We’re happy to have been able to retain our current hourly rates for a number of years now. Unfortunately, due to various rising costs and the planned increases by the government from April 2022, we’ve had to make the decision to increase them just slightly for 2022. Nothing will change during the period of your current 2021/22 subscription, but the new hourly rates will begin to filter through subscription renewals from 1 January 2022; you’ll be notified in plenty of time prior to your renewal.
The rates will be changing as follows:
Old Rate New Rate
Don’t worry though, your actual subscription cost won’t be changing, and all training costs for CITB, UKATA and First Aid will be remaining the same – which is all good news.
Please contact Vicki at Wenlock Health & Safety Ltd (WHS) on 01952 885885 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to book places.
All necessary criteria and restrictions will be personally communicated, both directly at the time of booking and again through joining instructions, ahead of planned courses. It is vital that these are understood and, particularly for the First Aid and CITB courses, relevant information clearly passed to candidates.
Please enquire about other courses available, both classroom and non-classroom based; the full range is also detailed on our website:
1-day Emergency First-Aid at Work course dates are listed below; strict Covid-specific controls will still apply for the moment and will be advised within the joining instructions. Spaces are therefore limited and demand is always high, so book places as soon as possible to avoid disappointment:
Cost: £85 + VAT per person
It must be noted that CITB attendance rules are very strict; they must be understood and are reiterated here:
Please also note that start and finish times have had to be adjusted to suit current strict CITB rules. Candidates must arrive by 8.15*am for registration; all courses start at 8.30 am and finish at 4.30 pm.
* Please reiterate to all candidates the absolute need to make their way up to the WHS offices and log in immediately upon arrival to avoid being charged for parking.
Duration: 5 days; 1 day per week
Cost: £495 + VAT per person
Duration: 2 days
Cost: £265 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Duration: 2 days
Cost: £230 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Duration: 1 day
Cost: £160 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
Duration: 1 day
Cost: £125 + VAT per person (10% discount when booking 2 or more people)
RPE & Face-fit Testing
The HSE has stressed that they are targeting the face-fit testing of respiratory protection* and beards!!
There is still a wide-spread misconception throughout construction, and UK industry as a whole, that it is a ‘human right’ to sport a beard or facial hair, even if the wearing of respiratory protection is required for the safety of that individual. It is not! And the HSE have made it perfectly plain that, if an individual refuses to shave, he cannot work on tasks requiring respiratory protection – and that’s that!
To quote the HSE:
The HSE has prosecuted on this point – for example, Nasmyth Technologies Ltd fined a total of £22,551 after four workers suffered severe health issues from being exposed to chemical fumes. Amongst other issues, the HSE stated that “workers were unshaven meaning their beards or stubble prevented an effective seal of the RPE to their faces”
And they continue to target this issue during inspections, including those on construction sites. So don’t fall foul of this simple (legal) principle. Health & safety overrides an individual’s right to sport a beard (or anything else which compromises PPE protection or any other safety measure); if the worker won’t remove the beard, he must be removed from that task or the company will risk prosecution.
(* not the blue surgical masks commonly used as some means of protection against covid, but all face masks, FFP3 and above, required to protect the worker against occupational respiratory harm)
WHS carries out face-fit testing, which is quick and easy to do; contact the WHS office for details.
The HSE also stresses that, of course, the use of RPE must relate to the conclusions of COSHH assessments of sufficient depth and breadth to cover all potentially hazardous substances to be used or encountered in the work environment.
To quote the HSE once again:
In line with the COSHH regulations and the hierarchy of control, workplace exposure to hazardous substances should be prevented by:
• avoiding the use of a hazardous substance
• minimising exposure by modifying the process, and/or
• applying engineering controls, such as Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV)
Only where adequate control of exposure cannot be achieved by these means, should RPE be used in addition to these measures to control the remaining or residual risk.
There is ample advice and guidance about COSHH, RPE, legal requirements and expectations on the HSE’s website and in the WHS Health & Safety Manual; however, do feel free to contact WHS with any questions you may have.
We have highlighted in previous newsletters that the HSE are (quite rightly) targeting fire prevention on site, particularly with multi-storey, multi-occupancy and multi-use buildings, both new-build and refurbishments.
The Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) has produced a ‘Construction Fire Safety: Responsibility and Competence Matrix’, the purpose of which is to identify and outline the roles, responsibilities and minimum knowledge needed by duty holders involved in fire safety and fire prevention on construction projects. The matrix can be freely downloaded from: https://bit.ly/3lyLCi9
An additional and invaluable fire safety document is the latest Fire Protection Association’s ‘Fire Prevention on Construction Sites: The Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation’ (9th Edition) which is free to download from: https://bit.ly/3CqFM98
Summary guidance from the document is contained within the WHS Health & Safety Manual. Further advice can be sought from WHS, particularly in relation to which projects are required to establish a higher level of competent planning and monitoring.
New UKCA Markings
From 1 January 2022, the use of the UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) marking will replace a number of CE-marked products in Great Britain (UKNI for products produced in Northern Ireland). Refer to BEAMA summary document: https://bit.ly/3nDoIsq
N.B. Products covered by the Construction Products Regulations are not covered by this end date and may not require UKCA markings until later.
Bite-Sized Electrical Training
As with most contractors, electricians usually find it very difficult to juggle the need for training with work commitments. Therefore, Schneider Electrical’s ‘bite-sized’ training modules may be a welcome addition to your resources. Modules range from the latest standards, mechanical & electrical applications to the latest smart-connected products. All are available when signed up to mySchneider: https://bit.ly/2YSxI2t
(Registration is free and gives access to multiple resources.)
Work at Height – Ladder Safety
Following on from the article in the August newsletter which revealed the shocking statistic that there are (on average) 99 falls from height at work each and every working day in the UK, we again draw attention to the issue and ask why this is still happening almost 50 years after the advent of the Health & Safety at Work Act, almost 30 years after CDM and 16 years after the very specific Work at Height Regulations.
Causes of falls from height include:
As with everything in health & safety, it’s all down to competent risk assessment. Ladders have never been banned and, indeed, when the correct type of ladder is selected and properly used, they can be invaluable – but only for very short duration (30 minutes total, very low risk tasks, and where the user can retain 3-points of contact at all times for stability). The right tool for the right job. The consequences can be severe if this rule is not followed; for example…
Volvo was fined £900,000 after a worker suffered serious head injuries and had to be placed in an induced coma following a fall from a step-ladder (yes, just a step ladder). The HSE found the step-ladder to be totally inappropriate for the task.
Southend High School for Boys Academy Trust was fined £24,000 after a worker fell from a ladder whilst dismantling a canopy roof and sustained multiple fractures. Again, the ladder was totally inappropriate for this type of work.
And a paratrooper who had jumped from aircraft over 40 times without a scratch but sustained serious, life-changing leg injuries when the wooden ladder he was using at home snapped.
The right tool for the right job – remember that mantra.
So how do we select the ‘right tool’, the correct type of ladder? Over and above the information provided within the WHS Health & Safety Manual, there is ample free expert guidance and advice on the internet to assist, so use it. For example:
A few vital points to note (this is not an exhaustive list):
Previous newsletters have drawn attention to the invaluable resources and support available from the No Falls Foundation, including support for victims of falls, whether sustained at work or at home. The NFF produces regular newsletters which are well worth signing up to:
Driving – Highway Code Changes
You should already be aware of the recent changes in the Highway Code with respect to so-called ‘smart motorways’? But how many people are aware of forthcoming change to the status of pedestrians and cyclists which puts the onus for safety well and truly on the vehicle potentially causing the most harm?
Refer to the BBC article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58021450
This change will almost certainly have serious repercussions unless drivers are well informed and take their increased responsibilities to give pedestrians and cyclist priority seriously. And, of course, those employing drivers for work purposes have legal duties to ‘train’ and ‘instruct’ all their employees, including drivers. It therefore follows that employers must keep well abreast of the continually changing Highway Code (15 changes since 2015 alone) and pass all relevant information to drivers.
It’s easy to do this; sign up for email alerts about changes: https://bit.ly/3zcxccf
Or tap into all updates: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/updates
So no excuses; don’t rely on your drivers to update themselves but lead the way and inform them.
Driving – Employer Responsibilities
Following on from above, there is ample HSE guidance and information on employers’ responsibilities in respect of driving for work, including legal requirements, planning the journeys, drivers’ health, vehicle maintenance, etc. The guidance also includes those riding in vehicles used for work, who are mostly overlooked but can often be exposed to tangible risks.
Refer to the HSE’s website: https://bit.ly/3AhabGg
The Status of Volunteers
The Birmingham Anglers Association (BAA) has been fined £66,000 plus £17,500 costs after a volunteer was struck on the head by a falling branch and subsequently died. BAA had recruited a number of volunteers to help clear vegetation along the riverbank, an operation that included the lopping of large branches. The victim had been helping with ground clearance near to where chainsaws were being used to fell the branches, one of which fell on him causing traumatic brain damage.
The investigation found that BAA had totally failed to assess, plan and manage the work properly. It had ignored guidance from the Anglers Trust, failed to produce a risk assessment or provide training and adequate instruction, provided inappropriate equipment and not established any exclusion zone beneath the fateful overhead works.
During preparation for the trial, the question arose as to whether the victim, as a volunteer, was covered by the Health & Safety at Work Act. It is WHS’s understanding that, if a person is engaged by an organisation for work in any capacity at all, whether paid or unpaid, volunteer or work experience, then they are classified as ‘workers’ and are covered as such by the Act. However, this principle is largely superfluous as the Act also dictates that organisations are wholly responsible for persons not in their employ but affected by their actions. Therefore, as in this case, volunteers are most certainly ‘affected by the actions’ of the organisation engaging them and the answer is, yes, volunteers are most certainly covered by the Health & Safety at Work Act in one form or the other.
BAA was prosecuted on this basis and also for breaching the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations in its failure to properly assess, plan and manage the works.
Thankfully this type of incident is rare because the results of poor control are well known; any lack of protocol, care and attention with quick hitches can be devastating. For example, a terrible accident many years ago when a bucket became detached from a 360 and decapitated a worker whose head protruded above a trench. Do ensure the competence and supervision of all such operations; risk assessment and a closely controlled safe system of work are essential.
Work at height
This is a reminder that all manufacturers’ guidance must be read and followed and that SWLs (Safe Working Loads) are stated therein for a very good reason and can never be exceeded. Remember also to include the weight of all persons and equipment with the weight of materials to give the total loading which, we repeat, must never exceed the SWL stated.
The work had not been properly assessed, planned, managed or supervised and appropriate equipment had not been provided – the photo shows an unprotected trestle on the left and a ladder, the only means of access to the work at height provided.
This may only have been single storey but, as WHS continually stresses, a fall from any height onto a concrete floor can cause severe harm. The correct means of access to work at height, and edge protection to prevent falls, must be provided in ALL such situations.
No safe system of work had been established, nor was there a sufficient risk assessment in place. No protection had been established either side of the work areas and crawler boards to prevent workers from either stepping or falling onto the fragile roof sheeting, a fundamental and legally required precaution.
A gap of this size may not appear to be a serious issue but, as this accident proves, ALL gaps large enough for a worker to fall through can be lethal. Take another look at your scaffold, particularly inside edges. Plug those gaps!
Equipment safety – ALL equipment!
The investigation found that there had been no guard fitted to the pillar drill (see photo), despite the Company’s risk assessment identifying the need for one, which resulted in the employee’s hair becoming entangled and wrapped around the rotating drill.
Investigation evidence also suggested that the equipment had been used in this condition for several years which proves the point that risk assessments cannot be written and then left on the shelf; they must be regularly reviewed for both accuracy and compliance. In addition, the regular PUWER equipment inspections by a suitably competent person also seem to be missing in this case, a legal requirement that could and should have identified the serious failings.
Safe systems of work required for ALL businesses, ALL employees!
The Company had not identified or assessed the risks to pedestrians in that area, despite a large number of vehicle movements being commonplace and previous near-misses having been reported. As a result, there were no designated pedestrian walkways or safe areas, although (as the photos shows) there was ample room to do so.
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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