Health & Safety News

H&S | 29.06.2012

Needlestick injuries

The HSE board met in London today (27th June) to discuss a range of issues. One of the main ones was needlestick injuries. It was agreed to support a new regulation on preventing needlestick injuries in the healthcare sector. This follows a social partnership agreement between employers and unions at European level. This is a great victory for the unions in the sector who have been campaigning on the issue since the 1990's. There will be a consultation on the issue shortly.

The board also considered safety in the emerging energy technologies. These industries pose new risks to workers and there is considerable doubt as to whether the current regulations are sufficient to give proper protection. There was a commitment to review the whole issue of safety in these industries over the coming months.

The board also agreed on the need for new and clear regulations for the mining industry that covered small mines as well as large ones. This follows the recent death of 4 workers in a small colliery in South Wales. In future the industry will be better regulated and monitored.

It was also announced that the Government had agreed to implement "Fee for intervention" that means that the HSE will start charging employers for its interventions from 1st October 2012, subject to Parliamentary approval of the proposed Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012. These Regulations will put a duty on HSE to recover its costs for carrying out its regulatory functions from those found to be in material breach of health and safety law. The TUC representatives stressed that the HSE must ensure that the charging is used as a deterrent to change behaviour.

The next meeting of the HSE board will be held on 22nd August in Bootle.


Yours sincerely


Joe Simpson
Assistant Secretary