Monthly Archives: January 2016

Tips to Improve Transport Safety in Your Workplace

People die in the workplace every year from something as simple as not wearing a seatbelt. Make sure you train your drivers properly, and give them the tools they need to drive safely to protect both themselves and others.

  1. Undertake suitable and sufficient risk assessments which consider how people could get hurt. Think about how people could get run over or struck by vehicles, how people could fall out of them, how vehicles could overturn and how items could fall out of vehicles onto people.
  2. Ensure drivers are fully trained and competent to use the vehicles they will be operating. There should be direct supervision of vehicle movements – if you spot problems, consider refresher training for individuals.
  3. Make sure all drivers wear the seatbelts fitted in their vehicles. Use an interlocking system whereby the vehicle only starts when the seatbelt is engaged. Monitor drivers to ensure the system is not defeated. (If driving a forklift truck, wear the seatbelt if driving the vehicle for long periods of time or if there are surface changes – pot holes for etc..
  4. Look regularly at your accident and near miss data. Consider what changes need to be made to prevent an accident in the future. Adapt your risk assessment to reflect these changes.
  5. Take steps to segregate people from vehicles, and larger vehicles from smaller ones. Use fixed barriers and pedestrian walkways.
  6. Develop a comprehensive workplace traffic management plan. Consider the maximum speeds allowed, the permitted routes for different vehicles, and all vehicle-related activities that are permitted in certain areas – including contractors that may operate on site (such as waste collectors).

Contact us should you require assistance.


Tips to Keep Your Loads Safe in Transportation

Transported loads can be extremely heavy and the slightest unintended movement can cause vehicles to turn over, or workers to be crushed if the load falls on them. Follow the advice below to make sure that an accident like this doesn’t happen in your workplace.

  1. All drivers must have had training in securing their loads properly. Drivers must also be taught how to drive safely when transporting loads – this includes keeping to set speed limits and taking corners in the correct manner to reduce the potential for overturning.
  2. Make sure you use the correct strapping to hold the load in place. Use either webbing straps or chains – not a mixture of the two. Check straps regularly for damage and before each use. Check the stitching isn’t coming undone and that there are no tears, however small, as this could cause them to fail in use.
  3. Use edge protectors on sharp or rough-edged loads to prevent straps being damaged by the friction when moving over them.
  4. Check that the vehicle bed can take the weight of the intended load, taking into account any additional equipment used to secure the load.
  5. Remember that anchor points should be capable of spreading the weight effectively across the main structure of the vehicle.
  6. Fill trailers tight to the headboard of the vehicle to prevent movement – drivers have been injured when loads have gone into the back of their cab. Restrict any moving parts of a load with restraints as well.
  7. Replace all individual pieces within a restraint system at the same time, to prevent undue stress on any part of the set.

Contact us for advice.



The dangers of un-serviced equipment

We’ve all seen the little green “Service by” sticker on the electrical equipment in and around the office, and let’s be honest, how many of those dates on the equipment have come and gone?

When anyone comes to work, we place utter trust in the employer to provide us with a safe environment in which to work, the last thing we expect is to be put in danger or to have our health jeopardised.

We’ll look at some of the dangers that are found within the office when un-serviced electrical equipment goes wrong.

Air-Conditioning Units

You’ve probably heard that air conditioning units must be serviced properly and on a regular basis. Leading companies and government bodies, recommend that units must be maintained every spring, before the warm weather kicks in. The thing to bear in mind is that this system works for as long as you need it to keep you cool – as with anything, proper care and maintenance is essential.

However when the unit begins to collect dirt, mould and decomposing insects, it begins to pose a very serious health risk. The filters must be cleaned regularly, as they may cause serious lung problems such as legionnaires – whilst this is quite uncommon in this country, there were still a reported 284 cases in England and Wales in 2013 and any case can be very serious. The bacteria thrives in temperatures of between 20 – 50°C, and air conditioning units provide the ideal breeding ground.

Regular Sprinkler & Fire Alarm Tests

There were approximately 22,200 fires in non-domestic premises – and whilst these don’t specifically indicate these buildings were office spaces, most of them would be considered work places.

Regular fire alarm tests are a must, in most offices weekly fire alarm tests are done anyway. But the sprinkler systems must be maintained annually, the pipes should be maintained and changed where appropriate and the systems’ valves and sensors should be monitored. But as an employee you can ensure that fire exits are kept clear and there isn’t a build-up of flammable material in one small space, such as paper.

Electrical Equipment

All electrical equipment and accessories should be checked regularly. Obviously an element of common sense applies, if a plug has become frayed or damaged the equipment should be excluded and under no circumstances used. However when you buy things such as large printers and photocopiers, you should ensure that you allow them a good deal of space, to allow for the heat and fumes to be effectively filtered out. Overall, office safety is down to the employer or landlord, but there are several aspects of common sense that can be applied, to improve safety for everyone. Ensure that everyone is aware if something is faulty and must not be used; the last thing you need is someone pushing a ruler into a broken printer because they think it’s jammed.

Contact us if you require information or assistance on this topic.



First Aid Box Content

Start 2016 by going through your first aid box.

If you’re ever faced with an emergency, the last thing you would want is to find yourself unprepared so it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have a well-stocked first-aid kit available in the work place, at home and in the car.

There are plenty of pre-made first aid kits available and many stockists offer kits tailored to specific situations such kits for outdoor activities and ones for in the office. SP Services has a great selection of situation specific first aid kits. 

Whether you buy a pre-made first aid kit or assemble one yourself, SP Services have a list of what to include and to make it even easier to make sure you’re prepared for anything, we’ve taken this information and turned it into a handy graphic. Save it, print it, share it, whatever you need to do to make sure you have these essentials on hand when you need them. Remember to check the contents of your first aid kit regularly and replace any used or out of date items.

Red Cross First Aid Safety Essentials

(Photo from the red cross)