Breaches in Health and Safety have made the headlines recently, from violations in Food Safety to broader issues of Health and safety of the public, shedding some light onto the failures in health and safety practices that have an impact on our daily lives.
Food Safety Violations
The Journal.ie recently gave the public some insight into the real reason why Irish food businesses were closed down in 2016. 62 restaurants and take-aways in Ireland were shut down last year for a variety of different reasons.
“Once a month, the FSAI releases a list of those businesses that have failed their inspections, and have been temporarily closed as a result. The reasons are, as a rule, not divulged. Under Freedom of Information legislation however, TheJournal.ie has seen documentation of every closure order issued in 2016”. Making the truth behind food business closures public knowledge.
In many cases we were told such closures were minor e.g. plumbing issues. However the reality was much worse, closures resulted from the following; presence of live rodents, rat droppings, cockroach infestations, raw sewage in food preparation areas, maggots in waste areas, mouldy and congealed food in fridges, storage areas used as a bedroom, the list goes on.
It makes you think, what are our local restaurants and take-aways hiding from us? Is the food we are eating safe?
How Safe Are Our Beaches?
The Journal.ie also reported recently on the reasons why 6 Irish beaches have failed a quality test, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report for 2016 found that 93% of Ireland’s bathing waters met minimum EU standards.
6 beaches failed to meet the minimum standard, the beaches were given a “Poor” rating from the EPA for a variety of reasons, “High bacteria levels, wastewater pollution, sewage, faeces and the presence of E.coli are among the reasons the beaches failed to meet standards”
It is concerning to have to question whether it is safe to go for a swim anymore, while only 6 failed, “10 bathing areas (7.1%) were classified as being of ‘Sufficient’ water quality. but remain at risk of episodic pollution events.”.
Public Safety Hazard
The Mirror reported that a vehicle in a convoy carrying nuclear warheads broke down in the middle of a motorway in the UK, sparking fears for public safety.
The convoy was travelling on the M40 between Birmingham and London when they were forced to come to a stop with weapons on board, weapons which boast a blast range of 600m. The breakdown happened to an escort vehicle rather than the warhead carrier trucks themselves, yet there is a clear possibility that this could happen to any vehicle.
“After all there have been 180 incidents involving the convoys in the period 2000 to 2016. The UK’s Ministry of Defence is allowed to carry explosive and radioactive materials in the same transport – a procedure rationally outlawed for civil transport”
The Minister of Defence (MoD) told the Mail last year “The transport of defence nuclear material is carried out to the highest standard in accordance with stringent safety regulations…The transportation of defence nuclear material is kept to the minimum required to support operational requirements.”
All in all the transportation of such weapons on public roads shows a disregard for public safety, taking second place to supporting “operational requirements”. It is only a matter of time before a serious incident involving these convoys occurs. A thorough risk assessment and analysis is needed.
Do not neglect Health and Safety! Ensure your business follows safe and correct Health and Safety policies and procedures, contact us today for more information on our range of Health and Safety courses, fully certified and compliant with HSA guidelines.
Dulann is a provider of technology-enabled learning solutions for many of the world’s leading organisations. Services include Product & Process Simulations, Contractor Inductions & Employee Onboarding, Mandatory & Commercial Training, Contractor Management & Learning Management Systems.