Monthly Archives: October 2015

Legionella Testing Requirement

The Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice and Guidance “Legionnaires’ disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems” (L8) requires assessment of risks to employees and others in the workplace of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

Inspection and test should be carried out in accordance with the local risk assessment.

Water tests need to be carried out and test results checked according to the Water Act 1989, Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 and Food Safety Act 1991.  This information is provided by the water supply company, up to the local building mains non-return valve (stop-cock).

Additional water quality sampling checks in premises distribution systems must also be completed in line with the HSE’s document L8. This requires checks of hot and cold water in line with risk assessment and at least annually from the furthest point on the water distribution network.

These checks may be more frequent, as determined by the premises risk assessment. In addition, water storage facilities must be examined in line with local risk assessment.

Contact us if you would like legionella testing carried out in a safe manner which does not disrupt the work place. A report is provided on completion.



New Guidance Issued on the Correct Storage of Flammable Liquids

The new guidance relates only to flammable liquids that are stored in containers up to 1,000 litres capacity. There are many workplaces with these kinds of volumes on site – perhaps in warehouses, workshops or garages – that may be unaware of the dangers if flammable liquids are not correctly stored. Each year, many accidents and even fatalities occur due to flammable liquids or their vapours escaping from containers and coming into contact with an ignition source; it’s important therefore that you know how to prevent this from happening.

6 Tips for Safe Storage and Use of Flammable Liquids

1. Complete a risk assessment to determine what could go wrong, taking into account your workplace’s usual work activities and any non-routine work, such as maintenance, where new hazards may appear.
2. If there is potential for a fire or explosion and the risk needs to be reduced, consider the appropriate control measures available. In this instance, you should always be looking to substitute the flammable substance for something less flammable (i.e. with a higher flashpoint) and also remove the ignition source where possible (for example, any welding taking place nearby).
3. All employees working in these environments should have appropriate training which gives them information about how, and why, a fire or explosion could happen and under which conditions. It should cover all activities involving the substance, including moving it, decanting it or clearing up spillages, as well as the general work process it is used in.
4. Your risk assessment should cover the mitigation measures available, which means how you will contain an escape of the flammable liquid if it were to occur, and also minimise its effects.
5. Do ensure that the containers used are suitable for the storage of the flammable liquid – often this means keeping it in the same container in which it arrived. Check that lids are a tight fit and check for dents or scratches which could indicate that the container has been damaged.
6. Have emergency procedures in place which detail how you will evacuate and/or rescue people in the vicinity.

Under the right conditions, it doesn’t take much for a flammable liquid fire to start – make sure that you know how to prevent one from happening on your premises, and also what to do if it does.

Contact us if you require assistance.


The safe use of pneumatic nail guns.

What makes this tool so dangerous?

A pneumatic nail gun can drive a nail through almost anything, and shoot that nail a couple hundred metres in a fraction of a second. Never point it at anyone. Never press the trigger unless you’re in position and ready to use the gun. Never keep your finger on the trigger when you’re carrying it. And when you’re reloading it, make sure the air supply is disconnected.

Most injuries occur in construction — about two-thirds of them in framing and sheathing work. Roofing, exterior siding, and finishing are also high on the hazard list.

Q. What are the hazards we should be most concerned about when using nail guns?

A. The biggest danger is an unintended discharge or misfire. When you use the bump or rapid-fire-trigger setting, the risk of injury is twice as high as when you’re using a single-shot, sequential trigger. The work task you’re involved in when you’re using the nail gun can also increase the risk. If you’re in an awkward position, such as a tight space, the gun’s recoil can hurt you. If you’re on a ladder, co-workers below could get hit by accidental discharge. If you need to hold timber in place for nailing, you could shoot yourself in the hand.

Q) What are the most common injuries associated with these tool?

A) Hand and finger wounds make up more than half of the reported injuries, but your whole body is vulnerable. The damage can be serious: bone fractures, paralysis, blindness, even brain damage.

Q) How can we make it safer for our workers to use pneumatic nail guns?

A) Training is the best thing you can do. A supervisor or experienced nail gun user should teach your workers the safest ways of using, carrying, storing, cleaning, reloading, and transporting nail guns. Manufacturers have good safety information in their user manuals; have your workers read them.

Develop written procedures around the safe handling of your guns. Effective supervision also makes a difference; you should regularly check to see that your workers and supervisors are following procedures.

For more information on nail gun safety refer to the manufacturer’s instruction manual.

If you require further information, please contact us.


Training Mistakes

Are you making these 7 Common Mistakes in your H&S TRAINING provision?

If an accident occurs, one of the first things the HSE will investigate is whether you provided adequate and correct training. In 2 recent fatal accidents, for example, the provision of training was found to be lacking and the companies were fined £361k and £62k.

Common training mistakes include:

●allowing new employees to start working before they have received training

● not providing adequate training for a specific job

● spending too much on training that could have been done in-house

● failing to train staff to report near misses

● failing to see how good manual handling training can save money

● inadequate training for those who might be exposed to asbestos

● not keeping sufficient records

If you require advice please contact us.