Page 8 - IOSH Magazine June 2019
P. 8

News
        News







        Notify Sea King maintenance workers of

        potential exposure to asbestos, union urges




        Trade union Unite has called                            According to the MoD,   remove these components from
        on UK defence secretary Penny                         “major contaminated       the supply chain.
        Mordaunt to warn all Ministry                         components” on the Sea King   A spokesperson for the MoD
        of Defence (MoD) staff who                            fleet had been replaced by   told Forces News: “We have
        worked on the Sea King                                2006, with remaining items   been completely transparent
        helicopters that they may have                        assessed as “low risk” and   throughout this process and
        been exposed to asbestos.                           © Graham Quick/Shutterstock  contained inside components   have published comprehensive
          Last year it was revealed that                      that were seldom taken apart.    information for those who may
        asbestos-containing material   ACMs were used in 90 components  Asbestos-free replacements   have been exposed in the past,
        was used in 90 of the                                 were fitted “when routine    detailing the actions they
        helicopter’s components,     However, the MoD said it did   maintenance allowed”, it said.   should take.”
        including seals and gaskets. An   not have a “central record” of   However, last year an   The union has called on the
        estimated 1,000 workers carried   maintenance operatives and   investigation found that the   MoD to: identify all current
        out aircraft maintenance   much of the work was       MoD’s supply chain “had not   employees who may have been
        between 1969 and 2018, when   undertaken by contractors rather   been purged of asbestos   exposed to asbestos; offer
        the model was decommissioned,   than by its own employees.  components” when a    follow-up counselling or access
        and may be at risk.          Unite national officer Jim   maintenance training activity   to medical checks for current
          Since then Unite said it has   Kennedy said: “It is simply not   on a retired Sea King airframe   and former employees; and
        been campaigning for the MoD   credible to believe that the MoD   found the material to be   notify all former MoD
        to inform workers they could   does not have records of the   present in an exhaust panel   employees who may have had
        have come into contact with the   workers who operated on   seal.               contact with the Sea King
        hazardous material.        military bases.”             Action was then taken to   helicopters.


         Royal Opera House loses appeal

         against ‘acoustic shock’ judgment



         The Royal Opera House’s (ROH)   damages for future loss of
         appeal against a landmark   earnings amounting to £750,000.
         ruling that its breach of the   The ROH, supported by
         Control of Noise at Work   the Association of British
         Regulations led to a musician’s   Orchestras, the Society of                                            © iStock/TonyBaggett
         hearing loss has been rejected.   London Theatre and the UK   Goldscheider was sat in front of brass instruments at the Royal Opera House in London
            Violist Christopher     Theatre Association, took the
         Goldscheider sustained a    case to the Court of Appeal.   that, under reg 7(3) of the Control   Nigel Lock, occupational
         life-changing hearing injury   They argued there was no good   of Noise at Work Regulations,   disease partner at BLM and
         caused during a rehearsal at the   evidence that acoustic shock   the ROH should have designated   acting for Royal Opera House,
         ROH in Covent Garden, London,   existed and the ruling could have   the orchestra pit a “hearing   said: “No doubt the live music
         in 2012.                   “disturbing implications” for “all   protection zone” and ensured that   and entertainment industry
            Goldscheider, 45, had   music-making in the UK”.   personal hearing protection was   will be heaving a sigh of relief
         blamed his hearing damage    However, Sir Brian Leveson,   always worn where noise levels   that the blanket enforcement of
         on “acoustic shock” caused by   sitting with Lords Justice   were likely to exceed 85 decibels.   protection for musicians at all
         brass instruments positioned   Bean and McCombe, rejected   But the ROH argued it was   times has been overturned.
         directly behind him in the   this, saying: “I simply do not   not reasonably practicable for   “However, the judgment
         orchestra pit. During the three-  accept that this cataclysmic   members of the orchestra to wear   fails to address a number of key
         hour rehearsal of Wagner’s Ring   scenario represents a   hearing protection throughout   issues around the causation of
         Cycle in September 2012, the   proper understanding of the   performances or rehearsals,   injury at an attenuated noise
         noise exceeded 130 decibels,   consequences of this decision.”  “since doing so during quieter   level at which it is not foreseen
         roughly the equivalent of a jet   He added: “The national and   passages of music would mean   that harm can be caused.
         engine.                    international reputation of the   they could not hear sufficiently   Significant misconceptions in
            The violist was forced to   ROH is not and should not be   clearly”.        the evidence remain, which is
         give up his musical career after   affected by this judgment.”   The judges accepted this   disappointing. It leaves many
         developing the condition, the   In the original case, Justice   and overturned that part of the   unanswered questions and
         symptoms of which include   Nicola Davies said that the ROH’s   High Court’s decision, although   uncertainties from a judgment
         tinnitus, hyperacusis and   breach of duty had caused the   Goldscheider’s damages were   we had hoped would bring more
         dizziness, and last year claimed   musician’s condition. She found   unchanged.  clarity to this contentious area.”


        6 JUNE 2019
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