- 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
Dates: 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)
Dates: 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!
Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
Dates: 28 June, 5, 12, 19 & 26 July 2019 (Fridays)
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
Dates: 17 & 18 June 2019 (Monday & Tuesday)
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
Dates: 12 & 13 June 2019 (Wednesday & Thursday)
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
Dates: 16 August 2019 (Friday)
Cost: £160 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Duration: 1 day
Dates: 29 July 2019 (Monday)
9 September 2019 (Monday)
7 December 2019 (Thursday)
Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
All CITB course fees include lunch.
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 Security – 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 site management. Consequently, the HSE issued a safety alert last year specifically detailing the fundamental practices and precautions that are required to meet acceptable standards.
For the full text, which must be read, understood and adhered to by all construction site management, refer to: http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/ladders-and-scaffold-security.htm
The main issue is lax site security, predominantly poor standards or perimeter fencing. Contractors are totally responsible under CDM for site security; CDM 2015 Reg.18(2) states:
“Where necessary in the interests of health and safety, a construction site must, so far as is reasonably practicable, and in accordance with the level of risk posed … be fenced off.”
Obviously, where works are taking place within the public realm (over footpaths, on occupied flats, in the domestic environment, etc), the likelihood of trespass is extremely high and therefore the ‘level of risk’ mentioned in CDM and expected standards of risk prevention are correspondingly extremely high. There can be no excuses; perimeter fencing must be, as an absolute minimum:
The HSE will not fail to issue enforcement if CDM Reg.18(2) appears to have been breached so take another at your perimeter security NOW…then keep looking to ensure that it remains effective throughout the works.
However, there are other issues relating to fencing that need to be assessed in relation to public safety, mainly preventing trip hazards and fencing stability.
Where temporary fencing panels (typically Heras) are unavoidably used in or immediately next to public walkways, the feet will pose a trip hazard if placed in the traditional way at right angles to the panels. The HSE recommend turning the feet in line with the panels; however, this then poses the very real risk of instability.
Contractor, Fadil Adil, was fined a total of £22,000 after a 91 year old woman suffered broken bones when unstable Heras panels fell on her. HSE Inspector Bernardine Cooney said: “The law clearly states that all temporary works, including fences and hoardings, are properly designed, constructed and maintained by competent people to ensure they are safe.”
The HSE stresses that “The fence line must be double clipped and if necessary, braces are to be used to aid stability, particularly for areas of uneven ground to minimise the risk of the fence panel falling over. In the case where the fence panels are erected in a long line, braces or triangular sections are to be installed” (WHS emphasis)
And don’t overlook delivery! Even safety during the delivering of the temporary fencing, which is obviously the first operation on any site, is the responsibility of site management. Do make sure the panels are off-loaded and temporarily stored away from pubic walkways, and stack them safety to avoid them slipping or snagging passers-by.
Site Security – Ladders
The second main issue highlighted in the HSE safety alert is that of the security of the scaffold itself.
All contractors and scaffolders must be aware that all working platforms must be erected in such a way as to prevent public access. Site boundary fencing must sufficiently contain the scaffolding to prevent trespassers (particularly children who will fail to see the extreme danger of climbing onto the scaffold) being able to reach ladders, platforms, poles, etc. Never allow overhang beyond or very close to the site boundary, and ensure that all means of shinning up and onto the scaffold (e.g. trees, walls, pillar boxes, etc as highlighted above) are also included well within the perimeter fencing to prevent opportunistic access. As above, the contractor will be liable for any injury resulting from preventable trespass.
In addition, and this is particularly important when the site involves a domestic situation or where scaffold is erected in a public area and cannot be adequately fenced off (e.g. scaffolding over a public footpath):
However, if ladder guards are used, they MUST consist of a metal plate:
To illustrate the point, the HSE safety alert includes a photo of unacceptable practice. It is clear to see that the ladder guard is far too narrow to prevent little feet getting a foothold to one side of the plate, particularly as it would actually be possible to move the plate further to the right.
And here is an illustration of what can happen if contractors DON’T adhere to this advice. Westdale services Ltd was recently fined a total of over £182,000 after a 12 year old boy was able to gain access to scaffolding to a block of flats by placing his feet either side of an inadequate ladder guard and fell 10 metres to the ground, sustaining very serious life-changing injuries.
Sloppy site management almost caused the death of this young lad; he survived, albeit with horrendous injuries, but many do not. We repeat:
the contractor is ALWAYS responsible for the safety of the public
Site Security – could it be any worse??!!
This was spotted very recently in the Wirral…
We’ll leave this to you – how many breaches can you spot?! And all in a completely unfenced publicly accessible garden area surrounding the flats.
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.
Changes to the CITB Touch Screen Test – IMPORTANT
Following on from the changes to the CITB HS&E (touch screen) test that we highlighted in the April 2019 newsletter, CITB have been working hard to ensure that the new test puts the safety of our British Construction Industry first.
Do be aware that the new test comes into force on 26 June 2019 and the changes to the test format are significant. Therefore, those of you who are booked or about to book a test MUST make sure you have the correct test revision material. Refer to the information in the two enclosures with this newsletter (one of which is in poster format to bring the changes to the attention of your workforce) and on the CITB website:
We thought you might also like to know that we at WHS have been working alongside CITB in the build up to the changes to help ensure the test is far more meaningful (i.e. knowledge is retained rather than just learnt by rote for the test) and user-friendly (i.e. questions are more straightforward). Our link with CITB is set to become longer-term as we hope to put our depth of knowledge and experience to good practice for the benefit of all our contractors, designers, and project managers.
So you can be assured that the feedback and complaints we continually get about various aspects of our industry does not fall on deaf ears. WHS has, for many years, put a lot of effort in behind the scenes to help improve the construction industry, and we don’t intend to stop!!
IET Wiring Regs 18th Edition
As we’re sure you know, the BS 7671 (IET Wiring Regs) 18th Edition became mandatory as from 1 January 2019. All relevant guidance and reporting documents are available direct from the NICEIC shop on:
The main changes include new requirements for RCD protection, installation of surge protection devices (SPDs), fire resistance supports for cabling, trunking and conduits to avoid premature collapse during a fire, the recommendation for the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFDDs), and the optimisation of energy efficiency. The changes are very significant so it’s vital that all electrical engineers bring themselves up to speed with the changes. A full suite of training courses is available from NICEIC; book on-line on:
New Electrical Safety Academy
In addition, and particularly useful for contractors in Shropshire and the West Midlands, Schneider Electrical has opened a new training academy at its UK Head Quarters in Telford. Schneider offer a complete range of courses to take electrical engineers through their life-long training requirements, including the CPD required for the 18th Edition mentioned previously. Book on-line on:
In the health & safety packs we issue to our contractors, 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 SITE
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.
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. 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 start with the still unacceptable number of fatalities and injuries resulting from falls from height:
Work at height
Weiser Construction is now in liquidation – a reminder that safety breaches risk both lives and livelihoods
The risks to the health & safety of workers apply just as much to the domestic situation as to commercial – AND SO DOES THE LAW!!!
How many more of these 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!!! However, in this case, one can also question what measures were taken to prevent future falls during the design and installation of the solar panels.
Note that, yet again, no accident had happened (thank goodness) but the prosecution took place on the strength of the photo alone
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.
Obviously, both companies had failed to establish safe systems and provide written evidence of isolation. However, although it wasn’t covered in the HSE’s press release, clearly throwing a crowbar into electrical equipment was a gross failure of safety awareness and almost cost this worker his life. The only time anyone should ‘throw a spanner in the works’ is to refuse to proceed without conclusive evidence of isolation!
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
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