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A new Channel 4 documentary, The Truth about Temu, that revealed that safety products for sale on the Temu app had fake safety certificates and were unfit for purpose is part of a much larger problem of substandard Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) flooding the UK market, according to the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF). 

In the Dispatches documentary, reporter Ellie Flynn reveals that some equipment advertised on the platform — which surpassed 46 million downloads in April 2024, making it more popular than Amazon’s marketplace app — doesn’t perform as advertised and falsely claims to have safety certifications from reputable organisations.

One notable instance involved two pairs of pliers, being sold as having electrical insulation properties, that were advertised as being certified by VDE, an established electrical product tester and certifier. However, VDE’s Hendrick Schäfer confirmed that these tools had not been certified by the institute. Flynn discovered that the product listings featured altered photos of genuine safety certificates, with the name of the Temu merchant superimposed over the original certificate holder’s name. Schäfer explained that if the certification is not correct: “The insulation of these handheld tools is maybe not properly done and the result could be an electric shock and in the worst case, electric shock could lead to death.”

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has long warned about the widespread availability of substandard PPE and safety equipment offered for sale in the UK and the serious threat this poses to users. The BSIF’s own investigations, spanning from December 2022 to December 2023, found that a staggering 79% of PPE items sourced from non-member companies from a range of vendors including online marketplace and high street retailers failed to meet basic safety standards.

Examples of these failures are alarming. A flame-retardant parka purchased from an online retailer failed flame spread testing, burning through its outer layer and igniting the inner layer. Additionally, safety glasses from a high street retailer failed impact resistance tests and lacked essential safety documentation. Despite the retailer’s assurances that this would be addressed, these glasses remained on sale for over two months after the failure was identified.

In response to the certification issues raised by Flynn, Temu told Dispatches: “We do not allow forgeries and will take action against any sellers involved if such cases are found.”

These issues underline the critical importance of sourcing PPE from verified and competent suppliers. The BSIF advocates for the use of their Registered Safety Supplier Scheme, which ensures that products are fit for purpose and meet regulatory standards. This scheme has a compliance rate of 91% during BSIF testing, with any shortcomings swiftly rectified.

“Unfortunately, the findings of the Channel 4 investigation are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the availability of substandard safety products in the UK,” says BSIF CEO Alan Murray. “A growing body of evidence shows there is an alarming volume of substandard PPE and safety products for sale and to the untrained eye it can be difficult to tell one from another. We encourage anyone buying safety products to look for the BSIF Shield for reassurance that your supplier is committed to only providing products that are fit for purpose.”

Find a Registered Safety Supplier at: https://www.registeredsafetysupplierscheme.co.uk/

Deal enables major North American midstream company to expand safety protection for all its nearly 2,000 workers

Calgary, Canada — June 5, 2024 Blackline Safety Corp. (TSX: BLN), a global leader in connected safety technology, today announced is largest contract to date – an $8.5 million deal to protect 1,025 workers at a major North American midstream company.

The contract expands the company’s original $3.5 million deal with Blackline – announced in September 2023 — to protect more than 850 workers. Combined with the previous deal, Blackline devices now protect all of the company’s nearly 2,000 field and site workers.

The midstream company purchased 1,025 G7 wearable gas-detection and lone worker devices, along with monitoring services. It also purchased 753 G7 Bridges to keep workers connected in remote areas via satellite.

Prior to the first deal, the midstream company performed a comprehensive review of all available gas detection and lone worker devices, and Blackline came out on top. The G7’s ability to tell them immediately when and where someone needs help — even in confined spaces and remote locations with no cellular signal — sealed the deal and the company moved to standardize on Blackline across their organization.  

“We’re thrilled Blackline has become the preferred safety tech provider for this major midstream customer,” said Sean Stinson, Blackline Safety President and Chief Growth Officer. “Our devices are unique in the market — no other gas detection company provides real-time connectivity even in remote areas. Workers are never alone when they have Blackline at their side.”

The award-winning wearable G7 — with features such as SOS latch, fall and no motion detection, and real-time connectivity — provides a critical lifeline in case of emergency. When pairing G7x devices with G7 Bridge, which provides satellite connectivity in remote areas or regions with poor cellular connectivity, even the most remote workers are connected in real-time.

This announcement is the largest in Blackline’s history, topping the $7.8 million utility industry announcement made in late 2021. These large, enterprise deals demonstrate the depth of Blackline’s market acceptance across a variety of verticals as customers around the world realize the value of Blackline’s life-saving technology.  

In anticipation of a UK General Election expected this year, the British Safety Council has published a manifesto containing policies aimed at supporting better productivity and growth, as well as ensuring a healthier, safer, and happier workforce.

The UK lost an estimated 32.5 million days to work-related ill-health and non-fatal workplace injuries in 2022/2023, with sickness and illness at a 10-year high, costing businesses and the economy up to £77.5 billion annually. Poor mental health is also estimated to cost UK taxpayers around £45 billion each year.

Marking 50 years since the landmark Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), the British Safety Council is calling on all political parties and representatives to “commit to making the next 50 years the safest in our nation’s history”. Its ‘Manifesto on Health, Safety and Wellbeing’ outlines seven key calls across four policy areas: regulation; wellbeing; technology and the future of work; and skills.

The British Safety Council’s requests to a future UK Government include:

  • A dedicated Ministerial portfolio responsible for wellbeing, which would also hold cross-governmental responsibility for the development and implementation of a National Wellbeing Strategy.
  • Support for companies that invest in new and emerging technologies (including AR, VR, and AI) for the purpose of improving health, safety, and wellbeing standards in the workplace, enabling them to offset up to 5% of annual investment.
  • Health, safety, and wellbeing training mandated by law to be included in a new ‘Skills Tax Credit’ when reforms are made to skills-based education.
  • Adequate funding for the Health and Safety Executive (including the Building Safety Regulator) and for local authorities with statutory duties for the regulation and inspection of health and safety.

Peter McGettrick, Chairman of the British Safety Council, said:

“This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UK’s groundbreaking Health and Safety at Work Act, which put our country at the forefront of ensuring safer workplaces and helped us become a world leader in workplace health and safety. Ahead of the next General Election, we are calling on all political parties, party leaders, and those seeking election to commit to making the next 50 years the safest in our nation’s history.

“This is about putting health, safety, and wellbeing at the heart of economic growth, to ensure the UK remains economically competitive in the future. That will require everyone – from policymakers and political leaders to employers and staff – to commit to a future where economic growth and worker wellbeing actively support each other.”

Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said:

“As part of our Manifesto, we are calling on the next Government to take a truly joined-up approach to health, safety, and wellbeing. That’s why we want to see a new Ministerial Portfolio responsible for wellbeing and a new National Wellbeing Strategy. We believe this would improve and support better health at work, unlock lost productivity, and grow the economy.

“The world of work is changing, and we want companies that invest in new and developing technologies – such as AR, VR, and AI – for the purposes of improving workplace health, safety and wellbeing to be incentivised, as well as health and safety skills and training required by law to be supported by a tax credit.

“We also want to see adequate resources allocated to those responsible for regulating health, safety and wellbeing at work, especially the Health and Safety Executive, which, despite progress in reducing fatalities and injuries at work, has seen nearly 20 per cent of its funding cut since 2010.”

Find out more about the British Safety Council here.

REGISTER NOW for Action on Site Health South 2024, the must-go event for construction H&S professionals. This free, educational event offers inspiring presentations from industry leaders covering respiratory, mental and hearing health, MSDs, contractor site perspectives and more. It also features engaging interactive sessions, as well as fantastic networking opportunities and first-class hospitality, with a delicious buffet breakfast and lunch included.

Taking place on the 9th July at BMA House in London, we welcome all construction health & safety personnel and site managers to attend.

What is Action on Site Health?

Over the past few years, Action on Site Health events (sponsored by RVT Group) have become recognised within the construction industry as a great opportunity to discuss and learn about important site health topics. Influential guest speakers have presented at these events, including representatives of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG), BAM, Laing O’ Rourke, Tilbury Douglass, Balfour Beatty, Mates in Mind, the Lighthouse Charity and more.

Your free ticket includes all the fantastic features that attendees have come to expect over the years, such as;

  • Inspiring speaker presentations
  • Innovative group discussions
  • Networking with industry leaders
  • An exciting quiz with a prize to be won
  • A delicious buffet breakfast and lunch

Why are We Taking Action?

Through running these events and working together, we aim to significantly reduce work-related ill-health in the construction industry. We are also committed to raising awareness and promoting education around poor site health and uncontrolled hazards. This is why our events offer important educational content for free; we believe that this information should be accessible to all in the industry.

Our Speakers and Supporters

Download your full agenda and claim your free ticket today!

Our Full Agenda

08:00 – 09:00 – Networking Buffet Breakfast

Set yourself up for the day with a tasty buffet breakfast and get chatting to your fellow attendees.

09:00 – 09:10 – Event Open and Welcome

RVT Group, the event sponsor, will welcome you all to a day of action, before handing over to your host for the day; Colin Nottage (HCLG Respiratory Group, Chair of Construction Dust Partnership).

09:10 – 09:30 – Engineered Health

Keith Prince (Head of HS&W, Laing O’ Rourke) discusses the importance of design for the future of construction health and how engineering out risk and engineering in health could be achieved at every stage of the project lifecycle.

09:30 – 09:50 – Looking Ahead with the Health and Safety Executive

Paul Delderfield of the HSE discusses upcoming initiatives and future focuses being put in place to maximise health protection on site.

09:50 – 10:10 – Be the Change; Tackling the Construction Mental Health Crisis

Jim Beestone (HCLG Mental Health Lead, Balfour Beatty) talks through the new initiatives he has helped to put in place with the charity Mates in Mind, and how we can all “be the change” when tackling the industry’s mental health crisis.

10:10 – 10:30 – QuizMaster; Construction Edition

It’s time to grab your smart device and get quizzing! Go head-to-head with your fellow attendees and test your knowledge on site health with questions fresh for 2024. The winner will enjoy a well-earned Amazon Voucher as their prize.

10:30 – 11:00 – Networking and Exhibition Break

Grab yourself a tea or coffee and a quick snack during this well-earned break. This is another great opportunity to network with your fellow attendees and to see some of RVT Group’s innovative health hazard control solutions on display.

11:00 – 11:40 – Keynote Speech – Looking to the Future; Parliament and Commercial Risk

Professor Kevin Bampton (CEO of BOHS) speaks on what a new government could mean for the construction sector and, consequently, the health of those working within it. Kevin will also discuss the “sleeping giant” of commercial risk within the industry and the importance of implementing effective occupational health surveillance on site.

11:40 – 12:00 – Protecting Health on Site; A Consultant’s Perspective

Jennie Armstrong (founder of Construction Health and Wellbeing LTD) talks us through real life client case studies, covering a mixture of respiratory health, mental health and musculoskeletal disorders. Jennie will also discuss what’s coming up in the world of site health surveillance.

12:00 – 12:20 – Controlling Site Health Hazards; A Case Study Review

What do you do when health hazards cannot be designed out? You need to put effective and efficient controls in place to ensure everyone on and around site is protected. Kevin Dupont, one of RVT Group’s longest serving technical consultants will take you through case study examples of different health hazards being controlled effectively through innovative hazard solutions.

12:20 – 13:00 – Action Planning! A Collaborative Session

It’s time to put what you’ve learnt into practice! You will discuss what has been learnt from the presentations and networking sessions with your fellow attendees, in order to identify the key actions that you will be taking when you return to the workplace. Delegates will be encouraged to share their actions with the room where highlights and trends will be identified and discussed by Colin Nottage.

13:00 – 14:00 – Networking Buffet Lunch and Event Close

Download your agenda and claim your free ticket today!

The England team is leaving no stone unturned ahead of Euro 2024, as players are seen sporting titanium health rings favoured by top celebrities.

During training for their first Euro 2024 match against Serbia on Sunday, manager Gareth Southgate was seen wearing an Oura tracking ring. Midfielder Conor Gallagher was also spotted with one, and defender John Stones once described his as “addictive.”

“We’re beaming with pride when we see these elite athletes choose Oura, that’s really cool,” said Dorothy Kilroy, the company’s chief commercial officer, to Sky News.

So, what is the Oura ring?

Wearable trackers like the Oura ring monitor various health aspects, including sleep, heart rate, stress levels, and activity periods. For most people, they serve as a reminder to maintain their health. For athletes, they can help achieve peak performance.

“The ring is now extremely sophisticated,” said Joao Bocas, a wearables expert and head of the digital healthcare company Salutem. “It records heart rate, skin temperature variability, and resting heart rate. The new model offers blood oxygen sensing capabilities and insights into daytime stress and resilience.”

Will it give England an edge?

England is already a favourite to win the Euros, but the men’s team has never won a trophy at the competition. They’re looking for anything to help secure a victory.

Dave Thomas, who works with England’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the UK Sports Institute, says the ring could provide the team’s sports scientists with another perspective on player performance during the tournament.

“In a sporting environment, you have different wearables for various contexts,” Mr. Thomas told Sky News. “They can indicate if an athlete might be coming down with a bug or if they’re overloaded. This information can signal to sports scientists or coaches that it’s time to back off a bit and let the player rest.”

While Mr. Thomas usually works with non-commercial wearables, he acknowledges that trackers like the Oura ring can be more convenient for athletes, increasing the likelihood they will use them. “Commercial trackers are reliable and have a low hassle factor. In contrast, higher precision measurements often add more hassle, and athletes just want to focus on playing, training, and resting.”

Are these trackers the future?

Health trackers have been around since the 1960s, but the market has recently seen a boom. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Prince Harry, and Gwyneth Paltrow have adopted Oura rings, which cost between £300 and £550.

“There is definitely a trend of ‘fashion tech’ and being seen wearing the latest gadget,” says Mr. Bocas. “But I also think COVID-19 raised our awareness of health’s importance.”

Ms. Kilroy from Oura agrees, noting that the pandemic spurred the demand for wearable health tech. “We all felt very out of control of our health, right? Having access to your own health data and understanding it is liberating.”

However, Mr. Bocas believes we won’t be wearing health jewellery for long. “In five to ten years, today’s wearables will become obsolete. We’ll have sensors in our clothes, belts, glasses, shoes, and even implantable skin sensors, eliminating the need to wear anything.”

For now, England fans will hope the rings on some players’ fingers will help lead them to victory.

 

The Grenfell Tower tragedy, which unfolded on the night of June 14, 2017, is a stark and heart-wrenching reminder of the vital importance of safety and the sanctity of human life. This devastating fire claimed the lives of 72 residents, leaving countless others injured and entire communities shattered. As we reflect on this catastrophic event, it is crucial to emphasise the paramount importance of safety in all aspects of our lives, especially in our homes, which should be sanctuaries of security and peace.

Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey residential building in North Kensington, London, was home to a diverse and vibrant community. On that fateful night, a small kitchen fire rapidly escalated into a full-scale inferno, fuelled by the building’s cladding, which was later found to be highly flammable. The speed and ferocity of the blaze left many residents with little chance to escape, and the harrowing images of the burning tower remain etched in our collective memory.

The tragedy of Grenfell was not merely an unfortunate accident; it was a preventable disaster. Investigations revealed a series of safety failures, from the inadequate fire safety measures within the building to the use of non-compliant cladding materials. These findings highlighted systemic issues in building regulations, maintenance practices, and the enforcement of safety standards. The residents of Grenfell Tower had raised concerns about fire safety long before the disaster, but their voices went unheard.

In remembering Grenfell, we must honour the lives lost by ensuring such a tragedy never happens again. Every individual has the right to feel safe in their home, and it is the responsibility of governments, regulatory bodies, and building owners to uphold this right. Robust safety standards, regular inspections, and swift responses to resident concerns are non-negotiable aspects of this responsibility.

The Grenfell tragedy has catalysed a broader conversation about fire safety and building regulations, prompting a re-evaluation of policies and practices. It has spurred changes, such as the banning of combustible cladding on high-rise buildings and the implementation of stricter safety protocols. However, these changes must be diligently enforced and continuously updated to reflect the latest safety standards and technologies.

Moreover, Grenfell has underscored the importance of community and the power of collective action. The resilience and solidarity shown by the survivors, the bereaved families, and the wider community have been truly inspiring. Their advocacy and relentless pursuit of justice have kept the spotlight on fire safety issues, ensuring that the lessons from Grenfell are not forgotten.

As we move forward, it is essential to foster a culture of safety and vigilance. This means not only adhering to regulations but also actively engaging with and listening to the concerns of residents. It means investing in the latest safety technologies and ensuring that buildings, especially those housing vulnerable populations, are equipped with comprehensive fire safety measures.

The legacy of Grenfell should be one of change and improvement. By taking proactive steps to prioritise safety, we can honour the memory of those who perished and ensure that their loss leads to a safer future for all. The Grenfell Tower tragedy was a profound loss, but from it, we must draw the resolve to protect every life, acknowledging that safety is a fundamental human right and the foundation of a just and compassionate society.


In remembrance of Grenfell, let us commit to a future where such a tragedy is inconceivable, a future where every home is a safe haven, and where the value of every human life is recognised and protected.

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