HSE publishes annual work-related ill health and injury statistics for 2022/23

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its annual statistics on work-related ill health and workplace injuries. The figures also show that 135 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2022/23, while 561,000 workers sustained a self-reported non-fatal injury in the workplace during the same period.

The statistics reveal that 1.8 million workers reported they were suffering from work-related ill health in 2022/23, an estimated 875,000 down to stress, depression or anxiety. Which is higher than the pre-pandemic level.

In the recent years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of self-reported work-related ill health had been broadly flat, but the current rate is higher than 2018/19.

An estimated 35.2 million working days were lost in 2022/23 due to self-reported work-related ill health or injury.

HSE’s statistics also reveal the impact that the work-related ill health and workplace injuries are having on Britain’s economic performance. Preventing or tackling work-related stress can provide significant benefits to employees, improving their experience of work and their overall health; and also to employers including increased productivity, decreased absenteeism and reduced staff turnover

In 2021/22, the estimated annual costs of workplace injury and new cases of work-related ill health reached £20.7 billion, representing a £1.9 billion increase compared with 2019/20.

10 Easy Tips To Build and Design A Small Greenhouse Watering System

Building your own Mini-Greenhouse can be a Fun and Educational Experience, As well as a rewarding one. Especially if you’re good with tools. If you are using a Greenhouse To Initiate Transplants or Grow Plants To Maturity, The greenhouse should be located in an area that will receive the most sunlight and a well-Ventilated area. Avoid building greenhouses In low-lying areas surrounded by buildings or forests. Also, consider easy access to water, and for a small Greenhouse Watering System.

Regardless of the type and size of Greenhouse you choose, consider how long the system will last. Greenhouse Environments can be Maintained with little maintenance, with Ventilation, Heating, Humidity, Artificial Lighting, Irrigation, Etc. For plants that are easy to maintain.

There are many Ready-Made Greenhouses available for purchase or Build your own with a very simple frame. However, making sure that you use licensed Plumbers and Electricians.

Here Are Some Tips To Help You Build And Design A Small Greenhouse.

  1. Start with a medium Design and use readily available Materials. An attractive Greenhouse for using Recycled Materials such as reclaimed wood, doors, and window frames.
  2. Adapt to the local climate.
  3. Plan a design that can use standard sizes of Materials, most of which come in “4x”.
  4. Timers and Thermostats can be set to Control exactly the heating or lighting.
  5. Design and Build “Backup” facilities in case of power outages or severe weather.
  6. To use Wood- Cedar, Cypress or plain Wood (pressure-treated lumber) and painted works well. This is the efficient and cost-effective Material.
  7. Greenhouses often use “Glass Panels”, But Polycarbonate Plastic, Fiberglass, Plastic Sheeting or Acrylic can be used.
  8. A Permanent Foundation is recommended to support the structure, (but a Floor is not really necessary). A bottom of Gravel a few inches deep provides adequate drainage. A smooth stone or concrete Walkway between the seats provides a stable surface.
  9. Greenhouse Design should allow ample space for Tall Plants, and the Plants will only be Occupying Half of the “Two-Thirds” of the Greenhouse Area, leaving the rest for Relaxation and Work Areas.
  10. No Overwatering! One of the biggest mistakes new Greenhouse Gardeners make is overwatering. A drip small greenhouse watering system Is Ideal. Use only Room-Temperature Water.
  11. For your Comfort, the Planters can be Designed High enough so that you won’t have to bend when tending to the Plants/Fruits/Flowers or Vegetables.

E-bike battery found to be cause of fire in Coventry apartment block

Around 50 firefighters were called to respond to a flat fire on the 11th floor of a high-rise in Coventry caused by an e-bike battery setting alight.

The West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service (WMFS)

Several fire engines and response vehicles also attended the blaze in Coventry, where several people were evacuated while others were able to remain safely in their homes.

The fire affected the whole flat in which it broke out, with smoke spreading to floors above. No casualties have been reported, but the damage to the flat was described as ‘severe’.

The WMFS found the cause of the fire to have resulted from an electric bike battery being left on charge.

Copyright: West Midlands Fire Service

Like other Fire and Rescue Services, WMFS has previously warned of the dangers of lithium-ion battery fires and has asked for people to exercise caution when charging e-bikes.

Scotland proposes disposable vape ban over environmental ‘threat’

The Scottish Government will consult on banning single-use vapes next year, due to concerns about their impact on public health and the environment as they become more popular.

The Scottish Government Programme sets out the nation’s policy priorities for the coming year, which include the environment as well as childcare, healthcare and economic growth.

Disposable vapes, are a threat to both public health and the environment. As they are hard to recycle as they contain multiple different kinds of plastics, plus an internal battery. Around 13 million disposable vapes were incorrectly disposed of within the past year, including 2.6 million that were littered.

The environment evidence is undeniable – from litter on the streets, to the risk of fires in waste facilities. A potential ban will start early 2024, after consultation with retailers, manufacturers and other stakeholders are contacted.

Workplace accidents go increasingly unpunished due to the HSE insufficient resources

Employers are increasingly likely to go unpunished after workplace accidents, according to research by Prospect Union that reveals the number of investigations dropped by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) due to insufficient resources has surged.

The research, using HSE’s own figures, shows that in 2016/17 just two mandatory investigations were cancelled because of insufficient resources compared to in 2021/22 the figure was 389.

Overall cash funding for HSE fell dramatically from £228m in 2010 to £126m in 2019. There has been a recovery since then to £185m in 2022. The long-term cash decline and overall significant real-terms funding decline (current funding is still 43% below 2010 once one-off ringfenced payments are taken into account) have left the HSE with a staffing and skills crisis that will be difficult to overcome.

The COVID-19 pandemic really highlighted that if you want safe workplaces then you need to have an effective regulator in place with sufficient skills and capacity to inspect workplaces and hold employers to account. If appropriate levels of inspections and mandatory investigations are not happening, half of them because of a lack of resources, then that should worry anyone who values safety at work. The bottom line is that if effective investigations cannot be carried out then those who are at fault for an accident may get away with it, depriving victims of justice and making workplaces less safe.

The evidence suggests that most businesses have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage safety risk for themselves. The maturity of business and their increased level of understanding of safety risks means that the HSE can look to regulate in different ways.

Businesses will be left more and more to self-regulate.

They will not be routinely inspected to make sure they comply. Instead, they will be “engaged” through the likes of call centres, digital platforms and social media campaigns.

Although current available digital tools are more sophisticated, this approach has been criticised by previous select committee examinations of HSE.

Prosecution for property owner after failing to carry out building structural assessments.

A property owner has been prosecuted after they failed to carry out a structural assessment, leading to life-changing injuries to a builder.

A stone wall collapsed on builder, while he was converting some outbuildings into a holiday let accommodation in October 2021. He suffered several injuries including a fractured skull, bleed on the brain, and multiple broken bones.

As part of the planning for the project, the property owner had not carried out a structural assessment of the outbuildings. The investigation from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed that a structural assessment of the outbuildings had not been conducted before starting work, and there was no plan in place for dismantling the building safely.

The property owner, pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations SI 2015/51, and was given a 12-month community order and told to complete 80 hours of unpaid work. He must pay costs of £4,097.94.

In Summary If this project had been planned effectively, engaging the right people at the right time to ensure a suitable safe system of work was implemented, the life-changing injuries sustained by the injured person could have been prevented.