Our Blog

November 15, 2017

Requirements for ‘Safety Critical Medicals’ hitting construction contractors

This is an issue which is being raised by more and more clients since the beginning of this year. It is linked to a national scheme know as Constructing Better Health which is backed by the larger constructors in the construction industry. You can find out more about this scheme...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
HSE
November 13, 2017

HSE publishes their sector plans for 2018

The Health and Safety Executive has published its plans for the next 3-5 years following the draft it issued in March 2017. This earlier document saw HSE split the areas under its remit into 19 different sections rather than the, until now, traditional two sectors  Interestingly, manufacturing has been given a...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
September 4, 2017

Utter failure to manage safety results in tragic death

Almost all the people we know and work with struggle with knowing the right mix of safety aspects and operational aspects when planning work.  We do have to get the job done, but let's do it safely is a common phrase through industry and construction. However, every now and then we...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
September 1, 2017

Client fails to appoint a Principal Contractor and receives £200,000 fine

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations are long established having been first issued in 1994 but more recent changes in the 2015 update are catching out some clients.  We think that as time progresses HSE will be looking to enforce more regularly on client duties in project both large and...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
September 1, 2017

Bristol Construction firm receives £145,000 fine without an incident occurring

There are two common misconceptions to be addressed here; You have to have an accident to get prosecuted and fined by the HSE; Most inspections come through random HSE visits. This case disproves both of these assumptions.  Firstly, the case was prosecuted based on the risk of the breach rather than...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
August 21, 2017

Time, not material goods, ‘raises happiness’

Bear with us for a moment or two...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
August 21, 2017

France launches ‘tick alert app’ in frantic bid to map Lyme disease explosion as blight ‘moves North’

Lyme disease and the danger from tick bites is something which we've been communicating for almost 10 years now. Each month we come across another news story which reminds us that the message still needs a lot more promotion.  This month alone we've seen two important stories. If you're a fan of...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
July 20, 2017

Welding of drums or other vessels – the potential for explosion

Lots of businesses which we visit have an oil drum or two lying around the workplace.  It may seems like a good idea to make use of one of these unwanted items and we've seen them made into bins and even barbecues. However, depending on what used to be inside them...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
July 20, 2017

Failings in formwork safety leads to further injuries and fines

Formwork safety continues to be an area in which many sites could improve.  There are a range of courses out there which give useful qualification and skills in the management of formwork and falsework risk.  A good example of this would be the Temporary Works Supervisor Training Course (TWSTC) available...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
July 19, 2017

Hand arm vibration (HAV) – are you really managing the risk?

All of us have our pet subjects.  Some of us do tend to bury our heads in the sand for areas in which we're not as competent.  You may, if you are honest with yourself, have a hit list of subjects which you mean to 'review' at some stage. Local IOSH...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
July 19, 2017

Focus on structural safety

Working in a safety role means that you come across a diverse range and issues.  We work with the whole range of construction site specialists and spotting risk is part of engaging in conversations with each stakeholder. If, like us, you're of the opinion that every day is a school day...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
July 14, 2017

Construction deaths hit a record low

It's great to be able to report some good news and I'm happy to be able to call it that.  We all qualify each improvement with an immediate caveat of 'but many others still suffered death or injury which could have been avoided.  Lets not be afraid to say well...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
July 10, 2017

Highly flammable liquids fire burns spray booth operator

We have to be truthful and admit that we sometimes carry out tasks which in hindsight we could have done with far less risk.  It could be driving to work or what we do at home at the weekend away from the eyes of our colleagues and managers. The case below...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
July 7, 2017

Could Health and Safety Fines rise even higher? Probably….

We have seen fines for health and safety offences increases by 10-15 x their former levels since the Sentencing Guidelines were introduced in 2016 (see our earlier article for more information). A recent article by Dr Simon Joyston-Bechal of Turnstone Law discusses sentences applying to individuals who have put cost cutting...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
July 7, 2017

Oxygen explosion causes worker severe injury and costs firm £1m fine

Oxygen is used throughout many sectors of industry and healthcare.  This common element can be taken for granted as we are so familiar with its name and its use. Are you aware that; increasing the concentration of oxygen in air from its normal 21% to just 24% can make an enormous...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
July 6, 2017

What’s the best way to move gas cylinders?

Moving gas cylinders in your workplace - the hazards We see gas cylinders in use across the wide range of clients we visit.  Some will use cylinders to power their MHE (Materials Handling Equipment) and some will be using gases to complete welding and cutting operations as part of their production...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 29, 2017

Case Law: Diversion of workers to maintenance tasks

It can be tempting to allow staff, particularly those who are helpful and keen, to undertake others tasks within your workplace.  You can sometimes hear a staff member state "I could have sorted that for you!" When you have staff which have worked in other roles through  a diverse career and...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 29, 2017

Spa Pools; new legislation for commercial installations

You might be wondering why this post is here, if you are you're probably not aware of the wide range of clients which we work with! This post relates to the commercial rather than residential use of these spa's but if you're lucky enough to have one at home there are...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 21, 2017

Occupational Health Risks of Working in the Sun (UV) Rays

What are your legal obligations as an employer? The Health and Safety at Work Act makes it clear that there is a legal duty on every employer to ensure, as far as reasonably practical, the health of their employees. It also says that employers must provide “information, instruction, training and supervision” to...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 12, 2017

Public Tip Off leads to Prosecution and £52,000 fine

HSE often attends sites which have been reported as dangerous by members of the public.  In fact, we hear of these visits quite regularly and they can be as a result of genuine concerns or perhaps as a result of noise, dust and other disturbances causes nuisance to neighbours. The case...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 12, 2017

Site Managers negligence leads to death of person passing construction site

Some of you may remember hearing a statistic being talked about on past training courses that one person a month dies just walking past a  construction site. This statistic has been brought tragically to life by an accident which occurred in Hanover Square London on August 2012 when 3 large unglazed...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 12, 2017

Routine HSE inspection leads directly to prosecution

We are all used to HSE visiting site and reviewing our arrangements on safety.  If these fall below expected standards we typically see Fee for Intervention costs (FFI) and the possibility of the serving of Improvement or even Prohibition notices. HSE launches several campaigns each year across the different regions of...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 12, 2017

Temporary works: Deaths of four workers illustrate need for careful planning

Temporary works are an area where greater focus on safety is required.  Some confusion can still exist over who takes responsibility for these areas and risks can sometimes be underestimated. The case above involved the construction of a foundation for a large steel structure as part of the foundation for a...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 12, 2017

Client receives £160,000 fine after failure to appoint competent contractor

Both the building owner and the contractor they employed to demolish a structure have received heavy fines following safety failings which led to an uncontrolled collapse onto a high street in November 2013. It is a requirement of CDM 2007 (now replaced by CDM 2015) that a construction client must not...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 12, 2017

Health and Safety Vs the Hipsters – are beards to be outlawed on site?

We've been carrying out face fit tests and advising our clients on the selection and use of RPE (face masks and similar) for many years now. Our position as occupational hygiene specialists means that we have been more exposed to this issue more than many of our peers and it has...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
June 9, 2017

Occupational Road Risk – Awareness for your business

The Journey With roadways becoming more congested, concern about the impact of diesel on the environment, roadworks that seem to go on and on, with risk based arrangements in place to calm traffic through road developments, the challenge for planning travel by road for companies, so they remain cost effective,...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
April 18, 2017

Use of Plant on Construction Sites – New HSE guidance on Overturning

There have been more instances of tele-handlers and dumpers overturning on construction sites with often tragic consequences. These days we have trained operators and good site traffic management on most sites we see but in spite of this we are still seeing too many overturns. This gave use cause to think...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
April 18, 2017

Estate agent fined £200,000 after house viewing fall

You may recall a national story regarding a viewing which went horribly wrong when a lady fell into a well within the properties garden.  The local estate agent, Strakers (Holdings) Ltd was showing the house to Mr and Mrs Driver and they were told to look around the grounds on...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
March 27, 2017

Risk Assessments: A joint venture

As an employer you have the duty to assess the risks to Health, Safety and Welfare of all persons in your employment and also to those not actually in your employment but entering your premises - members of the public or visitors to your site. You have diligently carried out your...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
March 27, 2017

Clients receives huge fine after self employed contractor falls from MEWP

You are most probably aware of the duties you have as a client to select contractors which are competent and adequately resourced for safety.  Sometimes you will also need to convince others within your supply chain or business of the need to complete a thorough assessment and the case below...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
March 21, 2017

Jail sentence for both company directors and the main contractor following death

HSE now has a policy of 'looking beyond the garden gate' in construction accidents.  in this particular case the directors of a roofing business, and also the director of the business which contracted this work out to them, have seen custodial sentences (see our earlier blog for another example of...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
March 9, 2017

Toolbox Talks/Short Safety Briefings – A Powerful Health & Safety Tool

Did you know that Outsource Safety can work with you to implement an effective and productive safety briefing programme through the use of toolbox talks that also serves to  demonstrate the communication of key health & safety issues to employees within your company? Although there is a time and a place...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
March 6, 2017

HSE settles judicial review brought by OCS Group before High Court Hearing

At our recent round of breakfast clubs we discussed the Judicial Review being brought by OCS Group after the FFI fine imposed upon it by HSE linked to its operations at Heathrow Airport. Key to the review was the HSE being able to act as a 'judge in its own cause'...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
March 2, 2017

Butler at historic home dies in lift accident due to lack of inspections

All lifts which carry goods or people should be checked on a regular basis, 12 monthly for those lifts carrying goods and 6 monthly for those which carry people.  These tests are required by law and must be completed - they're known as statutory tests. Burghley House Preservation Trust Limited in...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
March 2, 2017

£2m fine for a fall and injury at breadmaker

Warburtons Limited, a large national breadmaker has been fined £2 million plus costs of £19,609.28 after a worker carrying out routine mixing machine cleaning  lost his footing and fell nearly 2 metres to the floor below. He was hospitalised and suffered a compression fracture to his spine and was unable to...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
March 2, 2017

Massive fine imposed at magistrates court £1m+

In a move which would have been unheard of just a year ago a magistrates court has handed a fine to DFS Trading Ltd of £1m plus costs of £15,099 On 2 July 2015 the worker was unloading wooden furniture frames at one of the firms upholstery sites when he was...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
February 28, 2017

Lack of experience leads to Principal Contractor being fined £360k

Both a Principal Contractor and other contractors have been fined following a worker falling over 7 metres through a fragile roof which was being replaced. Our belief is that the client was lucky not to be prosecuted as a key requirement on them is to ensure that those they appoint are...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
January 31, 2017

University experiment safety error almost costs two students their lives

We work for a number of education establishments and the risks within them are diverse, its a challenge for a person or a small team to manage each of them. This example represents a situation which could arise in any number of similar organisations when risk isn't adequately controlled, the consequences...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
January 11, 2017

Slips on a Icy Path… A Case Law example

As we have a cold weather front approaching and some real winter may well be approaching...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
January 10, 2017

PPE: Can staff bring in their own?

This is an interesting question which sometimes arises for the hundreds of clients we support across the UK.  Imagine that a new employee starts working at your business or a temporary employee becomes permanent and they already have their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Given the links back to the Health...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
January 10, 2017

Occupational Health: Alveolitis in Metal Working

Health is becoming the central thrust of any HSE visit and with good reason, health causes a huge impact on individuals and a massive strain on our NHS. However, not all safety professionals are aware of these risks well enough to control them and that's where expert, external, independent advice...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
January 10, 2017

Major aerospace company receives £800,000 fine for occupational ill health

Martin Baker Aircraft Company has been fined £800,000 after three of its workers developed Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis (EEA). EEA is often caused when workers inhale contaminated metal working fluids as a mist when high speed machining is taking place, these fluids can provide a home for bacteria and other organisms to...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
January 10, 2017

Precast Concrete: ‘Barring’ of floor units causes major injuries and £33k fine

The use of pinch or crowbars to move components is a common practice in precast concrete erection.  Components should be positioned as close as possible to minimise the need for it but there is often a need for some adjustment whether to ensure that the component reaches the right position...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
January 9, 2017

HSE to Issue Construction Sector Plan for 2017 – 2022: emphasis on CDM 2015 compliance

The Board of HSE met in December to discuss draft sectors plans for construction for the coming 3-5 year period, the summary of the points for consideration are listed below with the emphasis being placed on Health, Smaller Business and CDM 2015; HSE Priorities Health Hazards – reducing incidents of ill-health,...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
January 9, 2017

Polishing on lathes still causing injuries at work, £400k fine

When you start out in health and safety you usually end up on a 10 day NEBOSH Certificate and this is often taught in a college.  You all file down to an old engineering workshop and are told about holding emery cloth on lathes and the terrible injuries it can...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
January 9, 2017

English as a foreign language

Firstly, a Happy New Year to all our clients, friends and contacts.  Sitting over the Christmas period gives you time to think on a few things and with Brexit still being a point of discussion I was thinking of the foreign workers who continue to provide a huge amount of...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
November 3, 2016

Shockingly Good Advice; Free Event from WWT Southwest

Don't miss this opportunity to hear from experts on exactly how to keep you staff safe when working with electricity. To secure a place(s) please complete the registration page at: Book your free place now! Topics covered will include: Electrical safety; Management and planning of Asbestos & Non-licensed removal; Introduction to...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
November 2, 2016

CDM Client and their Contractors fined more than £1.5m

A local authority and its two contractors have been fined in excess of £1.5 million following two incidents involving roadworks on a busy Liverpool city centre road. A man died and another was seriously injured while attempting to cross Queens Drive in Liverpool during major resurfacing works which happened in...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
November 2, 2016

HSE fines increase by 43 percent

Between February 2016 and August 2016, health and safety fines totalled £20.6 million, compared to £14.4 million in February 2015 to August 2015 (please note that these costs may in fact be significantly higher as the data does not include sentences imposed in cases prosecuted by local authorities). In the past...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
November 2, 2016

HSE consults on enforcing safety for all businesses (with FFI)

In July HSE ran a consultation on health and safety enforcement allocation with a view to how it shares its enforcement role with local authorities EHO's (environmental health officers). A number of options were on the table ranging from completely absorbing the LAs’ regulatory powers for health and safety to allocating...  read more

Posted by Roger Hart
Great - we're looking forward to hearing from you!

Please fill our short form and one of our friendly team members will contact you back. Remember; we don't have a sales team, just safety experts on hand to speak about any issue you need help with. We promise to respond within 24 hours maximum and we're typically a lot faster.

X
REQUEST A CALL BACK