilty and then be at the mercy of the magistrates. However, there will of course be some cases where a guilty plea is the only sensible option open to the defendant company, in which case the skill of the advocate will be crucial in helping the magistrates to navigate the steps they must follow in implementing the sentencing guidelines,” he said.

Original Source: http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2015/march/more-health-and-safety-offenders-likely-to-appeal-says-expert-as-magistrates-get-power-to-issue-unlimited-fines/

Solar eclipse: blackout to challenge Europe’s electricity supplies

Friday’s solar eclipse, the first since many countries made a concerted effort to switch to renewable energy, will pose a major challenge to Europe’s power supplies.

This week’s eclipse will be the most intense since 1999. Since then, countries’ reliance on solar power has surged such that even a small change in the amount of sun over the morning of the eclipse could have huge effects on the amount of energy produced.

The effect of the challenge will vary widely,depending on the growth in the use of pholtovoltaic power. Germany, for instance, has turned to solar power hugely since the eclipse in 1999 whereas other countries such as those in Scandinavia have seen less of a change.



In 1999 ,only 0.1 per cent of the renewable energy supply came from solar. But now, 10.5 per cent of the green energy generated in Europe comes from photovoltaic plants.

Last month, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, the organisation that makes sure that energy is distributed properly across Europe, said that it was preparing for challenges during Friday’s eclipse.

Solar eclipses have happened before but with the increase of installed photovoltaic energy generation, the risk of an incident could be serious without appropriate countermeasures,” the group said in a statement.

The eclipse will begin at around 8am on Friday, and run until about 11am.

Original Source: http://ind.pn/1H1KU4e


Lone worker app wins safety award

Lone worker protection app StaySafe was awarded the Beaumont Trophy at the Construction Health and Safety Group (CHSG) awards announced last week (12th March). The award underlines StaySafe’s objective to become the market leader in lone worker safety solutions.

CHSG is a recognised and respected provider of quality training and support to construction and associated industries and their awards have been running since 1959. The Beaumont trophy is awarded annually to the individual or company for the best new device or method of working implemented for preventing accidents in the Construction Industry. It is also judged to have best furthered the objectives of the Construction Health & Safety Group.

StaySafe Business is an app and surrounding cloud-based monitoring service which tracks a lone workers location via GPS and alerts their manager if they do not check-in within a specified time. The app works on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry and offers a wide range of functions including a panic button, working session expiry and low battery warnings, GPS tracking, inactivity and duress alerts. If an employee activates the app’s panic button or fails to check in, alerts are automatically triggered on screen and via text and email, allowing an employer to take immediate action. Monitoring can be done in-house via an online hub or outsourced to Securitas who offer 24/7 monitoring and response services.

Don Cameron CEO StaySafe who collected the award said “we are delighted to win this trophy as it represents our key motivator as a company; keeping people safe. CHSG is at the forefront of improving employee safety in the construction industry and to be recognised by them is a great honour”.

Original Source: http://www.shponline.co.uk/lone-worker-app-wins-safety-award/?

McDonald’s workers claim hazardous conditions in 19 U.S. cities

By Lisa Baertlein

McDonald’s Corp restaurant workers from 19 U.S. cities complained to regulators on Monday that their working conditions are hazardous and have led to severe burns from hot grills and fryer oil.

Workers taking part in the Service Employees International Union-backed “Fight for $15” an hour campaign opened a new front in their two-year drive to increase pay and improve conditions in the fast-food industry by filing 28 state and federal complaints over health and safety.

McDonald’s workers, who already have claimed that they have been subjected to wage theft, racial discrimination and retaliation for attempting to unionize, hope to hold McDonald’s Corp responsible for the actions of its franchisees.

Some experts say a win could force the company to negotiate with workers and the union.

The latest complaints, targeting 19 franchised restaurants and nine operated by McDonald’s Corp in cities such as New York, New Orleans and Philadelphia, were filed over the last two weeks with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state authorities. Other cities include Kansas City, Missouri and Miramar, Florida.

They said workers were pressured to clean and filter fryer oil while it was still hot. They also said that many stores lacked basic first aid kits or protective gear and that managers told workers to treat burns with condiments such as mustard and mayonnaise.

McDonald’s said the company and its franchisees are committed to providing safe working conditions for employees in the brand’s roughly 14,000 U.S. restaurants.

“We will review these allegations,” Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem, a spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Brittney Berry, 24, said she was rushing to meet managers’ demands to work faster when she slipped and fell on a wet floor at a McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago, suffering a severe grill burn on her forearm and nerve damage to her wrist.

“The managers told me to put mustard on it, but I ended up having to get rushed to the hospital in an ambulance,” said Berry, who still works at the restaurant where she was injured.

“Fight for $15” organizers say McDonald’s Corp and its franchisees should be considered “joint employers” because the corporation wields significant control over operations at franchised restaurants with things like technology and compliance programs.

John Tomich, a safety consultant and former OSHA area director for New York, said it would be “legally challenging” to make that case in this context. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Grant McCool)

Original Source: http://tmsnrt.rs/1CrdieP