Latest News

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.


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.


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


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.


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:

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


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.


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

Posted 1st June 2018

Waste plastic is one of the most valuable resources if recycle in a proper way
Waste plastic can be classified and shredded to remake plastic, produce fuel for plant and generate electricity for power plant, etc.
Waste plastic shredding is a critical step to manage various kinds of waste plastic, it helps to reduce the space of storing the bulky waste plastic, lower the transportation cost in the meantime, minor plastic granulates is good for the further waste plastic management.

Plastic bottles shredder in plastic bottles recycling As one of the biggest countries of plastic consumption, China used to import most of the recyclable waste and recycled them. With the development of economic and the awareness of protecting environment, China government issued a ban of importing foreign waste in July of 2017, which came into force at the end of 2017. The ban list includes waste plastic, unsorted waste paper, waste textile raw ... read more>>
Feb. 8, 2018
By Harden Shredder Machinery Ltd.

PMA Show to host first-look at new plastic and packaging shredder
UNTHA UK is set to unveil its new packaging, pallet and plastics shredder, at the PPMA Show this September. The three day event at the NEC will provide visitors with a UK first-look at the manufacturer's latest engineering innovation - the QR series. The high ... read more>>
Jun. 23, 2017

Plastic shredder supports new processing line at Indigo Environmental
Plastic recycling specialist Indigo Environmental has invested in a new UNTHA RS40 shredder to boost its processing capabilities of this problematic waste. Handling four tonnes of material per day, the four-shaft machine with ram-assisted hopper is transforming bulky and oversize plastics - including 240 litre wheelie bins, 205 litre HDPE drums and LDPE buckets - into a Passionate ... read more>>


STOP!! Update your consent before 23 May

Posted 1st May 2018

Under the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you need to give your consent if you want to continue to receive any regular information from companies, web sites, associations, etc.


ISO 45001 - What to expect from the new Standard

Posted 1st April 2018

What does an OH&S Management System do?

Poor Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) management can have a negative effect on any business. It can result in higher insurance premiums, the loss of key personnel, regulatory action, reputational damage, business interruption and the loss of customers.

Introduced in 1999 by the British Standards Institute (BSI), the OHSAS 18001 standard was one of the only true internationally recognised documents, alongside the ILO Guidelines on OSH Management Systems (ILO-OSH 2001).

OHSAS 18001 is renowned for its ability to improve Health and Safety in the workplace, not just for staff but for customers too, having helped more than 900,000 organisations worldwide to reduce risks, improve staff morale and save money.

Why do businesses need the new ISO 45001 standard?

With more than 40 versions of the OHSAS 18001 standard used worldwide today, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has decided, like with many previous national standards, to create one, universally adaptable standard that will incorporate and supersede all those former standards. This new standard has been named ISO 45001.

ISO 45001 has been developed so that OHS Management can be more easily aligned with the management system approaches adopted by other ISO management system standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 - which both underwent upgrades in September 2015.

The new ISO 45001 standard enjoyed input from a number of safety practitioner bodies including the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

What are the differences between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 will follow the same Annex SL structure that is used in standards like ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 27001, making system integration much easier for certified businesses. The Annex SL structure will use common text throughout and will also cover the following:

  • Context of the organisation
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operations
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement

A lot of the requirements of the new standard will be similar to those within OHSAS 18001, so organisations already certified to OHSAS 18001 should find switching to the new standard fairly straight forward.

The new standard offers a slightly different definition of the terms 'Risk', 'Worker' and 'Workplace', as well as introducing new concepts, for example:

  • Context of the organisation - This will identify the external and internal factors affecting the organisation in order to prepare the foundation for the effective management of risk.
  • Leadership - This will require that top management takes full ownership of, and responsibility for, OHS management and that effective controls are put in place.
  • Management of change - This will ensure that the organisation effectively plans and manages changes to the OH&S management system in order to avoid any deterioration in performance.

When can we expect to see the new ISO 45001 standard?

Final publication of ISO 45001 is due in October 2016.

According to the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, there are 860 000 occupational accidents every day and the direct or indirect cost of occupational illness and accidents at work is estimated to be approximately GBP 1.8 Trillion, worldwide. By introducing the new international standard for OHS Management it is believed that this could help to save more lives, reduce accidents further and improve employee morale around the world.

To find out more about OHSAS 18001, ISO 45001 or how you could achieve certification; contact QMS today at or 0333 344 3646.


UK Overestimates plastics recycling by one-third

Posted 1st March 2018

The UK is significantly underestimating the amount of plastics packaging waste produced across the country, according to new research.

Researchers claim the UK may have failed to meet its EU plastic packaging recycling targets in each year from 2008-12

The latest Defra figures claim that UK businesses and households produced 2.26 million tonnes of plastics packaging waste in 2015. But research from waste consultancy Eunomia finds that this number reflects the amount of plastic packaging placed on the market by producers, and that the real amount is much higher - around 3.5 million tonnes.

The real recycling rate in 2015 was not 39% as claimed in official data, but somewhere between 23%-29%. As such, the UK may have failed to meet its EU plastic packaging recycling targets in each year from 2008-12.

This is because the quantity reported as recycled often reflects the measurement of waste which includes moisture and other contaminants but the amount that companies say they produce is reported when it is clean, dry and free from extraneous material and contaminants.

Failing system

Researchers also take aim at the producer responsibility system, which create a legal obligation for packaging producers to ensure that a proportion of their marketed products are recovered and recycled. Businesses can show evidence of their compliance by purchasing Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs).

For the UK, this cost is around €20/tonne, but other European nations have an average for producer responsibility at around €150/tonne. PROs from UK businesses currently contribute to just 10% of the cost of waste disposal, with taxpayers paying the remaining 90%. Official recycling statistics were conducted for Defra by the UK's largest compliance scheme, Valpak.

A lower figure also reduces the amount of material that needs to be recycled in order to meet the targets, researchers claim, keeping down the costs of compliance to industry. "The scheme supports the reporting of compliance at low cost, rather than achieving high quality recycling of plastic packaging. The disparities between datasets indicate that the existing scheme gives a weak foundation on which to base the recycling figures."


Winter driving: the importance of road safety policies

Posted 1st February 2018

Fleet managers and business owners are being called upon to ensure they have a robust road safety policy for winter driving.

The call comes after the recent poor weather conditions in the UK, which left many employees stranded at home, unable to travel, or broken down in an attempt to get to work in the hazardous conditions.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises business owners and employers that health and safety law applies to on-the-road work activities and the risks should be effectively managed within a health and safety system.

Stuart Thomas, Director of Fleet and SME services at the AA, said:
"Company car drivers are 49% more likely to be involved in an accident than ordinary drivers, even when higher mileages are considered. Businesses need to ensure all risks to their employees are minimised and that they are not putting themselves, or other road users, in jeopardy.

"Ensure your road safety policy covers every issue your drivers could face, from prohibiting alcohol and drug use while driving, to driver behaviour and self-care behind the wheel. By including these measures, fleets and businesses can easily improve their employees' safety and efficiency in 2018, and beyond.

"Additionally, any policy should include information on electric vehicles usage, with two-thirds of fleets expected to run their vehicles on alternative fuels in just five years' time."

Further guidance on work-related road safety, including what the law says and practical measures employers should take, is available on the HSE website.


The top five things employers should be aware of for 2018

Posted 1st January 2018

  1. 1. Data protection. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in May 2018. Billed as the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years, after four years of preparation and debate the GDPR was finally approved by the EU Parliament on 14 April 2016 and will be directly application in all member states from May 2018 - at which time those not complying will face heavy fines. Click here to read some key takeaways employers should be doing to make sure they comply.
  2. 2. The Gender Pay Gap. From 5 April, firms with at least 250 employees must reveal data about the differences in pay between men and women in their workforce. The European Commission is stepping up its efforts to reduce the pay gap, backed by the UK's Women's Business Council.
  3. 3. From 1 April, landlords must upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties to band E or better, meaning it will be unlawful to rent out a property which breaches this minimum rating, so properties that fall in the less efficient 'F' or 'G' category will no longer be acceptable.
  4. 4. The minimum wage will continue to increase, rising from £7.50 to £7.83. Workers between the ages of 21 and 24 will see their pay rise from £7.05 to £7.38, wages will rise from £5.60 to £5.90 for 18-20 year olds, from £4.05 to £4.20 for 16-17 year olds, and from £3.50 to £3.70 for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship. The Living Wage will undoubtedly continue to gain prominence amongst companies wanting to be seen as responsible employers.
  5. 5. Employment Tribunal applications will most likely rise, since the Supreme Court ruled that it was unlawful for the Government to impose fees to those wishing to take their employer to Tribunal. With the knowledge that some sort of fees will be applied in due course, it is probable that employers will start to see a short-term rise in retrospective applications, and new applications, since the 79% dip in applications in the last three years.