Health and Safety Updates and News

WOBO acknowledges the updates in respect of both people and activities within the construction industry.

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Support builds to protect construction workers mental health

THE CONSTRUCTION industry has stepped-up its efforts to combat work-related stress and promote good mental health by joining Great Britain’s workplace regulator campaign.



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Celebrating women in construction

Women in Construction Week is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women within our industry. They now make up 15.8% of our construction workforce, a higher proportion than at any time since official records began.

Ruth Devine is the managing director of SJD Associates, a Milton Keynes based electrical contractor undertaking industrial construction projects. She spearheads change within the built environment sector through proactive support and development of apprenticeships and skills training. She is also a Lighthouse Charity Trustee and chairs the Charitable Services Committee. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to championing apprenticeships and skills development, she has just been awarded an MBE in the King’s 2024 New Year Honours list for services to Further Education and Apprenticeships

To celebrate this latest achievement and to support women in construction week we’ve caught up with Ruth to discover a bit more about what inspires her, her motivation to make a difference and her future aspirations.

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Fibrelite supplies trench covers for leading cruise terminal

The end user had previously considered Ductile Iron covers to cover the troughs housing the HV power cables and associated fixtures for their newly acquired OPS (Onshore Power Supply) system, but due to the weight of these covers and the need for specialised lifting equipment, the end user turned to Fibrelite for a solution.

Key requirements  

  • Initially, the end user had explored Ductile Iron covers as a potential covering solution.
  • The additional overheads associated with this material proposal, including the provision of specialised training for operatives and heavy duty lifting apparatus – resulted in this being ruled out.
  • F900 (90 tonne) load rated trench covers were required to cope with extremely heavy and slow moving sea port traffic.
  • Industrial scale – trench covers required to cover 500 metres of precast concrete trough trench units.
  • In order to accommodate frequent access to power supply, trench covers had to be light enough for safe manual removal.
  • Dozens of varying custom sized covers were required to suit the trench configuration.

For further details follow the link.

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Mitigate risks of e-bikes and scooters in the workplace

In a recent, UK-based survey1 of users (and potential users) of e-bikes, 40% of current users commuted to (and from) a place of work, with 20% having used them for business travel.

Questions arise around how we use, charge, and store e-bikes in the workplace – and the additional hazards and risks that this may bring.

The British Safety Council has published an introductory guide for employers on managing the risks from Li-on batteries.

Over the last six months batteries have regularly made headlines, with tragic stories of fires and explosions, resulting in injury and loss of life. Many of these were traced back to the charging of Li-on e-scooters and e-bikes.

Phil Pinnington, head of audit and consultancy at the British Safety Council said, “As with all new and developing technologies, the increasing use of e-bikes and scooters has prompted a wave of new questions, considerations, and challenges – not least for employers, as e-bikes and scooters have entered the workplace; and are routinely charged at (or under) our desks. British Safety Council’s ‘Introductory Guide’ to Li-on batteries in the workplace offers a series of tips to help employers identify and assess the risks posed, how to put control measures in place, and shows some of the solutions being used around the world.

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Unregistered plumber handed suspended prison sentence

Anthony Rice, trading as Rice Plumbing and Oil Heating, attended the property on Edwalton Avenue on 31 January 2023 where he replaced a gas boiler and altered gas pipe work. However, Rice accidentally connected the gas supply with water, meaning the property’s gas pipes and gas meter were flooded.

Gas engineers from Cadent later attended the property and were required to pump water from the emergency control valve and replace the gas meter. The engineers classed the gas boiler Rice had installed as immediately dangerous, capped off the gas supply before notifying the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A HSE investigation found that Anthony Rice has never been registered with the Gas Safe Register – a legal requirement. He also held no qualifications nor completed any training in gas work.


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