Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

Author Bio ▼

Ian joined Informa (formerly UBM) in 2018 as the Editor of SHP. Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming. Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in business to business trade print media, in the automotive sector. He was Online Editor and then moved on to be the Editor of two publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.
September 6, 2018

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Asbestos in schools

Asbestos in schools: HSE Northern Ireland investigating gauze mats

The Health and Safety Executive (HSENI) has announced that working to establish whether pupils in Northern Ireland have been affected by asbestos in classrooms.

Last week, SHP reported that the HSE in England had has said it has been made aware that two UK laboratory supply companies have supplied schools and potentially other users with gauze mats containing asbestos.

The metal gauze mats are designed for use over Bunsen burners.

The risk of exposure is said to be ‘low’, but the NASUWT teaching union has written to the Department of Education (DE) calling for the names of the two suppliers to be made public.

It is thought that potentially thousands of pupils could have been exposed to low levels of asbestos.

Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause serious and fatal illnesses including lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, and can take 20 to 30 years before symptoms are detected.

The HSE in England has released some Advice to users of Bunsen burner wire gauzes that may contain asbestos.

School asbestos exposure leads to £200k fine for council

Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing

Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.

This free director’s briefing contains:

  • Key points;
  • Recommendations for employers;
  • Case law;
  • Legal duties.
Barbour EHS

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