Self-employed exemption from safety law in force soon

red tape cut government
With a 1 October 2015 deadline just weeks away, the Government has issued a reminder about a key change to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 that exempts self-employed workers from health and safety law in many circumstances. The change comes into force under a Deregulation Bill that followed the 2011 Löfstedt Review, which looked to simplify the application of health and safety...

Clash of cultures: the productive workplace?

Amazon close up website
Much has been written about the ‘future workplace’, a lot of which focuses on the importance of the physical working environment. However, news from the US this week has thrown light on the role that softer issues such as workplace culture can play in contributing to worker productivity – with some starkly different approaches. Amazon has been in the news following a report by the New Yo...

999 calls in Wales cut by 50% in a decade

Fire firefighter crane
The Statistical Bulletin published by Statistics for Wales last week showed a continuing decrease in the number of fires and call-outs for the emergency services.  The statistics cover a 12-year period from 2001/02 to 2013/14 and therefore make interesting reading for anyone who remembers the debate around the introduction of the Fire Safety (Regulatory Reform) Order 2005, which came int...

Asbestos in schools

Asbestos warning tape hazard
We reported this week a statistic from 2012 that suggested asbestos was considered likely to be present in 85% of schools in Wales: representing over 1,500 schools in total.   The reason that particular statistic resurfaced this week is because of a call by campaigners in Wales to take more radical action on asbestos in schools, as asbestos-related deaths continue to rise both in the educ...