Monthly Archives: August 2016

FLTA Safety Month

1st – 30th September 2016, throughout the month, location the Fork Lift Truck Association  website.

Event overview

Safetember is the FLTA’s annual month-long fork lift truck safety campaign that runs throughout September, starting on 1st and ending on the 30th.

As an Association, they have been working closely with media outlets, training companies, partner organisations and trade associations to launch a range of initiatives and resources designed to help reduce the severity and frequency of lift truck accidents in the United Kingdom.

This year, they are particularly pleased to be working in close collaboration with the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA). Their 650+ members are collectively responsible for ensuring the safety of tens of thousands of workers who come into contact with forklift trucks during the course of their workday. Because of this, their commitment is crucial to influencing behaviours and attitudes towards lifting equipment.

To find out more information follow this link: http://fork-truck.org.uk/fork-lift-safety/safetember

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Flammable Substances: 5 Top Tips to Keep Staff Safe

Fires can take hold quickly, and can cause serious burns or fatalities when people are engulfed by them. Make sure you have identified all of your process fire risks, and take steps to eliminate them where possible.

  1. Carry out a risk assessment to identify where your fire hazards exist in relation to the use or storage of flammable substances such as petrol, solvents or chemicals – use the safety data sheet from the supplier/manufacturer to help you with this. Consider how your processes could go wrong, for example, if substances are spilt or knocked over. To avoid this, keep containers sealed when not in use, and design the process so that flammables do not need to be carried long distances. Only store the amounts that you need.
  2. Train workers to work safely near fire, and to follow your safe systems of work. Make sure employees know how to use your fire extinguishers, and where the escape routes are should a fire break out.
  3. Keep activities involving fire, such as a naked flame, away from other work involving flammable materials by locating them in a different room. Maintain good housekeeping to avoid a build-up of flammable substances, particularly on the floor where they may go undetected.
  4. Consider the risks when working with oxygen. Clothing that is contaminated with oxygen – even that which is fire-retardant – can catch fire easily.
  5. If you have welding drums or tanks that formerly contained flammable substances, make sure your employees know that small amounts of the substance could still be in the bottom of the container or within cracks or crevices. Do not use an oxy/fuel gas blowpipe on a container that has contained something flammable, unless you know it is safe to proceed.

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The Importance of Planning Work Activities

Planning Work Activities: 5 Important Tips

  1. Carry out a risk assessment for every activity, with a view to finding where the hazards are and working out a way to remove them or limit the possibility of them causing harm.
  2. Make sure everyone involved in the work activity understands their role, and the safe system of work that applies. Remember that sometimes you may need to state the obvious – what you may know or understand can differ from others, particularly those new to the job or the work environment.
  3. Confirm before work starts that the work equipment to be used is the most appropriate. For example, your risk assessment might state that a work platform needs to be used due to the length of the job, so in this scenario no one should be using a ladder instead.
  4. Ensure that you plan ahead so that workers wear suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) as required by the job, and use the right tools. Too often I hear someone say that they used a certain tool ‘just because it was there’, and not because it was the best tool to do that particular task safely.
  5. Keep an eye out for complacency. It’s human nature for people to switch off sometimes if they are very familiar with a job – yet problems can then arise when factors within that job change. Train workers to look for new hazards, and introduce toolbox talks on new and old subjects to keep the focus on health and safety.

Sometimes, it only takes a split second for someone to make the wrong decision. As an employer, it’s vital to plan ahead to try to control the likelihood of an accident occurring – make sure you review your systems to ensure they are fit for purpose.

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Ensure Safe Ladder Use

Falls from ladders are common across all industries, and they can have devastating effects on the lives of those that are injured. Serious injuries have even occurred when workers have fallen from the bottom rungs of a ladder – make sure you take steps today to check your ladders and train workers to use them properly.

5 Top Tips to Ensure Safe Ladder Use

  1. Make sure your risk assessments for work at height activities cover the use of ladders, and whether they are the most suitable item to use to access places at height. Ladders can be a good option for low-risk, short duration work of roughly 30 minutes.
  2. Where possible, attach leaning ladders to items being accessed to prevent them from slipping, or have them be footed by another person. Ladders should be of a suitable height – not too long and not too short for the area being accessed.
  3. Label ladders so that you can keep an inventory of those that you own to ensure they are regularly checked. Every three to four months is a good baseline.
  4. Train workers in the correct method of using a ladder, and ensure they maintain three points of contact at all times. Teach them to check the ground environment first – this should be flat and free from contaminants like water or oil.
  5. Ensure that workers undertake a pre-use check of the ladder before they use it, looking for any defects in the stiles or rungs, and checking that the platform and feet are in a good condition.

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Production Company Pleads Guilty to Injuring Harrison Ford

It’s possible that Harrison Ford could have been killed when a hydraulic door from the Millennium Falcon landed on the actor on the set of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that Mr Ford had walked through a door on the set of the Millennium Falcon, pressing a button as he did so as he thought the set was not yet live. As he then walked back through the door – the drive system of which was comparable to the weight of a small car – it closed on him, pinning him to the ground. If an emergency stop button had not been activated by another person, the injuries sustained could have been much worse.

5 Tips to Ensure You Communicate H&S Risks Effectively

  1. Undertake a detailed risk assessment of all of your work processes, to identify where your obvious (and hidden) risks are, and establish the necessary controls needed to mitigate the risks.
  2. Create a comprehensive induction procedure which covers the findings of your risk assessments and the key elements of your policies and procedures.
  3. Make sure you have a clear process in place to communicate existing (and new) risks to staff and contractors. Undertake daily briefings when risks are regularly changing, such as on busy construction sites, and utilise bulletin/message boards within mess rooms or similar areas. Make it one person’s job to co-ordinate the cascading of information throughout the company.
  4. When giving out vital health and safety information, ask those receiving it to sign to say they have both received and understood it – this way you can also be sure you have captured everyone that needs to be briefed.
  5. Provide written working instructions and safe systems of work for all to follow, and where necessary, put up signs and warning notices as a visual aid, for example, for areas which should not be accessed or equipment that should not be touched.

As this case highlights, it is so important that you identify the risks within your premises and ensure that everyone on site – be they staff, contactor or visitor – knows what and where these hazards are, and how you are managing them.

May the force be with you!

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