- Safety in Industry
- Fire Safety
- Quality Management
Forthcoming dates and fees for courses are as follows; all courses are held at the WHS training rooms. 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
9, 10 & 11 July (Tuesday – Thursday)
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)
26 June 2019
25 July 2019
21 August 2019
23 September 2019
25 October 2019
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)
15 August 2019 (Monday)
Cost: £75 + VAT per person
Lunch and refreshments included
The first of these courses sold out immediately – so book early to avoid disappointment!
Premises Security – Perimeter Fencing
THIS IS A PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT ISSUE WITH SCHOOL SUMMER HOLIDAYS APPROACHING
There have been a number of recent accidents and prosecutions relating to poor site security, all of which were totally preventable and seemingly caused by sloppy premises management. Consequently, the HSE issued a safety alert last year specifically detailing the fundamental practices and precautions that are required to meet acceptable standards.
The alert relates to safety during construction work. However, there are principles within that apply:
It is therefore, pertinent to share the full text with our clients to ensure that all businesses are aware of how important public security is and what needs to be considered:
One of the main issue is lax security, predominantly poor standards of perimeter fencing. There can be no excuses; perimeter fencing must be, as an absolute minimum:
HSE inspectors will not fail to issue enforcement if they perceive risks to the public. So take another at your perimeter security NOW…then keep looking to ensure that it remains effective over time.
The HSE recently issued a safety alert concerning the use and maintenance of vertical lifting platforms which provide access between floors and are hydraulically or electrically powered.
These platforms typically operate at much slower speeds than conventional passenger lifts and, presumably to hasten operations or maintenance, the HSE has found the disabling of interlocking devices becoming all-too-common practice which has resulted, on several occasions, in workers falling down open lift wells or becoming trapped beneath platforms. For the full safety alert text refer to: https://bit.ly/2HMz5U7
We would remind ALL businesses, both in construction AND general industry, that the tampering with safety devices such as interlocks or guards is a serious breach of PUWER 1998 and will certainly result in enforcement should the HSE spot it, or prosecution if an accident results.
And a last HSE safety alert for this newsletter – the re-classification of welding fume, including mild steel, as a serious human carcinogen. Therefore, with immediate effect, the HSE is tightening up on control requirements and enforcement. For the full safety alert text refer to: https://bit.ly/2Wig1qe
In the health & safety packs we issue to our clients, we now include a generic risk assessment for the use of compressed air. We have felt this necessary because of a horribly dangerous practice that seems be becoming more widespread, possibly spurred on by the poor example set by some DIY programmes on TV – that of cleaning dust off clothes using compressed air!
It is all too easy to resort to something that’s quick and easy when covered in dust or detritus – but this practice can be a killer as the pressure is so extreme that it can easily penetrate clothes and, of course, skin.
To illustrate the extreme danger, see what happened to a worker who was subject to totally unacceptable horseplay which resulted in severe internal injuries: https://dailym.ai/2YHVUPF
And, still worse, the same prank killed this worker: https://bit.ly/2w7JDIj
NEVER EVER DO THIS, OR ALLOW THIS TO BE DONE BY ANYONE ON YOUR PREMISES
Conway Chartered Surveyors was ordered to pay a householder £50,000 compensation and up to £90,000 towards court costs after they failed to spot Japanese knotweed at the London property. The surveyor reported that the property was “in excellent condition both internally and externally”. However, a year later, the owner’s gardener spotted the knotweed which then led to a £10,000 operation to properly eradicate the horribly invasive plant. Read the whole story on: https://bit.ly/2QyL4c1
We mention this case as it clearly demonstrates the absolute importance of ensuring that surveyors are properly qualified and competent in the field required. Many surveyors give the impression that they are competent in multiple fields, but this is not necessarily the case; their expertise is often limited and qualifications lacking, particularly in the field of asbestos.
When commissioning surveys, don’t take surveyors at face value; always, always check that they are properly competent within the field or fields required. If this isn’t done, you risk later problems (as with this case) or, worse still, life-threatening issues may have been missed (e.g. asbestos, legionella, other forms of contamination, vermin, ground instability, etc). Do feel free to contact Wenlock H & S for assistance.
And Competent Contractors – could this be any worse??!!
This was spotted very recently in the Wirral… how many breaches of the law can you spot?! And all in a completely unfenced publicly accessible garden area surrounding the flats. Unbelievable!!!
Can we remind ALL our clients that the safety of contract work is primarily YOUR responsibility. The law states that any business engaging any other business is responsible for ensuring the appointed party is adequately competent – and this is particularly true for any form of construction.
So, if this dreadful situation had resulted in an accident (e.g. to a resident or passer-by), the engaging party (the landlord or management company) would have been held partly responsible. Check competence BEFORE engagement!
Trip Hazard – a Simple Solution
We all need to frequently plug in our mobiles to re-charge, and often (particularly in offices) this results in trip hazards with the only available sockets being near the floor. So how’s this for a very simple but ingenious solution?
To all designers who, don’t forget, have the duty to ‘design out’ or reduce even the more commonplace risks:
The Lisse range of plug sockets produced by Schneider Electrical not only looks good but vastly reduces the risk of trips by incorporating a small lip on which mobiles can sit snugly. Clever!
A Travel Warning
How many of us throw caution to the wind when we travel abroad and tend to accept situations that would most definitely be totally unacceptable at home? Because other countries, particularly those who are less developed, are lax with regard to health & safety, we (illogically) have a tendency to ignore hazards. But this can often result in serious injury, disease or death.
In April, a young Shropshire couple died when the buggy they had hired to explore Santorini plunged 200 metres into a ravine: https://bit.ly/2ZqU3jq
Another young Shropshire couple died whilst just taking a taxi in Mauritius: https://bbc.in/2JWw2M6
And we probably all remember the tragic case of the two young children who died from carbon monoxide fumes when on holiday in Corfu: https://bit.ly/2WX82fo
But here’s another equally tragic example of why we should never let our guard drop when it comes to our health & safety, even if we are in the midst enjoying some well-earned R&R in a beautiful holiday destination. In April, the girlfriend of British backpacker, Jason Lee, was horrified when she heard ‘an almighty bang’ and saw him fall several storeys to his death from a roof terrace at an Airbnb in Guatemala. His body was flown back to the UK where an autopsy found that Jason had, in all probability, touched a live high-voltage cable which threw him from the terrace. The full story can be read on: https://bit.ly/2VRdaFx
At the risk of sounding like a spoil sport, do check out your accommodation, transport, food, and local hazards as much as you can before you travel – or, better still, travel with a reputable agency. Jason and his girlfriend opted for Airbnb which, naturally, would be governed by nothing more than local regulations – and in Guatemala, it could be assumed that safety standards would be non-existent.
If you like to organise your own trips, do as much homework beforehand as possible BUT ALSO check everything out at the destination before you commit yourself; don’t just accept what could be potentially dangerous situations just because you feel obliged to. Don’t let that dream holiday turn into a nightmare.
Is There True Gender Equality with Safety?
We have certainly progressed with gender equality in the workplace since the advent of the Health & Safety at Work Act in 1974. Our MD comments that, when she began working in the construction industry in1975, the only PPE available to her was size 7 safety shoes (she’s a size 4 and needed safety boots, not shoes!) and size 40 overalls (she is a 34!).
Now, we are able to choose from a huge variety of, often very stylish, PPE so seem to have that problem sorted. However, as the excellent Guardian Weekend article of 23 February 2019 clearly demonstrated, the world is still ‘built for men’ to the extent that women’s safety is still at risk.
The article entitled ‘The deadly trust about a world built for men – from stab vests to car crashes’ is shocking and certainly raises awareness that we still have a long way to go, not just regarding political correctness, but far more importantly reducing risks to women both in the workplace and our general lives. The opening sentence makes reference to crash-test dummies mimicking the average male build which typifies the problem, with one police officer having to resort to surgery to be able to wear body armour which is shocking!
The article is worth reading as it makes you realise just how deeply gender inequality still exists within the basics of life: https://bit.ly/2twVa2s
With sincere thanks to the HSE for all photographs
As always, we highlight below the still unacceptable number of fatalities and injuries resulting from falls from height. But we start with two high-risk issues that are still not being taken seriously throughout UK industry:
Health issues – COSHH
The adhesive was found to contain dichloromethane; therefore, Altro was found not to have ensured so far as reasonably practicable that the product supplied was safe for use. T Brown Group had not properly assessed the risks of using this product in an enclosed space, nor had they supplied appropriate respiratory protection (RPE); the victim’s mask was found to be totally ineffectual.
Carpet fitters, floor layers, other similar trades who inevitably use potentially hazardous products, and contractors who sub-contract to them, still tend not to take the risks of fumes and vapours seriously. Most products these days will be safe for limited use provided there is good ventilation and appropriate RPE – but we continually see workers who fail to take even basic precautions such as opening a window to provide a through-draft.
COSHH assessments are LAW; they MUST be carried out to reflect the way a company typically works with the products AND must also allow amendment on-site pre-start to ensure that any unusual circumstances are taken into account. If companies fail to do this, and to provide appropriate control measures, they risk killing their own workers AND occupants. It is vital to check contractor competence before engagement to safeguard your own staff.
Evidently, Farnell had failed to provide measures to prevent structural collapse, nor had he secured the site against entry by others. Clearly, Farnell was not competent in safe demolition or compliant site management and this case is a demonstration of why it is SO important, and a legal requirement, to ensure appropriate competence both in terms of skills and health & safety systems.
As we’ve said above about others, NEVER take contractors at face value; always ask for sound evidence of experience and capabilities. And don’t forget, Wenlock H&S is here to help; use us before it’s you or your staff who gets hurt!
Work at height
How many more of these incidents have to happen before employers realise that these risks are very real indeed?
The risks to the health & safety of workers apply just as much to cleaners and other workers at height as to construction – AND SO DOES THE LAW!!!
This case is all the more disturbing because it took an employee to be concerned enough to ‘blow the whistle’, after which it became necessary for him to take the Trust to a tribunal to win his case for unfair dismissal. The Trust’s behaviour with this, as supposed guardians of the public’s health, was shameful.
Inspections & maintenance!!!
Another example of how the HSE will not hesitate to prosecute, even without incident, where there is a serious breach of legislation.
The investigation found no lock-off procedure or isolation mechanism in place – both of which are, not only required by law, but are common sense!! These horrendous and life-changing injuries (photo right) could have been so easily avoided.
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.