- Safety in Industry
- Fire Safety
- Quality Management
Forthcoming dates and fees for courses for the remainder of 2019 are as follows. Please contact Vicki at Wenlock Health & Safety Ltd (WHS) on 01952 885885 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book a course.
Note that all courses will be 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.
IOSH Managing Safely
Duration: 3 days
Dates: 22, 23 & 24 October (Tuesday – Thursday)
Cost: £395 + VAT per person
Lunch is provided
Forthcoming dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses for the remainder of 2019 (to enable you to plan well ahead) are as follows.
Duration: 1 day Emergency First Aid (6 hours)
21 August 2019
23 September 2019
21 October 2019 (please note that this date has changed)
26 November 2019
18 December 2019
Cost: £75 + VAT per person
Lunch is NOT provided
First Aid for Mental Health
Duration: 1 day Level 2 RQF (6 hours)
2 October 2019 (Wednesday)
Cost: £75 + VAT per person
Lunch is provided
This is proving to be a very popular course. Both previous courses sold out immediately so please book as soon as possible to be sure of securing places.
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.
We have had serious issues recently where CITB themselves refused to issue certificates when a course had, unavoidably, fallen below their minimum number of attendees because several candidates backed out at the very last minute. WHS did not cancel the course because we didn’t want to let the remaining candidates down – but it seems that, in doing our best for the candidates, we were then put in the really difficult position of having to explain to the remaining candidates why they had been refused their certificates. CITB is meant to be working for the industry, not against it!! But this issue won’t go away so….
Attendance is vital
– not only because it affects you personally, but also because it can seriously affect others. In future, we may be put in the awful position of having to cancel a course ON THAT MORNING if some candidates don’t turn up
Forthcoming course dates until the end of 2019 are as follows; all CITB course fees include lunch.
Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
6, 13, 20, 27 September & 4 October 2019 (Fridays)
11, 18, 25 November, 2 & 9 December 2019 (Mondays)
Cost: £495 + VAT per person
Duration: 2 days
5 & 6 August 2019 (Monday & Tuesday)
7 & 8 October 2019 (Monday & Tuesday)
4 & 5 December 2019 (Wednesday & Thursday)
Cost: £265 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Duration: 2 days
19 & 20 August 2019 (Monday & Tuesday)
16 & 17 October 2019 (Wednesday & Thursday)
11 & 12 December (Wednesday & Thursday)
Cost: £230 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Duration: 1 day
30 August 2019 (Friday)
Cost: £160 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Duration: 1 day
9 September 2019 (Monday)
7 November 2019 (Thursday)
Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
WHS Lobbying of Your Behalf
Many people don’t realise just how much work WHS does on our customers’ behalf behind the scenes. Because we all have so much experience working within the wider world of the construction industry, we understand the complexities and the pit-falls. And we are passionate about getting a better deal for our customers, whether this relates to Government legislation, industry-related guidelines, or client practices. Hence, we are is constant touch with organisations such as HSE, CITB, SSiP (who oversee CHAS, Safe Contractor, SMAS, etc), FSB, local authorities and other influential client bodies, etc, and we lobby hard to put right what we perceive as the wrongs within the health & safety side of our industry.
So be assured that your feedback and complaints do not fall on deaf ears! If you have anything at all that you feel is unfair, unreasonable or unjust within current nationwide or local systems, do ring us and we’ll do our best to bring it to the attention of those on high – we don’t always win, but can make serious waves!!
Your Documents Are YOUR Responsibility!!
As many of you will know by now, we have recently made some significant changes to the contents of your health & safety packs as they go through their annual review and reissue. The cover letters have drawn attention to this and to the need to destroy all previous documents and templates to prevent errors.
We would like to take this opportunity to respectfully remind all our customers that the accuracy of the texts and the suitability of the templates provided are your responsibility. Yes, we ask relevant questions before we issue and re-issue documents. However (as the HSE will concur), the acceptance of the accuracy and suitability of these documents and templates is down to you, our customer.
In the same way as the purchase of a piece of equipment is the responsibility of the buyer/user to assess suitability, so it is the responsibility of the buyer and user of our services to assess the suitability of what’s provided. So please read everything thoroughly and, if there are any issues at all with the texts or suitability of what’s provided by us as your health & safety advisors, please do ring us immediately.
Please discuss anomalies now, not once it’s been picked up by the HSE or others; if something’s wrong, it needs to be put right. Do feel free to pick up the phone at any time to discuss your concerns; we are here to listen and to help.
However, equally, if we have provided texts and templates that need to be followed to satisfy the law – it’s your responsibility to do so!
The subject of legionella is now heavily in the HSE spotlight. This is probably because of the significant rise in the number of cases over recent years. Readers of this newsletter who either install or design water systems, water-based HVAC systems, water-based landscaping features, etc., or occupy/own buildings within which there are such systems, should take note of the legal requirements as laid down in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 and the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice, L8.
A wealth of information, together with free downloadable guidance (including L8), can be found on:
Because of the general lack of understanding related to this issue WHS will soon be offering legionella awareness training. Please contact the WHS office (01952-885885) for details.
The Cost of NOT Doing Things Properly!
Apart from the possibility of killing or causing serious harm to employees, and the threat of resultant prosecution or enforcement, WHS would gently remind our customers that the HSE charge per hour for any work they carry out in connection with breaches of legislation, including just a telling-off!
And the cost has recently risen to a staggering £154 per hour! Costs for seemingly small transgressions can very quickly escalate and, before you know it, the bill can rise to hundreds or thousands of pounds.
So, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: just weigh up the cost of employing our services to spot the problems before the HSE against the potential bill for not doing so. It makes sound economic sense to use the services available to you from the health & safety advisors you have engaged.
Rescue Plans for Work at Height
In the last newsletter, we again covered the dangers of working with Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) of various types. Much legislation these days (including CDM and the Work at Height Regs) require thorough emergency rescue assessment and planning – and, of course, when we’re talking about work at height in its many forms, rapid rescue can often mean the difference between life and death.
It must be asked of ALL companies working at significant height for any reason at all, whether related to construction or not, as to what their emergency arrangements are and what has been done to ensure that all workers know what to do. Emergency planning is a legal requirement for a very good reason; those seconds are vital so it’s no good trying to find out what to do once the emergency has happened.
IPAF, the industry authority on powered access equipment, has a wealth of information about rescue plans on their website: https://www.ipaf.org/en/resource-library/rescue-persons-mewps
including the link to a very valuable guidance document of rescue from MEWPs: https://bit.ly/2MGWuKW
And, if you don’t know the answers to the questions raised above, ring WHS urgently!!
Roller Shutter Doors
In a previous newsletter, we highlighted the case of a young lady who was crushed to death when she became trapped in a roller shutter door as it opened. Sadly, a similar case resulted in another fatality, but this time also in a prosecution:
BS Graves (Electrical) Ltd was fined £25,000 plus £6,500 in costs because, not only was the work that the company had carried out some years ago found to be wired incorrectly, but inspections the company had undertaken only a month previously had failed to check that the safety sensors operated correctly and, thus, the fault had not been identified.
We must stress again that ALL inspections, whether in-depth as these should have been or the frequent basic visual inspections required by PUWER, MUST be carried out properly and by someone who is both competent and trustworthy. Anyone (company or individual) putting their name to an inspection would most certainly be held accountable if found to be insufficient, even if an accident hadn’t yet occurred.
We have stressed and re-stressed over the years, the importance of assessing the vibration levels on all your hand-held and hand-controlled tools, and also highlighted the HSE’s on-going campaign to ensure satisfactory vibration assessments are carried out as required by law.
Since 2011, there has been a 69% increase in successful claims against employers for HAVS; in 2014 alone, there were 44,000. The costs to insurance companies of these cases obviously result in rising premiums, something that then affects all of us. And it’s a sobering fact that, for every £1 recovered in insured costs, employers will actually spend £10 covering uninsured costs – so it doesn’t make economic sense to ignore the issue.
We also continually stress that, even though some employees may never be affected, others may well contract hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) with just short-term use if not adequately controlled. HAVS can be contracted in any industry that uses any type of vibration-producing equipment. Even equipment commonly in use at home (such as strimmers, food mixers, and hair-driers) can cause symptoms and, if remaining unchecked, eventually result in HAVS or similar debilitating conditions. To illustrate this point, just take a look at the photos on the next page.
The hands belong to a young lady called Emily who contracted serious HAVS at the age of 16 from the vibration produced from nothing more than road-bike racing. Needing to grip the handlebars tightly when riding over rough terrain accentuates the levels of vibration experienced. As a result, Emily had to give up a very promising road-racing career and suffers frequently, particularly when temperatures are low. These photos were taken after she’d spent just 5 minutes hanging out washing in her garden at 12 C.
Because she is passionate about preventing others suffering the same fate, Emily now works for industry specialists, Reactec, who offer a wide range of equipment to assess and monitor vibration dosages and nip the issue in the bud before it becomes a medical problem. Their systems are invaluable, particularly for those businesses and contractors whose work entails very frequent use of vibration-producing equipment. Product and contact details can be found on: https://www.reactec.com
Never forget that it is a legal requirement to safeguard your employees against all types of occupational harm. If you need advice or assistance, please contact the WHS office or consult the HSE website.
Although the spare time activities of employees do not fall under the jurisdiction of employers, it is always wise to have some idea as, what an employee does at home, may well impact on the health of that employee at work. For instance, if an employee has a second job, this may well result in tiredness and impact on his/her awareness. And, equally, if an employee is significantly exposed to vibration levels through activities outside of work (as above), this may severely increase the risk of contracting HAVS through work.
Although employers are not at liberty to pry into employees’ home lives, it is wise to explain to them the commonsense of disclosing out-of-hours activities where they may have an impact on occupational health.
And do get to know your employees so that you can gauge when something is amiss. If you suspect tiredness and other health symptoms, try to sensitively get to the bottom of exactly why this might be happening. With tiredness, it may be a serious personal issue where a sympathetic ear is needed, or as simple as a pay-rise to prevent the need for a second job!
Asbestos – the Reality of the Suffering
An interesting article about the suffering and deaths from asbestos in our local area: https://bit.ly/2YvONi0
Some of these deaths have resulted from the catastrophic fire at MOD Donnington in 1983 and this case does demonstrate clearly that the spread of airborne asbestos fibres can affect everybody in that area, not just those directly involved. Related to another catastrophic event, 9/11, (at the last count) 204 first responders who attended have died, many having been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and ALL first responders now have symptoms. But, perhaps even more shockingly, to date a total of 44,000 claims have been made by first responders and members of the public under a scheme set up to help sufferers from the 9/11 attacks; the effects of the disaster were extremely far-reaching and will continue to haunt for decades.
However, these high-profile cases fail to adequately detail the real extent of the day-to-day problem. The HSE estimates that around 5,000 people are still dying each year in this country alone from asbestos-related diseases (ref: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/asbestos.htm). And, of course, these include many who have not contracted these terrible diseases from their work but from activities at home (DIY, etc). So, whether at home or at work, if you don’t know what’s in it, don’t touch it!!!! It could cost lives, including yours!
It has become evident that break-ins and theft from sites is on the increase. Apart from the legal requirement to ensure that all sites are properly secured against trespass and potential injury to members of the public, it makes sound economic sense. And we at WHS have seen standards of site security in general dropping dramatically over recent years. With all the equipment and systems available to the contractor, there is no excuse for inadequately tight security, and also for not ensuring that items can be tracked and found if they are stolen. As above, every penny claimed on insurance results in increases in insurance costs and additional expenditure. It pays to pay for preventative measures.
And don’t forget that if, heaven forbid, a break-in results in injury, the contractor could also end up in court!
Site ‘Security’ For Small Works
Never forget that the legal requirement to ensure site ‘security’ against entry by others includes occupied domestic properties. The contractor is solely responsible for the safety of occupants and arrangements must therefore be made to ensure that no occupant (or visitor) enters the working area until work has ceased and it is made totally safe, and this can in some cases include overnight. In addition, always take extra care that arrangements are made and understood by vulnerable occupants such as the elderly, infirm or parents with young children.
Again, any accident ensuing from an unsecured working or unsafe area could result in the contractor being taken to court.
So, next time dear old Mrs. Smith asks you if she can make you a cup of tea whilst you are working in the kitchen, just politely decline and explain that it’s not very safe for her to enter just for the moment. It also may be wise to make sure she’s previously made a thermos of tea for herself to tide her over, or she may not be too happy!
Several of our larger contractors carry out their own ‘face-fit testing’ as is required under COSHH. The HSE’s guidance document covering the requirements of in-house face-fit testing, INDG 479 can be downloaded free of charge from: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg479.htm
However, to assist with a better understanding of how to both carry out effective testing and also safeguard the health of those being tested, the Fit2Fit organisation, which champions effective testing, has released several new guidance documents. These can be downloaded free of charge from:
and are essential reading for all persons carrying out face-fit testing
Keep a Track of Your Personnel – at ALL times
There are many aspects of our health & safety laws that are aimed at ensuring the wellbeing of employees during working periods times – whether at a place of work or whilst travelling. Consequently, the visitors’ book and a sound booking-in/out system for employees, together with a tracking or monitoring system for those working remotely, are essential items in any company’s health & safety systems. And enforcing their use is also essential, even if employees are ‘just popping out’ for whatever reason.
Over the years, we have come across several occasions where employees have left the workplace and this has gone unnoticed until there is a realisation that something is wrong. In one such very disturbing case, an employee had felt unwell and left the site unnoticed to sit in his car; he had not signed out so evidently nobody actually missed him for quite a while. Unfortunately, the poor man died whilst sitting in his car and, by the time he was found, it was too late to resuscitate him.
So, a plea to ALL businesses, both site and office-based, please ensure that sound booking in/out and monitoring systems are established to cover both employees and visitors, with responsibilities clearly laid down, trialled to gauge effectiveness, and their use strictly enforced.
Safety Alert – Defibrillators
The Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has issued a safety alert concerning uncertified defibrillators. The Medical Device Alert has been issued to all NHS and other medical bodies, but is just as relevant to any business who hold defibrillators and charities, etc., who have installed them for public use.
The alert relates to all Telefunken HR1 and FA1 defibrillators as their safety and performance is not verified by CE certification. Any of our customers who have their own defibrillators are asked to urgently check the make and model, and to remove any suspect defibrillators from use immediately. Our readers are also urged to tell others who they know have their own, or have installed public-use, equipment.
The RIDDOR Regulations includes the requirement to report to the HSE any ‘incapacities’ lasting longer than 7 days, including non-work periods. Note the term ‘incapacities’ rather than ‘injuries’.
The question has arisen as to whether, if someone who is very active in his/her normal occupation (e.g. a site worker) returns to work but on very light duties only because of the medical condition, this constitutes a RIDDOR ‘incapacity’ because he/she can’t carry out his/her normal tasks. As yet, we have not received a clear response from the HSE so the WHS policy remains – that this would be reportable under RIDDOR.
We say this because, as with any issue where there could be doubt (whether it relates to RIDDOR, the F10 Notification or any other such issue requiring judgement), it is always better to err on the side of caution and notify the HSE. Always better to over report than get caught out!
Highway Code – Important Rule Changes
The Department for Transport has recently made a few significant changes to sign rules for motorways. They relate to flashing red and amber signals. As these changes affect all drivers, please relay them to all staff. Details are made clear on:
HSE Law Poster – it is Law!!
Just a gentle reminder that the display of the HSE Law Poster ‘What You Need to Know’ at each place of work (both at Head Office AND on each site) is law. It is also a legal requirement to fill in the details of your health & safety personnel in the small white box so do make sure this is done – and kept up to date!
Where companies work from home or there is another valid reason why displaying the poster isn’t possible, then employees MUST, by law, each be given the equivalent – the HSE Law Leaflet.
All WHS customers are provided with the leaflets in their health & safety packs (refer to ‘Templates – Miscellaneous’); alternatively, they can be purchased or downloaded free of charge from:
No excuses!! One way or the other, ALL employees must be given the information; it is a legal requirement, and just remember that £159 per hour that can be levied by the HSE for any breaches!
With sincere thanks to the HSE for all photographs
We concentrate this time on prosecutions resulting from illegal work at height because, put simply, there are just so many of them! And so many of these cases involve falls through roof-lights or fragile roof materials; work at height includes falls THROUGH, as well as falls from, height; no exemptions.
We at WHS find it so disappointing that, despite having had over 14 years of the Work at Height Regulations (and more previously) which detail a very practical and sensible ‘hierarchy’ of control measures, some employers STILL demonstrate a blatant disregard for workers’ safety.
The HSE and courts are obviously totally fed up with this situation too, as demonstrated by the number of prison sentences, court orders and personal fines handed out these days.
Falls for height
This is a shocking case as Grice, Dixon and Mullen knew that the makeshift ladder to access the loft was damaged (indeed, they had actually used it themselves!) and that there was no fall protection to the stairwell. The photo says it all.
A pertinent reminder – use of harnesses as the only control measure is a last result in law; edge protection, nets and/or other solutions to prevent falls must be used where at all possible.
Just a gentle but very stern reminder: NO, domestic work is NOT exempt from health & safety legislation!!!!
Weiser has since gone into liquidation, again proving (as we continually warn) that ignoring the need for safe systems, not only risks the death of a worker, but also risks the death of the company as well.
And take note: No, the self-employed are NOT exempt from health & safety legislation, no matter what myths circulate; we ALL have a duty of care towards the safety of others.
AND SO IT GOES ON – HOW MANY OTHER WORKERS HAVE TO DIE OR SUSTAIN LIFE-CHANGING INJURIES FALLING FROM HEIGHT BEFORE EMPLOYERS TAKE THE RISKS SERIOUSLY AND IMPLEMENT THE CORRECT PROCTIVE MEASURES?
And lastly, a truly awful case…
A flat was undergoing refurbishment and, despite scaffolding being erected, the materials were being lifted externally using only a knotted rope and pulley. There was no exclusion zone, even though the scaffolding was erected over a public pavement and a restaurant, and no appropriate equipment with which to lift materials.
This case is shocking as a little girl has suffered so dreadfully purely because of the thoughtlessness of the contractor. But, even more shockingly, we at WHS are often see this type of blazé attitude towards public safety. Plan ahead and organise the safest way to do things – NOT the cheapest or quickest!
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.