COMPANY NEWS

CITB Training Courses

Forthcoming 2018 dates currently in place and fees for the CITB courses are as follows. Courses are held at the WHS training rooms and fees include lunch, refreshments and all course literature.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
Please be aware that CITB specifies that candidates must be available to attend each session within the course; failure to do so may require a repeat course.

  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS)
    Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
    Dates: 27 July & 3, 10, 17, 24 August (Fridays)
    19, 26 September, 3, 10 & 17 October 2018 (Wednesdays)
    Cost: £495 + VAT per person
  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) Refresher
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 19 & 20 July 2018 (Thursday & Friday)
    10 & 11 September 2018 (Monday & Tuesday)
    Cost: £265 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 9 & 10 July 2018 (Monday & Tuesday)
    20 & 21 September (Thursday & Friday)
    Cost: £230 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • CITB 1-Day Health & Safety Awareness
    Duration: 1 day
    Dates: 7 August 2018 (Tuesday)
    24 September 2018 (Monday)
    Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)

 

First Aid Training

Forthcoming dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, also held at training rooms, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:

  • 25 June 2018
  • 24 July 2018
  • 23 August 2018
  • 27 September 2018 (note this date has been changed)
  • 24 October 2018
  • 20 November 2018
  • 19 December 2018

 

As with the CITB courses above, if any organisation requires first-aid for 6 or more employees, a specific course can be arranged at a date, time and location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

Defibrillators

As those of you who have recently attended a first-aid course recently, this now includes use of a defibrillator (Automated External Defibrillator, or AED). But what’s the point of that if we don’t provide them in the workplace? We see AEDs in many public places these days – they are very easy to use (even for the untrained) and they have saved countless lives. But few employers provide them and, considering most of us spend more time at work than at home, this is an omission that really should be rectified. The enclosed sheet ‘The benefits of having an AED – the facts’ explains everything.

WHS have taken the lead and, not only will we be purchasing one ourselves, we have negotiated a deal to give our customers significant discounts. The deal is based on ‘the higher the number purchased, the higher the discount’ (5 ordered = 5% discount, 10 ordered = 10%) so, to give you all the best chance of getting decent discounts, we have agreed with Martek (provider of the best model we can find) to amalgamate your orders into one.

A current price list is enclosed for all unit options and consumables. However, this can be confusing so all you need to consider right now is which unit best suits your purposes:

  • Lifeline AED – Semi-Automatic AED – press button to deliver shock (available with a standard or high capacity battery, usually referred to as 5 or 7 year)
  • Lifeline AUTO – Fully Automatic – no shock button to press (available with a standard or high capacity battery, usually referred to as 5 or 7 year)
  • Lifeline VIEW – full colour visual coaching throughout the rescue (comes with a standard 4 year battery)

 

and Martek (who are excellent at advice and customer service) can discuss any further requirements (spares, wall brackets, etc) afterwards if you require them.

Can we ask please that companies who act as PCs or who have a significant number of employees at Head Office, in workshops etc. digest the enclosures and let our office know how many AEDs you would like. We have set a deadline for the initial order of 31 July 2018 which gives you all plenty of time to discuss the benefits and place your order through us. But do consider this seriously – as the enclosure stresses, there are huge benefits to having one or more available in workplaces:

  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates without an AED average 2-12%
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates with an AED average up to 75%

 

And, if money rather than the moral aspect sways your decision, yes the cost of each unit is significant but just think of how much money is saved when the patient survives!! And, of course, that patient could be you!

It must be noted that we are not making any money at all on this deal; we have negotiated the deal purely for the benefit of our customers and their employees. You will be invoiced from, and must pay, Martek direct; we will simply place the order.

For further information, please contact Jackie; for orders, please contact Vicki, both on the usual WHS number: 01952-885885.

16 Years of H&S Assistance

WHS recently celebrated its 16th birthday – which is quite a milestone. Over the 16 years, we’ve have been proud to assist 800 companies right across the construction industry to raise their standards, been actively involved with related safety bodies, and helped formulate improvements to guidance and best practice. We are also pleased to report that we have needed to deal with very few significant accidents or incidents over the years. We like to think that this is the result of our support but maybe that’s only part of the story.

In 2001/02, there were 80 fatalities in the construction industry; in 2002/03 there were 70. 16 years on, the last confirmed figures (for 2016/17) indicate that the industry has reduced the figure to 30. This has been a huge improvement over the decades from the shocking figure of 154 in 1989/1990, and a testament to the efforts across the construction industry to improve the safety culture – of which we, of course, are proud to be a part.

But we can’t take our eyes of the ball. 30 is still 30 to many lives shattered and, as work continues to increase, there is usually a corresponding increase in accidents as standards are allowed to drop. There is an enviable record across our data base of 800 construction-related clients – don’t be the company to spoil it!!!

Take Care of Yourselves First!

WHS is always concerned about the well-being of everyone involved on site, particularly our own customers obviously. And it always disturbs us when we see our customers, in trying their level best to help their clients, putting themselves at risk in the process.

In the infamous words of David Cameron, “we are all in this together” and, if clients won’t play their part to ensure a safe site can be achieved, then contractors should really question why they are putting their own employees at risk for the sake of pleasing the client. There has to come a point where the risk to the contractor’s employees is too high to agree to the work. Yes the client would probably get the majority of the blame if someone is hurt as a result of his/her negligence but that doesn’t help the poor victim.

So, a plea from us – please don’t accommodate the client to the detriment of your employees’ safety; no amount of work is worth a life.

HSE NEWS

Fees For Intervention (FFI)

A timely reminder (see also ‘Public Protection..’ above) that the HSE have the right to, and frequently do, levy charges, for visits and paperwork related to any breach of H&S legislation (‘notices of contravention’), including sometimes what we may perceive as relatively minor transgressions (such as lack of vibration assessments). And that the charges amount to £129 per hour, which must be paid within 30 days.

The HSE has advised that the charges are now being levied against, not only the visit and all follow-up work, but any preparatory or other work carried out by the HSE’s ‘Visiting Officers’ as well. Hourly charges can accumulate and result in £thousands before long.

Currently, the HSE is targeting those employers with less than 10 employees. Why? Because predictably it’s micro-contractors who account for well over 75% of all accidents – lack of knowledge, H&S competence and willingness to place profit over safety. Recent HSE enforcements statistics prove the point:

  • 46% of small sites visited were below legal standards, and as a result:
  • 692 enforcement notices were issued
  • 983 notices of contravention (FFI)
  • average cost per FFI notice = £750

 

This clearly illustrates that the cost of our assistance pales into insignificance when compared to how much a single breach can cost the offending employer! So prevention is better than cure – ask us to carry out site (and workplace) inspection before, not as a result of, the HSE spot check!

What we at WHS find maddening is that the level of fines now levied by courts, and the very-easily-incurred hourly charge of £129 levied by the HSE for transgressions, does seem to hit home. Employers are more scared of incurring costs than harming an employee or ruining a family’s livelihood!

For your information, the following HSE freely downloadable documents help to explain the system:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/ HSE Guidance about FFI
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsc14.pdf When an Inspector Calls
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse41.pdf Enforcement Policy Statement

and what to do if you disagree with any Notification of Contravention (NoC) issued:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/assets/docs/ffi-queries-dispute-process.pdf
– Query & Dispute Process

However, do speak to WHS before you launch into a dispute with the HSE – in our experience, they are usually right so a dispute may just cost you £thousands more! Let us advise you on whether we think your dispute is reasonable.

Welding Fume Targeted

The HSE is now actively targeting fabricating metal workshops due to the increased risk of respiratory disease from welding fumes; welders are 20 times more likely to suffer from occupational asthma.

The HSE have issued guidance on how to protect workers from the effects of welding fume:
advice on how to protect your workers.

An example of what can happen if the risks are ignored:

Design & manufacturing company, Bayham Ltd, was fined a total of over £18,000 when the HSE found that no extraction system was in place to prevent exposure to rosin-based solder flux, a contributory factor for the occupational asthma experienced by employees.

INDUSTRY NEWS

The Legal Requirement for Seat Belts

For the last 20 years, it has been a legal requirement to have seat-belts (lap-belts) fitted to all plant where there is a risk of over-turn and the operator being crushed (forward-tipping dumpers, sit-on rollers, excavators, etc. Operators naturally fall in the direction of the over-turning plant (i.e. underneath it); hence the legal necessity to wear a restraint to hold the operator within the protective roll-bar or cab. So why are so many plant operators ignoring this requirement, why are they so reluctant to wear the seat-belts?

The 2015 HSE report RR1066 (http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr1066.pdf) gives some indication (convenience, having to climb on and off the machine frequently, laziness, lack of instruction and site enforcement) but also recommends that manufacturers go some way to addressing the problem by adding visual safety features to the plant. The result? Most good hire companies and contractors have now fitted green warning lights to the roll-bars or cabs to give a clear visual signal when seat-belts are being worn. An excellent additional feature and one that helps site managers to spot offenders from afar.

But then we get the inevitable queries: why have we got orange and green lights? what are the orange lights for if there are green ones too?! It’s easy:

  • Orange lights are to warn everyone of moving plant in their vicinity
  • Green lights are to show that the plant operator is wearing his seat-belt

 

But, more disturbingly, we also get the inevitable workers who seem determined to go against all instruction and still not wear the seat-belts. WHS has found many instances of operators fastening the seat-belt behind them. This triggers the green light which indicates to the site manager that the belt is being worn when in fact it’s not. What is it with some people?! If they put as much effort into abiding by the law as avoiding it, sites (and people) would be a lot safer!

  • To all site managers: spot check plant operators and discipline offenders
  • To all plant operators: don’t be idiots; buckle up, the law is there to protect your life after all!

 

Safe Scaffolding – a Warning

Alandale Plant & Scaffolding Ltd was recently handed a massive fine of £160,000 + costs and a victim surcharge after a scaffold clip fell 20 metres, seriously injuring a passing member of the public. It appears that the company failed to follow its own risk assessment with the result that only the lower levels of the multi-storey scaffold construction was sheeted.

It is essential that the public (and all others) are properly protected by law. Not only is there an ever present risk of objects falling, but projectiles also must be taken into account – sheeting or netting is the only way to safeguard people below unless they can be held at a safe distance (taking account of those possible projectiles. The mass of a falling object and the height of the fall combine to increase its mass (simple physics). According to the ‘Drops Calculator’:
http://www.dropsonline.org/assets/documents/DROPS-Calculator-Metric-A4.pdf )
a typical scaffold clip at 700gms falling from 15 metres (even if the pedestrian is assumed to be wearing a hard hat as per the calculator) can be deadly.

In June 2017, Zero C Holdings was fined £145,000 + costs after 500 scaffold fittings, each weighing 2kg, fell 10.5 metres from a crane.

And in February 2018, BAM was fined £40,000 + costs after scaffold tubes being lifted by a crane became dislodged and fell, injuring a worker.

This last case was exacted under the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regs and illustrates the additional necessity to ensure that no lifting takes place over people below.

To sum up then: ALL operations must take account of persons below, whether workers or the public. Ensure people are physically held back at a safe distance or, if this isn’t possible, ensure adequate protection is installed to prevent falling objects. It’s not only common sense, it’s the law (for good reason!)

Note:

Yet another pertinent reminder (as we still see sites where this doesn’t happen) that it is also law to record scaffold (and other work at height equipment) checks at least weekly. Refer to the WHS Health & Safety Manual and generic risk assessments; the law requires recorded checks by competent persons:

  • before first ascent
  • minimum 7 days thereafter
  • following any alteration, modification or reason to be believed the scaffold’s integrity may have been compromised (high winds, contact with plant, etc)

 

And be warned, whoever makes those checks and records, must take it seriously. Last September, two scaffolders were sentenced to 170 hours of community work each and ordered to pay £1,500 costs after falsifying records. The issue came to light when a roofer fell through a gap in the scaffold – the two had not made any checks and the records were therefore found to be fraudulent.

Public Protection & Public Nuisance

As you all know, protection of the public (HSWA(1)(1a) “protecting persons other than persons at work against risks to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work”) has always been a legal duty on all employers no matter what work is being undertaken or where.

Members of the public very often complain about site works causing nuisance (dusts, muck on the roads, poor fencing, vehicle obstruction, noise and out of hours working, etc) and all contractors must be aware that the public have a right not to be affected by site works.

However, members of the public are often very keen-eyed too and won’t hesitate to report (with photos these days) straight to the HSE without warning. If this happens, consequences can be severe – as our previous newsletters illustrate. The cost of a WHS site inspection pales into insignificance against the cost of an enforcement notice or prosecution!

So, for your own sakes, why hesitate when it comes to site inspections? Many of our customers rarely see us on site, if at all, because they either see it as unnecessary or not worth the expense. But ask yourselves – isn’t it better that we spot and help rectify the faults on site rather than a keen-eyed pedestrian reporting the fault to the HSE?
We are here to help you so use us! And, to those who do have regular site inspections…well done, you are doing what the law expects and we know you can see the benefits.

Who has Responsibility?

The following case is a reminder that ALL those working for a commercial organisation of ANY type fall under the health & safety responsibility of that company; this includes volunteers, work experience and mentored individuals, contracted-in external workers and the self-employed.

Spritual organisation, Science of Soul, based in New Delhi but with a UK HQ in Bedford, was fined a total of almost £500,000 after a volunteer died when he fell 2 metres from an unsafe scaffold tower. Neither the victim nor the 80 year old volunteer ‘supervisor’ had received any form of tower erection, work at height or health & safety training or instruction with the result that the tower was incomplete and unsafe, and a man died.

Councillor, Ian Dalgarno commented that the Science of Soul organisation, had “clearly failed in its legal duty to ensure a safe workplace, resulting in the tragic loss and unnecessary loss of life for one of its volunteers.” (WHS emphasis). The Health & Safety at Work Act (etc) 1974 places responsibility for the health & safety of ALL persons in the employ (whether paid or unpaid) of an organisation on that organisation (regardless of commercial nature, including NGOs, churches and all non-profit making organisations)

It’s ironic that a spiritual organisation whose main objectives are described as “promoting brotherhood and harmony for the betterment of humanity” allowed their health & safety systems to be so lax that this results in the death of someone giving his personal time to that end.

Has CDM 2015 Changed Anything?

Apart from the obvious annoyances from both Designers and Clients about the new role of Principal Designer, the general consensus is that little has improved. One of the reasons the HSE gave for the 2015 changes was to place responsibility for safe ‘design and management’ where it’s due (i.e. with designers in the first instance), that message certainly has not filtered across the industry.

Accident statistics are still appalling within the construction industry:

  • 30 killed in 2016/17 (the last confirmed annual figure)
  • 64,000 non-fatal (but reportable) injuries to workers each year
  • 2.9% of construction workers injured each year

 

And designers still don’t seem to have grasped the nettle with regard to ‘designing out’ health risks (typically overheard: “that’s a contractor problem”); hence there have no improvements at all in the statistics relating to ill-health:

  • 100 construction workers die every week from occupational ill-health
  • 80,000 workers currently suffering from work-related ill-health (those reported only – how many more go undetected?)
  • 1.7 million working days lost due to ill-health (compared to 0.6 million to accidents)
  • 30,000 construction workers consult osteopaths per day (how many others visit physiotherapists, etc?)
  • manual handling cases 90% than UK industry average, accounting for 65% of all harm caused in the construction industry

 

When you consider that 75% of all construction workers are self-employed which, in plain language equates to ‘no work, no pay’. If a self-employed worker has a health issue, he/she is far less likely to own up to it as the result will obviously be less money in the pocket – meaning that self-employed workers tend to struggle on until the health symptom becomes a debilitating occupational disease. Eventually, the worker is forced to give up work altogether, usually well ahead of retirement age

Health problems remove workers from the workplace not only increasing the skill shortage and also, sadly, contributing to the 10 suicides within the construction industry every week.

Hence, the HSE is now looking seriously at how designers undertake their CDM duties (dating back to the advent of CDM in 1994) to ‘design out’ risk issues – particularly risks that are liable to cause health problems for the workforce.

And if money talks, the costs of ill-health to the construction industry are astronomic:

  • £848 million total cost per year of ill-health, of which:
  • £646 million relates to musculoskeletal problems alone
  • £15.9 million to vibration
  • £4.6 million to asbestos (an issue that is hugely under-reported)

 

ALL these costs are reflected in the high levels of insurance we ALL have to pay.

But ‘Another Way is Possible’!

Having said all the above, there are shining examples of excellent commitment and practice out there.

You’ll be familiar with Archway who produce, sell and operate the Roadmaster highway repair vehicle (and have won two of our WHS Safety Awards). The Company has very recently been the proud recipient of the ‘Runner Up’ trophy at the annual Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) awards ceremony.

Readers should note that the award was for ‘Behavioural Safety’ and was well deserved as senior management is exemplary in ensuring the full commitment of the workforce to high standards of safety and efficiency. Well done Archway!!

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

As you are no doubt aware, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018. To very briefly sum up, the new regulations are mainly about ensuring fair, lawful and relevant collection and use of personal data, with accountability, consent, transparency and proof becoming the main focal points. Customers/consumers also have the ability to request details of all personal data held about them, as well as to ask for it to be deleted/destroyed via a Subject Access Request.

Don’t forget we’re talking about ‘personal’ data, so company information such as addresses or bank details only need to be considered if they’re for a sole trader or a company operating from a home office, for example. Your employees will always be covered by GDPR, and any domestic customers, so ensure you’ve got the relevant items in place to tell everyone what data you collect, why and how you’ll store it.

Your company should have a Data Protection Policy, relevant Privacy Notices, and a Subject Access Request form in place. If you don’t do any kind of marketing, and only use the data for the sole purpose intended by the customer (i.e. the carrying out of your service/business only), then you don’t need explicit consent.

Don’t panic about GDPR, if you weren’t doing anything unfair or unlawful before, then you probably aren’t now! And don’t forget…there are more serious consequences of not abiding by health and safety legislation.

Possible Changes to CSCS

Changes to the CSCS scheme are currently being discussed amongst them the possibility of removing the Visitors Card and, thus, the requirement on sites for any non-worker to have a card. In other words, CSCS would be used to verify the H&S competence of skilled and industry workers only, not those who are accompanied by site management when viewing the site or attend site meetings only.

This makes absolute sense but sites where CSCS is mandatory will need to persuaded…watch this space.

The Changes to CITB Grant Claims

We recently highlighted the changes in the CITB grant scheme which became effective on 3 April 2018.

Basically, CITB is moving towards a totally on-line process which will benefit claimants as, once registered, claims will be automatically processed by the training body. However, there is a transition period of a year b being allowed for both contractors and training bodies to register with CITB and, until the deadline (31 March 2019), grants can be claimed manually.

Do note that, for anyone claiming grants for training completed before 31 March 2018, there is a deadline of 30 June 2018.

The following CITB guidance will be useful to answer any questions:

https://www.citb.co.uk/grant/claiming-short-duration-training-grants/
Claiming the short duration course achievement grants
https://www.citb.co.uk/training-and-courses/construction-training-directory/
Link to the CITB Construction Training Directory – but you don’t have to use that, come to us first!

AND FINALLY

Plant & vehicles

  • S&K Groundwork Solutions Ltd was fined a total of over £28,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries from a ‘run-away’ dumper. The worker was in an excavation when the hand-brake of the dumper, which had been left running with no operator on board, failed allowing it to fall into the trench and pin him against a pile of concrete blocks. SK had failed to maintain the dumper, had not carried out the legally required regular PUWER checks on its equipment, and had not placed stop-blocks or baulks to prevent plant from falling into the excavation.
  • Client and principal contractor, Bellway Homes Ltd, and contractor, AD Bly Construction Ltd, were fined totals of over £80,100 and £31,000 respectively after a worker suffered severe injuries when he was struck by a telehandler. Both companies were found to have failed in their legal duties to “plan, manage and monitor” (to again quote CDM) their work in relation to the risks of plant and pedestrian contact on site.
  • MV Kelly Ltd was fined a total of £530,000 after a worker was struck by a tipper wagon, suffering serious injuries. The worker had been walking along a haul road when he was struck; as with the previous case, the company had failed to plan, manage and monitor the risks of pedestrian contact with plant.
  • Client and principal contractor, Redrow Homes Ltd, and contractor, WPI Civil Engineering Ltd, were fined totals of £601,000 and £317,000 respectively after a scaffolder was crushed and killed under the wheels of a dumper truck. Not only was segregation between plant and pedestrians inadequate (yet again!) but, in addition, reversing had been uncontrolled and the vehicle was found to be unfit for use on site.

 

Work at height

  • HPAS (trading as Safestyle UK) was fined a whopping total of £850,000 + costs after a fitter suffered a fractured knee-cap when he fell over 3 metres whilst installing a first floor window. The worker had been installing windows from an unsecured ladder, apparently a standard method of work for this company but clearly not legally permissible.
  • BAM Nuttall was presented with an even higher fine of £900,000 + costs when a painter fell through the ceiling of a passenger waiting room at East Croyden station and suffered severe ligament damage. Sub-contractor, McNealy Brown was also fined £65,000.

 

Note – fines of this level for non-fatal work at height accidents demonstrate that both the HSE and the courts mean business now! Expect a HUGE fine for any breach of work at height duties.

  • Acorn Scaffolding (Yorkshire) Ltd was fined a total of almost £48,000 after a worker fell 4 metres through an unprotected roof light during scaffold erection.
  • Quality Food Products (Aberdeeen) Ltd was fined £10,000 + costs after the company director and a worker were spotted over several days working on a roof over 5 metres high by “standing on a wooden pallet which was on the prongs of a forklift truck”, sometimes in wet conditions. This method of working is illegal for a very good reason – it’s suicidal!
  • ‘Ethical’ landlord Aster Property Ltd was fined £14,600 + costs, and contractor Stuart Barnes fined £8,000 + costs, after a roofer working for Barnes fell 2 metres through a fragile garage roof.
  • George Hurst & Sons Ltd was prosecuted after an employee was seriously injured falling from scaffolding, landing on the unprotected end of a scaffold pole. The irony with this case is that the employee was removing fall arrest bags from a first floor; the bags were too bulky to take down the stairs so he was throwing them over the scaffold and, when one became caught, it dislodged the scaffolding and took him over the edge protection.

 

Note – as the HPAS prosecution above AND this case demonstrates, ALL tasks must be risk assessed and carried out in a safe manner; clearly, throwing large fall arrest bags to the ground from any platform is NOT a safe way of working.

  • Mager Homes Ltd was fined a total of almost £27,000 after a worker fell through first floor joists and suffered life-changing injuries; no fall prevention or arrest equipment had been installed.
  • Sasie Ltd was fined a total of £16,300 and its director, Een Marsden Kelly, personally fined £500 after a member of the public contacted the HSE about solar panel work on a roof being undertaken with no edge protection. As we keep saying, prosecutions don’t have to be the result of an accident – the public are very keen eyed – and domestic solar panel or roof work is a constant reason for complaint.

 

CDM

  • Coast & Country Construction was fined £15,000, and principal designer Paul Humphries Architects fined £20,000, after an HSE inspection identified “uncontrolled high-risk activities” and “a total disregard for health and safety and site management” during work at a residential home. The risks included fire, falls from height, wood dusts, and slips and trips, all of which, in the opinion of the HSE, were placing workers at serious risk of injury of death. Paul Humphries Architects had failed to consider fire spread when it designed the timber frame extension.

 

Note – as highlighted above, designers (particularly principal designers) are being targeted and prosecuted by the HSE if they fail to undertake their CDM duty to ‘design out risk’

  • Client, Taylor Grange Developments Ltd, principal contractor, Allied Contracts Ltd, and demolition contractor, Altan Plant Hire Ltd, were fined £4,500, £6,000 and £20,000 respectively after the uncontrolled collapse of a 3-storey building during demolition; a worker suffered back injuries as a result. No safe system had been established; hand demolition of internal walls was being undertaken instead of using machines. And both Taylor Grange and Allied Contracts were found to have engaged a contractor (Altan) with inadequate “skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability” (to quote CDM) to be able to carry out the work safely.

 

Public safety

  • Hugo Boss UK was fined a massive £1.2 million + £47,000 costs after a heavy store mirror fell and crushed and killed a 4 year old. The 114kg 2.1 metre high mirror, rather than being properly fixed into place, was just propped against a changing room wall; the consequences were all too predictable. Boss was found to have systematic failings in health & safety systems despite a turnover (2016) of almost €2,700 million.

 

Note – this is a warning to all those retail outlets and designers who treat health & safety lightly. The risks are just as prevalent in shops as they are elsewhere – maybe even more so because you are dealing directly with the public who are often vulnerable and unpredictable. ALL stores have the legal duty to keep the public (and their staff) safe; ALL designers working in the retail sector have a legal duty to design for safety.

 

Asbestos

  • RF Gardiner Ltd was fined a total of over £29,000 after carrying out unsafe removal of asbestos in a primary school; the company was not licensed and no attempt to mitigate the risks had been established.
  • Carter Brothers (Rochdale) Ltd and Frank Allan (trading as Jet Blast and Maintenance) were fined totals of almost £12,000 and £4,500 respectively after failing to carry out the cleaning of an asbestos cement sheeting roof safely. Carter Brothers had not engaged a suitably specialist contractor to carry out the work, another case demonstrating that the client is ultimately responsible for all work commissioned.
  • Quainton Logistics and Storage Ltd was fined a total of almost £21,000 after unsafe removal of asbestos cement sheeting from a derelict building. Not only was the sheeting found to have been manually broken up but there were multiple additional safety failings relating to unprotected falls into pits, unqualified plant operating, and poor maintenance of MEWPS and forklifts.

 

Electrical services

  • Partners of a Suffolk-based farm, Nicholas and Roger Watts, were each fined a total of £14,200 after a haulage contractor was killed when his tipper wagon made contact with overhead power lines. Despite previous recommendations from the NFU Mutual Risk Management Services, the men had failed to provide a means of ensuring safety when working beneath the cables.
  • BAS Castings Ltd was fined a total of over £61,000 after two employees suffered serious burns from an electrical flash-over during repair work on a furnace. When checking why the original repair failed to work, they by-passed the interlock of the fuse panel with a screwdriver causing the (predictable!) flash-over. The company was found to have no safe systems in place for electrical work, nor had they carried our risk assessments or instigated permits to work.

 

Health hazards

  • Andrena Furniture Ltd was fined a total of over £9,000 after exposing their workers to significant quantities of hardwood dusts on a daily basis. Both the extraction system and the cleaning regime were found to be totally inadequate.
  • Tai Calon Community Housing was fined a total of almost £33,000 after a number of employees were diagnosed with HAVS caused by prolonged exposure to vibration in their day to day work. The company had failed to assess or address the issues of vibration sustained by the use of power tools, and had subsequently failed to instruct employees into safe working methods and controls.

 

WHS is working for you; help us to help you.
Our aim is to keep people safe and to keep your company working.
To contact WHS, ring: 01952-885885

COMPANY NEWS

First Aid Training

Forthcoming dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, also held at training rooms, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:

  • 25 June 2018
  • 24 July 2018
  • 23 August 2018
  • 27 September 2018 (note this date has been changed)
  • 24 October 2018
  • 20 November 2018
  • 19 December 2018

 

As with the CITB courses above, if any organisation requires first-aid for 6 or more employees, a specific course can be arranged at a date, time and location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

Defibrillators

As those of you who have recently attended a first-aid course recently, this now includes use of a defibrillator (Automated External Defibrillator, or AED). But what’s the point of that if we don’t provide them in the workplace? We see AEDs in many public places these days – they are very easy to use (even for the untrained) and they have saved countless lives. But few employers provide them and, considering most of us spend more time at work than at home, this is an omission that really should be rectified. The enclosed sheet ‘The benefits of having an AED – the facts’ explains everything.

WHS have taken the lead and, not only will we be purchasing one ourselves, we have negotiated a deal to give our customers significant discounts. The deal is based on ‘the higher the number purchased, the higher the discount’ (5 ordered = 5% discount, 10 ordered = 10%) so, to give you all the best chance of getting decent discounts, we have agreed with Martek (provider of the best model we can find) to amalgamate your orders into one.

A current price list is enclosed for all unit options and consumables. However, this can be confusing so all you need to consider right now is which unit best suits your purposes:

  • Lifeline AED – Semi-Automatic AED – press button to deliver shock (available with a standard or high capacity battery, usually referred to as 5 or 7 year)
  • Lifeline AUTO – Fully Automatic – no shock button to press (available with a standard or high capacity battery, usually referred to as 5 or 7 year)
  • Lifeline VIEW – full colour visual coaching throughout the rescue (comes with a standard 4 year battery)

 

and Martek (who are excellent at advice and customer service) can discuss any further requirements (spares, wall brackets, etc) afterwards if you require them.

Can we ask please that companies who act as PCs or who have a significant number of employees at Head Office, in workshops, etc digest the enclosures and let our office know how many AEDs you would like. We have set a deadline for the initial order of 31 July 2018 which gives you all plenty of time to discuss the benefits and place your order through us. But do consider this seriously – as the enclosure stresses, there are huge benefits to having one or more available in workplaces:

  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates without an AED average 2-12%
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates with an AED average up to 75%

 

And, if money rather than the moral aspect sways your decision, yes the cost of each unit is significant but just think of how much money is saved when the patient survives!! And, of course, that patient could be you!

It must be noted that we are not making any money at all on this deal; we have negotiated the deal purely for the benefit of our customers and their employees. You will be invoiced from, and must pay, Martek direct; we will simply place the order.

For further information, please contact Jackie; for orders, please contact Vicki, both on the usual WHS number: 01952-885885.

16 Years of H&S Assistance

WHS recently celebrated its 16th birthday – which is quite a milestone. Over the 16 years, we’ve have been proud to assist 800 companies to raise their standards, been actively involved with related safety bodies, and helped formulate improvements to guidance and best practice. We are also pleased to report that we have needed to deal with very few significant accidents or incidents over the years. We like to think that this is the result of our support but maybe that’s only part of the story.

In 2001/02, there were 251 fatalities in UK industry; in 2002/03 there were 226. 16 years on, the last confirmed figures (for 2016/17) indicate that this figure has almost halved to 137. This has been a huge improvement over the decades (and a reduction of 85%) from the shocking figure of almost 700 per year at the advent of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974; it is a testament to the efforts right across UK industry to improve the safety culture – of which we, of course, are proud to be a part.

But we can’t take our eyes of the ball. 137 still equate to too many lives shattered. There is an enviable record across our data base of 800 clients – don’t be the company to spoil it!!!

HSE NEWS

Fees For Intervention (FFI)

A timely reminder (see also ‘Public Protection..’ above) that the HSE have the right to, and frequently do, levy charges, for visits and paperwork related to any breach of H&S legislation (‘notices of contravention’), including sometimes what we may perceive as relatedly minor transgressions (such as lack of vibration assessments). And that the charges amount to £129 per hour, which must be paid within 30 days.

The HSE has advised that the charges are now being levied against, not only the visit and all follow-up work, but any preparatory or other work carried out by the HSE’s ‘Visiting Officers’ as well. Hourly charges can accumulate and result in £thousands before long.

Currently, the HSE is targeting those employers with less than 10 employees. Why? Because predictably it’s micro-businesses who account for well over 75% of all accidents – lack of knowledge, H&S competence and willingness to place profit over safety. Recent HSE enforcements statistics have produced an average cost per FFI notice of £750

This clearly illustrates that the cost of our assistance pales into insignificance when compared to how much a single breach can cost the offending employer! So prevention is better than cure – ask us to carry out workplace inspection before, not as a result of, the HSE spot check!

What we at WHS find maddening is that the level of fines now levied by courts, and the very-easily-incurred hourly charge of £129 levied by the HSE for transgressions, does seem to hit home. Employers are more scared of incurring costs than harming an employee or ruining a family’s livelihood!

For your information, the following HSE freely downloadable documents help to explain the system:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/ HSE Guidance about FFI
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsc14.pdf When an Inspector Calls
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse41.pdf Enforcement Policy Statement

and what to do if you disagree with any Notification of Contravention (NoC) issued:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/assets/docs/ffi-queries-dispute-process.pdf
– Query & Dispute Process

However, do speak to WHS before you launch into a dispute with the HSE – in our experience, they are usually right so a dispute may just cost you £thousands more! Let us advise you on whether we think your dispute is reasonable.

Welding Fume Targeted

The HSE is now actively targeting fabricating metal workshops due to the increased risk of respiratory disease from welding fumes; welders are 20 times more likely to suffer from occupational asthma.

The HSE have issued guidance on how to protect workers from the effects of welding fume:
advice on how to protect your workers.

An example of what can happen if the risks are ignored:

Design & manufacturing company, Bayham Ltd, was fined a total of over £18,000 when the HSE found that no extraction system was in place to prevent exposure to rosin-based solder flux, a contributory factor for the occupational asthma experienced by employees.

INDUSTRY NEWS

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

As you are no doubt aware, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018. To very briefly sum up, the new regulations are mainly about ensuring fair, lawful and relevant collection and use of personal data, with accountability, consent, transparency and proof becoming the main focal points. Customers/consumers also have the ability to request details of all personal data held about them, as well as to ask for it to be deleted/destroyed via a Subject Access Request.

Don’t forget we’re talking about ‘personal’ data, so company information such as addresses or bank details only need to be considered if they’re for a sole trader or a company operating from a home office, for example. Your employees will always be covered by GDPR, and any domestic customers, so ensure you’ve got the relevant items in place to tell everyone what data you collect, why and how you’ll store it.

Your company should have a Data Protection Policy, relevant Privacy Notices, and a Subject Access Request form in place. If you don’t do any kind of marketing, and only use the data for the sole purpose intended by the customer (i.e. the carrying out of your service/business only), then you don’t need explicit consent.

Don’t panic about GDPR, if you weren’t doing anything unfair or unlawful before, then you probably aren’t now! And don’t forget…there are more serious consequences of not abiding by health and safety legislation.

The Legal Requirement for Seat Belts

For the last 20 years, it has been a legal requirement to have seat-belts (lap-belts) fitted to all plant where there is a risk of over-turn and the operator being crushed (fork-lifts, etc). Operators naturally fall in the direction of the over-turning plant (i.e. underneath it); hence the legal necessity to wear a restraint to hold the operator within the protective roll-bar or cab. So why are so many plant operators ignoring this requirement, why are they so reluctant to wear the seat-belts?

The 2015 HSE report RR1066 (http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr1066.pdf) gives some indication (convenience, having to climb on and off the machine frequently, laziness, lack of instruction and enforcement) but also recommends that manufacturers go some way to addressing the problem by adding visual safety features to the plant. The result? Most good hire companies and owner-operators have now fitted green warning lights to the roll-bars or cabs to give a clear visual signal when seat-belts are being worn. An excellent additional feature and one that helps managers to spot offenders from afar.

But then we get the inevitable queries: why have we got orange and green lights? what are the orange lights for if there are green ones too?! It’s easy:

  • Orange lights are to warn everyone of moving plant in their vicinity
  • Green lights are to show that the plant operator is wearing his seat-belt

 

But, more disturbingly, we also get the inevitable workers who seem determined to go against all instruction and still not wear the seat-belts. WHS has found many instances of operators fastening the seat-belt behind them. This triggers the green light which indicates to the site manager that the belt is being worn when in fact it’s not. What is it with some people?! If they put as much effort into abiding by the law as avoiding it, sites (and people) would be a lot safer!

  • To all managers: spot check plant operators and discipline offenders
  • To all plant operators: don’t be idiots; buckle up, the law is there to protect your life after all!

 

Who has Responsibility?

The following case is a reminder that ALL those working for a commercial organisation of ANY type fall under the health & safety responsibility of that company; this includes volunteers, work experience and mentored individuals, contracted-in external workers and the self-employed.

Spritual organisation, Science of Soul, based in New Delhi but with a UK HQ in Bedford, was fined a total of almost £500,000 after a volunteer died when he fell 2 metres from an unsafe scaffold tower. Neither the victim nor the 80 year old volunteer ‘supervisor’ had received any form of tower erection, work at height or health & safety training or instruction with the result that the tower was incomplete and unsafe, and a man died.

Councillor, Ian Dalgarno commented that the Science of Soul organisation, had “clearly failed in its legal duty to ensure a safe workplace, resulting in the tragic loss and unnecessary loss of life for one of its volunteers.” (WHS parenthesis). The Health & Safety at Work Act (etc) 1974 places responsibility for the health & safety of ALL persons in the employ (whether paid or unpaid) of an organisation on that organisation (regardless of commercial nature, including NGOs, churches and all non-profit making organisations)

It’s ironic that a spiritual organisation whose main objectives are described as “promoting brotherhood and harmony for the betterment of humanity” allowed their health & safety systems to be so lax that this results in the death of someone giving his personal time to that end.

Health Issues

Despite the huge improvement in fatality figures (as above) and work-related injuries over the years, there has been little improvement in the statistics relating to ill-health:

  • 100 workers die every week from occupational ill-health
  • 80,000 workers currently suffering from work-related ill-health (those reported only – how many more go undetected?)
  • 1.7 million working days lost due to ill-health (compared to 0.6 million to accidents)
  • 30,000 workers consult osteopaths per day (how many others visit physiotherapists, etc?)

 

Health problems remove workers from the workplace not only increasing the skill shortage and also, sadly, contributing the huge increase in the number of suicides we are seeing throughout Britain.

The costs of ill-health to the construction industry alone are astronomic:

  • £848 million total cost per year of ill-health, of which:
  • £646 million relates to musculoskeletal problems alone
  • £15.9 million to vibration
  • £4.6 million to asbestos (an issue that is hugely under-reported)

 

Who knows the total figure throughout UK industry. And, of course, ALL these costs are reflected in the high levels of insurance we ALL have to pay.

But ‘Another Way is Possible’!

Having said all the above, there are shining examples of excellent commitment and practice out there.

You’ll be familiar with Archway who produce, sell and operate the Roadmaster highway repair vehicle (and have won two of our WHS Safety Awards). The Company has very recently been the proud recipient of the ‘Runner Up’ trophy at the annual Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) awards ceremony.

Readers should note that the award was for ‘Behavioural Safety’ and was well deserved as senior management is exemplary in ensuring the full commitment of the workforce to high standards of safety and efficiency. Well done Archway!!

AND FINALLY

Work at height

  • HPAS (trading as Safestyle UK) was fined a whopping total of £850,000 + costs after a fitter suffered a fractured knee-cap when he fell over 3 metres whilst installing a first floor window. The worker had been installing windows from an unsecured ladder, apparently a standard method of work for this company but clearly not legally permissible.
  • BAM Nuttall was presented with an even higher fine of £900,000 + costs when a painter fell through the ceiling of a passenger waiting room at East Croyden station and suffered severe ligament damage. Sub-contractor, McNealy Brown was also fined £65,000.

 

Note – fines of this level for non-fatal work at height accidents demonstrate that both the HSE and the courts mean business now! Expect a HUGE fine for any breach of work at height duties.

  • Quality Food Products (Aberdeeen) Ltd was fined £10,000 + costs after the company director and a worker were spotted over several days working on a roof over 5 metres high by “standing on a wooden pallet which was on the prongs of a forklift truck”, sometimes in wet conditions. This method of working is illegal for a very good reason – it’s suicidal!
  • ‘Ethical’ landlord Aster Property Ltd was fined £14,600 + costs, and contractor Stuart Barnes fined £8,000 + costs, after a roofer working for Barnes fell 2 metres through a fragile garage roof.
  • Mager Homes Ltd was fined a total of almost £27,000 after a worker fell through first floor joists and suffered life-changing injuries; no fall prevention or arrest equipment had been installed.
  • Sasie Ltd was fined a total of £16,300 and its director, Een Marsden Kelly, personally fined £500 after a member of the public contacted the HSE about solar panel work on a roof being undertaken with no edge protection. As we keep saying, prosecutions don’t have to be the result of an accident – the public are very keen eyed – and domestic solar panel or roof work is a constant reason for complaint.

 

Construction (Design & Management) Regs (‘CDM’)

  • Client, Taylor Grange Developments Ltd, principal contractor, Allied Contracts Ltd, and demolition contractor, Altan Plant Hire Ltd, were fined £4,500, £6,000 and £20,000 after the uncontrolled collapse of a 3-storey building during demolition; a worker suffered back injuries as a result. No safe system had been established; hand demolition of internal walls was being undertaken instead of using machines. And both Taylor Grange and Allied Contracts were found to have engaged a contractor (Altan) with inadequate “skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability” (to quote CDM) to be able to carry out the work safely.
  • Coast & Country Construction was fined £15,000, and principal designer Paul Humphries Architects fined £20,000, after an HSE inspection identified “uncontrolled high-risk activities” and “a total disregard for health and safety and site management” during work at a residential home. The risks included fire, falls from height, wood dusts, and slips and trips, all of which, in the opinion of the HSE, were placing workers at serious risk of injury of death. Paul Humphries Architects had failed to consider fire spread when it designed the timber frame extension.

 

Note – as highlighted above, designers AND clients are being targeted and prosecuted by the HSE if they fail to undertake their CDM duties. Everyone commissioning or designing any type of ‘construction’ work (and this term extends to decorating, cabling, repair, maintenance and all sorts of other aspects related to structures. Refer to the Regs themselves (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l153.htm) or industry guidance (https://bit.ly/2ueEKy1 ) or the detailed information WHS has given all clients within the health & safety packs.

Public safety

  • Hugo Boss UK was fined a massive £1.2 million + £47,000 costs after a heavy store mirror fell and crushed and killed a 4 year old. The 114kg 2.1 metre high mirror, rather than being properly fixed into place, was just propped against a changing room wall; the consequences were all too predictable. Boss was found to have systematic failings in health & safety systems despite a turnover (2016) of almost €2,700 million.

 

Asbestos

  • Carter Brothers (Rochdale) Ltd and Frank Allan (trading as Jet Blast and Maintenance) were fined totals of almost £12,000 and £4,500 respectively after failing to carry out the cleaning of an asbestos cement sheeting roof safely. Carter Brothers had not engaged a suitably specialist contractor to carry out the work – another case demonstrating that the client is ultimately responsible for all work carried out at their premises.

 

Electrical services

  • Partners of a Suffolk-based farm, Nicholas and Roger Watts, were each fined a total of £14,200 after a haulage contractor was killed when his tipper wagon made contact with overhead power lines. Despite previous recommendations from the NFU Mutual Risk Management Services, the men had failed to provide a means of ensuring safety when working beneath the cables.
  • BAS Castings Ltd was fined a total of over £61,000 after two employees suffered serious burns from an electrical flash-over during repair work on a furnace. When checking why the original repair failed to work, they by-passed the interlock of the fuse panel with a screwdriver causing the (predictable!) flash-over. The company was found to have no safe systems in place for electrical work, nor had they carried our risk assessments or instigated permits to work.

 

Plant & vehicles

  • Kitchen manufacturer, Howden Joinery Ltd, was fined £1.2 million plus costs of almost £34,000 after a delivery driver was crushed to death by a fork-lift that overturned whilst lifting worktops from his trailer.
  • Kitchencraft (Wirral) Ltd was fined and ordered to pay compensation to a total of £20,000 after a workers fingers were severed by an unguarded circular saw. And again, no safe method of work had been established to ensure that fingers were never in close proximity to the moving blade.
  • Wicks Office Furniture Ltd was fined a total of almost £111,000 after the HSE found multiple safety failings over several visits, including unguarded machinery and inadequate training and instruction.

 

Note – this safety failings in this prosecution also relate to lack of controls for hazardous substances, including welding fume (see above)

Equipment & materials

  • Pre-cast concrete products manufacture, CPM Group Ltd, was fined a total of over £674,500 after the death of a worker. The worker had been carrying out maintenance on a conveyor when it started moving, trapping the worker; no safe method of work had been established and no means of isolation in place before maintenance.
  • Avon Joinery Ltd was fined a total of almost £232,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries when his hand came into contact with a circular saw; no training had been given and no safe method of work established to ensure that fingers were never in close proximity to the moving blade.
  • K Two Sales Ltd was fined a total of almost £24,000 after a worker suffered two broken legs when a stack of metal sheets fell on his ankles. The worker had been trying to remove a metal sheet from the unstable stack; no safe way of stacking the sheets had been established.

 

Health hazards

  • Andrena Furniture Ltd was fined a total of over £9,000 after exposing their workers to significant quantities of hardwood dusts on a daily basis. Both the extraction system and the cleaning regime were found to be totally inadequate.
  • Tai Calon Community Housing was fined a total of almost £33,000 after a number of employees were diagnosed with HAVS caused by prolonged exposure to vibration in their day to day work. The company had failed to assess or address the issues of vibration sustained by the use of power tools, and had subsequently failed to instruct employees into safe working methods and controls.
  • Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust was fined a total of over £337,000 after a patient died from legionella. The Trust had failed to establish an adequate check and testing regime to detect the bacteria and had also failed to recognise the risk from a specific section of their water system.

 

WHS is working for you; help us to help you.
Our aim is to keep people safe and to keep your company working.
To contact WHS, ring: 01952-885885

COMPANY NEWS

CITB Training Courses

Forthcoming 2018 dates currently in place and fees for the CITB courses are as follows. Courses are held at the WHS training rooms and fees include lunch, refreshments and all course literature.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
Please be aware that CITB specifies that candidates must be available to attend each session within the course; failure to do so may require a repeat course.

  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS)
    Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
    Dates: 27 July & 3, 10, 17, 24 August (Fridays)
    19, 26 September, 3, 10 & 17 October 2018 (Wednesdays)
    Cost: £495 + VAT per person
  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) Refresher
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 19 & 20 July 2018 (Thursday & Friday)
    10 & 11 September 2018 (Monday & Tuesday)
    Cost: £265 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 9 & 10 July 2018 (Monday & Tuesday)
    20 & 21 September (Thursday & Friday)
    Cost: £230 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • CITB 1-Day Health & Safety Awareness
    Duration: 1 day
    Dates: 7 August 2018 (Tuesday)
    24 September 2018 (Monday)
    Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)

 

First Aid Training

Forthcoming dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, also held at training rooms, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:

  • 25 June 2018
  • 24 July 2018
  • 23 August 2018
  • 27 September 2018 (note this date has been changed)
  • 24 October 2018
  • 20 November 2018
  • 19 December 2018

As with the CITB courses above, if any organisation requires first-aid for 6 or more employees, a specific course can be arranged at a date, time and location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

Defibrillators

As those of you who have recently attended a first-aid course recently, this now includes use of a defibrillator (Automated External Defibrillator, or AED). But what’s the point of that if we don’t provide them in the workplace? We see AEDs in many public places these days – they are very easy to use (even for the untrained) and they have saved countless lives. But few employers provide them and, considering most of us spend more time at work than at home, this is an omission that really should be rectified. The enclosed sheet ‘The benefits of having an AED – the facts’ explains everything.

WHS have taken the lead and, not only will we be purchasing one ourselves, we have negotiated a deal to give our customers significant discounts. The deal is based on ‘the higher the number purchased, the higher the discount’ (5 ordered = 5% discount, 10 ordered = 10%) so, to give you all the best chance of getting decent discounts, we have agreed with Martek (provider of the best model we can find) to amalgamate your orders into one.

A current price list is enclosed for all unit options and consumables. However, this can be confusing so all you need to consider right now is which unit best suits your purposes:

  • Lifeline AED – Semi-Automatic AED – press button to deliver shock (available with a standard or high capacity battery, usually referred to as 5 or 7 year)
  • Lifeline AUTO – Fully Automatic – no shock button to press (available with a standard or high capacity battery, usually referred to as 5 or 7 year)
  • Lifeline VIEW – full colour visual coaching throughout the rescue (comes with a standard 4 year battery)

 

and Martek (who are excellent at advice and customer service) can discuss any further requirements (spares, wall brackets, etc) afterwards if you require them.

Can we ask please that companies who act as PCs or who have a significant number of employees at Head Office, in workshops, etc digest the enclosures and let our office know how many AEDs you would like. We have set a deadline for the initial order of 31 July 2018 which gives you all plenty of time to discuss the benefits and place your order through us. But do consider this seriously – as the enclosure stresses, there are huge benefits to having one or more available in workplaces:

  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates without an AED average 2-12%
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates with an AED average up to 75%

 

And, if money rather than the moral aspect sways your decision, yes the cost of each unit is significant but just think of how much money is saved when the patient survives!! And, of course, that patient could be you!

It must be noted that we are not making any money at all on this deal; we have negotiated the deal purely for the benefit of our customers and their employees. You will be invoiced from, and must pay, Martek direct; we will simply place the order.

For further information, please contact Jackie; for orders, please contact Vicki, both on the usual WHS number: 01952-885885.

16 Years of H&S Assistance

WHS recently celebrated its 16th birthday – which is quite a milestone. Over the 16 years, we’ve have been proud to assist 800 companies right across the construction industry to raise their standards, been actively involved with related safety bodies, and helped formulate improvements to guidance and best practice. We are also pleased to report that we have needed to deal with very few significant accidents or incidents over the years. We like to think that this is the result of our support but maybe that’s only part of the story.

In 2001/02, there were 80 fatalities in the construction industry; in 2002/03 there were 70. 16 years on, the last confirmed figures (for 2016/17) indicate that the industry has reduced the figure to 30. This has been a huge improvement over the decades from the shocking figure of 154 in 1989/1990, and a testament to the efforts across the construction industry to improve the safety culture – of which we, of course, are proud to be a part.

But we can’t take our eyes of the ball. 30 is still 30 to many lives shattered and, as work continues to increase, there is usually a corresponding increase in accidents as standards are allowed to drop. There is an enviable record across our data base of 800 construction-related clients – don’t be the company to spoil it!!!

Take Care of Yourselves First!

WHS is always concerned about the well-being of everyone involved on site, particularly our own customers obviously. And it always disturbs us when we see our customers, in trying their level best to help their clients, putting themselves at risk in the process.

In the infamous words of David Cameron, “we are all in this together” and, if clients won’t play their part to ensure a safe site can be achieved, then contractors should really question why they are putting their own employees at risk for the sake of pleasing the client. There has to come a point where the risk to the contractor’s employees is too high to agree to the work. Yes the client would probably get the majority of the blame if someone is hurt as a result of his/her negligence but that doesn’t help the poor victim.

So, a plea from us – please don’t accommodate the client to the detriment of your employees’ safety; no amount of work is worth a life.

HSE NEWS

Fees For Intervention (FFI)

A timely reminder (see also ‘Public Protection..’ above) that the HSE have the right to, and frequently do, levy charges, for visits and paperwork related to any breach of H&S legislation (‘notices of contravention’), including sometimes what we may perceive as relatively minor transgressions (such as lack of vibration assessments). And that the charges amount to £129 per hour, which must be paid within 30 days.

The HSE has advised that the charges are now being levied against, not only the visit and all follow-up work, but any preparatory or other work carried out by the HSE’s ‘Visiting Officers’ as well. Hourly charges can accumulate and result in £thousands before long.

Currently, the HSE is targeting those employers with less than 10 employees. Why? Because predictably it’s micro-contractors why account for well over 75% of all accidents – lack of knowledge, H&S competence and willingness to place safety over profit. Recent HSE enforcements statistics prove the point:

  • 46% of small sites visited were below legal standards, and as a result:
  • 692 enforcement notices were issued
  • 983 notices of contravention (FFI)
  • average cost per FFI notice = £750

 

This clearly illustrates that the cost of our assistance pales into insignificance when compared to how much a single breach can cost the offending employer! So prevention is better than cure – ask us to carry out site (and workplace) inspection before, not as a result of, the HSE spot check!

What we at WHS find maddening is that the level of fines now levied by courts, and the very-easily-incurred hourly charge of £129 levied by the HSE for transgressions, does seem to hit home. Employers are more scared of incurring costs than harming an employee or ruining a family’s livelihood!

For your information, the following HSE freely downloadable documents help to explain the system:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/ HSE Guidance about FFI
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsc14.pdf When an Inspector Calls
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse41.pdf Enforcement Policy Statement

and what to do if you disagree with any Notification of Contravention (NoC) issued:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/assets/docs/ffi-queries-dispute-process.pdf
– Query & Dispute Process

However, do speak to WHS before you launch into a dispute with the HSE – in our experience, they are usually right so a dispute may just cost you £thousands more! Let us advise you on whether we think your dispute is reasonable.

Welding Fume Targeted

The HSE is now actively targeting fabricating metal workshops due to the increased risk of respiratory disease from welding fumes; welders are 20 times more likely to suffer from occupational asthma.

The HSE have issued guidance on how to protect workers from the effects of welding fume:
advice on how to protect your workers.

An example of what can happen if the risks are ignored:
Design & manufacturing company, Bayham Ltd, was fined a total of over £18,000 when the HSE found that no extraction system was in place to prevent exposure to rosin-based solder flux, a contributory factor for the occupational asthma experienced by employees.

INDUSTRY NEWS

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

As you are no doubt aware, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018. To very briefly sum up, the new regulations are mainly about ensuring fair, lawful and relevant collection and use of personal data, with accountability, consent, transparency and proof becoming the main focal points. Customers/consumers also have the ability to request details of all personal data held about them, as well as to ask for it to be deleted/destroyed via a Subject Access Request.

Don’t forget we’re talking about ‘personal’ data, so company information such as addresses or bank details only need to be considered if they’re for a sole trader or a company operating from a home office, for example. Your employees will always be covered by GDPR, and any domestic customers, so ensure you’ve got the relevant items in place to tell everyone what data you collect, why and how you’ll store it.

Your company should have a Data Protection Policy, relevant Privacy Notices, and a Subject Access Request form in place. If you don’t do any kind of marketing, and only use the data for the sole purpose intended by the customer (i.e. the carrying out of your service/business only), then you don’t need explicit consent.

Don’t panic about GDPR, if you weren’t doing anything unfair or unlawful before, then you probably aren’t now! And don’t forget…there are more serious consequences of not abiding by health and safety legislation.

Public Protection & Public Nuisance

As you all know, protection of the public (HSWA(1)(1a) “protecting persons other than persons at work against risks to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work”) has always been a legal duty on all employers no matter what work is being undertaken or where.

Members of the public very often complain about site works causing nuisance (dusts, muck on the roads, poor fencing, vehicle obstruction, noise and out of hours working, etc) and all contractors must be aware that the public have a right not to be affected by site works.

However, members of the public are often very keen-eyed too and won’t hesitate to report (with photos these days) straight to the HSE without warning. If this happens, consequences can be severe – as our previous newsletters illustrate. The cost of a WHS site inspection pales into insignificance against the cost of an enforcement notice or prosecution!
So, for your own sakes, why hesitate when it comes to site inspections? Many of our customers rarely see us on site, if at all, because they either see it as unnecessary or not worth the expense. But ask yourselves – isn’t it better that we spot and help rectify the faults on site rather than a keen-eyed pedestrian reporting the fault to the HSE?

We are here to help you so use us! And, to those who do have regular site inspections…well done, you are doing what the law expects and we know you can see the benefits.

Who has Responsibility?

The following case is a reminder that ALL those working for a commercial organisation of ANY type fall under the health & safety responsibility of that company; this includes volunteers, work experience and mentored individuals, contracted-in external workers and the self-employed.

Spritual organisation, Science of Soul, based in New Delhi but with a UK HQ in Bedford, was fined a total of almost £500,000 after a volunteer died when he fell 2 metres from an unsafe scaffold tower. Neither the victim nor the 80 year old volunteer ‘supervisor’ had received any form of tower erection, work at height or health & safety training or instruction with the result that the tower was incomplete and unsafe, and a man died.

Councillor, Ian Dalgarno commented that the Science of Soul organisation, had “clearly failed in its legal duty to ensure a safe workplace, resulting in the tragic loss and unnecessary loss of life for one of its volunteers.” (WHS emphasis). The Health & Safety at Work Act (etc) 1974 places responsibility for the health & safety of ALL persons in the employ (whether paid or unpaid) of an organisation on that organisation (regardless of commercial nature, including NGOs, churches and all non-profit making organisations)

It’s ironic that a spiritual organisation whose main objectives are described as “promoting brotherhood and harmony for the betterment of humanity” allowed their health & safety systems to be so lax that this results in the death of someone giving his personal time to that end.

Has CDM 2015 Changed Anything?

Apart from the obvious annoyances from both Designers and Clients about the new role of Principal Designer, the general consensus is that little has improved. One of the reasons the HSE gave for the 2015 changes was to place responsibility for safe ‘design and management’ where it’s due (i.e. with designers in the first instance), that message certainly has not filtered across the industry.

Accident statistics are still appalling within the construction industry:

  • 30 killed in 2016/17 (the last confirmed annual figure)
  • 64,000 non-fatal (but reportable) injuries to workers each year
  • 2.9% of construction workers injured each year

 

And designers still don’t seem to have grasped the nettle with regard to ‘designing out’ health risks (typically overheard: “that’s a contractor problem”); hence there have no improvements at all in the statistics relating to ill-health:

  • 100 construction workers die every week from occupational ill-health
  • 80,000 workers currently suffering from work-related ill-health (those reported only – how many more go undetected?)
  • 1.7 million working days lost due to ill-health (compared to 0.6 million to accidents)
  • 30,000 construction workers consult osteopaths per day (how many others visit physiotherapists, etc?)
  • manual handling cases 90% than UK industry average, accounting for 65% of all harm caused in the construction industry

 

When you consider that 75% of all construction workers are self-employed which, in plain language equates to ‘no work, no pay’. If a self-employed worker has a health issue, he/she is far less likely to own up to it as the result will obviously be less money in the pocket – meaning that self-employed workers tend to struggle on until the health symptom becomes a debilitating occupational disease. Eventually, the worker is forced to give up work altogether, usually well ahead of retirement age

Health problems remove workers from the workplace not only increasing the skill shortage and also, sadly, contributing to the 10 suicides within the construction industry every week.

Hence, the HSE is now looking seriously at how designers undertake their CDM duties (dating back to the advent of CDM in 1994) to ‘design out’ risk issues – particularly risks that are liable to cause health problems for the workforce.

And if money talks, the costs of ill-health to the construction industry are astronomic:

  • £848 million total cost per year of ill-health, of which:
  • £646 million relates to musculoskeletal problems alone
  • £15.9 million to vibration
  • £4.6 million to asbestos (an issue that is hugely under-reported)

 

ALL these costs are reflected in the high levels of insurance we ALL have to pay.

But ‘Another Way is Possible’!

Having said all the above, there are shining examples of excellent commitment and practice out there.

You’ll be familiar with Archway who produce, sell and operate the Roadmaster highway repair vehicle (and have won two of our WHS Safety Awards). The Company has very recently been the proud recipient of the ‘Runner Up’ trophy at the annual Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) awards ceremony.

Readers should note that the award was for ‘Behavioural Safety’ and was well deserved as senior management is exemplary in ensuring the full commitment of the workforce to high standards of safety and efficiency. Well done Archway!!

Possible Changes to CSCS

Changes to the CSCS scheme are currently being discussed amongst them the possibility of removing the Visitors Card and, thus, the requirement on sites for any non-worker to have a card. In other words, CSCS would be used to verify the H&S competence of skilled and industry workers only, not those who are accompanied by site management when viewing the site or attend site meetings only.

This makes absolute sense but sites where CSCS is mandatory will need to persuaded…watch this space.

The Changes to CITB Grant Claims

We recently highlighted the changes in the CITB grant scheme which became effective on 3 April 2018.

Basically, CITB is moving towards a totally on-line process which will benefit claimants as, once registered, claims will be automatically processed by the training body. However, there is a transition period of a year b being allowed for both contractors and training bodies to register with CITB and, until the deadline (31 March 2019), grants can be claimed manually.

Do note that, for anyone claiming grants for training completed before 31 March 2018, there is a deadline of 30 June 2018.

The following CITB guidance will be useful to answer any questions:
https://www.citb.co.uk/grant/claiming-short-duration-training-grants/
Claiming the short duration course achievement grants
https://www.citb.co.uk/training-and-courses/construction-training-directory/
Link to the CITB Construction Training Directory – but you don’t have to use that, come to us first!

AND FINALLY

Work at height

  • HPAS (trading as Safestyle UK) was fined a whopping total of £850,000 + costs after a fitter suffered a fractured knee-cap when he fell over 3 metres whilst installing a first floor window. The worker had been installing windows from an unsecured ladder, apparently a standard method of work for this company but clearly not legally permissible.
  • BAM Nuttall was presented with an even higher fine of £900,000 + costs when a painter fell through the ceiling of a passenger waiting room at East Croyden station and suffered severe ligament damage. Sub-contractor, McNealy Brown was also fined £65,000.

 

Note – fines of this level for non-fatal work at height accidents demonstrate that both the HSE and the courts mean business now! Expect a HUGE fine for any breach of work at height duties.

  • Acorn Scaffolding (Yorkshire) Ltd was fined a total of almost £48,000 after a worker fell 4 metres through an unprotected roof light during scaffold erection.
  • ‘Ethical’ landlord Aster Property Ltd was fined £14,600 + costs, and contractor Stuart Barnes fined £8,000 + costs, after a roofer working for Barnes fell 2 metres through a fragile garage roof.
  • George Hurst & Sons Ltd was prosecuted after an employee was seriously injured falling from scaffolding, landing on the unprotected end of a scaffold pole. The irony with this case is that the employee was removing fall arrest bags from a first floor; the bags were too bulky to take down the stairs so he was throwing them over the scaffold and, when one became caught, it dislodged the scaffolding and took him over the edge protection.

 

Note – as the HPAS prosecution above AND this case demonstrates, ALL tasks must be risk assessed and carried out in a safe manner; clearly, throwing large fall arrest bags to the ground from any platform is NOT a safe way of working.

  • Mager Homes Ltd was fined a total of almost £27,000 after a worker fell through first floor joists and suffered life-changing injuries; no fall prevention or arrest equipment had been installed.
  • Sasie Ltd was fined a total of £16,300 and its director, Een Marsden Kelly, personally fined £500 after a member of the public contacted the HSE about solar panel work on a roof being undertaken with no edge protection. As we keep saying, prosecutions don’t have to be the result of an accident – the public are very keen eyed – and domestic solar panel or roof work is a constant reason for complaint.

 

CDM

  • Coast & Country Construction was fined £15,000, and principal designer Paul Humphries Architects fined £20,000, after an HSE inspection identified “uncontrolled high-risk activities” and “a total disregard for health and safety and site management” during work at a residential home. The risks included fire, falls from height, wood dusts, and slips and trips, all of which, in the opinion of the HSE, were placing workers at serious risk of injury of death. Paul Humphries Architects had failed to consider fire spread when it designed the timber frame extension.

 

Note – as highlighted above, designers (particularly principal designers) are being targeted and prosecuted by the HSE if they fail to undertake their CDM duty to ‘design out risk’

  • Client, Taylor Grange Developments Ltd, principal contractor, Allied Contracts Ltd, and demolition contractor, Altan Plant Hire Ltd, were fined £4,500, £6,000 and £20,000 respectively after the uncontrolled collapse of a 3-storey building during demolition; a worker suffered back injuries as a result. No safe system had been established; hand demolition of internal walls was being undertaken instead of using machines. And both Taylor Grange and Allied Contracts were found to have engaged a contractor (Altan) with inadequate “skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability” (to quote CDM) to be able to carry out the work safely.

 

Asbestos

  • RF Gardiner Ltd was fined a total of over £29,000 after carrying out unsafe removal of asbestos in a primary school; the company was not licensed and no attempt to mitigate the risks had been established.
  • Carter Brothers (Rochdale) Ltd and Frank Allan (trading as Jet Blast and Maintenance) were fined totals of almost £12,000 and £4,500 respectively after failing to carry out the cleaning of an asbestos cement sheeting roof safely. Carter Brothers had not engaged a suitably specialist contractor to carry out the work – another case demonstrating that the client is ultimately responsible for all work carried out at their premises.

 

Electrical services

  • Partners of a Suffolk-based farm, Nicholas and Roger Watts, were each fined a total of £14,200 after a haulage contractor was killed when his tipper wagon made contact with overhead power lines. Despite previous recommendations from the NFU Mutual Risk Management Services, the men had failed to provide a means of ensuring safety when working beneath the cables.
  • BAS Castings Ltd was fined a total of over £61,000 after two employees suffered serious burns from an electrical flash-over during repair work on a furnace. When checking why the original repair failed to work, they by-passed the interlock of the fuse panel with a screwdriver causing the (predictable!) flash-over. The company was found to have no safe systems in place for electrical work, nor had they carried our risk assessments or instigated permits to work.

 

Health hazards

  • Andrena Furniture Ltd was fined a total of over £9,000 after exposing their workers to significant quantities of hardwood dusts on a daily basis. Both the extraction system and the cleaning regime were found to be totally inadequate.
  • Tai Calon Community Housing was fined a total of almost £33,000 after a number of employees were diagnosed with HAVS caused by prolonged exposure to vibration in their day to day work. The company had failed to assess or address the issues of vibration sustained by the use of power tools, and had subsequently failed to instruct employees into safe working methods and controls.
  • Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust was fined a total of over £337,000 after a patient died from legionella. The Trust had failed to establish an adequate check and testing regime to detect the bacteria and had also failed to recognise the risk from a specific section of their water system.

 

WHS is working for you; help us to help you.
Our aim is to keep people safe and to keep your company working.
To contact WHS, ring: 01952-885885

COMPANY NEWS

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) Seminar

You’ve probably seen news about upcoming changes in the Data Protection Regulations, and maybe just ignored it, but don’t worry, it’s not too complicated.

The new General Data Protection Regs come into force on 25 May 2018. There will be some additional security and accountability surrounding the usual details we all pass between us on a daily basis, such as employee details and home postal addresses etc; email addresses that begin with your name are also considered ‘personal’ regardless of whether it’s a company email address or not.

What about the necessity to share personal information when it comes to health and safety? For example, medical records, health monitoring, and accident reporting… especially when dealing with sub-contractors’ employees. Well we were asking that question too, so we’ve asked three experts in the new General Data Protection Regulations to hold an open seminar on how the changes will affect your business.

From your websites to your staff, and from your filing to accident reporting systems, we’ll aim to give you clarification on what you need to do next and how to comply with the regulations. It is very important that all our customers are clear about the GDPR requirements, so there is a real need for you to attend:

  • Date: 27 April 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 12 pm
  • Venue: Wenlock Health & Safety Training Room, Jackfield Tile Museum, TF8 7LJ
  • Cost: £30 + VAT per person

 

Please contact Vicki Brown at WHS on 01952-885885 or vicki@wenlockhs.co.uk to book your place/s as soon as possible; places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

CITB Training Courses

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU READ AND DIGEST THE ARTICLE ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO CITB GRANTS & LEVIES IN THE ‘INDUSTRY NEWS’ SECTION BELOW

Forthcoming 2018 dates currently in place and fees for the CITB courses are as follows. Courses are held at the WHS training rooms and fees include lunch, refreshments and all course literature.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
Please be aware that CITB specifies that candidates must be available to attend each session within the course; failure to do so may require a repeat course.

  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS)
    Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
    Dates: 17 & 24 April and 1, 8 &15 May 2018 (all Tuesdays) – very limited space available
    6, 13, 20, 27 June & 4 July 2018 (all Wednesdays)
    Cost: £495 + VAT per person
  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) Refresher
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 10 & 11 May 2018 (Thursday & Friday)
    19 & 20 July 2018 (Thursday & Friday)
    Cost: £265 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 3 & 4 May 2018 (Thursday & Friday)
    9 & !0 July 2018 (Monday & Tuesday)
    Cost: £230 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • CITB 1-Day Health & Safety Awareness
    Duration: 1 day
    Dates: 7 June 2018 (Thursday)
    Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)

 

First Aid Training

Forthcoming dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, also held at training rooms, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:

  • 24 May 2018
  • 25 June 2018
  • 24 July 2018
  • 23 August 2018
  • 26 September 2018

 

As with the CITB courses above, if any organisation requires first-aid for 6 or more employees, a specific course can be arranged at a date, time and location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

Out-of-Hours Contact

May we remind customers of the arrangements for any urgent and unavoidable (i.e. emergency) contact with Wenlock Health & Safety Ltd (WHS) during evenings, weekend and public holiday or WHS shut-down periods.

WHS can be contacted on the MD’s mobile number 07866-605920 at any time. During periods of the MD’s unavailability, the mobile is always diverted to another member of staff so that calls can be picked up as reasonably possible. We do not necessarily monitor emails during out-of-hours periods; emails will be actioned as soon as possible on the next working day. Therefore, if very urgent assistance is required (i.e. the matter is serious and cannot wait until the next working day) please ring 07866-605920; the landline answer-phone message reiterates this.

Many thanks.

INDUSTRY NEWS

CITB Changes to Grant System

The CITB levy has been reduced from 0.5% to 0.35% of PAYE. However, the levy is not payable for companies whose PAYE bill is less than £80,000; companies with PAYE £80,001 to £399,000 pay 0.175% only. Note: CIS tax payers are required to contribute net 1.25%.

  • As from the beginning of April, the way in which CITB grants can be claimed is changing significantly, so please take note of the following. Of course, grants are only available to those companies who pay the CITB levy – and, if you do pay the levy, get your money’s worth and carry out adequate training, you’ve paid for it!!!
    Small companies who don’t have to pay the levy (i.e. <£80,000 PAYE) are still eligible for grants
  • The CITB Training Plans have gone
  • Grants can only be claimed if courses are undertaken by a CITB approved training body – an Approved Training Organisation or ATO; WHS is an ATO for the CITB courses we advertise
  • A National Training Directory will detail all ATOs – but there will be a bedding period of 12 months during which you are at liberty to request proof of the training provider that they are ‘applying for registration’
  • All grants will now be paid automatically following verification by the ATO that the course has been completed; you won’t have to do anything except provide your CITB registration number at the time of booking
  • There will be a National Register which logs all CITB attained qualifications for individuals; this can be used to verify or re-issue certification

 

Courses that now attract grants have changed:

  • You can no longer claim grants for first-aid or any other course that is not specifically construction based
  • Grants are payable for NVQs, HNCs, IOSH and other day or block release construction-related courses

 

Your local CITB representative can help, but please feel free to contact WHS if you have any queries

Apprentice Levy

This time last year, the new Apprenticeship Levy came into being for companies whose PAYE bill is greater than £3 million. The idea is to encourage larger companies to take on apprentices to help fill the long-term skill shortage. Grants are payable to off-set the costs of engaging apprentices but, as everyone reading this newsletter will know, receive of a grant goes nowhere need paying for the cost of employing an inexperienced, mostly young person which requires constant supervision and attention. The result?….

We are told that, of the £2 billion currently paid to the Treasury against this levy, only £108 million has been claimed back in grants. Plan for the future…what will be your needs in the coming years, how will you fill the skills gaps? Do you need to take on apprentice/s to train up for your company’s future business plan? There is a 24 month deadline to claiming grants; therefore, the message is…
USE IT OR LOSE IT!

An Important Note to Designers

Architects, Oxford Architects Partnership, and Principal Contractor, Express Park Construction Company (EPCC), were fines totals of £180,000 and £143,000 respectively after a flawed flat roof design led to a fatality. The roof was designed with a parapet which was too low to prevent a worker plunging 9 metres to his death.

This prosecution highlights that designers are totally responsible under CDM for safety in design. WHS would also remind designers that they must be totally up to date with safety duties placed on contractors for work on site; without that, they cannot design for safety.

Building Regs are assumed by designers to cover site and end-users safety requirements; this is not necessarily the case. Part K of the Building Regs specifies a minimum height of edge protection to be 900 mm in a lot of circumstances (although, in this case, a minimum height of 1100 mm would have applied as it was external); however, the minimum safe height for guard rails and other forms of edge protection was raised in the Work at Height Regs from 900 to 950 mm 13 years ago. Building Regs are not the be-all and end-all; all designers must be aware of site safety requirements or they cannot design out or reduce risks (as required by CDM). WHS provides all designers with ample background info about what contractors and end-users are (legally) obliged do for safety; designers must make themselves familiar. This includes work at height, site and end-use layouts, welfare provision, fire avoidance and escape, manual handling, vibration, COSHH, etc, etc

And, as regards the ‘Design of Guarding’ (Part K; section 3.2), our strong recommendation is that the limit of 950 mm should be incorporated into all design regardless of Building Regs’ saying that 900 mm is permissible in a lot of circumstances. The safe ‘work at height’ limit was raised to 950 mm in 2005 under instruction from Europe as we are all getting taller – people were tumbling over the top of 900 mm edge protection. As this was then incorporated into our Work at Height Regs, it follows that the minimum height stated in Part K could be construed as legally incorrect for ‘work’ circumstances, leaving end-users (the client-businesses) and designers open to enforcement.

Asbestos

We’ll say it again….asbestos was not completely banned in the UK until the year 2000. So anyone concerned with any structure built (or begun) pre-2000 runs the distinct risk of containing asbestos.

WHS is still coming across customers of ours and/or their employees who have no basic knowledge about asbestos. We have been running courses and hammering home the messages to our clients ever since we set up 16 years ago – so how is it that this still happens?

The law says that anyone who ‘may’ possibly encounter asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) at any point must carry out asbestos awareness training as a minimum. This includes (obviously) contractors and property owners or managers, but also designers as well; it’s vital that designers know about asbestos to (a) advise their clients and (b) design around any issues.

To all our customers, please: look long and hard at your training matrix and ensure that ALL those who need asbestos awareness have had it at least within the last 2 years (WHS can advise on HSE requirements; contractors are expected to have this annually)

And Another Reminder

WHS is continually still coming across projects where soft-strip, demolition and/or asbestos removal have not been carried out under a Construction Phase Plan or F10

A strong reminder…..ALL work is subject to CDM and you cannot divorce one element of the project from another just to avoid issuing the F10

The Construction Phase Plan MUST be, by law, in place before work starts in ANY SHAPE OF FORM! The F10 MUST be issued for ANY (total) project that may span more than 500 person days – or have more than 20 people on site at any one time.

No, it is not OK to do a bit of prep work without these things being in place; no, it is not OK to do a strip-out or asbestos removal without these things being in place; no, it is absolutely not OK to do any demolition at all without the necessary legal things being in place.

If you’re in doubt at all, ring WHS for clarification. Without these things being in place BEFORE WORK BEGINS, you risk HSE enforcement…and we won’t be able to help you!!

Fire Planning

The vital importance of proper planning to both avoid fire and to safely evacuate if fire should occur was illustrated yet again in February 2018 when a fire broke out in a multi-storey terraced building in Great Portland Street.

72 fire fighters were called to tackle the blaze which broke out during the refurbishment of the building into apartments by a developer. Obviously, an investigation is underway so we can only speculate as to the cause and indeed the controls (or lack of) to prevent the fire taking hold and spreading – potentially, in a situation like this, to neighbouring properties.

The insurance industry’s Joint Code of Practice (9th Edition) lays down strict procedures to both avoid and control fires on construction sites; non-compliance may result in the contractor being uninsured. The guidance is incorporated into the WHS Health & Safety Manual; you all have a copy, make sure you are familiar with the contents and lay down strict rules on site about fire control and evacuation planning.

Footnote:

To make matters worse, the building contained gas cylinders. Can we be clear on this – if you have to use bottled gas, there are strict controls for the use and storage of these things. And take note, fire fighters will not enter if the building contains gas bottles – it’s just too dangerous. Have you ever seen what happens to gas bottles in a fire? Skip the promo and just see how far those lethally hot and sharp projectiles fly see: https://bit.ly/2JnVB62 It wasn’t wise to stand and film from that distance!

Please make sure you contact your WHS consultant to discuss storage, handling and inspections of gas bottles, and how to carry out effective emergency planning for your sites.

Scaffolding Control
See ‘And Finally…’ sections for more prosecutions

It must be realised that anyone engaging scaffolders are totally responsible for safety during erection (etc). Yes, they are the specialists but, under CDM, the engaging party is responsible for (a) engaging competent contractors, and (b) their site – despite the fact that scaffolding may be erected on Sunday or other non-work periods.

WHS customers are supplied with a specific H&S competence questionnaire for scaffolders which is designed to assess whether the company has the very specific knowledge, experience and capabilities to carry out scaffold erection. If a scaffolders in plucked from the internet without sufficient competence checks, then the engaging party (client or contractor) will be liable for prosecution or HSE enforcement.

If the engaging party does not enforce good site-specific risk assessments and method statements from the scaffolders before work is permitted, and adherence to the agreed RAMSs during erection, removal or any alteration by the scaffolder, then the engaging party (client or contractor) will be liable for prosecution or HSE enforcement. And this means proper site management and supervision by the Principal Contractor at all working times, including scaffolding erection (etc).

So you want to erect on a Sunday? Your Site Manager can’t be there? So how will you accommodate this legal duty? Please speak to one of our consultants to ensure adequate arrangements are in place – before it’s too late.

Footnote

And, for those scaffolders reading this article – be warned – there is no excuse for ignoring procedures and safety controls, and the law will catch up with you:

In January 2018, scaffolder Terrance Murray was facing six months in jail after a member of the public photographed him recklessly putting himself and his apprentice working beneath him in danger. He was working at 60 feet up (and above massive void in the flat roof below!) with no harness and no edge protection; presumably he assumed he wouldn’t be spotted as it was to the rear of the office block but….it was overlooked the Crown Prosecution Service!! Never assume you won’t be spotted!!

See the story and tell-tale photo on: https://bit.ly/2uNOSiv

ALL Dusts are Dangerous!!

WHS has been stressing this for years – regardless of known specific, high-profile, high-risk dusts such as asbestos, silica, hard woods, etc, ALL dusts can be dangerous in one way or another, with the consequences ranging from severe health issues to explosion.

Just look at what happened in July 2017 in India when a collapsing grain silo ruptured a power cable:
https://bit.ly/2wlPs2V

The person filming certainly didn’t expect the explosion that followed! This is why awareness that combustible dusts are extremely hazardous is so important; if ignited, they can cause explosion or fire balls.

Unchecked wood dusts resulted in a huge fire and four deaths at Bosley Mill in July 2015: https://bbc.in/1h2z283

Footnote to all woodworking workshops:

So, you may not think that that little bit of wood dust on the floor is risky; you may think that wood dust in the air goes with the job. But think again. Not only does airborne dust severely damage health and risk serious HSE enforcement, it can also cause fire or explosion.

A tidy workplace is a safe workplace – get that dust suppressed or extracted at source!!

Another Illustration of the Perils of Leaving Asbestos in Place

This recent incident in Glasgow yet again demonstrates just how vital it is that all asbestos is removed from buildings: https://bit.ly/2IJg7Ob

Just like 9/11 and its effects on New York, how many people have been unwittingly exposed to asbestos fibres? How long will it take to clean up – can it ever be cleaned up in a city centre situation like this? It is a fact that there has been so much uncontrolled demolition (etc) over the years, particularly in cities, that there are now ever-present airborne asbestos fibres. The area around the Twin Towers has proved to actually be so many times over the legal limit that it’s ‘toxic’. So further instances like this in Glasgow only add to the public health misery.

A reminder that ALL commercial buildings should have had an asbestos survey carried out so that owners/occupiers are at least aware of ACMs that need to be removed or at least avoided. But, if you can, remove all ACMs so that the risk is gone for good … before something unforeseen happens.

Use of Mobiles Whilst Driving

In the US, 95% of drivers disapprove of distracted driving, yet an astonishing 71% admit to using mobiles devices whilst they are driving. Approximately 37,000 people die on US roads each year, a significant proportion of which are killed by drivers using mobiles.

There are no statistics for the UK but no doubt the percentages of those admitting to using mobiles would be the same; just look around you next time you’re behind the wheel to see just how many people ignore the law. And it shouldn’t need a law, it’s obvious…driving whilst distracted KILLS!!

The ‘It Can Wait’ campaign in the US currently has well over £23 million pledges:
https://www.itcanwait.com/pledge
We need a similar campaign in the UK; #itcanwaituk. And if you’re one of the culprits, just think…
Why can’t that call or message? You know it’s illegal, why risk a fine…or worse, why risk a life?

Code of Practice for Pre-Cast Flooring

The Precast Flooring Federation’s Code of Practice for the Safe Installation of Precast Concrete Flooring and Associated Components 4th Edition was published late 2017. With a foreword by the HSE and an accompanying pocket-sized abridged edition, the industry CoP will assist clients, contractors and designers to ensure safe specification of flooring. Information on this and many other industry publications and guidance can be found on the British Precast Flooring Association website: https://bit.ly/2q7qLFP

Use of Suction & Vacuum Excavators

Following a fatality, guidance has been released on the safe us of Suction & Vacuum Excavators (SAVE).

This publication aims to educate owners, operators, hirers, contractors and all others involved in the supply, operation and maintenance of this type of equipment, and covers all types of site circumstances including contaminated ground, lone working and clean-up after encountering asbestos. Essential reading!!
See: https://bit.ly/2GT2U7c for purchase and further information.

Hazardous Household Products

As we have been highlighting during our asbestos awareness training, due to the almost impossible task of checking every item imported into the UK, the potential for asbestos-containing materials to creep into our products is growing. The majority of the World is still involved in the mining of asbestos or production of goods containing asbestos e.g. South Korea, China, India, and other countries that we freely trade with.

But it doesn’t stop there….other hazardous substances are (or always have been?) creeping into our households too e.g. lead and arsenic, including into children’s toys: https://bbc.in/2DDuxfT. With this type of threat to public health, this is not the time for the Government to be cutting back on controls; we now need trading standards organisations even more than ever!

Working Time Regulations

May we add a reminder about the Working Time Regulations which, although a HR matter, also impact on a company’s health & safety for obvious reasons. There are exclusions and provisos but, in general, the law stipulates that employees should work a maximum of 48 hours per week unless an opt-out is agreed and signed by the employee.

In addition, the maximum length of working days, number and timing of breaks, and other issues which directly affect tiredness, well-being and the capabilities (and thus safety) of workers are covered so it’s vital that all employers abide by the rules in a reasonable manner. Find out more:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/1833/contents/made

HSE NEWS

Stricter PPE Regulations

On 21 April 2018, new and much stricter PPE regulations come into force across the EU, placing responsibility for standards compliance on, not just manufacturers, but also importers, distributers and any other involved in the supply chain. This may not affect you but a further requirement will:

Because of the raised importance placed on health issues, the level of conformity assessment and surveillance has been raised to the highest (Cat.3) possible. This, by implication, means that the HSE will be enforcing higher standards of PPE and health surveillance amongst users, including stricter risk assessment and wearer assessment – particularly face fit.

There is a bedding-in period permitted for manufacturers – they have until 21 April 2023 to prove (certify) compliance with new CE standards. However, in the meantime, we have already seen evidence that the HSE is enforcing health surveillance and the standards and maintenance of PPE.

Discuss your needs and current provision with your WHS consultant; as some of our customers have already found, you can’t afford to get this wrong!

AND FINALLY

As usual, it’s asbestos and work at height that account for most prosecutions – astonishing in this day and age! We have included another topical issue – site segregation. But, as always, these are just a snap-shot of recent prosecutions; there are many, many more per month!
Just note how many personal prosecutions are now being enacted.

And, before you start blaming the HSE for (what only amounts to) enforcing the law, just remember that the aim in this country when the HSE was first established was, and still is, to prevent accidents, deaths and injuries, before they happen. Hardly any other countries have this ethos and will only enforce or prosecute once an accident/death/injury has occurred…which is too late.

Asbestos
More evidence of how easy it is to release asbestos fibres into the atmosphere and endanger us all

  • RF Gardiner Ltd was fined a total of over £29,000 after carrying out asbestos removal work without license or adequate controls during the refurbishment of a school. Just imagine how much the de-contamination of the affected area/s would have cost the school – a lesson to all clients!
  • A business, Carter Brothers (Rochdale) Ltd, and contractor, Frank Allan (trading as Jet Blast & Maintenance), were fined totals of almost £12,000 and over £4,000 respectively after the jet washing of an asbestos cement roof which resulted in both asbestos debris being strewn about and asbestos fibres potentially becoming airborne. Yes, even jet washing is subject to the Asbestos at Work Regs!

 

Work at height

  • Bland Scaffolidng Ltd was fined a total of almost £101,000 after an apprentice joiner fell 4 metres fell under a single guard rail on a loading platform; he was lucky to survive a fall from such a height. This is a reminder that all areas of scaffolding must be properly designed and protected by adequate guard rails at all times – including loading bays
  • LS Scaffolding Ltd was fined a total of over £54,000 and its director, Lakhbir Kharh, personally fined £1,700 and given an 18 week jail sentence suspended for 12 months after a scaffolder fell and suffered serious injury during the dismantling a temporary roof structure. The ‘scaffolder’ was untrained and inexperienced.
  • Prior Homes Ltd was fined a total of almost £16,000 and its director, Paul Prior, given an 8 week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and undertake 100 hours of unpaid community work after a worker fell 5 metres through a fragile roof.
  • Advanced Industrial Roofing & Cladding Solutions Ltd was fined a total of over £12,000 and its director, Stephen Ball, £3,500 after a worker fell through an unprotected skylight during the installation of a new roof over existing asbestos cement roof sheeting.
  • Fine Dimensions Ltd was fined a total of over £8,000 after a worker was seriously injured when he fell through a fragile skylight during minor roof work on a farm building. Yes, the law applies to quick works too – the results can be just as catastrophic

 

Public protection

  • Martin McColl Ltd was fined a total of over £600,000 after two members of the public suffered injuries when they fell over construction work being carried out at a store. Work was being carried out during opening hours with wholly inadequate protection (barriers and signage) of the store’s patrons. The size of this fine demonstrates just how important public protection is in the eyes of the law.

 

Plant & vehicle segregation
Remember that segregation is required where at all possible by law – and, yes, it can be done on most sites with a little thought.

  • MV Kelly Ltd was fined a total of over £530,000 after a worker was struck by a tipper wagon on site, resulting in the amputation of his right leg. The worker had been on a haul road when struck; there had been insufficient and uncontrolled haul and walkways for delivery wagons to access off-loading areas.
  • Redrow Homes Ltd was fined a total of over £600,000 and contractor, WPI Civil Engineering Ltd £317,000 after a scaffolder was struck and killed by a reversing dumper truck. Traffic management across the site was found to be very poor, with no banksmen assisting vehicle movement (and no segregation?)
  • Principal Contractor, Bellway Homes, and its sub-contractor, AD Bly Construction, were fined totals of over £80,000 and £31,000 respectively after a worker was run over by a telehandler. He was not seriously hurt because, very luckily, he slid under the machine, not the wheels. The HSE still took a very dim view though about the lack of person/plant segregation; a reminder to all contractors that segregation is law – and, yes, it can be done on most sites with a little thought.

 

WHS is working for you; help us to help you.
Our aim is to keep people safe and to keep your company working.
To contact WHS, ring: 01952-885885

COMPANY NEWS

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) Seminar

You’ve probably seen news about upcoming changes in the Data Protection Regulations, and maybe just ignored it, but don’t worry, it’s not too complicated.

The new General Data Protection Regs come into force on 25 May 2018. There will be some additional security and accountability surrounding the usual details we all pass between us on a daily basis, such as employee details and home postal addresses etc; email addresses that begin with your name are also considered ‘personal’ regardless of whether it’s a company email address or not.

What about the necessity to share personal information when it comes to health and safety? For example, medical records and accident reporting… well we were asking that question too, so we’ve asked three experts in the new General Data Protection Regulations to hold a quick open seminar on how the changes will affect your business.

From your websites to your staff, and from your filing to accident reporting systems, we’ll aim to give you clarification on what you need to do next and how to comply with the regulations. It is very important that all our customers are clear about the GDPR requirements, so there is a real need for you to attend:

  • Date: 27 April 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 12 pm
  • Venue: Wenlock Health & Safety Training Room, Jackfield Tile Museum, TF8 7LJ
  • Cost: £30 + VAT per person

 

Please contact Vicki Brown at WHS on 01952-885885 or vicki@wenlockhs.co.uk to book your place/s as soon as possible; places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

First Aid Training

Forthcoming dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, also held at our training rooms, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:

  • 24 May 2018
  • 25 June 2018
  • 24 July 2018
  • 23 August 2018
  • 26 September 2018

 

If any organisation requires first-aid for 6 or more employees, a specific course can be arranged at a date, time and location to suit.

Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

Out-of-Hours Contact

May we remind customers of the arrangements for any urgent and unavoidable (i.e. emergency) contact with Wenlock Health & Safety Ltd (WHS) during evenings, weekend and public holiday or WHS shut-down periods.

WHS can be contacted on the MD’s mobile number 07866-605920 at any time. During periods of the MD’s unavailability, the mobile is always diverted to another member of staff so that calls can be picked up as reasonably possible. We do not necessarily monitor emails during out-of-hours periods; emails will be actioned as soon as possible on the next working day. Therefore, if very urgent assistance is required (i.e. the matter is serious and cannot wait until the next working day) please ring 07866-605920; the landline answer-phone message reiterates this.

Many thanks.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Asbestos

We’ll say it again….asbestos was not completely banned in the UK until the year 2000. So anyone concerned with any structure built (or begun) pre-2000 runs the distinct risk of containing asbestos.

WHS is still coming across customers of ours and/or their employees who have no basic knowledge about asbestos. We have been running courses and hammering home to messages to our clients ever since we set up 16 years ago – so how is it that this still happens?

The law says that anyone who ‘may’ possibly encounter asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) at any point must carry out asbestos awareness training as a minimum. This includes (obviously) contractors and designers, but also property owners or managers as well; it’s vital that businesses know about asbestos to (a) advise their employees what they can and can’t touch, and (b) protect or remove any ACMs

To all our customers, please: look long and hard at your training matrix and ensure that ALL those who need asbestos awareness have had it at least within the last 2 years (WHS can advise on HSE requirements; contractors are expected to have this annually)

Gas Bottles

The vital importance of proper planning to both avoid fire and to safely evacuate if fire should occur was illustrated yet again in February 2018 when a fire broke out in a multi-storey terraced building in Great Portland Street. 72 fire fighters were called to tackle the blaze. Obviously, an investigation is underway so we can only speculate as to the cause and indeed the controls (or lack of) to prevent the fire taking hold and spreading – potentially, in a situation like this, to neighbouring properties.

However, to make matters worse, the building contained gas cylinders. Can we be clear on this – if you have to use bottled gas, there are strict controls for the use and storage of these things. And take note, fire fighters will not enter if the building contains gas bottles – it’s just too dangerous.

Have you ever seen what happens to gas bottles in a fire? Skip the promo and just see how far those lethally hot and sharp projectiles fly see: https://bit.ly/2JnVB62 It wasn’t wise to stand and film from that distance!

Please make sure you contact your WHS consultant to discuss storage, handling and inspections of gas bottles, and how to carry out effective emergency planning for your sites.

Scaffolding Control

It must be realised that anyone engaging scaffolders are totally responsible for safety during erection (etc). Yes, they are the specialists but, under the Construction (Design & Management) Regs, the engaging party is responsible for (a) engaging competent contractors, and (b) safety on the site – despite the fact that scaffolding may be erected on Sunday or other non-work periods.

WHS customers are supplied with a specific H&S competence questionnaire for scaffolders which is designed to assess whether the company has the very specific knowledge, experience and capabilities to carry out scaffold erection. If a scaffolders in plucked from the internet without sufficient competence checks, then the engaging party (client or contractor) will be liable for prosecution or HSE enforcement.

If the engaging party does not enforce good site-specific risk assessments and method statements from the scaffolders before work is permitted, and adherence to the agreed RAMSs during erection, removal or any alteration by the scaffolder, then the engaging party could be liable for prosecution or HSE enforcement.

Please speak to one of our consultants before you next engage scaffolders to ensure that competency is proven and adequate arrangements are in place – before it’s too late.

ALL Dusts are Dangerous!!

WHS has been stressing this for years – regardless of known specific, high-profile, high-risk dusts such as asbestos, silica, hard woods, etc, ALL dusts can be dangerous in one way or another, with the consequences ranging from severe health issues to explosion.

Just look at what happened in July 2017 in India when a collapsing grain silo ruptured a power cable:
https://bit.ly/2wlPs2V
The person filming certainly didn’t expect the explosion that followed! This is why awareness that combustible dusts are extremely hazardous is so important; if ignited, they can cause explosion or fire balls.

Unchecked wood dusts resulted in a huge fire and four deaths at Bosley Mill in July 2015: https://bbc.in/1h2z283

Footnote to all woodworking workshops:

So, you may not think that that little bit of wood dust on the floor is risky; you may think that wood dust in the air goes with the job. But think again. Not only does airborne dust severely damage health and risk serious HSE enforcement, it can also cause fire or explosion.

A tidy workplace is a safe workplace – get that dust suppressed or extracted at source!!

Another Illustration of the Perils of Leaving Asbestos in Place

This recent incident in Glasgow yet again demonstrates just how vital it is that all asbestos is removed from buildings: https://bit.ly/2IJg7Ob

Just like 9/11 and its effects on New York, how many people have been unwittingly exposed to asbestos fibres? How long will it take to clean up – can it ever be cleaned up in a city centre situation like this? It is a fact that there has been so much uncontrolled demolition (etc) over the years, particularly in cities, that there are now ever-present airborne asbestos fibres. The area around the Twin Towers has proved to actually be so many times over the legal limit that it’s ‘toxic’. So further instances like this in Glasgow only add to the public health misery.

A reminder that ALL commercial buildings should have had an asbestos survey carried out so that owners/occupiers are at least aware of ACMs that need to be removed or at least avoided. But, if you can, remove all ACMs so that the risk is gone for good … before something unforeseen happens.

Use of Mobiles Whilst Driving

In the US, 95% of drivers disapprove of distracted driving, yet an astonishing 71% admit to using mobiles devices whilst they are driving. Approximately 37,000 people die on US roads each year, a significant proportion of which are killed by drivers using mobiles.

There are no statistics for the UK but no doubt the percentages of those admitting to using mobiles would be the same; just look around you next time you’re behind the wheel to see just how many people ignore the law. And it shouldn’t need a law, it’s obvious…driving whilst distracted KILLS!!

The ‘It Can Wait’ campaign in the US currently has well over £23 million pledges:
https://www.itcanwait.com/pledge

We need a similar campaign in the UK; #itcanwaituk. And if you’re one of the culprits, just think…
Why can’t that call or message? You know it’s illegal, why risk a fine…or worse, why risk a life?

Hazardous Household Products

As we have been highlighting during our asbestos awareness training, due to the almost impossible task of checking every item imported into the UK, the potential for asbestos-containing materials to creep into our products is growing. The majority of the World is still involved in the mining of asbestos or production of goods containing asbestos e.g. South Korea, China, India, and other countries that we freely trade with.

But it doesn’t stop there….other hazardous substances are (or always have been?) creeping into our households too e.g. lead and arsenic, including into children’s toys: https://bbc.in/2DDuxfT

With this type of threat to public health, this is not the time for the Government to be cutting back on controls; we now need trading standards organisations even more than ever!

Working Time Regulations

May we add a reminder about the Working Time Regulations which, although a HR matter, also impact on a company’s health & safety for obvious reasons. There are exclusions and provisos but, in general, the law stipulates that employees should work a maximum of 48 hours per week unless an opt-out is agreed and signed by the employee.

In addition, the maximum length of working days, number and timing of breaks, and other issues which directly affect tiredness, well-being and the capabilities (and thus safety) of workers are covered so it’s vital that all employers abide by the rules in a reasonable manner. Find out more:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/1833/contents/made

HSE NEWS

Stricter PPE Regulations

On 21 April 2018, new and much stricter PPE regulations come into force across the EU, placing responsibility for standards compliance on, not just manufacturers, but also importers, distributers and any other involved in the supply chain. This may not affect you but a further requirement will:

Because of the raised importance placed on health issues, the level of conformity assessment and surveillance has been raised to the highest (Cat.3) possible. This, by implication, means that the HSE will be enforcing higher standards of PPE and health surveillance amongst users, including stricter risk assessment and wearer assessment – particularly face fit.

There is a bedding-in period permitted for manufacturers – they have until 21 April 2023 to prove (certify) compliance with new CE standards. However, in the meantime, we have already seen evidence that the HSE is enforcing health surveillance and the standards and maintenance of PPE.

Discuss your needs and current provision with your WHS consultant; as some of our customers have already found, you can’t afford to get this wrong!

AND FINALLY

As usual, it’s asbestos and work at height that account for most prosecutions – astonishing in this day and age! We have included another topical issue – site segregation. But, as always, these are just a snap-shot of recent prosecutions; there are many, many more per month!

Just note how many personal prosecutions are now being enacted
And, before you start blaming the HSE for (what only amounts to) enforcing the law, just remember that the aim in this country when the HSE was first established was, and still is, to prevent accidents, deaths and injuries, before they happen. Hardly any other countries have this ethos and will only enforce or prosecute once an accident/death/injury has occurred. So stop moaning and just thank the HSE for being there!

Asbestos
More evidence of how easy it is to release asbestos fibres into the atmosphere and endanger us all

  • RF Gardiner Ltd was fined a total of over £29,000 after carrying out asbestos removal work without license or adequate controls during the refurbishment of a school. Just imagine how much the de-contamination of the affected area/s would have cost the school – a lesson to all clients!
  • A business, Carter Brothers (Rochdale) Ltd, and contractor, Frank Allan (trading as Jet Blast & Maintenance), were fined totals of almost £12,000 and over £4,000 respectively after the jet washing of an asbestos cement roof which resulted in both asbestos debris being strewn about and asbestos fibres potentially becoming airborne. Yes, even jet washing is subject to the Asbestos at Work Regs!
  • Quainton Logistics & Storage Ltd was fined a total of over £20,000 after failing to carry out their CDM duties to employ competent workers. The result? Asbestos roof sheets were being smashed, and there was no edge protection of welfare.

 

All businesses take note!!! As we have stressed time and time again, any construction-related work (including seemingly minor work such as decorating, installing cables, repairs and maintenance to structures or fixtures and fittings, etc) makes you a client under CDM (the Construction (Design & Management) Regs and placing legal duties on you to ‘manage the project or works properly. No excuses!!!

Work at height

  • Solar panel installation company, Sasie Ltd, was fined a total of over £16,000 and its director, Een Marsden, personally fined £500 for failing to allowing work on a roof without any edge protection. Marsden had failed to heed a previous Prohibition Notice; evidently, he would rather risk prosecution (and death or injury) by getting the work finished before the HSE came back!
  • Prior Homes Ltd was fined a total of almost £16,000 and its director, Paul Prior, given an 8 week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and undertake 100 hours of unpaid community work after a worker fell 5 metres through a fragile roof.
  • Advanced Industrial Roofing & Cladding Solutions Ltd was fined a total of over £12,000 and its director, Stephen Ball, £3,500 after a worker fell through an unprotected skylight during the installation of a new roof over existing asbestos cement roof sheeting.
  • Fine Dimensions Ltd was fined a total of over £8,000 after a worker was seriously injured when he fell through a fragile skylight during minor roof work on a farm building. Yes, the law applies to quick works too – the results can be just as catastrophic

 

Plant & vehicle segregation

  • MV Kelly Ltd was fined a total of over £530,000 after a worker was struck by a tipper wagon, resulting in the amputation of his right leg. There had been insufficient and uncontrolled walkways and arrangements for delivery wagons to access off-loading areas.
  • Excavator driver, Daividas Rupeika, was fined a total of over £600, sentenced to six month jail suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 40 hours of unpaid community work for causing serious injury to a pedestrian worker. Rupeika had evidently deliberately driven the excavator into another, pushing it uncontrollably and resulting in the pedestrian becoming crushed against a shed wall; the whole thing was caught on camera…unbelievably irresponsible: https://bit.ly/2H2kcyK

 

Safe use of equipment

  • WK West Ltd was fined a total of almost £121,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries when his hand was pulled into a circular saw. His supervisor had failed to use a push-stick when he demonstrated how to push cardboard sheets through the machine, then promptly left the inexperienced worker to his fate. There had been no risk assessment, no safe system of work and inadequate supervision.
  • Malcolm E Taylor Ltd was fined a total of almost £13,000 after a worker was pulled into a machine manufacturing cladding, resulting in serious arm injuries. Guarding was inadequate, allowing employees to reach hazardous parts of the moving machinery.
  • Lanharan Concrete Co Ltd was fined a total of almost £8,000 after an employee lost the tip of a finger when his glove became entangled in the moving blade of a table saw. The worker had been given no training, nor was there any risk assessment or safe system of work for this equipment.
  • Anglo Recycling Ltd was fined a total of £13,500 after an employee’s arm was dragged into an unguarded machine. The injured worker had brought the missing guard to the company’s attention but no action had been taken.
  • Mercury Specialist Frames Ltd was fined a total of over £12,000 after a worker lost several fingers and severed his palm when a chop saw blade fell on his right hand. Again, no risk assessment and no safe system of work.Mekufa (UK) Ltd was fined a total of over £17,000 after a worker lost his right thumb whilst working on a lathe. Another example of gloves becoming entangled in machinery plus, yet again, no risk assessment and no safe system of work.

 

Materials handling

  • Manufacturer, K Two Sales Ltd, was fined a total of almost £24,000 after a worker suffered two broken legs when a stack of metal sheets fell on him. The worker had tried to remove one of the 20 x 4 mm thick metal sheets, making the whole pile unstable. Safe storage and stacking applies to all industries; ensure stacks are of a safe height, placed tidily and secured adequately to prevent collapse.
  • Magna Exteriors (Banbury) Ltd was fined a total of almost £85,000 after a worker was struck by a falling pallet, resulting in the amputation of a leg. The worker had been moving a stack of pallets using a pump-truck when a pallet fell, seriously injuring his leg.

 

Vibration

  • Design & Supply Ltd was fined a total of almost £52,000 after an employee developed HAVS from the use of a hand-held buffing tool over a 15 year period. No vibration assessment had been undertaken and, consequently, no controls had been implemented to safeguard employees’ health.

 

WHS is working for you; help us to help you.
Our aim is to keep people safe and to keep your company working.

COMPANY NEWS

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) Seminar

You’ve probably seen news about upcoming changes in the Data Protection Regulations, and maybe just ignored it, but don’t worry, it’s not too complicated.

The new General Data Protection Regs come into force on 25 May 2018. There will be some additional security and accountability surrounding the usual details we all pass between us on a daily basis, such as employee details and home postal addresses etc; email addresses that begin with your name are also considered ‘personal’ regardless of whether it’s a company email address or not.

What about the necessity to share personal information when it comes to health and safety? For example, medical records, health monitoring, and accident reporting… especially when dealing with sub-contractors’ employees. Well we were asking that question too, so we’ve asked three experts in the new General Data Protection Regulations to hold a quick open seminar on how the changes will affect your business.

From your websites to your staff, and from your filing to accident reporting systems, we’ll aim to give you clarification on what you need to do next and how to comply with the regulations. It is very important that all our customers are clear about the GDPR requirements, so there is a real need for you to attend:

  • Date: 27 April 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 12 pm
  • Venue: Wenlock Health & Safety Training Room, Jackfield Tile Museum, TF8 7LJ
  • Cost: £30 + VAT per person

 

Please contact Vicki Brown at WHS on 01952-885885 or vicki@wenlockhs.co.uk to book your place/s as soon as possible; places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

CITB Training Courses

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU READ AND DIGEST THE ARTICLE ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO CITB GRANTS & LEVIES IN THE ‘INDUSTRY NEWS’ SECTION BELOW

Forthcoming 2018 dates currently in place and fees for the CITB courses are as follows. Courses are held at the WHS training rooms and fees include lunch, refreshments and all course literature.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
Please be aware that CITB specifies that candidates must be available to attend each session within the course; failure to do so may require a repeat course.

  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS)
    Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
    Dates: 17 & 24 April and 1, 8 &15 May 2018 (all Tuesdays) – very limited space available
    6, 13, 20, 27 June & 4 July 2018 (all Wednesdays)
    Cost: £495 + VAT per person
  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) Refresher
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 10 & 11 May 2018 (Thursday & Friday)
    19 & 20 July 2018 (Thursday & Friday)
    Cost: £265 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 3 & 4 May 2018 (Thursday & Friday)
    9 & !0 July 2018 (Monday & Tuesday)
    Cost: £230 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • CITB 1-Day Health & Safety Awareness
    Duration: 1 day
    Dates: 7 June 2018 (Thursday)
    Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)

 

First Aid Training

Forthcoming dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, also held at our training rooms, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:

  • 24 May 2018
  • 25 June 2018
  • 24 July 2018
  • 23 August 2018
  • 26 September 2018

 

As with the CITB courses above, if any organisation requires first-aid for 6 or more employees, a specific course can be arranged at a date, time and location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

Out-of-Hours Contact

May we remind customers of the arrangements for any urgent and unavoidable (i.e. emergency) contact with Wenlock Health & Safety Ltd (WHS) during evenings, weekend and public holiday or WHS shut-down periods.

WHS can be contacted on the MD’s mobile number 07866-605920 at any time. During periods of the MD’s unavailability, the mobile is always diverted to another member of staff so that calls can be picked up as reasonably possible. We do not necessarily monitor emails during out-of-hours periods; emails will be actioned as soon as possible on the next working day. Therefore, if very urgent assistance is required (i.e. the matter is serious and cannot wait until the next working day) please ring 07866-605920; the landline answer-phone message reiterates this.

Many thanks.

INDUSTRY NEWS

CITB Changes to Grant System

The CITB levy has been reduced from 0.5% to 0.35% of PAYE. However, the levy is not payable for companies whose PAYE bill is less than £80,000; companies with PAYE £80,001 to £399,000 pay 0.175% only. Note: CIS tax payers are required to contribute net 1.25%.

As from the beginning of April, the way in which CITB grants can be claimed is changing significantly, so please take note of the following. Of course, grants are only available to those companies who pay the CITB levy – and, if you do pay the levy, get your money’s worth and carry out adequate training, you’ve paid for it!!!

  • Small companies who don’t have to pay the levy (i.e. <£80,000 PAYE) are still eligible for grants
  • The CITB Training Plans have gone
  • Grants can only be claimed if courses are undertaken by a CITB approved training body – an Approved Training Organisation or ATO; WHS is an ATO for the CITB courses we advertise
  • A National Training Directory will detail all ATOs – but there will be a bedding period of 12 months during which you are at liberty to request proof of the training provider that they are ‘applying for registration’
  • All grants will now be paid automatically following verification by the ATO that the course has been completed; you won’t have to do anything except provide your CITB registration number at the time of booking.
  • There will be a National Register which logs all CITB attained qualifications for individuals; this can be used to verify or re-issue certification

 

Courses that now attract grants have changed:

  • You can no longer claim grants for first-aid or any other course that is not specifically construction based
  • Grants are payable for NVQs, HNCs, IOSH and other day or block release courses

 

Your local CITB representative can help, but please feel free to contact WHS if you have any queries

Apprentice Levy

This time last year, the new Apprenticeship Levy came into being for companies whose PAYE bill is greater than £3 million. The idea is to encourage larger companies to take on apprentices to help fill the long-term skill shortage. Grants are payable to off-set the costs of engaging apprentices but, as everyone reading this newsletter will know, receive of a grant goes nowhere need paying for the cost of employing an inexperienced, mostly young person which requires constant supervision and attention. The result?….

We are told that, of the £2 billion currently paid to the Treasury against this levy, only £108 million has been claimed back in grants. Plan for the future…what will be your needs in the coming years, how will you fill the skills gaps? Do you need to take on apprentice/s to train up for your company’s future business plan? There is a 24 month deadline to claiming grants; therefore, the message is…
USE IT OR LOSE IT!

Asbestos

We’ll say it again….asbestos was not completely banned in the UK until the year 2000. So anyone concerned with any structure built (or begun) pre-2000 runs the distinct risk of containing asbestos.

WHS is still coming across customers of ours and/or their employees who have no basic knowledge about asbestos. We have been running courses and hammering home to messages to our clients ever since we set up 16 years ago – so how is it that this still happens?

The law says that anyone who ‘may’ possibly encounter asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) at any point must carry out asbestos awareness training as a minimum.

To all our customers, please: look long and hard at your training matrix and ensure that ALL those who need asbestos awareness have had it at least within the last 2 years (WHS can advise on HSE requirements; contractors are expected to have this annually)

Fire Planning

The vital importance of proper planning to both avoid fire and to safely evacuate if fire should occur was illustrated yet again in February 2018 when a fire broke out in a multi-storey terraced building in Great Portland Street.
72 fire fighters were called to tackle the blaze which broke out during the refurbishment of the building into apartments by a developer. Obviously, an investigation is underway so we can only speculate as to the cause and indeed the controls (or lack of) to prevent the fire taking hold and spreading – potentially, in a situation like this, to neighbouring properties.

The insurance industry’s Joint Code of Practice (9th Edition) lays down strict procedures to both avoid and control fires on construction sites; non-compliance may result in the contractor being uninsured. The guidance is incorporated into the WHS Health & Safety Manual; you all have a copy, make sure you are familiar with the contents and lay down strict rules on site about fire control and evacuation planning.

Footnote:

To make matters worse, the building contained gas cylinders. Can we be clear on this – if you have to use bottled gas, there are strict controls for the use and storage of these things. And take note, fire fighters will not enter if the building contains gas bottles – it’s just too dangerous. Have you ever seen what happens to gas bottles in a fire? Skip the promo and just see how far those lethally hot and sharp projectiles fly see: https://bit.ly/2JnVB62 It wasn’t wise to stand and film from that distance!

Please make sure you contact your WHS consultant to discuss storage, handling and inspections of gas bottles, and how to carry out effective emergency planning for your sites.

Scaffolding Control
See ‘And Finally sections for more prosecutions

It must be realised that anyone engaging scaffolders are totally responsible for safety during erection (etc). Yes, they are the specialists but, under CDM, the engaging party is responsible for (a) engaging competent contractors, and (b) their site – despite the fact that scaffolding may be erected on Sunday or other non-work periods.

WHS customers are supplied with a specific H&S competence questionnaire for scaffolders which is designed to assess whether the company has the very specific knowledge, experience and capabilities to carry out scaffold erection. If a scaffolders in plucked from the internet without sufficient competence checks, then the engaging party (client or contractor) will be liable for prosecution or HSE enforcement.

If the engaging party does not enforce good site-specific risk assessments and method statements from the scaffolders before work is permitted, and adherence to the agreed RAMSs during erection, removal or any alteration by the scaffolder, then the engaging party (client or contractor) will be liable for prosecution or HSE enforcement. And this means proper site management and supervision by the Principal Contractor at all working times, including scaffolding erection (etc).

So you want to erect on a Sunday? Your Site Manager can’t be there? So how will you accommodate this legal duty? Please speak to one of our consultants to ensure adequate arrangements are in place – before it’s too late.

Another Illustration of the Perils of Leaving Asbestos in Place

This recent incident in Glasgow yet again demonstrates just how vital it is that all asbestos is removed from buildings: https://bit.ly/2IJg7Ob

Just like 9/11 and its effects on New York, how many people have been unwittingly exposed to asbestos fibres? How long will it take to clean up – can it ever be cleaned up in a city centre situation like this? It is a fact that there has been so much uncontrolled demolition (etc) over the years, particularly in cities, that there are now ever-present airborne asbestos fibres. The area around the Twin Towers has proved to actually be so many times over the legal limit that it’s ‘toxic’. So further instances like this in Glasgow only add to the public health misery.

A reminder that ALL commercial buildings should have had an asbestos survey carried out so that owners/occupiers are at least aware of ACMs that need to be removed or at least avoided. But, if you can, remove all ACMs so that the risk is gone for good … before something unforeseen happens.

Use of Mobiles Whilst Driving

In the US, 95% of drivers disapprove of distracted driving, yet an astonishing 71% admit to using mobiles devices whilst they are driving. Approximately 37,000 people die on US roads each year, a significant proportion of which are killed by drivers using mobiles.

There are no statistics for the UK but no doubt the percentages of those admitting to using mobiles would be the same; just look around you next time you’re behind the wheel to see just how many people ignore the law. And it shouldn’t need a law, it’s obvious…driving whilst distracted KILLS!!

The ‘It Can Wait’ campaign in the US currently has well over £23 million pledges:
https://www.itcanwait.com/pledge

We need a similar campaign in the UK; #itcanwaituk. And if you’re one of the culprits, just think…
Why can’t that call or message? You know it’s illegal, why risk a fine…or worse, why risk a life?

Hazardous Household Products

As we have been highlighting during our asbestos awareness training, due to the almost impossible task of checking every item imported into the UK, the potential for asbestos-containing materials to creep into our products is growing. The majority of the World is still involved in the mining of asbestos or production of goods containing asbestos e.g. South Korea, China, India, and other countries that we freely trade with.

But it doesn’t stop there….other hazardous substances are (or always have been?) creeping into our households too e.g. lead and arsenic, including into children’s toys: https://bbc.in/2DDuxfT

With this type of threat to public health, this is not the time for the Government to be cutting back on controls; we now need trading standards organisations even more than ever!

Working Time Regulations

May we add a reminder about the Working Time Regulations which, although a HR matter, also impact on a company’s health & safety for obvious reasons. There are exclusions and provisos but, in general, the law stipulates that employees should work a maximum of 48 hours per week unless an opt-out is agreed and signed by the employee.

In addition, the maximum length of working days, number and timing of breaks, and other issues which directly affect tiredness, well-being and the capabilities (and thus safety) of workers are covered so it’s vital that all employers abide by the rules in a reasonable manner. Find out more:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/1833/contents/made

HSE NEWS

Stricter PPE Regulations

On 21 April 2018, new and much stricter PPE regulations come into force across the EU, placing responsibility for standards compliance on, not just manufacturers, but also importers, distributers and any other involved in the supply chain. This may not affect you but a further requirement will:

Because of the raised importance placed on health issues, the level of conformity assessment and surveillance has been raised to the highest (Cat.3) possible. This, by implication, means that the HSE will be enforcing higher standards of PPE and health surveillance amongst users, including stricter risk assessment and wearer assessment – particularly face fit.

There is a bedding-in period permitted for manufacturers – they have until 21 April 2023 to prove (certify) compliance with new CE standards. However, in the meantime, we have already seen evidence that the HSE is enforcing health surveillance and the standards and maintenance of PPE.

Discuss your needs and current provision with your WHS consultant; as some of our customers have already found, you can’t afford to get this wrong!

AND FINALLY

As usual, it’s asbestos and work at height that account for most prosecutions – astonishing in this day and age! We have included another topical issue – site segregation. But, as always, these are just a snap-shot of recent prosecutions; there are many, many more per month!
Just note how many personal prosecutions are now being enacted

And, before you start blaming the HSE for (what only amounts to) enforcing the law, just remember that the aim in this country when the HSE was first established was, and still is, to prevent accidents, deaths and injuries, before they happen. Hardly any other countries have this ethos and will only enforce or prosecute once an accident/death/injury has occurred. So stop moaning and just thank the HSE for being there!

Asbestos
More evidence of how easy it is to release asbestos fibres into the atmosphere and endanger us all

  • RF Gardiner Ltd was fined a total of over £29,000 after carrying out asbestos removal work without license or adequate controls during the refurbishment of a school. Just imagine how much the de-contamination of the affected area/s would have cost the school – a lesson to all clients!

 

Work at height

  • Solar panel installation company, Sasie Ltd, was fined a total of over £16,000 and its director, Een Marsden, personally fined £500 for failing to allowing work on a roof without any edge protection. Marsden had failed to heed a previous Prohibition Notice; evidently, he would rather risk prosecution (and death or injury) by getting the work finished before the HSE came back!
  • Prior Homes Ltd was fined a total of almost £16,000 and its director, Paul Prior, given an 8 week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and undertake 100 hours of unpaid community work after a worker fell 5 metres through a fragile roof.
  • Advanced Industrial Roofing & Cladding Solutions Ltd was fined a total of over £12,000 and its director, Stephen Ball, £3,500 after a worker fell through an unprotected skylight.
  • Fine Dimensions Ltd was fined a total of over £8,000 after a worker was seriously injured when he fell through a fragile skylight during minor roof work. Yes, the law applies to quick works too – the results can be just as catastrophic

 

Public protection

  • Martin McColl Ltd was fined a total of over £600,000 after two members of the public suffered injuries when they fell over construction work being carried out at a store. Work was being carried out during opening hours with wholly inadequate protection (barriers and signage) of the store’s patrons. The size of this fine demonstrates just how important public protection is in the eyes of the law.

 

Vibration

  • Design & Supply Ltd was fined a total of almost £52,000 after an employee developed HAVS from the use of a hand-held buffing tool over a 15 year period. No vibration assessment had been undertaken and, consequently, no controls had been implemented to safeguard employees’ health.

COMPANY NEWS

CITB Training Courses

Forthcoming 2018 dates currently in place and fees for the CITB courses are as follows. Courses are held at the WHS offices and fees include lunch, refreshments and all course literature.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
Please be aware that CITB specifies that candidates must be available to attend each session within the course; failure to do so may require a repeat course.

And don’t forget that CITB levy-payers can claim substantial grants against all these courses and more – which will help alleviate the cost considerably. Contact WHS for further details.

  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS)
    Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
    Dates: 28 February and 7, 14, 21 & 28 March 2018
    17 & 24 April and 1, 8 &15 May 2018
    Cost: £495 + VAT per person
  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) Refresher
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 12 & 13 March 2018
    10 & 11 May 2018
    Cost: £265 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 22 & 23 March 2018
    3 & 4 May 2018
    Cost: £230 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • CITB 1-Day Health & Safety Awareness
    Duration: 1 day
    Dates: 26 February 2018
    29 March 2018
    Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)

 

If any organisation requires places for 6 or more employees, we can arrange a specific course at dates, times and a location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

First Aid Training

Forthcoming 2018 dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, also held at our offices, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:

  • 19 February 2018
  • 26 March 2018
  • 25 April 2018
  • 24 May 2018
  • 25 June 2018

 

As with the CITB courses above, if any organisation requires first-aid for 6 or more employees, a specific course can be arranged at a date, time and location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

WHS Awards

Following the announcement in the December 2017 newsletter, we now take great pleasure in congratulating once again our very worthy 2017 WHS Safety Award winners:

Archway Products (UK) Ltd
Award for: Best Safety Culture

The Company designs, manufactures and operates its Roadmaster self-contained, very safe-to-operate, pot-hole repair vehicles throughout the UK.

Despite proving to be exemplary in its approach to health & safety last year and, thus, winning the 2016 WHS award for ‘Commitment Through Innovation’, Company management still continually shows an appetite for exploring further innovation towards improvement.

The award was accepted by Managing Director, Donal McNamee, and Training Manager, Mary Gildea.

Andy Collier of biT (Telford & Wrekin Council’s Architectural Design & Building Services)
Award for: Best Safety Manager

Over the 15 years that WHS has worked alongside and supported Andy, he has always proved to be totally resolute in his commitment to high standards of health & safety.

The award was accepted by Andy Collier, shown here with WHS Managing Director, Jackie Horsewood.

Richard Sherratt Builders Ltd
Award for: Best Small Contractor

Despite being a small contractor, Richard Sherratt Builders Ltd has consistently demonstrated total commitment to the wellbeing of its employees and the public, demonstrating that compliance is possible with just a bit of thought and effort rather than huge cash reserves.

Richard Sherratt himself is pictured here accepting the award from senior WHS consultant, Mark Roberts.

Morris Property Ltd
Award for: Commitment to Training

Contractor, Morris Property Ltd, (part of the prestigious Morris & Co group) has demonstrated extremely high standards of commitment to fully training their workforce at all levels; a commendable example to the industry of how much can be achieved.

The award was accepted on behalf of Morris Property Ltd by Construction Manager, Steve Flavell, and Office Manager, Trish Empson (who has been instrumental in the organisation of the Company’s training needs). Pictured here (centre) presenting the award is WHS Associate Director, Laura Mort.

Jake Edis of Edis Developments Ltd
Commendation for: High Standards of Site Management

Since being appointed site manager in 2017, Jake Edis has demonstrated his very competent managerial ability and commitment to operating a safe site for the family company, something that prompted praise from a visiting HSE inspector a couple of months ago.

Jake is pictured here again with WHS Associate Director, Laura Mort.

Hearty congratulations are extended to all our worthy award winners. May we thank you all for your efforts, and for so enthusiastically allowing WHS to work alongside you to help achieve these high standards.

Old First-Aid Supplies

A huge thank you to all our clients who have kindly responded to our request for old first-aid supplies. We have amassed a large suitcase-full already, but can always use more. So, don’t throw out-of-date first-aid supplies away – undeveloped countries are delighted to accept them if they are still wrapped and sterile.

Please can you either give any unused, but wrapped and sterile items, to your WHS consultant when you next meet, post them to us, or let Vicki in the office know that they are available to collect. They will all be going direct to a small nomadic clinic in Mongolia. Many thanks indeed in advance!

HSE NEWS

Proposals to Reduce Health Surveillance for Asbestos Work Dropped

The HSE proposals to reduce the legal frequency of medical checks for asbestos workers to 3 years has been dropped. The consolation conducted during late 2017 resulted in an overwhelming rejection of the proposed amendment to the Control of Asbestos Regs. Sense prevails! Asbestos is much too serious an issue to lower the standards.

A pertinent reminder here that any contractor carrying out low-key but NNLW (Notifiable Non-Licensed Work) is under a legal obligation to also undertake health surveillance for all workers carrying out those tasks. If you need further advice, please contact the WHS office as we have access to persons qualified to carry out health surveillance.

Corporate Manslaughter Considered for Didcot

A pre-inquest hearing into the deaths of four workers at Didcot Power Station in February 2016 heard that Corporate Manslaughter charges are being considered by the HSE against demolition contractor, Coleman & Co. Ltd., for gross negligence and other offences. The deaths resulted from the collapse of two of the four units in the boiler house.

The HSE consideration of the Corporate Manslaughter law (although no charges have yet been laid against the contractor) sends a message to the entire industry that senior management can, and will, be held accountable for serious transgressions of health & safety law.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Urgent Product Recall

B&Q has recalled two remote-controlled plug sets due to a potential fire risk; the sets were on sale in their stores between September 2014 until November 2017:

REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF SET TRIPLE SET                                                                                         Product barcode number: 5052931395033

REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF SET TWIN SET
Product barcode number: 4895130705675

The product label (batch codes will vary)

If you suspect you may have purchased or used one of these sets, B&Q advice is as follows:

  • Switch it off at the wall
  • Remove the plug
  • Return it to B&Q who will give a full refund

 

SSiP Accreditation – Fees

SMAS Worksafe will be increasing its fees for SSiP accreditation, so do take note that the following apply from 2 April 2018 (all figures quoted ex-VAT):

Contractor: £220
Principal Contractor: £260
Designer & Principal Designer: £260
‘Mutual recognition’ (i.e. gaining SMAS on the back of CHAS, etc) £80
If your SMAS is up for renewal shortly, or you’re thinking of applying for accreditation through SMAS, make sure you get your application in well before the April deadline to save a little money.

SMAS still have favourable rates if you employ 5 or more people (including sub-contractors don’t forget) and are far easier to communicate with that some of the other SSiP providers. However, if you are a very small company (less than 5 employees in total), the following price comparisons may be useful:

CHAS (all disciplines)

Contractors:
1 employee: £174
2-4 employees: £199
5-15 employees: £299
16 and above employees: £369 – £629
‘Mutual recognition’ Contractors & Principal Contractors: £140 – £399

Designer & Principal Designer: £355 – £425

An extra fee of £60 – £120 applies to all hard-copy submissions (i.e. not submitted on-line)

Safe Contractor (all disciplines)

1 employee: £229
1-4 employees: £329
5-15 employees: £439
16 and above employees: £569 – £1099

All submissions must be on-line

Asbestos

Those of you who have received asbestos awareness training from us will be familiar with our doubts as to whether it’s possible for asbestos to be creeping into, not only imported construction materials, but also normal household products as has already happened in the U.S. and Australia…..including Peppa Pig crayons!!
http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/officeworks-pulls-crayons-from-shelves-amidst-asbestos-fears-20150911-gjkpac.html

WHS asks…is enough being done to check the contents of materials from places such as China where the use of asbestos is still perfectly legal? Australia is leading the way in stringently checking imported materials – but are we following suit to the degree required? It costs very little for a material sample to be analysed for possible asbestos content so, if you’re importing materials from outside the E.U, it may be as well to check.

And, on the domestic front, just look at this appalling case recently reported in the U.K:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5234379/Woman-cancer-caused-asbestos-gets-clear.html

Poor Danielle is thought to have ingested asbestos fibres from her teddy bear 20 years ago when she was 3 years old. Admittedly, this may then have occurred (however inexcusably) before the blanket ban on the import and use of all types of asbestos which came into effect in January 2000, but it begs the question…how many of these potentially lethal children’s toys are still in circulation?

Asbestos – Memorials

Asbestos-related deaths are so prevalent that some areas of the country have set up their own memorials to highlight the issue and to ensure their deceased loved-ones are never forgotten. For example:

  • Clydesdale established Clydesdale Action on Asbestos many years ago and holds a memorial service every April
  • Rochdale erected an International Asbestos Memorial opposite the Town Hall; Rochdale has been particularly hard hit as asbestos-based products were manufactured in the area.
    Asbestos – Fake RPE Filters

 

We have highlighted the serious issue of fake PPE before – it has now come to light that there may be fake RPE (respiratory protective equipment) filters out there, something that would have very severe repercussions if they are being relied upon to protect against asbestos (or any other types of) dusts.

Always make sure that you purchase all your PPE and RPE from reputable suppliers. Never cut corners to save a few pounds; it doesn’t really make sense now, does it?

Dusts

And while we’re on the subject of exposure to ‘dusts’…

Principal Contractor, MY Construction & Carpentry, has been fined £40,000 plus costs for allowing workers on a refurbishment site to be exposed to Respirable Crystalline Silica (‘RCS’) found in brick dust. Workers were found to be dry-cutting bricks to shape a bay window surround; work had not been properly planned or assessed and workers had been given no information about the hazards of inhaling brick dusts.

It’s astonishing that, in this day and age, main contractors still flaunt the law. This is not a question of over-zealous legal requirements; laws such as this (COSHH) are there to protect everyone from harm. Well over 1 million workers are at risk of inhaling RCS within the construction industry alone and, although figures are difficult to verify, it has been estimated that up to 50 double-decker bus loads of people die every year from respiratory diseases – so any company that blatantly disregards the need to dust control, deserves everything it gets from the legal system.

Dust Prevention – Face-Fit Testing

ELIMINATE – REDUCE – CONTROL (the essence of the legal ‘general principles of prevention’)

Prevention of dusts is the key; good design (etc) can help ELIMINATE the need for cutting, shaping, abrading, etc. on site.

If that’s not possible, contractors must REDUCE airborne dusts by dust suppression or capture (damping down, filter attachments, etc)

A reminder that the use of RPE (respiratory protective equipment – dust masks) is only a CONTROL measure so is naturally (and in law) a last resort only, or an additional safeguard. And that, every time RPE is used, there is a legal; requirement to have face-fit testing (FFT) as we have stressed many, many times before.

An important note on ‘press-to-check’ masks

There is a dangerous misconception within the industry that the commonly used ‘press-to-check’ masks don’t require face-fit testing; this is NOT true.

The press-to-check essentially creates a vacuum; this is negative pressure when the filters are checked when first worn but this weakens over time, meaning that the mask may not fit as it should after a couple of hours (or less).

The press-to-check facility, although it does provide a valuable additional feature, is a marketing tool. It is being misinterpreted and now there is widespread belief that face-fit is not required. As most reputable RPE manufacturers stress on their websites (e.g. 3M), face-fit testing is still required by law for this type of mask.

Safety in Roadworks

To prevent this nightmare scenario (pictured left)….

….one of our surfacing contractors has recently taken delivery of a new state-of-the-art Impact Protection Vehicle to safeguard their traffic management staff.

Congratulations to CH Contracting (and thanks to joint MD, Andy Hoddinot, for the photo)…as they say “every little helps” and use of this latest, high-spec vehicle will certainly vastly reduce the risks from the unpredictable driving public!

AND FINALLY

A snap-shot of recent prosecutions:

Plant & vehicle segregation

  • South West Highways Ltd was fined a total of well over £500,000 after the death of a worker who had been struck by a vehicle. Adequate TM controls had not been implemented – speed limits, signage and (what would have been more appropriate) a temporary road closure.

TM requirements cost money and inconvenience, yes, but the failure to properly control the traffic can be devastating in terms of both life and livelihoods.

  • CAV Aerospace Ltd was fined a total of well over £800,000 after a worker suffered horrendous injuries when he fell into the path of a MEWP; he was dragged along the floor for the machine’s length before it came to a stop. Where were the safe systems and segregated walkways?
  • RMB Contractors Ltd was fined a total of well over £99,000 after a worker was crushed between a stationary dump truck and a moving excavator and killed.

 

Vibration

  • Charter Housing Association Ltd was fined a total of almost £110,000 after exposing maintenance workers to uncontrolled hand-arm vibration. Six workers have developed symptoms of early-stage HAVS.

 

COSHH

  • Rodent Service (East Anglia) Ltd was fined a total of over £110,000 after unsafe storage of hazardous products. Canisters of a toxic biocidal compound were found to be stored in a filing cabinet! And, before anyone questions where the filing cabinet was secure, no, it was left unlocked and open to everyone!

 

Public protection

  • Martin McColl Ltd (a chain of convenience stores) and contractor, JMS Retail Concept Ltd, were fined a totals of well over £600,000 and £40,000 respectively after two elderly members of the public tripped and fell on separate occasions, both suffering broken bones, during the construction of a ramp in a Powys store.
    Management liability
  • Both a construction company, House Design & Build Ltd, and its project manager, Neil Crow, were fined totals of over £100,000 and £15,000 respectively for multiple breaches of health & safety law. The prosecution resulted from HSE visits to two sites; there had been no accident.
  • Demolition contractor, S Evans & Sons Ltd, was fined totals of over £150,000 and its director, Samuel Evans, sentenced to 200 hours community work and a 10 month prison sentence suspended for 2 years, after a worker’s arm was trapped between two 10-tonne steel girders, resulting in amputation. Evans had been operating the machine to stack the girders and was, thus, found liable for both the choice of machinery and the method of working.

 

Sole trader liability

A misconception has crept into UK industry that sole traders are no longer liable for health & safety failings and won’t be prosecuted. As these cases demonstrate, this is not true.

  • Self-employed tree worker, Perry Regan, was fined over £2,000 and sentenced to 20 months (suspended) imprisonment after a branch he cut fell on a person helping below, resulting in severe head injuries.
  • Self-employed builder, David Guymer, was fined a total of almost £55,000 and ordered to complete 300 hours community work after installing an oven in a domestic property but without Gas Safe accreditation or safe systems. The result was an explosion that injured two occupants.

 

Just because you’re a sole trader, doesn’t mean that you don’t affect other people. So, in WHS’s humble opinion, it’s up to you whether you kill yourself or not (although we’d much rather you didn’t!), but if you injury others, you will be held liable.

And the last word is, as usual….work at height

  • BBC Studioworks Ltd was fined a total of well over £200,000, Elstree Film Studios Ltd £55,000 and Elstree Light & Power Ltd £69,000 after a contractor fell 10 metres and sustained life-changing multiple injuries during a de-rigging operation. No edge protection had been placed around hatches.

 

WHS is working for you; help us to help you.
Our aim is to keep people safe and to keep your company working.
To contact WHS, ring: 01952-885885

COMPANY NEWS

First Aid Training

Forthcoming 2018 dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, also held at our offices, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:

  • 19 February 2018
  • 26 March 2018
  • 25 April 2018
  • 24 May 2018
  • 25 June 2018

 

As with the CITB courses above, if any organisation requires first-aid for 6 or more employees, a specific course can be arranged at a date, time and location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

WHS Awards

Following the announcement in the December 2017 newsletter, we now take great pleasure in congratulating once again our very worthy 2017 WHS Safety Award winners:

Archway Products (UK) Ltd
Award for: Best Safety Culture

The Company designs, manufactures and operates its Roadmaster self-contained, very safe-to-operate, pot-hole repair vehicles throughout the UK.

Despite proving to be exemplary in its approach to health & safety last year and, thus, winning the 2016 WHS award for ‘Commitment Through Innovation’, Company management still continually shows an appetite for exploring further innovation towards improvement.

The award was accepted by Managing Director, Donal McNamee, and Training Manager, Mary Gildea.

Andy Collier of biT (Telford & Wrekin Council’s Architectural Design & Building Services)
Award for: Best Safety Manager

Over the 15 years that WHS has worked alongside and supported Andy, he has always proved to be totally resolute in his commitment to high standards of health & safety.

The award was accepted by Andy Collier, shown here with WHS Managing Director, Jackie Horsewood.

Richard Sherratt Builders Ltd
Award for: Best Small Contractor

Despite being a small contractor, Richard Sherratt Builders Ltd has consistently demonstrated total commitment to the wellbeing of its employees and the public, demonstrating that compliance is possible with just a bit of thought and effort rather than huge cash reserves.

Richard Sherratt himself is pictured here accepting the award from senior WHS consultant, Mark Roberts.

Morris Property Ltd
Award for: Commitment to Training

Contractor, Morris Property Ltd, (part of the prestigious Morris & Co group) has demonstrated extremely high standards of commitment to fully training their workforce at all levels; a commendable example to the industry of how much can be achieved.

The award was accepted on behalf of Morris Property Ltd by Construction Manager, Steve Flavell, and Office Manager, Trish Empson (who has been instrumental in the organisation of the Company’s training needs). Pictured here (centre) presenting the award is WHS Associate Director, Laura Mort.

Jake Edis of Edis Developments Ltd
Commendation for: High Standards of Site Management

Since being appointed site manager in 2017, Jake Edis has demonstrated his very competent managerial ability and commitment to operating a safe site for the family company, something that prompted praise from a visiting HSE inspector a couple of months ago.

Jake is pictured here again with WHS Associate Director, Laura Mort.

Hearty congratulations are extended to all our worthy award winners. May we thank you all for your efforts, and for so enthusiastically allowing WHS to work alongside you to help achieve these high standards.

Old First-Aid Supplies

A huge thank you to all our clients who have kindly responded to our request for old first-aid supplies. We have amassed a large suitcase-full already, but can always use more. So, don’t throw out-of-date first-aid supplies away – undeveloped countries are delighted to accept them if they are still wrapped and sterile.

Please can you either give any unused, but wrapped and sterile items, to your WHS consultant when you next meet, post them to us, or let Vicki in the office know that they are available to collect. They will all be going direct to a small nomadic clinic in Mongolia. Many thanks indeed in advance!

HSE NEWS

Corporate Manslaughter Considered for Didcot

A pre-inquest hearing into the deaths of four workers at Didcot Power Station in February 2016 heard that Corporate Manslaughter charges are being considered by the HSE against demolition contractor, Coleman & Co. Ltd., for gross negligence and other offences. The deaths resulted from the collapse of two of the four units in the boiler house.

The HSE consideration of the Corporate Manslaughter law (although no charges have yet been laid against the contractor) sends a message to UK industry that senior management can, and will, be held accountable for serious transgressions of health & safety law.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Urgent Product Recall

B&Q has recalled two remote-controlled plug sets due to a potential fire risk; the sets were on sale in their stores between September 2014 until November 2017:

REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF SET TRIPLE SET                                                                                        Product barcode number: 5052931395033

REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF SET TWIN SET
Product barcode number: 4895130705675

The product label (batch codes will vary)

If you suspect you may have purchased or used one of these sets, B&Q advice is as follows:

  • Switch it off at the wall
  • Remove the plug
  • Return it to B&Q who will give a full refund

 

Asbestos

Those of you who have received asbestos awareness training from us will be familiar with our doubts as to whether it’s possible for asbestos to be creeping into, not only imported building materials, but also normal household products as has already happened in the U.S. and Australia…..including Peppa Pig crayons!!
http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/officeworks-pulls-crayons-from-shelves-amidst-asbestos-fears-20150911-gjkpac.html
WHS asks…is enough being done to check the contents of materials from places such as China where the use of asbestos is still perfectly legal? Australia is leading the way in stringently checking imported materials – but are we following suit to the degree required? It costs very little for a material sample to be analysed for possible asbestos content so, if you’re importing materials from outside the E.U, it may be as well to check.

And, on the domestic front, just look at this appalling case recently reported in the U.K:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5234379/Woman-cancer-caused-asbestos-gets-clear.html

Poor Danielle is thought to have ingested asbestos fibres from her teddy bear 20 years ago when she was 3 years old. Admittedly, this may then have occurred (however inexcusably) before the blanket ban on the import and use of all types of asbestos which came into effect in January 2000, but it begs the question…how many of these potentially lethal children’s toys are still in circulation?

Asbestos – Memorials

Asbestos-related deaths are so prevalent that some areas of the country have set up their own memorials to highlight the issue and to ensure their deceased loved-ones are never forgotten. For example:

  • Clydesdale established Clydesdale Action on Asbestos many years ago and holds a memorial service every April
  • Rochdale erected an International Asbestos Memorial opposite the Town Hall; Rochdale has been particularly hard hit as asbestos-based products were manufactured in the area.

 

Dusts

And while we’re on the subject of exposure to ‘dusts’…

Contractor, MY Construction & Carpentry, has been fined £40,000 plus costs for allowing workers on a refurbishment site to be exposed to Respirable Crystalline Silica (‘RCS’) found in brick dust. Workers were found to be dry-cutting bricks to shape a bay window surround; work had not been properly planned or assessed and workers had been given no information about the hazards of inhaling brick dusts.

It’s astonishing that, in this day and age, businesses still flaunt the law. This is not a question of over-zealous legal requirements; laws such as this (COSHH) are there to protect everyone from harm. Well over 1 million workers are at risk of inhaling RCS and, although figures are difficult to verify, it has been estimated that up to 50 double-decker bus loads of people die every year from respiratory diseases – so any company that blatantly disregards the need to dust control, deserves everything it gets from the legal system.

Dust Prevention – Face-Fit Testing

ELIMINATE – REDUCE – CONTROL (the essence of the legal ‘general principles of prevention’)

Prevention of dusts is the key; good design (etc) can help ELIMINATE the need for cutting, shaping, abrading, etc. on site.

If that’s not possible, contractors must REDUCE airborne dusts by dust suppression or capture (damping down, filter attachments, etc)

A reminder that the use of RPE (respiratory protective equipment – dust masks) is only a CONTROL measure so is naturally (and in law) a last resort only, or an additional safeguard. And that, every time RPE is used, there is a legal; requirement to have face-fit testing (FFT) as we have stressed many, many times before.

An important note on ‘press-to-check’ masks

There is a dangerous misconception within the industry that the commonly used ‘press-to-check’ masks don’t require face-fit testing; this is NOT true.

The press-to-check essentially creates a vacuum; this is negative pressure when the filters are checked when first worn but this weakens over time, meaning that the mask may not fit as it should after a couple of hours (or less).

The press-to-check facility, although it does provide a valuable additional feature, is a marketing tool. It is being misinterpreted and now there is widespread belief that face-fit is not required. As most reputable RPE manufacturers stress on their websites (e.g. 3M), face-fit testing is still required by law for this type of mask.

AND FINALLY

A snap-shot of recent prosecutions:

Asbestos

  • Utility services company, IQA Operations Group Ltd was fined for exposing four workers to asbestos during electrical works in a block of flats. The company had not questioned that the asbestos survey did not include the door transoms which resulted in drilling through asbestos during the fitting of new electrical cables to each of the 44 flats.

This serves as a warning to all electrical engineers; you do run a real risk of disturbing asbestos if there isn’t an in-depth refurbishment survey covering the affected area/s, something that happens all too often. It doesn’t matter that it may be ‘5 minutes work’ to drill a hole through a door frame, a panel or a skirting board, but ignoring the possibility of there being asbestos within will have repercussions.

Plant & vehicle segregation

  • CAV Aerospace Ltd was fined a total of well over £800,000 after a worker suffered horrendous injuries when he fell into the path of a MEWP; he was dragged along the floor for the machine’s length before it came to a stop. Where were the safe systems and segregated walkways?

 

Vibration

  • Charter Housing Association Ltd was fined a total of almost £110,000 after exposing maintenance workers to uncontrolled hand-arm vibration. Six workers have developed symptoms of early-stage HAVS.

 

COSHH

  • Rodent Service (East Anglia) Ltd was fined a total of over £110,000 after unsafe storage of hazardous products. Canisters of a toxic biocidal compound were found to be stored in a filing cabinet! And, before anyone questions where the filing cabinet was secure, no, it was left unlocked and open to everyone!

 

Safe systems of work

  • Associated British Ports was fined a total of well over £666,000 after a bag of fertiliser fell from a pallet and struck an employee, resulting in multiple fractures. The practice of stacking had not been assessed and did not meet industry best practice, causing loads to be unstable and the bag to fall.

 

Management liability

  • Both a construction company, House Design & Build Ltd, and its project manager, Neil Crow, were fined totals of over £100,000 and £15,000 respectively for multiple breaches of health & safety law. The prosecution resulted from HSE visits to two sites; there had been no accident.
  • Demolition contractor, S Evans & Sons Ltd, was fined totals of over £150,000 and its director, Samuel Evans, sentenced to 200 hours community work and a 10 month prison sentence suspended for 2 years, after a worker’s arm was trapped between two 10-tonne steel girders, resulting in amputation. Evans had been operating the machine to stack the girders and was, thus, found liable for both the choice of machinery and the method of working.

 

Sole trader liability

A misconception has crept into UK industry that sole traders are no longer liable for health & safety failings and won’t be prosecuted. As these cases demonstrate, this is not true.

  • Self-employed tree worker, Perry Regan, was fined over £2,000 and sentenced to 20 months in prison (suspended for 18 months) after a branch he cut fell on a person helping below, resulting in severe head injuries.
  • Self-employed builder, David Guymer, was fined a total of almost £55,000 and ordered to complete 300 hours community work after installing an oven in a domestic property but without Gas Safe accreditation or safe systems. The result was an explosion that injured two occupants.
  • Self-employed (but unregistered) gas fitter, Robert Ruszczak was sentenced to 12 months in prison after serving five gas appliances in a hotel and restaurant and leaving them in an unsafe state.

 

Just because you’re a sole trader, doesn’t mean that you don’t affect other people. So, in WHS’s humble opinion, it’s up to you whether you kill yourself or not (although we’d much rather you didn’t!), but if you injury others, you will be held liable.

And the last word is, as usual….work at height

  • BBC Studioworks Ltd was fined a total of well over £200,000, Elstree Film Studios Ltd £55,000 and Elstree Light & Power Ltd £69,000 after a contractor fell 10 metres and sustained life-changing multiple injuries during a de-rigging operation. No edge protection had been placed around hatches.

 

WHS is working for you; help us to help you.
Our aim is to keep people safe and to keep your company working.
To contact WHS, ring: 01952-885885

COMPANY NEWS

CITB Training Courses

Forthcoming 2018 dates currently in place and fees for the CITB courses are as follows. Courses are held at the WHS offices and fees include lunch, refreshments and all course literature.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
Please be aware that CITB specifies that candidates must be available to attend each session within the course; failure to do so may require a repeat course.

And don’t forget that CITB levy-payers can claim substantial grants against all these courses and more – which will help alleviate the cost considerably. Contact WHS for further details.

  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS)
    Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
    Dates: 28 February and 7, 14, 21 & 28 March 2018
    17 & 24 April and 1, 8 &15 May 2018
    Cost: £495 + VAT per perso
  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) Refresher
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 12 & 13 March 2018
    10 & 11 May 2018
    Cost: £265 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)
    Duration: 2 days
    Dates: 22 & 23 March 2018
    3 & 4 May 2018
    Cost: £230 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
  • CITB 1-Day Health & Safety Awareness
    Duration: 1 day
    Dates: 26 February 2018
    29 March 2018
    Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)

 

If any organisation requires places for 6 or more employees, we can arrange a specific course at dates, times and a location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

First Aid Training

Forthcoming 2018 dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, also held at our offices, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:

  • 19 February 2018
  • 26 March 2018
  • 25 April 2018
  • 24 May 2018
  • 25 June 2018

 

As with the CITB courses above, if any organisation requires first-aid for 6 or more employees, a specific course can be arranged at a date, time and location to suit. Please contact the WHS office to discuss your requirements.

WHS Awards

Following the announcement in the December 2017 newsletter, we now take great pleasure in congratulating once again our very worthy 2017 WHS Safety Award winners:

Archway Products (UK) Ltd
Award for: Best Safety Culture

The Company designs, manufactures and operates its Roadmaster self-contained, very safe-to-operate, pot-hole repair vehicles throughout the UK.

Despite proving to be exemplary in its approach to health & safety last year and, thus, winning the 2016 WHS award for ‘Commitment Through Innovation’, Company management still continually shows an appetite for exploring further innovation towards improvement.

The award was accepted by Managing Director, Donal McNamee, and Training Manager, Mary Gildea.

Andy Collier of biT (Telford & Wrekin Council’s Architectural Design & Building Services)
Award for: Best Safety Manager

Over the 15 years that WHS has worked alongside and supported Andy, he has always proved to be totally resolute in his commitment to high standards of health & safety.

The award was accepted by Andy Collier, shown here with WHS Managing Director, Jackie Horsewood.

Richard Sherratt Builders Ltd
Award for: Best Small Contractor

Despite being a small contractor, Richard Sherratt Builders Ltd has consistently demonstrated total commitment to the wellbeing of its employees and the public, demonstrating that compliance is possible with just a bit of thought and effort rather than huge cash reserves.

Richard Sherratt himself is pictured here accepting the award from senior WHS consultant, Mark Roberts.

Morris Property Ltd
Award for: Commitment to Training

Contractor, Morris Property Ltd, (part of the prestigious Morris & Co group) has demonstrated extremely high standards of commitment to fully training their workforce at all levels; a commendable example to the industry of how much can be achieved.

The award was accepted on behalf of Morris Property Ltd by Construction Manager, Steve Flavell, and Office Manager, Trish Empson (who has been instrumental in the organisation of the Company’s training needs). Pictured here (centre) presenting the award is WHS Associate Director, Laura Mort.

Jake Edis of Edis Developments Ltd
Commendation for: High Standards of Site Management

Since being appointed site manager in 2017, Jake Edis has demonstrated his very competent managerial ability and commitment to operating a safe site for the family company, something that prompted praise from a visiting HSE inspector a couple of months ago.

Jake is pictured here again with WHS Associate Director, Laura Mort.

Hearty congratulations are extended to all our worthy award winners. May we thank you all for your efforts, and for so enthusiastically allowing WHS to work alongside you to help achieve these high standards.

Old First-Aid Supplies

A huge thank you to all our clients who have kindly responded to our request for old first-aid supplies. We have amassed a large suitcase-full already, but can always use more. So, don’t throw out-of-date first-aid supplies away – undeveloped countries are delighted to accept them if they are still wrapped and sterile.

Please can you either give any unused, but wrapped and sterile items, to your WHS consultant when you next meet, post them to us, or let Vicki in the office know that they are available to collect. They will all be going direct to a small nomadic clinic in Mongolia. Many thanks indeed in advance!

HSE NEWS

Proposals to Reduce Health Surveillance for Asbestos Work Dropped

The HSE proposals to reduce the legal frequency of medical checks for asbestos workers to 3 years has been dropped. The consolation conducted during late 2017 resulted in an overwhelming rejection of the proposed amendment to the Control of Asbestos Regs. Sense prevails! Asbestos is much too serious an issue to lower the standards.

A pertinent reminder here that any contractor carrying out low-key but NNLW (Notifiable Non-Licensed Work) is under a legal obligation to also undertake health surveillance for all workers carrying out those tasks. If you need further advice, please contact the WHS office as we have access to persons qualified to carry out health surveillance.

Corporate Manslaughter Considered for Didcot

A pre-inquest hearing into the deaths of four workers at Didcot Power Station in February 2016 heard that Corporate Manslaughter charges are being considered by the HSE against demolition contractor, Coleman & Co. Ltd., for gross negligence and other offences. The deaths resulted from the collapse of two of the four units in the boiler house.

The HSE consideration of the Corporate Manslaughter law (although no charges have yet been laid against the contractor) sends a message to the entire industry that senior management can, and will, be held accountable for serious transgressions of health & safety law.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Urgent Product Recall

B&Q has recalled two remote-controlled plug sets due to a potential fire risk; the sets were on sale in their stores between September 2014 until November 2017:

REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF SET TRIPLE SET                                                                                          Product barcode number: 5052931395033

REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF SET TWIN SET
Product barcode number: 4895130705675

The product label (batch codes will vary)

If you suspect you may have purchased or used one of these sets, B&Q advice is as follows:

  • Switch it off at the wall
  • Remove the plug
  • Return it to B&Q who will give a full refund

 

Site-Specific Risk Assessment are VITAL!

This really awful case clearly demonstrates just why we (and the HSE) keep going on and on and on about how vital it is to write site-specific risk assessments:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-41526211

As we have said so many times before, risk assessments are not just a paper exercise; they are required by law for a very good reason – they assess the issues, prioritise the risks and formulate controls to prevent those risks.
So why is it that contractors cannot see that risks vary according to the prevailing work environment – so a generic assessment alone is totally insufficient? And, yes, just changing the site name and date is still only a generic assessment!

In this particular case, you can clearly see from the photo that a site-specific assessment should have easily picked up the extreme risk of arcing; there should have been no room at all for error, and that error resulted in ruining a man’s life and livelihood.

SSiP Accreditation – Fees

SMAS Worksafe will be increasing its fees for SSiP accreditation, so do take note that the following apply from 2 April 2018 (all figures quoted ex-VAT):

Contractor: £220
Principal Contractor: £260
Designer & Principal Designer: £260
‘Mutual recognition’ (i.e. gaining SMAS on the back of CHAS, etc) £80

If your SMAS is up for renewal shortly, or you’re thinking of applying for accreditation through SMAS, make sure you get your application in well before the April deadline to save a little money.

SMAS still have favourable rates if you employ 5 or more people (including sub-contractors don’t forget) and are far easier to communicate with that some of the other SSiP providers. However, if you are a very small company (less than 5 employees in total), the following price comparisons may be useful:

CHAS (all disciplines)

Contractors:
1 employee: £174
2-4 employees: £199
5-15 employees: £299
16 and above employees: £369 – £629
‘Mutual recognition’ Contractors & Principal Contractors: £140 – £399

Designer & Principal Designer: £355 – £425

An extra fee of £60 – £120 applies to all hard-copy submissions (i.e. not submitted on-line)

Safe Contractor (all disciplines)

1 employee: £229
1-4 employees: £329
5-15 employees: £439
16 and above employees: £569 – £1099

All submissions must be on-line

Asbestos

Those of you who have received asbestos awareness training from us will be familiar with our doubts as to whether it’s possible for asbestos to be creeping into, not only imported construction materials, but also normal household products as has already happened in the U.S. and Australia…..including Peppa Pig crayons!!
http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/officeworks-pulls-crayons-from-shelves-amidst-asbestos-fears-20150911-gjkpac.html

WHS asks…is enough being done to check the contents of materials from places such as China where the use of asbestos is still perfectly legal? Australia is leading the way in stringently checking imported materials – but are we following suit to the degree required? It costs very little for a material sample to be analysed for possible asbestos content so, if you’re importing materials from outside the E.U, it may be as well to check.

And, on the domestic front, just look at this appalling case recently reported in the U.K:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5234379/Woman-cancer-caused-asbestos-gets-clear.html

Poor Danielle is thought to have ingested asbestos fibres from her teddy bear 20 years ago when she was 3 years old. Admittedly, this may then have occurred (however inexcusably) before the blanket ban on the import and use of all types of asbestos which came into effect in January 2000, but it begs the question…how many of these potentially lethal children’s toys are still in circulation?

Asbestos – Memorials

Asbestos-related deaths are so prevalent that some areas of the country have set up their own memorials to highlight the issue and to ensure their deceased loved-ones are never forgotten. For example:

  • Clydesdale established Clydesdale Action on Asbestos many years ago and holds a memorial service every April
  • Rochdale erected an International Asbestos Memorial opposite the Town Hall; Rochdale has been particularly hard hit as asbestos-based products were manufactured in the area.

 

Asbestos – Fake RPE Filters

We have highlighted the serious issue of fake PPE before – it has now come to light that there may be fake RPE (respiratory protective equipment) filters out there, something that would have very severe repercussions if they are being relied upon to protect against asbestos (or any other types of) dusts.

Always make sure that you purchase all your PPE and RPE from reputable suppliers. Never cut corners to save a few pounds; it doesn’t really make sense now, does it?

Dusts

And while we’re on the subject of exposure to ‘dusts’…

Principal Contractor, MY Construction & Carpentry, has been fined £40,000 plus costs for allowing workers on a refurbishment site to be exposed to Respirable Crystalline Silica (‘RCS’) found in brick dust. Workers were found to be dry-cutting bricks to shape a bay window surround; work had not been properly planned or assessed and workers had been given no information about the hazards of inhaling brick dusts.

It’s astonishing that, in this day and age, main contractors still flaunt the law. This is not a question of over-zealous legal requirements; laws such as this (COSHH) are there to protect everyone from harm. Well over 1 million workers are at risk of inhaling RCS within the construction industry alone and, although figures are difficult to verify, it has been estimated that up to 50 double-decker bus loads of people die every year from respiratory diseases – so any company that blatantly disregards the need to dust control, deserves everything it gets from the legal system.

Dust Prevention – Face-Fit Testing

ELIMINATE – REDUCE – CONTROL (the essence of the legal ‘general principles of prevention’)

Prevention of dusts is the key; good design (etc) can help ELIMINATE the need for cutting, shaping, abrading, etc. on site.

If that’s not possible, contractors must REDUCE airborne dusts by dust suppression or capture (damping down, filter attachments, etc)

A reminder that the use of RPE (respiratory protective equipment – dust masks) is only a CONTROL measure so is naturally (and in law) a last resort only, or an additional safeguard. And that, every time RPE is used, there is a legal; requirement to have face-fit testing (FFT) as we have stressed many, many times before.

An important note on ‘press-to-check’ masks

There is a dangerous misconception within the industry that the commonly used ‘press-to-check’ masks don’t require face-fit testing; this is NOT true.

The press-to-check essentially creates a vacuum; this is negative pressure when the filters are checked when first worn but this weakens over time, meaning that the mask may not fit as it should after a couple of hours (or less).

The press-to-check facility, although it does provide a valuable additional feature, is a marketing tool. It is being misinterpreted and now there is widespread belief that face-fit is not required. As most reputable RPE manufacturers stress on their websites (e.g. 3M), face-fit testing is still required by law for this type of mask.

AND FINALLY

A snap-shot of recent prosecutions:

Asbestos

  • Utility services company, IQA Operations Group Ltd was fined for exposing four workers to asbestos during electrical works in a block of flats. The company had not questioned that the asbestos survey did not include the door transoms which resulted in drilling through asbestos during the fitting of new electrical cables to each of the 44 flats.

This serves as a warning to all electrical engineers; you do run a real risk of disturbing asbestos if there isn’t an in-depth refurbishment survey covering the affected area/s, something that happens all too often. It doesn’t matter that it may be ‘5 minutes work’ to drill a hole through a door frame, a panel or a skirting board, but ignoring the possibility of there being asbestos within will have repercussions.

Plant & vehicle segregation

  • CAV Aerospace Ltd was fined a total of well over £800,000 after a worker suffered horrendous injuries when he fell into the path of a MEWP; he was dragged along the floor for the machine’s length before it came to a stop. Where were the safe systems and segregated walkways?

 

Vibration

  • Charter Housing Association Ltd was fined a total of almost £110,000 after exposing maintenance workers to uncontrolled hand-arm vibration. Six workers have developed symptoms of early-stage HAVS.

 

Public protection

  • Martin McColl Ltd (a chain of convenience stores) and contractor, JMS Retail Concept Ltd, were fined a totals of well over £600,000 and £40,000 respectively after two elderly members of the public tripped and fell on separate occasions, both suffering broken bones, during the construction of a ramp in a Powys store.

 

Management liability

  • Both a construction company, House Design & Build Ltd, and its project manager, Neil Crow, were fined totals of over £100,000 and £15,000 respectively for multiple breaches of health & safety law. The prosecution resulted from HSE visits to two sites; there had been no accident.

 

Sole trader liability

A misconception has crept into UK industry that sole traders are no longer liable for health & safety failings and won’t be prosecuted. As these cases demonstrate, this is not true.

  • Self-employed tree worker, Perry Regan, was fined over £2,000 and sentenced to 20 months in prison (suspended for 18 months) after a branch he cut fell on a person helping below, resulting in severe head injuries.
  • Self-employed builder, David Guymer, was fined a total of almost £55,000 and ordered to complete 300 hours community work after installing an oven in a domestic property but without Gas Safe accreditation or safe systems. The result was an explosion that injured two occupants.
  • Self-employed (but unregistered) gas fitter, Robert Ruszczak was sentenced to 12 months in prison after serving five gas appliances in a hotel and restaurant and leaving them in an unsafe state.

 

Just because you’re a sole trader, doesn’t mean that you don’t affect other people. So, in WHS’s humble opinion, it’s up to you whether you kill yourself or not (although we’d much rather you didn’t!), but if you injury others, you will be held liable.

And the last word is, as usual….work at height

  • BBC Studioworks Ltd was fined a total of well over £200,000, Elstree Film Studios Ltd £55,000 and Elstree Light & Power Ltd £69,000 after a contractor fell 10 metres and sustained life-changing multiple injuries during a de-rigging operation. No edge protection had been placed around hatches.

 

WHS is working for you; help us to help you.
Our aim is to keep people safe and to keep your company working.
To contact WHS, ring: 01952-885885

Now that asbestos has moved a lot closer to the forefront of our minds in the construction industry as well as other industries, Asbestos Awareness training is a must for all who may come into contact with it during their working day.

Whether your a builder, electrician, plumber or install blinds, do you know where you could find asbestos?

For just £65 + VAT per person, attending our UKATA Asbestos Awareness course will give you the knowledge you need to ensure you’re aware of the basics and don’t get caught out.

12th January 2018
£65 + VAT per person
9am – 12.30pm
Held at our offices in Telford – address here

Please contact Vicki on 01952 885885 or vicki.brown@wenlockhs.co.uk to book your place.

 

This UKATA course that we are offering for sale, is sold under license from SB Asbestos Management Ltd who is the UKATA approved Professional Member UK1163A, and this company is not a UKATA Professional Member for this classification of training