News
for the month of May, 2017

What a good idea

2nd of May 2017

Those launching food-related businesses in East Lindsey could benefit from a new service provided by East Lindsey District Council. ADVERTISING inRead invented by Teads From May 2, any new food businesses setting up in the District will have the opportunity to access the Safer Food Service from the Council’s Food Safety Team to help them to implement the best possible food hygiene rating. Included in the £180 (including VAT) service price is an on-site visit by a Food Safety Officer who will give practical tailored advice and a simple and easy to understand report and an up to date “Safer Food Better Business” pack.

This pack helps small food businesses to produce food safety management procedures and comply with food hygiene regulations.

Existing Businesses are able to access the Safer Food Better Business pack through the Council’s website at www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/foodsafety

Environmental Health Manager at the Council, Mike Harrison, said: “The Council is working hard to support the business community to drive up food hygiene standards and this is a service many existing food businesses have previously said would have been useful to them. With lots of customers now checking Food Hygiene Ratings on where to eat and buy food from, its important businesses ensure they are operating to the highest standard both for the safety of customers and the reputation of the business.”

Local Food Business owner, Emma Beaumont, of Beaumonts in Louth, said: “For a new business setting up, food safety advice gives peace of mind that the controls you implement are of the highest standard to ensure food safety”.

To find out more visit www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/saferfoodservice or email commercial.team@e-lindsey.gov.uk

Read more at: http://www.skegnessstandard.co.uk/news/food-safety-service-will-support-new-food-businesses-in-east-lindsey-1-7937980

Jack of all trades: the changing role of a health and safety professional

2nd of May 2017

Health and safety professionals are used to utilising a range of skills and putting on a number of ‘hats’.

It is, and always has been, a multi-disciplinary role that overlaps with other fields. In Great Britain we have an enviable record of success since the enactment of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, as evidenced by the reduction of fatalities and work-related injuries since the Act.

However, the world in which the health and safety professional now works is very different from that of the 1970s. There are a number of trends that are making the flexibility and multi-skilled abilities of the health and safety professional more important than ever.

There are also growing pressures that result in more responsibilities coming to the role. These include:

  1. changes in the make-up of industry, including the increase in Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs);
  2.  changes in technology;
  3.  changes in culture;
  4. changes in politics;
  5. growing business pressures;
  6. the growth of third party verification and evidence collation;
  7. a greater focus on areas that have not been dealt with as thoroughly as safety.

These themes are prevalent throughout the Health and Safety Executive’s Helping Great Britain Work Well strategy and, as the strategy emphasises, we need to act together in order to address them.

A changing workplace

Since the 1970s there has been a distinct change in British industry moving away from traditional manufacturing and heavy industries e.g. steel production and mining to service industries.

Along with this trend there has been a reduction in large-scale employers in favour of smaller companies. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, 99.9% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2016 were SMEs. A staggering 4.2 million were non-employing, as opposed to 1.3 million employing staff.

While managing employee safety is still crucial, getting the proportional risk management message to so many non-employing businesses is a challenge for all health and safety professionals.

In many industries the days of a set workplace are disappearing. More individuals than ever are working from home either permanently or on an occasional basis. For the health and safety professional this is increasingly complex as health and safety management strays into a person’s home.
For example, it is far more difficult to reduce the musculoskeletal risks from bad posture, or hazardous substance exposure from adhesives etc. when the work is not being carried out in a distinct workplace away from the home.

Remote working facilitated by technological advances also brings greater risks of lone working. Work away from a set workplace is to a large extent outside of the supervision and control of the health and safety professional or even direct line management and therefore risk management needs to be more informed and flexible for these situations than, for example, ensuring a safe system of work for a manufacturing process.

Nowadays. the health and safety professional has to take into account risks to workers in far more varied and less obvious scenarios than that of the traditional workplace.

New technologies such as GPS trackers, emergency call functions on mobile phones etc. can assist with this, so the health and safety professional has to be able to research, obtain and operate a range of technologies.

Technological change

The development and proliferation of new technologies is creating new ways of working. This naturally is resulting in new hazards and risks but also the potential of new methods of control.

Developments such as hydrogen-powered fuel cells, 3D Printing, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or ‘Drones’), driverless cars, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the ‘Internet of Things’ will have profound impact on the way we work.

But simpler more taken-for-granted technologies such as smartphones and other media devices create an often overlooked impact. The risk of distraction in the workplace is perhaps greater than ever due to the proliferation of these devices. Also as exposure to these devices continues to increase, the effects of preventable musculoskeletal risks such as poor posture are likely to become more notable.

Though not without their problems, these technologies may also bring about significant risk reduction. For example, the use of drones for surveying work can greatly reduce the need to work at height. 3D Printing and other forms of mechanised fabrication will likely result in substantial risk reduction in the construction industry. Apps on mobile devices make it easier than ever to undertake detailed risk assessments and construction phase plans.

The Cambridge University Institute of Criminology study demonstrated that the use by officers of body-worn camera led to a 93% reduction of public complaints against the police suggesting behavioural changes that ‘cool down’ potentially volatile situations.

The health and safety professional has to keep abreast of the ever-changing world of technology like never before. The hazards must be recognised and technology needs to be embraced and used to control risk.

Cultural change

Technological change and globalisation are also accelerating cultural change.

Some health and safety professionals may be reasonably au fait with social media, apps and emoji’s, although there’s also probably plenty of us who dread hearing such terms.

Whether reasonably knowledgeable or completely ignorant of such things, it has to be acknowledged that they are perceived as being part of normal life by the generation now coming into the workplace. Children today will not know a world without them. The Connected Kids report (2016) concluded that children aged five to sixteen spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen and this is likely to increase.

This creates new ways of thinking and new ways of experiencing the world that need to be understood if the message of sensible and proportionate risk management is to be disseminated. In this era of ‘fake news’ and 24 hour multi-channel entertainment there is the possibility that information overload may result in this message being lost.

We need to creatively use these new mediums to display our message clearly in ways in that differing audiences understand. The Social Media Kit of the Helping Great Britain Work Well strategy is a step in this direction, but more needs to be done if we are to win hearts and minds.

Another hazard with these technology-led cultural changes is that workplace bullying can now extend into online bullying, with all of the psychosocial health effects associated with this. Human resource policies often struggle with supporting employees with such experiences and so health and safety professionals endeavouring to improve the wellbeing of employees will need to not only be able to spot stress and anxiety in the workplace but also consider how this can continue beyond work.

Thanks for the article

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Southend cafes and takeaways rated 0 stars for food hygiene

15th of May 2017

Inspection reports found that 75 restaurants in Southend require major improvement.

Three restaurants, cafes or bars in the area scored zero stars when the inspectors from the Food Standards Agency examined them.

A further 72 restaurants received a rating of just one star.

According to reports online, the inspectors rated the places based on three criteria:

  • Hygienic food handling - Hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.
  • Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building - Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building (including having appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control) to enable good food hygiene.
  • Management of food safety - System or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat, evidence that staff know about food safety, and the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future.

Below is the full list of the worst offenders in Southend:

Boots & Laces

 

image: http://www.essexlive.news/images/localworld/ugc-images/276422/binaries/boots%20and%20laces%201.jpg

 

Southend United Football Club Sport

123 Eastern Avenue
Southend-On-Sea
Essex
SS2 4DU

Business type - Other catering premises

Date of inspection - 12 August 2016

Hygienic food handling –improvement necessary

Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building – Major improvement necessary

Management and food safety – Major improvement necessary

KC's International

image: http://www.essexlive.news/images/localworld/ugc-images/276422/binaries/KC's.jpg

KC's
65 Southchurch Road
Southend-On-Sea
Essex
SS1 2NL

Business type - Takeaway/sandwich shop

Date of inspection - 26 January 2017

Hygienic food handling –improvement necessary

Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building – Major improvement necessary

Management and food safety – Major improvement necessary

The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse Restaurant

Belfairs Park
Eastwood Road North
Leigh-On-Sea
SS9 4LR

Business type - Restaurant/Cafe/Canteen

Date of inspection - 28 May 2016

Hygienic food handling –improvement necessary

Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building – Major improvement necessary

Management and food safety – Major improvement necessary


Read more at http://www.essexlive.news/these-southend-cafes-and-takeaways-have-been-ordered-to-clean-up-their-act/story-30331393-detail/story.html#8xIiqfWAwedSSsKU.99

Salmonella death and 50 ill in Ireland

30th of May 2017

People warned to cook meat fully after 50 fall ill in north Dublin salmonella outbreak

At least 16 cases of salmonella have been identified following the outbreak.

ONE OF THE country’s top public health doctors has warned that a recent outbreak of salmonella in north Dublin is the largest single outbreak in the country over the past decade.

The HSE’s assistant national director for public health Dr Kevin Kelleher warned people to take extra food safety and hygiene precautions following the outbreak last week, which left at least five people hospitalised.

“We get on average somewhere between 200 to 500 cases of salmonella a year over the past decade,” he said.

“This is largest outbreak we’ve had over a single period of time.”

To date, 50 people – including four children – have fallen ill following a number of separate family parties held over the weekend of the 13 and 14 May. Out of these, 16 people have been confirmed as having salmonella.

The parties all received food from a single catering source – Flanreil Food Services Ltd.

Flanreil operates the kitchen at O’Dwyers Bar & Grill – also known as the Golf Links – on Strand Road in Portmarnock. It also provides outside catering services.

The HSE and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) became aware of the outbreak on Thursday, 18 May. The FSAI served a closure order on Flanreil Food Services Ltd on Friday, 19 May.

 Swords woman Sandra Murphy O’Brien died suddenly on Sunday, 21 May a week after attending one of the affected functions (a communion party). It is not confirmed if she died from salmonella.

Speaking today on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Kelleher warned people to remain extra vigilant when cooking and preparing food, and to contact their doctor if they felt they were suffering from food poisoning.

“It’s very clear this is an issue where it is both caused as a consequence of eating food but it’s also passed on by person to person contact, and that’s why people need to be very scrupulous about their hygiene,” said Kelleher.

He said that diarrhoea was one of the most common and quickest symptoms to appear.

“That comes on quite quickly, so [in the] majority of people it would be known by now,” he said.

He said that people needed to take extra care when cooking chicken and minced beef and the make sure the food was cooked through.

Kelleher said that the HSE and FSAI had only identified one source of the outbreak so far. It is believed poultry was the source of the food poisoning which caused the salmonella on this occasion.

The investigation into the outbreak in ongoing.

Affected people are told to contact their GP if they have any concerns regarding their health.

People who think they may be ill as a result of this outbreak may also contact the HSE’s Environmental Health Service or Department of Public Health in Dublin to assist in the investigation of the outbreak.

HGV company fined after worker’s death

30th of May 2017

TE Truck and Trailer Sales, a company that buys, refurbishes and sells Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and trailers has been sentenced after the death of 63-year-old worker William Price.

 

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that on 21 February 2013 Mr Price suffered fatal head injuries when he was struck by the roof of a trailer he was dismantling at the Marston Industrial Estate site.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found ATE had undertaken this task before by its own employees and had an established method in place. However, it failed to properly consider the risks involved in this work and did not provide Mr Price with any information in relation to his safety when ‘stripping down’ the trailers.

ATE Truck and Trailer Services pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company has today been fined £475,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Judith Botwood said: “This tragic accident was preventable had all parties considered the risks involved and taken appropriate measures to reduce that risk.”