Health and Safety Newsletter: Summer 2008

United Kingdom

Welcome to the Summer 2008 issue of the Health and Safety Newsletter.

Inside this issue:

  • R v HTM: Reasonable Practicability Examined

Three years ago proceedings were raised against Hatton Traffic Management Ltd following the death of two employees. The case has been slowly making its way through the courts until February this year, when HTM were eventually acquitted.

To view the full article click here.

  • Peter Spencer-Franks v Kellogg Brown & Root and others: is door-closing apparatus “Work Equipment”?

In the recent House of Lords judgement, ‘Peter Spencer-Franks v Kellogg Brown & Root and others’, a door-closing device was held to be “work equipment”, in terms of regulation 2 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.

To view the full article click here.

  • Work Related Suicide

This article comments on the Kari Boto and Corr v IBC Vehicles Limited cases.

To view the full article click here.

  • Pleural Plaques Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament

On 24 June 2008, the Scottish Government published a bill overruling a decision taken by the House of Lords in October 2007 that pleural plaques do not give rise to compensatable damage. Pleural plaques are small areas of scarring on the lungs.

To view the full article click here.

  • Regulatory Reform: Merger of HSC and HSE

On 1 April 2008, the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive merged to become one single statutory body, retaining the name ‘Health and Safety Executive’. The proposal for change originated from the HSC and HSE themselves, who felt that the existence of two separate bodies was confusing and reduced the impact of important communications.

To view the full article click here.

  • Health and Safety (Offences) Bill passes to House of Lords

The Health and Safety (Offences) Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 5 December 2007, and is now to be debated by the House of Lords. It will go to Committee on 18 July 2008. The Bill is intended to raise the maximum penalties available to the courts in respect of certain health and safety offences.

To view the full article click here.

  • Piper Alpha: 20 years on

6 July 2008 marked the 20-year anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster. It was the world’s worst offshore oil disaster to date, in terms of lives lost and impact to industry, claiming the lives of 167 men and leaving only 62 survivors. It also served as a catalyst for reform of the UK’s entire offshore health and safety regime.

To view the full article click here.

  • Fatal Accident Inquiries under review

The legislation governing the operation of fatal accident inquiries in Scotland is to be reviewed for the first time in over 30 years. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini have agreed that a review of the Fatal Accident and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976 (the “1976 Act”) should take place, and be lead by Lord Cullen.

To view the full article click here.

  • Dame Carol Black Review: Working for a Healthier Tomorrow

On 17 March 2008, Dame Carol Black, the National Director for Health and Work, published the review, “Working for a Healthier Tomorrow” – an analysis of the health of the UK’s working age population. The review calls for urgent and comprehensive reform, stating that ill health is costing the economy £100bn a year.

To view the full article click here.

  • Stockline: Inquiry opens into explosion at ICL Plastics factory

The inquiry into the Stockline disaster began on 1 July 2008.
On 28 August 2007 the owner and operator of the ‘Stockline’ factory in Glasgow (which exploded in May 2004, killing nine people and injuring thirty-three) was fined £400,000 after admitting breaches of health and safety legislation.

To view the full article click here.

  • What’s New in Europe?

Switzerland - New anti-smoking laws

In the last few years, several anti-smoking campaigns were launched in Switzerland. Surveys showed that 64% of the Swiss population endorse general smoking bans in restaurants and bars, whilst 78% of people would wish to see smoking banned in the workplace.

To view the full article click here.

Belgium - Welfare for posted workers

An employer who posts his workers to Belgium must comply with the salary and employment conditions laid down by Belgian law. This is, however, without prejudice to the application of any foreign remuneration and employment conditions that are more favourable for the worker concerned.

To view the full article click here.