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Deafness link to high-volume appliances

March 2013 saw the introduction of a volume safety limit for new portable music players such as iPods. New mobile phones and portable music players sold within the EU must now have a sound limit of 85 Decibels (dB). This is above the 80 dB which is regarded as the safe limit. This is similar to the volume of noise created by the noise of traffic or someone shouting. The 80dB limit was determined by the European Commission Assessment which concluded that 80dB was a safe level regardless of the length of time people were exposed to sound at this level.

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Contractor prosecuted after workers put at risk

An Edgware contractor has been fined after the routine inspection of a construction site discovered dangerous working conditions.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspectors saw contractors working some three metres above ground without measures in place to prevent them from falling. A Prohibition Notice was immediately served on the Principal Contractor, preventing further work at height until adequate safeguards were in place.

In a prosecution brought by HSE, Chelmsford Magistrates' Court heard that a follow-up inspection of the site later the same day, found working at height was still continuing, but no measures had been taken to comply with the Prohibition Notice.

The contractor pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,000, and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector, David King, said:

"Last year 50 construction workers died following incidents on sites, with work at height being the largest factor in this. Therefore it is essential that everybody involved in the construction industry takes appropriate action to manage work at height safely, and other major hazards on their site, to prevent needless injury and loss of life."

http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-e-86.htm

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Workplace deaths underestimated by 800%

The government has been accused of hiding behind statistics, as workplace deaths are underestimated by more than 800%, trade union Unite has said.

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