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Health & Safety related news to keep you up to date

Not a good start to 2016
April 2016

This year, so far, has seen four fines of over £1m and a Company Director imprisoned for 6 months for failing to comply with Prohibition and Improvement notices.

And this isn't the worst bit, the fines relate to loss of limbs of injured workers, (£1.2m for loss of an arm and £1.8m for loss of a leg), so notwithstanding the financial hit on the company, there are now two families having to drastically change their lives due to failings in Health & Safety.

Indeed, one worker fell through a skylight and suffered severe injuries in the afternoon when his colleague had fallen through a different skylight on the SAME ROOF that MORNING !! so not only were there failings in Working At Height Regs, (Amongst others), there was, it seems, a 'It won't happen to me' attitude' in general amongst the workforce...

This type of accident should never have happened in the first place and for a second person to have the same accident on the same roof on the same day beggars belief.... where is the supervision ?. where is the Stop Work policy ? and even more basic than that, where is the sense in this situation where experienced workers still suffer accidents because, 'I've been doing this for years and haven't fallen through a roof yet', well, on that day TWO people fell through a roof who thought it would never happen to them, and the company management allowed work to continue after the first accident, and the workers continued to work on what they could not fail to see was an unsafe workplace.

As employers YOU have a duty to provide a safe place of work, as employees YOU have a duty to make management aware of any workplace that is unsafe to work in and to stop work until that place is safe to continue.

It may safe YOU life and limb, never mind the company money in fines and business loss....

Health and Safety Updates
January 2016

A Happy New year to my 'readers', although, less than two weeks into the year and bad news already here quite local to us.

A Lift Engineer was crushed to death during maintenance work on a vessel in the shipyard. By all accounts a well experienced engineer working in an environment he was used to, in a workplace that has solid Safety Management Systems in place. A tragedy by any standards.

The incident is still under investigation of course and any presumption on cause is not appropriate.

Maybe the New year is a perfect opportunity to reviewing your Risk Assessments, remember, they need reviewing annually, or after any significant change to the process, equipment or people.

Are your Method Statements still relevant to the work actually being carried out ?

Have you upgraded your work equipment and tools ? are your documents still relevant to the changes ?

The country has been affected by unprecedented bad weather with floods, landslides and a host of other hazards affecting whole communities. Those working normally in these areas need to be aware of the appropriate time to leave safely. Those working or offering support to people and communities also need to be aware of the hazards involved with flood water, sewage and property stability affected by the floods, landslip and standing water.

We're told that the warm period is coming to an end and wintry weather is on the way so are your drivers ready for icy roads, with well maintained vehicles, basic emergency kits and a solid Journey Management and communications system in place....

TopTip...... A 'tea light' or 'night light' type of candle will burn for hours and provide enough heat in a vehicle to drastically reduce the chances of hypothermia... Be safe for a few pence !!!

Health Safety & Environmental updates
December 2015

A big year for Health Safety & Environmental updates,
CDM 2015 has formalised arrangements for Clients, Principal Contractors, Designers and just about anyone else involved in the design, planning and execution of construction projects.
REACH 2018 is approaching, (Yes, it's 2016 in a just a few weeks), and if you're involved in importing or using chemicals you need to be aware of the impact that the REACH regs may have on your business.

Following the tragic cases of two workers being killed, in separate working accidents one company received substantial fines and costs and the second received substantial fines and costs, PLUS a twelve month suspended sentence of 18 months imprisonment was given to an individual company director.

Notwithstanding the hefty fines and suspended custodial sentence BOTH accidents were preventable and caused by failings in Risk Assessment and Risk Management along with the workers either not having the correct Information, Instruction, Training and Supervision to conduct the work safely they didn't, it seems, feel empowered to stop the work as it was unsafe to continue working.

This is an important part of 'our' daily work. Workers must be trained in recognising unsafe workplace conditions and be empowered by Management, without fear of reprisal to 'Stop the Job' until the workplace has been made safe.

ALL investment in Health and Safety Training will provide a return on that investment in reduced accidents, improved productivity and a better, safer and happier workplace and workforce !!

Almost £1m in Fines published in January
January 2014

Notice of H & S fines in January's Trade Press has totalled almost £1million, and this doesn't include the civil damages for injuries to individuals involving limb amputation and injuries caused on the first day of work for one individual.

Don't hurt your staff, it makes good sense !!


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