Latest News

Government announce new regulations after Grenfell fire

Posted 1st February 2019

The Government has said there will be "no hiding place" for builders who fail to protect high-rise residents, as plans to overhaul regulations are revealed following the Grenfell tragedy which killed 72 people last year.

A "radically-new system" would be the best tribute for the victims of the fire and that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will establish "stronger sanctions to prevent and punish wrongdoing".

This follows recommendations by Dame Judith Hackitt from her report in May, which she found that indifference and ignorance led to a race to the bottom in building safety practices.

Before the fire, a cladding system using highly flammable rainscreen panels had been installed on the block. In September the Government banned the use of combustible cladding on new high-rise homes, which is due to come into force this week, 18 months after the fire.

The Government have committed to reforming four key areas:

They are set to work with firms and tenants to trial more rigorous ways of monitoring developers, contractors and landlords, with an emphasis on public safety. Successful approaches will then contribute to fresh legislation to tighten-up building regulations which will include more punitive sanctions for those who disregard regulations.

Campaign group Grenfell United called it a "long overdue shake up" of the industry but warned against urgent changes being forgotten about and not prioritised.

They stated "we must be vigilant to ensure Government industry, that so badly failed us, do not water down these changes".

"Resident voices must be given weight and Parliament must keep a watchful eye on progress".

The new regulatory framework will apply to multi-occupancy buildings of at least ten storeys, with a consultation in Spring 2019 on whether additional buildings should be included.

The Government will also consult on proposals to create dutyholders, who will ensure resident safety in each stage of building development and strengthen accountability. Their responsibilities will be determined by regulations that would require gateways at key stages, to demonstrate they are actively managing safety risks.

A Standards Committee will be established to advise on construction product and system standards, as well as a Joint Regulators Group that will consist of bodies like the Health and Safety Executive, the Local Government Association (LGA), fire and rescue authorities and local authorities.

The LGA has welcomed the Governments commitment to implement the recommendations and where necessary go beyond them, as they have with the use of combustible materials. "The tragedy at Grenfell Tower must never be allowed to happen again and we look forward to working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to make sure the new system of building regulations work".

Brokenshire pushes for a culture change and confirms "by making people responsible and more accountable for safety, we will create a more rigorous system so residents will always have peace of mind that they are safe in their own homes".

For more information on this subject, see:
Building Regulations SI 2010/2214;
Building (Amendment) Regulations SI 2018/1230

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Sentencing guidelines for manslaughter introduced

Posted 1st December 2018

Sentencing guidelines for manslaughter came into force in courts on 1 November 2018. This is the first time that comprehensive guidelines have been drawn up for these very serious and difficult cases, which could range from an unintended death resulting from an assault, to a workplace fatality caused by a negligent employer.

The serious nature of manslaughter, combined with the great variation in cases, and the fact that cases do not come before individual judges very frequently, means the introduction of guidelines will be particularly useful in promoting consistency in sentencing and transparency in terms of how sentencing decisions are reached.

Overall, the guideline is unlikely to change sentence levels, but it is expected that in some gross negligence cases, sentences will increase. This could be in situations where, for example, an employer's long-standing and serious disregard for the safety of employees, motivated by cost-cutting, has led to someone being killed. Formerly, sentencing practice in these sorts of cases has been lower in the context of overall sentence levels for manslaughter than for other types.

The types of manslaughter covered by the guideline are:

Unlawful Act manslaughter - this is the most commonly prosecuted form of manslaughter and includes deaths that result from assaults where there was no intention to kill or cause very serious harm. It can vary greatly. For example, it could involve a situation where two friends briefly argue and one pushes the other, causing him to fall and hit his head with fatal results. It could involve someone going out looking for a fight and attacking someone forcefully but not intending to kill. It could also include unintended deaths that result from other crimes, such as arson or robbery. One hundred and five offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Gross negligence manslaughter - this occurs when the offender is in breach of a duty of care towards the victim which causes the death of the victim and amounts to a criminal act or omission. The circumstances vary greatly. In a domestic setting it could include parents or carers who fail to protect a child from an obvious danger. In a work setting, it could cover employers who completely disregard the safety of employees. Ten offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Manslaughter by reason of loss of control - this arises if the actions of an offender, who would otherwise be guilty of murder, resulted from a loss of self-control, for example arising from a fear of serious violence. Twelve offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility - someone guilty of this offence would have been suffering from a recognised mental condition that affected their responsibility at the time of the offence, without which they would have been convicted of murder. Twenty-six offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

The guideline ensures comprehensive guidance where previously it was very limited. Until now, there has been a guideline only for corporate manslaughter, which comes under the Council's health and safety offences guideline, and a guideline by the Council's predecessor body for manslaughter by reason of provocation, which is now out of date following legislative changes to the partial defences to murder.

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John Lewis and Waitrose pledge to power entire delivery fleet with bio-methane by 2028

Posted 1st November 2018

EXCLUSIVE: The John Lewis Partnership, which operates the John Lewis and Waitrose retailers, will convert its 500-strong fleet of diesel delivery trucks to be powered by bio-methane by 2028, as part of a new commitment published on edie's Mission Possible Pledge Wall today (16 October).


The new bio-methane commitment has been posted on edie's Mission Possible Pledge Wall, joining pledges made by 49 other businesses.

John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners will convert their combined fleet of diesel lorries into vehicles powered by clean bio-methane over the next 10 years, according to the new pledge.

The transition will reduce fleet emissions by more than 80% and save more than 49,000 tonnes of CO2 annually - equivalent to the carbon footprint of more than 6,000 UK households.

John Lewis and Waitrose have together been early adopters of transport fuelled by compressed natural gas (CNG) and the duo is currently exploring the economic and environmental benefits of switching from diesel to the low-carbon bio-methane fuel.

"Five bio-methane trucks produce the same emissions as one diesel lorry and they are also much quieter, helping reduce not only greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution but also noise pollution in our cities."

Lifetime savings

Renewable bio-methane CNG can be up to 30% to 40% cheaper than diesel and can typically cut CO2 emissions by 85% as a result. Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) such as the fleet trucks used by retailers haven't benefitted from the electrification of the transport sector and alternative fuels are therefore desirable to help lower emissions.

Waitrose currently operates 49 dedicated CNG trucks - some of which have a range of more than 500 miles - with nine more set to enter service later this year. Both John Lewis and Waitrose expect the trials to create lower running costs that will generate between £75,000 to £100,000 in lifetime savings per truck, compared with a diesel equivalent.

The new commitment was made by the John Lewis Partnership as part of the UK Government's first Green GB Week (15-19 October), designed to raise awareness of the benefits of clean growth.

As the official media partner of Green GB Week, edie has been working closely with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to encourage businesses to step up their ambitions and submit new sustainability commitments through the online Mission Possible Pledge Wall.

John Lewis is one of 50 companies that now feature on the Pledge Wall, joining the likes of Amazon, Deloitte, Kingfisher, Royal Mail and HSBC.

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Accident book updated

Posted 1st October 2018

A third edition of the standard accident book, BI 510, has been published to account for the changes brought about by GDPR.

Although the accident book has been changed to reference GDPR compliance, the previous edition is still valid to use and will remain compliant.

However, it is advised that all health and safety officers, representatives, committees and anyone else responsible for health and safety in the workplace familiarise themselves with the implications of GRPR on the retention of personal details through the accident book.

For more information, see:
Regulation (EU) 679/2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (GDPR). Please click here to visit this website

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Greene King phases out plastic straws in favour of compostable alternative

Posted 1st September 2018

Pub chain Greene King has announced that it will stock compostable straws across its entire portfolio of 1,750 UK pubs as it strives to meet a commitment of sending zero waste to landfill by 2020.



The new straws, which will be introduced across the chain's estate by the end of the year, are made from PLA - a plant-based material deriving from sugar cane and corn starch. Greene King claims that the material typically decomposes within a 12-week period.

Once the straws are introduced, they will be separated at pub level and taken back through Greene King's supply chain for composting at a commercial composting facility. The company estimates that this method of disposal will remove 30 million pieces of single-use plastic from its waste output each year.

The move forms part of the chain's pledge to become the first UK brewer to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill across its estate, with a target date set for 2020. Since setting the aim last year following a partnership with waste management company SWR, Greene King has diverted 98% of waste away from landfill rate.

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ACAS issues hot weather tips for employers during heatwave

Posted 1st August 2018

ACAS has offered some top tips to help employers manage workplace challenges caused by the hot weather. "Our advice offers some top tips for employers to help ensure their businesses remain productive during the heatwave whilst keeping staff happy too."

ACAS' top tips for hot weather working include:

Workplace temperatures should be reasonable. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advise that the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings must be reasonable. The HSE offers advice on how to carry out a thermal comfort risk assessment if staff are unhappy with the temperature: www.hse.gov.uk

Keeping cool at work. Switch on any fans or air conditioners to keep workplaces comfortable and use blinds or curtains to block out sunlight. Staff working outside should wear appropriate clothes and use sunscreen to protect from sunburn.

Stay hydrated. Employers must provide staff with suitable drinking water in the workplace. Workers should drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and not wait until they are thirsty.

Dress code. Employers are not under any obligation to relax their uniform or dress code requirements during hot weather but where possible it may be advisable for employers to relax the rules for wearing ties or suits.

Getting into work. If public transport gets adversely affected by the hot weather, this could affect staff attendance and their ability to get into work on time. Staff should check timetables in advance.

Vulnerable workers. Some workers may be more adversely affected by the hot weather, such as the elderly, pregnant women or those on medication. Employers may wish to give them more frequent rest breaks and ensure ventilation is adequate by providing fans or portable air cooling units.

"Certain workers may be adversely affected by the extreme heat such as pregnant women and elderly employees. The heat can impact public transport too, which can affect employees commuting into work.

ACAS' full hot weather guidance is available at www.acas.org.uk

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Latest News

Plastic shredder News!!
"Waste Plastic Shredder for plastic recycling and plastic remake"

Posted 1st July 2018

Home improvement retail giant Kingfisher has unveiled its first UK net-zero energy store, which brings together solar panels, battery storage and air source heat pumps to power operations.

The Screwfix Peterborough store marks the first time Kingfisher has used solar panels or air source pumps together with battery storage to power operations around the clock. They will generate as much power as it uses and pass surplus energy back to the grid.

Power at the site is generated by the solar panels during the day, and excess energy used to charge the batteries which power the store in the evening. The air source heat pump has replaced gas and electric heating to heat the store more efficiently. A "huge milestone" in the company's overall goal to become a net-positive business. creating very low-carbon stores, and this approach is informing our next phase of investment in energy projects for the near future.

Sustainable growth

Kingfisher last month revealed its new sustainable growth plan, with a headline goal of achieving 50% of the group's sales by 2020 from products that "actively make customers' homes more sustainable" - such as LED lighting, insulation and low-flow taps. By achieving its headline target, its customers will be able to halve their own energy use and improve their water efficiency by 50% within the next seven years.

The sustainable growth plan sets goals for 2025 and will run alongside Kingfisher's Net Positive sustainability plan, which incorporates 50 specific targets for 2050, including making every Kingfisher store and customer home zero carbon at least.

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