Safety Training Courses Vs Familiarisation Training

When you hire an item of plant or equipment you are often given a short introductory training course. The aim of the short session is to give rudimentary advice about the operation of the equipment and its key features but are you then competent to operate this machine?

Familiarisation training is meant to be just that. If you already have a licence for the operation of an item of plant machinery (lift truck, elevating work platform, excavator) or an item of machinery (chainsaw, drilling rig, stump grinder) then this training will show you the specifics of that machine. It is not a replacement for what could be a 1, 2 or perhaps 5 day training course.

5 days, that’s a lot of time!
Don’t worry. Unless you haven’t operated the equipment before a full training course may be just a day. The durations refer to complete novices and almost all of the plant and equipment courses which we provide can also be offered as experienced worker assessments where you skip the training and go straight to a practical and theory test. If you are taking this route you should either be replacing an expired licence or be very experienced with the equipment. I you’re not sure the assessment would be the right route simply think of your car test, could you pass again or would you have bad habits which could cause a fail?

In any case, the best thing to do is to speak to one of our experienced course coordinators, they’ll be able to guide you through the process and offer you the best value option for your specific circumstances, just call 01453 826781 or visit

Employers Liability Insurance – could your insurer refuse you cover?

Some confusion exists over this issue but the realities are clearly explained in regulation. In fact, the regulations specify areas where cover may not be refused, for example;

  • “any breach of the insurance policy by the employer following the event giving rise to a claim, e.g. failure of, or delay in, notification
  • any breach of any enactment by the employer concerning the protection of their employees; or
  • failure by the employer to keep records as required by the policy or to provide information from such records for the insurer.
  • any lack of reasonable care by the employer to protect employees against the risk of bodily injury or disease”

Other than in extreme cases claims cannot be refused but restrictions can be made, particularly in respect of work which the insurer considers hazardous. The majority of insurers limit the height at which employees may work (still the single biggest cause of workplace deaths) and most also include a standard restriction relating to work with asbestos containing materials (ACM’s). These restrictions can be removed but you will find yourself paying much higher premiums for this privilege.

Restrictions are the key issue here. If you decide to work at height on a project and a restriction exists which you then break it is highly unlikely that the insurer will still have to honour the claim. Make sure you know these restrictions and make sure that your staff and managers know. A one off job or even a favour for a good client could leave you with a very significant bill if restrictions are breached and an accident occurs.

EL cover for micro businesses
If you employ just one person within the business then since February 28th 2005 EL cover has no longer been compulsory. However, consider the following scenario’s in which cover would be needed before cancelling any existing arrangement;

  • You hire a part time member of staff to ease your workload over a busy period;
  • You employ a temp to cover you for a holiday or period of sickness absence;
  • You get help from volunteer works or work experience students;
  • You employ a gardener, cleaner or security guard through the business;
  • You employ an agency worker.

Finally always consult with your broker before making any change, failure to meet legal requirements on EL insurance can result in a fine of £2500 per day, over a year this could add up to over £900,000.

If you’ve got questions or need support on safety in the industrial, contracting or construction sectors please contact us for sensible and proportionate advice on 01453 800100

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Please complete the form below and we promise to respond within 24 hrs. If you need more urgent help just call 01453 800109 and ask for Andrea.

News – new contracts awarded to C&G Services

Security giant sends its drivers to C&G

G4S, the £5.9 billion international security group, has contracted C&G Services to deliver training to its drivers. G4S, a major provider of risk management and protection to governments and businesses around the world with operations in 110 countries, has brought us in to provide training over the next five years to enable its drivers to acquire certificates under the new Driver CPC scheme (Certificate of Professional Competence). We won Government approval in the summer to provide training under the new scheme, introduced to raise UK driving standards.

Half a square kilometre of plasterboard

Paul Brooks (C&G Safety Consultant / CDM Coordinator) will be spending a great deal of time in hospital over the next few years – he will be responsible for making sure safe construction procedures are used at a new £690m ‘superhospital’ in Birmingham. We’ve been brought in by project sub-contractor B R Hodgson to conduct monthly safety audits to monitor the installation of a total of 123,000 sheets of plasterboard, covering 445,000 square metres – nearly half a square kilometre – over the next couple of years. The Birmingham New Hospitals Project will create a new 1200-bed hospital for south Birmingham, along with new psychiatric and mental health units.
“All that plasterboard raises a number of safety issues” says Paul Brooks. “We’re carrying out a full site safety audit to ensure safe access and exit and check for manual handling risks. The sheets measure 8ft x 4ft and are awkward to carry, so we need to make sure operatives use correct lifting procedures.”

Nationwide site safety project

Building management specialist Building Automation Solutions has contracted C&G to carry out site safety audits at eight sites across the UK. BAS installs and maintains systems to control and monitor services such as heating, security, ventilation and access. The sites we have been initially asked to look at include two London hospitals, the BBC TV studios in Manchester and premises in Glasgow, Gateshead and Leeds.
“We’ve been asked to carry out risk assessments and prepare the necessary safety policies for all these locations” says C&G Safety & Environmental Managing Director Roger Hart. “We’re also looking at other BAS sites around the UK with a view to doing the same work in other locations.”
The initial phase of the project, valued at around £30,000 a year, is to be completed by the end of 2010.

Excavation courses for Severn Trent staff

We’ve been asked by Severn Trent Water to provide training in deep excavation and trench support techniques to around 300 of their staff across several regions. The training will be mainly for distribution staff and supervisors.

Help with risk assessments

If you’ve ever wondered what all those BS numbers mean here is your chance to find out.

Below is a pretty comprehensive listing of what they mean, I hope this will prove of use to people.

Roger Hart

Summary of common standards used in Health and Safety


* BS EN 397: Specification for industrial safety helmets.
* BS EN 812: Specification for industrial bump caps.


* BS EN 166: Specification for personal eye protection.
* BS EN 169: Specification for filters used in eye protection for welding etc (braze-welding, arc gouging and plasma jet cutting)
* BS EN 170: Specification for Ultra Violet filters.
* BS EN 171: Specification for infrared filters.
* BS EN 172: Specification for sun-glare filters.
* prEN 175: Equipment for eye & face protection during welding/allied processes.
* BS EN 207: Specification for laser radiation filters.
* BS EN 379: Specification for filters (switchable or dual luminous) used in welding etc.
* prEN 1731: Mesh type eye/face protectors against mechanical hazards & heat.


* BS EN 352-1: Specification for earmuffs.
* BS EN 352-2: Specification for earplugs.
* prEN 352-3: Specification for earmuffs attached to safety helmets.
* prEN 352-4: Specification for level-dependent earmuffs.
* BS EN 458: Selection, use, care & maintenance of hearing protectors.


* BS EN 136: Full face masks.
* BS EN 137: Self-contained open-circuit compressed air.
* BS EN 138: Fresh air hose & mask/mouthpiece.
* BS EN 139: Compressed air line & mask/mouthpiece.
* BS EN 140: Half masks & quarter masks.
* BS EN 141: Gas filters & combined filters.
* BS EN 143: Particle filters.
* BS EN 145: Self-contained closed-circuit breathing.
* BS EN 146: Powered particle filtering devices (including hoods or helmets).
* BS EN 147: Powered particle filtering devices (including masks).
* BS EN 149: Filtering half-masks against particles.
* BS EN 270: Compressed air line & hood.
* BS EN 271: Compressed air line or powered air hose & hood (abrasive blasting).
* BS EN 371: AX gas filters (against low boiling organic compounds).
* BS EN 372: SX gas & combined filters (against specific compounds).


* BS EN 374: Protective gloves against chemicals/ microorganisms.
* prEN 381-7: Protective gloves for chainsaws.
* BS EN 388: Protective gloves against mechanical risks (abrasion, cutting, etc).
* BS EN 407: Protective gloves against thermal risk (heat &/or fire).
* BS EN 420: General requirements for gloves.
* BS EN 421: Protective gloves against ionising radiation/radioactive contamination.
* BS EN 511: Protective gloves against cold.
* BS EN 659: Protective gloves for fire fighters.
* prEN 1082: Protective gloves against cuts by hand knives.
* prEN 12477: Protective gloves for welders.


* BS ENV 342:Protection against cold (more than -5°C).
* BS ENV 343: Protection against foul weather.
* BS EN 381: Protection for users of hand-held chainsaws.
* BS EN 412: Protection aprons against hand knives.
* BS EN 471: Protection against low-visibility hazards.
* BS EN 510: Protection against entanglement in moving parts.
* BS EN 1073-1: Protection against radioactive contamination.
* BS EN 1149-1: Protection against electrostatic discharge to avoid incendiary.


* BS EN 469:Protection for fire fighters.
* BS EN 470-1: Protection clothing for use in welding, grinding and cutting.
* BS EN 531: Protection clothing for industrial workers exposed to heat (includes molten metal splash in foundries –
* levels D (Alum) & E (Iron).
* BS EN 533: Protection against limited flame spread – limited materials.
* BS EN 1486: Fire-fighting specialised clothing.


* BS EN 465: Liquid chemicals (spray-tight) Type 4 equipment.
* BS EN 466: Liquid chemicals (liquid-tight) Type 3 equipment.
* BS EN 467: Liquid chemicals (partial body e.g.. Apron, sleeves & hoods).
* prEN 943-1: Liquid and gaseous chemicals Type 1 (gas-tight) + Type 2 (non gas-tight).
* prEN 1511: Liquid chemicals for limited life/use (liquid-tight) Type 3 equipment.
* prEN 1512: Liquid chemicals for limited life/use (spray-tight) Type 4 equipment.
* prEN 1513: Liquid chemicals for limited life/use (partial body).
* prEN 13034: Liquid chemicals for limited performance/re-usable Type 6.
* prEN 13982-2: Partial-tight limited life/re-usable Type 5.


* BS EN 344-1:Requirements & tests methods for safety footwear.
* BS EN 344-2: Additional requirements for protection against water, cut resistance & metatarsal protection
* BS EN 345-1: Additional requirements for protection against IMPACT at 200J.
* BS EN 345-2: Additional requirements for protection against water, cut resistance & metatarsal protection.
* BS EN 346-1: Additional requirements for protection against IMPACT at 100J.
* BS EN 346-2: Additional requirements for protection against water, cut resistance & metatarsal protection.
* BS EN 347-1: Occupational footwear without safety toecaps.
* BS EN 347-2: Additional requirements for protection against water.
* BS EN 381: Protection against hand-held chain saws
* prEN 13287: Slip resistance specifications.

Electrical inspections – a requirement or a con?

We often get clients asking for advice when its comes to electrical testing.

From PAT (portable appliance tests) through to building supply inspections it seems that the waters are rather murky and many business people are frustrated by a lack of clear guidance on what they must do rather than what they could do.

This is complicated by a range of suppliers who all provide information in a way which makes you suspect that their intentions are more commercial than educational…

So what are the facts in a nutshell?

Portable appliances
You should have a scheme of inspection (could be visual) by a person competent to spot the risk issues (not necessarily an electrical engineer). However, you’ll find that pretty much everyone interprets this as having a company carry out portable appliance tests once a year for portable equipment (less often for fixed equipment like photocopiers and more often for equipment in tough environments like workshops or construction).

It is your choice to do otherwise but we’d recommend the above, if you wish to do it in house companies such as ourselves can offer one day training courses to give sufficient competence to operate a tester and carry this task out.

Electrical installations
Typically your insurer will ask to see evidence of inspection and test on a five yearly basis. If you have recently moved into your offices you should be in receipt of a handover certificate which states that the installation was carried out in line with the requirements of the current IEE Regulations (17th Edition) and all is well. Once you get five years beyond this its time to review and you’ll need to get hold of a competent contractor to do this for you (NICEIC for example).

Remember, there can be a lot of power moving through the system hidden behind walls and in risers cupboards, poor connections can be overheating or perhaps sparking leading to fire and major problems. Perhaps have a shop around, a larger contractor with heat sensing camera equipment might actually work out to be better value than having to shut down sections whilst the survey is completed.

In summary, none of this is law but it is alluded to in the regulations as being reasonable. The fact that just about everyone else is doing it makes complying your best option in this case.

Finally, if you have questions then post a comment, I’ve tried to summarise as best I can, but questions relating to specifc situations will always arise.

Health and Safety Policy – New Guidance

Health & Safety Policy, a new example from HSE – Do you need to make changes, what can be learnt?

The HSE has recently published new guidance and issued an example policy statement which is downloadable from its website.  The intention is to act as a guide to small businesses wishing to complete their health and safety policy statement from a simple template.

Its certainly worth taking a look at and it incorporate the principles of HSE’s other documents and guidance such as 5 steps to risk assessment.  However, it is simply an example of what the HSE would expect (and be happy) to see in a small business.  By all means take a look and see what changes have been made but in terms of updating your own statement their is no need for a change unless you feel it is necessary.

The only other thing which you need to remember is sign it, date it and display it.  Take a check now and make sure that your policy statement is on display, perhaps next to your insurance certificate (Employers Liability) and Health and Safety Law Poster.  The statement should have been signed by your Chief Executive or Managing Director within the last 12 months.

Electrical Safety Training

Electrical Safety Training


This course covers the full 17th Edition Regulations and is open to all. The 3 Day Novice Course is suitable for those who are qualified or want more in-depth knowledge, OR anyone who does NOT hold any of the acceptable
prerequisite qualifications applicable to the 2 Day Refresher Course.

AIMS: To inform candidates of the changes brought about by the introduction of 17th Edition


  • Harmonisation with European Standards
  • Part 1: Scope, object and fundamental principles
  • Part 2: Definitions and Terminology
  • Part 3: Assessment of general characteristics
  • Part 4: Protection of safety
  • Part 5: Selection and erection of equipment
  • Part 6: Inspection and testing
  • Part 7: Special locations

Please note the 17th Edition IEE Regulations will be referred to during the course, a copy should be made available for candidates use. These are available at £ 65.00 each

COST: £ 125.00 + VAT per candidate per day plus City and Guilds examination fee of £ 45.00 + VAT

Acceptable Prerequisite Qualifications
Applicable to the 2 Day Refresher Course are:
– City & Guilds Level 3 certificate in the re-quirements for electrical installations BS7671: June 2001 (2381)
– City & Guilds Level 3 certificate in electro technical technology installation (buildings & structures 2330-07)
– City & Guilds Level 3 certificate in electro technical technology electrical maintenance (233008)
– City & Guilds Level 3 certificate in electrical installation part two (2360