In the News

24th February 2016

HSE response to construction union press release

HSE has responded to construction union UCATT’s press release to media which claimed that there had been an increase in prosecution delays and fall in convictions following construction deaths

HSE stated that there has been no fall in conviction rates for HSE prosecutions. It actually rose from 92% in 2010/11 to 94% in 2014/15. The reduction referred to in the UCATT statement relates to the numbers of fatalities in construction for which prosecutions have been approved. The percentage of fatalities leading to a decision to prosecute in the same year will be lower in more recent years as a number of the more complex investigations will still be on-going or are progressing through the courts. The number of prosecution approvals should also be seen against an overall reduction in construction fatalities from over 100 in 2000/01 to 39(p) in 2014/15.

12th February 2016

HSE to prosecute film company after Star Wars incident

HSE has today informed Foodles Production (UK) Ltd that it will be prosecuted over four alleged breaches of health and safety law. The charges relate to an incident during filming of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which left Harrison Ford with serious injuries after he was hit by a heavy hydraulic door.

10th February 2016

Approval of biocides withdrawn from 16 February

The European Union has withdrawn the approvals for 3 commonly-used biocides following a decision made on 27 January.

The three biocides are:

Triclosan Cybutryne Poly(hexamethylene) biguanide hydrochloride (PHMB) Of these, triclosan is the most widely used and is commonly found as an antibacterial in soaps and other cosmetic products including toothpaste, although use has been declining recently. It is listed as a “specific pollutant” under the Water Framework Directive. It was estimated in 2014, by the Environment Agency, that as many as 450 water bodies in the United Kingdom could have triclosan levels in excess of the proposed limit of 0.28 µg/L.

Triclosan can be measured in waters at or below the above level using High Performance Liquid Chromatography linked to tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). This technique can also be used to measure the levels of triclosan in cosmetic products, following extraction of the triclosan.