May 17, 2020

Revise loading bay safety before the festive season

Health and Safety Executive
Loading bay
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Loading bays are one of the most dangerous workplaces
Follow @WDMEllaCopeland Loading and unloading goods are the highest risk activity commonly carried out in many sectors, according to the UK Health and...

Loading and unloading goods are the highest risk activity commonly carried out in many sectors, according to the UK Health and Safety Executive.

Accounting for 15 percent of all workplace transport accidents in the UK, loading bays are highlighted as one of the most dangerous places of work, and with the annual build up to the festive season, extra attention needs to be placed on training for materials handling employees.

The risk increases in festive times due to the volume of traffic and the introduction of temporary workers, which can be unfamiliar with procedures at your company.


In a new initiative, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health's (IOSH) Retail Group have teamed up with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) to produce the 'Loading Dock Safety Guide', which aims to help employers understand the risks and possible preventative measures. 

Available on the FTA's website, the Loading Dock Safety Guide covers an array of topics including risk assessment, creep control measures and provides a number of checklists to keep risks at bay.

Additional advice from the HSA reccommend that all people who operate near loading bays compete safety training, and that vehicles have enough space in loading areas to move around. Anyone who is not loading or unloading should be kept away from loading areas.

Health and Safety Officers should also consider the level of visibility for truck drivers when moving into or out of loading areas, the height of loading bays and if people could fell from them, and the potential electrical risks of loading and unloading.

The HSA reccomend additional risk assessments for staff before busy periods, including printed procedures for visiting drivers the implementation of a feedback service for staff on the ground to report concerns.

For more information on how to ensure your workplace is as safe as it can be, visit the HSA's guidance on safety procedures for vehicles at work.

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Jun 21, 2021

Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity

Elise Leise
3 min
The SolarWinds and Codecov cyberattacks reminded companies that software security poses a critical risk. How do we mitigate it?

As high-level supply chain attacks hit the news, Google and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both developed proposals for how to address software supply chain security. This isn’t a new field, unfortunately. Since supply chains are a critical part of business resilience, criminals have no qualms about targeting its software. That’s why identifying, assessing, and mitigating cyber supply chain risks (C-SCRM) is at the top of Google and NIST’s respective agendas. 


High-Profile Supply Chain Attacks 

According to Google, no comprehensive end-to-end framework exists to mitigate threats across the software supply chain. [Yet] ‘there is an urgent need for a solution in the face of the eye-opening, multi-billion-dollar attacks in recent months...some of which could have been prevented or made more difficult’. 


Here are several of the largest cybersecurity failures in recent months: 


  • SolarWinds. Alleged Russian hackers slipped malicious code into a routine software update, which they then used as a Trojan horse for a massive cyberattack. 
  • Codecov. Attackers used automation to collect credentials and raid ‘additional resources’, such as data from other software development vendors. 
  • Malicious attacks on open-source repositories. Out of 1,000 GitHub accounts, more than one in five contained at least one dependency confusion-related misconfiguration. 


As a result of these attacks and Biden’s recent cybersecurity mandate, NIST and Google took action. NIST held a 1,400-person workshop and published 150 papers worth of recommendations from Microsoft, Synopsys, The Linux Foundation, and other software experts; Google will work with popular source, build, and packaging platforms to help companies implement and excel at their SLSA framework


What Are Their Recommendations? 

Here’s a quick recap: NIST has grouped together recommendations to create federal standards; Google has developed an end-to-end framework called Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA)—pronounced “Salsa”. Both address software procurement and security. 


Now, here’s the slightly more in-depth version: 


  • NIST. The organisation wants more ‘rigorous and predictable’ ways to secure critical software. They suggest that firms use vulnerability disclosure programmes (VDP) and software bills of materials (SBOM), consider simplifying their software and give at least one developer per project security training.
  • Google. The company thinks that SLSA will encompass the source-build-publish software workflow. Essentially, the four-level framework helps businesses make informed choices about the security of the software they use, with SLSA 4 representing an ideal end state. 


If this all sounds very abstract, consider the recent SolarWinds attack. The attacker compromised the build platform, installed an implant, and injected malicious behaviour during each build. According to Google, higher SLSA levels would have required stronger security controls for the build platform, making it more difficult for the attacker to succeed. 


How Do The Proposals Differ? 

As Brian Fox, the co-founder and CTO at Sonatype, sees it, NIST and Google have created proposals that complement each other. ‘The NIST [version] is focused on defining minimum requirements for software sold to the government’, he explained, while Google ‘goes [further] and proposes a specific model for scoring the supply chain. NIST is currently focused on the “what”. Google, along with other industry leaders, is grappling with the “how”’. 


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