The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

The Nineteenth RoSPA Conference in Glasgow

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, September 03, 2013
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Scotland) will this year, hold its Occupational Safety and Health Congress in Glasgow on the 18th September 2013.

The Conference will take place at the Hilton Glasgow Hotel, 1 William Street, Glasgow G3 8HT.

The 19th RoSPA Conference will showcase Scotland’s vibrant OHS community, through case studies and best practice advice.

Programme highlights include:

Innovative health and safety initiatives at work in Scotland.

Mental health at work – are your actions helping or hindering it?

Dr Andrew Cottam, Health and Safety Executive, will be speaking about HSE's recently launched 'Managing for Health and Safety' guidance.

For more information and booking please call 0121 248 2089.

Hyponatremia Risk in Australia

Graham Marshall - Monday, September 02, 2013
As we come into early Spring in Australia, and the temperature begins to climb again, now is the time for organizations to be reviewing controls in place for work in hot weather.

One area that is often not considered by organizations is the risk associated with Hyponatremia – a potentially fatal condition caused when levels of sodium in the body become dangerously low.

Symptoms of hyponatremia can appear similar to those of heatstroke.

They include headaches, fatigue, restlessness, irritability and confusion. 

If untreated, seizures or coma leading to brain damage and even death can occur.

You've probably heard about Hyponatremia in relation to death's at nightclubs annd "raves" associated with the use of illegal drugs like ecstasy.

The primary cause of Hyponatremia is overhydration due to consumption off too much water.

This occurs when the body takes in more water than it excretes, diluting the body's normal levels of sodium.

Under normal conditions, a healthy adult would need to consume more than nine litres of water a day to become overhydrated. 

Workers who are not properly acclimatised to their environment are at increased risk, as sodium levels can drop further through perspiration during moderate physical work.

To manage the risk posed by Hyponatremia, there are some basic steps which can be undertaken.

Firstly, it is necessary to ensure that new workers are given sufficient time to adjust to hot working conditions offshore.

This is particularly important for workers who usually live in a different climate. 

Secondly, if the consumption of electrolyte drinks is promoted at work, ensure the correct concentration levels are met based on the environment and workload. 

Thirdly, consideration should also be given to the total dissolved salts in the drinking water at the work location, as levels will vary depending on the water source.

For more information and further guidance in managing work in hot environments, operators may refer to the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) document ‘Heat Stress Standard & Documentation Developed for Use in the Australian Environment.’

Contact the AIOH to obtain a copy.

APPEA Onshore Gas Conference Adelaide

Graham Marshall - Monday, August 26, 2013

The 2013 APPEA Onshore Gas Conference will take place in 2013 in Adelaide on 1st - 2nd October.

The Conference bills itself as the one event anyone serious about doing business in Australia's growing onshore gas market should attend.

APPEA has just released the program for the Onshore Gas Conference and Exhibition.

Key speakers include:

•  The Hon Jay Weatherill MP, Premier of South Australia;

•  The Hon Adam Giles MLA, Chief Minister, Northern Territory;

•  Martin Ferguson AM MP, Member for Batman;

•  David Byers, Chief Executive, APPEA;

•  James Baulderstone, Vice President, Eastern Australia, Santos Limited;

•  Rod Duke, Vice President Downstream GLNG, Santos Limited;

•  Derek Fisher, Managing Director, QGC, A BG Group Business;

•  Page Maxson, Chief Executive Officer, Australia Pacific LNG;

•  Reg Nelson, Managing Director, Beach Energy Limited;

•  Central Australia Asset Manager, Chevron Australia;

•  Kevin Stevenson, Central Australia Asset Manager, Chevron;

•  Dr Paul Vogel, Chairman, Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia; and

•  Paul Zealand, Chief Executive Officer Upstream, Origin Energy Limited

National Road Safety Partnership Program

Graham Marshall - Thursday, August 08, 2013

A National Road Safety Partnership Program is to be established launched later this year.

The Program will be organized by a steering committee made up of road-transport risk management personnel from Shell, BHP Billiton, Rio-Tinto, Coca-Cola, Telstra, Toll Group and Holden.

The Program will assist businesses to share information about how to improve road safety in their workplace.

At the moment, Work-related road crashes cause half of all occupational fatalities in Australia and 15 per cent of the Australian road toll.

As almost half of the new vehicles sold in Australia each year are purchased by businesses, there is an opportunity for them to have a significant impact on road safety.

The steering committee is currently working on the establishment of a website to provide an interactive source for businesses of all sizes to share information about improving workplace road safety.

We at the Risk Management Tool Box welcome the initiative, and feel it is about time that business took the lead in road safety given the failings of Government in this area.

As part of the Program, we urge all businesses in Australia to sign-on to support the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

The objective of the Decade of Action is to stabilize and then reduce global road fatalities by 2020.

Construction Dust and Health

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Construction dust is a problem if not managed appropriately.

Regularly breathing in construction dust over a long period of time can cause life-changing lung diseases.

Employers in the construction industry need to know what to do to prevent or adequately control construction dust risks.

Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and workers also need to know about the risk posed by construction dust; and how to protect themselves against the hazard.

To view an information leaflet from the UK HSE on this important topic, just click here.

 

 

Danger to Young Workers During Holidays

Graham Marshall - Monday, August 05, 2013

According to the British Safety Council, young workers are at greatest risk of accidents at work during the first few months of a new job.

And with the summer holidays starting now, employers need to pay extra attention to the health and safety of young people hired for holiday work.

By taking some simple steps, the risk of injury to young workers can be easily reduced.

Good leadership is the key in preventing injury to  young people at the start of their working lives.

Organizations need to ensure that safe and healthy work practices are the rule; and that they have a culture that promotes and values safe behaviour.

The first step is to identify the hazards to young workers.

What are the hazards associated with lifting, working at height, using machinery, moving around the site, using chemicals, and such like.

Then using the knowledge of experienced staff, perform necessary risk assessments.

The risk assessments should help management to decide how best to control the hazards faced by young workers.

Reducing the risk profile of the business by adequate hazard management is crucial to achieve the vision that no young workers are injured or killed at work.

UK Explosives Legislation Review

Graham Marshall - Thursday, August 01, 2013

The UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) is holding a public consultation on consolidated regulations that will simplify the safety laws for manufacturing, handling and storing explosives.

The consolidated set of regulations include European requirements in relation to product safety.

The UK HSE is seeking input from businesses and stakeholders through an eight-week public consultation that began on 30 July 2013.

Interested party's may include industry, other Government departments, third sector groups, and individual.

The consultative document and details of how to respond to the consultation are available on the HSE website.

The objective of the review is to assist UK HSE to remove duplicate provisions in existing legislation and minimize potential confusion by producing a single set of common definitions.

As a result of the consolidation HSE will produce a new suite of overarching guidance identifying the principles of safe and secure operation, supplemented by sub-sector specific guidance.

Subject to the consultation, it is intended that these will replace the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) for the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 and the current explosive guidance.

The consolidation process is one of the recommendations of the review of health and safety undertaken by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation and ministerial approval, the consolidated Regulations will come into effect from October 2014.

National Safety Symposium 2013

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Here at the Risk Tool Box, we think it's quite neat that this year, the UKs National Safety Symposium is titled "Tools for your toolbox, skills for your future".

Taking place on Monday 8th September 2013, at the Nottingham Belfry, Mellors Way, Nottingham (NG8 6PY), this year's National Safety Symposium will provide practical sessions for the safety professional.

There wll be a focus on safety leadership, safety management and current health, safety and well-being issues.

The Symposium offers a wealth of networking opportunities, workshops, case studies, expert advice and debate.

So everyone in an EHS role should get something from the day..

Health and Safety Executive Chair, Judith Hackitt will open the conference with a keynote address.

A full programme and online booking form can be found on the IOSH National Safety Symposium website.

Alternatively, you can call the bookings team on 0116 257 3197.

Our Natural Advantage Campaign

Graham Marshall - Monday, July 29, 2013

According to the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), Australia’s natural gas industry created an estimated 100,000 jobs in 2012.

The energy industry  is also investing more than $200 billion on projects across the Australia

Regardless of the economic benefits and the jobs for Australians, our industry is faced with a long running, organized, and well-resourced green smear campaign.

The aim of these anti-development critics is to stop nation-building resource projects across Australia.

Their campaign here in Australia is based upon misinformation; and worse still it is often unfounded and unchallenged to the point where eco-activism is determining Government policy.

It is putting the future of Australian natural gas development, jobs and local investment at risk.

As such APPEA launched "Our Natural Advantage" - an advertising and information campaign to increase public awareness of and public support for our industry’s natural gas activities.

At the Risk Management Tool Box Pty Ltd, we pledge 100per cent support to the "Our atural Advantage" Campaign.

We ask that you also show your support for our the Australian Energy industry by visiting www.ournaturaladvantage.com.au.

You can sign the petition and help APPEA top defend Australia's natural advantage and secure a brighter future for our country.

Natural gas is at the heart of our Australian way of life.

It heats our homes and powers our kitchens and industries.

We can't afford to lose it.

In support of APPEA.

Carcinogenic Diesel Fumes in Mines

Graham Marshall - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Diesel exhaust fumes were reclassified as a carcinogen to humans in June 2012.

That change has implications for the mining industry as many mines use diesel engines in some form or other.

The law in Australia requires that:

+  Mine operators ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health of workers;

+  Fumes from diesel plant in underground parts of a mine are minimized as far as reasonably practicable;

+  Management systems to control diesel pollutants in the underground parts of a coal operation are in place; and

+  All mines should have a documented strategy to control diesel emissions with the objective of minimizing people’s exposure to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

For full details and recommendations see SB13-03 Diesel Emissions in Mines and other safety bulletins published by the Resources Safety Department in NSW.


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