• Welding with sparks flying
    Health & Safety

    Group 1: Carcinogenic to Humans

    I was diagnosed with cancer a little over five years ago. I know – that’s a bit of an opening line to a blog. But it’s true and I am unrepentant. We are afraid of the word despite the fact that one in two people born in the UK will experience some form of cancer over their lifetime (see here). Fortunately for me the type of cancer that I had, combined with early detection, surgery and chemotherapy have led to a very positive prognosis. I was, and am, lucky. But it has changed my perspective on cancer. When I was a young man cancer was a disease that other people…

  • Health & Safety

    The Risks in a Lead Workshop

    Outside of health and safety, I have an interest in old buildings and their conservation. A couple of years ago, on a field visit as part of a course I was doing, I went on a tour of the stained glass conservation workshops at Salisbury Cathedral. Here they repair and refabricate stained glass panels for the historic windows in the cathedral and for other churches in the surrounding area. The coloured glass pieces are held together by lead strips, cast, extruded, cut, bent and soldered together by a small team of craftsmen. As I was reasonably familiar with the health effects of lead from a theoretical and control point of…