Updates on new and changing regulations plus best practice in health, safety, quality and environment

HSE to conduct load safety spot checks on hauliers

The Health and Safety Executive announced yesterday, 19/01/2010 that hauliers in the UK are to be subject to spot checks conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in order to ensure they are complying with load safety regulations.

The Health and Safety Executive are concerned that too many haulage firms are placing both their goods and workers at risk by failing to properly secure their loads leading to the risk of serious accidents and damage when transporting and also when unloading.

A previous spot check campaign conducted in April 2009 found that loads were insufficiently restrained in 80 per cent of cases.

Peter Brown from HSE warned companies that there is “no excuse” for poor load safety and called for better standards for the sake of workers, other road users and the companies themselves.

He said: “Take those few extra minutes to secure your loads or at best you could face a fine or, at worst, risk death or injury to yourself or others.”

C&G Safety & Environmental Ltd provide training and specialist safety consultancy, risk assessments, method statements and health & safety policy development.  Please contact Roger Hart of C&G Safety & Environmental Limited for more information.

Posted by Roger Hart

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.

Contact us on 01453 800 100 if you need expert help with health and safety for a fixed cost.

Posted by Roger Hart

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

A 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 Roger Hart. “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.

Posted by Roger Hart