Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dangerous substances ACoPs consolidated

On 10 December 2013 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced that five pieces of health and safety guidance have been combined to help employers more quickly and easily understand how to protect their workers from dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres.

The HSE revealed that it has consolidated five Approved Codes of Practices (ACOPs) under the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR), covering issues from plant design and operation, through to maintenance.

To find out more or get your free copy to download follow this link:  http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l138.htm

 

Be safe at Christmas!

Christmas also sees a dramatic rise in the numbers of fires and accidents in the home. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, (ROSPA), around 80,000 people suffer accidents and injuries in their homes during the Christmas holidays every year. Many of those happen in the kitchen during food preparation, while putting up decorations – or worse, as a result of faulty fairy lights or unattended candles. As well as taking necessary safety precautions, remember that when your home is filled with party guests and overexcited children, accidents can happen. Make sure that your home contents insurance provides you with comprehensive cover for common breakages as well as fire and accidents.

 Your checklist for a pain-free Christmas

  • Mind the steps: Falling off a stepladder while putting up Christmas decorations is one of the most common accidents. Many people end up in A&E after using a faulty stepladder or reaching too far with the tinsel. Check your steps aren’t faulty, ensure they’re on an even surface and get someone to hold them steady.
  • Tree daze: The joys of decorating the tree can also end in tears. More than 1,000 people injure themselves each year by falling off a chair while putting the fairy on top of their tree or by cutting themselves when sawing off branches.
  • Fairy safe: It is essential to check your fairy lights, particularly if you’ve had them a few years, for loose, frayed or bare wires, broken bulbs and cracked plugs. Faulty tree lights result in about 350 people needing hospital treatment for burns and electric shocks each year, including children who swallow or cut themselves on broken bulbs. If you’re in any doubt about the safety of your lights, treat yourself to some new ones.
  • Candle watch: Injuries and fatalities in fires caused by candles are on the rise. Never be tempted to light candles on Christmas trees, put them on top of TV sets or other electrical appliances, or leave burning candles unattended, and always ensure you put them out before you go to bed.
  • Full fat: Grappling with the bird and roasting potatoes slathered in goose fat requires your full attention. Cooking Christmas lunch for your clan can be stressful enough without anyone suffering cuts and burns. Hot fat, boiling water, sharp knives and cluttered work surfaces can spell disaster, so keep guests – especially children – out of the kitchen to give you the space and concentration you need.
  • Pudding alert: One in 10 Britons manage to burn themselves while attempting to flambé their Christmas puddings.
  • And finally…  To make sure you and your guests don’t come a cropper, clear away wrapping paper, boxes and any other clutter begging to be tripped over.

Lets be safe out there this Christmas and ensure we reach 2014 unscathed.

Merry Christmas!!

http://www.walkersafety.co.uk/

10 Tips for Safer Shopping this Christmas

  1. Be aware of your surroundings and who is close to you. Look for suspicious persons, etc. when you are in any area.
  2. Do not place your wallet or purse in a bag or unsecured pocket, especially where it can be seen.
  3. Shop in pairs at the very least. Take a friend or family member shopping with you. There is something to be said for safety in numbers, it’s more fun too.
  4. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with credit, charge or debit cards. Carry cash and wallets in a front pocket to reduce your chances of having your pocket picked.
  5. Do you actually need the whole wallet or purse full of cards? Could one do and the rest be left secure at home? Plus put the card cancellation number into your phone or write it down in case the card is lost or stolen then you can report it really quickly.
  6. When using a keypad either in store or at a cash point to type your pin number always shield it with your other hand to prevent others seeing what you are keying in.
  7. Do not leave bags unattended or behind you whilst examining goods or completing      transactions. They could ‘walk’.
  8. Don’t leave car phones, purses, CD cases, or any other item of value in your parked car where they can be seen whilst you are off shopping. Always conceal these items.
  9. Don’t leave purchased merchandise in your parked car where it can be seen whilst you pop back for that last item. Conceal these items also, thieves strike quickly.
  10. As you return to your car, make sure to keep your car key in your hand do not switch off as you approach your car look around and under it as you approach, if anyone acting suspicious close to it move away and seek assistance.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR from Walker Health & Safety Services!!!

Safety tips: Christmas tree

Some of you may already have your Christmas tree up. If you have or haven’t please take note of this information.

Carefully decorating Christmas trees can help make your holidays safer. Each year, the fire services respond to an average of 200 structure fires caused by Christmas trees.

Picking the tree

  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labelled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1″ – 2″ from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, lights or any other source of heat.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that conform to BS standards. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Always read manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving work, home or going to bed.

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the workplace, home or garage, or placed outside. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

 

Merry Christmas!!!

 

 

Driving a personal and company vehicle

This blog looks at the risks and control measures that should be considered in relation to employees driving on the organisation’s business. In particular, it the factors related to the driver, journey and vehicle.

Employers’ Duties

The Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 requires employers to:

  • ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees
  • provide safe plant and systems of work, which includes vehicles driven by employees on company business
  • ensure the safe use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances; this applies to anything being carried in a vehicle in connection with work
  • provide information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure safety, including while driving
  • provide a safe working environment, as regards facilities and arrangements for the welfare of employees at work
  • produce a health and safety policy, which must be communicated to the employees and address all the organisation’s health and safety issues, including occupational driving
  • inform, instruct, train or supervise the employees’ work activities to ensure compliance
  • ensure those not in their employment do not come to harm, eg other road users.

The Road Traffic Act 1991 requires employers to not cause or permit their employees to break any road traffic laws.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 make risk assessments, including of work-related driving activities, mandatory.

Under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), employers have a duty to:

  • maintain vehicles in an efficient state, good working order and in good repair
  • assess the risk from using the vehicle, including ergonomics, manual handling and mobile phones
  • minimise the identified risks as far as reasonably practicable
  • provide appropriate information, instruction and specific training.

PUWER also covers situations where employers allow their employees to provide their own work equipment, eg their own vehicle.

Note: The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) apply to any motor vehicles not privately owned. However, more specific road traffic legislation does take precedence over these regulations when the vehicles are used on public roads.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide appropriate equipment and facilities for employees if they become ill or are injured at work.

Under the regulations, employees who travel must be provided with adequate first aid cover and employees working alone, in small groups in isolated locations or where access to accident and emergency facilities is difficult must also be catered for.

Under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003, employers have a duty to not cause or permit their employees to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving.

The Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 limit weekly working time (excluding breaks and periods of availability) and limit the amount of work that can be done at night. Also working time for drivers and crew of HGVs and Passenger Service Vehicles in the road transport sector.

The regulations provide for:

  • a maximum 48-hour working week on average
  • an absolute limit of 60 hours in any one working week
  • no opt-out
  • a maximum 10 hours’ night work in any 24 hours
  • 11 consecutive hours’ rest in every 24 hours
  • 45 consecutive hours’ rest per week
  • 45 minutes’ break after 4½ hours driving
  • 30 minutes’ rest after 6 hours working (but not driving)
  • 45 minutes’ break after 9 hours working (but not driving).

Under the Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) Regulations 1993, as amended, seat belts need to be provided and used as appropriate. In passenger vehicles, the presence of seat belts needs to be brought to the attention of passengers and the passengers need to be made aware of the requirement to use these seat belts when the vehicle is in motion. This requirement does not apply to buses.

Employees’ Duties

Under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 employees must:

  • take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others affected by their acts or omissions, including while driving
  • co-operate with their employer in order to help the employer meet their duties under the Act
  • use any equipment provided in accordance with information and training given by the employer
  • inform their employer of any health and safety shortcomings and any immediate danger to health and safety, including vehicle defects and driving arrangements.

Employees must also comply with all Road Traffic Acts and the Highway Code.

Assessing Work-related Road Risk

Before any improvements can be made to the safety of a company’s at-work drivers, it is necessary to identify and understand the hazards faced by drivers.

Employers should carry out a risk assessment for each driver, including employees who:

  • use their own vehicles for business purposes
  • use a pool or hire vehicle occasionally for work

The assessment should cover three fundamental areas of work-related road safety.

  1. The driver.
  2. The journey.
  3. The vehicle.

In addition, all aspects of the personal safety of the driver should be considered. This should include any dangers an employee could be exposed to while driving the vehicle and getting into or leaving the vehicle.

The Driver

The driver assessment should include:

  • attitudes towards driving
  • driving experience, including collision/incident history
  • conviction history
  • fitness to drive, including eyesight and alcohol and drug awareness

The Journey

The journey assessment should include:

  • exposure to risk, including mileage, road type and weather
  • fatigue issues, including total driving time and driving during antisocial hours and/or in peak traffic

The route should be planned in advance, and an up-to-date road map should be available in the vehicle so it is not necessary to stop to ask for directions. Ensure the destination, intended route and expected arrival time is known to others.

The Vehicle

The assessment of the vehicle should include:

  • vehicle type
  • engine capacity
  • safety features
  • roadworthiness

Companies that provide vehicles for driving at work must ensure that they are taxed, insured and MOT tested. As vehicles are supplied for work purposes, they are deemed work equipment under the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and as such they must be regularly maintained and inspected. An MOT certificate is only verification that the vehicle was safe “at the time of the test”, however. It is not a guarantee or confirmation that it will remain safe for another 12 months. The same should be noted in relation to a typical service.

Components of a vehicle can fail owing to excessive wear or material failure. In order to avoid an incident involving component failure, the driver should make periodic checks to identify any potential defects, including the following:

  • tyres:- pressures, tread, evenness of wear
  • exhaust
  • lights
  • petrol/diesel level
  • oil level
  • radiator fluid level
  • windscreen washer fluid level
  • wiper blades: not broken or split

Other Risks

The risk assessment will also identify if there is risk of musculoskeletal injury. This can arise from:

  • poor posture and repetitive movement when driving
  • manual handling when loading and unloading

Lone working can present significant risks for those whose work mainly involves driving, eg in the event of a collision or serious incident, there may be no one to summon help.

Control Measures

Employers must determine if the control measures in place adequately control or significantly reduce the risks faced by employees on the road.

The risk assessment will identify the necessity of having a first-aid kit in the vehicle.

The following hierarchy of risk control should be followed.

  1. Eliminating the journey is the best control measure and therefore the first that should be considered. Is it possible to conduct the business remotely, e.g. by a conference call or by working from home?
  2. Using an alternative method of transport, e.g. rail or air.
  3. Considering driver issues, e.g. additional training, fitness to drive.
  4. Considering journey issues, e.g. limiting driving hours, limiting driving in poor weather conditions, taking regular breaks.
  5. Considering vehicle issues, e.g. safety equipment, roadworthiness.

Other control measures include the following.

  • While using vehicles for work purposes drivers and passengers must wear a seat belt.
  • Employers should ensure they instruct employees to avoid distracting activities while driving, e.g. eating.

Mobile Phones

It is a criminal offence in the UK to drive any motor vehicle while using a hand-held mobile phone, or to cause or permit another to do so.

The penalties for the use of mobile phones while driving are:

  • a fixed penalty of £100 (Aprox)
  • three points endorsed on the offender’s driving license

A driver can also be prosecuted for using a hands-free device if they are not in proper control of their vehicle when using the device.

In relation to the use of mobile phones, a person is considered to be driving if the engine of the vehicle they have control of is running. This is true even if the vehicle is stationary. Therefore, the regulations apply when stopped at traffic lights or in a queue of traffic, etc.

A mobile phone is hand-held if it is, or must be, held at some point during the course of making or receiving a call, or performing any other interactive communication function. This includes sending or receiving oral or written messages, sending or receiving still or moving images, or accessing the internet.

Use of Hands-free Equipment

Using hands-free equipment does not contravene the regulations if the driver does not have to hold the phone. Pressing buttons on a phone connected to the dashboard is permitted.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) urges employers to adopt the following policy with regard to mobile phone use: “no driver should use a mobile telephone or similar piece of telecommunications equipment (whether hand-held or hands-free) while driving”.

If it is essential for employees to be contacted while driving, company policy should advise the use of voicemail, a message service or call diversion, and to stop regularly — with the engine switched off and the key out of the ignition — to check messages and return calls.

An employer will not be liable for supplying a phone to an employee or for calling an employee who happens to be driving. However, if the employee answers, the employee commits an offence.

Employers must explain to employees about what they are expected to do in terms of driving and phone calls.

Satellite Navigation

Satellite navigation (satnav) systems can help drivers in unfamiliar areas. When used appropriately, they are a useful tool and much safer than frequent stopping to check a paper map, or trying to read a map while driving, and mean drivers are less likely to make late manoeuvres. However, addresses should be entered before the journey is undertaken, and care should also be taken when fitting satnav systems to ensure that they will not obscure the view of the road.

Smoking in Company Vehicles

Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places. As enclosed places include company vehicles, drivers are not allowed to smoke if there is a possibility that colleagues might consequently inhale their smoke. Smokers driving company cars, vans and lorries in England could be fined for smoking at the wheel if the vehicle could be handed over to a colleague from work later in the day.

Smoking is permitted in vehicles that are for the sole use of the driver and are not used as a workplace by anyone else, either as a driver or passenger.

Carrying Hazardous Substances

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 require any person involved with dangerous goods by road to receive training in relation to the goods being carried and safety procedures to be carried out in an emergency.

  • Only the minimum quantity of substances should be carried, in sealed non-breakable containers.
  • Adequate safety information on the substances carried should be readily available for the emergency services in the event of an accident.
  • The driver must be provided with adequate training on what to do in the event of an emergency (fires, spills, collision, etc).
  • Sufficient equipment to deal with emergency situations must be provided in the vehicle, such as fire extinguishers, gloves, cleaning equipment for minor spills.
  • Hazardous substances must never be carried in the passenger compartment but in the rear of the vehicle only.

Personal Safety of the Driver

Employees should be advised to consider the following.

  • Travel on main roads as much as possible.
  • Communicate the route and approximate time of travel.
  • Always try to have at least a quarter of a tank of fuel.
  • While driving, be alert to the condition of the vehicle. If a fault is suspected, do not wait until it breaks down. Stop somewhere appropriate, such as a garage, where there are a lot of people around, and seek assistance.
  • Carry sensible clothing in the vehicle, e.g. coat and suitable shoes, to change into if necessary.
  • When travelling to an unfamiliar office or hotel, call ahead and check the location and parking arrangements. On arrival, drive to the front entrance and, if appropriate, request assistance.
  • Park in well-lit areas whenever possible and check around the vehicle and the interior, especially the back seats, before re-entering.
  • Always appear confident.
  • If another driver in difficulty is seen, drive on and report it by phone as soon as possible.
  • Always carry a mobile phone, but never use it while driving.
  • Always have the doors locked while driving, especially at night and in busy areas.
  • In the event of a breakdown on a motorway telephone the emergency services, put on a reflective jacket, get out of the car by the nearside door and wait a safe distance off the hard shoulder. It is advisable to leave the passenger door open, so that in the event of a threatening situation it is possible to get into the car and lock the doors.
  • Do not give lifts to strangers.
  • Never read maps while driving.

Minimising Tiredness

To reduce the effects of tiredness on driving, the following should be considered.

  • A journey should never be started if the driver is already feeling sleepy.
  • Making long trips should be avoided between midnight and 06:00.
  • Driving should be avoided if the driver is taking medicines that cause drowsiness.
  • Driving for long distances after working long hours should also be avoided.
  • If possible, driving should be shared if travelling with colleagues.
  • Drivers should stop for a 15-minute break every two hours on a long journey.
  • If a driver starts to feel sleepy, he or she should find a safe place to stop (not on the hard shoulder) and take a short nap.

Employers could be held liable in the event of an accident where an employee has worked excessive hours.

Adjustment of Seating

Drivers should be trained to adjust their car seats properly.

A suggested sequence of adjustments is as follows.

  • Raise the seat as high as is comfortable to improve vision of the road.
  • Check there is adequate clearance from the roof.
  • Ensure there is maximum vision of the road.
  • Move the seat forwards until it is possible to easily fully depress the clutch pedal and accelerator pedal.
  • Adjust seat height as necessary to give good pedal control.
  • Adjust the cushion tilt angle so that thighs are supported along the length of the cushion.
  • Avoid pressure behind the knee.
  • Adjust the back rest so it provides continuous support along the length of the back and is in contact up to shoulder height — approximately 30° reclined from vertical.
  • Avoid reclining the seat too far as this can cause excessive forward bending of the head and neck, and may result in sliding forwards on the cushion.
  • Adjust the lumbar support to give even pressure along the length of the back rest.
  • Ensure lumbar support “fits” the back and is comfortable, with no pressure points or gaps.
  • Adjust the steering wheel rearwards and downwards for easy reach.
  • Check for clearance for thighs/knees when using pedals.
  • Ensure display panel is in full view and not obstructed.
  • Adjust the head restraint to ensure the risk of injury is reduced in the event of a car accident.

Time Spent Driving

Although driving time is limited and controlled for goods vehicle drivers by the use of a tachograph, there is at present no official limit to the time drivers of other vehicles spend behind the wheel. Driving for work is therefore considered part of an employee’s working day.

In brief, the Working Time Regulations set a limit of 48 hours’ working time in any 7-day period, and a requirement for a break of at least 20 minutes to be taken in any working period of 4½ hours. Driving time should therefore be considered and adequate breaks allowed for. Driving times should be limited and specified in the organisation’s safety policy (many organisation’s specify that drivers should take a minimum 15-minute break after 3 hours of continuous driving).

The Community Drivers’ Hours and Recording Equipment Regulations 2007 make provisions to:

  • make transport undertakings automatically liable for infringements committed by their drivers, although a defence is provided
  • make undertakings, consignors, freight forwarders, tour operators, principal contractors, sub-contractors and driver employment agencies responsible for ensuring that contractually agreed transport time schedules respect the new Community Drivers’ Hours Regulation
  • enable enforcement authorities in Great Britain to take action in respect of infringements committed outside Great Britain

Driving in Adverse weather Conditions

Driving in adverse weather conditions is dangerous, as the vehicle will not always behave in ways that might be expected. This makes driving tiring and stressful, due to the higher levels of concentration required. Adverse weather conditions include high winds, driving rain, fog, snow and ice.

Drivers are often ill-prepared for driving in these conditions and the following simple safeguards are often overlooked.

  • When driving in fog, switch on front and rear fog lights but remember to turn them off when conditions clear as rear fog lights dazzle drivers behind (it is also an offence to drive in clear conditions with rear fog lights on).
  • Slow down when driving in rain as wet roads are slippery and stopping distances are dramatically increased. Turn on dipped beam headlights. Be aware when passing large vehicles that excessive spray can temporarily swamp the windscreen and completely obscure the driver’s vision.
  • Driving in high winds is unpredictable, especially over bridges and exposed high ground. Sudden gusts, known as wind shear, can cause a vehicle to veer violently. The driver should be aware that large vehicles may veer around in high winds.
  • Snow, sleet and ice are treacherous as road conditions can vary in a very short space of time and patches of black ice may be present. In times of extreme cold, it is advisable to have warm clothes, blankets, suitable footwear and even a flask of hot drink in the vehicle in case of a breakdown.
  • Wherever possible, driving in adverse conditions should be avoided. All major road safety organisation’s warn drivers to avoid driving in snowy conditions. If driving in snow is necessary, consider having a shovel in the vehicle.

Leaving and Returning to a Vehicle

There will obviously be times where the driver has to leave the vehicle to take rest breaks, visit a customer, client or patient or to refuel. The safety of the driver should be considered in these situations, particularly if they are working during the hours of darkness, or in areas with a high incidence of crime or violence.

Note: mobile phones should be switched off in petrol stations.

Vehicle Breakdown

If the vehicle breaks down, the driver should pull off the road as far as possible and switch the hazard warning lights on. The nearest phone should be used, noting the road name and landmarks to give to the employer’s or owner’s breakdown organisation.

When driving at night, it is advisable to wear light or, ideally, reflective clothing when leaving the vehicle in the event of a breakdown. A reflective warning triangle should also be carried (this is a legal requirement in many European countries) which should be placed 150m behind the vehicle.

Record Keeping

Documentation relating to an organisation’s occupational road risk strategy may be required following an accident or fatality involving an employee making a work-related vehicle journey. Examples of records that may be kept include:

  • fleet policy documents, including all revisions and circulation
  • driver handbooks, including all revisions and circulation
  • risk assessment measures and updates
  • collision analysis exercises
  • training records
  • collision records, including those involving employees using their own vehicles
  • eyesight checks
  • licence checks
  • ergonomic risk assessments
  • minutes from work-related road safety meetings
  • awareness campaign materials
  • driver audits
  • vehicle audits
  • vehicle maintenance records, including employees using their own vehicles
  • related policy documents, e.g. mobile phone use policy
  • insurance records, including employees using their own vehicles

Training

Employers are required to provide driver training and education to ensure that drivers are equipped to manage the situations and circumstances likely to be involved in journeys undertaken on the organisation’s business. Drivers should receive training on their duties under the road traffic legislation and drivers’ hours regulations (where applicable).

This training should also include information regarding:

  • first-aid procedures
  • breakdown procedures
  • emergency procedures (accident, fire, losing load, leakage, etc)
  • loading and unloading equipment and techniques
  • the consequences of alcohol and drug use
  • the effects of speed and traffic levels
  • the effects of stress

Should you have any questions relating to this blog please contact us.

 

 

Accidents in the workplace

Your employer has a duty to protect you and tell you about health and safety issues that affect you. They also have a legal responsibility to report certain accidents and incidents, pay you statutory sick pay, or contractual sick pay if you are entitled to it and give you time off because of an accident at work should you need it.

Reporting an accident at work

Your employer must report serious work-related accidents, diseases and dangerous incidents to the Health and Safety Executive. They must report:

  • death
  • major injuries, a broken arm or ribs for example
  • dangerous incidents like the collapse of scaffolding, people overcome by gas
  • any other injury that stops an employee from doing their normal work for more than three days
  • disease

The reporting must be done by your employer, but if you’re involved it’s a good idea to make sure it’s been reported.

Who is responsible for health and safety at work?

Your employer has to carry out a risk assessment and do what’s needed to take care of the health and safety of employees and visitors. This includes deciding how many first aiders are needed and what kind of first aid equipment and facilities should be provided.

First aiders have no statutory right to extra pay, but some employers do offer this. Employees must also take reasonable care over their own health and safety.

Recording accidents

Any injury at work – including minor injuries – should be recorded in your employer’s ‘accident book’. All employers must keep an accident book. It’s mainly for the benefit of employees, as it provides a useful record of what happened in case you need time off work or need to claim compensation later on. But recording accidents also helps your employer to see what’s going wrong and take action to stop accidents in future.

Sick pay

In most cases, if you need time off because of an accident at work, you’ll only have the right to Statutory Sick Pay. Your employer may have a scheme for paying more for time off caused by accidents, or may decide to pay extra depending on what has happened.

What should you do next if you have an accident?

  • make sure you record any injury in the ‘accident book’
  • if need be, make sure your employer has reported it to the Health and Safety Executive
  • check your contract or written statement of employment for information about sick or accident pay
  • if there’s a dispute, try to sort it out with your employer
  • if there are health and safety problems at work, point them out to your employer or the employee safety representative.

 

Responding to an Accident

Depending on the situation, you may or may not need all the steps listed below, but you should follow this outline in nearly all situations:

  1. Get to a safe place Regardless of the situation, getting to a safe place after an accident will help prevent any additional accidents of injuries from occurring. This will allow you to assess the situation and proceed.
  2. Assess the situation Is anyone injured? Has any property been damaged? Do you need to call 999? Answering these basic questions will determine your next steps.
  3. Call for help In any case of injury, getting professional help immediately will minimise the risks of the situation and prevent injuries from getting worse. Know your limits. If anything beyond very simple first aid is required, always get professionals involved right away.
  4. Assist the injured Provide first aid where possible; stabilise those with major injuries.
  5. Get information Record the details of the accident while they are fresh in your mind. Time can change the way you view the situation and your memory of it, so write down all information immediately. Get contact information from others involved whenever possible and witness statements.
  6. Keep the evidence Never destroy potential evidence in an attempt to prevent further accidents. Always keep people away from potentially hazardous equipment, but do not discard or destroy it.
  7. Prevent further accidents Following an accident, you should quickly take action to assess the situation to prevent any further injuries.
  8. Follow up File the appropriate paperwork as required in your health and safety file and inform the insurance company if necessary.

 

FFI a year on…

The HSE has fined UK firms more than £5.5 million for health and safety failings under its Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme.
Following a Freedom of Information request , it has been revealed that businesses were fined a total of £5,532,565 for health and safety failings since October 2012.
Under the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, companies that break health and safety laws are liable for fines to cover HSE-related costs, which include call-outs, inspections, investigations and taking enforcement action.
According to the findings, the breaches ranged from slips, trips and falls to not providing enough toilets or washing facilities. The sectors that received the most fines were manufacturing (38 per cent) and construction (36 per cent), while at the bottom of the list were water and waste management (3 per cent) and agriculture (2 per cent).
Companies need to take simple measures to boost their health and safety policy and avoid getting fined, including having a comprehensive plan in place for dealing with HSE inspections, and ensuring that staff members are aware of the parts they have to play.
Contact us if you require assistance.

Highways work begins as part of Telford Town Centre expansion

Work will begin today on the road infrastructure in Telford town centre to aid the £450m redevelopment of Southwater and Telford Shopping Centre.

Work will start with improvements to Malinslee Roundabout which are expected to be completed by February 2014 in time for the opening of the new ASDA store and the Southwater development.

The Highways Agency will also be installing traffic lights on the Forge roundabout and widening the carriageway around the island to three lanes to improve traffic flow to and from the M54 with the aim of reducing queues on to the motorway. The work will be completed before March 2014.

Work to make the Box Road two way will be completed by March 2015 with each section of the road opened to two way traffic when completed.

http://www.shropshirelive.com/2013/10/28/highways-work-begins-as-part-of-telford-town-centre-expansion/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Costs for PPE-related Accidents Each Year!

The PPE Regulations 1992, Regulation 4 states:

‘Every employer shall ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to his employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work, except where and to the extent that, such risk has been adequately controlled by other means which are equally or more effective’.

This means in practice that PPE should only be used as a last resort but can be used in conjunction with other control measures. The PPE Regulations 1992 are supplemented by PPE requirements in other regulations such as those relating to asbestos, lead, noise and hazardous chemicals.

The PPE Regulations 1992 also require you make sure that:

  • The PPE is assessed for suitability.
  • It is compatible with other types of PPE that is also needed.
  • It is properly maintained and cleaned.
  • Accommodation e.g. a locker or bag, is provided for it to prevent damage or contamination.
  • Training is provided for your staff so that they know how to wear the PPE, any restrictions on use and how it protects them.

By virtue of Section 9 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, no charge can be made to your staff for the provision of PPE which is used only at work, so you need to provide this for them.

Why PPE Fails and What You Must Do 

Even though PPE is provided, accidents still happen. This is because:

  • The wrong PPE is provided and does not protect the worker e.g. a respirator for dust is      provided when the hazard is a vapour.
  • The worker does not wear the PPE, maybe because it’s not comfortable.
  • The PPE does fit properly.
  • The PPE is not compatible with other types of PPE.
  • The PPE is broken or poorly maintained.

You should:

  • Properly assess your PPE and make sure it’s suitable.
  • Choose good quality products which are CE marked.
  • Choose equipment that suits the wearer and is comfortable – consider the size, fit and weight.
  • Instruct and train people on how to use it.
  • Supervise people and never allow exemptions for those jobs that only ‘take a few minutes’.

It’s very easy to think that once PPE is provided, the job is done – in practice, it’s only just begun. Take action now to prevent PPE accidents in your workplace.

If you need advice, contact us