WHS Price Increases
After pegging our prices for a number of years, we must now increase them a little to cover costs and maintain our level of service. Although these minor price increases took effect from 1 January 2019, our customers will obviously not be subject to the revised rates until their current annual contracts expire.
Many clients won’t be affected for many months to come so, for those as yet unaffected, our tip to you would be to use WHS as much as possible now rather than waiting till later! Ring the WHS office (01952-885885) to arrange necessary premises inspections, training, risk assessment reviews, etc now and you could save!
Training Courses – First Aid
Forthcoming 2019 dates for the WHS 1-day Emergency First Aid courses, held at WHS training rooms, are as follows; the fee is just £75 + VAT per person:
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 Safety Awards
As you will have read in our December newsletter, WHS tries to encourage good health & safety practice by issuing annual awards to those companies or individuals who have demonstrated clear and proven commitment to the well-being of their employees or colleagues. The winners have all received their awards and we are delighted to extend hearty congratulations to our worthy winners:
Awards for Commitment to Safety, for high standards of health & safety management throughout the many years of involvement with their employing companies, went to:
Awards for Continual Improvement, where company management have constantly strived to improve their H&S systems, went to:
The award for Commitment to Health & Safety Compliance went to
And, last, but by no means least, the award for Proactive Safety Management went to
Sincere congratulations to all our winners! They are all shining examples of how things should be done.
Two new documents have been added to our folio of templates to assist our customers further:
We are only too well aware that a significant number of our customers’ employees experience issues with dyslexia and similar conditions that inhibit the ability to read or use our documentation. We always strive to pay particular and sensitive attention to the needs of any individuals experiencing difficulties of any nature, and we are currently working with specialists to try and enhance our documentation.
In the meantime, please do be assured that we are completely sympathetic to any difficulties; anyone is free to tell us, in confidence if necessary, that they may need additional assistance or sensitivity. However, please note that it is particularly important that we are kept informed where courses require mandatory paperwork and tests; real problems occur if we learn this at a later stage.
Footnote: This also applies to workers with a poor grasp of the English language. If candidates cannot understand or write in English, or complete tests, we cannot accept them on courses as we don’t profess to be linguists!
Mis-Use of Lifting Platforms – SAFETY WARNING
The HSE have issued a serious safety warning concerning unauthorised use of unlocking keys for lifts or lifting platforms which has resulted in serious injury and a fatality; to quote:
Mis-use of these keys is extremely dangerous. Owners must ensure that unlocking keys are kept securely, and that staff are instructed not to use them unless trained and authorised to do so.
A care home was recently fined after an employee suffered significant injuries when a door safety locking mechanism had been overridden with a screwdriver. In another incident a shop assistant used an unlocking key to open the ground floor landing door of a lifting platform which then descended toward the people in the lift-well. The fatality in South Wales resulted in a significant prosecution, as reported in the national press.
Further information for lift and lifting platform owners is contained on the following Health and Safety Bulletin:
Vertical lifting platforms or lifts for people with impaired mobility – potential falls from height risks to employees and members of the public from over-riding door locking safety devices
The LEIA (Lift and Escalator Industry Association) website can be accessed here.
Free HSE Event
The HSE is holding a FREE day of seminars, exhibitions, discussions and workshops showcasing good health & safety practices on Wednesday 20 February 2019, at:
The Vox Conference Centre
The event is aimed at all types of businesses so, if you feel that it would be beneficial to attend (and we’re sure it will be), you can register on:
It’s that time of year again where the weather can be icy and unpredictable, and never forget that it is the responsibility of every business requiring outside work or business travel to safeguard their employees against subsequent harm.
Therefore, this is a timely but important reminder of the following necessities:
WHS includes a template for a Driving Policy in all health & safety packs (see the ‘Miscellaneous’ Templates folder) but we are very aware that few of our customers have established their own; you are strongly recommended to do so.
Do feel free to call the WHS if you have any issues regarding cold or inclement weather and individual responsibilities – and you can also refer to the generic risk assessment (also issued with health & safety packs) related to ‘winter working’.
Choosing Suitable Equipment for Work at Height
It’s often difficult to know which type of access equipment is appropriate or legally acceptable for work at height. It is every employer’s responsibility to ensure equipment chosen is suitable; therefore, helpful guidance in attached to this newsletter to point you in the right direction.
And a reminder that, as with every other health & safety issue, the law requires managers to assess risks and:
Therefore, the choice of equipment must be considered carefully – it is NOT acceptable to use the cheapest or whatever is readily available!
Digital Tax Systems – IMPORTANT
Although this is nothing to do with health & safety, we issued a warning in the December newsletter about the impending deadline for mandatory on-line issue of VAT returns, and we’re doing it again!
As from 1 April 2019, ALL VAT returns must be issued to HMRC through an approved on-line, real-time accounting package. For those who don’t out-source their accounting, Sage, Quick Books Online, Xero and other packages are available and approved by HMRC; ask your accountant to verify which package is appropriate for your particular needs.
Further information is available from GOV.UK:
DO NOT IGNORE THE APRIL 2019 DEADLINE;
PENALTIES WILL BE APPLIED FOR NON-CONFORMANCE OR VAT ERRORS
Responses to the new General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, have varied widely, with some companies doing their very best to comply in a practical way and others still blatantly ignoring the issue!
To help, and to put to bed some of the misconceptions, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has issued new and valuable guidance on the use of 3rd party data in accordance with GDPR; this can be freely downloaded from:
Our newsletters have regularly highlighted the issue of the harm that can be caused by lead. This has been brought to the forefront in the media only very recently after Canadian artist, Gillian Genser, was diagnosed with lead poisoning after spending years working with … sea shells! Unbelievable but true, take a look:
I don’t think any one of us would have suspected that the humble sea shell could be capable of such harm, but it’s worth reading the news items as they illustrate just how seriously lead can affect people. As it attacks the nervous system, Genser suffered severe effects such as immobility, disorientation, aches, pains, extreme anxiety and fatigue, all of which made her fatalistic and consider suicide before she was eventually diagnosed.
Her condition was probably unforeseeable, but this is cannot be said for any industry where working with lead is still commonplace. If this is you, make sure that you digest information given (by WHS, the HSE and others) and establish very sound controls – before it’s too late.
As always, the following prosecutions represent only a small percentage of those that successfully go through court each month, and this time we highlight some of the more ludicrous cases.
Work at height
Do some people actually have a death wish??!!
It beggars belief that, in this day and age, people risk life and limb to save money!! He was wearing a harness but couldn’t be bothered to ensure it was attached to an anchor point? And it must be said that the choice of equipment does NOT include harnesses unless this is totally unavoidable – and saving money does NOT make using proper equipment unavoidable!
Plant & vehicles
As a result of this accident, the HSE issued a specific warning about the use of fork-lifts and other plant or vehicles in pedestrian areas. 26 workers died last year as a result of being struck by moving vehicles, and the HSE emphasises the necessity of adhering to the vehicle and transport safety advice and guidance, and legal requirements, given on its website:
WHS still continually sees similar accidents waiting to happen; business management must listen to the guidance given by our consultants to provide segregation – before someone gets seriously hurt or killed.
Never walk within 4 metres of any moving vehicle or plant; be sure that the driver has stopped and knows you are there before you come closer.
Make eye contact; use thumbs up to be sure.
As with ALL work equipment, no maintenance of any sort is to be undertaken until the equipment is completely switched off or isolated. Not only is this law – it’s commonsense!
This case was clear cut as the distributor was operating within the UK, but one has to wonder what substances are creeping into the UK undetected via the net. As an example, we have recently found nail products (potentially fake but marked with a well-known brand) containing formaldehyde. So do be warned and, as we’ve said before, don’t buy from eBay or uncontrolled marketplaces; only buy from trusted manufacturers and distributors.
NON-COMPLIANCE TO HEALTH & SAFETY LAW WILL RESULT IN ENFORCEMENT OR PROSECUTION
AND, FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY, RISKS KILLING OR INJURING SOMEONE
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.