Monthly Archives: April 2015

Race for life

Hi everyone

Every year I do the race for life. In memory of those we have lost to the disease and those that have fought it and survived!

Events like this are vital in funding Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work into preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. By sponsoring me, we can unite and create an army that cancer can’t ignore. By sponsoring me, we will beat cancer sooner.

Thank you.


Driving While Under The Influence Of Drugs

The rules about driving while under the influence of drugs have been changed. Now, for the first time, prescription and ‘over the counter’ medicines are specifically included. This means that if you are involved in a road traffic accident and the police have any reason to suspect you are taking any medication which could have contributed to the accident, you can now be tested for prescription medicines.

Updated Safe Driving Policy

As an employer you need to make sure that those members of staff who drive during working hours are aware of these rules, so that you do not require or encourage them to drive when they may not be in a fit state.

The updated Driving Policy explains what your responsibilities are if you supply the vehicles, in terms of your expectations of your drivers’ behaviour on the road, maintenance of vehicles etc., as well as details of how to manage a ‘grey’ fleet – vehicles owned by staff but used at work.

The Driving Policy also sets out the drivers’ responsibilities to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy at all times, to plan their rest breaks and to make sure they keep you informed of any issues that may affect their ability to drive safely.

If you would like a copy of the Driving Policy Statement contact us.


5 Top Tips to Help Your Business Weather Any Crisis

You can’t ever avoid all forms of corporate risk or potential damage. But why is business continuity planning so important? Very simply, disasters kill businesses. An effective BCP will help your business survive should an incident occur, be it a breakdown in IT, fire or bad weather, as it will support the prioritised recovery of your objectives. Having a BCP shows your commitment to deliver, no matter what, and can mean the difference between coping with a disaster and going bust.

5 Tips for Writing a Business Continuity Plan

  1. Begin by identifying your businesses’ critical functions, i.e. those parts of the business that are most crucial. This will help you prioritise which parts of the business you need to get up and running as soon as possible following any disruption and will thus enable you to formulate your BCP. Consider: the minimum resources you need to deliver your critical functions, e.g. staff, data, suppliers and premises; the impacts of losing critical functions on your business, e.g. loss of reputation or legal action; how quickly you need to get the critical functions up and running; and what other organisations or suppliers you are dependent upon.
  2. Estimate the time it would take for adverse impacts to become unacceptable. You can now begin to develop your BCP, looking at what activities you wish to maintain, how you will maintain them and who does what.
  3. Your BCP should contain the following core elements:
    • The BCP manager’s name and contact details.
    • Details of the team that will make the key decisions.
    • Identification of the business critical processes and details of how their recovery will be phased.
    • Emergency contact numbers for employees and contacts for internal and external agencies committed to supporting the recovery effort.
    • Lists of key customers, suppliers, third parties and their contact details.
    • Details of the vital records storage containing back-up computer data and any other critical records.
    • The process for standing down and returning to ‘business as usual’.
    • Processes for reviewing the business continuity arrangements.
    • The role that staff play if an emergency occurs.
  4. Discuss your emergency arrangements with neighbouring business, as you may be able to help each other during or after an emergency, e.g. by using each other’s equipment or sharing temporary storage.
  5. Make sure you know your BCP will work, by testing it with regular exercises and updating it in the light of your experiences.

Getting your BCP right will help you keep calm – even in the event of a crisis.
Contact us if you require assistance.

The Workplace Dermatitis Risk

When skin comes into contact with certain substances at work, this can cause occupational dermatitis, the most common forms of which are irritant contact dermatitis and allergic dermatitis. The result is damage to skin cells, swelling, flaking, cracking and blistering or a rash.

7 Top Tips for Preventing Dermatitis at Work

  1. Begin by establishing whether you use any of the following in your workplace: soaps and detergents; antiseptics; perfumes and preservatives in toiletries or cosmetics; solvents; cement; acids and alkalis; powders, dust and soil; flour; oils used in machinery; and disinfectants. All of these products have the potential to cause dermatitis. Similarly, if a job involves a lot of wet work, e.g. hairdressing, this activity may also give rise to skin problems.
  2. Identify all the skin irritants and sensitisers in use in the workplace and assess each for risk. Introduce effective control measures by substituting these products with agents which have a lower level of reactivity.
  3. Train staff on the causes and symptoms of occupational dermatitis and other skin conditions, including skin hygiene and self-examination, the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and your reporting procedures.
  4. Encourage staff to report any symptoms and prevent further exposure whilst the cause is fully investigated. If you do not have an Occupational Health Department, referral to a dermatologist may be appropriate. If the health specialist or dermatologist confirms that the employee is suffering from occupational dermatitis, you must report it to your enforcing authority under RIDDOR 2013.
  5. Provide barrier creams and appropriate PPE.
  6. Ensure you provide regular health surveillance for employees who are likely to be exposed to any agent which may give rise to occupational dermatitis and keep health records of the individuals concerned.
  7. Review your risk assessment and management strategy regularly and always following incidents.

Work-related dermatitis is very common and criminal or civil claims may be expensive, particularly if the affected employee can no longer work in the vicinity of the irritant. Make sure you manage the risk effectively.

Contact us should you require assistance.