Weekly Digest: The latest health and safety news and guidance

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Weekly Digest eBulletin

Heatwave: Advice on high temperatures in the workplace

worker suffering from heat stress

With temperatures soaring in parts of Britain this week, make sure you have the right advice and guidance to work safely.

It is important to remember the risks of overheating when working in hot conditions.


HSE has plenty of guidance on workplace temperature, including:

Working safely after the removal of some COVID-19 restrictions

Monday 19 July saw England move to Step 4 of the UK government's COVID-19 roadmap. This has meant the removal of many restrictions.

Despite these changes, you must still control risk and review and update your risk assessment.


Our updated webpage on keeping workplaces safe outlines some of the changes you need to know about:

  • controls to use after some restrictions are removed
  • other measures to help reduce workplace transmission
  • different approaches and timescales for removal of restrictions in Scotland and Wales

Some workplace controls remain unchanged:

You must continue to consult your workforce on health and safety matters. Talking to workers and their representatives helps you to reduce risk.


There is UK government guidance on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance from Step 4 covering a range of different types of work.


You should make sure the measures identified by your risk assessment take account of the public health regulations and guidance for the nation you are working in. Please refer to your relevant guidance:

Find a full range of COVID-19 related information and advice on HSE’s coronavirus pages.

HSE releases annual agriculture fatalities report

agriculture worker

HSE has published a report showing that agriculture has the highest number of workplace fatalities in Great Britain of any industry.

Provisional figures, from 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021, show 41 people were killed in agriculture related activities. This is almost double the final number of deaths in the previous year, which was 23.


The report, Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2020/21, has been published to coincide with the start of Farm Safety Week (19 – 23 July), led by the Farm Safety Foundation charity. 


We have freely downloadable leaflets available for those working in agriculture to assess the risks and put safety measures in place:

Prison sentence for builder who undertook illegal gas work

A self-employed fitter has been jailed after carrying out gas work at a residential address while he was not competent to do so, leaving a gas boiler in an ‘at risk’ condition.

Michael Smithers pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3(1) and 3 (3) of the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 9 months in prison, and ordered to pay £2,500 in compensation and £12,529 in costs.


Read this press release for more details.


Further information about gas safety can be found on our website.

Register for a free webinar: Hydrogen Safety – Achieving Safe Net Zero

female worker watches a live webinar

Hear HSE’s experts talk about our work demonstrating hydrogen’s potential to safely decarbonise and achieve net zero.

In the lead up to COP26 and the International Conference for Hydrogen Safety, HSE Research and Consultancy is hosting a free webinar entitled ‘Hydrogen Safety – Achieving Safe Net Zero’.


Learn how HSE’s science and research is helping society transit from small demonstration today, through to the full-scale deployment that will be required in the future.


To join us on 29 July at 10.30am (BST) register here.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) consultation 2021

HSE has launched a formal 4-week consultation exercise on amendments to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPER).

The aim of the consultation is to understand the impact on stakeholders and businesses of extending the scope of employers’ duties under the PPE Regulations to workers and not just employees.


The consultation is running until 15 August and can be accessed here

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