UKATA eMatters - November 2019
Welcome to the first digital edition of UKATA eMatters.
Welcome to the first digital edition of UKATA eMatters
Jacqui Royall, Editor in Chief
I am truly delighted to welcome you to our very first edition of UKATA eMatters, our new digital format. As we strive for a paperless and a more sustainable workplace, I hope you will agree with me that the new format is fantastic! The magazine will be accessible to many more readers, both within the asbestos sector and in our wider industry. Additionally we will be looking to increase the number of publications throughout the coming year.
As ever, this edition is packed with news, information and industry achievements. You can also read all about the teams attendance at key events over the last few months. I would like to thank the entire UKATA team for their dedication and enthusiasm, without which these events could not be the amazing success they are, both for the association and of course all of our members, who benefit from the publicity and the strength of the UKATA brand. We already have an action packed diary of events for next year including the Annual General Meeting and another round of regional meetings, where we hope to welcome as many members as we can to share ideas and gather vital feedback to further build on the positive momentum we are currently enjoying. Read more about upcoming events here.
I cannot believe that we have only five weeks to go until the festive break, but time does fly when you are having fun! Look out for our office opening times on our website. I would like to thank all our members for their continuing support of the association and look forward to writing my final welcome for 2019 in our forthcoming December eMatters.
It's congratulations once again as we are delighted to announce that UKATA were announced as finalist for the Innovation Award at the Derbyshire Times Business Excellence Awards further confirming something we already knew - we have a great association run by a dedicated team and with fantastic members - well done to all.
Save The Date
Upcoming events for members...
AGM & Asbestos Conference
2nd July 2020
Craig Evans, Chief Operating Officer
I am pleased to announce that the AGM & Asbestos Conference 2020 is set to take place at Jurys Inn East Midlands Airport, 2nd July 2020. Back by popular demand, we will also be holding a complimentary social event the night before.
The marketing department are already hard at work preparing for the event and liaising with a plethora of speakers. Each year the asbestos conference gets better and better, and 2020 will not disappoint.
With the final dates still to be confirmed, the regional meetings will be back again in Spring 2020.
As with the last round of regional meetings, four locations are planned:
- South East
The regional meetings give members the opportunity to network with other members as well as share knowledge and discuss ongoing developments at UKATA. We are also planning a short CPD seminar from a technical guest at each venue.
Members who have previously attended regional meetings will appreciate the value of such meetings and the actions created from these intended to benefit the association and its members.
Please save the AGM & Conference date in your diary! More information and booking forms will be sent out to members in due course.
Mates in Mind
Mental health support and guidance
Be a mate, be the change...
Mates in Mind is a registered UK charity raising awareness, addressing the stigma of poor mental health and promoting positive mental wellbeing across workplaces.
The charity helps to make sense of available options and support employers to address mental health within their workplace.
Mates in Mind works across industries, focusing on construction, as well as related sectors including transport, logistics, manufacturing and others.
"Together we can be the change needed to improve workplace mental health."
Mates in Mind
Mates in Mind aims to:
- Raise awareness and understanding of mental health and mental ill-health;
- Help people to understand how, when and where to get support;
- Break the silence and stigma through promoting cultures of positive wellbeing throughout the industry.
Mates in Mind has an ambitious goal – to reach 100,000 workers in the first year, and by 2025, they aim to have reached 75% of the construction industry.
HSE publish annual statistics on health and safety
The latest statistics show a slight decrease in mesothelioma death rates.
Health and safety at work summary statistics for Great Britain 2019
On 30 October 2019, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released the latest annual injury and ill-heath statistics, which includes asbestos related deaths.
The latest statistics report:
2,526 mesothelioma deaths in 2017, with a similar number of lung cancer deaths linked to past exposures to asbestos. Mesothelioma deaths have slightly decreased compared with 2,595 mesothelioma deaths in 2016.
517 deaths in 2017 mentioning asbestosis on the death certificate. Asbestosis deaths have slightly increased compared with 500 asbestos deaths in 2016.
These statistics still show that there are over 5,000 asbestos-related disease deaths per year currently, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
The latest figures are published on the ‘Library’ section of the UKATA website and also within the Members Hub under the ‘Communications’ section.
Contamination Expo 2019
UKATA exhibit at the Contam Expo, Birmingham
11 - 12 September 2019
200 market-leading experts exhibited at the Contam Expo
The exhibition which took place 11 - 12 September is recognised as Europe’s leading contamination and geotechnical event, attracting over 6,000 visitors throughout the two-day event.
Three of our long-standing UKATA members, Wayne Bagnall, Bradley Luff and Dr Simon Houghton were amongst over 120 speakers sharing their expertise and industry experience with like-minded contamination professionals. All seminars were CPD accredited and the feedback received by UKATA during and after the event has been extremely positive.
UKATA members, IOM Consulting; Bardon Environmental; SOCOTEC Asbestos and Franks Portlock Consulting also exhibited at the event, promoting their particular expertise within the contamination and geotechnical industry.
Lawrence Clack - Franks Portlock Consulting
UKATA Senior Management with IOM Consulting
Throughout 2019, IOM Consulting celebrated 50 years of occupational hygiene, laboratory and training services and the team were delighted to attend their 50th anniversary celebrations during the two-day event.
Wayne Bagnall (MBE) of Wayne Bagnall Consulting was invited as a keynote speaker representing UKATA and gave an excellent presentation on ‘Asbestos Packers in Reinforced Concrete’.
Wayne Bagnall - Keynote Theatre
Asbestos cement spacers in reinforced concrete (RC) were manufactured and installed up to the late 1970s to support steel reinforcing ensuring sufficient coverage of concrete. Wayne’s presentation included a case study on how these were identified, and the protocols developed for their safe removal as far as reasonably practicable.
Wayne also gave a further presentation in the UKATA theatre on the demolition of a reinforced concrete building in the 1970s.
Member, Bradley Luff of Elken Associates Ltd presented ‘Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail’ in the UKATA theatre.
Brad Luff - UKATA Theatre
Throughout his thirty-year career Bradley has often been concerned that during his various safety courses there has been a distinct lack of delegates from senior management and the planning/tendering sector.
His key message during the presentation was to emphasise the benefits of training at the planning stage where issues are simpler to resolve, rather than at the practical ‘hands on’ stage. He focussed on the failure to consider all foreseeable risks during the planning stage, especially regarding asbestos and subsequently having to deal with the often costly and time-consuming consequences.
The team also had the opportunity to attend a series of excellent CPD accredited asbestos related seminars in particular:
‘A New Future for Asbestos: Denaturisation Techniques’
Yvonne Waterman - European Asbestos Forum
Jasper Kosters and Yvonne Waterman from the European Asbestos Forum discussed what should happen to asbestos waste and the new science on permanent solutions that can make asbestos harmless, perhaps even useful once again.
‘From Magic Mineral to Prohibition: UK’s Partnership with Commonwealth Asbestos’
Dr Simon Houghton - Bardon Environmental
Dr Simon Houghton from Bardon Environmental Ltd spoke about the UK having had historical privileged access to Commonwealth mined asbestos fibre and the subsequent legacy which has resulted in the UK having the highest reported mesothelioma death rate.
Throughout the two-day event the team received both UK and international membership enquiries as well as Industry Associate interest.
Many visitors to the UKATA stand were interested in training and the team were busy dealing with enquiries throughout the entire event.
The senior team were particularly proud of apprentices Leonie Hibberd and Nathan Shaw, who spent one day each on the UKATA exhibition stand. The professionalism they demonstrated was outstanding and the experience gained has equipped them with confidence to assist with future events.
The Contamination Expo proved once again to be an extremely positive event for UKATA. Our partnership has already been secured for 2020 and we will of course be exhibiting to continue to raise the profile of the association for the benefit of the association and all members.
UKATA exhibit at the IOSH Conference, Birmingham
16 – 17 September 2019
IOSH Conference at the ICC Birmingham
16 – 17 September 2019
UKATA exhibited at the IOSH conference for the second year running. The ‘Take the Next Step’ global conference was an ideal opportunity for UKATA to promote collaborative working throughout the industry by networking with likeminded specialists such as BOHS and to hear the latest news from other safety and health professionals.
The HSE Chair, Martin Temple (CBE) delivered the opening address which focussed on three key areas: Leadership | the impact of ‘rules’ (blue tape) on the health and safety system | and the HSE’s long-term strategy.
Martin Temple (CBE) set the standard, as a succession of excellent seminars continued throughout the two-day event.
The team were particularly interested to hear the presentation by Simon Butt-Bethlendy, Public Relations Manager for IOSH, who is responsible for organising the campaign ‘No Time To Lose’. The campaign seeks to inform ‘hard to reach’ workers most at risk of exposure to carcinogens.
Simon spoke about the global fight to save lives from occupational cancer. Asbestos fibres, diesel fumes, and silica dust are just some of the substances linked to occupational cancer. Many sectors and countries have already stopped or limited exposures to hazardous substances, but Simon reiterated that more could be done by working together to better control exposure risks.
UKATA is committed to supporting to the IOSH award winning ‘No Time To Lose’ campaign.
Numerous seminars focussed on mental health and wellbeing. Head of Mental Health & Wellbeing for Acas, Abigail Hirshman presented their new positive framework for mental health. Workplace stress is on the increase and understanding how to improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is a critical part of health and safety at work.
Frank Gardner - BBC Security Correspondent, Journalist & Author
One of the highlights for the UKATA team was the presentation by motivational speaker Frank Gardner, journalist and author. Frank spoke about his personal story of survival and how having a positive mindset and determination helped him recover from his injuries. He shared the strategies he uses to cope with change and how this relates to the business world, calling for everyone to be sensitive to the needs of wheelchair users when considering health and safety. To ask, to listen and not to assume accessibility. He also talked about the challenges of global security and the potential impact this could have health and safety professionals within business.
Throughout the two-day event the UKATA team worked tirelessly to raise awareness of asbestos and further promote training on behalf of members. They were particularly delighted to greet UKATA member Adam Harding of ADM Training, who called at the exhibition stand to say hello. Many visitors were particularly interested in the UKATA approved Duty to Manage course and the team were able to direct enquiries to members who offer this training. Numerous visitors also enquired about international membership, which UKATA is keen to offer.
The IOSH conference was hailed a great success, with a special mention to many of the interesting speakers who shared their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of industry during seminars held throughout the two-day event.
However, sadly two very special speakers and friends, Mavis and Ray Nye were unable to attend due to illness. We are all thinking of you both and send our fondest regards.
Martin Temple - HSE Chair
Health & Safety North Exhibition
UKATA exhibit at Health & Safety North, Manchester
8 – 9 October 2019
HSM Knowledge Exchange
UKATA exhibited at the Health and Safety North
8 - 9 October 2019
The event, which was established in 2007, creates the opportunity for the health and safety community to find out about current issues, with possible answers for the future.
Over 2000 industry professionals attended throughout the two-day event, all having the opportunity to attend free Knowledge Exchange Seminars presented by leading industry speakers.
A panel of industry experts including UKATA director Gareth Jones took part in an interactive question and answer session on ‘Respiratory Protection and Face Fitting Guidance’.
UKATA Director - Gareth Jones addresses the HSM Knowledge Exchange
Supplying RPE without making sure it fits properly is a waste of money and can increase the risk of respiratory disorders. During this session the panel advised how to ensure the best fit for all faces and make sure RPE served its purpose.
The panel talked about the common pitfalls industry professionals frequently encounter, including not understanding the actual hazard or the potential effects of exposure. Establishing the risk at the outset, providing the appropriate protection and then ensuring correct fit is the key. The panel agreed these common themes still exist and need to be addressed quickly by educating employers and wearers alike.
The importance of engaging with the workforce was also discussed, as all too often the wearer isn’t consulted when choosing the type of RPE. Each wearer has a different fit, depending on skin type, face shape etc. The panel commented that industry tends to know what type of mask is required but didn’t always understand how to wear it correctly, or furthermore that any changes to the individual’s face would mean a further fit test.
Concern was also expressed that information was not always communicated from the contractor to the sub-contractor or that at times control measures were forgotten once the respirator was in place.
The importance of an effective RPE programme was discussed as the failure of any element would result in exposure for the wearer. It is understood that management has a responsibility to protect the wearer although equally the wearer must also be vigilant. The panel acknowledged that all too often a worker has a fit test because they ‘have to’ then once complete will go back to what they have ‘always done’. This kind of comment is a prime example of why education is so important, to understand the risks, latency periods and potential consequences of not wearing RPE correctly.
During a question and answer session, concern was expressed by some about the quality and price variation particularly of the most common disposable mask. The panel commented that choice was down to the employer although price generally reflected quality. Ideally, the employee should be able to choose their own mask within reason.
Another question was raised about the availability of a template RPE programme and action plan, as the individual was starting to draw up policies. Although these documents don’t exist as such, all the information required is in place and freely available from the HSE.
HSG53 is a good starting point.
A pertinent question was raised about a possible requirement for suppliers to prove fit testing is possible on a mask prior to being allowed to supply to industry. Although the speaker on the panel agreed this was an ongoing problem which is monitored to an extent, it is impossible to stop this trade and he could onimgly recommend referring to the BSIF or HSE if any substandard products enter the supply chain.
Finally, concern was raised by a member of the audience that he had witnessed workers using RPE in a social environment with other people just walking by, being potentially exposed. The panel confirmed that all the relevant plans and risk assessments should have been in place, a perfect example of the lack of education. It is all about education which is where the gap is at the moment, therefore perhaps it is time for wearers, employers and employees alike to champion the cause by telling the ‘tough’ stories.
"It's always great to see members exhibiting at these events, representing the asbestos industry in educational seminars, furthermore promoting UKATA approved training courses."
Craig Evans, Chief Operating Officer
Rachael Patan, Operations Director - 3B Training
Emma & Linda - Act Associates
Asbestos in the News
The latest asbestos news to hit the headlines
HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released its annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19 as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2017.
The provisional annual data for work-related fatal injuries revealed that 147 workers were fatally injured between April 2018 and March 2019 (a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 workers).
There has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981. Although 2018/19 saw an increase of 6 workplace fatalities from 2017/18, the number has remained broadly level in recent years.
"Today’s release of workplace fatality statistics is a reminder that despite the UK’s world leading position in health and safety, we cannot become complacent as we seek to fulfil our mission in preventing injury, ill health and death at work."
HSE Chair, Martin Temple
Mesothelioma, which is contracted through past exposure to asbestos and is one of the few work-related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, killed 2,523 in Great Britain in 2017- a broadly similar number to the previous five years. The current figures are largely a consequence of occupational asbestos exposures that occurred before 1980. Annual deaths are expected to remain broadly at current levels for the rest of the decade before beginning to reduce in number.
Restaurant Owner Fined After Disturbance of Asbestos
A restaurant owner has been fined after asbestos was disturbed during the conversion of rooms above the restaurant into flats.
The Magistrates’ Court heard that during September 2016, above the restaurant, asbestos insulation board was removed and broken up which resulted in workers being exposed to asbestos fibres. An asbestos survey was only carried out after the asbestos had been disturbed.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a management asbestos survey and a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey had not been completed prior to the work starting, and the work had not been completed by a licenced asbestos contractor.
The restaurant’s owner pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £6,293.
"Those in control of works have a responsibility to manage the risks from asbestos in non-domestic premises. To achieve this the duty holder must ensure that a suitable and sufficient assessment is carried out as to whether asbestos is or is liable to be present in the premises."
HSE Inspector speaking after the hearing
Company fined following multiple safety failings on construction site
A construction company has been fined after failing to ensure the safety and welfare of workers on site during the renovation of a property.
The Magistrates’ Court heard how, between 12 December 2015 and 14 June 2018, a construction company put its workers at serious risk of personal injury or death at a construction site in Blackpool. The company failed to prevent risks from falls from height, exposure to asbestos and dangerous electrical systems. There were no suitable welfare facilities and no measures to prevent fire on site.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that workers on site had carried out work in an unsafe manner without the appropriate measures in place to ensure their health, safety and welfare. The employees and contractors on site did not have the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience to complete the work. The construction company failed to comply with their duty as principal contractor to plan, manage and monitor the work being carried out on site.
The construction company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,860.
"These risks could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards."
HSE Inspector speaking after the hearing
The latest news and updates from our Members
“Ironman” Conquers Colossal Triathlon for Charity
A huge congratulations to one of Essential Site Skills founding directors, Gareth Davies, for completing the Ironman Wales triathlon on 15th September. Gareth completed all 140 miles of the challenge in an incredible 15 hours, raising over £1100 for mesothelioma thus far to support charity, the Mavis Nye Foundation, in the process.
This has been a long and hard journey for Gareth. In order to complete this herculean task, he has undergone months of arduous training, but it has all been worth it to support a cause close to his heart. He hopes that this achievement will raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and mesothelioma and provide vital funds to help support victims of the disease.
Ironman Wales is regarded as one of the toughest endurance races in the world with a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run all in one gruelling day of competition. Starting at Tenby's North Beach at 7:12am in the morning, Gareth finished in the top 1,500 of racers, coming 250th in his age category.
The money raised will help support the Mavis Nye Foundation to begin a range of different grants aiding those affected by the disease and furthering research into prevention and treatment of the condition. They aim to provide financial grants to aid newly diagnosed victims of mesothelioma, along with grants for research labs to pursue the development of new drugs and supporting young university students to become mesothelioma doctors.
Well Done Gareth 👏
Once he got his breath back, Gareth said it was a hugely rewarding experience, with a brilliant atmosphere on the day and a great sense of accomplishment. He is incredibly proud of the money he has raised for this important cause and would like to thank everyone that sponsored and supported him.
Well done Gareth!
If Gareth's remarkable feat has inspired you to support the Mavis Nye Foundation you can still sponsor him via the link below.
3B Training Raise Over £6000 for Mental Health Charity
UKATA member 3B Training, gathered local companies together for their “Let’s Talk Charity Ball” to raise awareness and support for workplace mental health charity, Mates in Mind.
The event took place at local sporting venue Leigh Sports Village Friday 18 October and raised £6,214.57 for the charity. The night consisted of dinner, entertainment, raffle and a charity auction as well as various speakers.
The evenings guest speakers highlighted the poignant purpose of the event which was to address the stigma of poor mental health to promote positive mental wellbeing.
3B Charity Ball 2019
3B Training’s Managing Director, Mat Bewley spoke about his personal struggles with mental health and the importance of a strong support network. Neal Levstone spoke on behalf of Mates in Mind to introduce the charity and the great work they do. Justin Manley was the final guest speaker who told his personal story about a near-death, life-changing injury he suffered following an accident while working in construction and the mental health struggle that followed. After the event, Mat Bewley said:
"We’re extremely proud of how our first charity ball went and we’re really pleased that we raised £6,214.57 and awareness for Mates in Mind.
We deliver regular training and talks on the topic of mental health, but we felt we could do more which is why we decided to organise the ball. We want to continue to raise awareness that it’s OK to speak out and seek help if you’re struggling."
To find out more about Mates in Mind visit www.matesinmind.org.
Ensafe crowned 'Employer of the Year'
Ensafe is proud to announce that they have recently been crowned Employer of The Year at the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards! After providing their quality services for nearly a quarter-century and throughout that time working to nurture and develop their staff, it is great to see that their efforts as a company are now being recognised and as such rewarded.
The award which was both judged and presented by chartered accountants Ellacotts, stated
"Ensafe were worthy winners because of the passion and enthusiasm that shone through from a cross-section of people from within the business. They were very clear on the vision and values for the business, and we were impressed by their employee engagement survey."
Ellacotts, Chartered Accountants
This achievement has come at the perfect time for the company as they are in the midst of a period of exponential growth with the recent procurement of two new regional offices, one in Ripponden, West Yorkshire and another in the Republic of Ireland.
They credit the addition of these two new premises to the hard work and dedication of their employees and the work that has been put into business development strategies which have allowed Ensafe to take on new high-value projects within these regions of the UK.
Such efforts have had a positive impact on the company and through an increased emphasis on developing the business along with its people has ultimately facilitated the attainment of their new title as ‘Employer of the Year’ amongst businesses in Northamptonshire.
Ensafe is overjoyed with this achievement and hope to continue their success at future award ceremonies across the country!
Ensafe crowned 'Employer of the Year'