1. Eye Injury Prevention

    Nathan Shipley, PPE Group Certification Manager at BSI explores Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and how to prevent eye injuries in the workplace.

    Ensuring that employees are safe at work must be a high priority for all organisations, regardless of industry. According to the HSE1, £14.9 billion is the estimated cost of injuries and ill health from working conditions and 31.2 million working days are lost each year. Whilst this can have a considerable impact on businesses, ultimately organisations have a responsibility to look after their people.

    Most incidents in the workplace can be prevented if the correct level of protection is provided. Protective eyewear is just one of the most common types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and an important part of self-protection in the workplace. There is an ever-rising need for organisations to comply with health and safety regulations, therefore professionals need to explore the use of PPE. However, with so
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  2. Listening to The Sound of Safety

    Our ability to listen to and discern different types and levels of sound can be the key to not only our safety, but also our happiness.

    Our ears can detect many sounds, from the slightest whisper to the most terrific explosion. As one of the five human senses, hearing can play a crucial role in our personal safety, both during work and in our everyday lives. An equipment operator, for example, can detect a fault in their equipment simply through the noise it makes. When crossing a road, we can hear a vehicle coming around a corner before we see it. We can identify many things about a person simply by hearing that person speak, such as the sex of the person, the language being spoken, even emotion can often be read from a person’s tone of voice.

    Many advances in technology now mean that damage to hearing can be partially alleviated through surgery or the use of hearing aids, but if you think that means that it’s not important to look after your hearing, think aga
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  3. New UAE Federal Labour Law Announced

    The UAE Government announced significant legislative change as part of the UAE’s 50th anniversary. The legal reforms constituted the biggest legal shake up in the country’s history. Included in the announcements was a new UAE Federal Labour Law – the first in over 40 years.

    Federal Decree by Law No. 33 of 2021 Regulating Labour Relations supersedes, in its entirety, Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Labour Law, and became enforceable from 2nd January 2022. Alongside the new law will sit Executive and Implementing Regulations.

    As federal health and safety law is primarily derived from Labour Law – its impact on the UAE health and safety community cannot be underestimated.

    Caroline Savage from Corporate OHS, a UAE based health and safety consultancy, will discuss below the impact the new law will have on HSE professionals in the region and how they may best approach and conduct their work in light of the changes.

    What were th

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  4. The Middle Ground

    Working at height is defined as any workplace activity conducted at, above, or below ground level, where there is a risk of a person being injured falling from any height. Falls from working at height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries.

    In addition to falling from height to ground level (or below), working at height can also encompass falls into holes or pits, tanks, or machinery. Access and egress to a workplace could also constitute working at height.

    In addition to the fall itself, other hazards associated with working at height include falling objects, contact with overhead electrical services, platform collapse, falling into a hazardous substance, machinery or the path of a moving vehicle.

    Planning your Working at Height Activity

    Working at height needs careful planning in advance, with consideration given to the selection and use of work equipment, and the establishment
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  5. Charity Urges People to Consider How They Can Prevent Asbestos Exposure

    Ahead of Action Mesothelioma Day, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) asks a question: what can you do to prevent lives being ruined by exposure to asbestos?

    In Britain, more than 2,500 people die from mesothelioma every year because of past exposure to asbestos. And, while the deadly material has been banned since 1999, it still lurks in at least half a million buildings constructed before that year, posing huge risks to anyone who comes into contact with it.

    On Action Mesothelioma Day (Action Meso Day) this Friday, 2 July, support groups, charities and other organisations and individuals will come together to call for more awareness of the dangers of asbestos. For the second successive year, the annual event will be held virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    IOSH President Jimmy Quinn said the day is crucial in helping to spread the word and inform people of the risks of asbestos exposure and how they can take steps to
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  6. Safety in Hand

    Losing a finger, hand, arm, or any part of the body, not only causes physical pain to the worker, it also severely impacts the worker’s livelihood and mental well-being. There is great importance in protecting our fingers, hands, and arms while at work, and building a culture of prevention in the workplace so that everyone can work in a safe environment. Hand, arm and finger injuries are preventable. Reducing the risk at its source is fundamental.

    Forty-six workers lost their hands or fingers in amputation accidents in Singapore last year, mainly due to the unsafe use of machinery. Such injuries, which often have a lasting impact on the workers’ lives and livelihoods, are preventable, stressed Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad when he launched the 2021 Safe Hands Campaign. “We need to persevere in our efforts to ensure such incidents do not recur,” he said, as he encouraged companies to embrace a culture of reporting near misses1. The significant trend i
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  7. Workplace Hearing Protection

    Studies of noise-exposed populations clearly indicate that time spent working in noisy workplaces may lead to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). According to Basner et al (2013) NIHL can be caused by sound pressure levels higher than 75 to 85 dBA in industrial settings. It’s the combination of sound pressure levels and exposure time, however, that is critical in most cases.

    Data on the impact of hearing loss varies from one region to another; however, in the USA it has been estimated that over 11% of the total workforce reports varying degrees of hearing difficulty. Of the reported hearing difficulties, approximately 25% can be attributed to workplace exposure (Tak and Calvert, 2008).

    A 2013 US study concluded that circa 18% of noise-exposed workers have material hearing impairment (Masterson et al, 2014) as defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, 1998) criterion. Furthermore, an international review of NIHL concluded tha
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  8. Occupational Vibration

    There are many sources of vibration in the occupational environment and from a workplace perspective we are generally concerned about the potential risk to human health. Exposure in the workplace is assessed in terms of hand-arm vibration and whole-body vibration. In addition, legal controls and criteria for workplace exposure are addressed in terms of these phenomena.

    Vibration may be transmitted to the human body through the part in contact with the vibrating surface: the handle of a machine, the surface of a piece of equipment, or the seat of a mobile machine.

    Hand-arm vibration (HAV) is vibration which is transmitted from work processes and equipment into workers’ hands and arms. It can be caused by operating hand-held power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, angle grinders, road breakers, and hand-guided equipment.

    Whole-body vibration (WBV) has been described as a shaking or jolting of the human body through a supporting surface (usually a
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  9. Regulatory Update: New OSHA Emphasis Program for Heat Hazards

    OSHA will proactively initiate inspections in over 70 high-risk industries in indoor and outdoor work settings when the National Weather Service has issued a heat warning or advisory for a local area.

    On April 11, OSHA announced it has launched a National Emphasis Program to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injuries.

    As part of the program, OSHA will proactively initiate inspections in over 70 high-risk industries in indoor and outdoor work settings when the National Weather Service has issued a heat warning or advisory for a local area. On days when the heat index is 80 F or higher, OSHA inspectors and compliance assistance specialists will engage in proactive outreach and technical assistance to help stakeholders keep workers safe on the job.

    Inspectors will look for and address heat hazards during inspections, regardless of whether the industry is targeted in the NEP.

    “Our goal is to make it safe for workers in h
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  10. The Shoe for You

    The subject of Safety Footwear has been widely written about and discussed. I am sure that we all know about safety footwear, yet we still get it wrong. So, let us refresh our memory of the importance of safety footwear and how best to maximise its use as Personal Protective Footwear.

    A little over seven years ago, my friends and I decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro; well with hindsight, I can say with all honestly it was more of a trek than a climb, but nevertheless a very challenging trek. Besides fitness level and mental preparation there were a lot of other considerations albeit, mainly equipment preparation. The right clothing, sleeping bag, wet wipes and trekking shoes. Although in this case the trekking shoes were not ‘work equipment’ they were part of my Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They were there to serve several purposes, such as protecting me from slipping in wet and icy conditions, keep my feet dry and warm, protect my feet from large stones, and kee
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