Posts with the 'Health And Safety' tag
2014 Health and Safety Conference - 30th April, 2014 @ The RAF Club, Piccadilly, London
Update from the HSE including latest statistics
David Carr - Managing Director (Callsafe Services Ltd)
Asbestos Prevention is Better than Cure
Chris Earl - Director (Qualsurv)
Plan ahead. Plan for the Event
David Wood - Director (Plansafe Solutions Ltd)
Successful Collaborative Partnerships with BS 11000
David Saunders (MCIOB) - Business Improvement Manager (Costain)
How Much Risk are You Buying?
Gary Plant - Managing Director (Altius Vendor Assessment Ltd)
Will the Change from CDM-C to Principal Designer be effective?
David Carr - Managing Director (Callsafe Services Ltd)
- Everyone is doing it! From the moment children (digital natives) are born - they are introduced into a world of sharing, reviewing and browsing. And of course gaming. But it's not just children – its adults too! With this information you can start your mission knowing the audience is diverse and very broad.
- Building a health and safety community can help bring people together with similar interests – which creates an ongoing virtual networking opportunity. This can be a great venue to share best practice and keep in touch with your peers!
- You can get answers to your questions a lot more quickly (sometimes!) than trying to track the expert down by conventional methods like phone or email.
- Videos shared on social media sites like Facebook and YouTube tend to be short so it is an opportunity for you to produce content that is visual as well as short and sweet, therefore easier to digest!
- So many people have access to social media resulting in few or no inequalities in the provision of information.
If you would like to discuss this topic further then call Rachel on 01525 850 080 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy your social media adventure...
Marketing and Media
When designing projects with the avoidance of risk in mind the ACoP requires designers to apply the Hierarchy of Risk Control and the General Principles of Prevention. This is a series of steps to be followed when designing to eliminate and reduce risk by their design decisions, as follows:
- Consider whether it is possible to eliminate or control the hazard and the resulting risk by designing it out, i.e. design the roof with permanent safety rails.
- Next consider whether the risk can be combated in the design i.e. change design of items to be lifted to incorporate attachment points for lifting.
- Next consider measures to control risk to all the workers i.e. design a one way system for vehicles visiting the site.
- Only as a last resort should it be necessary to control risk by means of personal protection.
The General Principles of Prevention are the same in CDM as they are within the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Should risks remain which are not reasonably practicable to avoid after the application of the above hierarchy, then information needs to be given about them. This information should be included with the design and included within the Pre-Construction Information to warn others of risks about which they cannot reasonably be expected to know.
In August 2010 the HSE re-published on their web site the red, amber and green lists. The red, amber and green lists (RAG Lists) are practical aides to designers on what to eliminate/avoid, and what to encourage. The HSE are keen to stress these are not "right" or "wrong" ideas but are a basis for a debate forum to take design safety onto the next level, and can be amended to be more specific to what a particular design organisation does.
These are examples of hazardous procedures, products and processes that should be eliminated from the project where possible.
- Lack of adequate pre-construction information, e.g. asbestos surveys, geology, obstructions, services, ground contamination, etc.;
- Hand scabbling of concrete ('stop ends', etc);
- Demolition by hand-held breakers of the top sections of concrete piles (pile cropping techniques are available);
- The specification of fragile roof-lights and roofing assemblies;
- Process giving rise to large quantities of dust (dry cutting, blasting etc.);
- On-site spraying of harmful particulates;
- The specification of structural steelwork which is not purposely designed to accommodate safety nets;
- Designing roof mounted services requiring access (for maintenance, etc.), without provision for safe access (e.g. barriers).
- Glazing that cannot be accessed safely. All glazing should be anticipated as requiring cleaning and replacement, so a safe system of access is essential;
- Entrances, floors, ramps, stairs and escalators. Etc. not specifically designed to avoid slips and trips during use and maintenance, incl. effect of rain water and spillages;
- Design of environments involving adverse lighting, noise, vibration, temperature, wetness, humidity and draughts or chemical and/or biological conditions during use and maintenance operations;
- Designs of structures that do not allow for fire containment during construction.
These are examples of products, processes or procedures to be eliminated or reduced as far as possible and only specified/allowed if unavoidable. Including amber items would always lead to the provision of information to the Principal Contractor (or contractors on a non-notifiable project).
- Internal manholes/inspection chambers in circulation areas;
- External manholes in heavy used vehicle access zones;
- The specification of "lip" details (i.e. trip hazards) at the tops of pre-cast concrete staircases;
- The specification of shallow steps (i.e. risers) in external paved areas;
- The specification of heavy building blocks i.e. those weighing >20kgs;
- Large and heavy glass panels;
- The chasing out of concrete / brick / block walls or floors for the installation of services;
- The specification of heavy lintels (the use of slim metals or hollow concrete lintels being alternatives);
- The specification of solvent-based paints and thinners, or isocyanates, particularly for use in confined areas;
- Specification of curtain wall or panel systems without provision for the tying of scaffolds;
- Specification of blockwork walls >3.5 metres high using retarded mortar mixes;
- Site traffic routes that do not allow for 'one way' systems and/or vehicular traffic segregated from site personnel;
- Site layout that does not allow for adequate room for delivery and/or storage of materials, including specific components;
- Heavy construction components which cannot be handled using mechanical lifting devices (because of access restrictions / floor loadings etc);
- On-site welding, in particular for new structures;
- Need to use large piling rigs and cranes near 'live' railways and overhead electric power lines or where proximity to obstructions prevents guarding of rigs.
There are products processes or procedures to be positively encouraged.
- Adequate access for construction vehicles to minimise reversing requirements (one-way systems and turning radii);
- Provision of adequate access and headroom for maintenance in plant rooms, and adequate provision for replacing heavy components;
- Thoughtful location of mechanical / electrical equipment, light fittings, security devices etc. to facilitate access and away from crowded areas;
- The specification of concrete products with pre-cast fixings to avoid drilling;
- Specify half board sizes for plasterboard sheets to make handling easier;
- Early installation of permanent means of access, and prefabricated staircase with hand rails;
- The provision of edge protection at permanent works where there is a foreseeable risk of falls after handover;
- Practical safe methods of window cleaning (e.g. from the inside);
- Appointment of a temporary Works Coordinator (BS 5975);
- Off-site timber treatment if PPA and CCA based preservatives are used (Boron or copper salts can be used for cut ends);
- Off site fabrication and prefabricated elements to minimise on site hazards;
- Encourage the use of engineering controls to minimise the use of Personal Protective Equipment.
This RAG List, and the List prepared for the Highways Sector, are available from:www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm.htm.
Other guidance for designers can be found within the following documents:
- CDM07/4 Industry Guidance for Designers
- APS – Designers guide
- CIRIA 662 – CDM2007-Construction work-sector guidance for designers
- CIRIA 663 – CDM2007-Workplace "in-use" guidance for designers
- HSE Designer section at: www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/designers.htm
The designer has duties whenever he/she prepares a design and does not depend upon having a client, on planning permission being given or funds being allocated. The designer has duties even if the client is a domestic client and the project is not notifiable.
Source: Safety Matters
Occupational Health and Safety is a recent development. Labour movements in the wake of the industrial revolution lead to workers being able to freely express their views and concerns about safe and healthy working practices.
The first piece of legislation that created the first Health and Safety Inspectors (or then known as Factory Inspectors) was the Factories Act 1833. This initially focussed on children and had considerable power to change children's working environments. By 1871, the inspectors' jurisdiction was extended to most workplaces and the role became more technical and advisory, with increased powers of enforcement.
The next milestone was in 1840, when the Royal Commission published findings on the state of the working conditions in the mining industry. The public response resulted in the Mines Act 1843 and the Quarry Inspectorate 1895. By this time, the culture of workplace inspection was increasing and most industries were beginning to recognise that they had to adhere to minimum standards; the agricultural sector for example became regulated in 1956.
The HSE's first director General John Locke described the Health and Safety Act 1974 as "a bold and far reaching piece of legislation". The aim of this legislation was to remove the culture of prescription and detail, and encourage goal setting, less prescriptiveness and more support. In the same year (1975) the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) was established to support the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The next few years saw the formation of the HSC advisory committees and the first annual report.
You can view a complete historical timeline on the Health and Safety Executive's website. It is most informative.
The Occupational Health and Safety we have in this country is remarkable compared to some of our counterparts. For example, in Asia the asbestos trade and use continues to thrive and increase. The lack of awareness and the willingness to understand the effects of this mineral will have devastating effects on future generations to come.
In Quebec, Canada the biggest asbestos mine (biggest exporter of asbestos in the world) was closed down in 2012 due to the federal government cancelling a loan. The industry has now been closed down. In Quebec, over 70% deaths are asbestos related.
Other countries around the world have a long way to go, but the UK can be proud of what it has done to keep its workforce safe and healthy for a considerable number of decades.
Source: HSE, rabble.ca, WHO, Telegraph
Click the link below to read our partner's - Callsafe Services - latest newsletter. There is a section about the latest changes to RIDDOR and Events.
Source: Callsafe Services
For those of you that would like guidance on 'how' to manage Health and Safety, the HSE has published a web site recently that may offer you some assistance. As we all know, all organisations have a legal duty to put in place suitable arrangements. This site provides a framework to help you do that effectively, in a way that your organisation can tailor to your own circumstances. In implementing your arrangements, you should consult with your employees or their representatives, including trade unions where they are recognised.
The framework described in this site is universal but how far action is needed will depend on the size and nature of the organisation, and the risks from its activities, products or services. The Managing for health and safety web site offers a health & safety toolbox and other resources to assist you.
You can find this Health & Safety mini-site at hse.gov.uk/managing
For those Health and Safety professionals that live in Wales the HSE will be speaking at an event at Bangor University on 13th September 2013.
The HSE want you to listen and engage with the speakers, who are all very experienced and experts in their fields, to learn how changing behaviours and attitudes in ourselves and others: from Leaders to shop floor makes good safety sense.
The event is open to all who have an interest in influencing health and safety behaviour. Understanding change and leading through better behaviour.
To find out more and book your place at this event visit hsgroup.bangor.ac.uk
The TUC has published a helpful downloadable document for employers regarding Health & Safety Inspections. They say that for or health and safety laws to be effective, employers must know that if they do not obey the law they could face prosecution.
If you would like to download the guide visit the Health and Safety - Time for Change
With the regulatory environment subject to recent change, what does the future hold for health and safety direction and practice?
CIEH is holding a one day conference on March 4th 2013 to provide industry and Local Authority professionals with the latest developments in delivering the recommendation for a National Code for LA enforcement. The agenda will explore the impact of the changes for LA health and safety interventions and includes speakers from HSE covering the LA National Code, HSE's Events Strategy and 'learning from the Olympic Games'.
If you would like to book your place visit CIEH Conference
Once again we have been listening to our customers and are proud to announce that we have published our latest addition onto our web site - the Health and Safety Community Forums. This FREE new service allows our customers and followers to have the support of experts to address those questions or issues you come across during your CDM or Asbestos related activities. All you need to do is enter one of the forums, Asbestos or CDM, and add in your query and one of our experts will advise you. To enter our Health and Safety Community visit our web site and register now!
In addition to this new service we have other exiting news. Users of the ToolKit CS system will already be familiar with our knowledge base, a huge repository of CDM and Asbestos information. Well we have now decided to make this available to you all via our web site so you can access it while you are away from ToolKit CS. This superb guide is updated regularly in order to provide you with an information 'rich' environment to support and guide you regarding CDM and Asbestos.
Both these services are being made available to aid our readers in their day to day activities, whether this is the management of a construction project or those seeking guidance on Asbestos related issues. Go on-line and visit our community website to see how we can help you.
For those of you who like to keep abreast of things this may be of interest to you.
Following the successful delivery of HSE's "Safe and sound at work - do your bit" training initiative, HSE has made the training materials available for download via the HSE website.
The materials are aimed at training professionals and any employers who have the necessary resources/knowledge and training expertise to deliver the training 'in-house'.
Please visit Safe & Sound at Word - Do Your Bit.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the launch of the 'Robens Report' which took a look 'behind the Health & Safety at Work Act' (HSWA), Prospect (a union representing professional engineers) has compiled 40 stories from the Health and Safety Executive's front line.
40 at 40 is a collection of contemporary personal insights into some extraordinary and diverse encounters, from people who rarely make their voices public.
The interesting thing is that apart from a small minority, most believe the HSWA has contributed to a safer working environment; a fact we at Ai Solutions wholeheartedly agree with.
To read some of the stories visit www.prospect.org.uk/advice_and_services/health_and_safety/40at40
There is an interesting discussion on the HSE Construction Forum.
With the lack of HSE 'to cover' all the works happening at the moment a query was raised that if you were undertaking a fairly low risk project and the works went over the threshold to make it a notifiable project but a CDM-C was not appointed what would the HSE do – even if the works completed without accident or injury?
If there was a major accident then the situation is obvious and the Client would be prosecuted accordingly. Nevertheless it was pointed out that there were probably many jobs that fitted into the 'no accident model' and the HSE would be completely unaware of what was happening. This is all true, however the regulations are there to ensure those working on constriction sites are safe and that those responsible are 'held to account' should the worse case happen. It has been an interesting discussion.
For more on this discussion and to have your say, see What If?
Source: HSE Construction Forum
The HSE has published the results for their investigations (Project RR941) into the extent to which CDM helped or hindered the construction of London 2012 by reviewing how CDM duties were put into practice.
Key messages and findings from the report include:
- Millions of hours of work can be undertaken and a project delivered in a tight timescale without compromising health and safety
- Early and on-going planning, coordination and Contractor involvement were crucial
- Health and safety benefits could be linked directly to CDM 2007
- Business benefits could be linked directly to good health and safety performance and CDM 2007
- CDM 2007 needs to be embedded in projects from the outset and associated with quality management to ensure that it is aligned with business practices
These are all things that many of our readers will not be suprised by, but it is good to see this large project being described from the CDM point of view.
For more more information and to download the full report, see hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr941.htm
The Health and Safety Executive's Chair, Judith Hackitt, will take part in a live Twitter-chat on Wednesday 11 July.
The hour-long session will start at 3pm under the hashtag #askHSE.
HSE is on Twitter as @H_S_E
Selfridges & Co has appointed Altius Vendor Assessment to manage supplier pre-assessment, compliance and accreditation on behalf of the retail group. The Altius online vendor accreditation and management system takes a thorough evidence-based approach to checking the competences of suppliers – from health and safety compliance through to financial health, environmental performance, customer service and corporate social responsibility.
Martin Beck, Health and Safety Manager for Selfridges, said: "The robust assessment process used by Altius provides us with the assurance that our contractors can meet the high professional standards we demand, minimising risk and liability for both parties. While the process is rigorous, it can be tailored to the specific tasks the individual contractor will perform, so we don't waste their time in seeking irrelevant information. Some suppliers have reported that they have reduced insurance premiums by becoming an Altius Assured Vendor." Previously, Selfridges assessed contractors as part of the pre-tender interviews. The new assessment system has simplified and strengthened this process, saving time and resources and easing the burden on contractors.
The Altius Vendor Assessment system won the 2011 British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) Award for Innovation in Technology and Systems. The service is free to clients and main contractors seeking verified suppliers, and there's a small annual fee for vendors. Altius are accredited by Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), providing its assured vendors with the widest possible recognition of their status under mutual recognition arrangements.
Altius is part of the new Collaborative Construction Compliance (CCC) service (www.collaborativecc.co.uk), which has Ai Solutions' CDM compliance management software system as its backbone. CCC provides a single online system to manage CDM and asbestos management and compliance; contractor assessment and accreditation; waste planning and record documentation. It is designed to help construction clients to focus on strategic CDM planning and management rather than being 'lost' in paperwork that can detract from performance.
The cost recovery scheme introduced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - Fee for Intervention (FFI) - will start on 1 October 2012 subject to Parliamentary approval.
New detailed FFI guidance has been published on HSE's website setting about how the scheme will work in practice. Developed in consultation with representatives from industry, it explains how FFI works and includes examples illustrating how it would be applied.
Will this new scheme aid the HSE recover costs? It is hoped so as the ones who break the law will be the ones that get fined.
For more on this item visit HSE Media Centre
Its seems that many UK businesses see H&S Compliance as a burden a recent survey reveals. One of the main issues they have is that they find it difficult to find the information on which health and safety regulations applied to their operation.
Additionally lack of time and physical resource as well as the penalties for non-compliance were sited as major reasons for their concerns. Many opt to have external organisations provide the facility to demonstrate compliance.
At Ai Solutions compliance is what we do, in particular for CDM and Asbestos management. If you would like to save money and 'do the job' yourselves then pick up the phone and call 01525 850080 or visit us at www.aisolutions.co.uk and take a look at what we offer.
For more on this article visit Businesses still see H&S compliance as a burden
Source: SHP Online
Further to one of our recent posts regarding the HSE review of the current AcOP the SHP report that protests have challenged Employment Minister Chris Grayling. Their issues are that the government should be doing 'more' to strengthen regulations rather than cutting it.
For more on this article see Protesters tell Government: you lie, we die
Source: SHP Online
The Safety & Health Practitioner (SHP) reports that Martin O'Halloran, chief executive of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), has published his annual report.
While the regulatory focus in the Republic of Ireland - as in the UK - has shifted from proactive inspection and enforcement to advice and support, the number of work-related deaths in the country rose last year by 15%, to 55 - the second annual increase in a row. Agriculture and construction accounted for more than half of this total, with 22 and six fatalities, respectively.
For more on this story visit SHP Online
Employment minister Chris Grayling has published a report on the progress regarding the implementation of the Government's health and safety reforms.
In the report, he states that getting rid of regulations won't undermine the UK's good record on health and safety but will improve its bad record on red tape. Referrence is made to the progress so far on implementing the recommendations of both Professor Ragnar Löfstedt and Lord Young of Graffham in the wake of their recent reviews of the health and safety system in the UK.
For more on this story see SHP Online
Source: SHP Online
A new report published in the safety journal Hazards Magazine stated that the government's insistence that workplace safety laws hold back the economy, and that safety enforcement is a diversion businesscould and should do without, is 'a cynical - and ultimately deadly - lie'.
The report examines the government's safety strategy and notes: 'Your life just got a little bit cheaper. Safety regulations and enforcement are out of favor, and for more and more workers, this could mean they are out of luck.' It adds 'this immoral government strategy will exact a high human and economic cost.'
For more on this article go to www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/
The British Safety Council is holding a series of free health, safety and environmental seminars at the Health & Safety Midlands show at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. The free seminars provide an update on key developments concerning health, safety and environmental policy, law and management. They are delivered by expert speakers at the cutting edge of health and safety, for more information visit www.hse.gov.uk/events
The Safety & Health Practitioner reports that the CDM regulations will be re-drafted for reissue in 2014.
Details will be presented to the HSE board in December 2012. 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.
The Löfstedt report recommended that an ongoing review of CDM 2007 should consider a clearer expression of duties, a reduction in bureaucracy and suitable guidance for small projects.
Ai Solutions is a supporter of the CDM Regulations and we write software specifically designed to aid Clients, Designers and CDM-C's in their CDM related activities. For more information visit www.aisolutions.co.uk
If you would like to read more about this article visit www.shponline.co.uk/news
The Health & Safety Executive is lending its support to the various events, street parties and commemorations that are taking place up and down the country by emphasising that there is nothing in health and safety law to prevent anyone from celebrating.
Further details, as well as information for celebrations organisers is available on the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/hse-jubilee
There is advice from the HSE's web site about 'leading health and safety at work'.
The team at Ai Solutions believe that the art of good Health & Safety is having a 'top down' approach, meaning senior management must buy-in to the process, setting standards, being seen to follow those standards and working towards improvement.
The HSE web site offers guidance for all directors, governors, trustees, officers and their equivalents in the private, public and third sectors. This applies to organisations of all sizes; small businesses and major hazard industries. If you would like more information visit hse.gov.uk/leadership
The HSE has teamed up with the construction industry's Working Well Together campaign to organise an event focusing on safety issues for construction workers, especially during the ground-works phase.
This free event has been organised to get to grips with health and safety in one of Britain's most dangerous industries, especially within the smaller and medium sized construction companies.
For more information see HSE Press
"Health and Safety" is often incorrectly used as a convenient excuse to stop what are essentially sensible activities going ahead. HSE has set up an independent panel – the Myth Busters Challenge Panel - to scrutinize such decisions.
This Panel will look into complaints regarding the advice given by non-regulators such as insurance companies, health and safety consultants and employers and quickly assess if a sensible and proportionate decision has been made.
The state: "We want to make clear that 'health and safety' is about managing real risks properly, not being risk averse and stopping people getting on with their lives."
A reminder about Legionella & Legionnaires disease has been published on the HSE web site. The site provides information on Legionella and how to control risks from exposure to Legionella and how to control risks from exposure to Legionella from manmade water systems.
If you would like to know more visit www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires
The Safety & Health Practitioner reports that the accident regarding a fork lift driver that was crushed underneath unstable storage stack could have been avoided if the coils has been securely stored.
For more on this story see Forklift driver crushed underneath unstable storage stack
The Safety & Health Practitioner reports that there has been a sharp drop in the number of prosecutions of employees under section 7 of the HSWA in the last five or six years, according to figures collated by the HSE from its prosecutions database.
Interestingly, the fall in s7 prosecutions has coincided with a rise in the number of senior managers and directors prosecuted under s37 of the HSWA. Does this mean that more senior managers are being held to account for Health & Safety issues? For more on this story visit SHP Online
The Safety & Health Practitioner (SHP) has written an interesting article regarding the CDM2007 regulations.
At a panel discussion at the Safety & Health Expo they agreed that Communication, cooperation and competency are fundamental to the successful application of the Construction, Design and Management (CDM) Regulations.
This is our mantra at Ai Solutions and we have been advocating the benefits of the CDM regulations as far back as 1994. Our ToolKit CS™ CDM management system can aid your organisation in ensuring they are compliant with the regulations.
For more on the SHP article visit CDM Regulations what lies beneath and the video below.
A woman has been airlifted to hospital after she was hit by a metal site hoarding which fell from a new academy site in Kidderminster yesterday.
The main contractor at the site is Thomas Vale who are converting the historic Piano Building into a new academy for Kidderminster College and Birmingham Metropolitan College.
For more on this story see Woman hit by falling site hoarding from academy job.
The Bournemouth Echo reports that a local builder has been fined after carrying out demolition work on a house. He negated the requirement to carry out an asbestos survey before commencing work.
Self-employed Stuart Pearson was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for not having a pre-demolition survey to check all asbestos had been removed from the building. This type of work is very dangerous, along with this the removal of the asbestos must be carried out by professional removers.
Source: Bournemouth Echo
The HSE will be running a free half-day seminar hosted by the TUC, focusing on the health and safety lessons learned from the London 2012 construction project in relation to leadership and worker involvement. The event will be held at the Congress Centre, London, 24 May 2012.
If you are interested in attending visit www.hse.gov.uk/events for more information.
A local contractor in Northamptonshire has been fined after a six-tonne dumper truck ran over a worker's foot.
Lincoln Magistrates' Court heard that Maypine Construction was main contractor on the job where Ross Smith (23) and a colleague were filling the roadway with stone, in preparation for surfacing.
The HSE said: "Many construction transport incidents are usually the result of inadequate separation of pedestrians and vehicles, and by inadequate control of vehicle movements on site."
For more on this story see Dumper truck runs over ground worker's foot
Source: Construction Enquirer
Main contractor Bowmer & Kirkland and structural engineer Bingham Davis have been found guilty of breaking safety laws following a crane collapse in Liverpool which left the driver paralysed.
Bowmer & Kirkland and Bingham had both denied the charges following the collapse in July 2009 when the tower crane toppled onto an apartment block at Chandlers Wharf in Liverpool city centre.
The companies were fined £280k and £1k respectively for the accident where crane driver Iain Gillham, 55, from Woolton, fell from his cab onto the roof of the apartments and through the hole created by the counterweights.
For more on this story go to Construction Enquirer.
Source: The Construction Enquirer
The HSE has republished their advice on 'electricity appliance testing'. Firms are urged to pull the plug on £30m of wasted electrical safety tests.
It is a myth that every portable electrical appliance needs to be tested once a year. A vast amount of money is wasted doing these unnecessary tests each year; we are all looking for savings at the moment!
See www.hse.gov.uk/press for further details.
The Unions are saying that bad stats and policies add up to deadly workplaces. The government safety strategy 'built on myth and dogma' is making the UK's workplaces more deadly, unions have warned.
Unite have accused the government of hiding behind poor statistics, with workplace deaths 'underestimated by more than 800 per cent' in the official toll.
Unite's general secretary Len McCluskey, speaking ahead of Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April, said: 'The government is hell bent on reducing health and safety regulations, and standards. It will lead to fewer inspections, less enforcement and more deaths, injuries and ill-health at work.
There is more on TUC Health & Safety Update or the TUC web site.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling has stated that there is a straightforward choice between cutting unnecessary health and safety regulations or losing jobs to other countries.
At the Enterprise Forum in London last week, the minister spoke about the Government's progress in reforming the UK's health and safety regime during a round-table discussion about the Löfstedt report.
Ai Solutions had the pleasure of Professor Ragnar Löfstedt at our recent Health & Safety Conference. Ragnar has the ear of the government and has been very proactive with his risk-based approach making various recommendations for improvements in Health & Safety legislation.
Mr. Grayling went on to say "We know that work-related accidents and ill health cost our businesses nearly £8bn a year. To that effect, we'd like to see the Government recognising that pragmatic, proportionate health and safety actually saves money and livelihoods, by reducing lost time, cutting costly legal bills and improving efficiency, instead of using it as a scapegoat.
"It's not legislation itself, but the interpretation of those rules that is often misplaced. The streamlining of regulations will help bosses understand what's required of them."
For more on this article see SHP online.
Source: SHP Online
A building contractor has been fined over serious safety breaches after a worker was killed by a piece of falling cob wall being demolished by his son.
Two agency workers Jamie Ford 24 and his father, Stephen Ford, 50, were working under the control of Do It All to demolish a barn at Dunbury Farmhouse in Winterbourne Houghton near Blandford in November 2008.
The court heard no plan of work for the demolition was in place and Alaister Copland had no experience in demolition work of this kind. The HSE Inspector said that "This is a tragic case which clearly demonstrates the dangers of carrying out demolition work without suitable planning".
For more on this story see HSE Press.
Source: HSE Press
The BBC has put together some educational programmes for the young about Health & Safety using well known childrens characters. The CBBC Madcap Alpacas - Nuzzle and Scratch - team up with safety supervisor Miss Mulberry to learn about common hazards and how to avoid them. The team at Ai Solutions fully supports any education in Health & Safety.
These short programmes are quite amusing for the young but send out some very important messages.
For those that are interested visit the Nuzzle and Scratch Hoof & Safety Clips page for further information.
At the Ai Solutions Health & Safety Conference in April it was suggested that Health & Safety awareness should start in schools so that young people have a 'good underpinning' to their knowledge. Health & Safety is always bottom of the list and, in some cases, it is not tabled as part of the standard cirriculum for some of the more 'technical' courses you would expect it to be part of (i.e. Built Enviornment). Many round the table at the conference stated that CDM and Health & Safety were an 'option' you could take. It was agreed that education is lacking in this most important area.
Judith Hackitt (HSE) has supported this theory, she has been out and about supporting local schools in their endeavours in teaching our youngsters about assessing for risk assesments. With actual 'hands on' experience it shows that the pupils are getting a better basic knowledge about health and safety in the real world. Judith stated that "When they join the world of work, young people need to be prepared to recognise and manage risk. Our system of regulation relies upon it".
For more on Judiths blog visit Young people, risk and an exciting education
For those that are interested there is a new video available from the HSE - Judith Hackitt introduces the Healthy Workplaces Campaign.
EU-OSHA's Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2012-2013 'Working together for risk prevention' focuses on the twin concepts of management leadership and worker participation in OSH.
In the UK the title translates more accurately as 'working together on risk management'
A Chinese firm, the Broad Group, has built a 30 storey building in just 30 days without injuries to workers. Astounding!
Their key to success was that all the key components were prefabricated off-site. The builders took just 46 hours to finish the main structural components and another 90 hours to finish the building enclosure.
To view the time-lapse video see The Construction Enquirer.
Source: The Construction Enquirer
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is supporting a new independent panel to consider challenges to health and safety regulatory advice.
The new panel, which will look into issues raised by business where they believe a HSE or local authority health and safety inspector has given advice that is incorrect or disproportionate. The panel will not look at issues where other independent appeals processes exist, such as for enforcement notices or prosecutions.
For more detail on this see HSE News.
We read an interesting article on the TUC web site recently on how unions make a difference to health and safety, what they term as 'the union effect'.
They state that 150,000 trade union safety representatives make a difference because trade union involvement:
- Helps reduce injuries at work
- Leads to reductions in the levels of ill-health caused by work
- Encourages greater reporting of injuries and near-misses
- Makes workers more confident
- Helps develop a more positive safety culture in the organisation
- Saves the economy many millions of pounds
They also state that there is lots of evidence to support their claims. It is an interesting perspective and some of what they say is very valid. For instance it is a fact that consultation with the workforce can have a considerable effect in changing the safety culture in a workplace. Unions also make sure that their safety representatives are trained and therefore are knowledgeable enough to support the workers.
We know that most good employers work with the unions in the workplace; what we need to do is ensure that cutbacks don't damage all the hard work and good relations that have taken many years to build.
For more on this subject see TUC: How unions make a difference to health and safety.
It would seem that there is more and more illegal PPE making the rounds.
An increasing number of products and safety garments, which don't comply with EN Standards and the PPE Regulations, have been purchased by UK businesses. Some of these products don't purport to meet the standards, but are nevertheless purchased in the mistaken belief that they are acceptable. Others are sold as complying with the Regulations when they do not.
Please all be aware of this, we must do our best to maintain the standards we have set to ensure the health of those who work on our behalf.
One of our customers sent us an interesting link to maybe the toughest construction job going at the moment.
Chinese workers have been tasked with building a 3ft-wide path made of wooden planks on the sheer cliff face of a mountain that is thousands of feet high.
The Shifou Mountain in Hunan Province, where they are building the pathway, stands vertical at 90 degrees without any slopes or alcoves.
We also saw this as a video news article - Construction cliff work 'not for the faint-hearted' - and were very surprised at how few safety measures are in place. In addition, this video does not show what they have in place for convenience and refreshment for the workers.
You wouldn't see this type of thing happening in the UK, or would you?
The SHP (Safety & Health Practitioner) reports that Mike Williams, the Principal Inspector of Construction for London said, that given the recent cuts to the regulator's budget and the consequent impact on how it carries out its proactive work, the success of the 2012 project "was, perhaps, a one-off".
Speaking at a health and safety forum held at the Olympics site in east London last week, Mr Williams described the level of health and safety achievement on the site as "fantastic".
Overall, he said, this approach was "constructive" and, while there were lessons to be learnt, and some minor incidents did occur, "the statistics can't be bettered".
We believe this is a fantastic achievment. Those involved need to be applauded for all their hard work and attention to detail along with better management of the construction process. It is good to see that excellence can be achiveved along with the health and safety of those involved in such a large project.
For more on this article see SHP Online.
The SHP (Safety & Health Practitioner) reports that the Department for Work and Pensions has published further details of the draft terms of reference that will govern the independent review of health and safety legislation announced last month.
The main aims are to consider the opportunities for reducing the burden of health and safety legislation on UK businesses while maintaining the progress made in improving health and safety outcomes. The review will explore the scope for consolidating, simplifying or abolishing regulations but, at the same time, examine whether a clear link exists between regulation and positive health and safety performance.
For more on this article go to SHP Online.
Source: SHP Online
Commenting on the launch of the government strategy for the future regulation of health and safety, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
"Employers need to know that there is the possibility of a safety inspector visiting, otherwise there will be no incentive for them to ensure they are protecting their workers.
"Removing proactive inspections from a large number of workplaces mean that employers can get away with ignoring the law until they kill or seriously injure someone. This is in no-one's interests and will mean an increase in deaths and injuries, leading to a rush to the bottom as cowboy companies undercut responsible employers by cutting back on safety.
We would agree with Brednan; surely the cost of a life is more important than making cuts that benefit no-one?
The TUC has stated that the way to reduce the number of people on long term sick leave is to prevent them from becoming sick in the first place.
But they suggest that the cuts in the budgets of the Health and Safety Executive, and the fall in enforcement activity from local authority safety inspectors will mean more employers can get away with running unsafe and unhealthy workplaces.
The TUC are concerned over the review in sickness pay saying that "You do not get workers back to work by cutting their access to benefits or pay. You get them back by providing access to early rehabilitation and supporting those who have been ill for a long time by giving them the confidence to return."
For more on this article see Government review of sickness absence must not cut sick pay
The Prime Minister, Mr Cameron hailed Lord Young's report on Health & Safety as a "turning point" and has backed proposed reforms to safety laws. However, the unions said it was a missed opportunity to prevent death and injury at work and was based on "myths". The government has accepted all of the recommendations in Lord Young's report Common Sense, Common Safety.
- A simplified procedure for personal injury claims and controls on the "volume and type" of advertising of such services
- A "common sense" approach to educational trips, with a single consent form covering all activities a child might undertake
- Consultants who carry out workplace safety assessments to be professionally qualified and registered on an online database
All very interesting but does it go far enough into the real issues of Health & Safety within construction and asbestos management?
Source: BBC News