Monthly Archives: April 2013

Some benefits of 18001 or any other H&S management system

Legal Aspects
The function of health and safety in an organisation must be indicated by senior management within the statement of the organisation’s general policy towards health and safety, as required under 2(3) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA). However, the most general indication of the need for a health and safety function within an organisation is given by the general duty of an employer towards their employees under 2(1) of the HSWA.

“It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of his employees.”

Also relevant is the general duty of an employer to others affected by his or her undertaking, as given by 3 of the HSWA. However, these duties are general and so there is little indication in the Act of how these duties are to be carried out, except that their detail must be contained within the organisation and arrangements sections of the health and safety policy document required.

To obtain the greater detail necessary to effectively carry out the general duties of the HSWA, it is necessary to use the information given by the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR). The requirements for effective management of health and safety are contained in all the MHSWR, but the most significant for the effective function of health and safety is the requirement for the appointment of a “competent person” to render advice and assistance.

Economic Aspects

In general, all business decisions are based on financial judgments. These judgments are seen as core to the business and this advice is delivered at board level.

However, significant financial and business loss to an organisation can occur if health and safety risks are not managed correctly. The cost of poorly managed safety will be a significant drain on financial (and other) resources of an organisation. It should never be forgotten that a safety incident can create damaging publicity that will impact on a company’s market share or status in the wider community. These risks can be significantly mitigated, as with other business aspects, by the effective use of the competent person required to be appointed to render health and safety assistance.

If a true cost: benefit analysis of the effects to an organisation of an ineffective health and safety function is made, it is most often the case that the benefits outweigh the costs, making the provision of a health and safety function an economically reasonable business decision. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures estimate the cost to industry for lost time due to accidents and ill health to be close to £13.5 billion (in 2010/2011).

Moral Aspects

A failure in health and safety within an organisation will result in pain, injury or loss to an employee or person affected by the work of the organisation. It would be rare for an organisation to take a corporate view that this pain and suffering was a necessary part of their business. There is an overlap between legal, economic and moral aspects, as they all seek to protect the workforce and other stakeholders from harm.

An effective health and safety management system should carefully consider the long-term health effects that its employees may be subjected to in the course of their employment. These typically include:

  • exposure to hazardous substances that can cause asthma or dermatitis
  • exposure to noise that can damage hearing
  • exposure to vibrating equipment that can cause damage to the nervous and digestive system
  • repetitive actions that can damage the nervous system, ligaments and tendons
  • back injuries caused by poor posture or bad handling techniques.

Audit

The audit has to be a specific audit for each client and their actual activities and is part of the onsite consultancy service. The audit should be carried out against the Clauses in the Standard itself and associated guidance

For example the Clauses in 18001 include:

  • H&S Policy
  • Planning (Hazard identification, risk assessments and controls, legal requirements, objectives),
  • Implementation and operation (resources, roles, responsibility, accountability and authority, Competence, training and awareness Communication, participation and consultation),
  • Documentation and documentation control including operational control § Emergency preparedness and response
  • Checking (Performance measurement and monitoring, Evaluation of compliance, Incident investigation, nonconformity, corrective action and preventive action, control of records, internal audits, and management review)

If you need advice on obtaining 18001 or any other accreditation, please contact Walker Health and Safety Services 0845 834 0400.

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IOSH Event

As individuals we carry out risk assessments all the time – from where and when to cross the road to whether to pull out at a junction when driving a car.

These assessments are done quickly and are based on experience, the information available and an individual’s judgment and common sense.

So how do we carry out an effective risk assessment at work?

The IOSH Midland West District, presents a one day event to educate and raise awareness of Risk Assessments.

If you would like to attend the event please contact IOSH or Walker Health & Safety Services

http://www.iosh.co.uk/branches/midland/our_districts/west_district/risk_management_workshops.aspx

The event was published in the Shropshire star -take a look.

http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?referral=other&refresh=o19K3N0w06yD&PBID=6dcc20e5-68dd-4b2e-9c6b-8859e9f19f4a&skip

Contact us …. 0845 834 0400

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Proposed guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 (as amended)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is seeking views on proposed guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 (as amended).

It consulted in late 2012 on proposals to amend the 1981 Regulations. This was in response to Professor Ragnor Löfstedt’s recommendation (in his review of health and safety legislation, Reclaiming Health and Safety For All) to remove the requirement for HSE to approve first aid training and qualifications. This consultation seeks views on the content of revised guidance to help duty holders decide on appropriate arrangements for the provision of first aid at their business.

Subject to parliamentary approval, the intention is for the legislative amendments giving effect to this change to be commenced 6 October 2013.

DO you have trained members of staff competent to carry out first aid duties?

Contact Walker Health & Safety Serviced for advice.

0845 834 0400

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Tax breaks for work health schemes welcomed

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s decision to give tax breaks on health initiatives at work has been welcomed by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) as “good for employers and their employees”.

Prior to the presentation of the Budget, IOSH had urged George Osborne to remove tax disincentives on employer-provided therapies and vocational rehabilitation programs.

In his Budget speech, the Chancellor announced that the Government would introduce a targeted tax relief, so amounts up to £500 paid by employers on recommended schemes are not treated as a taxable benefit in kind.

According to the safety body, each year more than 130 million working days are lost to sickness absence. In February 2011, the Government commissioned Dame Carol Black and David Frost to conduct an independent review of sickness absence.

The Chancellor’s move on health programs at work follows recommendation made in the report, Health at Work — An Independent Review of Sickness Absence, which was released in January 2013.

Commenting on the news of the tax breaks for health initiatives, IOSH said, “IOSH has been calling for this for many years and a recent IOSH-commissioned survey of UK SMEs… showed considerable support for these sorts of Government incentive.”

IOSH described the concession as “an important start” which “recognises that removing tax disincentives could help encourage more employers to provide useful support for ill or injured employees”.

IOSH added, “Removing tax disincentives and encouraging employers who want to do the right thing for their employees is a win-win situation for everyone. It’s good for employers and businesses, it’s good for workers and their families, and it’s good for the economy and society as a whole.”

If you would like assistance with health and safety contact us for a free consultation.

Walker Health & Safety Services 0845 834 0400

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