CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19
This is a shortened newsletter to enable us to transmit our latest status to all clients as quickly as possible.
As at time of writing, the country is still functioning as best it can, in light of the instructions given by the Government and Public Health England in relation to Coronavirus (Covid-19) e.g:
Wenlock Health & Safety, like almost all those working in the construction industry, are still operating as normal and we will do so as long as we possibly can to keep the economy moving – we certainly want to avoid a repeat of the devastation caused to the construction industry by the 2008 economic crash.
Rest assured we have already taken steps to protect ourselves and our clients during inspections and meetings, and we ask for your co-operation in helping to reduce the risk of virus transmittal as far as possible:
Don’t forget that as long as construction sites remain open, the risk of accidents has not diminished, and if anything, it may increase at this time due to distractions or adjustments in working practices. The law still applies and health and safety must still be considered outside of the risks posed by Covid-19. The HSE will still investigate and prosecute as necessary. Wenlock Health & Safety continue to support you so that we can all work together for both the health and safety of our personnel and for the longer term good of our industry.
Please be aware that Wenlock Health & Safety are not qualified to give any medical advice on Covid-19 beyond the comprehensive advice given and continually updated on the Government and Public Health England websites. However, our general approach as detailed above can act as a sensible basis for your own risk-based protocol. Please ensure that instructions are formulated and transmitted urgently to all personnel.
One last important point, both local and national media are continuing to issue a huge amount of information on a daily basis and can be useful resources. A warning though, do NOT listen to advice given on social media. For whatever reason, there is a lot of misunderstanding out there and a lot of deliberately misleading information, so following that type of advice could well be disastrous. Use trusted sources only please.
So, the current programme of training courses still stands until further notice and the forthcoming dates and fees are as follows. Please contact Vicki at Wenlock Health & Safety Ltd (WHS) on 01952 885885 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Note that all courses are held at our offices in Jackfield, Telford. However, if any organisation requires attendance by 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 and agree costs.
All course fees below include tea & coffee and all course literature. However, lunch is included on some, but not all, courses; it is important to check the details below.
Forthcoming dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses are as follows:
Duration: 1 day (6 hours)
Cost: £85 + VAT per person
Lunch is provided
WHS can also run the full 4-day First Aid at Work course for companies who need additional skills and wish to send 4+ candidates; contact Vicki for fees. However, do initially discuss first aid requirements with your own WHS consultant to assess whether the 4-day course is actually appropriate for your circumstances.
IOSH Managing Safely
Duration: 3 days (Tuesday to Thursday)
Cost: £395 + VAT per person
Lunch is provided
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 attendance is vital, not only because it affects the candidate personally, but also because it can seriously affect others. As highlighted in the previous newsletter, because of CITB rules, we may be forced to cancel a course ON THAT MORNING if some candidates don’t turn up.
Forthcoming course dates are as follows; all CITB course fees include lunch.
Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS)
Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
Cost: £495 + VAT per person
Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) Refresher
Duration: 2 days
Cost: £265 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)
Duration: 2 days
Cost: £230 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) Refresher
Duration: 1 day
Cost: £160 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
CITB 1-Day Health & Safety Awareness
Duration: 1 day
Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Following on from the item in the last newsletter regarding the revised HSE stance on welding and welding fume, the following HSE website provide further appropriate information and must be viewed by all companies involved in or commissioning welding at their premises:
New guidance https://bit.ly/2WxHt3b
HSE programme of inspections https://bit.ly/3a9smks
BOHS (the British Occupational Hygiene Society) has also issued a wealth of excellent information about welding controls and employee protection; guidance documents and management documents are freely downloadable from the foot of its ‘Breathe Freely’ site: https://www.breathefreely.org.uk/WST/
Leaving the EU
The following HSE press release explains how health & safety will NOT be affected in the near future by Britain’s departure from the European Union. It is a total misconception that we can depart from current legislation because it’s ‘European law – it is not. All health & safety laws followed due passage from our Parliament and are, thus, retained in their entirety until Parliament decides otherwise and follows due process.
LEAVING THE EU
From the 1st February the UK is no longer a member of the European Union.
During this transition period your duty to manage risk in the workplace will not change. Good health and safety is good for business and we want to help industry to manage risk well and proportionately. This will help maintain standards and keep people healthy and safe.
We will keep you updated on what you need to know during the transition period.
You can find out more on our Brexit webpages.
Importance of Contractor Management on Site
WHS continually stresses the importance of PC site management controlling ALL contractors on site and not assuming that the contractors’ own supervision if sufficient. The role of Principal Contractor has been enshrined in law and its functions clearly defined since 1994 (CDM of course). The PC has the legal duty to manage the WHOLE site, and that must include ALL contracts, sole traders, utilities, etc. Programmes MUST look at the total picture and NO contractor can be put at risk by the tasks being carried out by another.
Sadly, we see this misinterpreted or ignored time and time again; it is NOT sufficient to trust the contractors to control site risks themselves as they will only be looking at their own task, NOT the total picture. We came across a recent good example of this that sadly resulted in a fatality; refer to the Balfour Beatty safety alert: https://bit.ly/2U0xYHZ
Please take another look at your site management arrangements. Are your staff suitably qualified to control all works on that site, do they have enough time and resources to do so, is there sufficient engagement and pre-task information to be sure contractors are competent? If the answer to any of those questions is ‘no’, then the role of Principal Contractor cannot be carried our correctly and you risk lives and ultimate prosecution.
Changes to CITB Testing
The following has been issued by CITB and, as it contains vital information, employers and candidates should take note. We quote directly from CITB:
On Wednesday 1 April 2020, we will be changing the price of the CITB HS&E test(s) to £21.50 per test, and making some important changes to the CITB ID Policy.
Revised ID Policy
Price change (£21.50)
Employment & Coronavirus
Although the laws are written to protect employees from unwarranted dismissal, etc., we are living in extraordinary times and employers and employees will have to work very much as one to enable companies to survive. Even the experts summoned to appear on TV and radio are having to admit that normal rules may well have to be bent to ensure the survival of businesses and livelihoods.
So the message is, yes we at WHS can help with employment law, but we should all do our best to be as understanding as possible because both employers and employees will be under huge strain.
There has been a huge upsurge in the use of so-called ‘smart’ devices – home appliances, such as CCTV, lighting, heating, curtains, etc operated by Apps from mobile phones. Whilst these devices are undoubtedly a massive aid to home security and comfort, they come with a warning.
Many home appliances such as washing machines, tumble driers, cookers and microwaves come with a manufacturers’ warning that they should not be operated whilst the home is unoccupied or overnight because of the potential risk of fire. Indeed, many serious fires and loss of life have occurred for this very reason. So, before you’re tempted to buy a ‘smart’ appliance of this type, just ask yourself, do you really need to put it on when you’re not at home, can’t it wait for safety’s sake?
With sincere thanks to the HSE for all photographs
Firstly, here are the statistics for prosecutions during February 2020, and they make sobering reading:
So, before you think of cutting corners or preventing WHS from visiting your sites, just ask yourself – which type of risk would be more prevalent on site, the risk of being killed or seriously injured in an accident and the demise of your company or the spread of a virus that can be controlled with commonsense?
Just a small sample of recent prosecutions follow:
SPIE Ltd was fined £160,000 after pleading guilty to a truly appalling accident. A power pole delivered to a site in Scotland was left unsecured at the top of an embankment; it rolled down the embankment, trapping and killing a 12 year old child against a fence. A moment’s carelessness cost the life of a child.
The risks of timber frame construction are obvious; however, the risks in this case were exacerbated as the extension was to an occupied elderly people’s home. Clearly the risks should have been recognised and managed at design stage and the prosecution of the Principal Designer reflects that.
An asbestos survey highlighted the presence of ACMs which should have been removed by specialists before refurbishment began; with a total disregard for their own safety or that of their workers and the public, the ACMs were stripped by both B&S BM Ltd and Cutmore himself!
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
Get in touch today to discuss
your Health & Safety needs.