HSE International

Industrial air pollution has high economic cost

Air pollution from Europe’s largest industrial facilities cost society at least €59 billion, and possibly as much as €189 billion in 2012, according to an assessment published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Half of these damage costs were caused by just 1 % of the industrial plants.

Air pollution and greenhouse gases from industry cost Europe between €59 and €189 billion in 2012, the report shows. The upper estimate is approximately equivalent to the GDP of Finland or half the GDP of Poland. Over the period 2008 – 2012 the estimated cost was at least €329 billion and possibly up to €1 053 billion.

The findings come from ‘Costs of air pollution from European industrial facilities – an updated assessment‘, which evaluates a number of harmful impacts caused by air pollution including premature death, hospital costs, lost work days, health problems, damage to buildings and reduced agricultural yields. The EEA uses a range of cost estimates as there are several existing methods currently used by policy-makers to calculate associated damage costs.

The report also names the most damaging facilities in Europe (use Chrome or Firefox) and the costs in each country. Of the 30 individual facilities identified as causing the highest damage, 26 are power-generating facilities, mainly fuelled by coal and lignite and located predominantly in Germany and Eastern Europe. The report does not assess whether a facility’s emissions are consistent with its legal requirements to operate.

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, said: “While we all benefit from industry and power generation, this analysis shows that the technologies used by these plants impose hidden costs on our health and the environment. Industry is also only part of the picture – it is important to recognise that other sectors, primarily transport and agriculture, also contribute to poor air quality.”

Other findings

  • Fifty percent of the damage costs were caused by just 147 facilities, or 1 % of the 14 325 facilities assessed over the period 2008 to 2012. Three quarters of the total damage costs were caused by the emissions of 568 facilities — 4 % of the total number. This does not mean that regulation should only apply to larger facilities, as smaller facilities can cause significant local pollution.
  • Damage costs have declined over the five years monitored in the report, reflecting lower emissions reported by industrial facilities. This may be due to the impacts of legislation, improving plant efficiencies and the economic recession in Europe which caused lower rates of industrial activity in years immediately after 2008.
  • Eight of the top 30 facilities are located in Germany; six are in Poland; four are in Romania; three are in Bulgaria and the United Kingdom, two are located in Greece; and the Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy and Slovakia all have one each. However, this ranking does not take efficiency into account – in some cases, larger plants may be more efficient than several smaller ones.
  • Countries such as Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, which have many large facilities, contribute the most to total damage costs. However, the ordering of countries changes significantly if damage costs are corrected to reflect the output of national economies. Emissions from a number of eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia and Poland) then become more important.
  • The report highlights the potential savings if more than 1 500 of Europe’s large combustion plants were to reduce their future emissions in line with best practice.

Original Source: http://www.eea.europa.eu/media/newsreleases/industrial-air-pollution-has-high?utm_source=EEASubscriptions&utm_medium=RSSFeeds&utm_campaign=Generic

IOSH to share expertise at major Indian safety conference

The world’s largest safety and health organisation is to speak about its work at a major conference in India.

Representatives from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) will be at the OSH India conference in Mumbai on 27 and 28 November. They will join other global experts and safety professionals from across India for discussions on best practice, and how to improve working conditions in the country.

Carolyn Issitt, head of membership development at IOSH, will address delegates on two topics – how a ‘culture of care’ within a business can help build its reputation, resilience and results, and what, why and how a framework for safety and health competency can bring benefits.

She said: “I’ll be speaking about the value of safety and health from a professional point of view, and what a framework of competence might mean for moving forward in India with good proactive health and safety.

“Sustainability from a business perspective is about understanding the value of your workforce, and why caring for your workforce in the right way and investing in safety and health will deliver you end results as a business.”

It is the third year that IOSH has been involved with OSH India, which also staged a similar conference in Chennai in August.

The Mumbai event will feature an exhibition alongside the conference, where IOSH will provide delegates with information about the Chartered body’s work, its training and membership.

Carolyn said: “IOSH has got more than 200 members in India, and over 44,000 in 120 countries. I’m always excited about being able to share some of our vision with the rest of the world.

“We want to be seen to be the organisation that supports international development. It’s about providing the framework and support for safety and health to develop everywhere.”

While in India the IOSH team will also visit two of Maharashtra state’s leading universities, NITIE and VPM, to meet staff and students who are teaching and working towards completing IOSH-accredited safety and health courses.

Carolyn said: “For the health and safety course alone at NITIE, the number of applicants last year was in excess of 100,000 for 30 places. VPM also puts between 80 and 100 people through the course each year and its places are sought after.

“Companies like TATA Steel, Reliance and GVK, some of India’s biggest companies, take on students from these universities and we’re always looking to accredit more courses.”

Original Source: http://www.iosh.co.uk/News/IOSH-to-share-expertise-at-major-Indian-safety-conference.aspx?

British Safety Council event to focus on targeted prevention and intervention strategies for employers

The British Safety Council will be hosting its opening seminar in its 2015 events programme at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Thursday 26 February 2015.
The seminar will focus on specific areas within health and safety that are of continuing concern, as the HSE’s statistics show – occupational health and musculoskeletal disorders. There will also be updates on Fee for Intervention and sentencing guidelines along with an environmental update on ISO14001 and energy.Joscelyne Shaw, Head of Policy at the British Safety Council, explains: “In a recent article in our magazine, Safety Management, Professor Stephen Bevan at the Work Foundation stated that: ‘A healthy workforce is a productive workforce, so the ‘payback’ from investments in early interventions to reduce their impact is likely to be substantial’. The British Safety Council actively seeks to promote this approach to businesses – our members and others alike. We would like to invite managers, business owners, HR directors and others with similar responsibilities to join us at this morning seminar in Manchester. We will be looking at priority areas within the occupational health and safety agenda with experts in these fields who will share their knowledge and insight.”

Dr Tim Marsh, Director at RyderMarsh, will be talking about “The Person in Safety Culture”. He said: “Consideration of the role of the individual, psychology and behaviour in safety and health management is fundamental. Everyone in an organisation contributes to its culture whether they want to or not. So often managers are caught up with targets and in the process can focus attention on obstacles and constraints and forget about the opportunities that talking about safety and health with their workers offer them. The question is how to change the conversation to empower, recognising those who are leaders, even if they don’t want to think about themselves as such, and how they can facilitate positive change.”

Steve Sumner OBE, Director of Sumner Associates, who will also be speaking during the morning, said: “There is some good best practice approaches on managing occupational health and employee wellbeing. For example, there is increasing awareness of how poor management of occupational health risks, such as stress, can impact upon the effectiveness and productivity of a business – the impact of this can be associated health conditions such as depression and anxiety as well as other related health-damaging behaviours, such as excessive alcohol consumption, and presenteeism. It is important to understand what steps, such as the provision of occupational health support services and employee assistance programmes, are available. It is as much about prevention as well it is about identifying and encouraging healthier lifestyle choices to staff.”

Mark Thomas, a health and safety consultant, will be speaking about slips and trips, arguing that it should remain firmly on the health and safety radar. “Even after 40 years of the landmark Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the figures surrounding the number of incidents from slips, trips and falls mean that this should remain a focus for organisations. It is an aspect that can be found in all businesses regardless of the size or complexity of the site and number of workers – so in that sense is a real cross-cutting health and safety issue. It is also an issue that highlights the importance of recognising the risks as much as remembering to refresh the issue with workers.”

The morning’s event will consist of presentations and a panel discussion, and the price per person is £95.00 + VAT for British Safety Council members, £125.00 + VAT for non members.

You can discuss and follow the event online using #HSPTI.

The full event programme can be found at: www.britsafe.org/events/2015manchester

Original Source: https://www.britsafe.org/news/british-safety-council-event-focus-targeted-prevention-and-intervention-strategies-employers#sthash.jjEUW29C.dpuf

Man watches partner die after call handler says ‘they can’t magic up an ambulance’

A man watched his terminally ill partner die in front of him at home after ambulance call handlers told the family that they ‘couldn’t magic an ambulance to come straight away’.

Violet Alliston was suffering from cancer when she was taken ill at her County Durham home and her partner Colin Gash called for an ambulance.

Despite three calls from Mr Gash, call handlers told the refuge worker that ‘we don’t have ambulances waiting on street corners’.

Ms Alliston, 57, had died by the time the ambulance arrived, despite three calls from Mr Gash.

The 53-year-old, from Bishop Auckland, said: ‘It was awful to see me and my boys watching their mother, and my partner, dying in front of us.

‘The stress and trauma we went through was unbelievable, which should not have happened.

‘We did not have time to even say goodbye properly, it was like we were just a number and not human beings. I would not wish this on my worst enemy.’

Mr Gash, a carer to his two sons, Shaun, 34, and Dean, 32, has launched a clinical negligence case against the North East Ambulance Service.

Ms Alliston took ill at the family home on Murphy Crescent on June 21st this year.

A investigation found that there was confusion over whether Mr Gash’s manner had been aggressive, and about the level of consciousness of the patient.

Mr Gash said: ‘We didn’t think we were treated right.

‘We are not saying she wouldn’t have died but at least she would have had a chance.

‘It has put my two lads through so much.’

The trust said: ‘A number of errors were identified and for that the Trust would like to again apologise unreservedly to the family, as well as offering reassurances that lessons have been learnt.’

Original Source: http://bit.ly/15d0sBT

Two arrested after explosion at flat linked to illegal drugs production

Two men have been arrested after an explosion destroyed a flat, with detectives potentially linking the blast to illegal drugs production.

West Midlands police said two men, a 27-year-old and another in his 30s, were taken to hospital with serious injuries but were later arrested on suspicion of causing an explosion likely to endanger life.

The blast in Aldersmead Road in West Heath, Birmingham, was reported at about 8.12pm on Sunday.

A force spokesman said the arrested men were in hospital on Monday but their injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

Detectives are to question the pair when they have recovered. Meanwhile, the road remains closed while an investigation continues and the site of the explosion is made safe.

Ch Insp Sean Russell of West Midlands police moved to reassure the local community, saying it was “an isolated explosion”. As for the possible cause, he said: “One line of inquiry is that it may have been linked to the production of illegal drugs.”

Original Source:  http://bit.ly/1y77RgA

Bin lorry driver dies after South Queensferry pier crash

A bin lorry driver has died after being crushed by his own truck when he tried to stop it rolling out of a car park.

The 58-year-old man was pinned against a wall by the lorry in South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, on Saturday afternoon.

The vehicle then hit a parked car and mounted a pavement before coming to rest on the edge of Hawes Pier.

The man was taken to hospital but later died. Police have appealed for witnesses.

Sgt Brian Smith, from Police Scotland, said: “This tragic accident happened as the driver tried to stop his lorry from rolling out of the car park of the Hawes Inn.

“He was crushed against the wall by the lorry, which then hit a parked Jaguar car before rolling across the road and mounting the pavement. demolishing a bench and fencing before it came to rest hanging over the edge of the pier.

“Although this is a busy road, with a number of pedestrians in the area at the time, fortunately no-one else was injured.”

He added: “We are carrying out a full investigation and I am appealing for any witnesses who have not already spoken to us, to call Police Scotland on 101.”

Original Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-30119690

 

Two men injured in blast at Birmingham flat

Two men have been seriously injured in an explosion at a flat in south Birmingham.

The cause is not yet known but police say emergency gas engineers were sent to the scene on Aldersmead Road, West Heath.

The men were inside the property and were “seriously injured” in the blast at around 20:00 GMT on Sunday, according to West Midlands Police.

Officers have sealed off Aldersmead Road “until the situation is resolved”.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the first man, believed to be in his 30s, was treated for burns to his arm, head and back.

The second, in his 20s, was treated for burns to his back, neck, hands and arms.

A spokesman said: “Both patients were given pain relief on scene before being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.”

West Midlands Fire Service said search and rescue dogs had been brought in to go through the remains of the damaged property.

Aldersmead Road blast

Gas engineers were sent to the scene of the blast which happened at around 20:00 GMT

 

Original Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-30119690

British Safety Council Calls on World Leaders to Stop Children Doing Dangerous Jobs

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Shockingly, today 85 million children across the world are doing jobs that directly endanger their health and safety. The British Safety Council calls upon the 190 UN Member States that have ratified the CRC, to live up to their commitments to stop this from happening.

“The International Labour Organisation tell us,” says Alex Botha, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, “that of the 168 million child labourers in the world, 85 million are doing hazardous jobs, contrary to international agreements. It’s unacceptable that there are still many countries that committed to stop this from happening that have not taken sufficient action to protect child labourers.

“It has been 25 years since the Convention was agreed at the UN which includes a right of the child to be protected from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous. There have been improvements in the last 25 years but this historic milestone must also serve as an urgent reminder that much remains to be done.

“Though families in many countries face severe economic hardship, research tells us that the consequences of exposing children to hazardous work can last a lifetime. Health and educational attainment can suffer and in the end this will undermine the potential growth and success of any country.

“I want all countries to look again at the commitments they have made and ask what more they can do – whether by legislative, administrative or educational measures – to prevent children being exposed to risks that damage their health and future prospects.”

WORLD_CRC_Infographic_Child_Labor_Working_Hours v2

The International Labour Organisation is running a global campaign called Red Card to Child Labour that features an original song with Pharrell Williams and others. World Policy Forum have also made resources available, such as fact sheets, maps, and infographics, that show how countries compare and which will help spread the word about the importance of children’s rights.
Original Source: https://www.britsafe.org/news/british-safety-council-calls-world-leaders-stop-children-doing-dangerous-jobs

Construction worker killed by falling tape measure in freak accident in US

A construction worker has died after being hit by a falling tape measure in a freak accident in the US.

The man, 58, was struck when another worker dropped the device from the 50th floor of a high rise building under construction in New Jersey.

The tape measure fell 500ft – probably reaching speeds of 140mph – before hitting a piece of metal 10 feet above the ground, authorities said.

Witnesses said it then ricocheted off the metal sheet and landed on the victim, who had been chatting to someone through a car window just before pulling his head away and being hit.

The man, who has been named locally as construction worker Gary Anderson, was taken to hospital but went into cardiac arrest and died of his injuries later on Monday.

The freak accident is believed to have happened as a construction worker on the 50th floor measured a wall for windows at the site, in Jersey City.

Witnesses said he had been unfastening the tape measure from his belt when it slipped from his hands.

Watchdog the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/10nYJqO

New IOSH President honoured to take up the mantle

Ian Harper has become President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) following the chartered body’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 4 November.

It was held as part of the charity’s two-day Networks Conference.

Ian, an East Anglian beekeeper, smallholder and freelance safety consultant, has been a member of IOSH for over 15 years.

Of taking up the presidency, he said: “It’s daunting and humbling all at once. Though I am now President of IOSH, I am very much standing on the shoulders of the IOSH Presidents and volunteers before me.”

Outlining his key aims for his time in office, Ian added: “My theme is perseverance in making the effort to go the extra mile.

“Safety and health can be a lonely job and you are not always recognised for your skills. I want everyone to persevere and continue to make a difference for the safety and health of workers all over the world.

“We need to continue to work together with business and point them in the right direction. It’s the little things that make the difference.”

Ian takes over as IOSH President from Tim Briggs, who has now taken up the role of Immediate Past President.

Tim said: “Being President is a role that I have lived and breathed. As an organisation we are back on the up again. IOSH is at the very forefront of safety and health.

“In my new role I will give my full support to IOSH’s No Time To Lose campaign.”

Dr Karen McDonnell became President Elect following the AGM. She is due to become President of IOSH in November 2015.

 

Original Source: http://www.iosh.co.uk/News/New-IOSH-President-honoured-to-take-up-the-mantle.aspx?