HSE Provides risk assessment training

Well then – who better to tell you about how provide a risk assessment training than an actual HSE Inspector!HSE

Or is it….

HSE have recently started to offer more in the way of courses and have some which cover risk assessment, others covering CDM and more are likely to arrive in the future.  The truth behind this is a drive to monetise the skills present within HSE and help fund the large reduction in the support which HSE receives from central government coffers.

I think we can all see the rationale behind this and perhaps there is merit in trying to make our tax pounds work a little harder…. but… would anyone but a very large business be willing to pay £495.00 for just one days risk assessment training?  Aren’t we already paying for this service through both tax and through the FFI Scheme? What can’t the same information and resources be made available to the smaller businesses who can’t (or won’t) pay £495.00 for just one days training?

I’ve paid in the past to attend courses at the Health and Safety Laboratory and found them useful but even we’d bulk at the costs HSE want to extract from those which they enforce.  Speaking of which, isn’t there some basic conflict of interest going on here?  Could future cases be complicated by the waving of a certificate which deems some competence on an attendee?  What about those who could not afford to attend?

In essence I’m in the ‘thanks but no thanks’ camp. Provide a level and fair playing field for all those governed by the same regulations and keep enforcement and commercial practice separate now and in the future.

Posted by Roger Hart

Emergency First Aid Training: HSE updates First Aid guidance leaflet

Emergency First Aid Training: First aid leaflet revised for 2018

Emergency First Aid TrainingThe HSE has updated some of its guidance material that covers first aid at work.   This is important information for anyone who has recently completed Emergency First Aid Training with us.  If you need emergency First Aid Training please contact Andrea on 01453 800100 and see our Emergency First Aid Training Course  See what has changed here; PDF Logo Updated leaflet INDG347

New material. The updated version of the HSE leaflet ‘Basic advice on first aid at work’ (INDG347) has been designed to provide basic advice on first aid, covering resuscitation, bleeding, broken bones, burns, eye injuries and record keeping. This leaflet is typically found in first aid boxes as a basic guide to first aid treatment. We’d recommend you also keep one with your first aid kits in vehicles as it’s more likely it will be read by someone without much training.

Although the contents of the leaflet have changed in a fairly minor way, it’s always best to circulate the updated version to your trained first aiders, emergency first aid trained staff and others who may benefit from have a copy of the guide.

The key change is that the leaflet now mentions the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Specifically, if a casualty is not breathing, the staff member administering first aid should “get help and call for an AED if available”. The revised leaflet also explains the point at which an AED should be used during cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, namely, after the first 30 chest compressions and having opened the airway.

Note: You’re only legally obliged to install an AED in your workplace when your first aid risk assessment identifies it as necessary.  For example, you may be in a remote location or have a higher than average number of older staff which makes an AED a wise choice.  If you need AED use added to your Emergency First Aid Training Course please ask us.

If you need some first aiders trained please contact us as we offer Emergency First Aid Training, please contact Andrea Hart on 01453 800100 to book your place for as little as £85.00 per person.
Posted by Roger Hart

Changes to ISO Management Systems standards

I am sure that most of our clients are already familiar with the long established ISO.9001 as the Quality part of the ISO Management Systems standard, which has evolved to its latest version in 2015.  To many, these changes to the standard were quite dramatic and now require far more Top Management Commitment and evidence of Continuous Improvement.

Previous versions written around the need for a set of predetermined procedures were often very prescriptive and did not necessarily require the focus of Top Management in the business.  Processes now need to be established, but not necessarily driven by a procedure, unless value can be gained by their use.

Changes in 2015: ISO Management Systems standards

The new standard ISO.9001:2015, supported by a guidance document Annex SL, requires real input of your Top Management to study its own context, why it exists, who are its interested parties and what are their needs.  This then needs to be incorporated into the Business Plan before you deploy a Quality Management System that meets those needs.  In addition, Continuous Improvement now needs to be evidenced by Ongoing Objectives that are clearly defined, resourced and monitored.

Top Management should now start to feel more excited about how the new standard can support the Business Plan needs and drive Continuous Improvement within their business to everyone’s advantage – but they need to be committed and have a structured approach with regular reviews.

The Environmental Management System standard was also revised as ISO.14001:2015 and this follows the same structure with similar needs.  OHSAS18001 Safety Management System standard is being replaced in March 2018 by ISO.45001:2017, again with a similar structure referring to Annex SL.

This has enabled businesses that wish to implement one, two or all three of these standards to follow the same approach to each of them.  The key element being Top Management can now identify what it considers important and relevant in developing a management system that can truly deliver for its business and drive Continuous Improvement.

Outsource Safety can provide Management Systems support from occasional internal audits, support during the transition to the revised standards through to full implementation projects for QMS, EMS, SMS and even fully Integrated Management Systems.  If we can help and provide more information on any aspect of the above please let us know.  We support a wide number of businesses doing just that.

Posted by Roger Hart

Focus on structural safety

Working in a safety role means that you come across a diverse range and issues and this does include structural safety.  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 then this site is likely to hold information you’ll benefit from knowing; http://www.structural-safety.org

Every report sent in is treated in confidence and it provides a means to share information so that all of us benefit from risks spotted by others across our industry and across the world.

Take a look at the site but also review the latest newsletter here; July 2017 CROSS Newsletter No 47

Structural safety resources

To give a flavour of the information you’ll be able to access see the list below;

  • Polyethylene core cladding panels used on residential high-rise building;
  • Steel canopy collapse during building completion works;
  • Unacceptable quality of construction and lack of supervision on a block of flats;
  • Steel balconies fixed to precast hollowcore floor planks;
  • Near miss – spalled concrete falling from rear face of drilled hole 26 floors up;
  • Failure of fabricated access staging board;
  • Designer competency and missing rebar; and
  • Inability of roller shutter doors to meet the pressure specification for dominant openings.

If you need help and assistance with health and safety from the Principal Designer role under the CDM regulations through to specific help with your own safety management please do get in touch or call us on 01453 800100

Posted by Roger Hart

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.  What’s unusual is when a HSE Inspection results directly in prosecution.

HSE launches several campaigns each year across the different regions of the UK to check on site safety and hundreds of sites are visited.  We know that the April visits in our own region resulted in more than 50% of sites receiving FFI and/or enforcement action.

HSE Inspection leads directly to prosecution

One site visited in Wilmslow led directly to a court case, an unusual step for HSE.  Read on to find out why these steps were taken.

Despite no specific injury having occurred the site was so poorly organized that the inspector decided that a prosecution was the best course of action. Reference to the photographs above show the poor state of the site and it was felt that a death or serious injury was a real possibility.

Key failings were the missing and removed edge protection and general site debris – this was not removed from site but was tipped to the rear of the plot burying the footings of the scaffolding and making access hazardous.

A prohibition and Improvement Notice were served and the subsequent prosecution saw Skyline Building Services Ltd  fined £20,000 with £4095.60 costs.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Ian Betley said:

“Numerous failings were found on this site, including serious risks of falls from height and site tidiness that could have resulted in major injuries or even death.

Skyline Building Services Limited showed scant regard for the safety of the workers they were responsible for and it was fortunate that nobody was seriously injured or killed.”

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Posted by Roger Hart

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

OS Logo EmailDid 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 for in-depth safety training, short safety briefings, otherwise known as toolbox talks are fast becoming an integral part of an employee’s training programme. It can be used flexibly on an ad-hoc or planned basis with employees across the construction, industrial and other sectors, as a means of communicating key Health & Safety messages.

At Outsource Safety, our toolbox talks have been developed to achieve maximum impact on the audience. We recommend a structured toolbox talk plan to ensure that the relevant key health & safety issues are addressed, communicated and documented.

The benefits of an effective Toolbox Talk programme

The benefits of a toolbox talk tailored programme as opposed to longer training sessions are as follows:

  1. Short Safety meetings boost employee awareness of safety and its importance in the workplace;
  2. Toolbox Talks presented by experts from an external company reinforces the importance of this type of training;
  3. These sessions can be tailored to fit in with the working day without taking people out of the workplace for whole days or several days at a time;
  4. Toolbox sessions are intended to focus attention on important safety issues, frequently reminding employees why procedures and other safeguards are in place and why it is important to follow them;
  5. Less chance of information overload, boredom and dilution of important safety messages that commonly occur with longer sessions;
  6. Can be used to communicate new issues but also as refresher sessions for older ones.

Contact us on 01453 800100 if you need expert help with health and safety for a fixed cost or request a call back above

Posted by Roger Hart

£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.falls from height

He was hospitalised and suffered a compression fracture to his spine and was unable to return to his work for several months. He was unable to return to his original role and was dismissed in December 2015 after a long period of sick leave.

An HSE investigation found that the firm routinely asked its employees to access the top of the mixers when they undertook cleaning tasks, in order to do this the workers had to access and then brace themselves to prevent themselves from falling.

It was found that supervision was not adequate and no training had taken place on how cleaning risks at height could be controlled.

HSE Inspector Mahesh Mahey commented;

“This case highlights how important it is for companies to fully assess the risks from work activities at height and to take appropriate action to prevent injury in the workplace.

This should have been prevented, falls from height is one of the biggest killers in the workplace and even falls from fairly low levels can be extremely dangerous. Mr Sears life has been changed forever but his injuries could have been more severe.”

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

Posted by Roger Hart

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 resource in our country and experience English as a foreign language.

From our health service to construction and agriculture there exists a diverse community or workers to whom we owe a duty of care.  Some of these staff can read and write English as well as us native speakers but many struggle with the finer points of understanding.  This presents a problem for us safety professionals in terms of communication.

To help us to gain perspective on this I found the list of peculiarities of the English language below, have a read through and you will start to appreciate the challenges faced by colleagues who are don’t have English as their first language.  If you can share this with your managers and supervisors it might help make us all more aware and, with that, more understanding and willing to help.

English as a foreign language: See the list below…

  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce.
  3. The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse.
  4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
  5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  7. Since there was no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  10. I did not object to the object.
  11. There was a row among the oarsmen on how to row.
  12. They were too close to the door to close it.
  13. The buck does funny things when does are present.
  14. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  15. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  16. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  17. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  18. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

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

Posted by Roger Hart

CDM Client and their Contractors fined more than £1.5m

A local authority (acting as a CDM Client) 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 the summer of 2012.

CDM Client fined more than £1.5m

In the case, heard at Liverpool Crown Court, it was reported that on the 3 July 2012 a 74-year-old man suffered head injuries after he was hit by a car while using a crossing at temporary lights. One side of the Queen’s Drive dual carriageway had been put into a contraflow to allow vehicles to travel in both directions but temporary pedestrian lights were not working and no alternative was provided.HSE

The Court also heard that on the 19th August 2012, 69-year-old Ernest Haughton died when he was struck by a car whilst crossing a single lane of traffic on the same road using a temporary pedestrian crossing.

Following complaints from motorists changes were made to the traffic control lights to alleviate congestion but this  resulted in the removal of the natural break in traffic flow needed to allow pedestrians to safely cross the carriageway.

When Mr Haughton died the temporary lights were removed but no alternative control measures were put in place to enable pedestrians to cross. In addition, a large A-frame sign was placed on the crossing which obscured the view of both pedestrians and motorists.

Liverpool City Council pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) and were fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £100,000 costs.

HSE investigators found that Liverpool City Council had failed to ensure that the arrangements for managing the roadworks were suitable, including failing to appoint a suitable co-ordinator for the work. Instead the council sought to delegate responsibilities to Enterprise Liverpool Limited who pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) and were fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £80,000 costs.

HSE found that Enterprise Liverpool Limited failed to ensure the designs for the traffic management were checked or approved and failed to check that the construction plan for pedestrian routes and provision of barriers was being followed.  At the time of the incidents they were found not to have provided a safe means of pedestrians crossing the works area or the carriageway.

Tarmac Trading Limited of Solihull, pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, 1974 and were fined £1.3 million and ordered to pay £130,000 costs.

Tarmac Trading Limited, who were responsible for the provision and installation of the traffic and pedestrian management, failed to provide alternative assistance for pedestrians at the time of the first incident despite it being known that the temporary lights were broken. A temporary bus stop had also been placed in the middle of the road at the crossing.

HSE Inspector Jacqueline Western commented:

“The risks associated with road works are well known in the industry and specific guidance is available to assist with the planning and implementation. It is not unreasonable to expect that those who regularly engage in this type of construction work should be well aware of their roles and responsibilities.

The combined failure of all three dutyholders to comply with their duties on more than one occasion during the Queens Drive resurfacing project, led to one man losing his life and another suffering serious injury. It could quite easily have been two fatal incidents.

By engaging with the entire project team at the very start of a project, clients like Liverpool City Council, can ensure that a good health and safety culture is embodied throughout the life of the project. Ongoing communication and cooperation between the principal contractors and sub-contractors ensures that the project is being adequately planned, managed and monitored.”

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


Posted by Roger Hart

HSE fines increase by 43 percent

Between February 2016 and August 2016, we have seen a significant HSE Fines increase. These totalled 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).

HSE fines increase by 43 percent

In the past few weeks alone there have been a number of high value, high profile fines, including:HSE

It seems that for medium sized businesses fines are now routinely hitting the £1m point, indeed it has been argued that under the new Sentencing Guidelines ‘very large businesses’ (those with a turnover in excess of £50m) may see fines as high as £100m becoming common place.

Now may be the time to review your current board level arrangements for health and safety, ensure that you are treating it with the importance it deserves and documenting the good practice you have in place.  Consider a Gap Analysis from one of our experts as a good place to start.

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

Posted by Roger Hart