The seminar held at Bletchley Park 3 October 2002 was according to at least one attendee, 'superb'. We are delighted with the outcome and feel sure that this will be the first of many events to be held at this fascinating location. The number of positive feedback calls reaching the office following the event is unusually high – thank you!
One of the issues discussed was the opportunity to waste resources on health and safety issues. This is particularly true where senior managers fail to take on their responsibility to manage and audit good health & safety practice. It is also true where managers employ the services of people who are not competent including some asbestos contractors. The overriding expedient of Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act was again emphasised. The delegates went away from this seminar reassured that the new Asbestos Management regulations are ready for signature, albeit delayed, that the HSE's Awareness Training as outlined in our presentation is ready for delivery, that the HSE's Management Guidance is ready for publication and, as far as we can tell, is already substantially included in the ToolKit CS™ knowledge base. The new risk assessment algorithm is in the Asbestos ToolKit CS™ in a particularly easy to use form. The required Asbestos Register is available showing all instances of asbestos in any building at the touch of a button. Solutions ranging from standalone (laptops) to multi-site networks running SQL Server are available now. All the tools required to manage the current CDM and new asbestos regulations are ready for delivery.
Our HSE speaker, Bob Daunton, again stressed that the new regulations cannot be complied with simply by getting third parties to carry out surveys. This was backed by Bill Sanderson of our partner Casella Environmental who restated that the proliferation of poorly qualified surveyors will cause much heartache before the regulations can be properly adhered to. What is required is good, quality, management practice by the managers of the million and half non-private buildings out there to which the asbestos regulations will apply.
We believe we have ably demonstrated the quality and depth of our solutions backed as they are by the services of our key partners. These include Microsoft, Casella, Callsafe, Mouchel and Pcubed. We hope to demonstrate how our new compliance software can help all our customers with their health & safety compliance issues over the months ahead.
We have never been more prepared for a major piece of government legislation. Please give us the opportunity to demonstrate our new solution to your senior management team by contacting us to discuss how we can achieve this.
The HSE's new discussion document with the above title is available free from HSE Books or by downloading it from the HSE's web site: DDE20 - Revitalising Health and Safety in Construction. The 54 page document is packed with messages for "everyone in Britain connected with construction". Starting from the line, "Its time for change.", the document seeks to involve readers in the Government's proposals for major reforms.
The following paragraphs have been transposed directly from the discussion document. We feel so strongly that the issues here are at the 'heart of the problem' of poor health & safety statistics that we have no hesitation in adding to the debate with our customers.
From the HSE web site: "If you work in the construction industry you should know that, on average, one or two of you are likely to die this week. Many more of you will become injured or made seriously ill.
It's time for change. Government, clients, business and workforce leaders from every sector of construction agree. Ethical and hard-nosed business arguments point to the same conclusion. We must all work together to change the industry and we must do it now.
The HSE's targets are:
A message to everyone in Great Britain connected with construction
It's time for change. Government, clients, business and workforce leaders from every sector of construction agree. Ethical and hardnosed business arguments point to the same conclusion. We must all work together to change the industry and we must do it now. We cannot go on as we are.
Leadership within Businesses
Equally, clear and decisive leadership is required within each organisation. A strong, visible management commitment is crucial for good health and safety performance. Top management must be seen as actively interested and committed. If practical commitment is not visible at working level, then statements of commitment will lack credibility in the eyes of the workforce. This is more than placing health and safety at the top of board agendas. Directors and senior managers need to show that health and safety is important by how they behave as much as by what they say. The workforce recognises top management's real priorities by the emphasis and energy that they see devoted to them. This practical demonstration is just as important for a small company as it is for a multinational.
Such leadership can also produce other business benefits including:
Directors' responsibilities for health and safety
It is written for senior management boards of public bodies, as well as boards of private sector companies. It sets out five action points:
Key Role of Client
Experience shows that high standards are achieved in projects where clients are committed to health and safety.
As Accelerating Change says:
"There are good business and ethical reasons to do this. Even though some clients may wrongly seek to distance themselves from health and safety during the construction process they cannot take the same attitude to the safety of the finished product, which will be used by their employees or members of the public.
In direct business terms, accidents on site may involve client liability and will lead to delays. Unhappy workers produce defective work. Poor health and safety performance of the building when in use will result in the ineffective delivery of business objectives. Clients pay the price for all this avoidable waste."
"The Strategic Forum has rightly identified the importance of client leadership. I am determined, with the help of my ministerial colleagues, to help ensure that the public sector, as the industry's largest client, plays its role in driving forward the change agenda."
DTI Minister for construction
(End of quotes from discussion document)
The 1-2 deaths per week mentioned here (ie about 100 per year for the industry) do not include the 3000 per year (that is over 50 per week) dying from asbestos related diseases. Furthermore there are further significant numbers suffering from occupational health issues including, dust, noise, solvents, and muscular skeletal injury and so on. It is widely known that the fatal injuries statistics are both unacceptable and understated.
There will be several opportunities to attend presentations by senior HSE staff and at which you will be able to ask questions and express views. We are aware of the following events (please let us know if you are aware of others and we will help publicise them);
Please contact the institute of your choice for more details on these. Responses to the HSE proposals in the discussion document need to be made by the end of December 2002.
We have announced our autumn offers for our new product, ToolKit CS™. As attendees at our seminar saw on 3rd October, there are substantial improvements to the functionality of this new Compliance Software (compared to CDM ToolKit™ 2000 and Asbestos ToolKit™ Lite) and the manner in which it will allow all users to manage and audit their health & safety records. Major features of the Asbestos ToolKit CS™ are:
- and much more besides to make asbestos compliance easy.The Asbestos ToolKit CS™ is available standalone for under £800 (plus VAT) for orders placed by 20 December 02.
Prices for the CDM product are similar to previous versions except that at the basic level, there is no 'branding' of the CDM product for Planning Supervisor, Contractor and so on. We are currently shipping all the functionality code to every customer. We have a number of offers available for existing customer upgrades. These start at 20% of the new configuration price where a like-for-like upgrade is ordered and for up to 50% discounts for new customers purchasing our Asbestos product. Please call us for details or a demonstration.
Our Autumn Offers will close on 20 December 2002.
We are planning to circulate an update to the CDM ToolKit™ 2000 in the next few weeks as part of our annual support arrangements to existing licence holders.
Please make a note in your diary! We plan to be exhibiting at the SHE Exhibition in Harrogate 15-16 October 2002. We will be delighted to see you and your colleagues at this important Health & Safety event.