news

News Updates December 2012

Bite Size News Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

Hello All, I’m Rebecca, Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  

I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Connect with me:

LinkedIn: Rebecca Manion

Twitter: @Grove_Rebecca

PROHIBITION NOTICE SERVED TO SITE SUPERVISOR

A Health and Safety Executive Inspector was travelling along when he witnessed dust coming from a worksite. He decided to stop. Following the investigation into the circumstances leading up to the point where the HSE Inspector witnesses the activities being carried out on site, he decided to serve a Prohibition Notice on the site Supervisor and not the Company.

The HSE Inspector said if he had witnessed the operative’s dry cutting without the knowledge of the site Supervisor then he would have served the Prohibition Notice on the Company.

However, as procedures were in place and the Supervisor was aware that the gang were not working to the procedures, the notice was served on him for failing to fulfil his responsibilities.

The Supervisor’s responsibilities to manage health and safety on site turned to accountability following the HSE Inspectors intervention. Not only was the Supervisor served with a Prohibition Notice but he will also receive a bill from the HSE under the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012.

Known as fees for intervention, which means the HSE now charge £124 per hour when they are investigating Health and Safety breaches. The hourly rate starts from the moment they step foot on site and include time spent writing up reports and any subsequent research.

All employees have health and safety responsibilities which are enforced internally within the company and externally by the Enforcing Authorities. Failure to fully discharge these responsibilities will result in individual accountability.

CHRISTMAS HEALTH & SAFETY TIPS

  • Don’t get paper cuts – they hurt
  • Do not test a 9v battery by using your tongue!
  • Do not water your Christmas tree when the fairy lights are plugged in
  • Wear hearing protection when opening crackers
  • If you see Santa Claus, advice him to wear a harness when riding his sleigh

CHRISTMAS MYTHS EXPOSED!

Follow the below link to see health and safety Christmas myths corrected by the HSE

http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/xmasmyths.htm?eban=govdel-myths&cr=07-Dec-2012

BEST WISHES

The Directors and employees of Grove Services (UK) ltd would like to this opportunity to wish you a Healthy Christmas and a Safe New Year!

Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

http://www.groveservices.co.uk

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death,
injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 news Comments Off

News Updates November 2012

Bite Size News Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

Hello All, I’m Rebecca, Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  

I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Connect with me:

LinkedIn: Rebecca Manion

Twitter: @Grove_Rebecca

SPRAY PAINTER INJURED TWICE

A worker at a truck body shop suffered injuries after falling off a stepladder, which took place only a month after he suffered injuries in an identical incident.

He was standing on a stepladder to spray-paint a lorry, when one of the feet on the ladder slipped down a grille in the concrete floor. He fell two metres and suffered a multitude of injuries, which included a shattered left shoulder and collarbone, several broken ribs and a deep cut in his head.

He is unable to work owing to his injuries.

It was also discovered that the same worker suffered bruising a month earlier, when he fell off a stepladder. He reported the incident to his manager but it was not recorded in the company’s accident book, and no action was taken to ensure the work was carried out safely in the future.

The HSE issued a Prohibition Notice to the company which ordered it to stop spray-painting vehicles until a safe system of work was created.

The company was found guilty in its absence following a trial Magistrates’ Court, they was fined £7500 and ordered to pay £4923 in costs.

The company has gone into voluntary liquidation and hasn’t carried out any spray-painting since the incident.

CDM INFORMATION

This information comes from a recent IOSH meeting with a presentation by the HSE.

The problem with the current CDM Regulation’s is that they fail to meet some requirements of the Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive and in some cases the CDM Regulation’s gold plate, over implement or implement regulations that are not a requirement of the directive. According to the directive, notification of a construction project is only required if the project is 30 days or over AND has 20 or more operatives on board. 

The notification of a project at present leads to additional requirements and appointments e.g. PC, CDMC. All of the EU Directive applies regardless of duration and numbers. Also according to the EU Directive it is the Clients responsibility to notify the HSE.

There is no requirement for a single point of coordination – we asked HSE about this and it effectively means there is no requirement for a CDM Coordinator. During the pre construction stage of the project there is a requirement for the client to
appoint a safety coordinator and during the construction stage the contractor should appoint a safety coordinator. None of the above have to specifically be carried out by a single person – CDMC.

NEWLY RELEASED WORKPLACE ILL HEALTH & INJURY FIGURES SHOWS SLIGHT DECLINE

The provisional statistics published by the HSE show that in Britain between April 2011 and March 2012:

  • 22,43 major injuries such as amputations, fractures and burns, to employees were reported, compared with 24,944 in 2010/11.
  • 88,731 other injuries serious enough to keep people off work for four or more days were reported down from 91,742 the previous year.
  • An estimated 1.1 million people said they were suffering from an illness caused or made worse by their work, down from 1.2 million in 2010/11
  • 173 workers fatally injured – down from 175 the previous year.

 

Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

http://www.groveservices.co.uk

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and
enforcement.

 

 

 

 



Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates October 2012

Bite Size NewsUpdates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

Hello All, I’m Rebecca, Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  

I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want! I look forward to hearing from you.

Connect with me:

LinkedIn: Rebecca Manion

Twitter: @Grove_Rebecca

WALKERS FINED!

Walkers Snack Foods Ltd has been fined after a 400 kilogramme block of compacted snack waste fell on a worker, breaking his leg. The employee was working as a forklift truck driver at the company’s site in Lincoln, when the incident happened. He was trying to put the block into a wheeled bin when the bin overturned and the compacted waste landed on him, fracturing his lower left leg.

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard that waste pellets from the Quavers production line ran off a machine into a magnum bin -
a large plastic box with slots underneath for the forks of a forklift truck.

The pellets solidified into a large block, which could not be dug out of the magnum so the worker and a colleague used the forklift to turn the magnum over so the block fell out. But as the block was then lifted into the wheeled bin, it became stuck at the top. When the two men attempted to move the bin, it tipped over causing the block of pellets to fall onto the employee.

He was off work for 15 weeks but has since returned to work with the company.

The company was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

SAFETY SIGNS

I am still on the look out for interesting / funny health & safety signs and notices. If you email one, I will give you and your company a shout out!

GAS WORK WAS UNSAFE

An Essexfireplace installation company has been fined after their inadequate work on domestic gas pipes put a family’s life at risk in their own home.

The company was hired to install a new fireplace. Due to a shortage of staff, the company’s retired director Mr H, was sent out to prepare the area. He removed a section of gas pipe that was protruding through the floor and carpet and then capped the pipe underneath the floorboards with a compression joint. When the householder got home from work after a late shift,
he immediately smelt a strong gas odour throughout the house including in the main bedroom, where his wife was sleeping.

The Court was told that the company had failed to use a competent and Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure that the work carried out on the property had been properly completed, therefore putting lives at risk.

They were fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs

 

Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

http://www.groveservices.co.uk


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates September 2012

Bite Size News Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.


Hello All, I’m Rebecca, Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  

I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Connect with me: LinkedIn: Rebecca Manion

Twitter: @Grove_Rebecca

 

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MANAGE THE RISK, NOT THE PAPERWORK

Don’t overcomplicate the process. In many organisations, the risks are well known and the necessary control measures are easy to apply. If you are confident you understand what’s involved, you can do the assessment yourself. You don’t have to be a health and safety expert.

You do understand that you need support and we provide competent advice as required by the “Management of Health and Safety At Work Regulations”.

A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, inyour work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures.

The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far as is ‘reasonably practicable’.

If some individual is able to be critical of the documents – that’s fine but, are they competent in your areas of engineering – have they worked in the construction industry etc? What health and safety qualification do they have?

Whether safety method statements are used or not, it is essential to make sure that risks are controlled.

 SAFETY SIGHTINGS

On a recent holiday I noticed this:

Proof that Safety doesn’t have to uninteresting and can be eye catching!

 If I spot any others I will be adding them to future news updates.

Also if you notice any you particularly like, take a photo, and email them to me, and I will add them along with your name, so keep an eye out!

WE HAVE MOVED!

New details as follows, please take note:

New postal address:

Streatham Business Centre

1 Empire Mews

Stanthorpe Road

London

SW16 2BF

Telephone: 020 8395 5010

 

Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

 http://www.groveservices.co.uk



The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates August 2012

Bite Size News Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

Hello All, I’m Rebecca, Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Connect with me:

LinkedIn: Rebecca Manion

Twitter: @Grove_Rebecca

 

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LANDSCAPE GARDENER IS FINED!

A gardener in Lincolnshirewas spotted carrying out unsafe tree work. The two men were spotted by a neighbour who was
trained to assess chainsaw work. Mr H and an employee were felling a tree at a house in on 19 August 2011. They were both using a chainsaw, despite not being qualified to do so and neither was wearing protective clothing such as protective trousers and boots.

In addition, Mr Holland was working in the crown of the tree without any kind of safety equipment that would have prevented a fall, such as a harness. He was fined a total of £4,000 and told to pay £2,000 of costs.

PENSIONER KILLED BY COUNCIL

A pensioner was killed when a reversing bin lorry struck his mobility scooter and dragged him more than eight metres down
the road. The Court heard that Mr B, 76, was returning home from the shops when the vehicle struck him. Basssetlaw

District Council was collecting rubbish as it had missed a bin collection during routine rounds. The vehicle was manned by just a single worker, and as it reversed it collided with Mr B, who was driving his mobility scooter along the road. The bin lorry continued to reverse and Mr B, who was trapped underneath the scooter, was dragged eight metres by the truck until the driver noticed shopping spilling into the road. Mr B was taken to hospital and died a few hours later owing to crush injuries. The HSE issued an Improvement Notice.

Bassetlaw District Council was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £12,987 in costs.

MYTHS SOLVED!

MYTH: Children to wear safety goggles while playing conkers

FACT: Realistically the risk from playing conkers is incredibly low and just not worth bothering about. If kids deliberately hit each other over the head with conkers, that’s a discipline issue, not health and safety

DID YOU KNOW that IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety & Health) sponsored the world conker championship!

MYTH: Trapeze artists to wear hard hats

FACT: There never were any such regulations! Hard hats do an excellent job of protecting building workers from falling debris – but they have no place on a trapeze.

MYTH: Candy floss on a stick being banned in case someone trips and impales themselves

FACT: There are no health & safety laws banning candyfloss on a stick

HEALTH & SAFETY IS VITAL, I PROMISE!

There are few greater myths than that  health and safety has gone mad. (See the previous article for proof!)

During the last few years we have all heard about some truly ridiculous misrepresentations of health and safety, including the banning of conkers, firemen’s poles and park benches.

This concerns us.

It confuses businesses about their responsibilities and workers about their rights.

Grove Services (UK) Ltd offers sensible advice and practical steps to assist you in how take to deal with workplace risks properly.

After all health and safety is about saving lives, not stopping them.

 

Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

http://www.groveservices.co.uk


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.



Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates July 2012

 

Bite Size News Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

Hello All, I’m Rebecca, Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  

I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Connect with me:

LinkedIn: Rebecca Manion

Twitter: @Grove_Rebecca

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COUNCIL OWNED FIRM GETS A NASTY SHOCK

In Swindon, a worker for a council owned firm has received an electric shock. The incident happened whilst he was securing fencing at a play area.

The employee was hitting metal road pins into soft ground in order to secure temporary fencing at the renovation project, when one of the pins he was holding made contact with a high voltage underground electric cable. He suffered burns to his hands and chest.The investigation reported that the appropriate risk assessment had not been carried out.

The company was fined £12,000.  

 

HEALTH & SAFETY WAS NOT THE REASON FOR CONCERT STOPPAGE 

Health & Safety consultants all over the UK was disappointed and annoyed that the reason given for cutting the gig of Bruce Springsteen, earlier this month. It was explained that it was for “health and safety”.

It was not a health  and safety reason!

A person from the HSE clarifies: ‘The fans deserve the truth: here are no health and safety issues involved here. While public
events may have licensing conditions dictating when they should end, this is not health and safety and it is disingenuous of Live Nation to say so.’

 

ASBESTOS LINK

 Below is the link to a HSE illustration of Asbestos Work Categories.

It shows a very clear diagram of what is high risk and low risk. Plus if its licensed or non licensed work.

If you or any of your employees work or could potentially come into contact with Asbestos, take a look.

 www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/licensing/asbestos-work-categories.pdf

 

GROVE SERVICES HELPS OUT…

 This month Jeff and I attended a Speed Careers Morning at a local high school.

We each and several other people of different occupations sat at a table with 3 seats.  The seats were then filled with rotating school children aged 15-16 on five minute time slot.

We explained about the Health & Safety industry to encourage or inspire them to follow a career that not normally would be thought of. The feedback was that it was a successful morning and the children had enjoyed it. They had also requested they had a longer time with us.

 

Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

http://www.groveservices.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and
enforcement.

 

 

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates June 2012

Bite Sized News Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

Hello All, Rebecca again, Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  

 I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Connect with me:

LinkedIn: Rebecca Manion

Twitter: @Grove_Rebecca

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NOT AS BOUNCY AS TIGGER

 A pensioner who repeatedly ignored HSE’s prohibition notice has been jailed following his third prosecution.

The HSE was notified last year that Mr M, 77, had carried out a number of repairs and inspections on inflatable’s despite being given a Prohibition Notice in November 2008, which ordered him to stop undertaking work of this nature.One of the bouncy castles that he repaired was left in an unsafe condition, which meant there was a risk that children’s fingers and toes could have got trapped in open seams. Mr M also failed to identify a number of other safety failings in the course of his other inspections, including holes, sharp seams, and a lack of anchor points. He had also failed to attend a hearing.

He has since appeared in court, and pleaded guilty.He has been sentenced to 62 weeks in prison.

CDM REWRITEN FOR 2014

The HSE has announced it will be re-drafting the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations for reissue in 2014.

Details will be presented to the HSE board in December. However, the Executive indicated that the new Regulations are likely to be based more closely on the requirements of the EU Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive. A spokesperson for the HSE said, “While many aspects of the [CDM] package work very well, such as the technical standards required during construction work, other aspects continue to cause concern for the industry, including coordination of health and safety prior to construction work starting. “HSE is looking at how these concerns can be addressed, so the CDM regulatory package is focused on maintaining and improving health and safety standards for construction workers across the industry.”

FACT FILE: LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE

Legionellosis is the collective name given to the pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and Legionella bacteria.  It is widespread in
natural water systems, e.g. rivers and ponds. However, the conditions are rarely right for people to catch the disease from these sources. Outbreaks of the illness occur from exposure to legionella growing in purpose-built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth.

For example the most common sources of legionella in man made systems are cooling tower (including evaporative condensers), hot and cold water systems used in all sorts of premises (work and domestic), and spa pools.
Everyone is susceptible to infection. People can catch Legionnaires’ disease by inhaling small droplets of water, suspended in the air, containing the bacteria. If you are an employer, or someone in control of premises, including landlords, you must understand the health risks associated with legionella.

As an employer, or person in control of premises, you must appoint someone competent to help you meet your health and safety duties.

If it is found that the risks are insignificant, and properly managed to comply with the law. You will not need to take any further action. But it is important to review your assessment periodically in case anything changes in your system.

SAFETY FIRST!

Safety is not always the most exciting subject. However, below are a few great safety slogans to help keep things interesting, but always remember that safety is no joke!

 * Keep safety in mind. It will save your behind.

 * Those who work the safest way- live to see another day

 * Falling objects can be brutal if you don’t protect your noodle

 * While on a ladder, never step back to admire your work

 

 Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

 http://www.groveservices.co.uk

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

 

 

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates May 2012

Hello All, Rebecca again, Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  

I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want!

 I look forward to hearing from you.

Connect with me:

LinkedIn: Rebecca Manion

Twitter: @Grove_Rebecca

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RESPITE RESIDENT SCALDED

The Isle of Wight Council has been fined£12,000 after an elderly resident staying in respite care was seriously scalded at a care home. The HSE prosecuted the local authority for failing to have the correct shower fitting at a resource centre, which led to the incident. Magistrates’ Court heard that on the 30 October 2009, Mr L 76, was staying at the respite
residential care facility. Mr L entered the bathroom, undressed, turned on theshower and sat on the bath’s hoist seat below the shower unit. Unfortunately very hot water from the shower sprayed onto his lower back, scalding him severely and causing 13 per cent burns. The HSE investigation found the shower fitting was not suitable for use in a healthcare facility and was not installed with a thermostatic mixing valve (TMV), which would have limited the temperature to 41°C. The investigation also found the council had no system for maintaining those TMVs already in place, and had no system for taking water temperatures. Isle of Wight Council pleaded guilty and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,133.

ILLEGAL TATTOOIST FOUND OUT BY FACEBOOK

An unregistered tattoo artist who ran his business from his “dirty and unhygienic bedroom” has been prosecuted for putting members of the public at risk.

HAVE KIDS? CHILD SAFETY WEEK COMING UP!

Follow the link for more details:

http://www.childsafetyweek.org.uk./

PAT-A-CAKE, BAKERS MAN

A baker has been the subject of the HSE’s first proactive prosecution for failing to protect workers from exposure to flour dust. The HSE had visited the site to investigate an incident involving a worker and a ladder. Whilst they was there, they spotted several other safety risks. Later with the help of experts from the Health and Safety Laboratory, it was identified that workers were being exposed to six times the legal limit of flour dust. In court, the bakery was fined £1000 for each breach of safety, and ordered to pay £6000 in costs.

RECEPTIONIST LUNCH BREAK FALL

The manager of a Sheffielddental practice has been fined for safety failings after a receptionist fell more than three metres through a roof light while spending her lunch break on the flat roof of the surgery. The woman sat on the domed roof light, not realising how fragile it was. The plastic of the roof light gave way and she fell to the floor injuring her back, shoulder, knee and neck and was hospitalised. It was also discovered that at least five other workers had used the roof, and were at risk of falling from the roof edge or through the roof lights. The court heard the flat roof of the dental practice, was easily
reached using a door on the first floor of the main building. Although the door was locked, the key was left hanging nearby. The Dental company was fined £18,500 with costs of £71,632.79.

Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

http://www.groveservices.co.uk

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

 

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates April 2012

Bite Size News Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

Hello All, Rebecca again, Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.

I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Connect with me:
LinkedIn: Rebecca Manion
Twitter: @Grove_Rebecca



CONTROL OF ASBESTOS REGULATIONS 2012

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 came into force on 6 April 2012, updating previous asbestos regulations to take account of the European Commission’s view that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC).

In practice the changes are fairly limited. They mean that some types of non-licensed work with asbestos now have additional requirements, i.e. notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping. All other requirements remain unchanged.

From 6 April 2012, some non-licensed work needs to be notified to the relevant enforcing authority.
From 6 April 2012, brief written records should be kept of non-licensed work, which has to be notified e.g. copy of the notification with a list of workers on the job, plus the level of likely exposure of those workers to asbestos. This does not require air monitoring on every job, if an estimate of degree of exposure can be made based on experience of similar past tasks or published guidance.

By April 2015, all workers/self employed doing notifiable non-licensed work with asbestos must be under health surveillance by a Doctor. Workers who are already under health surveillance for licensed work need not have another medical examination for non-licensed work.

BUT medicals for notifiable non-licensed work are not acceptable for those doing licensed work.

Some modernisation of language and changes to reflect other legislation, e.g. the prohibition section has been removed, as the prohibition of supply and use of asbestos is now covered by REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulations 2006).

PIRATE PROTECTION

Some UK registered vessels can now employ armed guards to defend themselves against pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, the Government has said in new guidance.
The policy, which only applies to internationally trading passenger ships and cargo ships of 500 gross tonnages and above, means armed guards can be deployed in exceptional circumstances.
The guidance includes the factors ship owners should include a risk assessment and advice on selecting a private security company. Shipping companies wishing to use armed guards will also be required to submit a detailed counter-piracy plan to the Department of Transport in advance.

BETTER GAS SAFE THAN SORRY

According to HSE statistics, every year around 15 people die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Don’t become a statistic; there are things you can do to keep yourself safe. By law, your landlord has to make sure that the gas appliances supplied in your rented accommodation are safe for you to use. Your landlord also has to provide you with a copy of the landlords gas safety check record either prior to moving in or within 28 days of the annual check being completed if you are an existing tenant. As a tenant gas safety may not be your top priority, but knowing your rights when you rent could save your life.

Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

http://www.groveservices.co.uk

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates March 2012

Bite Size News
Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

 

Hello Everyone,Rebecca here again. The  Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensuree are giving you what you want! Also, please contact me for details of our Advisory services, help lines and workshops.

I look forward to hearing from you.



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REFURBISHMENT INSPECTIONS

HSE Construction inspectors will be carrying out an intensive inspection initiative during February and March 2012.  These inspections will focus on the refurbishment/building site risks that make construction one of Britain’s most dangerous industries – working at height safely, good order on site, and the risks associated with the removal of asbestos. HSE will not hesitate to take action if we find poor practice that is putting the lives of workers and the public at risk. Many incidents are completely avoidable by taking simple commonsense precautions. Find out what you can do to improve health and safety on your site before an inspector calls.

RIDDOR CHANGE 6THAPRIL 2012

 From 6 April 2012, subject to Parliamentary approval, (RIDDOR) Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995, over three day injury reporting requirement will change. From then the trigger point will increase from over three days’ to over seven days’ incapacitation (not counting the day on which the accident happened). Incapacitation means that the worker is absent or is unable to do work that they would reasonably be expected to do as part of their normal work. Employers and others with responsibilities under RIDDOR must still keep a record of all over three day injuries – if the employer has to keep an accident book, then this record will be enough. The deadline by which the over seven day injury must be reported will increase to 15 days from the day of the accident.

 NHS HEALTH FOR WORK ADVICELINE

The Health for work advice line provides free advice and information for your organisation on all health issues affecting your employees.

Call the free advice line   0800 0 77 88 44

LANCASTER LANDLORD SENTENCED FOR PUTTING LIVES AT RISK

A landlord in Lancaster has been sentenced for putting the lives of a family at risk by failing to arrange an annual gas safety check.Ms M, 57, was prosecuted by the HSE after she failed to arrange for a registered engineer to visit a property. Lancaster Magistrates’ Court heard Ms M had been renting the house out to a couple and their two young children. An investigation was launched on 27 April 2010 when it was discovered that gas appliances at the house had not been checked since 6 February 2009. Ms M, was fined £750 and ordered to pay £2,250 in prosecution costs.

HSE SETS NEW DATE FOR FEE FOR INTERVENTION SCHEME

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today announced that its cost recovery scheme, Fee for Intervention, is going ahead but will now not start in April 2012. The scheme sets out to recover costs from those who break health and safety laws for the time and effort HSE spends on helping to put matters right – investigating and taking enforcement action. Law-abiding businesses will be free from costs and will not pay a penny. “The Government has agreed that it is right that those who break the law should pay their fair share of the costs to put things right – and not the public purse.

“Discussions are still taking place on the technical details of the scheme, which we expect to conclude soon. “Therefore, FFI will not be introduced in April but at the next available opportunity, which is likely to be October 2012.” HSE is taking advantage of the extra time to work further with businesses to improve their understanding of the scheme and how it will affect them.

 

Visit our web page to download free
self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

 

http://www.groveservices.co.uk



The Health and Safety
Executive (HSE) is Britain’s
national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death,
injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice,
promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and
working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and
enforcement.

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates February 2012

Bite Size News
Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

 

Hello Everyone, I would like to take this Opportunity to introduce myself: I am Rebecca Manion, the new Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited. I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want!

Also, please contact me for details of our Advisory services, help lines and workshops. I look forward to
hearing from you.


==========================================================


REGULATORY ADVICE

The Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel will be looking into complaints regarding advice given by HSE or LA inspectors which you believe to be incorrect or goes beyond what is required to control the risk adequately.The panel will consist of independent members who have the competence and experience to asses the issue. 
EQUIPMENT AT WORK

A worker from Rotherham was rushed by a 1.5 tonne weight landing on his back. The worker also suffered a broken shoulder, two cracked ribs and the tops of three vertebrae were snapped off when he was trapped between the counterweight of a large zinc
galvanizing machine and a junction box. HSE reports this could have easily been a fatality, the company was fined £10,000.

BIOCIDES

The Reporting of Biocides varies on whether it is you, your family, pets or wildlife that has been affected by exposure to biocides.
Incidents of exposure can happen in two different ways; one-off exposure to a large amount of a biocide. This usually has an
immediate effect on the health of people, animals or the environment, although the effects might be delayed; or longer-term exposure to small amounts of biocides. This may cause delayed and less clear-cut symptoms of ill health. It is important to report both types of exposure to the relevant authority.

UNSAFE ASBESTOS REMOVAL

A company in Bradford-upon-Avon has been fined after it removed an asbestos insulation board (AIB) ceiling in an unsafe manner,
leaving workers and residents at risk of exposure to asbestos fibres. HSE found that the company had failed to investigate whether asbestos was present in the building before work started and when removing the ceiling boards its employees and sub contractors failed to identify the material and broke up the boards releasing airborne asbestos fibres. The boards and debris were then
removed in open bags and left in the garden in a breach of safety rules. The company was fined £7000, with a further £3,671 in costs.

CARE HOME FINED AFTER RESIDENTS FATAL FALL

A care home in Wrexham has been fined £66,000 and told to pay costs of £43,287. The patient who was a resident of the home fell from his first floor room, 12ft to the ground. He was found outside with serious head injuries, and later died in hospital.

Mr T, 79 suffered from Dementia, and had broke the windows chain restrictor. He had done this on two previous occasions.A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company had failed to complete a risk assessment on the risk of residents falling from windows, and failed to implement and review its window restrictor policy.

‘They should have fitted window restrictors that could not be easily defeated and moved Mr T to a ground floor room. This was not done’.

Homes that care for confused and vulnerable persons should ensure that adequate training is provided to assist employees recognise this hazard.

FREE SIGNAGE

To produce your own signs free of charge for your workplace. Including prohibition, warnings and Fire signs.

Follow the link below

http://www.online-sign.com/

PLUMBER JAILED FOR ILLEGAL GAS WORK

A Suffolkplumber who put lives at risk by illegally working on domestic gas appliances has been sentenced to six months in prison. Mr J, carried out work on gas fittings and appliances on several properties for over a fourteen month period. Mr J told house owners he was registered and used an invalid certification number on his safety certificates. One piece of work carried out by Mr J at an Indian restaurant was judged by a qualified engineer to be so dangerous it represented “an immediate danger to life or property.” As a result of leaking gas, the restaurant was forced to close for two days. He also continued to work on Gas appliances despite a written warning from HSE and being served with a Prohibition Notice.

 

Visit our web page to download free
self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

http://www.groveservices.co.uk

 

The Health and Safety
Executive (HSE) is Britain’s
national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death,
injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice,
promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and
working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and
enforcement.

 

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 news Comments Off

News Updates January 2012

Bite Size News Updates from the HSE

Regular Information and links for you and your business put together in one easily accessible email.

Hello Everyone, I would like to take this Opportunity to introduce myself: I am Rebecca Manion, the new Marketing Manager at Grove Services (UK) Limited.  I will be sending out regular monthly news bites and would really appreciate your feedback. We want to ensure we are giving you what you want! Also, please contact me for details of our Advisory services, help lines and workshops.

I look forward to hearing from you.


 
==========================================================


FALLS FROM HEIGHT

Worker fractured back in fall, at a company in Derbyshire. Andrew Baxter, 50 was unloading a 20ft container with a forklift truck and mobile ramp when the ramp became separated from the lorry bed, dropping the forklift truck, causing the truck and driver to fall. Mr Baxter suffered a fractured back and crushed disc. The company he worked for have been fined £24,000.

A horticultural nursery in Evesham has also been fined for a worker 21, who fell through a glass roof and landed on concrete flooring. He suffered concussion with blood on the brain, fractured his hand and sustained other cuts and bruises. The company was fined £12,000.

A 44-year-old worker has neck broken by a fall at work. He was using a vehicle-mounted lift and was standing in the basket but as it elevated one of two levelling rods that keep the basket horizontal at all times broke, causing the basket to tip backwards. He suffered a fractured neck and other injuries. The company was fined £10,000.

 HEALTH & SAFETY FRAUD

Health and safety fraudsters are facing lengthy jail terms after being caught in two separate scams. Mr S and Mr S took health and safety tests on behalf of other construction workers to obtain skills cards. Both were handed nine month prison sentences last week after pleading guilty in court.

They were caught by staff at the CITB-ConstructionSkills’ test centre taking the test. CITB-ConstructionSkills’ product delivery manager Mr C, said that staff discovered the fraud, known as proxy testing, after realising the men had taken multiple tests using several other workers’ identification passes which bore their own photographs.  Both men are foreign nationals and will be deported once they have served their sentences.

In a second incident, eight people have been sentenced for fraud after more than £500,000 was clamied from two colleges for safety training that did not take place. The eight were found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court after a three year police investigation. Documents were forged to show the students took courses at Nottingham’s Castle College and North Warwickshire and Hinckley College in 2007. Castle College which has since merged with South Nottingham College paid out £475, 391 for 583 students who it was told had taken a customer services or health and safety course.

North Warwickshire and Hinckley College paid £27, 108 for 249 students it was led to believe had completed an occupational health and safety course. The eight guilty people worked for training firms Training Options UK and FE Options and for castle college. Ringleader Mr L, 43 was jailed for five years. Miss H, 44 and Mrs R, 57 received three year terms, Mr E, 37 and Mrs E, 45 were both handed 33 month sentences, and Miss H, 38 was sentenced to 18 months in jail. Mr J and Mrs J, both 39 received suspended sentences.

COMPETENCE

The HSE have warned that hiring self employed contractors must be vigilant as they may not all be competent to do the job. The warning comes from a fatality last year. Mr J, 79, a self-employed maintenance contractor fell from a roof panel, falling over 2 metres to the ground. He had been carrying out minor repairs on a rented bungalow for an estate agent. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found estate agents based in Dorset had contracted Mr J to carry out the repair work, but failed to ensure the work was properly planned and organised, or the contractor was competent to carry out the work.

The company, which managed the property on behalf of the landlord, pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £11,153.95.

A HSE inspector has said, ‘Mr J might be alive today if simple safety measures had been put in place. The company has a duty to ensure the safety of those they employed – whether working directly for them or not. If your business in managing properties then you must ensure that anyone you engage to maintain those properties is competent and carries out their work safely to ensure their safety and that of others.’

Visit our web page to download free self-user risk assessments, templates and manuals.

 http://www.groveservices.co.uk

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) isBritain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please email and let us know.

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 news Comments Off

Vol. 1, Issue 43 (Mar 09) Training

Various statutory piece of legislation require health and safety training. From the key piece of legislation the “Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974″ to regulations and approved codes of practice.

Many such as ‘Construction’ related industry requires formalised training routes such as “CSCS” (construction skills certificate scheme), and can include occupations from cleaners to carpenters highways workers to kitchen fitters, bricklayers, roofers to stonemasons. For detail visit www.cscs.uk.com.

Many occupations do not have formalised health and safety training programmes and we take this opportunity to provide basic facts. The starting point is “induction training” if you do not currently provide this, you should review your position – send to us an e-mail and we will send a ‘induction procedure’.

The stated Act states “the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees”. This suggest that you need to make something understood, i.e. what equipment, what procedures, location of fire exits and the location of the facilities to clean, location of toilets and where to obtain a drink.

[Download the full article News Brief 43 (PDF)]

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Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 news Comments Off

Vol. 1, Issue 42 (Dec 08) Road Risk

It has been estimated – Department for Transport (DFT) – that up to one in three road incidents involve someone at work. Lorry driver, bus driver, representatives, travelling between locations, taxi driver & service engineers etc.

Every week around two hundred road deaths and serious injuries may involve individuals who are driving whilst at work.

Have you considered driving for work or whilst at work under a risk assessment? Have you considered the potential impact to your organisation should a fatality occur whilst one is at work driving a company owned vehicle or driving whilst at work?

See our “NEWS BRIEF” issue 38 on ‘CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER & CORPORATE HOMICIDE ACT (CMCHA)’.

The “Health and Safety Executive” and the “DFT” are clear in their messages that health and safety laws will be applied to road incidents. Therefore it is recommended that you consider the following: -

  • Ensure drivers hold licence to drive – check and confirm every twelve months as a minimum – they may have had incidents that have added point to the license, that you are not aware of.
  • Set in place a drugs and alcohol policy – not to drink on duty, before duty, inform staff that random screening is to be introduced.
  • Drivers to complete daily checks on the condition of vehicles. This should include lights
  • and other visible damage.
  • Ensure vehicles have appropriate MOT’s and are in date.
  • Ensure that vehicles have appropriate tax for the class of vehicle and is in date.
  • Ensure that eye sights are checked, by a competent person, if wearers of prescription
  • glasses ensure eyes are checked routinely. Eye sight can alter over the years. Do not allow the use of sun / tinted glasses at night.

[Download the full article News Brief Vol. 1, Issue 42 (PDF)]

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Vol. 1, Issue 41 (Sep 08) Harrassment Claims: Managing The Risk

Though not strictly health and safety – this first subject is about risk management.

Most employers are aware of their exposure to claims for injury arising from the negligence of their employees.

Many are not aware of the extent of the risk of claims for harassment. This could arise by the actions of an employee while their managers are blissfully ignorant.

A car dealership in Kent was some what poorer to the value of £270,000 following a successful sexual harassment claim against one of its managers. Such claims may arise from discrimination legislation: sex, race, age, disability, religion etc.

A new development is the use of the “antistalking” legislation, the Protection from Harassment Act. A major commercial bank found this out to its cost to the tune of £800,000 recently.

Most employers’ liability insurance policies do not cover claims under employment law such as discrimination legislation.

Most employers’ liability insurance policies do not cover claims under employment law such as discrimination legislation.

So how do you as an employer manage the risk?

First you need to ensure you have equal opportunities and harassment policies in place and up to date. It is not enough simply to ensure that the policy is in place: all employees need to be aware of it. As part of the induction process staff should be given a copy and asked to sign to say they have read it.

[Download the full article News Brief Vol. 1, Issue 41 (PDF)]

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Vol. 1, Issue 40 (Jun 08) Site Waste Plan

From the 6th April 2008, you must have a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) for all new construction projects worth more than £300,000.

If a project is considered before 6 April 2008 and construction work begins before 1 July 2008, you will not need to produce a SWMP.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you do not need to have a plan – this may change in the future. Following the plan could assist to reduce the amount of waste produced.

If the project you are working on is projected to be more than £300,000, work should not commence until a SWMP is in place.

Each project should have a SWMP. It is a live document and therefore must be updated through the course of the project.

As it is produced at the very start of a project, the designers’ can consider ways that waste can be reduced and site-gained materials can be reused or recycled as part of the project. Identifying waste materials at an early stage that can not be reused on that project will make it easier to find other alternative uses for them.

Who is responsible for the SWMP?

If you are the client, you are responsible for the following: -
Producing the SWMP before construction works commences.

  • Appointing the Principal Contractor.
  • Passing the SWMP to the Principal Contractor.
  • Updating the SWMP (at least) every three months if you decide to manage the project yourself.

[Download the full article News Brief Vol. 1, Issue 40 (PDF)]

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Vol. 1, Issue 39 (Mar 08) Don’t take risks with Asbestos

Many people are still needlessly being exposed to asbestos in the workplace.

Despite changes in requirements, many are still not heeding the warnings. The group of people who are most likely to be exposed to asbestos are: -

  • Maintenance workers.
  • IT and data installers.
  • Telecoms.
  • Builders.

The requirements are to be found within the “Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.

You need to decide who is the responsible person. Be it the Landlord or yourself being under the control of a repair lease or facility function.

If the location was built after 2000 the risk is low from having the material in the facility. This must be established.

Decide what information you have available i.e. surveys or insurance inspections.

You may need some external competent advice to complete an assessment/survey.

Once identified you need to let people know what you have and where it is located-giving due regard to hidden areas-in risers, in cupboards, in plant rooms and above ceilings.

If you have damaged material you may have to do something-doing nothing is not the answer.

[Download the full article News Brief Vol. 1, Issue 39 (PDF)]

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Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 news Comments Off

Vol. 1, Issue 38a (Dec 07) Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act (CMCHA)

Legislation comes into effect April 2008, it provides a new offence of Corporate Manslaughter (Corporate Homicide in Scotland) where an organisation’s gross negligence has led to the death of an employee or member of the public.

The Offence.

The CMCHA it is to be levied against an organisation to which it could be relevant, it could be guilty of an offence, if the way in which the activities are managed or organised causes a person’s death, and
amounts to a gross breach of a “relevant duty of care” owed by the organisation to the deceased. The organisations to which the CMCHA applies are a corporation, a department or other body (generally
government departments), a police force, a partnership, a trade union or employers’
association, that is an employer.

[Download the full article News Brief Vol. 1, Issue 38a (PDF)]

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Vol. 1, Issue 37 (Sep 07) Lighten the load

This year for the “European Week for Safety and Health” reflects on manual handling.

The overall aim of the European campaign on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) is to support employers, workers, safety representatives, practitioners, preventive services, policy makers and other stakeholders in improving MSD prevention at workplace level.

The Lighten the load campaign in 2007 seeks to promote an integrated management approach to tackle MSDs embracing prevention of MSDs, and the retention, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers who already suffer from MSDs by:

  • Taking forward European action on MSDs initiated by the first European Week for Safety and Health at Work in 2000, “Turn your back on MSDs”
  • Extending the scope of EW activities in terms of themes covered, and
  • Involving all Member States and EFTA countries in the campaigning activities
  • The integrated management approach to tackle MSDs includes three key elements that are important for its successful implementation:
  • Employers, employees and government working together to tackle MSDs
  • Addressing the whole load on the body leading to MSDs, and
  • Managing the retention, rehabilitation and return to work of those who suffer, or have suffered, MSDs

[Download the full article News Brief Vol. 1, Issue 37 (PDF)]

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Vol. 1, Issue 36 (Jun 07) Workplace Smoking

From July 1st 2007 smoke free law will apply to virtually all ‘enclosed’ and ‘substantially enclosed’ public places and workplaces. This includes both temporary (building sites), permanent workplaces (offices, shops and warehouses) & temporary workplaces such as marquees.

Indoor smoking rooms in public places and workplaces will no longer be allowed.

Premises will be considered ‘enclosed’ if they have a ceiling or roof and except for doors, windows or passageways are enclosed either on a permanent or temporary basis.

Premises will be considered ‘substantially enclosed’ if they have a ceiling or roof, but have an opening in the walls, which is less than half the
total area of the walls. The area of the opening does not include doors, windows or any other fittings that can be opened or shut.

In general all workplaces will therefore be affected.

Vehicles are to be smoke free environments as well, if they are used to transport members of the public and/or in the course of paid or voluntary work by more than one person – regardless of whether they are in the vehicle at the same time.

[Download the full article News Brief Vol. 1, Issue 36 (PDF)]

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Vol. 1, Issue 35 (Mar 07) Fire at Home

We normally refer to the workplace in our regular NEWS BRIEF issues, for March 2007, we are to concentrate on the home.

If your smoke alarm went off in the middle of night what would you do? This assumes you have a smoke alarm – if not why not? Put together a plan of action for your home.

Take into account everyone in the house to include the children, other youngsters, elderly, the infirm and disabled, others staying overnight, the friends of the children and other family etc.

The best means of escape from you house, is the normal way in and out. You should know better than anyone which the best route is likely to be. Let everyone know where you keep the window and door locks – just in case.

If you are unable to escape due to a blockage it may be better to wait for the professionals. However, you should always keep blockages to a minimum whether it is at work, home, on the train or other public transport system.

Waiting for the professionals is very stressful, you consider pushing wet towels or wet bedding at the base of the base of the doors and protecting yourself within one area. When the professionals arrive, you should make your presence known.

You should choose the room in advance of a potential problem, knowing where and how to unlock the window and have as far as possible a telephone to contact the outside – in particular the emergency services. Open the window to allow you access to fresh air.

If you live in a block of flats and the stairs are obstructed by smoke or fire – DO NOT USE THE LIFTS. Stay calm and return to the inside of the flat etc. The design should keep the fire out, again use the wet towels or bedding and make yourself known to the professionals, open the windows to allow you access to fresh air.

You must fit smoke alarms on each floor level of your house/property. These must be tested or checked and inspected to ensure they operate on a regular basis – this could be weekly or more frequent, batteries may require replacing, they detectors may need cleaning to remove dust deposits.

If you do not have working smoke alarms in your home, your chances of surviving a fire are remote.

If your fitted smoke alarms keep operating – do not disconnect them – they are doing what they are intended to do. There may be some reason why they have been set off, so check the areas for signs i.e. smoking and the effects of smoking, cooking and cooking residuals etc.

You should switch off as many disused electrical appliances as you can when retiring for the night or when going out, the more items that can be switched of the lesser the load on the electrical services and the safer you will be. It might also assist you in reducing your energy bill!

Do not allow the youngsters to play with matches, lighters and candles.

Remove any cigarettes and ash trays, damp down with some water to ensure they are not still alight.

Put out candles properly, do not just blow them out, make sure they are out. Best thing is to put them out long before you retire for the evening.

As far as possible shut all doors when you go to bed, it can delay the spread and the effects of fire and smoke.

If the alarms sounds at night, do not just get up to see why, or where the fire might be coming from. Wake everyone up to alert them and then get everyone together to follow your fire safety plan.

If doors are warm, do not open them, they can be checked with the back of the hand – the fire could be contained behind the door.

If there is a lot of smoke, get near to the floor, crawl with you head as near to the floor as possible, the air will be clearer.

If you are on the ground floor, you should use the available windows to make your escape.

If glass has to be broken use towels or other thick materials to lessen the impact before you escape.

It may be possible to throw out bedding to break your fall, do not just jump out, lower yourself and then drop to the floor.

If you have family with you, plan who goes first, you may need to assist others with escaping to safety.

Do not return to the property, summons help, wake the neighbours, so they can call for the emergency services.

MAKE YOUR PLAN.

PRACTICE THE PLAN.

CHECK THE DETECTORS.

Fire at home

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Vol. 1, Issue 34 (Dec 06) Accident Reporting

“If you think health and safety is expensive try having an accident” Bill Callaghan “Health and Safety Commission”

It is a legal requirement that a suitable accident report book be retained at the workplace. All work related incidents and accidents must be recorded no matter how minor (it appears) the injury seems.

The requirements of “Reporting Injuries Dangerous Diseases and Occurrences Regulations” (RIDDOR) must be considered and whether the incident is reportable. All incidents resulting in absence from work in excess of three days must be reported to the enforcing authority under these regulations.

It is advised that separate accident/incident form be used in order that the circumstances of any incident be recorded in as much detail as possible and that the information be used to prevent a similar occurrence. Insurers must be notified of incidents in particular any that involves bodily harm. The Data Protection Act also applies.

Workplace Claims.

The following may be required to be produced for insurers or others (i.e. enforcing authority).

“Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations”.

Regulation 5 – Maintenance of workplace and of equipment devices and systems – repair and maintenance records, inspections etc.

Regulation 9 – Cleanliness and waste materials – cleaning and/or house-keeping records.

Regulation 11 – Workstations and seating – are they set out suitably and in good repair.

Regulation 12 – Conditions of floors and traffic routes – Good state of repair, are they slippery due to weather, leaks, spills etc, free from obstructions and well drained.

Regulation 13 – Falls or falling objects – systems in place to prevent etc.

Regulation 14 – Windows, and transparent or translucent doors, gates and walls – are they of a suitable safety material etc, marked etc.

Regulation 17 – Organisation etc of traffic routes – are hazard warning signs been provided, separation from vehicles (fork lifts etc), wide enough etc.

Accident Statistics.

Can be calculated using the following formula.

Frequency rate is calculated by the following: -

Number of injuries X 1000
Total number of employed during the period.

Accident rate is calculated by the following

Number of injuries X 1000
Average number of employees during the period.

Accident Costs.

Include directly dealing with the incident-getting injured persons to and from hospital, lost production, local clearing, re-assurance to employees.

Investigation of the incident (internally and externally) – meeting with insurers, enforcing authorities etc.

Getting back to business, recovery costs (including wage etc), repairs after damage etc.

Action to safe guard future business, re-assurance to clients. out-sourcing etc.

Sanctions and penalties, compensation claims, employees times, fines in Court.

Information from HSE publication INDG355

INITIAL CHECK LIST FOR INCIDENTS.

  • When and where? Day or night?
  • How did it occur?
  • What activities at the time?
  • Anything unusual?
  • Adequate safe working (lone worker)?
  • What injuries?
  • How occurred – what happened?
  • Were risks controlled?
  • Organisation and arrangements
  • effective?
  • Maintenance and cleaning?
  • Competence and training?
  • Workplace layout?
  • Nature, shape of material (effect)?
  • Difficulties using equipment?
  • Safety equipment (PPE etc)?
  • Other conditions (environment).
  • Immediate / underlying / root causes?

The above provides a check-list. Accident costs are great and have many hidden costs.

Send an e-mail and we will send you a cost calculator and a comprehensive check list.

Accident Reporting

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Vol. 1, Issue 33a (Sep 06) Age & Workplace

Health and Safety – and ageism!

With all the talk about age, pension and working longer we thought we should cover the subject matter. Do no think that age is about older age, it is also strongly linked to the younger less experience workers.

It must start with management commitment, and should form part of the whole ethos and attitude of the workforce.

Employers should have in place policies to state the intent of the company / business.

If you discriminate against an employee and lose the case, there is currently no limit on how much the tribunal can ask you to pay.

Employers are responsible for the actions of the employees, so ensure you do not end up having to pay for their mistakes.

Older persons do not have more accidents in the workplace, younger workers and less experienced workers have been found to have a higher accident risk.

Specific risk assessments are required for young persons – generally accepted to be under the age of eighteen – see the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 19 ‘Protection of Young Persons’ – send an e-mail and we will reply with a risk assessment to assist you in evaluation.

The thinking that older persons have more incidents due to sprains, falls and strains is not correct. These risks can be controlled by good housekeeping and improved health and safety monitoring – this would benefit the whole organization – not just groups of workers.

Older people normally have a more sensible and pragmatic approach to the workplace due to their ‘life experiences’.

Are these individuals who are considered to be old the right person for the job? Do not discount them on the grounds of age.
Could you consider them as part of a mentoring system?
They may be the right person for the job, they may be the one who is capable of delivering a wealth of experience to the persons undergoing training.

You should recognise that the persons skills can decline if not used regularly. So you must ensure that all persons of all age receive on-going operator and refresher training in the tasks that they are undertaking.

When issuing work instructions you should ensure that the demands of the labours do not exceed the operators ability to complete the tasks in a reasonable manner. We should all ensure that the capabilities and their current level of knowledge and experience is taken into account when allocating the task.

Training and competence needs will have to be reviewed of the work activity alters-such as change of plant or equipment or process. This should also include a change of department.

Flexible Working.

There are a number of working practices that may be adopted dependent on the size of the organization you work with and can include: -

  • Part time working.
  • Job sharing.
  • Term time working.
  • Career break opportunities.
  • Phased retirement.
  • Temporary or call down contracts to cover holidays, sickness or busy periods.

Remember young person may already be working part time on site due to attendance at college etc.

By 2010, forty per cent of the workforce will be aged 45 and over, people are living longer, the average age of the workforce is rising. Business success depends on keeping both your older and younger workers up-skilled.

To minimise skills shortages, you may need to retain older workers for longer
and recognise they are a valuable resource for your business success.

Employees aged over 50 are likely to stay with their employer until retirement providing up to 15 years or more labour.

Helping all your employees to update existing skills and gain new skills will help them sustain productive and satisfying employment.

Some benefits of training include:

  • higher competence and capabilities;
  • improved quality of service;
  • increased motivation and retention;
  • Raised commitment.

“Experienced older works may take a more responsible attitude to health and safety risks (Challen 1998), they are likely to use their experience to judge the limits more accurately, be more likely to follow rules and advice (HSE 2002), be more cautious than young workers (Shepard 1997) and may be more aware of potential accident risks (Saliminen 1993)

Organisations can benefit from the employment of older workers in developing a more responsible culture and attitude towards health and safety risks in the workplace”.

The above taken as a direct quotes from the “Age Partnership Group”.

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Vol. 1, Issue 32 (Mar 06) Data & Data

Health and Safety – Data Protection

Any business that processes personal data must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Since all businesses utilise some personal information, for example information relating to employees, agents and directors, data protection affects all businesses, B2B and B2C alike.

The first requirement is to register for data protection unless the business is exempt. The main exemption applies to businesses that do not process personal data as a key part of its service offering, for example a building contractor, retailer or plumber. Some activities are also registrable such as operating a CCTV scheme, using credit reference information and marketing goods and services provided by third parties.

Failure to notify.

Two debt collection agencies were fined by magistrates in October 2005 for the offence of failing to notify contrary to section 21 of the Data Protection Act 1998. The fines levied were the maximum amounts allowed by the legislation, £5,000 plus costs.

Failing to notify is a strict liability offence, there can be no defence to the charge. Therefore businesses are encouraged to notify at a cost of £35 per year rather than risk a charge under section 21.

Key implications for health and safety.

Records that are retained for purposes of Health & Safety will contain personal data relating to employees and others, such as visitors to the organisation’s premises. Generally the following records are held for Health & Safety purposes: -

Details of fire wardens and first aiders. This information may be disclosed to the Emergency Services to assist in managing an incident should one occur. Employees should be aware of this disclosure of their personal data.

Accident books and incident logs. These will necessarily contain sensitive data relating to the physical and/or mental health of those involved in an accident at work. All who are asked to contribute personal data to an accident book should be aware of the identity of the organisation requesting the information, the purposes for which the data will be used and any other information relevant in the circumstances including any likely disclosures to insurers or their agents. The use of sensitive data often requires the consent of the person to whom it relates. Remember also that accident data might be anonymised and disclosed as statistics.

Visitors’ books. These require visitors to supply personal data and should be supported by appropriate statements about the organisation, the purposes for which the details to be recorded will be used and any other information relevant in the circumstances.

Claims files. These are likely to contain sensitive data relating to an incident. The data will be disclosed to insurers. The use of sensitive data often requires the consent of the person to whom it relates.

Monitoring activity. If the employer resorts to monitoring to help reduce or prevent accidents, there are issues related to the use of personal data for monitoring. There is a Code of Conduct for the use of employee personal data which sets out best practice standards for monitoring to cover data protection and human rights requirements.

We would recommend that you seek advice from our friends at www.dp-smart.co.uk. 01883 331134. Data Protection Consulting, an organisation dedicated to providing first rate advice and deliverable solutions for clients.

Control of Noise at Work

Came into force April 2006, they replace the “Noise at Work Regulations 1989″.

Employees Duties.
Employees have a duty to comply with measures that organisations have placed upon them.

This includes using noise control measures as provided and in line with manufactures instructions and guidance.

To wear hearing protectors in accordance with instructions provided when exposed at or above the upper exposure action values and at all times in hearing protection zones.

Taking care of hearing protection and noise control equipment that is provided.

Reporting defects with hearing protection, reporting defects with noise control measures or reporting difficulties with using the equipment provided.

Someone has to have overall responsibility to ensure that there is an appropriate hearing protection programme and that it is adopted, this should include, issue and such distribution of hearing protectors.

You should provide information, instruction and training to all employees at risk and actions they have to take to enable compliance.

You should carry out spot checks to ensure that hearing protectors as issued are used and worn, where employees are not using hearing protection they should be questioned as to why and attempt to resolve difficulties or give and record a verbal warning.

Where employees persistently fail to use hearing protection properly you should follow disciplinary procedures.

You must ensure that any noise-control equipment is maintained and carry out regular checks, and report defects and remedy any defects noted.

You must provide appropriate provide signs and warning notices to state where and when protectors are to be worn and used.

You should reduce exposure to noise to as low as is reasonably practicable, by establishing and implementing a programme of organisational and technical methods, excluding the provision of personal hearing protection.

issue32

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Vol. 1, Issue 31 (Mar 06) FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!

From 1st April 2006, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will take effect. This will have impact on fire safety and controls within the workplace. It is intended to simplify regulations and enforcement.

The issue and use of the “Fire Certificate” is to be removed and the principle will be covered by your own management system after risk assessment.

The arrangements are to ensure that fire safety procedures are suitable and sufficient relevant to the risks at the workplace.

The requirement will place a duty on the “responsible person”, to make fire precautions for their employees and others- non-employees, visitors, contractors and the like.

The “responsible person” must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which persons would be exposed on the premises.

Provide adequate and suitable means for giving warning in the event of fire, for escape from a fire and for fire fighting. This must include any maintenance of fixed systems i.e. fire hose reels etc.

As with any risk assessment , control is relevant. Therefore storing of hazardous materials and hazardous works processes should be controlled in such a manner that the risks are reduced and managed.

Where procedures for serious and imminent danger exist (regulation 8 of the “Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations”) from hazardous processes are to be developed, practiced and implemented.

Where five or less are employed the risk assessment will not need to be written down or recorded, this may have any effect in a shared environment with small numbers of employees. Therefore we would recommend that you co-operate and co-ordinate with others (Regulation 11 of the “Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations”).

In completing the risk assessment you will need to have the following information available to you to make an informed decision, “understanding fire risks, materials likely to be affected (what is combustible), the hazards present in the workplace, existing control measures, the work activities (perceived risks higher in factories & warehouses etc, lower risk offices), and persons at risk (numbers of persons present, disabilities, learning difficulties etc).

The assessment must consider the means of escape, fire alarms systems, potential spread of fire (compartments), fire escape routes, fire doors etc, the management and maintenance of fire controls and procedures, evacuation drills, fire wardens and training of persons in when, how and what to do and where to go.

The “Fire Safety Order” will repeal several pieces of legislation, this includes and is not meant to record all repeals, “Fire Precautions Act 1971″, “Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 and 1999″.

A fire risk assessment could include and not be limited to the following: -

  • House-keeping practices and the knowledge of the occupiers of fire risks.
  • Storage of substances, the area, the access, what is stored, i.e. how flammable.
  • Fire alarm and fire detection systems, this may include fixed fire fighting systems such as hose reels, sprinklers and the like. The installation and maintenance and service of the services and systems installed.
  • Structural features of the facility, the design, partitioning, the existing fire prevention and fire spread construction.
  • Process and materials used and stored in connection with the process.
  • Maintenance and adequacy of the means of escape, the escape routes, the external fire stairs, the condition and where they go, i.e. no blockages etc.
  • The persons who use the premises, the vulnerable, the visitor, the contractors – How do they assist in the fire control of fire? Do you control them? Is there a system of permits.
  • The training of employees to include the existing staff, in what to do, the new starters the induction process and the routine.
  • Refresher training of fire wardens.
  • The emergency planning procedures for the location, existing and altered, do not forget, where you change the layout you could alter the procedure.
  • Is there a system to control the amounts of combustible materials and flammable liquids in the work place?
  • Is the electrical wiring inspected periodically by a competent person?
  • Are all items of portable equipment fitted with correctly rated fuses?
  • Is the upholstered furniture in good condition?
  • Is there a procedure for review of the fire risk assessment periodically?
  • Has a formal; report been prepared and shown to the staff or their representatives?
  • Are the fire safety provisions adequate or could they be improved?
  • If escape lighting is installed, is it working properly?
  • Is the escape lighting maintained regularly?
  • Is there an automatic fire alarm system?
  • Is the fire alarm in good working order?
  • Is the fire alarm tested weekly?
  • Are fire action notices prominently displayed throughout the workplace?
  • Is there an emergency plan in case of a major fire? Can the final exits be opened immediately without the use of a key?
  • Are the final exits from the premises always unlocked when the premises are in use?
  • Is there a designated smoking area provided with adequate ashtrays?
  • Are there measures to segregate areas of the building to prevent the spread of fire?

We would recommend that you give serious thought and consideration to have in place an “Business Continuity Plan”.

Send an e-mail and we will send you a draft plan.

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Vol. 1, Issue 30 (Dec 05) Hazardous Waste

Part of the Hazardous Waste regulations came into force on 16 April 2005 with the requirement “Where hazardous waste is produced at or removed from, any premises other than exempt premises, the premises must be notified to the Environment Agency”.

This now means that any business producing hazardous waste has a legal duty to register with the “Environment Agency” any premises where hazardous waste is produced.

Certain types of premises are exempt from the requirement to register if less than 200kg of hazardous waste are produced in any twelve month period. These include domestic premises, shops, offices, agricultural premises, dental, veterinary or medical practices, ships, schools, prisons and charity premises.

Premises in Scotland or Northern Ireland do not have to register as producers for these Regulations – they only apply to England and Wales.

Requirement to Notify
Producers of hazardous waste are required to notify premises at which they produce hazardous waste. Some premises are exempt from notification – those are premises:

Listed in regulation 23(3) of the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 (HWR);

At which less than 200kg (in total) of hazardous waste is produced in any twelve months period (except a ship).

Any hazardous waste produced there is removed by a registered carrier (under the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989) or a person exempt from registration.
Premises
Include any ship and any other means of transport from which a mobile service is operated.

Recognising that they can include ships and other vehicles such as road vehicles, trains, barges, aircraft etc. from which a mobile service is operated.

It will be a question of fact what are premises. All the circumstances need to be considered but the following factors are likely to be relevant (though this is not an exhaustive list – all the facts must be considered):

Is an area used exclusively by an operating unit.

Is there a specific area in which a particular activity is carried out separate from other activities occurring at the site.

Is there clear demarcation between areas – this could be physical separation such as walls or boundaries or if not physical a clear understanding that an area is for one operator’s use.

Does an operator have the right to exclude others from their work area.

Is there a legal interest in a particular space – a legal interest should be given a wide meaning and can include a licence.

Where a site consists of several buildings all within the control of the same operator/business unit the buildings taken together will generally constitute premises. If buildings are a significant distance apart and there is no obvious common boundary around them it will be unlikely that the two buildings together are the same premises and more likely that each will have to be notified separately.

Contractors carrying out construction works (other than works that can properly be described as maintenance, which would be completed very quickly) should notify the construction site. The extent of that site will need to be determined on the facts. There might be small interruptions in the continuation of the site, which would not necessarily mean that there were separate premises. Any significant interruption in the continuation of the site is likely to mean separate notifications for two or more sites is needed.

Some definitions of Hazardous Waste from “The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations” 2005 Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 894.

Categories or generic types of hazardous waste listed according to their nature of the activity which generated them (waste may be liquid, sludge or solid in form)

Hospital and other clinical wastes; pharmaceuticals, medicines and veterinary compounds; wood preservatives; biocides substances; residue from substances employed as solvents; halogenated organic substances not employed as solvents excluding inert polymerized materials; mineral oils and oily substances (e.g. cutting sludge’s, etc.); oil/water, hydrocarbon/water mixtures, emulsions; resins, latex, plasticizers,

Glues/adhesives; photographic chemicals and processing materials; animal or vegetable soaps, fats, waxes; ion-exchange column residue; batteries and other electrical cells.

This listing is not meant to be exhaustive.

Exempt Premises
These are described in regulation 23(3) providing the qualifying limitation of less than 200kg hazardous waste in any twelve month period is produced at the premises is also met and any hazardous waste is removed by a registered carrier or person exempt from registration.

23(3) The descriptions of premises are -
office premises, to the extent that the hazardous waste arises from the use of the premises as an office;

(b) shop premises, to the extent that the hazardous waste arises from the use of the premises as a shop;

(c) premises used for agriculture within the meaning of the Agriculture Act 1947, to the extent that the hazardous waste arises from the use of the premises for agriculture;

(d) premises of a description listed in – (i) paragraphs (a) to (e) of section 75(5) of the 1990 Act; or (ii) Schedule 1 to the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992;

(e) premises at which waste electrical and electronic equipment is collected, to the extent that the premises are used for that purpose;

(f) premises used by a dental, veterinary or medical practice, to the extent that the premises are used for that purpose; and

(g) any ship.

Have a safe Christmas and a healthy new year.

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Vol. 1, Issue 29 (Sep 05) Stop that noise!!

Noise-induced hearing loss has been recognised as ‘the most prevalent, irreversible industrial disease’. Actually noise at work can cost you much more than your hearing! It can be a causal factor in accidents, contribute to work-related stress, and may act together with other workplace hazards to cause ill health.

Noise at work is still a serious but often underestimated threat to millions of workers. Backed by the European Parliament, Commission and Luxembourg EU Presidency, the campaign, with its slogan ‘STOP THAT NOISE!’, will culminate in the annual European Week for Safety and Health at Work on 24-28 October 2005.

We have signed up to the campaign and offer this NEWS BRIEF as part of our commitment.

Noise goes beyond hearing problems; it can cause workplace accidents and increase stress levels. Workers will get more hearing protection under new measures coming into force in all EU Member States by February 2006 which will set new exposure limit values of 87 decibels for workers’ daily exposure to noise.

Noise is a serious but often neglected work-related risk that can cost you more than your hearing. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can lead to hearing disabilities but noise can also cause or be a factor in:

  • Causing harm to the ears through exposure to dangerous substances
  • Work-related stress
  • An increased risk of workplace accidents
  • Harm to a worker’s unborn child.

Noise-induced hearing loss has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as ‘the most prevalent, irreversible industrial disease’. Hearing loss may not only stop a person working to their full potential; it can destroy a person’s social life, isolating them from the community around them.

Work-related noise is a growing concern across Europe as it directly affects millions of workers not only in heavy industry but also in growth sectors such as services, education and entertainment. One third of Europe’s workers are exposed to high levels of noise for more than a quarter of their working time.

To protect workers, the 2003 EU directive that comes into force in all Member States in 2006, sets a daily noise exposure limit of 87dB(A) and requires that ‘the risks arising from exposure to noise shall be eliminated at their source or reduced to a minimum’.

If persons employed at work have to shout or have to raise their voice to be heard when standing about two metres apart from each other a noise problem exists.

  • If you believe a noise problem at work exists, you must ensure that suitable action is taken.
  • It should be understood that once hearing damage has occurred or has been caused, it might be permanent.
  • Exposure to high noise levels can lead to occupational induced deafness.
  • Effects of exposure is the reduction in the ability to hear in persons and some situations it can result in a permanent ringing sound within the ear, known as “tinnitus”.

The best way to reduce exposure to noise levels to the lowest level that is reasonably practicable is to reduce the noise levels at source.

This can by the following measures: -

  • Providing acoustic enclosures around machinery to absorb and contain noise levels.
  • Substitution with quieter plant and equipment.
  • Locating machinery away from main working areas, where possible.
  • Switching plant and machinery off when not in use.
  • Regularly servicing and maintaining plant and machinery.
  • Inspecting for loose fixings, covers etc on plant and machinery and replacing or fixing to prevent further vibration and noise levels.
  • Purchasing policies should be able to question the supplier of plant and equipment to be able to establish from the supplier / manufacturers about the maximum noise levels which plant, machinery or equipment emits or gives off when on full load.

No ear protection should be issued until a suitable noise assessment has been completed to establish the levels that could be anticipated within the workplace. The assessment should assist and provide adequate information to decide the type and attenuation properties of the ear protection that should be provided.

The ear protection that is supplied should be suitable and sufficient for the purpose for what it is intended for and afford adequate protection to the user and be maintained and / or replaced when and where necessary. The issuing of suitable ear protection should only be considered as a short- term or interim measure until other means of controlling the noise can be accomplished.

The requirements to provide ear protection for noise depends on noise exposure levels. Employees should be advised of the effect of noise exposure at these action levels and they should be encouraged to make proper use of them and to wear them.

Information should be provided to employees on where and how to obtain them, it is up to the discretion of the employees to wear them (for existing levels under the current regulations (1989)).

All ear protection provided for use should be compatible with any other “Personal Protective Equipment”, be comfortable to wear and use when being worn and used.

Information must be provided to all employees on why it is being provided. Where ear protection should be worn, such as the use of warning signs. How it should be worn. How it should be stored when not in use. How and where to obtain replacements if they become damaged, lost of worn.

If earplugs are issued and are of the disposable or re-usable type, employees should be informed of the need to ensure and have in place good hygiene practices. That they are observed and that persons suffering from any ear complaints, such as infections or irritations should not use these types of ear protection.

If employees are experiencing such problems they should consult their Doctor or GP for a medical opinion on whether that type of each protection can be safety used or worn.

If earmuffs are required to be re-used they should be suitably cleaned, disinfected and inspected to make sure that are not un-hygienic or damaged.

Notices must be displayed which state that they are entering an ear protection area or zone and that the employees are required to wear ear protection.

Arrangements should be made for the proper storage or ear protection that is not in use, to protect against being contaminated by grease, oil or dust etc.

A system for checking and inspecting should be introduced to check and ensure that the ear protection that is issued is in good working order and is not damaged or defective.

The employee’s have duties under the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974, generally to wear and take care of any ear protection provided.

Where and how protectors and possible replacements can be obtained.

The noise levels that are likely to be encountered at the workplace and the risks to hearing from exposure.

How and to whom faults in ear protection and noise control equipment should be reported.

Stop that noise

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Vol. 1, Issue 28 (Jun 05) Work at Height

Came into force in April 2005.

There are several reasons behind the regulations, these are based on the following statistics – taken from the “Health and Safety Executive”.

  • There were 67 Fatal Accidents 2003 /04 – biggest Killer.
  • 384 Major Accidents 2003 /04.
  • Until this year (2005) 2nd biggest cause of major accidents
  • 2/3rds of all major injuries caused by ‘low falls’
  • Patchwork of current legislation i.e. “Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations”, “Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations”, “Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations” and “Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations”.
  • To implement the Temporary Work at Height Directive from EC.

The approach to working at height follows a simple formula

  • Organised and plan (the works and operations)
  • Consider competence (in terms of personnel to complete the works and competence in the planning of the works).
  • Complete your risk assessments – always required – see the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
  • Consider whether there are fragile surfaces/falling objects and danger areas – these are to be found in all industries. Place signs as appropriate fixed or temporary, have things in place to prevent falling objects, segregate if the is a potential for a “danger area”.
  • Inspect the work equipment, the ladder, the access equipment, the stairs, the way up and the way down, the edge protection provided, the fall arrest equipment used and the type and frequency maintenance of the equipment.
  • Many of the requirements are placed on various persons in the workplace, this include employers (those who employ personnel – do not forget you may contract works – so these must be considered.
  • Self-employed – these may be contracted.
  • Those in control of people at work, to the extent of their control.

The list is not intended to be exhaustive.

There is a definition of Work at Height -

  • Work in any place from which a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury
  • Includes access and egress
  • Includes work below ground level
  • Does not include ‘slip or trip’ on the level

When work is to be completed the following should be considered: -

The weather conditions must not jeopardise health and safety of the intended operations. The works must be properly planned and appropriately supervised; and carried out in a manner which is safe.

When work is required to be completed, the persons completing the works should be competent to do so; they must be trained and supervised by a competent person. Therefore consider training and refresher training ensures that the safety message is provided and understood.

Risk assessments are required, follow a system, avoid work at height, if you do not have to go there do not go there.
Prevent falls from occurring, adopting a sensible and suitable method, i.e. use edge protection on roofs – these provide a safe area for the many and not just for the individuals – there are numbers of simple clamping systems available.

Mitigate the distance and consequences of a fall, this could mean using a harness and line fixed and secured with fall arrest or fall restrain systems.

If you can’t do any of these take other suitable measures consider the effects and causes and complete a risk assessment.

Collective measures must take precedence over personal protection at all stages of hierarchy. Selection of work equipment must take account of:-

  • Working conditions
  • Access and Egress
  • Distance and consequences of a fall
  • Duration and frequency of use
  • Ease of rescue/evacuation
  • Risk of use, installation and removal of equipment

Ladders are not banned; there is a need to think more carefully about why they are being routinely used in many cases.

Requirements for particular work equipment.

Guard rails and toe-boards should be located at many locations and areas; this includes working platforms and scaffolding. You could consider the use of nets, airbags and other collective safe guards for arresting falls that is not part of a personal fall protection system.

There are Work Equipment Schedules that identify detail and should be reviewed as appropriate to your workplace. They cover the following (this list is not meant to be exhaustive): -

Existing places of work

  • Collective prevention including guard rails, etc.
  • Working platforms – mobile elevated work platforms, scaffold, etc.
  • Collective fall arrest – airbags, nets.
  • Personal Fall Protection – rope access / restraint, etc.
  • Ladders, etc.

Do you follow current law and industry good practice?
Do you assess risks, plan the work and act accordingly?
Do you consider avoidance first then prevention and minimise?
Do you consider collective means of protection before personal?
Then you should be able to comply with the proposed Work at Height Regulations.

Work at Height

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Vol. 1, Issue 27 (Mar 05) COSHH Amended

The regulation “COSHH 2002″ has been amended to “Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (Amendment) Regulations 2004″ and came into force 17th January 2005.

The amendments have come about due to the change of approach with exposures to substances. The definitions for ‘maximum exposure limit’ and ‘occupational exposure standard’ will be deleted and will alter to ‘workplace exposure limit’.

The definition for ‘workplace exposure limit’ is to be “for a substance hazardous to health means the exposure limit approved by the ‘Health and Safety Commission’ for that substance in relation to the specified reference period when calculated by a method approved by the ‘Health and Safety Commission’, as contained in ‘HSE’ publication “EH/40 Workplace Exposure Limits 2005″ as updated from time to time”.

It is understood that the “Health and Safety Executive” is to publish the “EH/40″ series on their web page, the 2004 edition has as yet not been published, therefore it will be difficult to comply with the amendments.

In short the answer is that you should ensure that you do meet the requirements of the 2002 edition of the “COSHH” regulations as a minimum and check with the person who provides competent advice for any further actions that may be required.

Part of the regulations is now in place, some elements will come into force April 2005.

The regulations amend other relevant statutory provisions this includes:-

  • “Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002″ (CHIP).
  • “Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002″.

The regulations also implement provisions concerning chromium VI in cement contained in Directive 2003/53/EC of a European Directive. To reduce the effects of dermatitis.

To prohibit the supply and use of cement and cement containing preparations containing when hydrated more than 0.0002% soluble chromium VI of the dry weight of the cement except in certain fully automated and enclosed processes.

To amend the CHIP regulations by adding a requirement to mark the packaging of cement whose chromium VI content would exceed that limit but for the use of reducing agents with information on how long and which conditions those agents will remain effective.

Further amendments include the new requirements to observe principles of good practice for the control of exposure to substances hazardous to health introduced by schedules under the regulations. To ensure that in respect of carcinogens and asthmagens that exposure is reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

Definition of “reasonably practicable”. “Reasonably practicable”, as traditionally interpreted, is a narrower term than ‘physically possible’ and implies that a computation must be made in which the quantum of risk is placed in one scale and the sacrifice, whether in money, time or trouble, involved in the measures necessary to avert the risk are placed in the other; and that, if it be shown that there is gross disproportion between them, the risk being insignificant in relation to the sacrifice, the person upon whom the duty is laid discharges the burden of proving that compliance was not reasonably practicable.

There will be the introduction of a duty to review control measures other than the provision of plant and equipment, including systems of work and supervision at suitable intervals.

WORK AT HEIGHT UPDATE

After on going and protracted consultation process the “Health and Safety Executive” has – according to information received – decided against a two metre rule for the construction industry.

Therefore the way forward will be based on judgement and the risk assessment process. It is likely that there will be a need for specific fall protection to be made available for falls from heights that are suitable and sufficient.

Priority should be given for collective measures rather than individual measures, such as hand rails edge protection rather than single user harnesses.

A few Do’s and Don’ts for ladders.

  • DO keep your body facing the ladder at all times, centred between the stiles.
  • DON’T reach too far forwards or sideways, or stand with one foot on the ladder and the other one on something else.
  • DO move the ladder to avoid overstretching, and re-secure it whenever necessary, however frustrating that might be!
  • DO keep both hands free to hold the ladder while you’re climbing or descending – if you need to carry any tools, use a shoulder bag, belt holster or belt hooks.
  • DON’T carry heavy items or long lengths of material up a ladder.
  • DO hold onto the ladder with one hand while you work. You can get special trays which fit between the stiles to take paint pots, tools etc.
  • DO wear strong, flat shoes or boots, with dry soles and a good grip.
  • DON’T wear sandals, slip-ons or have bare feet on a ladder.
  • DO make sure a door locked, blocked or guarded by someone if you’re up a ladder in front of it.
  • DON’T use a ladder in a strong wind.
  • DON’T use a ladder near any power lines.

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Vol. 1, Issue 26 (Dec 04) Manual Handling

The Health and Safety Executive have reported that manual handling is responsible for over a third of all major and over three day injuries.

In the period 2002 / 2003 over 3,500 workers suffered major injuries as a result of incidents. While in the same period saw over 49,000 over three day injuries caused by unsafe manual handling activities.

The relevant piece of legislation dealing with this is the “Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992″ as Amended.

The regulations require employers to reduce the risk of injury by elimination or reduction. Such as redesigning the workplace by the use of mechanical equipment.

There has been an increased market with tools to assist with lifting and transporting loads.

Such as: -

  • Conveyors.
  • Manually powered trolleys.
  • Hand tools such as lifting hooks
  • Lift trucks—not just fork lift trucks.
  • Hoists and cranes.

What ever is considered always ensure that relevant and appropriate information and instruction be provided, this must include relevant training and refresher training.

You must undertake a risk assessment where manual handling cannot be avoided. See page 2 for direction and guidance.

For eliminating and reducing manual handling the following should be considered: -

Try to minimise the need for manual handling. Can it be eliminated entirely by the use of mechanical means? If not can the load be reduced? Can the load be broken down and items removed to enable more trips to take place?

Is the work environment poor of good? Can it be improved by additional lighting or altering shelves or work surfaces? Are there any hazards between the interaction of mechanical means and manual handling?

Move towards appropriate action levels. When manual handling is unavoidable try to work within these action levels.

Levels below 16 Kg or 35 lb.
Generally no special action required, provide those connected with manual handling of loads who may be exposed to risks i.e. young persons, nursing mothers and pregnant women with suitable training.

Levels from 16 Kg to 34 Kg or 35 LB to 75 lb.
Procedures should be available to identify those who are unable to handle such levels regularly without un-acceptable risks unless mechanical assistance is provided.

Levels from 34 Kg to 55 Kg or 75 LB to 120 lb.
Unless the regularly handling of these weights is limited to effective, supervised, suitably selected and trained persons, mechanical assistance is required.

Levels above 55 Kg or 120 lb.
Mechanical assistance and handling assistance should always be considered, very few persons can regularly handle loads of this size.

Check Lists for Managers and Supervisors.

Check the nature of the manual-handling task for which you are responsible, include the nature and the extent of the hazards.

Assess the capabilities of the individuals for who you are responsible for i.e. age, gender, health conditions, degrees of skill or experience and potential disability, in relation to their ability to complete the tasks.

Review and re-assess regularly in particular when significant changes occur in the workforce, the location and the environment.

Make rest periods and job rotation schemes that may be useful during repetitive operations to minimise any adverse effects of fatigue and monotony.

Consider appropriate training, both practical and theoretical, in safe manual handling operation methods for any employees who are or may be required to under take manual handling.

Check List for Employees

Respect the safe methods of work in which suitable training and instruction has been given.

Use correctly any suitable mechanical handling equipment, which has been provided.

Inform about any changes in conditions or other circumstances that may effect your capability to undertake the manual handling of any load, including any physical conditions.

Report to the supervisor before carrying out any manual handling of loads in which the weight appears to be excessive.

Co-operate with the employer in the maintenance of the workplace, including keeping the floors and other working areas and surfaces clean from obstructions and substances likely to cause or to be the cause of persons to slip, trip or fall.

To use correctly any personal protective clothing that has been provided.

Information Sources.

The HSE “manual handling assessment chart” can be found at

www.hse.gov.uk/msd/mac

Free copies of “getting to grips with manual handling” a short guide INDG143 can be downloaded from: -

www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg143.pdf

Free download document

www.groveservices.co.uk

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Vol. 1, Issue 25 (Sep 04) European Week for Safety & Health 2004

Construction workers and others employed in the construction industry are employed in a hazardous occupation. Risk of death and injury still remains high despite the efforts of many.

Problems such as musculoskeletal problems are still reported with nearly one in two employees in construction reporting back pain.

Construction workers are exposed to many hazardous substances, in particular asbestos hidden within the building fabric. The following key hazards and risks should be considered prior to works starting and considered as on-going risks.

  • Falling from height,
  • Being involved with vehicles,
  • Electrical shock,
  • Being buried during excavation,
  • Being struck by falling materials,
  • Exposure to asbestos materials,
  • Suffering back injury from poor handling,
  • Coming into contact with hazardous substances,
  • Suffering from hearing loss due to loud noise.

Control measures should be put into place and checks made to ensure they are working and are meeting the legal requirements.

Management on Site.

Employers with project supervisors must co-operate and protect workers’ health and safety, this can be achieved by:

  • Avoiding risk to all workers,
  • Evaluating risk that cannot be avoided,
  • Combating risks at source,
  • Using collective measures to protect workers,
  • Using individual measures where there are no other alternatives.
  • Establishing emergency procedures,
  • Informing workers of risks present and the necessary control measures,
  • Ensuring that the appropriate training is given.

Worker Consultation.

Consulting the workforce on health and safety measures is not only a legal requirement, it is an effective way to ensure that workers are committed to health and safety procedures and improvements. Employees should be consulted on health and safety measures and before the introduction of new technology or products.

Before Work starts.

Health and safety should be designed into construction before, during and after the building phase. It is cheaper and easier to control the risks to workers in construction before works starts on site, for example by:

Putting into place a purchasing policy for machinery and work equipment (for example buying tools with low noise and vibration emissions).

Setting health and safety requirements in tender specification.

Planning the work process to minimise the number of workers who could be harmed (for example schedule noisy work when the least number of workers are likely to be exposed.

Starting control activities before getting to site (for example (by planning, training, site induction and maintenance activities).

Setting down the procedures for effective consultation and participation of workers on OSH issues.

Ensuring all persons, including managers, are trained and are able carry out their work without risk to themselves or others.

This year’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work will not only highlight risks in the construction sector in over 30 countries, but also provide tried and tested practical solutions.

The week is between 18th and 22nd of October 2004,

Run by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work the campaign will include.

Multilingual information packs and web sites, plus posters, leaflets and other materials to raise awareness of key issues.

You can receive a campaign pack from HSE infoline on tele 08701 545500

A web page that you can source further information
http://agency.osha.eu.int

The European Week campaign is backed by the Irish and Dutch EU Presidencies, the European Parliament and the European Commission as well as the European Social Partners.

We at Grove Services (UK) Limited have signed up to the Campaign Charter (in August 2004) to show our commitment – you should consider your current position.

Below is the logo for the event and is used with acknowledgement to the campaign.

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Vol. 1, Issue 24 (Jun 04) Asbestos in the Workplace

We make no apologies for the second NEWS-BRIEF on asbestos in the workplace, The “Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002” is now implemented, in particular the requirements of regulation 4 of the statutory provision.

We have provided this brief on the regulations and urge you to consider the implications for you and your employees when they are working at your workplace that is under the control or under the control of your clients.

(1) Review where you area.

What do you know about the premises? Desk top exercise, review works completed over the years if possible –this may identify where the material has been removed or is located and sealed.

Dates to consider:-
1970 the use of blue almost stopped completely.
1985 spray coatings were legally banned.
1985 insulation board ceased.
1992 asbestos containing decorative plasters – artex.
1999 asbestos cement banned.
1999 the use if white asbestos was banned (with minor exceptions.

However, not just the fabric of the building. Some examples are hairdryers, old electrical fires, gas fires with effects, machinery, gaskets, friction pads, brakes, belts etc. electrical cable and switchgear.

(2) Do not work until a risk assessment has been completed.

A system to check before work is started.
What to do if discovered after works started.
Training for your staff and others

3) Complete an initial inspection

You do not need an expert, you must be able to recognise it, However treat it as asbestos until proven otherwise. If the material in good condition, it is not a problem, recognise that damage will release fibres. In high risk areas, or high fibre release or damage, lock the door or seal the area, take samples (if you can do so safely) arrange to repair, seal or remove. Licensed contractors may be required for the removal-seek advice if in doubt.

(4) Develop a strategy for compliance.

Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 does not automatically require you have a survey to identify asbestos.
Three options exist:-

  • One – if not asbestos record the fact, you have to be sure though.
  • Two – assume all material contain asbestos (except glass and brick). Record in management records.
  • Three – complete a comprehensive survey.

If a survey is to be completed the requirements of the document “MSDS 100″ should be adopted, the survey should be completed by a person holding the qualification P402 Proficiency Certificate – Buildings Surveys and Bulk Sampling for Asbestos – issued by The British Occupational Hygiene Society, we would also recommend that you check their insurance.

(5) Assess and prioritise risk for remedial action.

Three stages should be considered:-

  • One, -material risk assessment, type and condition.
  • Two – priority assessments, damage and deterioration of material and of the persons disturbing the material or coming into contact etc.
  • Three – overall assessments to be recorded and made available, it should assist in priorities.

(6) Develop a long term plan.

This should include location and conditions. How it is to be recorded, with pictures and dates, plans and drawings, accessed by others including contractors.
Priorities for actions including risk rating.
In high risk areas review, restrict access, permit to works, enclosure, monitoring and review.

Define responsibilities, alter and update your health and safety policy statement.

What happens if the material is damaged or disturbed. You should consider emergency arrangements and clean-up after an event.

You may need to re-assure staff who may have been exposed.

All contractors who need to be informed, make sure you allow access to the records.

Supply and fix warning signs, stick-on ones are good, drilled and fixed may disturb the fibres therefore these should be avoided.

(7) Monitor and review.

Action plans should be adopted, monitoring the condition and locations, this is recommended as every six months.

Go and have a look and record what you see, if no change say no change.

Sampling the records for accuracy, checking for signs, have they been removed?

Monitoring awareness of staff, reviewing lessons learnt from asbestos related safety incidents.

Safe systems of working specifications for your own staff and employees.

Consider access to records for contractors and others who might disturb the asbestos materials,

Adopt suitable emergency plans and contingencies arrangements.

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Vol. 1, Issue 23 (Mar 04) Reporting Health & Safety Performance

The edition is aimed at individual responsible for internal and external health and safety reporting.

IOSH (Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) recommends the inclusion of summary health and safety performance record in all annual reports. It is already a UK government recommendation.

It is a useful tool to prove to the outside world that you are a responsible employer and the companies audited accounts can be a useful position and placement for such statements as a start.

The annual accounts also can prove how much – or not as the case may be – was spent in the proceeding year on health and safety matters.

The annual accounts are being asked more often by Judges in the Courts of Law – to be provide evidence of expenditure.

There is common basis for each of the three levels suggested. (1) Data on annual outcomes, (accidents and ill health, time and incidents), (2) analysis of the data against targets and (3) indication of the priorities for the coming year (programme for continual improvement).

It is expected that as the organisation increases its commitment to managing health and safety hazards, that the organisation will build up from the first level.

Level 1 - minimal health and safety report.

Should be issued by all organisations, findings are compiled by the Directors (trustees for Charity) and presented in the annual report.

Level 2 – Comprehensive Internal health and safety report.

To be developed as organisations accept the business case for health and safety performance, rather than viewing it as a “compliance issue”.

Level 3 – External health and safety report.

Issued by organisations which value their public image and accept dialogue with external stakeholders being a key component in long term sustainability.

It is recognised that many organisations report internally i.e. level 2. The Board of Directors should be persuaded to report to level 1 and a phased implementation should be suggested.

The first year might consist of an overview paragraph referencing the internal health and safety report, whilst in subsequent year three could be fuller inclusion and progress to level 3 reports.

The ultimate goal is that all organisations should aspire to level 3 reporting, either as a stand-alone document or as part of a wider corporate social responsibility.

Reporting should reflect on the good things as well. Including reporting on zero accidents and incident, where applicable.

Data should be compiled for all work activities, including direct employment, others such as contractors and members of the public.

External Health and Safety Report

Typical reports should include: -

  • All internal generated data – thereby leading to increasing credibility.
  • Assurance that health and safety risks are appropriately included in all governance processes – with any national codes for organised risk management.
  • Key areas affecting health and safety
  • Board level responsibilities and assurance/verification process.
  • Extending the health and safety policy to cover joint ventures, contractors, partners in the supply chain.
  • Relevant international codes – in relation to recording and notification of accidents and diseases & occupational health management.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Human rights (i.e. child labour, freedom of association, collective bargaining, forced
  • labour including the supply chain.
  • Implementation of joint health and safety committees and other means of workplace consultation and involvement.
  • Training for all the levels and categories of employee.
  • Client/consumer health and safety monitoring and assurance.

It should also include commentary on the commitments to high standards of health and safety via policy statement. Short and long term improvement targets, the use of formal management systems, employee involvement. Together with any notable achievements and business impacts of major incidents.luding direct employment, others such as contractors and members of the public.

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Vol. 1, Issue 22 (Jun 03) Violence in the Workplace

What is violence at work?

Many people think of violence at work only in terms of physical attacks on members of staff by members of the public. However, in the context of workplace Health & Safety the meaning of ‘violence’ has been broadened to encapsulate all kinds of abusive, aggressive behaviour or actions that might contribute towards or result in physical and/or psychological harm happening to the victim.

The Health and safety Executives’ definition.

“Any incident where an employee is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work involving an explicit or implicit challenge to their safety, well being or health.”

Employees don’t have to wait until they get injured before they take a stand on inadequate standards of safety against violence. They are fully protected against suffering any detriment for walking off the job if in their own judgement, they face a serious and imminent danger of serious harm which they feel they would not be able to avert or cope safely with. (s44 Employment Rights Act 1996)

Employees who find themselves needing to take this course of action are entitled to stay away while the danger remains – and they’re fully protected against suffering any detriment for doing so.

Forward thinking risk managers should consider adopting the following definition.

“Any behaviour or action (s) incorporating or motivated by aggression that contributes to physical or psychological harm happening to anyone at the workplace or in circumstances relating to the workplace, including overbearing, abusive, intimidating, offensive, inconsiderate, malicious or insulting behaviour, which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated or vulnerable, which undermines their self-confidence and/or which may be likely to cause them to suffer anxiety and stress.”

Violence can happen at any time in the workplace.

The law on violence at work makes it a responsibility of all employees – and not just employers – to help prevent harm happening to anyone. In other words employees as well as employers can be held legally responsible for what happens in a workplace.

For further advice and commentary visit http://www.violenceatwork.co.uk

Is protection against violence adequate in your workplace?

You can normally sense straight away whether or not a workplace is vulnerable to violence. It is connected with self-assurance, efficiency and composure being exhibited in the course of the employment.

A positive image depends on each member of staff

  • Knowing how to recognise trouble early.
  • Being clear about what steps to take.
  • Feeling capable of taking those steps.
  • Feeling confident that the safety precautions will work.

Warning signs.

  • Employees of work with injury/stress.
  • Difficulty planning/achieving manning levels, unsuitable skills mix of staff on duty.
  • Poor working relations.
  • Difficulty recruiting quality staff.
  • Declining productivity.
  • Rising insurance costs and legal fees.

For further advice and commentary visit our partners at http://www.violenceatwork.co.uk

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Vol. 1, Issue 21 (Jun 03) Dangerous Substance

In response to the “European Week for Safety and Health” which begins on the 13th October 2003, we have dedicated this issue to “Dangerous Substances” in the workplace.

Dangerous substances can make you unwell if you breathe them in or they come into contact with your skin. The effects can range from mild impact to longer term impact and possibly cancers.

With the correct and suitable control and prevention measures most of the ill health effects can be reduced or eliminated.

Asbestos.
The health issues are very well known, there is now a duty to manage asbestos in the workplace.

Skin disease.
Around 60,000 people are affected by conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, on the increase is skin cancer possibly linked to sun exposure without the use of sun screens.

Asthma.
There are up to 7,000 cases caused or made worse each year. From flour and grain, latex, some glues and resins, wood dust, solder / colophony. isocyanates. The “Health and Safety Commission” has set a target to reduce levels by 30% by 2010.

Handle with care.

Dangerous substances can be broken down into four groups:-

  • Chemicals used in manufacturing and their processing.
  • Propriety products used in work activities such as painting, gluing, dyeing and work-place cleaning.
  • Dust and fumes that occur during work such as welding, soldering and food preparation.
  • Natural substances- bacteria and blood.

They also can include substances that could cause harm from fire and explosions, from petrol, paints, solvents and liquefied petroleum gases.

How Substances Can Effect.

Lung damage from breathing: dusts, welding fumes, asbestos, fuel exhausts – diesel etc.

Effects on skin: allergic dermatitis i.e. epoxy resin, formaldehyde. Non allergic dermatitis: solvents, detergents and cutting oils.

Asthma from breathing: flour dusts, wood dusts.

Eye, nose and throat irritation: from substances in the air, diesel exhaust, acid vapours & mists and solvent vapours.

Effects within the body: brain nervous system from mercury, lead, pesticides, solvents, carbon monoxide gas.

Effects within the body: liver from vinyl chloride.

Effects within the body: bones from lead.

Effects within the body: blood and bone marrow from benzene.

Dermatitis and skin disease.

Occupational dermatitis is one of the most widespread causes of ill health, that affects workers in many industries.

Nationally, every year as estimated 60,000 people suffer from skin disease as a result of exposure at work.

Occupational dermatitis is caused by skin coming into contact (generally the exposure) with the substances at work.

Symptoms of the condition can be itching, scaling, blistering and redness of the skin.

The speed of the development depends on the strength of the substances and how long and how often it touches the skin. It can be extremely painful and can damage both work and social life.

Common causes are latex/rubber, soaps and cleaners, chromate and wet working.

Occupational Asthma.

The symptoms include chest tightness, wheezing & breathlessness. This is often due to inflamed airways, sufferers may experience runny nose, sneezing, itchy and inflamed red eyes.

Symptoms can occur immediately when exposed to substances or several hours after, when away from the place of exposure. If the condition improves at weekends and when on holiday and gets worse back at work, it is likely to be occupational asthma.

Systems should be in place to detect the symptoms. Symptoms should not be ignored – they will get worse the longer the exposure. It is a very debilitating condition and limits the sufferer to enjoy a normal life.

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Vol. 1, Issue 20 (Jun 03) COSHH Revisited

We have issued an update “NEWS-BRIEF” on the “Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations”, in an earlier edition of our NEWS BRIEF. The regulations have been updated again in December 2002 with some changes in requirements. It is now cited as the fourth edition.

The re-issued Approved Code of Practice now concentrates on methods of complying with goal-setting, regulations.

The regulations contain the provisions of three sets of earlier regulations – all now revoked.

Appendix three of the ACOP and Guidance now covers the control of substances that cause occupational asthma. Under this section in the ACOP, is further guidance and information to back-up the body of the revised requirements.

There is also now a section on “Fit testing of face pieces”. This covers the scope of issuing suitable face masks (respiratory protective equipment – RPE) and the requirement to ensure that these masks provide a good seal to the user.

This is achieved by the user being clean shaven, the RPE of the correct size and shape to fit the face of the user.

To ensure that it is compatible with other personal protective equipment, such as eye protection, hearing and head protection.

Employers should also provide certain facilities for washing, changing, eating and drinking etc for hygiene purposes.

This may be via co-operation and co-ordination with others in the workplace or by the provisions of suitable mobile welfare equipment.

The use of the unmarked (markings include CE marks and/or manufactured to EN491 2001) face masks (RPE) must be discontinued. These type of masks are general available at local DIY stores, they must now be considered to be ineffective in the workplace.

Basic Regulation list.

Regulation 6 Assessment if the risk is to health created by work involving substances hazardous to health.

Regulation 7 Prevention or control of exposure to substances hazardous to health.

Regulation 8 Use of control measures.

Regulation 9 maintenance examination and testing of control measures.

Regulation 10 monitoring exposure at the workplace.

Regulation 11 health surveillance

Regulation 12 information, instruction and training for persons who may be exposed to substances hazardous to health.

Regulation 13 Arrangements to be in place to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies.

The regulations do not take into account working with lead or asbestos, these both have separate requirements.

Substances which are capable of producing effects on health as a result of their explosive and/or flammable properties are not covered. They are subject to the requirements of the “Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002″ (DSEAR).

Freebies on the web.

Due to several requests to provide help, guidance and assistance to many existing and new clients, we have now increased our presence on the web.

We have now produced a number of selected documents that can be down- loaded free from the web.

They include: -

Numbers of pro-forma assessments such as;

  • PAT testing.
  • Manual handling.
  • Fire.
  • Lifting operations.
  • Display Screen equipment.
  • Young Persons.
  • Shift workers.

Information on:

  • CDM “Construction (Design and Management) Regulations”.
  • A copy of an F10 notification.
  • The general requirements of the “Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations”.
  • Guidance on HAVS – hand arm vibration syndrome.

A copy of proposed draft regulations for “Working at Height”.

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Vol. 1, Issue 19 (Mar 03) Thoughts on Fire!

We can all help prevent the spread of fire in the workplace, by the understanding of what is needed to produce a fire in the first place.

Should a fire break-out we can control the spread of fire by the removal of one of the elements of fire.

For a fire to start, three elements are necessary: -

  • FUEL Combustible materials that can either be a solid, liquid or gas.
  • HEAT Sufficient heat to raise the temperature of the fuel to a point where it vaporises and ignites.
  • AIR To provide oxygen to support the combustion process.

This is described as the ‘triangle of fire’

We can prevent a fire from occurring by keeping these elements apart. Should a fire start we can extinguish it by removing one of them and breaking the ‘triangle of fire’.

FUEL is removed by starving.
Remove the fuel source, close window, remove oxygen tanks or cylinders, paper, wood etc

HEAT is removed by cooling.
Fire extinguisher, hose reel etc.

AIR is removed by smothering.
Fire extinguisher, hose reel etc.

Fire Prevention.

Being aware of common causes of fire in the workplace and introduction of simple and effective routines for checking for dangers at any time can help.

Particular care is to be taken when leaving at the end of the working day this will reduce the risk of fires occurring.

The following inventory list gives common causes of fire, it is not meant. intended to be exhaustive. Things you found in your workplace should be added to your list.

Faulty electrical wiring, plugs, sockets and overload protection devices and circuits that are not suitably protected.

Electrical equipment left on when not in use, unless it has been specifically designed for that purpose.

Cooking and other comparable activities, poorly maintained and cleaned cookers, ventilation grilles, ducts and fans.

Poorly maintained and cleaned work equipment, this includes heating and air conditioning plant.

Smoking and careless disposal of smoking cigarettes materials.

Obstruction of ventilation grilles on various work equipment, leading to overheating.

Carelessness by contractors and other employed maintenance workers, lack of control of employed contractors.

Gathering of rubbish and waste products and other combustible materials.

Portable heaters not being used properly.

Overstocking and careless storage of flammable materials and substances.

Your workplace should have a fire routine, advising you and others what to do in the event of a fire. All should be familiar with the requirements of this fire routine.

To assist in the understanding and what the routines require and to be able to familiarise themselves with the means of escape, the fire drills, evacuation and practise, needs to be completed regularly.

Everyone located in the workplace should practice the fire drills and the fire routines and learn from those lessons and mistakes that can occur during the routine operation. It is very important that all members of staff, at whatever level and where appropriate other visitors or occupants give their full support at any time the practice is initiated.

Regular checks should include and not be limited to: -

Checking fire routine notices and exit signs are in place, are clear and are not damaged or defaced.
Checking fire exits and exit routes are clear and immediately available.
Checking fire doors are closed properly and are un-obstructed.
Checking fire extinguishers are in place and that they are not damaged or have been discharged and that they have been inspected within the required maintenance period.

If a fire breaks out

Make sure that the evacuation is completed orderly and calmly from the area.
Complete a room by room and / or floor by floor check of the workplace on the way out of the building, and closing, but not locking doors and windows where it safe and possible to do so.
Close down or shut off hazardous processes.
Where a fire has been discovered in your area, make sure the alarm has been sounded and the fire services called.
Report to the person in charge at the agreed assembly point, giving details of all persons accounted for and any persons not accounted for, following the safe evacuation.

Only tackle the fire if it is safe to do so.

We are able to provide safety seminars on fire awareness and training at the workplace.

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Vol. 1, Issue 18 (Dec 02) Simple Guidance for Lift Owners

The “Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations” (LOLER) introduced requirements for the safe provision and use of all lifting equipment.

Regulation nine of these regulations requires that all lifts provided for use in work activities are thoroughly examined by a competent person at regular intervals. This applies to hoists’ used to lift persons and/or loads.

If you are a lift owner or are responsible for the safe operation of a lift used at work, such as a facility manager you are very likely to be the “Duty Holder” under the “Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations”.

It means you have a legal duty to ensure that the equipment is thoroughly examined and that it is and remains safe to use.

The thorough examination is a systematic and detailed examination of the lift and its associated equipment. It aims to detect any defect which are or might become dangerous.

In order to determine the extent of the thorough examination, the competent person will assess the risks, considering factors as the environment, frequency of use, age and condition, the weight of loads.

Thorough examinations should include: -

  • Landing and car doors and their interlocks.
  • Worm and other gearing.
  • Main drive system components.
  • Governors.
  • Safety gear.
  • Suspension ropes
  • Suspension chains.
  • Overload detection devices
  • Electrical devices – including earthing, earth bonding, safety devices, selection of fuses etc.
  • Braking systems – including buffers and overspeed devices.
  • Hydraulics.

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

Be aware that there are risks to the person completing this type of inspection. Such as un-guarded winding equipment, electricity and falls from height.

Therefore ensure that these are considered by the competent person prior to the inspection and suitable controls are considered and are in place. Check their own issued safety policy and obtain copies of their risk assessments.

The competent persons is legally required to send you a written and signed report of the thorough examination. This should normally be within twenty eight days.

If the report identifies a defect that presents an “existing or imminent risk of serious personal injury” they are legally required to send a copy of the report to the enforcing authorities.

Concerns have been raised due to lift doors being operated inadvertently – leading to individuals falling down the shafts. Inspections must include the door closing / opening system.

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Vol. 1, Issue 17 (Sep 02) Stress at Work

To alert and coincide with the forth coming “European Safety Awareness” week, we cover a subject matter previously mentioned.

Many of us work long hours and take little breaks, management does not necessarily recognise the symptoms.

Stress is pressure and tension. It is often described as the “fight or flight” response to danger. Its automatic, muscles tense, the heart beats faster, a rush of adrenaline gives extra strength and energy needed to fight or run away from the danger.

Stress can be negative and it can be positive.

Too much stress can leave you tired, angry, depressed and frustrated. Unrelieved stress can lead to emotional problems and physical illness.

Some stress can be good, It can spur you on to solve a problems, or challenge you to go that little bit futher to achieve a goal.

Nearly everyone is affected by stress to some degrees, it does depend on.

  • Your personality
  • Your kind of work or occupation.
  • Changes in life, divorce, death etc.
  • Other factors can include age, your financial position & satisfaction with life in general.

Some causes of stress.

Work environment, poor lighting, noise, long hours, altering shift hours, some work with hazardous materials.
Work demands, pressure to meet deadlines or production quotas.
Your expectations. In general your job or career, in terms of salary and rewards, job security or promotion.
People around you, Your relationship with others you come into contact with, colleagues or customers and partners.

Know the symptoms.

Emotional signs include, irritability, hostility, loss of self esteem, anxiety feeling of helplessness, loss of concentration.

Physical signs include, fatigue, tension headaches, upset stomach, sleep problems, back aches, weight loss, high blood pressure, muscle tension, nervousness, changes in appetite, cold hands and feet.

The above list does not cover all the symptoms.

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Vol. 1, Issue 16 (Jun 02) Sun Protection

If you are a manager, employ people or are responsible for staff who work outside or whose work keeps them outside for most of the day, you need to consider sun protection.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause skin damage-sunburn, ageing of the skin & blistering.

Longer term exposure can lead to skin cancers.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer with over 40,000 new cases detected every year.

Ultraviolet radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for individuals who work outside.

Persons at Risk

Individuals with pale skin, especially those with fair or red hair, with a lot of freckles or with a family history of skin cancers.

Individuals with black of brown skin colour are in a lower risk group. However, all individuals can suffer from the effects of dehydration and overheating.

Encourage all to keep covered-particularly at lunchtime when the sun it hottest. Use long sleeve shirts, a hat with a brim or flap that protects the exposed ears and neck.

Encourage the application and use of suitable sunscreen on any exposed parts of the body. Take breaks in the shade and stay out of the direct sun light if possible.

Consider scheduling work routines and work patterns, to reduce exposures.

Locate rest areas and water points in shady areas.

Encourage everyone to drink plenty of water, not alcoholic drinks.

Encourage everyone to check their own skin regularly, for unusual spots or moles that change shape and / or size. To seek medical advice if they find something or concern.

Benefits to the employer include:-

  • Fewer absence days through sunburn.
  • Healthier and better informed workforce.
  • Reduced risk to employees of possible skin cancer from long term exposure.
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Vol. 1, Issue 15 (Mar 02) Asbestos in the Workplace

We are all very aware that exposure to asbestos and asbestos containing products is potentially harmful to health.

Many people are at risk from exposure to asbestos. Anyone who uses the premises, who disturb the asbestos that has deteriorated or been damaged and is releasing fibres, can be at risk. In fact anyone whose work involves drilling, sawing or cutting into the fabric of premises could be potentially at risk. These individuals may all breathe in asbestos fibres during their day-to-day activities.

It is now thought possible that repeated low exposures, such as those works which could occur during routine repair work, may also lead to cancers. The new duty proposed under the changes in the asbestos regulations are likely to be and include the following:- Finding out where it is, its amount and what condition it is in. Presuming materials containing asbestos until proven otherwise.

Making and keeping up to date records on its location and its condition.

Assessing risks from the material. Preparing a plan that sets out details on how it is to be managed. Taking steps to put the plan into action.

Reviewing and monitoring the plan and the arrangements made.

Providing relevant information on the location and the condition of the material to anyone who is likely to disturb it.

Anyone with an interest in the property will have a duty to co-operate with employers to enable them to manage the risk

You are most likely to come across asbestos in these materials: -

  • Sprayed asbestos and asbestos loose packing-generally used in fire breaks in ceiling voids.
  • Moulded or preformed lagging -generally used in pipe insulation.
  • Sprayed asbestos – generally used as fire protection in ducts, firebreaks, panels, partitions, soffit boards, ceiling panels, structural steel work.
  • Insulating boards for used for fire protection, thermal insulation, ducts and partitioning.
  • Some ceiling tiles.
  • Millboard, paper and paper products used for insulation of electrical equipment. Asbestos paper has been used as fire-proof facing on wood
  • fibreboard.
  • Asbestos cement products which can be fully or semi-compressed into flat or corrugated sheets.
  • Corrugated sheets used as roof and wall cladding.
  • Certain textured coatings.
  • Bitumen roofing materials.
  • Vinyl or thermoplastic floor tiles.
  • Older style toilet cisterns.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive.
Asbestos has been used for many purposes.

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Vol. 1, Issue 14 (Dec 01) Fines in the Workplace

In general – if you are brought to justice in the United Kingdom Courts of Law for failings under Sections 2 to 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 and/or failing under a regulation made under the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974.

The fines – can be on summary conviction in a local Magistrates Courts for you and/or your organisation, be up to £20,000 for each offence you are found guilty of.

There are other areas such as failures under discharging a duty under Section 2 to 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 of contravening a requirement imposed by a health and safety inspector (Health and Safety Executive or Environmental Health Officer) on summary conviction a fine not exceeding level 5 of the standard scale.

However, it is possible that an offence is of such a serious nature that the offence is to be tried in a higher Court of Law e.g. Crown Court-in front of judge and jury. The fines handed down by these Courts can be unlimited and can issue a term of imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or even both.

There has been comments in the News papers and other publications about the potential offence of “Corporate Manslaughter”.

This has been subject to comment by many and various interested parties (Trade Unions and the CBI) and in response to a consultative document (CD) issued by the “Health and Safety Commission”. The comments are now being considered by the “health and Safety Commission” and the “Home Office”

It is difficult to comment on such legal issues without the input by your chosen legal team.

However it is safe to say that many Courts of Law are issuing fines based on annual profits or the projected annual profits.

Other Costs.

The above generally represents criminal liability, further costs are possibly and likely to include civil claims brought about after the case has been heard. Now days with the growth of legal representation using “no win no fee” litigation, other costs are resulting in claims running into the hundreds of thousands.

This has the effect of increasing your direct insurance costs. This does not take into account other hidden costs such as accident investigations, loss of production, penalty costs, un-insurable costs, time spent in Court, poor publicity etc.

Health and Safety Training.

Are you aware that it is a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 Section 2 2 that you have to provide information, instruction and training as is necessary to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of employees.

Were you aware that “Grove Services (UK) Limited” can provide health and safety training for all levels of staff from senior executives and Directors to all levels of employees.

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Vol. 1, Issue 13 (Sep 01) Public Disclosure

The “Public Interest Disclosure Act” (PIDA), since 1999 workers have had the right to bring to the public attention, safety failures. Knowing that they have legal protection under the PIDA.

A qualifying disclosure is found under Section 43 of the Act. This means the information reveals genuine concerns about crimes, civil offences that includes negligence, breach of contract, breach of administrative law, miscarriage of justice, dangers to health and safety or the environment and the cover up of these.

The PIDA sets out what a worker must demonstrate in order to be protected. The most readily available protection is where the worker who is concerned, raises the matter with the organisation or with the person responsible. This section emphasises the vital role of those, in law are accountable for the conduct. It does this by helping to ensure that they are made aware of the concerns, so it can be investigated.

A disclosure to the employer – whether it director or manager – will be protected if the whistleblower has an honest and reasonable suspicion that the occurrence has taken place, is occurring or is likely to occur.

Where a third party is involved or responsible the same test will apply, this same test applies to disclosure made to them.

A worker can seek legal advice and be protected for doing so. This is the only disclosure under PIDA that does not require the employee to have made the disclosure in good faith.

PIDA applies across the public, private and voluntary sectors and protects workers who raise genuine concerns about malpractices from being victims or dismissed by their employer, in accordance with the Act’s provisions. In addition to employees, PIDA can apply to workers, contractors, trainees, agency staff, home workers. It does not presently cover the genuinely self-employed, volunteers, the intelligence services, armed forces or police officers.

If a worker has a genuine suspicion of malpractice, including a risk to any person, they can raise it with their employer and be protected, It can also be raised direct with the HSE who are one of 35 regulators prescribed under PIDA. These regulators occupy a special position under PIDA as workers are not required to have raised their concerns internally first.

We can supply help and guidelines if required.

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Vol. 1, Issue 12 (Jun 01) Risk Assesment

Risk assessment is now enshrined in many areas of health and safety legislation.

It appears under the “Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999″ – regulation 3. It is found under many other areas such as: -

  • COSHH Regulations
  • Manual Handling Regulations
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
  • Construction (Design and Management) (As Amended) Regulations
  • Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations
  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations
  • Display screen equipment Regulations
  • Noise at work Regulations
  • Make it up as you go regulations
  • Various asbestos regulations.

This listing is not meant to cover all regulations and is in short format.

You should always ask if in doubt.

The various duties under the “Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999″ overlaps with other regulations, because of their wide ranging general nature. Where duties overlap, compliance with the more specific regulation will normally be sufficient to comply with the corresponding regulation. For example, the “Manual Handling Regulations” require the assessment of risks, so it could be that you will not have to repeat the exercise for both sets of legislation.

In making risk assessment the following may need to be considered.

  • The inexperience, lack of awareness or risks of the immaturity of young persons.
  • The fitting out and layout of the workplace and workstation.
  • The nature, degree and duration of exposure to physical, biological and chemical agent.
  • The form, range and use of work equipment and the way in which it is handled.
  • The organisation of processes and activities.
  • The extent of health and safety training provided or to be provided to young persons. and others.
  • Risks from agents, process and works listed in Annex to Council Directive 94/33/EC on the protection of young people at work.

Risk Assessment Process.

  1. Identify the hazards.
  2. Identify who might be harmed.
  3. Evaluate the risks from the identified hazards.
  4. Recording.
  5. Revision and review.

It is not a one-off process, it must be revisited and reviewed on a regular basis. Things happen, environments alter, staff relocate, changes occur. What can happen will happen!

FAO: – J Gaskin.

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Vol. 1, Issue 11 (Mar 01) Stress at Work

Recent cases in Court have lead to compensation pay-outs, with stress being a major factor.

Many of us work long hours and take little breaks, management does not necessarily recognise the symptoms.

Stress is pressure and tension. It is often described as the “fight or flight” response to danger. Its automatic, muscles tense, the heart beats faster, a rush of adrenaline gives extra strength and energy needed to fight or run away from the danger.

Stress can be negative and it can be positive.

Too much stress can leave you tired, angry, depressed and frustrated. Unrelieved stress can lead to emotional problems and physical illness.

Some stress can be good, It can spur you on to solve a problems, or challenge you to go that little bit futher to achieve a goal.

Nearly everyone is affected by stress to some degrees, it does depend on.

  • Your personality
  • Your kind of work or occupation.
  • Changes in life, divorce, death etc.
  • Other factors can include age, your financial position & satisfaction with life in general.

Some causes of stress.

  • Work environment, poor lighting, noise, long hours, altering shift hours, some work with hazardous materials
  • Work demands, pressure to meet deadlines or production quotas.
  • Your expectations. In general your job or career, in terms of salary and rewards, job security or promotion.
  • People around you, Your relationship with others you come into contact with, colleagues or customers.

Know the symptoms.

Physical signs include, fatigue, tension headaches, upset stomach, sleep problems, back aches, weight loss, high blood pressure, muscle tension, nervousness, changes in appetite, cold hands and feet.
Emotional signs include, irritability, hostility, loss of self esteem, anxiety feeling of helplessness, loss of concentration.

This list does not cover all the symptoms.

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Vol. 1, Issue 9 (Sep 00) Department of the Enviroment, Transport & The Regions, News Release 402.

  • Tough new national targets to prevent up to 3,000 work-related injuries and deaths were recently unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister June 2000.

John Prescott said “For years we have had targets to cut deaths on the road, but never for safety at work. We are setting targets to improve safety at work for the first time. Our record has improved over the years, but we owe it to ourselves now and to future generations to make the workplace a better environment”.

Targets have been set: -

  • To cut deaths and major injury accidents by 10% by 2010,
  • to reduce the rate of work related ill-health by 20% by 2010,
  • to cut working days lost due to ill-health by 30% by 2010,
  • and to achieve half of the improvement by 2004.

To achieve the targets the Deputy Prime Minister outlined forty four action points. We have included some of those in this current “NEWS BRIEF”.

Tougher penalties to deter law breakers – prison sentences for most offences, maximum fines in the lower courts increased.

“Innovative” penalties will be considered, such as fines related to turnover, prohibition of bonuses or managers suspended without pay.

Director responsibility – it is vital that businesses know their responsibilities. Ministers intend to use legislation and a Code of Practice to assign health and safety responsibility to a named Director or responsible person of similar status.

“Name and Shame” – a new annual report to “name and shame” companies convicted that year.

“Good Health is Good Business – health and safety breakdowns cost society up to £18 billion a year – 2.6% of GDP.

Bill Gallaghan said (Health and Safety Commission) – “Health and safety at work should be a core requirement of business activity, not an inconvenient ‘add-on’. As far as I am concerned, those who cannot manage health and safety, cannot manage. We need to create a positive health and safety culture, which sees business go beyond the statutory minimum”.

Up to 25 million working days are lost every year as a result of work-related accidents and ill-health. Around two million people suffer from work related ill health.

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Vol. 1, Issue 8 (Jun 00) Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999

The original “Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992″ have been repealed. They have been replaced by the “Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999″.

Regulation 3. Covers the risk assessment procedure – similar to the original standards.

Regulation 4. The is now “Principles of prevention to be applied” and include.

a). Avoiding the risk.
b). Evaluating the risk.
c). Combating the risk at source.
d). Adapting the work to the individual especially as regards the design of the workplace, the choice of work equipment and the choice of working and production methods with a view, in particular, to alleviating monotonous work and work at a predetermined work rate and to reducing their effect on health.
e). Adapting to technical progress.
f). Replacing the dangerous by the non dangerous or the less dangerous.
g). developing a coherent overall prevention policy which covers technology, organisation or work, working conditions, social relationships and the influence of factors relating to the work environment.
h). Giving collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures.
i). giving appropriate instructions to employers.

Regulation 5. Covers health and safety arrangements.

Regulation 6. Health and safety surveillance.

Regulation 7. Health and safety assistance.

Regulation 8. Procedures for serious and imminent dangers.

Regulation 9. Contact with external services. With regard to first aid and medical care.

Relation 10. Information for employees.

Regulation 11. Information for employees.

Regulation 12. Persons working in host employers or self employed persons undertaking.

Regulation 13. Capabilities and training.

Regulation 14. Employees duties.

Regulation 15. Temporary workers.

Regulation 16. Risk assessment in respects of new or expectant mothers.

Regulation 17. Certificate from registered practitioner in respect of new or expectant mother.

Regulation 18. Notification by new or expectant mothers.

Regulation 19. Protection of young persons.

It also “alters” other regulations, for instance changes under the “Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981″ & changes to the part of the “Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007″.

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Vol. 1, Issue 7 (Mar 00) Safety Management

FIVE STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT.

This information is readily recognisable as the “Five Steps to Successful Health and Safety Management HS (G) 65″ published by the ‘Health and Safety Executive.

  1. Set your policy.
  2. Organise the staff.
  3. Plan and set standards.
  4. Measure the performance.
  5. Audit and review – learn from experience.

Set Your Policy.

The same sort of mistakes which cause injuries and illness can also lead to property damage and interrupt production or operation of the intended works. So the aim is to control all accidental loss. Identifying hazards and assessing risks, deciding what precautions are needed, putting them in place and checking they are used properly. This protects individuals and others, improves quality and safeguards plant and production.

The health and safety policy should influence all activities, including the selection of personnel, equipment and materials, the way the work is completed, how it is done and how you can take account of your designs and how you provide goods and services.

The written statement of the policy, the organisation and arrangements for implementing and monitoring must be shown to your staff, this ensures they understand the reasoning behind potential restrictions placed on them by the management. It also should be brought to the attention of others such as clients and contractors, it identifies that hazards have been identified and risks assessed eliminated or controlled.

Organise the Staff.

To make the adopted health and safety policy effective the staff should be involved and committed. This is often referred to as the ‘Health and Safety Culture’.

Four ‘Cs’ of Positive Health and Safety Culture.

  1. Competence recruitment, training and advisory support.
  2. Control allocating responsibilities and securing commitment.
  3. Co-operation between individuals and groups.
  4. Communication verbal, written and visible.

Competence.

  • Assess the skills needed to carry out the tasks safely.
  • Provide the means to ensure that all employees, including temporary staff are adequately instructed and trained.
  • Ensure that persons on especially dangerous work have the necessary training, experience and other qualities to carry out the work safely.
  • Arrange for access to sound advice and help.

Control.

  • Lead by example; demonstrate your commitment and provide clear direction.
  • Identify people responsible for particular health and safety jobs – especially when specific expertise is called for.
  • Ensure that supervisors understand their responsibilities.
  • Ensure all employees know what they must do, how they will be supervised and held accountable.

Co-operation.

  • Consult the staff and their representatives.
  • Involve them in planning and reviewing performance, writing procedures and solving problems.

Communication.

  • Provide information about hazards, risks and preventative measures.
  • Discuss health and safety regularly.
  • Discuss health and safety regularly.

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Vol. 1, Issue 6 (Dec 99) Fire Safety

Fire precautions legislation deals with general fire precautions.

  • Means of detection and giving warning in case of fire.
  • The provisions and means of escape.
  • Means of fighting fire.
  • Training staff in fire safety.

The fire regulations also include a requirement to complete an assessment of the risk from fires etc.

Many organisations should now be aware of the term risk assessment and know how to complete them. If help is needed contact us, details are over the page.

The risk assessment will help you to decide the nature and extent of the general and process fire precautions which you need to provide.

There are other legal duties that you need to be aware of:-

  • Where it is necessary to safeguard the safety of your employees, you must nominate persons to undertake any special roles which are required under your emergency plan.
  • You must consult your employees about the nomination of persons to complete roles in connection with fire safety and about proposals for improving fire precautions.
  • You must inform other employers who also have workplaces in your location of any significant risks which might affect the safety of their employees and co-operate with them about measures proposed to reduce/control risks.
  • If you are not an employer, but have control of premises which contain more than one workplace, you are responsible for ensuring compliance with relevant statutory provisions in the parts you have control.
  • You must establish a means of contacting the emergency services and ensuring that they are easily contacted.
  • Law requires your employer to co-operate with you to ensure the workplace is safe from fire and its effects, and not to do anything which will place themselves or others at risk.

For a fire to start, three things are needed.

  • A source of ignition.
  • Fuel, and
  • Oxygen.

If any one of these are missing, a fire cannot start. Taking steps to avoid these three things coming together, will therefore reduce the risk of fires starting.

Further information is given in the “Stationery Offices” publication ‘Fire Safety an Employers Guide’. Grove Services (UK) Ltd can advise and assist in risk assessments and staff training.

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Vol. 1, Issue 5a (Nov 99) The Construction Skill Certification Scheme (CSCS)

THE CONSTRUCTION SKILLS CERTIFICATION SCHEME (CSCS)
OPERATED BY THE CITB (Construction Industry Training Board).

We have recently become CSCS Health and Safety Awareness Training Providers.

We can offer all the health and safety awareness training syllabus and objectives to be met by the CSCS scheme,

The course we will cover, are the following topics and can be flexible enough to meet the requirements of specific employers.

  • Health and Safety at Work Legislation.
  • Accident reporting and Emergency Procedures.
  • Accident Prevention.
  • Health and Hygiene.
  • Manual Handling.
  • Working with Electricity, Underground and overhead Cable Services.
  • Use of Hand Held Equipment and tools.
  • Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Safe use of Vehicles.
  • Noise and Vibration.
  • Fire Prevention.
  • Excavations and Confined Spaces.
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

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Vol. 1, Issue 5 (Sep 98) Prevention of Slips, Trips & Falls at Work

More than a third of all major injuries reported to the “Health and Safety Executive” are due to slips, trips or falls.

  • Everyone at work can assist in reducing the number of injuries, through effective health and safety management.
  • Actions brought as a result of an injury can be damaging to any business, especially where the public is involved. Insurance covers only part of the costs it will not necessarily cover all of it.
  • A recent case has lead to compensation of over £125,000.

Managing Health and Safety.

An effective management system will assist in the identification of potential problem areas. It should lead onto what to do and then ensure checks are in place and completed to ensure that effective control measures are effective.

Planning.

Identify key areas of potential risks and set targets for improvement. Determine working practices and select equipment that will prevent or minimise slips, trips and falls.

Organisation.

All employees (and visitors) should be involved and committed to reducing risks. Individuals should be appointed to ensure that the workplace is kept clear and safe. Records should be kept, be made available and be maintained and should include who is responsible for these arrangements.

Control.

Checks should be in place to make sure that any agreed working procedures and practices are adopted and followed.

Monitor and Review.

Examine and re-examine your procedures in the light of experience. Review any accident investigations and inspection reports. Review risk assessments to ensure they are still valid and “suitable and sufficient”.

Look at Potential Slips and Trips Risks

  • Look for slip and trip hazards.
  • Such as trailing cables, un-even floors and slippery surfaces (include outdoor or exposed areas).
  • Decide who can be harmed.
  • Who comes to the workplace? Are they at risk?
  • Consider the risks.
  • Are the precautions enough to deal with the risks? Complete a risk assessment.
  • Record your findings.
  • When there are more than five employed you may have to bring it to the attention of all.
  • Regularly review the assessment.
  • If significant changes occur, ensure that the precautions or controls are still adequate to deal with the risks.

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Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Apr 98) Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994

CDM Regulations 1994. During the first year these regulations were in place (Apr’95 till Mar’96) the HSE served many prosecutions, prohibition and improvement notices.

Prosecutions and Fines.

An architect’s office was prosecuted for failing to inform their client that they (the client) had duties under the regulations. They pleaded guilty and were fined £500.

A principal contractor was prosecuted and fined £2000 for failing to produce an adequate health and safety plan.

Another case related to a client RP (name withheld) who was prosecuted and fined £2500 plus £600 court costs, for failure to appoint a planning supervisor. In the same case another company were fined over £1000 plus costs for failing to ensure the
safety of their employees.
A sole trader, a designer was fined £3000 as they had failed to ensure the design contained adequate information about health and safety.
Other cases include:-
A client who failed to appoint competent persons, and allowed the construction phase to begin without an adequate health and safety plan. Fines totalled more than £3000.

When do the regulations apply?

The CDM Regulations apply to most common construction projects. There are some circumstances where they do not apply.

What are some of the client and client’s duties?

Whether you are a client or clients’ agent you have the following duties.

  • Appoint a planning supervisor.

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