Stress in the NHS
NHS Trusts will receive new help to tackle work related stress; the HSE claim that one in five workers are either “very” or “extremely” stressed. The HSE has produced guidance for the NHS containing six management standards identifying major risk factors. These are: demands, control, support, relationships, role and change. From July 2006 the HSE are running workshops for senior human resources managers in the NHS to explain the issues and what actions they can take. Before introducing changes, Trusts are being encouraged to conduct a survey of staff to identify ways of reducing stress-related problems.
See www.hse.gov.uk/stress for full details of the management standards.
Health and Safety at Work magazine for December 2005 describes how about 3,500 new cases of occupational asthma occur each year in Britain according to the British Occupational Health Research Foundation; and between nine and 15 per cent of cases of asthma in adults involve occupational factors. The HSE aim to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in occupation asthma by 2010.
The Engineering Employers Federation has adopted “Asthma at Work – Your Charter” launched in September 2005 supported by a coalition of employers. It calls for employers to protect employees from the triggers and from substances that might cause people to develop asthma.
Vinyl chloride monomer
A report by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council reviews the conditions of Reynaud’s phenomenon, scleroderma and osteolysis, and the relationship between these conditions and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) exposed workers. At present, all three conditions must occur together for workers to be eligible for prescription as an industrial disease. The report recommends that the prescription should be amended so that the three conditions are all prescribed independently.
The report has been issued by the Department for Work and Pension, Command Paper 6645.