Tag Archives: World Health Organisation

Jacksons Fencing issues Guide to Managing Noise Pollution for physical perimeter designers

Jacksons Fencing has issued its latest guide, entitled ‘Managing Noise Pollution’, for landscape architects, urban planners, exterior designers and others involved in the specification of external physical perimeters.

A recent study found that those who live in noisy cities are more likely to suffer from hearing loss. The main reason for this is excessive noise from traffic, construction, industry and people going about their daily lives.

Noise pollution has a huge effect on populations causing people stress, fatigue and poor sleep quality. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, it costs us $750 billion globally when medical bills, lost earnings and other hearing loss-related problems are taken into account.

NoisePollution

Cris Francis, head of commercial sales at Jacksons Fencing, commented: “Noise pollution is now a big concern in our cities as we build more major roads, rail and other transport networks closer to where we live and work. Such a concentration of construction activity, vehicles and people brings with it noise that, in many cases, is unwanted and avoidable. Our new guide highlights the impact of sound and aims to provide advice on how timber acoustic barriers can reduce unwanted noise and improve our surroundings with natural façades that are both sustainable and cost-effective.”

The UK had over 65 million inhabitants at the start of 2016, with a density of 263 people per square kilometre. As our cities expand exponentially, the population is projected to reach 77 million in 2050, so even more demands are being put on housing and critical infrastructure like roads and rail.

The continued growth means that we’re now seeing developments including commercial, leisure and other properties being built very close to each other. When intersected with the aforementioned new transport links, that equates to more exposure to excessive noise for a large number of the populace.

Jacksons Fencing has developed a range of acoustic fencing barriers with the modern urban landscape in mind. Working with independent sound engineers, the firm’s team of technical and engineering experts can assist those involved in the design and construction of external spaces by providing tailored advice, guidance and expertise every step of the way, from design support through to manufacturing and installation.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Institute of Risk Management experts outline key risk areas for 2015

Political instability caused by low oil prices, increased shareholder activism and the business threat posed by a potential UK exit from the EU are among the chief concerns voiced by some of the UK’s leading risk experts for 2015.

As 2014 draws to a close, members of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) were asked to identify key risk areas for 2015. A broad range of oil and gas, political, healthcare, regulatory and insurance risks were highlighted as potential flashpoints.

Oil and Gas

“The lower oil price will raise a number of risks, including political and social disruption in oil producing countries which, if not successfully managed, will impact on the world,” asserted Mark Boult, Fellow of the IRM and director at risk management consultancy DNV GL.

Boult continued: “Given the greater financial pressure we will see on the sector next year, stakeholders need to maintain their focus on the integrity of assets. Not doing so will deliver poorer reliability and increase the risks of a major accident. Industry and Governments should work together to proactively manage down the commercial pressures and risks facing the industry from the oil price drop.”

A catastrophic major accident and physical asset integrity will remain a major industry focus for next year. “Such events are always – and always need to be – at the front of our minds given the impact they have on people, the environment and the business of the industry as a whole,” explained Boult.

Commentators from the IRM have mapped out key potential risks for 2015

Commentators from the IRM have mapped out key potential risks for 2015

Politics

An uncertain political environment in the UK is highlighted as a key risk area for next year by IRM members. “We need to watch closely how the dialogue between the UK and EU develops,” said José Morago, IRM chairman and group risk director at Aviva. “The potential risk of a UK exit from the EU could bring about even bigger strategic, operational and legal risk challenges to many international companies than those raised by Scottish independence.”

Morago added: “Next year, we have the UK General Election and possible presidential elections in Europe. With continuing fiscal deficits, cost of living pressures, low investment returns and low public trust in financial institutions, there’s a real risk of further – and bolder – political announcements as parties compete for public approval.”

Mark Butterworth, member of the IRM and managing director at risk management consultancy Condie Risk, believes the unpredictability of next year’s UK General Election is unique in his adult memory. Butterworth argues that a vote to leave the EU could provide the Scottish National Party with a boost, “possibly leading to the start of the ‘second’ wave for independence.”

Alternatively, an indecisive result in a May election which fails to resolve ‘the European question’ could lead to “upheaval, forcing a second General Election in late 2015, with all the attendant uncertainty that entails.”

Healthcare

The total number of Ebola deaths is predicted to peak in 2015 according to Patrick Keady FIRM, risk leadership consultant with the NHS. “This will be achieved by continuing with current levels of awareness, actions and plans and by Governments avoiding ineffective knee-jerk reactions. Lessons will be learned from Sierra Leone’s handling of the crisis where 21% of people infected died compared to 60% in Guinea and 42% in Liberia.”

Further 2015 predictions by Keady are as follows:
• “It will be the year more people will say ‘No’ to so-called ‘healthy food’, leading to reduced demand for healthcare in the long term. People can consume up to seven times the World Health Organisation’s daily recommended amount of sugar when their diet is limited to foods such as low fat yoghurts, muesli bars and sports drinks. The debate about processed versus natural food will escalate with the launch of ‘That Sugar Film’ next year.”
• “Drugs and alcohol will both start to be seen as healthcare issues. With 9% of all emergency hospital care being for people with a drug or alcohol problem, 36% of these are from the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. An increased focus on the health implications of drugs and alcohol will start to benefit the population and, in turn, reduce drug and alcohol-related crime statistics.”

Regulation

According to IRM commentators, new regulation is going to pose risks for companies and company directors in 2015.

Taken together, the 2014 UK Corporate Governance Code and Financial Reporting Council’s Guidance on Risk Management will significantly upgrade the weaponry of shareholder activism in 2015. “Greater corporate governance and risk management education at Board level – including Company Secretaries – will be needed to mitigate against the risk posed by the new regulatory environment,” stated Mark Butterworth.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s drive for greater competence and capability means that Boards of Directors must be far more proactive about ensuring their capabilities match their needs. José Morago commented: “Boards need to identify governance gaps and plug them fast, whether that’s through acquiring new skills, qualifications or experience. What’s expected from Boards is going to be raised quite fast next year.”

Insurance

Reduced profitability for the UK insurance sector is an identifiable risk for 2015 according to Enrico Bertagna, IRM affiliate and senior vice-president of business development at Allied World Europe Insurance.

“If there’s no material change in claims trends or major catastrophes,” outlined Bertagna, “we’re looking at ongoing downward pressure on premium rates, reducing underwriting profits in most classes of business.”

Bertagna also believes we’re likely to see a trend towards the localisation of risk in 2015. “We’ll see less premium flowing to London from emerging markets. That will lead to reduced premium to London market insurers on the one hand, while potentially exposing local market insurers to greater volatility on the other.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Pilgrims Group supports the fight against Ebola at home and abroad

The Pilgrims Group is appearing on ITV’s Tonight programme at 7.30 pm this evening. The topic of discussion? ‘Is the UK prepared for the arrival of Ebola?’

The international security and risk specialist is helping organisations protect themselves from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The company’s teams are also supporting efforts to prevent the spread of the disease to the UK.

In West Africa, Pilgrims Group is working with commercial businesses, media organisations and NGOs by offering practical solutions around training, risk assessment, contingency planning and decontamination equipment for those teams operating in affected areas.

Here in the UK, the company is offering its expertise to airport managers and the Government’s border agencies in relation to the provision of staff training, equipment and other means of practical support.

“Prevention and protection are better than cure,” stated James Milnes, a leading specialist on the Ebola virus. “In the case of Ebola, where there is no cure, it stands to reason that prevention and protection are the only available options.”

Filming takes place for the Tonight programme on ITV

Filming takes place for the Tonight programme on ITV

Preparing for Ebola in the UK

In this evening’s broadcast, ITV’s science correspondent Alok Jha will be looking at how the UK is preparing for Ebola and asks if we are really ready.

Pilgrims Group has supported the programme by offering specialist advice and comment on the preparation processes for dealing with Ebola contamination, in addition to providing a practical run-through and demonstration of Personal Protective Equipment.

“The devastating human cost of the Ebola crisis and its potential for destabilising the international community has been recognised as a global threat by the World Health Organisation, the United States Government and many international organisations,” explained Pilgrims Group’s managing director Bill Freear. “We welcome the chance to play our part in effectively preventing the spread of this dreadful disease and eventually controlling it.”

*Access the ITV website for an in-depth preview of tonight’s programme complete with video interviews featuring James Milnes, leading epidemiologist David Heymann and infectious disease scientist Jeremy Farrar

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News