The Health and Safety Event 10th April 2018
On the 10th of April, we at Walker Health and Safety Services attended The Health and Safety Event at the NEC in Birmingham. The event was full of Health and Safety professionals, with lots of interesting discussions to be had. If you have an interest in health and safety, or its part of your role, it is well worth a visit next year, even if just for the day!
Half Marathon for the cardiology Department at the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham
When I started running I couldn’t breathe or do distance, but slowly with perseverance and support from my running group, Hartshill, I began to improve.
I entered races to inspire me to progress and have several planned events over the next few months which I shall post about. What is important is the ‘bling’!
I decided before Christmas to enter a half marathon for fun, one of those bucket list ideas which sounded good at the time! But, after a recent visit to the QE, lying in bed one night, I thought, I could run my half marathon and raise much needed funds for the Cardiology Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham that look after Eric and will continue to look after him for the rest of his life!
I appreciate all the hard work that the Cardiology Department do, not just for Eric, but for many others too, including the support they give to family and friends!
My half marathon is on Sunday 20th May 2018! It is the Rock and Roll Event in Liverpool, where I will be racing through the City where rock laid its roots! Following the steps of the Beatles! Partying and running – what’s not to like!!
I have other fundraising ideas in the pipeline. If you want to join me for a run, come along
Here is a link to my Just Giving page. If you can make a donation I would appreciate it, thank you! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emma-cardiology-department-qe.
New Standards from ISO!
Over 7 600 people die each day from work-related accidents or diseases – that’s over 2.78 million every year*.
The burden of occupational injuries and diseases is significant, both for employers and the wider economy, resulting in losses from early retirements, staff absence and rising insurance premiums.
To combat the problem, ISO is developing a new standard, ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements, that will help organizations reduce this burden by providing a framework to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and create better, safer working conditions, all over the world.
The standard is currently being developed by a committee of occupational health and safety experts, and will follow other generic management system approaches such as ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001.
Upcoming Changes with GDPR
GDPR is no secret. Most people will be aware of the upcoming changes to the UK’s data protection regulations, but what they may not be aware of, is what the new General Data Protection Regulation (2018) will mean for businesses. You only have until May 25th 2018 to make sure you’re compliant, so it’s important to understand how it effects you. If you haven’t already done so, it is essential that you start preparing for these upcoming changes, as failure to do so could lead to serious repercussions.
Knowing where to begin with GDPR can be daunting, so we’ve put together 5 useful tips to help you know where to begin. You can check these out here.
In each newsletter we will be exploring the top 8 pieces of workplace health and safety legislation that you should be aware of. In our Winter Newsletter, we explored the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Working Time Regulations 1998. If you haven’t done so already, you can read our Winter Newsletter here.
In this edition of our newsletter, we have chosen to talk about the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
Under these regulations, you must provide:
- Adequate heating, lighting, ventilation and workspace.
- Staff facilities, including washing facilities, toilets and refreshment.
- Safe passageways so hazards such as slipping and tripping are prevented.
Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
Regular users of display screen equipment (DSE) require protection, and these regulations are to ensure they are covered. You need to:
- Carry out a risk assessment.
- Make sure DSE users have adequate breaks – these are not stipulated legally, but a 5-10-minute break for every hour of screen time is thought to be a safe way of operating.
- Provide regular eye tests and health and safety information.
- Ensure that adjustable furniture, such as chairs and desks, are provided.
- Show that adequate procedures are in place to reduce risks such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) to regular DSE users.
The benefits of fitting a dash cam
Fitting a camera that records your journey is like taking a witness with you everywhere you drive. So, if you’re unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, you’ll be able to present an impartial record of events to help assign blame and quickly settle any claim. And with an estimated 30,000 crash-for-cash incidents occurring every year – where fraudsters deliberately cause accidents in order to claim on innocent drivers’ insurance – video evidence can be vital in resolving a dispute over liability.
When mounting a dash cam, it’s important to remember that the lens needs to “see” through an area of the windscreen that is swept by the wipers, but it mustn’t obstruct the driver’s view. Fixing the camera to the windscreen behind the rear-view mirror is often the best option, although you’ll need to ensure the cable is neatly routed to the power source – usually the 12V dashboard socket. Wherever you fix your dash cam, take care not to intrude into the “swept” area by more than 40mm – that’s the law. If the camera includes an integrated viewing screen, this must be switched off while driving.
Risk assessments are an absolute requirement under health and safety legislation and failure to conduct them is an offence. They are designed to ensure employers have adequately considered the things that can go wrong in the workplace and should take into account:
It’s important to understand the difference between risk and a hazard:
- Risk is the chance, high or low, of somebody being harmed by the hazard, and how serious the harm could be.
- A hazard is anything that may cause harm, e.g. chemicals, electricity, working from ladders, noise etc.
The HSE suggests that risk assessments should follow five simple steps:
Step 1: Identify the hazards
Step 2: Decide who might be harmed and how
Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
Step 4: Record your findings and implement them
Step 5: Review your assessment and update if necessary
Prevention is the preferable course of action and the MHSWR suggest the following:
- Avoid the risk completely – change the design or the process
- Substitute – use less hazardous materials, e.g. different chemicals
- Minimise – limit exposure to individuals, perhaps by job rotation
- General control measures – guarding, barriers or warning systems
- PPE – the last resort because it protects only the individual.
Conducting Risk Assessments
When conducting risk assessments, the assessor should take into account the information that is available for the type(s) of risks involved, including:
- Regulations, e.g. Work at Height Regulations 2005
- Any associated Approved Code of Practice (ACoP), which provides practical interpretation of the legislation for employers
- Good practice guidance notes from the HSE, special interest groups and trade associations
- Company’s own health and safety policy and arrangements document (sometimes more exacting than the law itself)
- The people doing the job who know how things are done, rather than just how they should be done
- External consultants, e.g. asbestos specialists
Record and Review
Employers with five or more employees have a legal duty to record risk assessments in writing. These should be communicated via memos, training, team briefs etc.
They should then set a date for review to check whether the risk assessment is still adequate, following:
- Changes in working practices
- New plant
- Changes in legislation, and/or
- As a result of an accident
Finally, it is important to get out into the workplace and ensure that risk control measures are in place and working effectively.
- Volunteers intending to use shredded paper in their school fête’s lucky dip stall were told by the school that shredded paper was not an option “for health and safety reasons”.
- Guests in a hotel complained that the cot bed had not been made up — and were told this was because of “health and safety”. The panel said they were unaware of any cot bed regulations.
If you have any questions relating to this newsletter, please contact Walker Health and Safety Services Limited. Info@walkersafety.co.uk or telephone 08458340400.