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Health and Safety bulletin

Unite Health & Safety bulletin

New accident book
The HSE has published a second edition of the Accident Book BI 510, which is GDPR compliant. It is price at £7.80 inc. VAT.

The Accident Book is an essential document for both employees and employers who are required by law to record and report details of specified work-related injuries and incidents. It enables businesses to comply with legal requirements under social security and health and safety legislation, including Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) requirements. The 2018 version of the book:
  • Meets the legal requirement for all organisations to record accidents involving employees, contractors and visitors in the workplace;
  • Records all accident information in one place;
  • Is simple, clear and easy to use for employers and employees;
  • Aids management of health and safety at work - preventing further injuries and controlling costs;
  • Allows records canto be easily shared with health and safety representatives and inspectors if required;
  • Complies with current legislation, including RIDDOR, GDPR and HSE standards.

The law changed on 6 April 2012. If a worker sustains an occupational injury resulting from an accident, their injury should be reported if they are incapacitated for more than seven days. There is no longer a requirement to report occupational injuries that result in more than three days of incapacitation, but employers must still keep a record of such injuries.

The Accident Book is designed to support users in being GDPR compliant. Both the 2012 and 2018 versions provide an approved format for recording accident information. This information must then be stored in compliance with GDPR principles. Please be aware that it is the responsibility of the user of the book and their company's data protection policies to ensure that GDPR is fully complied with

New workplace exposure limits book
New workplace exposure limits for 31 substances have been introduced from 21 August 2018. This latest version of EH40 has been updated to include new and revised workplace exposure limits (WELs) introduced by the 4th Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELV) Directive. It will guide those responsible for controlling exposure to hazardous substances at work. Click here to download a free copy

New stress website
MIND and several partners have launched a “gateway” website on Mental Health at Work. It can be accessed here. The site is curated by Mind, the mental health charity, and funded by The Royal Foundation as part of their Heads Together campaign.
It’s been overseen from the outset by a steering group of key partner organisations from Government and industry. The aim is to provide a first stop to find mental health documents, guides, tips, videos, courses, podcasts, templates and information from key organisations across the UK.

An HSE report has found that little evidence that “mental health first aid” (MHFA) training in workplaces improves the overall management of mental ill health, although staff who receive the training are likely to report that it had boosted their skills in this area. According to the HSE’s “rapid scoping evidence review” of previously published studies, there is “no evidence that … MHFA training in workplaces has resulted in sustained actions in those trained, or that it has improved the wider management of mental ill health”. However, there is “consistent evidence that MHFA training raises employees’ awareness of mental ill health conditions”.

The Summary of the evidence on the effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training in the workplace also says that the international evidence base on the training’s effectiveness in the workplace has “knowledge gaps”, and that more research is needed. The HSE says that it researched the subject to “inform [the] HSE in the development of its policy position on work?related mental ill health”, reflecting the fact that “improving the management of mental health in the workplace is an important topic for GB government”. 

TUC has said that while support for workers is a good thing, “mental health first aiders are not the only option and for union reps usually are not the best option”. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson states that MHFA should not be a substitute for prevention. “Unions clearly must be involved both in working with their employer around mental health and supporting members with mental health problems, but MHFA is unlikely to be the most suitable training for trade union representatives. That is why Mental Health Awareness training is often more appropriate as there is much more emphasis on prevention.”

Meanwhile TUC has published an 88 page workbook on “Mental Health and the Workplace”, which can be downloaded for free here.

Electronic Cigarettes
In recent years electronic cigarettes have become more popular. These are not covered by the legal ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces but it is important that employers have a policy on their use. In addition information is now becoming available regards the impact of using electronic cigarettes.

Evidence on the impact of e-cigarettes, information on government policy and regulation, and guidance for organisations on vaping policies can be found here.


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