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News from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive

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HSE appoints new Chief Executive

Dr Richard Judge has been appointed as Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), effective from November 2014. He will take over from Kevin Myers, who has been acting Chief Executive since August 2013.

Judge commented on his new position: “This is a great opportunity to lead the executive of a renowned and respected regulator that will soon celebrate its 40th year. I look forward to working with my new HSE colleagues, and with everyone who has a stake in delivering further improvements in Britain’s health and safety performance.”

Judge is currently Chief Executive of the Insolvency Service. Prior to this he had a varied career in science and technology organisations spanning the nuclear, rail and environmental sectors. Richard has a professional background as a Chartered Engineer (Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers), and is qualified as a Chartered Director.

Construction firms encouraged to attend HSE safety event

HSE, together with the construction industry’s Working Well Together campaign, has organised a free half-day safety and health awareness event in Bucksburn, Aberdeen on 17 September 2014, which will focus on safety issues for construction workers, especially during the groundworks phase. During the day there will be a rolling programme of practical demonstrations on topics such as plant and people interface, unloading/loading lorries; working with buried services; safe trench work and working in confined spaces.

“Incidents at the groundworks phase, for example trench collapses, can often be fatal, so it is vital that managers and company owners understand how to reduce risks on their sites,” said Isabelle Martin, HSE Principal Inspector.

Around 75% of workers killed or injured on building sites coming from small and medium sized construction companies. The event aims to offer employers and employees working in the groundworks phase of construction projects, clear practical advice on how to address serious issues that can impact on their business – and lives. The Working Well Together campaign aims to significantly reduce accidents, by not only raising awareness of key health and safety issues facing the construction industry, but by giving practical advice and solutions.

Furthermore, HSE will also be carrying out unannounced checks on construction sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway during a month-long initiative starting on 22 September. Inspectors will ensure high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed on sites, including work that generates harmful dusts such as silica, exposure to asbestos, and work with hazardous substances.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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