Occupational deafness claims soar, a case for good safety management

Some of you may already be familiar with the fact that safety is just one element of our services here.  I have been involved in the ‘health’ side of safety for over 20 years and have been what we like to call an ‘occupational hygienist’ for all of my career.

In truth, there’s not a lot of us about, you can consider us the most nerdy of the nerds if you like (I couldn’t comment) but there really is a place for us health specialists amongst all of the other consultants out there.

One of the services we offer linked to this health side of things is noise assessment and its come to our attention today that deafness claims seem to be the new golden goose for the no win no fee lawyers.

There is good reason for this with the average settlement fee for a deafness claim being around £10,500 rather than the much more modest £500 of a whiplash injury.  For this reason insurance companies have seen claims levels soar in recent years with Royal & Sun Alliance reporting 800 claims every month and Aviva seeing its deafness claims rocket from 2,400 in 2009 to a staggering 11,467 in 2013!

So, what are you doing about protecting your business?

Whilst its true that you have insurance cover to protect you it won’t be long before you see a potentially large increase in premium if some of these claims come your way.  However, the steps which you need to take to protect your business (and keep you in good shape with your insurer and insurance broker).

Next steps

  1. Find out if you have a problem – use the two metre rule to see if you need to raise your voice to speak to a colleague.  If you do you might have a noise problem;
  2. Speak to an expert – we’re here to help and if you want to chat then we don’t bite! (we won’t even charge you if you want to pass something across us for comment);
  3. Get a noise survey done by a competent person (that’s us) if needed;
  4. Put in place audiometry to see if anyone in your workplace suffers hearing damage (we offer this too) and test new workers to protect yourself from future claims.

If you have questions then ask us, we’re here (hear) to help!

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.

DSEAR, do you know or don’t you?

DSEAR, the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations – quite a mouthful and something which very few clients have addressed to the extent that they should.

If the above is true then it might come as a further surprise to you to know (or at least be reminded) that these regulations were introduced and came into force in 2002!

Their purpose is to ensure protection against risks from fire, explosion and similar events arising from dangerous substances used or present in the workplace, and also sets a minimum requirement for the protection of your workers from fire and explosion risks linked to any dangerous substances and potentially explosive atmospheres.  Think blasts, fires, burns and suffocation in terms of risks which you are protecting from.

We’ve added some general requirements of the regulations below but you might want to know more from our experts, if you would like to discuss any aspect of DSEAR feel free to call us on 01453 800100 or use the contact links at the bottom of this post.

Key requirements

  1. Assess risks and then decide how best to reduce them;
  2. Put in place suitable procedures/ equipment to deal with the potential for accident and emergencies;
  3. Ensure that you supply your employees with adequate information, instruction, training and supervision;
  4. Classify your areas into zones which must then be marked and suitably protected.

Activities, processes and substances which come under DSEAR

  1. Storage of highly flammable liquids, including petroleum spirit
  2. Storage of flammable goods, such as paints, solvents, reagents
  3. Storage, use and handling of flammable gases, including LPG
  4. Use of flammable gases, such as acetylene, for cutting and welding
  5. Handling and storage of waste dusts from woodworking operations
  6. Handling and storage of flammable wastes including fuel oils
  7. Hot work on tanks or drums that have contained flammable material
  8. Work activities that could release naturally occurring methane
  9. Use of flammable solvents in laboratories
  10. Transport of flammable liquids in containers around the workplace

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

Contact form

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.

Did you know? Regulation 38 : Passing on the right fire safety details…

dsear imageWe thought we should publicise this little known part of the building regulations as its something which is often missed not just by our clients but also by the many contractors and construction client which we work with on projects which come under the CDM Regulations.

Regulation 38 is a requirement placed on the ‘responsible person’ on completion of the project or where the building or extension being built is first occupied.

Read on below for more information from BWF Certifire:

Where a building is erected or extended, or has undergone a material change of use, and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to that building or extension, Regulation 38 requires that a package of fire safety information – ‘as built’ information which records the fire safety design of the building or extension – must be assembled and given to the ‘responsible person’ for the premises.

The fire safety information provided should include all fire safety design measures in appropriate detail and with sufficient accuracy to assist the responsible person to operate and maintain the building safely.

Who passes on the information?

The contractor is responsible for handing over the correct information to the client or their appointed representative, and this could vary considerably according to the nature of the building or contract. Typical recipients are likely to be a Health and Safety or Environmental Health Officer , client’s surveyor or architect, or building project manager responsible for the final sign-off of the building contract.  In turn, the client should then provide the relevant information to the “responsible person”

What information should be provided?

A fire door assembly is made up of components which are required to make it perform correctly in the event of a fire. These components include the door leaf, frame, seals and essential building hardware which are referred to in the door’s fire test evidence. Using the wrong components may have a significant effect on the overall performance of the fire door.

It is essential, then, that the information relating to all the components used in the fire door assembly is handed over to responsible person, since this will be necessary in future inspections and any maintenance which may be required.

Contact us on 01453 800100 if you need expert help with health and safety for a fixed cost or use contact us above of the form below to request a proposal;

Contact form

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.

 

Carillion ‘Target Zero’ certificate gained

We’ve been working with a client involved in highways and rail for the past year or two and one of their key clients is Carillion.Carillion target zero

You may be aware of the zero harm commitments which have been made by a number of the larger construction businesses in the UK and some have also wondered how achievable this might be in real life.

Whilst we willingly accept that this is not a demolition contractor we can say that their work is fr from risk free taking them all over the UK and involving work on high speed roads.  That’s why we were so pleased to have played a small part in their achievement of a zero harm certificate from Carillion.

This is no mean feat and this certificate reflects a full 12 months without a single Lost Time Incident so well done to Vysionics and well done to our safety consultants particularly Derek and Andrea here at Outsource Safety.

Keep up the good work everyone, it seems zero harm is achievable after all!

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

Contact form

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.

Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station Receives Go Ahead

Southwest business insider has just reported that the planned £16bn new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset has been given the final approval from the European Commission.

This means the potential for a lot of work in the Southwest Region. If you haven’t already registered you should do so at; www.hinkleysupplychain.co.uk

If you need assistance with any aspect of safety from documentation to on site visits we’re here to help you, just call on 01453 800100

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

Contact form

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.

From Insider media: The plant has been under scrutiny from the European Commission since December 2013, will be the first nuclear power station in the UK in almost 20 years.

Joaquín Almunia, the Commission’s vice-president who is in charge of competition policy, said: “After the Commission’s intervention, the UK measures in favour of Hinkley Point nuclear power station have been significantly modified, limiting any distortions of competition in the single market.

“These modifications will also achieve significant savings for UK taxpayers. On this basis and after a thorough investigation, the Commission can now conclude that the support is compatible with EU state aid rules.”

The new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will be built by EDF Energy. It hopes to start operations in 2023, with an expected operational lifetime of 60 years.

The two reactors will produce in total 3.3 GW of electricity – the largest output produced by a single plant in the UK and representing 7 per cent of UK electricity generation.

The Hinkley Point C project was granted consent from West Somerset Council in January 2012. It could create about 900 jobs.