Blog

New government must “get health and safety done”

The Chartered body for safety and health professionals has called for the Conservative government to “get health and safety done” by committing to the protection of workers’ rights and future-proofing the UK’s world-leading health and safety system following yesterday’s general election.  

IOSH calls on the government to provide assurance on health and safety for the 2020s; maintain its focus on eradicating human trafficking and modern slavery; and deliver upon its sustainability commitment by ensuring safety and health is at the heart of its proposed ‘infrastructure revolution’ and creation of two million new, high-quality jobs in clean growth.

Richard Jones, IOSH Head of Policy and Regulatory Engagement, said: “The UK ends this year and starts the next year and decade with a new majority Conservative government. It ran on a ‘get Brexit done’ slogan and has pledged high standards of workers’ rights.

“But as, concerningly, UK divergence could also allow a lowering of standards, IOSH calls on the Prime Minister to strengthen and future-proof the UK’s world-leading health and safety system and commit to get health and safety done.

“The 2020s need to see the UK substantially raise its performance on occupational safety and health, from improving mental health at work, to preventing long-latency diseases like occupational cancers; and from securing building fire safety to strengthening protections for the most vulnerable workers. It’s about ensuring long-term commitment and real action on health and safety that delivers a successful and sustainable future for all.”

IOSH pushes for urgent progress on all the key OSH public-policy areas, including:

  • Occupational health service reforms and subsidies
  • The right to request health-based modifications at work
  • Mental health at work improvements
  • Modern working practices reforms
  • Better transparency on preventing modern slavery in supply chains
  • National ‘post-Grenfell’ reforms on building regulation and fire safety

The IOSH Manifesto, Towards a safe and healthy world of work, highlights key OSH themes for UK and other Governments to help ensure a safe, healthy and sustainable future: https://www.iosh.com/media/6559/iosh-manifesto-2019.pdf

IOSH’s white paper, Tackling modern slavery together, outlines the role of governments, employers, professionals and the public in eradicating modern slavery: https://www.iosh.com/media/5672/iosh-modern-slavery-whitepaper_sept2019.pdf

IOSH

The importance of independent certification and competency in fire performance technical assessments

The reliability of engineering assessments on fire performance in the construction industry has come under scrutiny recently, with the events of the Grenfell tragedy and the Bolton student accommodation fire still fresh in the mind. Here, Simon Ince discusses why assessment reports are both necessary and vital to the fire safety industry, and highlights the need for quality, competent justification when carrying them out.

“You can’t test everything!”

This statement might sound like lunacy when talking about products that have a fire safety performance requirement. However, it is often a reality, and where the same product has multiple variations such as, diameter, thickness, weight or even colour, the variation permutations could be almost endless and impractical to test. For example, if a decorative vinyl coated wallpaper comes in three different weights, and has three different patterns, in three different colours, the number of different variations to test would be 27. Add three different shades of the three colours and the number of variables increases to 54. Add in to that equation the three EN 13823 fire test samples that need to be burned, to provide a valid test result for each permutation, plus the minimum of 18 small scale EN 11925 flame application tests per permutation which are also required, and the number of individual tests would be in excess of 1,000. It would become prohibitive for manufacturers to test all their variations.

With this in mind, there has to be a way of range assessing products to provide a test regime that will cover the fire performance of all variations. Within Harmonised European standards for products (where they exist) there is guidance on range assessment; and there is also European guidance on providing extended application assessments for fire resistant and reaction to fire products and systems.

However, standalone engineering assessments do have to be used in some instances to allow manufacturers to limit their test commitments, whilst still offering a high level of assurance that the full scope of variations will perform the same way in a test and gain the same fire test classification.

Assessments are also used to justify variations that occur on site which may have some changes from the ‘as tested’ specification. For example, fire resisting glazing can be produced in larger sizes than can be tested on a fire test rig. So, in an end use application, an engineering assessment has to be made that the increase in size will not significantly affect the fire performance of the glazed screen.

Only when necessary

It is important to note that assessments should never be used to avoid testing. Engineering judgements should be based on test data and completed by experts, using sound engineering principles. If there is test evidence for the most onerous design a judgement can be made to cover those deemed to be less onerous designs.

“The immediate suggestion from government was to ban all assessments and test everything, though it was quickly pointed out that this was simply unfeasible.”

Unfortunately, this has not always been the case, and the validity and reliability of assessments has come into question following building fires, where assessed products and systems have failed.

Indeed, assessments are something that the Government (via the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) has expressed concerns about following the Grenfell tragedy. The immediate suggestion from government was to ban all assessments and test everything, though it was quickly pointed out that this was simply unfeasible. There is not sufficient test lab capacity to do so, it would prevent thousands of products from being available for use and delay new products from entering the market; increasing costs for the entire supply chain.

Primary test evidence should be the ultimate in assurance – what was tested is exactly the same as what is going into the building. However, that isn’t going to happen for every specification of every product.

Defining a reliable assessment

One way in which the end user can have confidence in an assessment is where a product has been certificated through a third party certification scheme. Accredited Certification Bodies complete independent conformity assessments on products to provide confidence in that product or a system’s fire performance.

The end scope of certification will be formulated against recognised normative performance standards and determined by assessments which are underpinned by the actual tests completed and the specified extended application rules. The certification body will also have competent engineers with experience of the products being certificated, who will have to prove their competence to UKAS as part of their accreditation audits (as defined in ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity Assessment – requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services).

Where third party certification and extended application guidance cannot be followed, then the process of assessment is potentially less structured and can potentially offer less assurance. What elements are therefore required to offer good assurance?

The independence and competence of the organisation completing the assessment is paramount. The use of accredited certification bodies is normally deemed to be an assurance of the independence and competence of the assessment author. Indeed Building Regulations state:

‘Tests and assessments should be carried out by organisations with the necessary expertise. For example, organisations listed as “notified bodies” in accordance with the European Construction Products Regulation or laboratories accredited by UKAS for the relevant test standard can be assumed to have the necessary expertise.’ Amendments published in December 2018 – The Building Regulations 2010

The assurance being that a certification body will:

  • Have professional indemnity insurance to cover assessment activities
  • Operate a quality assurance management system (e.g. ISO 9001)

Within such a management system, there should be defined procedures for completing assessments, as well as a matrix of competences of those completing the assessments, with justifications for the sign off of assessors/engineers ability to complete the work. This matrix will take account of experience, qualifications and CPD records, to identify their current best practice knowledge.

In addition, assessors/engineers will follow existing best practice guidance, such as the Passive Fire Protection Forum (PFPF) Guide to undertaking technical assessments of the fire performance of construction products based on fire test evidence -2019 – Industry Standard Procedure.

Good assessment reports should include:

  • Supporting evidence, such as primary test evidence in full. If permission by the test sponsor has been provided, the assessment report should include the full test reports. If the sponsor wishes to withhold the full test report, the test reference numbers must be included. Primary evidence should be the basis for the assessment judgement and not secondary evidence.
  • Secondary evidence, such as test evidence for similar systems, indicative tests or standard performance data from codes or standards. All data and evidence used to make an assessment should be fully referenced within the report.
  • The report should be specific to the product as supplied and identified by the manufacturer, including all product/range /brand names.
  • The details of the applicant (company requesting the assessment) should be included and why the assessment has been requested.
  • The assessor must highlight how they have formulated their opinion and provide a clear justification for their decision. That decision should be reviewed and signed off by another member of the assessment body.
  • The report should state the test standard, against which the assessment has been carried out.
  • validity statement; stating the report may be superseded by primary test evidence if it becomes available. If the assessment isn’t for a specific project, the report should have a time limitation imposed – usually of around five years.

Assessment reports are an essential part of the supply chain of products with a fire performance requirement, and when done correctly should offer credible assurance of fire performance.

IFSEC GLOBAL

Keeping safe whilst working at height this winter

Stuart Pierpoint, UK Sales manager HCL, highlights some of the issues to be aware of and provides some top tips to help mitigate risks for those working at height at this time of year.

We all know working at height carries many potential risks. But after an autumn, that’s brought with it more than the average amount of rain for this time of year, and moving into the winter period, the risks of working at height can increase.

Setting the scene

Tragically, slips, trips and falls already account for 28% of all fatalities at work in the UK, at a cost to UK businesses approaching £1bn per year (according to slipstripsandfalls.org.uk). And while we’re all familiar with a bit of rain here in the UK, wet weather can increase these risks, thus bringing to the fore the need for diligent preparation and quality training. Both should always be fundamental to a robust fall protection regime but are particularly pertinent when working in poor weather.

Impacts of rain

Inclement weather can impact building performance at this time of year, bringing with it issues such as leaking roofs and blocked gutters, both of which can put a dent in productivity and facility maintenance costs. After all, a building with issues is likely a building that won’t be fully operational.

With an increased number of buildings requiring attention and maintenance, we naturally see more people operating at height in potentially hazardous conditions – slippery surfaces, heavy rain, storm debris, leaves and poor visibility are all things to be aware of over the next few months. So how do we safely negotiate these challenges and mitigate risk?

Preparation is key

It may sound relatively straightforward, but proactive wet weather planning lies at the heart of any robust working at height regime. Ensuring buildings are equipped with the most appropriate and high-quality fall protection systems is the best place to start, followed by comprehensive risk assessments – including dynamic risk assessments, if necessary – and the robust training of all operatives that may need to work at height.

Annual checks and inspections will help to ensure fall protection systems remain fully compliant with the latest regulations and standards and that any proactive repairs, maintenance, or replacements can take place in a safe and timely fashion. This will not only help to protect your culpability in the unfortunate event of an incident but provide you – as someone responsible for safety – with all-important peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that your workforce is as prepared and well-equipped as possible.

When it comes to working at height, there’s no doubt that bad weather can bring heightened risk, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that ongoing essential maintenance needs to come to a complete halt. By considering these few key elements, we can help workers remain safe and well-protected and importantly, go home safely to their families at the end of every working day.

SHP

Standing out in the crowd

How to develop an effective mentoring partnership and the power skills that OSH professionals will require to wield influence in the boardroom and beyond were among the topics covered at the inaugural future leaders conference .

Jamie Laing, future leaders community steering group

It was an honour and a pleasure to chair the inaugural future leaders conference. The energy and buzz around the room were palpable, and it felt we were doing something different and exciting. I met lots of delegates from all backgrounds. They were at various stages in their OSH career journey, but all shared a desire to change the face of the profession.

We want to bring together future OSH leaders from across the world. The heart of the future leaders community will be the online discussion forum, where I hope the buzz and energy of the conference will continue. 

Members can share their personal experiences, ask questions, seek advice and – most importantly – learn from each other.

Join the conversation at iosh.com/futureleaders

Businesses around the world are increasingly seeing the value in investing in safety, health and wellbeing, according to Jamie Laing, group safety business partner at Sainsbury’s. “Good health and safety makes good business sense, offering a competitive advantage and helping businesses prepare for a more sustainable future.”

That was Laing’s rallying cry at the first future leaders conference, held at the Crowne Plaza by Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre on 5 November. 

One of the eight peers comprising the first future leaders community steering group, Laing set the scene for the day by highlighting some of the emerging trends that will transform work environments, from changes in workforce demographics to more dynamic employment practices and the take-up of intelligent technologies. 

The future leaders community forms part of IOSH’s ‘enhance’ pillar in its Work 2022 strategy. Its steering group, which was formed earlier this year, has worked with IOSH’s professional development team to plan, develop and implement support and services for new and aspiring OSH professionals. Laing underlined the importance of arming the next generation with the right capabilities to help them ‘horizon-scan’ and prepare for the future. 

“As OSH professionals, we need to be aware of how the world of work is changing, and how we can work within our organisations to respond in order to create that safer, healthier future and better protect workers around the world,” he said.

Diversity pays

Keynote speaker Neil Lennox, head of group safety and insurance at Sainsbury’s (see our leader interview: bit.ly/32nInhY), took delegates on a journey through his career, peppering it with anecdotes of how the OSH landscape had changed since the mid-1980s and offering advice to the younger generation (see box, below), including the future skillset that will be required to influence the wider business as well as some pitfalls to avoid.

The IOSH Retail & Distribution Group member told delegates that one of the major challenges facing the profession was how to attract a pool of younger, more diverse OSH practitioners. He admitted that at Sainsbury’s: “We have a team that is mainly white, middle-aged and male.”

Pointing to his own employer, Lennox said that historically he had sourced recruits internally because he couldn’t find the right candidates outside the supermarket giant. This, he reasoned, was because he could teach internal candidates about safety but not the other skills they would need to acquire, which could be gained only from working on the shop floor.

Asked later in the question-and-answer session what external recruits could do to strengthen their case, should he come looking, he responded: “Probably the biggest thing that I look for is somebody who I feel has got some passion, some enthusiasm and can sell something to me.”

One of Lennox’s first ever roles was as a sales engineer, and being able to ‘sell something’ was an attribute he encouraged delegates to foster. He recalled knocking on scrap metal merchants’ doors around Barnsley and Rotherham, and how the interaction with different people had taught him valuable life skills. 

“I guess in my heart I see safety as a sales job,” he said. “What I look for above everything else is somebody who can engage, coach and bring [safety] to life for someone else.”

He emphasised the need to build on the foundation of the technical skills that OSH professionals possess, and urged the 120 delegates to develop and sharpen an additional set of important capabilities that were referred to throughout the day as ‘power skills’. These would enable the next generation of OSH professionals to wield more influence in organisations through engagement and collaboration. On this note, he recommended that delegates consider doing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to help them become more business-savvy.

“It’s a phenomenal qualification,” he said. “It teaches you all the language that you need to talk in a boardroom about spreadsheets, balance sheets and annual reports… If you get a chance to do an MBA or a management qualification, grab it with both hands.”

Lennox told the conference he got his first exposure to the plc board and non-executives when he moved to national flag-carrier British Airways in the 1990s.

“What it taught me was that their requirement for information and their questioning were different,” he said. “They didn’t question me at all about anything technical. My technical knowledge was expected. What they would challenge me on were the cost-benefits, the implications, the risk and the best decision for them. I had to change the way I presented significantly, to talk to the non-executives, the board and the CEO.”

Blueprint for success

Chartered member Tom Wike also presented his IOSH journey, and said he had benefited from using the 

IOSH grades as a framework to structure and move his career forward. 

The future leaders community steering group member works as health and safety manager (events) at the Football Association, and in his presentation he brought to life the multiple challenges thrown up by overseeing major sporting events at Wembley Stadium in London, and the shift in focus when the ground is converted into an entertainment venue hosting rock concerts during a hiatus in the sporting calendar. 

Plotting the course from student to chartered status and beyond to fellowship, he provided delegates with some nuggets of advice to help them navigate their careers.

Wike advised delegates that, should they find it difficult to get financial support from their employer to support further qualifications at the start of their careers, they should consider self-funding as an option. However, he urged them to emphasise that they had supported themselves financially on their CV and talk about it at interviews.

“It shows the dedication that you’ve got to really progressing your skills and knowledge, as well as dedication to the profession,” he said.

Wike also advised them to think about their careers as a pyramid: the bigger the base at the bottom, the higher their careers could climb, he explained.

“If you take one thing away from this presentation, grab every opportunity you can at the start of your career, because you never know where that is going to lead,” he argued.

“Once you’ve got that idea of what you like, you may find you’ve got some weaknesses in other areas that you can develop and expose yourself to, and that’s going to give you a much more rounded approach, CV and experience profile.”

For the really ambitious graduates who had chartered status in their sights, Wike told them not to be intimidated by the requirements of the Initial Professional Development (IPD) scheme and urged them to register as soon as they had achieved graduate status, and look through all the skill points.

“You might find straight away there are four or five things in there that you can do on a daily basis,” he said. “You just need to get that evidence together all in one place, send it off, and as a rule it will get accepted as long as you’ve fit the criteria.”

Linking to a later presentation on effective mentoring partnerships, Wike advised delegates to find a good mentor who has been through the IPD process and could offer guidance.

Robots are coming

Bridget Leathley, health and safety consultant and regular IOSH Magazine contributor, sought to dispel the perception among some that the introduction of robots in the workplace should be something to be avoided.

She said it was important to take a positive approach – similar to that of the OSH professional in the events industry who shouldn’t say ‘No’ to using pyrotechnics on the stage – and say, “Yes, we are going to use robots, and this is how we are going to manage them.”

After explaining the five categories on the market, she said that robots were ideal for use in work environments that were hazardous for humans, including confined spaces and work at height. Leathley also provided examples of robotic applications in sectors as diverse as agriculture, manufacturing, retail and transport, and explained how they could provide a supportive role.

Giving cleaning as an example, she said: “Going back to the concern about the loss of jobs, this doesn’t mean that the people who go in and do the cleaning would necessarily be out of work, because now they would be managing the robots. They can stay outside and the robots would do some of the cleaning work for them.”

She also used videos to demonstrate where businesses had designed the workspace to ensure a safe interaction between humans and robots.

“Yes, there will be a lot of change, but from my following of artificial intelligence, the technology is not going to be taking over our jobs. The co-operation and collaboration between people and robots is where the secret of the real success of robots comes from, and understanding what people are good at and what robots are good at.”

Mentoring partners

Blake May, compliance manager at Transport for Wales, and his mentor Lorenzo Visentin, group head of environment, health and safety at Arriva Group, offered a useful list of do’s and don’ts in the pursuit and development of a successful mentoring partnership.  

“I see it very much more as a human process,” said the 26-year-old May, who chose OSH as a second career after studying chemistry. “It’s not, ‘Go and find a mentor and it will work out’, like buying an iPhone. It’s more like trying to find a friend.”

Visentin advised mentees to talk to a wide range of different individuals throughout the OSH community, to find the right fit. The prospective mentor didn’t need to be 51 years of age or have 25 years’ experience in safety, he added. Nor did they need to be a chartered member. However, they could be a peer. 

“If they have an experience that is better than yours, see if what you want to get out of the partnership is what they are prepared to offer,” he said. “There are no clear-cut rules on whether you are going to click, so build your network.”

May said personality was an important attribute when determining if a would-be-mentor could be a good fit. Personality came in two varieties, he said – do you get on with each other, and what development opportunities stem from their personality?

He explained the dynamic underpinning his partnership with Visentin, using the Myers-Briggs personality inventory: “We are both large extroverts, so we get on well. We’re both loud, but looking at the different personality types, I am a feelings person so I tend to make decisions on ‘that feels like the right thing’ whereas Lorenzo is much more of a thinking person. He likes numbers, and does it because it makes sense.”

May, a member of the future leaders community steering group, added that their differing approaches were complementary and critical to the success of their relationship. “What that [relationship] allows me to do is see [situations] objectively as well as the feelings side, to get me more politically savvy around board members.”

Visentin told delegates that in the age of telecoms applications such as Skype, geographical distance should not be a barrier to picking a mentor. He urged them to “go shopping and be fussy”, but also to take a long-term view on development through mentoring partnerships.

“Eventually, you’ll find somebody who is right for you and right for you at that moment in time, because your mentoring needs will evolve as your priorities change,” he said. “[Take] a holistic approach to your consideration of the fit.”

The two presenters also returned to a theme that was raised several times during the morning sessions: how young professionals with limited experience could convince would-be-employers that they should be picked over more experienced OSH professionals.

May said that although he had been turned down for several roles in the past because “[employers] don’t look at level, they look at years”, he had noticed a shift in the past few years where recruitment was influenced by the perception of a candidate’s “ability to become something”.

His mentor concurred, and urged candidates to apply for jobs that required more experience than they had mustered. 

“You can tell them at the interview why you’ve got ten years’ experience,” said Visentin. “You crammed it into that first 18 months because you had a great job, with a great mentor, and you picked up more skills than some of the slightly more mature practitioners.”

Personal leadership

May also outlined some of the key attributes that underpinned his drive to succeed. Judith Underhill, executive coach at Underhill & Associates, picked up on this in the afternoon in an interactive personal leadership workshop. 

Drawing on the Transport for Wales employee and other examples from earlier sessions, she said: “Personal leadership for me is not that I am necessarily leading a team but that I am personally leading myself every time I come in to work. Every time I present in front of somebody, I am personally taking leadership for who I am, what I do and how I say what I do.”

A panel discussion, chaired by IOSH president-elect James Quinn, explored the issues raised during the workshop further. Drawing on questions generated anonymously through the polling platform Slido, which had been used throughout the conference, Quinn asked the four-person panel – comprising Lennox; Duncan Spencer, IOSH head of advice and practice; Shona Paterson, director at Shirley Parsons; and 

Sarah James, assistant health and safety adviser at Carney Consultancy – to consider how the profession could best respond to a changing world of work. 

Referring back to one of the workshop tasks, which had asked delegates to consider the key attributes that underpinned competence and capability, Spencer said: “I’d like you to go away and reflect that perhaps capability is much more important than competence.”

The latter, he argued, was more about looking back at previous experience, looking at the present world and how OSH professionals could solve those problems. 

“Capability,” he said, “makes us look into the future, make some kind of predictions of what might be coming, and get the right skills now that we might need in the future. There is a whole change in emphasis.”

Spencer explained that this thinking sat behind IOSH’s new competency framework, which was being launched in November, and where “60% of the competencies are much more about these power skills that we’ve been talking about”.

New resources

IOSH’s chief executive Bev Messinger’s closing address summed up the takeaways from the inaugural conference before outlining a suite of new resources that IOSH was providing to future leaders, including a new platform for mentoring. 

“It’s simple, it’s intuitive and it’s going to be available very soon,” she promised delegates.

“You will be able to register as a mentee, mentor or both, and we can connect you with like-minded individuals in this country and across the world where you can have that conversation about [the right] fit and if it’s going to work for you.”

Messinger reminded delegates that IOSH would be recruiting for the next future leaders community steering group in early 2020 and urged young OSH professionals to put themselves forward and help their peers.

She concluded with the new competency framework, which she described as being “a far better blend and balance for a much more rounded OSH professional to take forward in their career.” 

For more information about the future leaders community and how to get involved: www.iosh.com/futureleaders

IOSH

Hillsborough: match commander cleared of manslaughter

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield has been found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter over the 1989 disaster.

David Duckenfield

The former South Yorkshire police chief superintendent, 75, was in charge of the FA Cup semi-final in which 96 fans were fatally injured.

Duckenfield was cleared after a seven-week retrial at Preston Crown Court. The jury at the original trial earlier this year failed to agree a verdict.

The prosecution alleged the match commander had a “personal responsibility” for what happened at the match.

The court was told he had ordered the opening of exit gates at the Leppings Lane end of the ground at 14:52 BST on 15 April 1989 – eight minutes before kick-off, after the area outside the turnstiles became dangerously overcrowded.

More than 2,000 fans then entered through exit gate C, with many heading for the tunnel ahead of them, which led to the central pens of the terrace where the crush happened.

The defence said that Duckenfield, who was brought in as match day commander three weeks before the FA Cup semi-final, should not be judged by 2019 standards of policing at football events. 

In June 2018, Judge Sir Peter Openshaw lifted a prosecution ban, known as a “stay”, which had been imposed by Mr Justice Hooper in 2000 to prevent further legal proceedings being taken against Duckenfield. 

Speaking on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Sue Hemming, CPS director of legal services, said the verdict did not affect the findings of the Hillsborough inquests, which ruled the victims had been unlawfully killed.

“The disaster at Hillsborough 30 years ago has caused unimaginable suffering to the families of those who sadly lost their lives and to everybody affected by the tragic events of that day,” she said. “They were let down with the most catastrophic consequences imaginable. I know how important these proceedings have been to everyone, even though they came far too late.

“The events of 15 April 1989 have been considered on a number of occasions, including at the second inquest concluding in 2016. It is important to remember that criminal proceedings have a very different purpose to an inquest. The not guilty verdict does not affect or alter the inquest jury’s findings of unlawful killing or their conclusion that Liverpool fans were in no way responsible for the 96 deaths that resulted.

“It was vitally important that the facts and accounts of what happened leading up to that terrible day were heard in a criminal court and the outcome determined by a jury. This was a complex and harrowing case and presenting evidence about events of 30 years ago has not been straightforward,” she added.

Earlier this year, Graham Mackrel, the safety officer in charge of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club at the time of the incident, was fined £6,500 for failing to ensure there were adequate turnstile arrangements in operation to prevent the build-up of large crowds. He is the only person to be convicted of an offence relating to the disaster.

IOSH

IOSH wants assurance from new government

THE GLOBAL Chartered body for safety and health professionals urges the UK Government to provide assurance and certainty on the future of the UK’s health and safety system.

The global Chartered body for safety and health professionals today urges the UK Government to provide assurance and certainty on the future of the UK’s health and safety system.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) urges any newly elected administration following the 12 December general election to prioritise workplace health and safety and publicly support the compelling economic case and social value of the UK’s world-leading health and safety system and regulatory regime.

IOSH urges the next administration to:

  • Reskill the UK for a safer, healthier, sustainable future
  • Radically improve the nation’s occupational health system
  • Design good work into all public investment and infrastructure programmes
  • Tackle exploitation of vulnerable workers and poor working conditions
  • Urgently implement national building and fire safety reforms

Richard Jones, head of policy and regulatory engagement at IOSH said, “With an ageing workforce, technological changes, more insecure and ‘gig’ working, higher numbers of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and self-employed – as well as increased overall employment figures – the need for better workplace health management in the UK is fast-reaching a crescendo.

“As the UK heads for a new government, it’s vital that public policy focus on health at work is properly prioritised. We need to tackle the record numbers of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety (last year reaching 602,000 cases) and the 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems losing their jobs each year.

“Good health and safety is good for business and effective regulation helps ensure many millions of lives and livelihoods are protected each and every day.”

Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlight the urgent need for ongoing action. These put annual Great Britain failure in safety and health costs at around £15 billion, plus an additional £12 billion for new cases of occupational cancer.

An article by Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Regulatory Engagement at IOSH, on why the new government must prioritise workplace health is available here: https://www.ioshmagazine.com/article/new-government-must-prioritise-workplace-health

HSM

IOSH urges new Government to provide health and safety assurance for the 2020s

The global Chartered body for safety and health professionals today urges the UK Government to provide assurance and certainty on the future of the UK’s health and safety system.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) urges any newly elected administration following the 12 December general election to prioritise workplace health and safety and publicly support the compelling economic case and social value of the UK’s world-leading health and safety system and regulatory regime.

IOSH urges the next administration to:

  • Reskill the UK for a safer, healthier, sustainable future
  • Radically improve the nation’s occupational health system
  • Design good work into all public investment and infrastructure programmes
  • Tackle exploitation of vulnerable workers and poor working conditions
  • Urgently implement national building and fire safety reforms

Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Regulatory Engagement at IOSH, said: “With an ageing workforce, technological changes, more insecure and ‘gig’ working, higher numbers of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and self-employed – as well as increased overall employment figures – the need for better workplace health management in the UK is fast-reaching a crescendo.

“As the UK heads for a new government, it’s vital that public policy focus on health at work is properly prioritised. We need to tackle the record numbers of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety (last year reaching 602,000 cases) and the 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems losing their jobs each year.

“Good health and safety is good for business and effective regulation helps ensure many millions of lives and livelihoods are protected each and every day.”

Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlight the urgent need for ongoing action. These put annual Great Britain failure in safety and health costs at around £15 billion, plus an additional £12 billion for new cases of occupational cancer.

An article by Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Regulatory Engagement at IOSH, on why the new government must prioritise workplace health is available here: https://www.ioshmagazine.com/article/new-government-must-prioritise-workplace-health

IOSH

Building resilient health and safety systems

SHP meets Professor Erik Hollnagel

Ahead of his Keynote session at April’s EHS Congress in Berlin, SHP spoke to renowned university Professor, Erik Hollnagel about how to successfully implement resilient systems within an organisation.

Erik Hollnagel is an internationally recognised specialist in the fields of resilience engineering, system safety, human reliability analysis, cognitive systems engineering and intelligent man-management systems. He is a Professor at Jonkoping University, located in the city Jonkoping in Smaland, Sweden and has authored more than 500 publications, including 22 books, articles from recognised journals, conference papers and reports.

He told SHP that he ‘stumbled’ into safety in 1979. “My endeavour has always been to understand what systems are and how they function in general. Safety is one facet of that, but there are others that are just as interesting. Unfortunately, systems get more and more complex, so it is a never-ending pursuit.”

Professor Hollnagel defined safety as not something you can ‘have’, saying that safety is not a substance or a quality. “Being safe is something you can work towards – individually and as a society. It is not actually possible to manage safety. But it is possible to manage performance so that nearly everything goes well and very little does not.”

Building resilient health and safety systems

Having resilient systems in place enables an organisation to take those things that have gone well and learn from them. “This is essential,” Professor Hollnagel stressed. “Unless you know what goes well and how it goes well, you cannot possibly find ways to improve it.”

“We do need to understand go wrong for the same reasons that they go well. But it is a question of unexpected combinations of everyday performance variability rather than unique causes that appear like a deus ex machina.

“My advice is to look at what is stable, not at what is constant. Stable performance provides the foundation for the existence and growth of any organisation or business. Managing exceptions, the unusual, is not a good strategy in the long run, and being constant, remaining the same, is definitely bad in a turbulent world.

He advised organisations to know where they are, where they want to be and what they want to achieve, before putting any kind of structure in place. “This is important for everything you do, not just safe performance.

“If you don’t know your position, where you are, and don’t know your target, where you want to be or what you want to become, you have no basis for controlling what you do – except if you just want to maintain the status quo.”

Professor Hollnagel will be taking to the stage as a keynote speaker at April’s EHS Congress in Berlin. Building Resilient Systems 2.0 will look at how safety efforts usually aim to eliminate or reduce unacceptable risk and harm.

“Delegates can expect to hear arguments and evidence, as well as practical tips, on what you need to do to ensure that an organisation’s performance is resilient.”

Intriguingly, he concluded that, “some should expect to be a little confused.”

SHP

HSE chairman calls out cyber security ‘complacency’ during oil conference

Martin Temple, chairman of the Health and Safety Executive, spoke at the OGUK HSE Conference in Aberdeen. Pic: Abermedia

The chairman of the Health and Safety Executive has called out “complacency” on cyber security within oil and gas and other sectors across the UK.

Martin Temple was speaking as part of a panel at Oil and Gas UK’s (OGUK) HSE conference in Aberdeen last week, following a spate of cyberattacks against companies with North Sea operations in recent months.

Mr Temple said: “You talk to so many companies who actually don’t think they have anything to steal and they don’t realise that they are absolutely targets.

“They probably have got quite a lot to steal. If nothing else they will have lots of information on their employees right the way through to some of their technologies.

“The other element of it is their product or service may well be used in a very vulnerable area where there is a lot to steal.

“This complacency is quite remarkable in some areas across our whole economy.”

Last month, Malaysian operator Hibiscus Petroleum, which has assets in the UK sector, reported a cyberattack which forced the shutdown of parts of its IT system.

Earlier this year, Aberdeen-headquartered energy services firm EnerMech was hit by a major attack which impacted its global business.

Petrofac and Italian oil services firm Saipem have also been targeted in the last 12 months.

At Offshore Europe in September, the head of Saudi Aramco’s cybersecurity division warned of the “exponential” growth in the threat in recent years.

Speaking at the HSE conference in Aberdeen last week, Mr Temple added: “When you talk about cyber security, a lot of people think ‘they don’t mean me or us’. It is everywhere, the number of threats we come across is daily.

“Some are more malicious than others and people have just got to be extremely vigilant no matter what their business is.”

Energy Voice

Gaps in the guideline

Courts can be overreliant on ‘common sense’ in risk assessment cases. It is time for guidance similar to that which governs statistical evidence 

The sentencing guideline for health and safety offences (bit.ly/2ZuCQof) observes that transgressions under the law centre on failure to manage risk. But neither the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 nor the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), which contain the requirement for risk assessment, define ‘risk’. The sentencing guideline is silent, too. 

The prosecution process requires evaluation of the risk. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Enforcement Policy Statement (para 2.1) (bit.ly/324heRl) states enforcement action should be “proportionate to the health and safety risks”. At trial, when the defendant organisation is seeking to prove it took all reasonably practical steps to control the risk (s 40 of the HSWA), this entails consideration of the extent of that risk. If convicted, the sentencing guideline requires the court to assess culpability and harm, the latter involving an assessment of the seriousness of harm risked and its likelihood. 

So, should the courts have guidance on assessing health and safety risks, or is it merely a matter of ‘common sense’?

Hazard and risk 

Although the HSE’s guidance on risk assessment is broad-brush, it does make clear that the process involves identifying hazards, considering who might be harmed, and then evaluating the risk. A more detailed approach was set out in the now withdrawn approved code of practice (ACoP) to the MHSWR. This defined hazard as “something with the potential to cause harm” and risk as “the likelihood of potential harm from the hazard being realised”, with the extent depending on:

  • the likelihood of the harm occurring;
  • the potential severity of that harm; and
  • the population that might be affected by the hazard.

The terms ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’ are different and not interchangeable. The courts have grappled with defining risk for the purposes of the HSWA. In R v Board of Trustees of the Science Museum [1993] 1 WLR 1171, the Court of Appeal held that risk was the “possibility of danger” (bit.ly/2MCtS6l).  

In the House of Lords case R v Chargot [2008] UKHL 73 (bit.ly/2ZvFSbV), Lord Hope said: “When the legislation refers to ‘risks’, it is not contemplating risks that are trivial or fanciful.” He added: “It is directed at situations where there is a material risk to health and safety, which any reasonable person would appreciate and take steps to guard against.”

There is no judicial guidance on how risk should be evaluated, nor any warning to differentiate between ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’.

Likelihood and risk perception

Another word for ‘likelihood’ is ‘probability’. The probability of winning the National Lottery jackpot is one in 45,057,474. It does not matter how many people win the jackpot; the probability remains the same. Consequently, the fact that there has been a workplace accident does not change the probability of one occurring; neither does it, in itself, change the evaluation of the risk. Therefore, the phrase sometimes used by judges when sentencing of “an accident waiting to happen” is unhelpful. Statistically speaking, all accidents have been waiting to happen. 

The psychologist Daniel Kahneman, renowned for his work in risk perception, argues that we estimate the probability of something happening based on how easily we can recall other instances to mind, rather than on how often it occurs. 

In his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, he writes: “We are prone to overestimate how much we understand of the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events. Overconfidence is fed by the illusory certainty of hindsight.” 

Most prosecutions arise from a serious accident or fatality. This might lead to a perception of the risk that is unrealistic.

Expert evidence

It is not uncommon for the prosecution and the defence to rely on expert evidence in health and safety cases. Sometimes the risks can be understood easily and the correct control measures considered. At other times, the risks involved are complex and the approach to controlling them call for difficult judgements. How are the courts to assess, and the advocates to challenge, conflicting expert evidence if there is no baseline understanding? The approach to the use of statistical evidence is informative.

The incorrect application of statistics by experts in criminal trials has led to miscarriages of justice. In 2011 the Law Commission, in its report Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings in England and Wales (bit.ly/2UaTubt), identified that advocates tend not to “probe, test or challenge” the underlying basis of experts’ opinions, but attempt to undermine their credibility (para 1.21). 

Journalist and economist Tim Harford concluded in his article ‘Making a lottery of the law’ (bit.ly/1CVrmes): “It is the controversial cases that grab everyone’s attention, so it is difficult to know whether statistical blunders in the courtroom are commonplace or rare, and whether they are decisive or merely part of the cut and thrust of legal argument. But I have some confidence in the following statement: ‘A little bit of statistical education for the legal profession would go a long way’.”

In 2017, the Council of the Inns of Court and the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) jointly published Statistics and Probability for Advocates: understanding the use of statistical evidence in courts and tribunals (bit.ly/2TiWHsa). The introduction notes that the RSS began work on statistics and the law after a series of court cases in which the interpretation of statistics, particularly by experts who were not statisticians, gave cause for concern.

Statistical evidence may form part of the consideration for evaluating risk (see for example R v Squibb Group Ltd [2019] EWCA Crim 227), (bit.ly/2ZKzUDY) but it is not the whole story.

There is no judicial guidance on how risk should be evaluated, nor any warning to differentiate between ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’

Why does this matter?

HSE’s Enforcement Policy Statement (para 3.1) states that one purpose of enforcement action is to promote and maintain sustained compliance with the law. Therefore, the HSE will prosecute if it believes health and safety risks are being inadequately controlled. The dispute between the HSE and the defendant organisation can be about the best way to control a risk. If convicted, s 174 of the Criminal Justice Act imposes a duty on the court to give reasons for the sentence.

The sentencing guideline requires an assessment of the risk. It is likely the sentencing judge will explain the reason for that assessment, and what measures could have been taken. This can have far wider implications beyond the prosecution.

The consequence is that, without a proper understanding of risk and its assessment during the court process, there is the potential not only for unfairness but also for disparity between the court’s approach and that taken in the workplace. Ultimately, this could have a detrimental impact on health and safety.

Common sense has its place, but guidance comparable to that for statistics would not go amiss. 

IOSH

A Message from the IOSH President

Andrew Sharman – “Exciting times ahead”

Andrew Sharman – President, IOSH

On 17 September, at IOSH’s AGM, I had the great pleasure of taking over from Vincent Ho as IOSH president. It’s going to be an exciting year.

The president is an ambassador for our members and our profession, and I am being ably supported by Vincent, as immediate past president, James Quinn as president-elect and an excellent team of six vice-presidents.

IOSH is becoming more global and more connected. We are now in regular contact with like-minded organisations in more countries than ever before, and I want us to become even more successful at establishing our internationally influential voice.

We have much to do to ensure that workers go home without harm every day. I feel that now is a time we’ll look back on in future years and reflect how practitioners around the world really made a step-change in workplace safety. 

I want to work for continued change of perspectives about our profession. For far too long, it has been blighted by negative media attention and even ridicule. Our members have been standing strong against this and forward-thinking organisations are appreciating the valuable contribution investments in safety and health bring to their business and their people. 

As a result, perspectives are changing steadily. I’m determined that this continues to happen. Health and safety is not about rules and bureaucracy and creating burdens. The work we do enables success and builds future resilience. 

I want us to champion IOSH’s drive to support people and organisations in developing OSH practitioners to become professionals with the cultural, behavioural and leadership skills that add even more to their organisations and value chains. Our profession needs to lead change – in strategy and in culture – so practitioners need to move from the backroom to the boardroom. 

We need to think about the inputs required for great workplace health and safety and look at those elements that shape cultures and drive behaviours. What we do is never simply about preventing accidents, but rather creating safety through improved teamwork, enhanced understanding, increased morale and engagement and better leadership. When we focus on getting the inputs right, the right outputs will follow.

The same is true of what we all invest in our professional body.

Members who volunteer for IOSH really are our life blood as a professional body and charity. Not only do we initiate and co-ordinate lots of vital engagement work, strengthening and improving networks in regions and sectors, volunteers also add experience and expertise, alerts to current or emerging challenges, and new thinking to improve the work we do.

I have been consciously “giving back to pay it forward” through volunteering for two decades now. I began on the Edinburgh Branch committee, became vice-chair, then chair, served on committees, on IOSH Council and as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees. 

I urge you to get more involved. We have much to do, and we need every member to add their weight. Being a member of IOSH is eloquent testimony of what you offer as a safety and health professional. But being an active member, giving time to fellow professionals – by joining your IOSH branch or group committee, mentoring, peer-reviewing or putting yourself forward to serve on the IOSH Council – demonstrates a resolve to make a difference to those around you and to your professional body. 

I feel so deeply honoured to represent our global institution – and optimistic as we look ahead to 2020 – IOSH’s 75th anniversary and my 21st year as an IOSH volunteer.

IOSH

Health And Safety in ‘Hot Works’ Environments

Not all workplaces can avoid creating a hot environment, where working with fire and naked flames is an essential part of the job.

These environments are often referred to as ‘hot works’, where anything associated with heat, sparks, naked flames, etc are a big part of the workload.

Hot work environments can include welding, glass blowing, and even industrial air arc gauging.

Abiding by Health and Safety at work regulations is vital to keep employees safe within these environments, and below, Active Workwear has provided some hints and tips for operating in these high-profile environments.

Helping to keep your workforce safe

Regularly service and maintained equipment – following a set process for maintaining equipment and making sure that it is not only used correctly but that it is also stored away appropriately, helps to avoid workers being inadvertently put at risk by damaged or faulty tools.

Tidy work areas – keeping workstations and work environments clean and tidy is vital in hot working environments. Spills and debris should be dealt with and cleared away immediately before an accident can occur.

Ensure appropriate training – it is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that all employees have the appropriate skills and knowledge to carry out their job to the highest standard and to do so safely. This includes basic Health and Safety training as well as tailored and more specific training relating to the role. It’s also assumed that employees will come with prior learning and experience too.

Access to safety equipment – within hot work environments, access to things such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits should come as standard. However, training will also need to be provided on how to use these. Records also need to be kept when accidents do happen as part of your legal requirement as an employer as well as to ensure that supplies can be replenished.

Make sure everyone has the appropriate safety wear – things such as safety boots, goggles, gloves, hi-vis clothing, and more, all depending on the job role and circumstances. The Apache clothing range is extremely popular within hot work environments, offering stylish, innovative, and technical workwear to suit a range of job roles across a variety of sectors. With safety boots, workwear trousers, waterproof jackets, and more available, Apache focus on providing clothing that looks good and helps keep everyone safe. The range is also well researched and tested to a high standard, making it a no-nonsense brand for all trades.

With workwear for even the harshest of hot work environments, make sure to check out the Apache Ranger Safety boot in particular. Full leather and waterproof, it also comes with a padded collar and tongue for extra comfort, as well as steel toe caps and steel mid safe protection. Providing room to breathe, this particular safety boot is versatile and suitable for a wide range of applications.

Carry out regular risk assessments – ensuring that the correct precautions are put in place to protect employees from potential accidents and hazards.

Provide adequate ventilation – ventilation should be provided either by fresh air (open windows) or artificial purified air. Keeping the temperature reasonable is also part, a big part, of H&S regulations.

Provide frequent breaks – a chance to refuel, cool down, and hydrate.

The 1974 Health and Safety at work Act states that a healthy working environment and safe systems must be provided to all employees. The guidelines help businesses set out what must be achieved, not how it should be done.

This is ultimately up to each organisation. Allowing each business to make sensible judgements with regards to their own risk assessments and actions they put in place to avoid hazards.

Hazards Associated with ‘Hot Work’ Environments

• An uncomfortable thermal setting

• High temperatures causing tiredness, leading to less awareness and dangers (increasing the risk of accidents occurring)

• Reduced efficiency, leading to poor decision making and errors

• Heat Exhaustion

• Heat Stroke

Hot Environments

For all, not an exhaustive list, hot work environments can include kitchen staff, maintenance staff, staff using personal protective equipment, process workers, and many, many more.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be provided and specific to all roles within a hot works environment. Protective clothing that helps to protect against chemicals, is fire-resistant, hi-vis, etc.

construction.co.uk

Bricklayer death — three Isle of Wight businesses and two men charged with health and safety breaches

Isle of Wight County Court
County Court

THREE Isle of Wight businesses have been taken to court following the death of a bricklayer, who fell from the first floor of a building and suffered a serious injury head injury.

David Shayler died following an incident on Atkinson Drive, Newport, Isle of Wight in 2016.

The Health and Safety Executive is prosecuting three companies and two individuals for alleged breaches of health and safety law.

HJ Bennett is charged with a self-employed person failing to discharge general health and safety duty to a person other than an employee.

Ryde Demolition Company and Stoneham Construction are charged with contravening a health and safety regulation.

Nigel Bennett, 52, of Foreland Road, Bembridge, is charged with failure to discharge health and safety duty to a person other than an employee.

Neil Harrison, 60, of Gordon Close, Binstead, is charged with contravening a health and safety regulation.

The case went before Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday) and was sent to Portsmouth Crown Court.

No pleas were entered. The case has been adjourned to October 29.

County Press

Taxi drivers in congested cities exposed to highest levels of harmful black carbon from diesel emissions, research shows

The lives of professional drivers working in congested cities such as London are being put at risk due to exposure to black carbon levels that are on average a third higher than would be experienced at a busy roadside, according to new research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress today.

The study, led by King’s College London researchers and funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), also found that taxi drivers experience the highest exposures to black carbon, an indicator of diesel engine fumes, compared to other professional drivers including couriers, truck drivers, waste removal and emergency service workers.

However, the study suggests that professional drivers can take simple steps to protect themselves from pollution, such as driving with their windows closed.

The research was presented by Shanon Lim, a research assistant and PhD candidate at King’s College London, UK. It was a collaboration between researchers at King’s and researchers at Queen Mary University of London and funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Mr Lim said: “We know quite a lot about the dangers of exposure to traffic pollution. However, there has been surprisingly little research on levels of professional drivers’ exposure to pollution and its effects on their health. We believe there are around a million people working in jobs like these in the UK alone, so this is a widespread and under-appreciated issue.”

The researchers recruited 140 professional drivers from a range of occupations working in central London. The drivers were asked to carry black carbon monitors, which were linked with GPS trackers, for a period of 96 hours. The monitors measured exposure levels once every minute. Drivers were also asked about the type of vehicle they drive, their working hours and whether they drive with their windows or air vents open.

The results showed that, on average, professional drivers were exposed to 4.1 micrograms of black carbon per cubic metre of air (µg/m3) while driving, which was around four times higher than their exposure at home (1.1 µg/m3). Researchers say the levels recorded at home are similar to levels experienced by office workers at their desks.

Professional drivers also experienced extremely high spikes in exposure to black carbon, often exceeding 100 µg/m3 and lasting as long as half an hour.

During the same period of time, researchers found that pollution levels at a busy London roadside (Marylebone Road) were 3.1 µg/m3 on average and, away from the roadside, the average level in London was 0.9 µg/m3.

Taxi drivers had the highest levels of exposure on average (6.5µg/m3). Emergency services workers had the lowest levels of exposure on average (2.8 µg/m3).

Diesel fumes can contain up to 10 times the amount of soot particles than in petrol exhaust fumes, and can cause cancer. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s No Time to Lose campaign to tackle occupational cancer focuses on diesel engine exhaust fumes and has provided guidance on its impact and how to reduce exposure: https://www.notimetolose.org.uk/free-resources/diesel-pack-taster/

Mr Lim said: “Our study suggests that professional drivers are exposed to high levels of traffic pollution while at work. Because these levels are higher than those we find at the roadside, this suggests that being inside a vehicle doesn’t necessarily offer any protection, in fact the opposite may be true: that air pollution can get trapped inside the vehicle for extended periods of time.

“We don’t know for sure why taxi drivers fare the worst, but it might be because taxis tend to operate in the busiest and most polluted parts of the city where ‘street canyons’ restrict the movement of air. On the other hand, emergency services can avoid congestion when they are attending an incident.”

The research also showed that keeping windows closed while working halved the levels of black carbon for professional drivers. The type of vehicle and the choice of route could also lower exposure.

Mike Hedges, 59, worked as a London taxi driver for 30 years driving a diesel taxi most of the time and has driven an electric taxi for the last 18 months. He has just completed a MSc. Master’s in Global Air Pollution and Health at King’s College and is currently studying for a PhD at the MRC Centre for Environment and Health jointly at King and Imperial Colleges.

Mike said: “As a London taxi driver driving in the most polluted streets in London I have always wanted to improve the air quality in London. I became involved in helping successive London Mayor’s develop their air quality strategies for London’s taxis and engaging with taxi drivers in helping them understand their own personal air pollution exposures through Unite, my trade union.

“Through research funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, I worked with taxi drivers to facilitate them carrying personal monitors to record their personal exposure, showing them the realities of the air they are breathing every day.

“Although the air pollution hasn’t had any impact on my health, many of my colleagues have been affected and I think tackling London’s air quality should be a priority to protect taxi drivers, who are the most exposed group of occupational drivers.”

Mary Ogungbeje, Research Manager at IOSH, said: “Although society as a whole is becoming more aware of environmental issues, the impact of diesel emissions on the health of professional drivers has been overlooked to date. Robust data will help to identify exposure levels among this group of workers and different interventions to improve their health.”

The researchers will continue to study the data they have gathered. They also plan to investigate possible strategies for protecting drivers, such as the use of air filters. “This is vital to help employers, occupational safety and health professionals and individual workers reduce exposure and minimise work-related health risks,” said Mr Lim.

IOSH

Health and safety and the law: what we learned from legal expert at IOSH 2019

The Scales of Justice on top of the Old Bailey, London.

“How often have you had a contractor come to you and admit they have had a near miss?”

That was a question Tim Hill, a partner at Eversheds Sutherland LLP, posed to delegates at IOSH 2019.

“I would imagine it’s pretty rare,” he added. “Often when something happens, they will just say to themselves ‘that was close’ and move on.”

Tim reflected on key issues of safety and health management and how, by getting it right, they can prove to the courts they are a responsible employer if an accident happens.

Tim said that contractor management is a major concern for many organisations when it comes to safety and health. Key, he said, is being able to engage with people, to take the time to visit sites and work with them.

Speaking at a breakfast session on day two of the conference at ICC Birmingham, Tim went on to talk to delegates about how engagement can help to overcome a perception gap.

Managers, he said, often believe that things are being done safely when they are not. They will often be told procedures are being followed, however the reality can be very different.

He encouraged delegates to “interrogate stats”, to get behind them and find out what is really happening.

“It’s not good when someone turns up at a site, walks around, nods at a few people and then drives off,” said Tim.

He highlighted one client who knew the names of everyone on their site, despite their being hundreds of employees. “He took the time to walk around and engage with them,” said Tim.

Through engagement, people around sites can start to understand the importance of safety. Often this can lead to them challenging each other around unsafe behaviour.

“It’s time to have very different conversations,” said Tim. “Are people talking honestly on your site? Would they feel comfortable challenging someone about safety if they are not doing it right? If a manager came down to the site without PPE, would they challenge them?

“These little things are very important. You can have all the messages in the world around your business, but they start to become wallpaper as they don’t register.”

The safety process starts when someone joins the business, said Tim. He encourages staggered inductions, so new employees aren’t bombarded with information they are likely to forget.

Getting such systems in place can be crucial in the event of a safety and health incident.

“If you can show your systems are strong, you can be viewed by the courts to have low culpability, so would be likely to receive a much more modest sentence,” said Tim. “The more you can show that something is an isolated lapse and not a systemic issue, the lower a fine is likely to be.”

He closed highlighting three key points for delegates:

  • Dip testing: professionals need to take the time to visit sites and speak with people, to get a realistic view
  • Get involved in investigations: senior people need to be involved in an investigations from the start, asking questions
  • Have honest safety conversations: positive engagement leads to a deeper understanding. Big customers want to know this is happening.

IOSH

Top five tips for managing your CPD

Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) has been described as ‘like eating vegetables’ – something we might not always wish to do, but an action that is beneficial to us in the long-run and is significant to our development.

During IOSH 2019, IOSH’s Director of Professional Services Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher chaired a session with speakers Joe Chambers from Abintegro and Gary Latta from PepsiCo illuminating the importance of CPD and how it can improve your soft skills, leadership abilities and future employability.

Across the globe, there is a growing need for safety and health practitioners to be able to influence within their organisation through good communication skills and competencies in a broad range of areas.

Whether it is the ability to deliver presentations at a boardroom level, or the need to deftly demonstrate the business benefits of investing in safety and health, CPD can make a vital difference in enhancing the skills you already have and filling in the gaps where knowledge may be absent.

Ultimately, CPD is a personal journey, and self-assessment is key. You need to be open and honest about areas where you may be able to improve in order to see the benefits. You get out of CPD what you put in; and those who invest the time often see significant return for their commitment.

During the session, the following key tips were shared for getting excited about your CPD journey and staying motivated:

  1. Understanding the value of keeping a professional record – Keeping a record of your professional activity is a great way of keeping track of your successes and achievements. It’s very easy to undertake training and forget to log it. By logging as you go, you can keep track of the themes and topics you are learning and identify where you may need to undertake further training.
  2. Pushing yourself beyond your day-to-day – Those who invest time in their CPD are often those who are the most driven to succeed, pushing themselves beyond what is expected to ensure they are at the top of their game. Maintaining your core competencies and learning soft skills can make a huge difference, not only in how your organisation perceives you, but also in how you perceive yourself.
  3. IOSH is here to help – As an IOSH member, you have the opportunity to use our online CPD programme to develop your career plan and reflect on your learning and work. Maintaining your knowledge and competence is quick and easy, and linking the CPD activities you do to the goals you have set yourself is a great way to meet your objectives.
  4. Getting into the mindset – CPD is a very personal journey. While it is mandatory, maintaining your CPD is ultimately a way for you to assess your own abilities and to set the goals for your own development journey. It can be useful to view doing your CPD as a way of setting targets and thinking about your future. Where do you want to be next year?
  5. Demystifying the term ‘leadership’ – It isn’t just those in senior positions within a business who can demonstrate leaderships skills. Anyone can showcase their own leadership abilities by maintaining their competency and showing a commitment to innovating and learning new things. Whether you aspire to a leadership role or not, having the skills to engage and influence others is vital and can pay off in many areas of your professional career.

IOSH

Wooden board sent flying by pipe fatally struck workman

An engineering company in Scotland has been fined following the death of an employee who was struck by a wooden bearer in the yard of a fabrication workshop.

James Longair suffered fatal head injuries at IODS Pipe Clad’s yard in Kelvin Industrial Estate, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire in September 2017.

The 52-year-old was helping a forklift truck driver to move pipes from one part of the yard to another by lifting them onto the forks. A long pipe needed to be repositioned, so they lifted it at one end using a side loader when it “rolled off” the forks. The steel tube hit Longair’s leg, and his feet became trapped by other pipes, so he was unable to move. The pipe then fell onto a wooden support, sending it flying into the air and striking Longair on the head.

CCTV footage showed the wooden board moved with such force that it was catapulted over a high fence after hitting him.

The system for moving pipes had been in place since 2009 with no incident, and in that time there had been 12,320 movements of the pipes and nothing was amiss, according to the defence.

CCTV footage showed the wooden board moved with such force that it was catapulted over a high fence after hitting him

The company, which supplies pipes to the oil industry, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act in that its system of work in relation to the movement of pipes within the yard was unsafe.

Earlier this month, at Hamilton Sheriff Court, IODS Pipe Clad – part of the Glen Almond Group – was fined £60,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Martin McMahon said: “This tragic incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”

“Companies should be aware that the HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

The incident had a “prolific effect” on the staff working that day, and all those persons working were ordered to attend at least one counselling session, the court heard.

IOSH Magazine

New IOSH President calls for continued change in perspectives around profession

Prof Andrew Sharman addressing the IOSH Conference 2019
IOSH President, Prof Andrew Sharman

Experienced global safety consultant Professor Andrew Sharman has become the President of IOSH and has immediately called on fellow members to “challenge rules and remove bureaucracy”.

By doing so, Prof Sharman believes perspectives around health and safety can continue to change and more businesses will see the “true value of what they offer”.

He said: “For far too long, our profession has been blighted by negative media attention and even ridicule. Our members have been standing strong against this and forward-thinking organisations are becoming wise to the valuable contribution the very best practitioners can bring to their business.

“As a result, perspectives are steadily changing. I’m determined that this continues to happen. Health and safety isn’t about rules and bureaucracy and creating a burden. We need to challenge this perception and demonstrate the true value of what we offer.”

The chief executive of RMS, a global health and safety consultancy which supports organisations in high-risk sectors such as mining, construction and oil and gas, Prof Sharman officially took over as IOSH President at its AGM on Tuesday 17 September.

He has vast experience in the profession, working with big-name brands around the world, including Apple, L’Oreal and Mercedes Benz. He is urging health and safety professionals to ensure they respond to new risks created by the changing world of work and new technologies.

He said: “Working globally, I see significant variation in how health and safety is approached. I’d like to explore how we can raise the bar across the planet, leveraging IOSH resources and networks, and member knowledge and expertise.

“We need to think about the inputs to great workplace health and safety, looking at those elements that shape cultures and drive behaviours. It’s not really about preventing accidents but rather creating safety through improved teamwork, enhanced understanding, increased morale and engagement and better leadership. When we focus on getting the inputs right, the right outputs will follow.”

Prof Sharman moved into health and safety after sustaining minor injuries when he accidentally tipped a bucket of acid over himself while working as a process engineer.

He has been heavily involved with IOSH, chairing its Edinburgh Branch and holding positions on its Board of Trustees and Presidential team. He now becomes its figurehead, taking over from Professor Vincent Ho.

He is also Chair of the Board of the Institute of Leadership and Management and Professor of leadership and safety culture at the European Centre for Executive Development on the INSEAD campus in Paris.

He added: “The President is an ambassador for our members and I feel so deeply honoured to represent our profession and feel excited about the year ahead. We have much to do to ensure that workers go home without harm every day. I feel that now is the time that we’ll look back on in future years and reflect about how practitioners around the world really made a step-change in workplace safety.”

IOSH

IOSH President-elect Revealed

James Quinn has been nominated as IOSH’s next President-Elect by the Institution’s Council.

Former British Army, Warrant Officer James Quinn

Subject to ratification at IOSH’s AGM on Tuesday 17 September, James will become President-Elect for 2019-20, with Andrew Sharman becoming President and Vincent Ho Immediate Past President. James is due to become President in September 2020.

After a very successful 24-year career in the British Army, James attained the rank of Warrant Officer. He left the army in 2011. In his final six years of army service, he began to appreciate the benefits of health and safety as a second career. Using his army appointments, he started to train as a Health and Safety Advisor/Trainer in 2006.

Five years later, having worked on many army health and safety projects, he joined Babcock International PLC as HSE Trainer, then Advisor, before becoming a Health and Safety Manager for a large Middle East transport group. He then became Area OHS Manager, Abu Dhabi, for Multiplex, and is now Health, Safety and Environment Manager for Multiplex’s Chelsea Barracks construction project in London.

A Chartered member of IOSH and CIOB, James is also a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and part of IOSH Construction Group.

The nomination was made by Council when it met last week. During that meeting, Council also nominated three IOSH members to become Vice-Presidents.

They are Stuart Hughes, David Gold and Kayode Fowode. They will join existing VPs Tim Eldridge, Jonathan Hughes and Louise Hosking, again subject to AGM confirmation.

The AGM is being held at the ICC Birmingham, at 4pm, immediately following the close of IOSH 2019. All IOSH members are entitled to attend and speak, but only Corporate members are entitled to vote. Votes can be cast by proxy electronically before the meeting, up to and including Sunday 15 September or by attending the meeting in person. Members should have received separate email communications from Mi-Voice regarding this.

NEBOSH Gold for KeyOstas

KeyOstas has been awarded NEBOSH Gold Learning Partner status within the board’s Learning Partner Programme.

KeyOstas were the 9th Learning Partner accredited by NEBOSH

All NEBOSH Learning Partners globally are required to commit to 6 learning excellence principles as part of their accreditation, and the organisation may award Silver and Gold status to those who can demonstrate that they exceed these principles.

Commenting on the news, KeyOstas Managing Director Craig Gibbs said, “We’re delighted and very proud to have attained the highest partner status from NEBOSH, cementing our long-standing relationship. Our Accredited Centre number of 009 already underlines the experience we have in delivering NEBOSH training over many years and this recognition serves to highlight the quality of our work.”

Craig Gibbs, Managing Director

NEBOSH recognises that great learning experiences equip learners to make a difference to health, safety and the environment in the workplace. The Learning Partner programme introduces a standard that must be met by all Learning Partners and requires them to commit to continuously improving the learner experience.

NEBOSH Gold
Sales Director, Devon Glithero

The three tiers are Bronze, Silver and Gold with Bronze Learning Partners ‘meeting’ the Learning Partner Principles, Silver ‘exceeding’ and Gold ‘greatly exceeding’.

Notes:

KeyOstas has been providing health and safety training at our venues in Southam, Bromsgrove and Birmingham since 1984. Environmental services were added to the portfolio in 2002. Our homes at The CourtThe Mount School and Perfecta Works are in central England at the heart of the West Midlands motorway network and provide a convenient location for our public courses

Almost 80% of KeyOstas training is done on-site for clients throughout the UK. Our In-company training courses can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a client and the industry in which they operate. Through consultation KeyOstas ensure that your staff receive the appropriate training for them and for your business every time

City of London strengthens wind tunnel planning guidance

City of London

The City of London Corporation is introducing stricter wind condition standards on new proposed developments.

The guidance, to be included within the City of London Corporation’s planning approval process, will primarily cover buildings of 25 m in height and above.

It requires the potential impact of issues such as wind tunnelling to be tested at the earliest point of scheme design possible, to prevent the need to retrofit wind mitigation measures.

The corporation has also asked for two separate consultants to be commissioned when wind testing is carried out, one to carry out testing and the other to cross-examine any discrepancies between the results.

Planning and Transportation committee chair Alastair Moss said: “With the number of tall buildings in the Square Mile growing, it is important that the knock-on effects of new developments on wind at street-level are properly considered.

“We hope these groundbreaking guidelines can create a blueprint for others by delivering safer, more enjoyable streets that meet the evolving needs of this great city.”

The guidance has been created in line with the corporation’s transport strategy which has also set out objectives to improve air quality and implement a 15mph speed limit within the Square Mile.

Construction News

Open letter to the farming community from Health and Safety Executive chair

“Large machinery is the norm and time is a precious commodity”

The chair of the Health and Safety Executive, Martin Temple, has written an open letter to the farming community following the release of recent figures showing the extent of fatalities and injuries within the sector.

Here is his letter in full:

“I was prompted to write this letter after reviewing the recently released statistics on fatalities in the workplace, where once again agriculture is shown to have one of the worst rates across all sectors. This year made even more poignant in the light of some of the recent deaths on farms involving young people.

I feel compelled to write this letter because it is clear there has been little real improvement in managing risk effectively on farms. While there have been some in-roads and improvements made by the industry, the recent rise in the number of fatalities, although subject to natural variation, concerns me.

The infrastructure of farms and the equipment used becomes ever larger and more sophisticated but is no more or less dangerous than that being used in many other industries where risk is being managed much more effectively. I wonder why agriculture cannot improve in the same way, especially when many of the incidents follow very similar patterns.

There is no doubt farming is a complex working environment where large machinery is the norm and time is a precious commodity. However, it is an industry where farmers and their families are at the heart of the operational decision making yet appear to put less value on the health and safety of themselves and their workers than other industries. The agriculture industry has a rate of fatal injury about 18 times higher than the average across all other industries. I can imagine that with around thirty deaths a year in a workforce of approximately quarter of a million, there is a feeling that despite the tragedy of such events, the calculation of ‘it won’t happen to me’ puts health and safety down the list of priorities. However, if one considers the figures for significant work-related injuries and ill-health, the odds become dramatically more worrying. The chances of someone working on a farm today receiving a work-related injury or health problem over a five-year period is around 1 in 10.

As a farmer’s son who grew up on the family farm in the 50s, 60s and 70s, I have a genuine desire for the agriculture industry to grow and thrive safely. As a child I once saw the result of an incident where all the onlookers felt the victim should have known better, but at the time I wondered why anyone hadn’t told him he was doing it wrong if it was so obvious. Since the time I lived on the farm, I see that many of the risks aren’t new and the ways to manage them are well known. For example, regulations to safeguard children on farms and guards that protect workers from parts linking machinery have been around since the 1950s, yet 60 years on children are still dying on farms and farm workers are still being killed by moving vehicles and equipment.

While some progress has clearly been made on these issues, the culture across the industry remains a problem. Farming organisations and agricultural colleges recognise there is a problem but collectively the question should be how we can get health and safety into the minds of everyone working on farms each and every day, as is the case in many other business areas.

The sentiments in this letter are ones of concern, and to some degree frustration, that messages are not getting through. When an incident happens not only is it usually a family tragedy or linked to someone in a close-knit working group, but it frequently has significant impact on the financial health of the business.

The Act under which the HSE carries out its activities, charges us to ‘prevent death, injury and ill-health at work’. The key word is ‘prevent’ but of course we have regulatory powers to reinforce this role. Far too often in HSE we arrive at a farm when it is too late, because an incident has occurred. In my experience as a duty holder in heavy industries, safer businesses are usually more productive and more profitable because people are doing the right thing at the right time.

My plea through this letter is for everyone working in agriculture to think every day about the ‘prevent’ word, listen to the help and look out for the guidance which is available not only from ourselves, but your industry bodies and colleges, so as you go about your business you think in ways that keep you and your workforce running a successful business safely.”

South West Farmer

How to foster a culture of site safety in construction

Despite health and safety being a staple of every company’s policies and procedures, accidents and injuries at work are still commonplace. HSE (Health and Safety Executive) recently published the results of the annual labour force survey, which revealed that between 2017 and 2018, there were 555,000 injuries at work. 144 of them were fatal.

But what about industries that consider safety to be at the centre of their work?

As it stands, the construction industry contributes to a large number of recorded workplace injuries. In fact, HSE found that an estimated 58,000 cases of work-related injury occurred between 2017 and 2018. Around 2.6% of construction workers suffered an injury in this time, roughly 50% higher than the average of 1.8% across all industries.

Below, industry experts at Vizwear explore what it is that construction companies are doing wrong and how you can create a positive safety culture in your business.

How can poor health and safety affect your business?

Having a bad culture of health and safety hits your profits as hard as it does your reputation.

In the construction industry alone, around 2.4 million working days were lost between 2017 and 2018 due to workplace injury and illness. To put that statistic into perspective, that’s the equivalent of 10,000 construction workers being absent from work for a full year.

These absences add up to a staggering £1.06 billion loss, accounting for 7% of the total cost across all industries (£14.9 billion).

What are the signs of poor health and safety?
If you’re concerned that your own health and safety policies aren’t up to standard, there are a number of signs you can look out for:

● Poor accident reporting – If your team aren’t properly reporting and logging accidents in the workplace, then nothing can be done to prevent it from happening again in the future. Accident and injury books aren’t just for serious cases: they should be filled with any occurrences in the workplace. Your staff may not feel like their injuries aren’t worth the hassle, but the next time it happens, it could have more serious consequences.

● Blame culture – If your company blames individuals for injuries and relies on disciplining workers for accidents, you’re promoting a negative view of health and safety. You may be influencing employees to avoid correctly reporting incidents due to a fear of being reprimanded.

● Profitability over safety – When a company values profitability at a detriment to proper health and safety measures, its culture of site safety will inevitably suffer. This attitude will actually end up costing you more in the long run, as you’ll be forced to cover staff absences when accidents occur.

● Lack of communication – Without openly communicating the reasons behind new safety measures with your employees, you’ll create the impression that health and safety is an afterthought. Your staff won’t take policies seriously and you’ll make it difficult to establish a positive culture of site safety.

How to foster a culture of site safety
When it comes to creating a successful culture of site safety, it’s not as simple as creating new safety procedures and calling it a job well done – business leaders need to motivate their staff to take safety into their own hands.

Only by ensuring everyone buys into their own safety can management be confident that their staff are taking the right measures to cultivate a culture of site safety.

Here are a few small steps you can take to make sure your business is optimising its culture of safety:

1. Communicate
A lack of communication can hamper any attempts to develop your culture of workplace safety. Being open and honest with your employees about why new changes are being implemented at work is the easiest way to help them understand the necessity.

The more transparent you are as a manager, the more likely your staff will help health and safety updates run smoothly. However, it’s not just about communicating changes to your team: all current health and safety guidelines should be easily accessible to ensure everyone remains knowledgeable and up to date.

2. Mental health support
Construction workers have seen a serious problem with the condition of their mental health which has been a continuous issue for the industry over the years. Whether it’s depression, anxiety or stress, the industry suffered 14,000 cases between 2017 and 2018.

If you’re making strides to improve your culture of site safety, it’s crucial to work towards aiding your staff’s mental health. By providing further education and creating an environment that employees feel safe to open up and speak their mind, your workers will develop their own support system to protect each other’s mental health and wellbeing.

3. Lead by example
It goes without saying that if an employee knows that their manager doesn’t care whether health and safety procedures are followed, then they’re not going to follow them. This toxic behaviour will quickly disintegrate any attempt to create a culture of site safety.

When it comes to safety, you need to walk the walk. Show your team how important it is to adhere to safety standards by following them to the letter yourself. Your employees are far more likely to follow in your footsteps than to just take your word for it.

4. Training
Making sure your team is fully trained in site safety is crucial to ensure that workers are fully knowledgeable in safety procedures. With the correct training, you’ll have peace of mind that they know how to perform their jobs safely and correctly.

Review key training sessions and organise refresher courses often to reinforce key safety issues. With a fully trained team of safety experts at your disposal, your employees will be able to spot potential hazards before they become accidents.

5. Reporting
Of the estimated 58,000 workplace injuries between 2017 and 2018, only 4,919 were officially reported; meaning over 90% of non-fatal injuries were left unreported.

Reporting incidents shouldn’t be something that employees fear or feel uncomfortable doing. You need to make it clear to your employees that accident reporting isn’t an excuse to scold but rather to find out what caused an injury and what can be done to prevent it from happening in the future. By making proper reporting a core value of your worker’s job description, it will become like second nature to them.

Incentivising accident reports through prizes or monetary bonuses is a common action that managers take but the results may be counterintuitive. Safety incentive programs become routine and many employees become entitled; believing they deserve rewarding for carrying out their jobs.

Rather than trying to ‘buy’ your staff with incentives, allow them to set their own safety goals. Employees are more likely to respond positively to working towards their team’s own targets, rather than those set by executives who may be out of touch with their day-to-day operations.

6. Get the team involved
As site safety affects everyone, it’s only right that your employees should get to help shape your culture. The more you give your staff the opportunity to participate in safety initiatives, the more likely they are to adhere to precautions.

By running regular safety seminars, your team can voice their own safety concerns. This open style of contribution gives workers the chance to help implement safety changes that affect their own roles, making them much more likely to follow them and encourage others.

How to manage change
Now that you’ve got an idea of some of the ways you can change your businesses safety culture for the better, you can start implementing. However, it’s not just a case of putting on a training session and expecting to see results. To develop a genuinely progressive culture of site safety, you need to be always aware of what health and safety measures are in place and what needs to change.

Following the generic model of change, you can see how it relates to your business and how it refers to successful safety culture:

  1. Recognise the need for change – This is the moment you realise that your current health and safety standards aren’t cutting it and that improvements need to be made.
  2. Diagnose what needs to change – At this stage, you’ll pinpoint specifically which health and safety measures and issues are causing problems for your business.
  3. Plan for, and prepare to change – With your problems discovered, you’ll then design exactly what you need to do to improve and how you’ll do it.
  4. Implement the change – This is when all your planning and preparation comes into place and you put into place the solution to the problems you discovered.
  5. Sustain the change – Often neglected, this stage is one of the most important. This is where you need to ensure your initiatives are followed and the culture of site safety you’ve created remains at a high level.

Each stage of this model plays a vital role in developing your company’s culture, but the ability to recognise the need for change and sustaining change are the most crucial. With these two steps, you’ll always be aware of the safety standards in the workplace and will be striving to make sure current policies are followed.

“Health and safety in the construction industry isn’t something that can be ignored and picked up later,” says Daniel Ure from online PPE retailer Vizwear, “it’s a vital part of everyone’s day to day work.

“By keeping workers up to date with safety procedures, health and safety will become a natural part of their roles, rather than something they need to remember. When your staff become more aware, they’ll take fewer risks and make sure any accidents are logged: two simple ways that will keep everyone safer in the future.”

RCI Magazine

Major construction projects can play a critical role in improving workers’ understanding of occupational health risks

London’s Tideway project

Major construction projects can play a critical role in improving workers’ understanding of health risks and championing ‘universally high standards’ across the industry, new research suggests.

A three-year research project, funded by IOSH, aimed to explore the management of health, safety and wellbeing interventions on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project.

Members of the research team from Loughborough University were integrated into each of the construction teams working on the Tideway project and monitored key health and safety processes, personnel, documentation, events and activities.

In a paper titled ‘Raising the bar for occupational health management in construction, published in the Institution of Civil Engineers‘ journal Civil Engineering, the research team highlights practical measures from the Tideway project to help stakeholders improve the management of health risks in construction.

The Loughborough team suggests major projects have an important role to play in upskilling the workforce, and that construction managers must take responsibility for health risk management, supported by skilled OSH and health professionals.

Interventions included working with occupational hygienists to improve understanding about health risks and how to manage them and coordinating training sessions for project managers, engineers, supervisors and others who contribute to risk assessments focusing on practical control measures.

Alistair Gibb, Professor of Construction Engineering Management at Loughborough University, said:“The construction industry faces many unique challenges when it comes to managing health risks and protecting workers. Across the industry there is poor understanding about the standards of health assessment which are legally required and low motivation among many employers to pay for health checks for workers who may soon move to other employers.

“Major projects such as Tideway are critical to developing universally high health management standards and are well-placed to champion good OH services and to use their expertise and influence to embed change within their own supply chains. To achieve long-lasting improvements, these standards must be adopted throughout the sector, particularly within the SMEs which employ the majority of the workforce.”

The study suggests a consistent approach to occupational health management and health surveillance is needed across the construction industry with a commitment to improved portability of OH data.

The researchers also argue that health needs to be given higher visibility and clarity at prequalification and in tender documents.

Steve Hails, Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Tideway, said: “Our commitment to transformational health, safety and wellbeing standards at Tideway is intended to set a new benchmark for the industry. Achieving parity between health and safety is a strategic objective for our programme and understanding the specific challenges emerging in the course of construction is imperative to our future direction.

“The support from IOSH and Loughborough University has been invaluable in identifying our progress. This unique approach to conducting a longitudinal study with skilled researchers embedded into our construction teams, has allowed us to compile legacy information in real time rather than, as has historically been the case, at the end of the project. This gives Tideway objective feedback during our works and informs our future direction.

“There are additional wider industry benefits for future projects to learn from our experiences through this approach and realising the benefits of industry working collaboratively with academia during the planning and construction phases of work.”

Mary Ogungbeje, Research Manager at IOSH, said: “This research goes a long way towards addressing what is a very prevalent and complex issue in the construction sector.

“For health to truly be treated like safety in construction there needs to be a shift in the perception and practices of employers and workers, and acceptance in industry that high standards should not be an exceptional practice but the necessary norm.

“The study highlights practical measures to help all stakeholders address barriers and improve the management of health risks in construction.”

An additional recommendation from the research includes further training for frontline workers, particularly to compensate for low visibility of health hazards including noise and respirable dust, and greater awareness of health conditions with long latency periods, including those caused by silica dust and asbestos exposure.  

IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign aims to explain the causes of occupational cancer and help businesses take action. Information about the dangers of silica dust, asbestos and other carcinogens and how to prevent exposure is available on the website: https://www.notimetolose.org.uk/

The paper, titled ‘Raising the bar for occupational health management in construction’ is published in the Institution of Civil Engineers journal Civil Engineering. The research is funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). The paper is available here: https://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/abs/10.1680/jcien.19.00029

In a second paper, published in the journal Safety Science, the research team explore in more detail the challenges to achieving lasting improvements to worker health in construction, this is available here: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1ZWj63IVV9gluI

IOSH

HSE and LA co-operation key to more consistent regulation, says IOSH

IOSH has urged local authorities (LAs) to commit to working closely with regulatory bodies to strengthen safety and health standards across Britain.

The move comes after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and LA representative bodies developed a joint statement of commitment (SoC) in April, which sets out a shared vision for consistent regulation across HSE and LA enforced businesses. 
LAs regulate about two thirds of all business premises, covering the retail, consumer services, entertainment, and warehousing and supply sectors. This accounts for around half of the total workforce in Great Britain. 

However, “OSH management failures” result in more than 100,000 workers developing new cases of ill health, 5,000 major workplace accidents and ten fatal injuries in LA-enforced business sectors each year, according to the HSE.   

The SoC was developed as part of the ongoing work of the strategic group overseeing the HSE/LA co-regulatory partnership (HELA) and the supporting Practitioner Forum.  It has been endorsed by the HSE’s board, the Local Government Association, the Welsh Local Government Association and the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland, and is aimed at councillors, LA chief executives and their heads of regulatory services.  

Now IOSH has joined the call for LAs to publicly commit to the statement and embed the principles within their service plans. Richard Jones, the institution’s head of policy and public affairs, said: “It’s important that co-regulation is adequately resourced and effectively delivered, to ensure the quality and consistency of enforcement across the regulatory landscape.  

“So, IOSH welcomes this joint-focus on promoting the benefits of good health and safety and the need to improve regulation and strengthen protection, particularly for vulnerable workers. “We urge local authorities to publicly endorse the joint SoC and embed its principles within their service plans.  “IOSH supports greater consistency of enforcement between HSE and local authorities and has previously called for ring-fenced funding for local authority occupational safety and health regulations, adequate training and resourcing of regulators and, over time, for a unified enforcement agency.”  

The SoC aims to strengthen and maintain a long term, senior commitment to delivery of their legal duty as enforcers of workplace safety and health and asks that LAs collaborate with other bodies to deliver effective and correctly targeted solutions to keep workers safe.  The statement commits LAs to:

  • working with other LAs to peer review activities
  • using national and local intelligence to effectively target poor performing sectors
  • annually reporting their safety and health enforcement activity to the HSE
  • championing their role as safety and health regulators. 

The HSE said it was working with LAs to develop supporting materials that will be available soon. 

IOSH urge local authorities to collaborate on safety

IOSH is urging local authorities to commit to working closely with regulatory bodies to strengthen employee health and safety standards across Britain.

City workers on London Bridge

With many local authorities dealing with challenging environments that impact how they deliver regulatory services, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has developed a Statement of Commitment.

Individual local authorities can now commit to this, supporting collaboration with other bodies to deliver effective and correctly-targeted solutions to keep workers safe and healthy.

Launched in April, the statement has been endorsed by HSE’s Board, the Local Government Association, the Welsh Local Government Association and the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland.

And now IOSH has joined the call on local authorities to publicly commit to the statement and embed the principles within their service plans. Head of policy and public affairs at IOS Richard Jones said, “It’s important that co-regulation is adequately resourced and effectively delivered, to ensure the quality and consistency of enforcement across the regulatory landscape. So, IOSH welcomes this joint-focus on promoting the benefits of good health and safety and the need to improve regulation and strengthen protection, particularly for vulnerable workers.

“We urge local authorities to publicly endorse the joint Statement of Commitment and embed its principles within their service plans.

“IOSH supports greater consistency of enforcement between HSE and local authorities and has previously called for ring-fenced funding for local authority occupational safety and health regulation, adequate training and resourcing of regulators and, over time, for a unified enforcement agency.”

Local authorities predominantly cover the retail, consumer services, entertainment and warehousing/supply chain sectors, which account for two-thirds of all business premises, around half of the total British workforce.

Figures collected by HSE show failures in the management of occupational health and safety in local authority-enforced business sectors result in more than 100,000 new cases of ill health, 5,000 major injuries and the deaths of around ten workers each year.

Many of those harmed are vulnerable workers not provided with reasonable workplace protection, and around 15 members of the public, including children are killed each year in avoidable incidents because of workplace activity.

HSM

NEBOSH ‘heroes’ graduate

“YOU ARE my heroes!” That was the message from guest speaker, Louise Taggart, to Diplomates at this year’s NEBOSH Graduation.

NEBOSH Graduates

Workplace safety speaker Louise, delivered a powerful and moving speech to more than 900 guests. She outlined her ‘why’ for working in health and safety – the avoidable workplace death of her brother Michael – and encouraged those listening to share theirs. 

Addressing the NEBOSH Diplomates, Louise added, “You should be incredibly proud of your achievements each and every day. It’s not stating it too highly to say that you are among my heroes. You are illness preventers, injury stoppers, and environmental damage preventers.”

The Graduation celebrates those fantastic learners who have achieved a prestigious NEBOSH Diploma or Masters qualification in the past year. Among those celebrating were the winners of the 2019 NEBOSH Best Candidate Awards, recognising the achievements of the top performing candidates for Certificate and Diploma qualifications in the past year.

Over 16 countries were represented at 2019’s annual event at the University of Warwick. Attendees travelled across the world, from as far afield as China and New Zealand, to be part of the special occasion. 

NEBOSH’s flagship qualifications are recognised by organisations and governments across the world as a mark of excellence within the industry; nearly 9 in 10 vacancies ask for a NEBOSH qualification. 

HSM

*KeyOstas is one of the oldest accredited NEBOSH training providers in the UK. To find out more about our NEBOSH programme click here

New HSE Chief Executive announced

Britain’s workplace health and safety regulator has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed the current Inspector General and Chief Executive of the Insolvency Service, Sarah Albon will join the organisation on 1 September.

Ms Albon joined The Insolvency Service in February 2015, implementing its strategy to improve service to its customers, lower its costs, and further strengthen the UK’s insolvency regime.

She will be replacing outgoing Acting Chief Executive David Snowball who has held the post since June 2018 and will be retiring from HSE at the end of the year.

Sarah said: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the executive of this important and hugely respected regulator. Working together with my new colleagues across HSE, I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the vital mission we deliver on behalf of Great Britain’s workplaces. My focus will be on continuing to deliver improvements in health and safety performance as our workplaces move into a future with new challenges, new technologies and new opportunities.”

Sarah’s previous roles in Government include, Director of Strategy and Change at Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service, Director of Civil Family and Legal Aid Policy at the Ministry of Justice, Deputy Director of Criminal Legal Aid Strategy, Ministry of Justice and has also served as principal private secretary to two Lord Chancellors.

Martin Temple, HSE’s Chair welcomed the appointment: “I am delighted to welcome Sarah Albon to HSE as our new chief executive and look forward enormously to working with her.

“Sarah’s CV speaks for itself and her valuable experience in leading organisations through change and planning for the future will stand her in good stead leading this world-class regulator of workplace health and safety.”

The appointment was made following an open recruitment process.

HSE is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

HSE Press Release 27.06.19

Man trapped and seriously injured when wall in Luton building collapses

The Health and Safety Executive is investigating after a man was trapped and seriously injured when a wall collapsed inside a Luton property.

The incident happened on June 12 at around 3pm in a building in Grange Avenue, as neighbours were shocked to see the fire, police, and ambulance services rush to their street.

A wall had collapsed in the building, leaving a man trapped and seriously injured, and an air ambulance was called to take the patient to Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.

It is understood that renovation works were being carried out inside the property, which has been given the nickname ‘The Grange’ by local residents.

Eyewitness Ian Darwood, claims: “It must have gone on for about three hours. The fire brigade was there to help with the rescue, the ambulance came down, the police, and when I looked up there was a helicopter there [an air ambulance].

“Inside, something must have collapsed. The fire brigade were helping to clear the entrance and one bloke was brought out on a stretcher. He was wired up and it looked like he was on a life support machine.

“There was police tape there and a policeman outside the door on the first night (June 12/13).

“There’s been work going on to the inside of the property for a while. I think it was one of the workmen who was on the stretcher.”

A Luton Borough Council spokesman, said: “The council was alerted to a serious incident on June 12 and an officer attended to assess the safety of the collapsed wall.

“As the incident related to the construction industry, details were passed to the Health and Safety Executive, which has responsibility to deal with such matters.”

A Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue spokeswoman, said: “Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to rescue a man who was trapped in a collapsed building on June 12.

“Having received an emergency call just before 3pm, two fire engines and two specialist rescue units were sent to Grange Avenue in Luton, where an internal wall in a building under renovation had partially collapsed.

“Working alongside ambulance and police, crews assisted in removing the debris and rescuing the casualty, who was left in the care of the ambulance service.

“A structural engineer was requested from Luton Borough Council and the scene was left in the hands of the police just after 4pm.

“This was a tough incident, in very challenging circumstances and 999 crews worked very well together to get the best care as quickly as they could to the casualty.”

An Essex and Herts Air Ambulance spokesman, said: “On June 12, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance was tasked to assist EEAST, Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service with a male patient fall in Luton.

“We landed approximately one mile from the scene.

“Teams worked together on scene to optimise patient outcome. The patient was transferred to a major trauma centre for ongoing treatment.”

An East of England Ambulance Service Trust spokeswoman, said: “We were called at 2.35pm on June 12 with reports of a person with traumatic injuries in Grange Avenue, Luton.

“We sent the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), ambulance officer, rapid response vehicle, ambulance and Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

“One man was taken to Addenbrookes Hospital by air ambulance in a serious condition.”

A Bedfordshire Police spokeswoman, said: “We were called shortly before 3pm on Wednesday, June 12, to reports of a man having been injured in a property in Grange Avenue, Luton.

“Emergency services attended and a man was treated for serious injuries, but the matter is now with the Health and Safety Executive for investigation.”

Luton Today

Worker scalped in industrial accident at Cheshire Mouldings

A COMPANY director has admitted health and safety breaches after a factory worker was scalped in an industrial accident.

Paul Carney, from Woolston, was due to stand trial at Liverpool Crown Court this week to face the charges.

But on Monday, June 10, the 50-year-old pleaded guilty to two health and safety offences over the incident at Cheshire Mouldings and Woodturnings Limited in St Helens – of which he is a director – in June 2016.

Employee Karolina Lubieniecka was scalped when her hair became caught in a machine, as well as losing an ear and a thumb.

She was also left visually-impaired after being injured while working on a production line at the factory – which produces timber stair parts, balustrades, decking, flooring and mouldings.

Cheshire Mouldings and Woodturnings Limited had previous admitted health and safety breaches during an earlier court hearing.

The company and Carney, of Springburn Gardens, will be sentenced back at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday, July 2.

This accident had come only two years after another woman working in the same factory had three fingers sliced off in a horrific training accident.

In October 2014, Lenka Toperczer suffered the life-changing injuries during her first training session.

Her right hand was hit by rotating blades while being shown how to operate an inadequately guarded machine, with the middle finger on her left hand also being amputated.

Cheshire Mouldings and Woodturnings Limited was fined more than £350,000 over the incident in November 2017.

The company was also fined in 2001 and 2004 over workers suffering injuries during accident at the factory.

Warrington Guardian

Sensors on roller garage door in fatal crush were incorrectly wired

An electrical engineering firm that failed to identify faulty safety sensors on a garage door only a month before it crushed a woman to death has been sentenced.

Heidi Chalkley was drawn into the rolling metal shutter at the entrance to the carpark of Ruth Bagnall Court, an apartment complex in Cambridge, on 14 August 2016. 

 In what coroners’ officer Pail Garnell previously called an “act of silliness”, Chalkley held on to the grille and was lifted off the ground after pressing a clicker to open the door.  Garnell said: “[Chalkley] was meant to drop down but her arms got caught and it has [the shutters] pulled her up into the mechanism where it caused death immediately.”  

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the sensors at the top of the door were incorrectly wired and no longer functioned as the door opened.  B.S. Graves (Electrical) had carried out work on the roller shutter door since 2012, including an inspection only a month before the incident. It did not check the operation of the safety sensors and failed to identify the fault.  

The company pleaded guilty to breaching s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £25,000 at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay costs of £6,500.  

After the hearing HSE inspector Graeme Warden said the accident “could have been avoided if the company had ensured employees were suitably trained to inspect the doors and the functioning of the safety sensors”.

IOSH Magazine

Building safety reform consultation launched by Government

The government has launched a consultation on building safety reform following the Hackitt Review, published in response to the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017.

Taking forward all of Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations and “going further”, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said it would consult on establishing “duty holders” who will be responsible for the safety of building occupants and ensuring that Building Regulations are followed.

They will also be expected to keep vital safety information electronically on how the building was designed and built and is managed, “for the entire life of a building”.

Her review also called for a culture change in the industry, “underpinned by changing how homes are designed, built, maintained and managed in the future,” MHCLG added.

Adrian Dobson, RIBA Executive Director Professional Services, said: “The Grenfell Tower tragedy shocked the world and exposed serious failures. Yet nearly two years on – aside from restrictions on the use of combustible materials – building regulations and associated guidance remain largely unchanged and inconsistent across the UK.

“We welcome this consultation and particularly commend the proposals for tighter regulation of higher risk residential buildings of 18m or more in height (rather than 30m+ which was recommended by the Government’s 2018 Independent Review of Building Regulations on Fire Safety) and the establishment of a single building safety regulator.

“However significant reform in building safety requirements is long overdue. We urge the Government to extend these regulations to other high risk buildings such as schools, hospitals, care homes and prisons, and adopt vital recommendations such as increased requirements for the use of sprinklers.”

The government has also proposed a new building safety regulator to take enforcement action – including fines or imprisonment – against those responsible for a building who shirk their duties. The building safety regulator will oversee the safety of new and existing buildings, MHCLG explained.

“The intention is that, the regulator and people responsible for a building’s safety will be working towards the common goal at the heart of the new regime – the safety of residents,” it added.

Alongside the introduction of the building safety regulator, the government wishes to implement clearer standards and guidance, creating a new standards committee for construction products and systems standards to provide impartial advice.

The government said the consultation “proposes a stronger voice for residents of high rise buildings to ensure their concerns are never ignored”. This includes better information about residents’ buildings “so that they can participate in decisions about safety, as well as clear and quick routes of escalation for their concerns if things do go wrong”.

Following the consultation, the government intends to implement the reforms in law.

Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory systemcloses on July 31.

Specification Online

‘Longstanding failures’ at refinery that led to fatal explosion costs firms more than £6m

Two companies must pay more than £6m after “longstanding failures” to control the risks to safety from flammable atmospheres at the Pembroke refinery in south Wales eight years ago led to a fatal explosion.


Swansea Crown Court was told how the fireball explosion ripped through the roof of a storage tank that was being emptied in the amine recovery unit (ARU) by five workers.

The five-tonne tank roof was thrown 55 m into a butane storage sphere. It narrowly missed a pipe track used to transport several flammable materials. 

Dennis Riley, Robert Broome, Andrew Jenkins and Julie Schmitz died in the blast on 2 June 2011. The fifth worker, Andrew Phillips, was very seriously injured during what should have been a routine emptying operation in preparation for further cleaning and maintenance, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.  Its investigation found that the explosion was “most likely” triggered by an ignition source inside the tank. There were “longstanding failures in the refinery’s safety management systems” that meant flammable atmospheres in the ARU were not “understood or controlled”, it said. 

Fuel company Valero Energy UK and tank cleaning specialist B&A Contracts, a long-term contractor at the refinery that was carrying out the work at the time, both pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court last October.  

Yesterday (6 June) they were fined £5m and £140,000 respectively. Valero was also ordered to pay £1m costs, while B&A, which employed Broome, Jenkins and Riley, must pay costs of £40,000. The refinery’s former owner Chevron will pay the £5m fine and costs as part of an arrangement it reached with Valero, which acquired the refinery two months after the disaster. 

The HSE said the blast was “entirely preventable”.  It happened about ten minutes into a procedure to remove liquid and sludge from the bottom of the tank through a hose into a vacuum tanker, Wales Online reported.  

The court was told that an electrostatic spark from the hose was “overwhelmingly likely” to have caused the explosion, though it was not possible to say for certain. A reading of the tank’s flammable gas levels, taken just days before the incident, showed it had a lower explosive limit of 67%. A safe limit would be under 10%. Judge Mr Justice Lewis said these results should have “stopped everyone in their tracks”, but a lack of staff communication meant they were “not properly communicated” or “not understood” and created an “accident waiting to happen”, according to BBC News.  

Valero is classed as a “very large” organisation under the sentencing guidelines for safety and health offences, while B&A is a “micro” company.  

HSE inspector Andrew Knowles said: “This incident, which had devastating consequences for all those involved, was entirely preventable. Many opportunities to take action to control risk were missed that would have prevented the incident from occurring.  “It is important to realise that the incident could have had even more serious consequences had the butane sphere or pipe track been damaged by the flying tank roof.” 

Detective superintendent Anthony Griffiths added: “Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police worked closely with the HSE to support them in the very complex investigation to establish the cause of this tragic incident. We hope that the lessons learned ensure that a tragedy of this nature doesn’t happen again. Our thought remain with all the families involved.”

IOSH Magazine

HSE Launches new Dust Inspection Blitz

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is targeting construction sites in a new series of inspections focusing on dust control.

The HSE said it would visit sites over the next few weeks from Monday 10 June to see what measures have been put in place to protect workers’ lungs from the likes of asbestos, silica, and wood dust.

They will be looking for evidence of businesses and their workers knowing the risks, planning their work and using the right controls. Where necessary, HSE will use enforcement to make sure people are protected.

HSE’s chief medical officer, professor David Fishwick said: “Exposure to asbestos, silica, wood, flour and other dust can have life-changing consequences.

“Each year work-related lung diseases linked to past exposures are estimated to kill 12,000 workers across Great Britain. In many cases these diseases take a long time to develop after exposure, so the damage done may not be immediately obvious. Others, such as occupational asthma and acute silicosis, can occur more quickly.

“These conditions can and do have a significant impact on both the individuals affected and those closest to them, so it is imperative that workers take the necessary precautions to protect their lungs.”

Sarah Jardine, HSE’s chief inspector of construction said: “We are carrying out this series of inspections to ensure businesses are fulfilling their legal duties to protect workers from harm. This includes controlling the levels of dust in workplaces.

“We want to ensure employers and their workers are aware of the risks associated with any task that produces dust. Such work needs to be properly planned and use the right controls, such as water suppression, extraction and masks.

“The bottom line is we want everyone, workers and their employers, to be protected from harm and ill health so they can go home healthy to their families.”

Construction Manager

007 Explosion at Pinewood

The HSE is making initial enquiries into the “controlled explosion” that tore the walls off the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios, during the production of Bond 25 on Tuesday, 4 June.

The 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios

One crew member also sustained a minor injury in the incident that’s left the iconic soundstage exposed to the elements.

The HSE, an independent body whose mission is “to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health”, tells Yahoo: “HSE is aware of the incident and making initial enquiries.”

These enquiries are likely to see if the incident falls under their jurisdiction. Part of the HSE’s mission is to “hold employers to account for their failures and get answers for victims and make workplaces safer.”R

Event Horizon, the special effects company responsible for pyrotechnics on Daniel Craig’s four previous Bond films, was unwilling to talk to Yahoo about the “controlled explosion”, offering a simple “no comment”.

A special effects expert we spoke to said: “It sounds like something quite bad has happened and there is some structural damage.”

However, Bond expert Mark O’Connell – author of Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan – who visited Pinewood Studios last week, says the production will have taken every precaution to avoid this “unfortunate accident”.

“For good or bad the complexities of mounting big franchise films is ever precarious,” O’Connell tells Yahoo.

“More time and effort is spent on not letting accidents happen than shooting them, but sometimes they do. I was at Pinewood Studios last week and The 007 Stage is surrounded (as it always is) with firetrucks, safety units, medical teams and tight security.

“There are no headlines in the precautions always taken when shooting a Bond film – only the unfortunate accidents.”

According to reports, fire crews were called to the Buckinghamshire film studio yesterday after “a pre-arranged fireball rehearsal went wrong”, leaving some crew members requiring first aid assistance.

EON Productions, the company that makes the Bond films, quickly responded putting out an official statement that explained “damage was caused to the exterior of the 007 Stage. There were no injuries on set, however one crew member outside the stage has sustained a minor injury.”

Yahoo Movies

Falling timber from scaffold hits three-year-old in buggy

A self-employed builder has been given a suspended jail sentence after a three-year-old girl suffered severe head injuries when a length of timber fell on her while being hoisted up the outside of a scaffold.


An HSE picture of the accident scene

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard how on the 6 July 2018, the girl, and her mother, who was pushing her daughter in a buggy, were walking along Preston Street in Brighton.

As they passed scaffolding, erected on the pavement for refurbishment work to a flat above, the length of timber fell from approximately ten metres in height striking the girl on the head.

The three-year-old suffered life changing injuries. While she has made a significant progress, it is not yet known whether she will make a full recovery.

An HSE investigation found that the builder in control of the works was Grzegorz Glowacki, who had tied the length of timber to a rope for lifting up the outside of the scaffold using a pulley system.

But the knot used was not suitable, and the timber slipped out, falling to the ground, but there was no exclusion zone in place to prevent persons being underneath the load, in case of such a problem.

Glowacki of Brighton, pleaded guilty to breaching lifting regulations and was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, plus 220 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to repay full costs of £5727.92.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Stephen Green said: “This horrendous incident would have been the last thing on the minds of this little girl and her mum as they set off for a fun day out at the beach.

“The impact this incident has had on the girl and her family was easily prevented by simply stopping people from walking beneath the suspended timber whilst it was lifted. This risk should have been identified by Mr. Glowacki.

“Companies and individuals should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action when members of the public are needlessly put at risk.”

Construction Enquirer

GOVERNMENT ALLOCATES £200M TO REPLACE CLADDING ON PRIVATE HIGH-RISES

The government has announced £200 million of funding to replace cladding on about 170 privately owned high-rise buildings.

The government has announced £200 million of funding to replace cladding on about 170 privately owned high-rise buildings, saying that it has “stepped in to speed up vital cladding replacement by fully funding the work, eliminating excuses used by some building owners and protecting leaseholders from the costs”.

It’s the latest activity following  the fire in Grenfell Tower two years ago this month, which claimed 72 lives and threw the safety of high-rises all over England into sharp focus.

The funding will be made available to remove and replace unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding. The step has been taken after private building owners failed to take action and tried to offload costs on to leaseholders.

Action on building safety

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “It is of paramount importance that everybody is able to feel and be safe in their homes. That’s why we asked building owners in the private sector to take action and make sure appropriate safety measures were in place. And we’ve seen a number of private building owners doing the right thing and taking responsibility, but unfortunately too many are continuing to pass on the costs of removal and replacement to leaseholders.”

Following the Grenfell fire, the government established a comprehensive building safety programme that included an independent review of fire safety and building regulations.

Communities secretary James Brokenshire said: “Although temporary measures are in place to ensure people living in these buildings are safe, too many owners are treating this as a permanent fix. Others are trying to pass on the costs to residents by threatening them with bills running to thousands of pounds.

“While some building owners have been swift to act, and I thank them for doing the right thing, I am now calling time on the delay tactics of others. If these reckless building owners won’t act, the government will.”

The latest figures show that work is yet to start on removing and replacing ACM cladding at 166 private buildings, compared with just 23 in the social sector.

Building owners will have three months to access the new fund. The government said it “will look carefully at those who fail to remediate and consider what further action can be taken”.

Response to the announcement 

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It is a source of deep concern that nearly two years after the devastating Grenfell fire this dangerous cladding is still on buildings.  

“It is vital that it is removed as quickly as possible. The first priority of any government must be to protect its citizens.”

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “This announcement will come as an enormous relief to leaseholders who are in no way to blame for the dangerous cladding on their homes. 

“Since the LGA first raised their plight in 2017, we have been working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government [MHCLG] to ensure the Treasury provided the necessary funding, and it is great that we have been listened to. 

“Reputable developers have done the right thing and paid for buildings to be fixed, but it would be wrong if the taxpayer had to pay the bills of those developers and contractors who are responsible for this crisis.

“It is right, therefore, that while the government has committed to cover the cost temporarily, it has also said it will do everything in its power to ensure those responsible for the installation of unsafe cladding and insulation on their buildings, or indeed their insurers, eventually pay the full cost for its removal and replacement.” 

The fund will be available for private high-rise residential buildings (those containing homes). The government is already fully funding the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on social sector properties. Dame Judith Hackitt made the recommendation in her review of building regulations and fire safety.

Government’s measures ‘do not go far enough’ 

But others say the announcement did not go far enough – and even detracted from other vital issues such as lighting.

Emergency lighting company Tamlite said the emergency building regulations, which are almost 50 years old, also require 

“a major overhaul”. In a statement responding to the government’s declaration, it says: “By way of an example, escape levels were based on the technical capabilities of luminaires developed in the 1970s: therefore, these regulations need to be updated and change is required across all aspects of fire safety.”

The company points out that it is “important that we make clear we welcome the further £200 million bill to replace Grenfell Tower-type cladding (in private high-rise blocks)” but that it was also “very concerned that the focus has been driven by the media spotlight on cladding – as such, we feel there has been insufficient attention on the need to address all aspects of fire safety including auto fire detection, emergency and escape lighting”.

In conclusion, it adds that it wants to see “significant fines, penalties – and in the most extreme cases prison sentences – for landlords of high-rise and larger-scale buildings where safety standards are not met”. 

“We regularly see examples in the media of ‘private’ landlords being fined and facing prison sentences (often these individuals own/operate small apartments and buildings). All in all, more must be done to deter any organisation or individual who fails to protect the lives of those living in its building.”

A report leaked to Inside Housing magazine by a consultant from one of the groups working on Hackitt’s post-Grenfell suggestions also states that the recommendations do not go far enough. 

Ryan Dempsey, an electrical safety expert brought in to advise the working group on the competence of people installing fire protection systems, told Inside Housing he thought the changes that were being discussed were too limited and that participants “were trying to market the existing process”, not improve it. 

FACILITATE: 03.05.19

Blackpool hotel boss put holidaymakers’ ‘lives at risk’

Customers and staff at a Blackpool hotel were put in serious danger when its owner flouted health and safety rules.

The Cornhill Hotel

Conditions at the Cornhill Hotel, on the Prom, were so bad many customers walked out within minutes of checking in.

And a fire officer said conditions at the hotel put anyone staying there at risk of suffering serious injury or even death.

Owner, 46-year-old Alan Diamond, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Health and Safety legislation at Blackpool magistrates court.

He admitted failing to ensure the health,safety and welfare of his employees and guests.

Sharon Davies, prosecuting on behalf of Blackpool Council, said Diamond’s seafront hotel will remain closed until inspections by the local authority and fire service are carried out.

The court heard Diamond failed to produce reports that the hotel’s electrical system was safe.

He also failed to react to a legal notice requiring the hotel to have portable equipment such as kettles properly safety tested.

He also failed to manage risks of staff and guests who may have been at risk from Legionnaire’s Disease from the hotel’s water system and did not react to a prohibition notice about asbestos at the hotel. He did not respond to further prohibition notices about unsafe windows which would not prevent people falling from them.

There were further legal notice served on him about having the hotel lift safety checked; having cracked windows replaced and replacing cracked and damaged tiling replaced.

Sue Mugford, defending, said her client had been taken ill at the time of the offences and had brought in a company to run the hotel. She said: “He has taken back control of the hotel and wants to re open. He is currently refurbishing the hotel.”

The court heard Diamond allowed the hotel to remain open to guests despite the fire and health and safety prohibitions served on him last year.

The former publican and coach driver bought the Cornhill in 2013 and a probation report on him said he had remained open to get money to pay for repairs but he had been ripped off by cowboy tradesmen.

Diamond was placed on a one-year community order and must do 140 hours unpaid work for the community and £761 costs.

Chairman of the bench Jean Adam told him:”You put the public at a very real risk of harm. This is a serious matter.”

In January, the hotel was stripped of its entertainment and alcohol licence after councillors heard there had been ‘blatant disregard’ shown for public safety.

Management at the Cornhill Hotel continued to take bookings despite being ordered by the fire brigade to close the premises.

A statement by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service fire safety officer Stephen Simm said: “The issues were so serious that I felt the property would put anyone staying on the premises at risk of death or serious injury.”

These included a faulty fire alarm system and inflammable materials near exits.

A council licensing panel revoked the licence after also hearing the police had received 38 calls to attend incidents at the hotel during 2018.

The infringements came to light after Blackpool Council received a number of complaints from guests who had stayed at the hotel.

Ten improvement notices had been issued by town hall health and safety officers in 2018, but only one had been complied with.

In its decision notice following the hearing, the panel said Mr Diamond “demonstrated a complete disregard for the authorities by continuing to trade and failing to undertake the works.”

He had also “shown a blatant disregard for the licensing objectives and the authorities attempting to ensure public safety”.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The conditions discovered at the Cornhill Hotel were shocking and completely unacceptable.

“The owner repeatedly failed to respond to a number of prohibition notices and did not rectify staggering health and safety hazards.

“There is no excuse for businesses not to comply with health and safety regulations and put their customers and employees at risk of injury or even worse.

“Such flagrant disregard for people’s well-being will not be tolerated and we will actively pursue those who think that they are beyond the law.

“Blackpool Council has one of the most robust enforcement teams in the country and our efforts to protect the public and employees from potential harm will always be of the highest priority.”

Blackpool Gazette

Floor layer killed by toxic adhesive was wearing ‘completely ineffectual’ face mask

A property maintenance firm and a flooring manufacturer have been fined a combined £750,000 over the death of a floor layer in London. 


Paul Tilcock had been using an adhesive that contained toxic solvents to fix a bathroom floor at a house in Mitcham, south London. The 30-year-old was found dead on the floor by the homeowner on 4 September 2015

Altro, the flooring company that supplied the adhesive, admitted that it had failed to ensure so far as was reasonably practicable that the product was safe to use. It pleaded guilty to breaching s 6(4) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £500,000 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay £34,773 costs.  

The main component of the flooring adhesive was dichloromethane (DCM), which poses inhalation risks and is a restricted substance under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation.  

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that the maintenance contractor, T Brown Group, did not have any systems or procedures in place to control the risks to its employees from working in an enclosed space with DCM.  Its investigation revealed that it was left to the employees to decide what type of respiratory protection to wear, or whether to wear it at all.  

When Tilcock’s body was found, he was wearing a “completely ineffectual” face mask, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told.   T Brown Group was fined £250,000 and must also pay costs of £23,936 after it pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.  

HSE inspector Peter Collingwood said: “It is important that companies have an appreciation of their duties (whether to its employees or its customers) and have effective systems and procedures in place to ensure that those duties are fulfilled.”

IOSH Magazine – 30.05.19

Network Rail and Colas Rail Ltd achieve a 97% diesel-free “Site of the Future”


A project led by the Network Rail and Colas Rail has used solar lighting and power generation to prove the viability of a sustainable ‘Site of the Future’, achieving 97% diesel-free operation in support of a major rail renewal project at Llanwern, South Wales

The joint Network Rail and Colas Rail initiative used solar and battery technologies from Prolectric Ltd instead of diesel generators to save 6,000 litres of fuel, and more than 15 tonnes of CO2 during a 14-day project centred around a 72-hour possession over the early May bank holiday weekend.

The results are being viewed as a significant achievement that marks an environmental milestone towards clean, carbon-free off-grid working, in support of Network Rail’s target to reduce non-traction energy consumption by almost 20% and carbon emissions by 25% by 2024.  

Nick Matthews, Network Rail programme engineering manager, said: “In business improvement, generally a one or two percent gain is considered significant, so to achieve 97% at the first attempt is simply staggering. Saving close to 6,000 litres of diesel is the same as driving a family car at 40 mpg twice around the circumference of the world.

“It’s also very clear where we have learnt the lessons from Llanwern so we can close that small gap. We really want to get to that 100% fuel free-figure by the time of our next challenge, planned for a rail renewal project later in the summer.”

Solar lighting and power generation technologies were used across the site covering more than 21-acres. This included access roads, the welfare cabin area, car parking and the track working area itself, where the London to Cardiff main line meets the Llanwern steelworks spur, near Newport. The project spanned a period of 14 days leading up to and following 72-hour possession, with more than 70 rail staff employed on site. 

Three 25kW solar generators replaced conventional diesel generators providing light and heat for seven welfare cabins, including site offices, a canteen, toilets and a drying room.

A total of 21 solar tower lights illuminated the site compound, car parking and work preparation areas, as well as being deployed on the trackside, where 200m of battery-powered link lighting was also used and column street lights were positioned along the access road to the site.

Matthews continues: “It was just as important to explore and extend the range of renewable applications, including a new solar-powered camera security system. We were also able to demonstrate the versatility of using portable lithium battery packs, recharged as necessary from the solar generators to power dust suppression systems, water cooler stations and point motors.”

Using diesel generators to support rail renewal work has been the only option for reliable off-grid power. Now viable solar technologies are being seen as a vital contribution to non-traction carbon targets, as well as to reduce the noise, smell and air pollution from diesel exhausts, especially next to residential areas.

 “The environmental impact of running diesel generators all day on a major worksite like Llanwern is absolutely huge,” explains Matthews. “It’s not just about carbon emissions; our lineside neighbours are very important to us. By using solar harvesting, we’re not polluting their environment with unwelcome fumes and noise.”

Ryan Ballinger, production manager for Colas Rail, explains: “We have worked closely to drive the development of suitable on-site solar tower lights and walking lights.  Now at Llanwern we have been able to add solar generators for the first time and moving forward we want to add smaller plant and tools such as disk saws and band saws.

 “There’s no doubt these technologies are going to be a complete gamechanger. Now, we need to push on and get to the point where they are just business as usual.”

The Llanwern project not only provided feedback to help refine the solar and battery technologies, but also identified energy-efficiency initiatives that can contribute to 100% diesel-free operation.  

NETWORK RAIL

Maintenance company fined for Health and Safety failings

A telecommunication inspection and maintenance company has been fined after a forklift truck overturned during an unsafe lifting operation which could have exposed several workers to the risk of death or serious personal injury.

On 3 May 2019, Southend Magistrates’ Court heard that on 11 February 2017, two forklifts on Springwood Industrial Estate were being used to level a support column by repeatedly pushing it with one truck and then “catching” it with the other . This operation was high risk and one worker was left to carry out this unsafe work practice on his own.

As a result, the column rolled on its base and fell- pulling over the forklift truck it was attached to. The operator escaped injury as he was operating the other forklift truck at the time. The company then went on to use two forklift trucks to try to right the overturned truck which was also unsafe and put workers at risk.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Swann I&M Services Limited did not properly plan and supervise this lifting operation to ensure it was carried out in a safe manner.

Swann I&M Services Limited of Tonbridge, Kent pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and has been fined £54,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,442.80.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Tim Underwood said “The use of forklift trucks was both impractical and unsafe, putting workers at unnecessary risk. This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply having a competent person plan a safe lifting operation and providing adequate supervision to ensure the lifting operation was carried out safely. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

IP&E – 28.05.19

No exclusion zone allowed concrete pump hose to ‘whip round’ and kill worker

An Essex-based civil engineering firm has been fined after a construction worker was killed by concrete pumping hose.


Berth 7 at Trinity Terminal, Port of Felixstowe | Image credit:
Christine Johnstone (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The prosecution was brought following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found RW Hill (Felixstowe) had failed to implement a danger zone around the hose.  The company pleaded guilty to breaching regs 15(2) and 15(8) of the Construction (Design and Management) 2015. It was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £13,880 at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on 24 May. 

The court was told that RW Hill was the main contractor on the project to replace the roadway on berth 7 at the port’s Trinity Terminal. Two specialist companies had been subcontracted to pump and lay the concrete respectively.    

On 7 August 2015 the flexible delivery hose that was being used to pump concrete became momentarily blocked, then cleared under pressure, causing the pump to violently whip round, the HSE said.  Louis, who was employed by the concrete laying subcontractor, was killed and another worker sustained cuts and bruising.  

The HSE’s investigation found that RW Hill had failed to enforce an exclusion zone around the flexible delivery hose.  It found the company did not adequately supervise, instruct nor provide suitable information to subcontractors, and failed to monitor the pumping operations to ensure the ongoing safety of workers.  HSE inspector Glyn Davies said: “This tragic incident could easily have been prevented had the company involved acted to identify and manage the well-documented risks involved in concrete pumping by the implementation of suitable safe systems of work.  “As this case sadly demonstrates, poorly managed concrete pumping operations can and do kill construction workers when industry safety guidance is not followed.” 

In 2013 the HSE and the Construction Plant-hire Association published updated guidance on the safe use of concrete pumps following an increase in the number of accidents.  

The Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Concrete Pumps states that the diameter of the danger zone around a delivery hose should be “twice the length” of the hose itself.  “Until concrete is flowing smoothly out of the end of the delivery hose, or when a blockage occurs in the boom pipeline, all personnel should remain clear of the delivery hose and the placing boom,” it says.

Company and Director fined after ignoring HSE

A company and its Director have both been sentenced for failing to comply with health and safety legislation after being served with Improvement Notices.

Glamping Cocoon Ltd and its Director Nicholas Oaten were both sentenced for failing to comply with health and safety legislation after being served with Improvement Notices.

Beverley Magistrates’ Court was told how, on 20 March 2017, Glamping Cocoon Ltd was subject to an unannounced inspection as part of a targeted campaign of the woodworking sector. Four Improvement Notices were served requiring various matters to be rectified within a certain time. Following three extensions to the improvement notices, two notices remained outstanding months after the expiry date despite HSE attempts to work with the company to support improvements. The Improvement Notice relating to the assessment of risk to employees from exposure to noise remains outstanding, says the HSE.

Glamping Cocoon Ltd of Barmston Road, Beverley was found guilty of breaching Section 33 (1) (g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £5,506 in costs.

Director Nicholas Oaten of High Street, North Ferriby was found guilty to breaching Section 33 (1) (g) by Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Mr Oaten was fined £2,640 and ordered to pay £5,506 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Louise Redgrove commented: “Failure to engage with HSE exposes both employees and the business to risk. In this case health risks to employees from noise were not assessed or managed and the business will have to pay a substantial fine.

“The Company and director should have taken on board all the assistance available to them from HSE or obtained competent advice elsewhere. HSE will assist small companies but where there is a disregard for the law, specifically the requirements of Improvement Notices, prosecution will be sought.”

Two companies fined £310,000 over cladder’s 10 m fall


Principal contractor Weiser Construction had subcontracted Complete Cladding Systems to carry out roof repairs on a factory building in Mirfield, West Yorkshire

On 4 January 2016, roof sheeter Brian Robinson was fixing sheet metal cladding and capping to the gable end of an adjoining building. As he was tying the cappings to the roof, he fell to the factory floor below. 

Robinson sustained several fractures and underwent six operations to repair his leg and pelvis.  His legs struck a 2.4 m tall storage cage when he fell, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.  Its investigation found the original scaffolding that had been erected on the roof was removed before the cladding works were complete.  

A Spandeck walkway with guardrails was the preferred control measure, the HSE said, but use of these boards meant workers could not fix the handrails in situ.  In addition, no safety nets were used on site.  

Weiser Construction, which has gone into liquidation, and Complete Cladding Systems pleaded guilty to breaching s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and have been fined £145,000 and £165,000 respectively. They both must pay costs exceeding £5,000.  

HSE inspector Paul Thompson said: “Work at height, such as roof work, is a high-risk activity that accounts for a high proportion of workplace serious injuries and fatalities.  “This was a wholly avoidably incident, caused by the failure of the principal contractor to manage and monitor the works to ensure the correct work equipment was being used. This risk was further amplified by the cladding company’s failure to ensure suitable measures were in place to prevent persons falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”

IOSH Magazine

Safe, Healthy and Sustainable travel has become more important for OSH roles

International trade and travel for work bring particular safety and health concerns, challenges and responsibilities for employers, managers and OSH professionals.

Vincent Ho – IOSH President

Ensuring people travel and do business away from home safely and healthily, effectively and sustainably, is becoming more significant to our OSH roles as we support the success of our organisations in going global. 

Although I am based in Hong Kong, my role and responsibilities as IOSH president take me all over the world. I recently returned from meetings and events in Singapore, and I will be attending the American Society of Safety Professionals’ Conference in New Orleans, in June, and speaking at the ASEAN HSE Excellence 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in July, as well as the National Safety Conference in Melbourne, Australia, in August. 

IOSH staff and volunteers also often attend events, conferences and strategic meetings in cities and countries worldwide. In mid-May, IOSH representatives met organisations and stakeholders that share our values, influencing good practice in very different economies and societies – from Baku in Azerbaijan, to Berlin, Brussels and Bulgaria in Europe, to Chicago in the US, and to Johannesburg in South Africa. 

As we collaborate to influence and enhance how organisations look after their employees worldwide, IOSH takes seriously its own duty of care. This is all consistent with our daily work as champion, supporter, adviser, advocate and trainer for OSH professionals in organisations of all sizes. 

How well we understand our duty of care for managing the health, safety and wellbeing of remote and distributed workers can reflect qualities we need when working with our supply chains, across borders and time zones

We anticipate potential hazards and risks to employees who work off site away from their colleagues, whether it is in their home country or overseas. For distributed and remote workers, we provide practical travel-safety support, as well as protect and promote their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Just as important is how we support and train line managers to do this as well. It is part of our duty of care.

You can also find good advice about this, including a toolkit, in our Out of Sight, Out of Mindreport and resources.

This year, our IOSH presidential team members are holding roundtable discussions with hundreds of directors of UK companies at Institute of Directors events. Two themes they are looking at are “The loneliness of the long-distance worker” and “Developing a robust supply chain”. 

There is a connection here with other ways in which we do business. 

Enhancing the “people” element of sustainability, alongside environmental and economic considerations, is a vital area where OSH professionals can work with others to develop new ideas and strategies.

I wish you safe travels and hope many of you will join me for IOSH 2019 at the ICC in Birmingham, UK, on 16-17 September.

IOSH Magazine

Fantastic delegate feedback!

Some fantastic feedback received from a delegate who attended and successfully completed the NEBOSH National General Certificate (Day Release) course.

“I just wanted to send you an email to say how much I enjoyed my NEBOSH training at The Mount School, Bromsgrove with Dave. It started on the 10th September and I’ve recently had my results – Pass with a Credit resulting in my promotion at work which I’m really pleased and excited about. Dave was really helpful and I really enjoyed the course and felt Dave’s guidance and approach really helped me”

One Great Course; Two Great Options

The NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health (NGC) sets the standard for managers, safety advisors and companies aspiring to health and safety management excellence.

This September we have two NGC courses being held: At our Southam venue we have the block release (Week 1: 10 – 14 Sept & Week 2: 17 – 21 Sept) course, and at our Bromsgrove venue we have the popular day release format delivered over 9 consecutive weeks every Monday with the examinations being held Friday 16 November 2018.

The decision is yours as to which format best suits your learning needs and that of your organisation.

We don’t just teach the course with the examinations in mind; we’ll give you the skills and toolkit to put what you’ve learnt in the classroom into practice in your workplace.

The door doesn’t close after the course finishes, as a KeyOstas student you become part of the family and we’re always here to help and assist you as you grow with your safety knowledge and responsibility.

For more information and to check availability please contact our sales team on 01926 813356 or email enquires@keyostas.co.uk 

**SPECIAL OFFER** – NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety is established as a leading health and safety award for the construction industry. The course is aimed at Supervisors, Managers and CDM co-ordinators within the construction industry who are required to ensure that activities under their control are undertaken safely. This course will also prove useful for those concerned with the management of buildings who may need to ensure that contractors are working safely. The qualification is also appropriate for supervisors and managers working in other industries such as utilities, and even broadcasting, where temporary workplaces are a feature of their activities.

The NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety is a ten day endorsement for those who have gained the National General Certificate NGC1 (management element) within the past 5 years. If you haven’t already completed NGC1 (Management paper) or are out of time please contact us to discuss your options.

We would like to offer you a place on our forthcoming course starting 12th March at the special price of £995 (plus £66 NEBOSH Fee) + VAT. This represents a saving of £350 on our published price.

To take advantage of this offer please contact our sales team on 01926 813356 by Friday 9th March to secure your place.

Safety Day Success at Edgetech

On Friday 5th January 2018 Edgetech held their first Safety Day at their Coventry facility, working with their health and safety advisors, KeyOstas.

Michael Baker, Training and Advisory Manager at KeyOstas, explained ‘Initially discussions were held with Edgetech’s Operations Manager, Jason Blundred, to provide a short briefing session on Behavioural Safety, this developed into an idea to have a full day covering a total of 8 topics for the entire workforce to attend’.

Edgetech’s health and safety committee were involved to help decide on the subject matter to be covered on the day. KeyOstas provided 4 tutors to deliver each of the activities, and the workforce were divided into 4 groups rotating through each activity during the day’.

Activity 1 consisted of emergency procedures including incident reporting and investigation, Fork Lift Truck safety for drivers and pedestrians, and fire awareness including an evacuation drill.

Activity 2 was the original Behavioural Safety briefing which included the safety cycle, safety culture and human factors.

Activity 3 contained awareness sessions on manual handling, occupational health – focussing on specific site issues and PPE – the provision, use and defect reporting.

Activity 4 involved hazard awareness, perception of risk and the value of control measures. A hazard spotting exercise ended this session.

Each activity was designed to be interactive, with exercises, practical elements and group discussions. Specifically designed to be short awareness sessions, each of the four activities were scheduled to run for 90 minutes in four different locations within the facility, and each was followed by a break of either 15 minutes for tea / coffee or 30 minutes at midday for lunch, which was provided by Edgetech.

Jason Blundred, Operations Manager at Edgetech said :
“Thank you to the KeyOstas team for assisting us with our recent company-wide Safety Day. The day was well organised, material relevant and the session leaders had a professional but approachable and engaging presentation style which meant that all our staff remained attentive throughout. We had a few business specific requirements and areas we wanted to cover, and these were accommodated and presented effectively too. Feedback from staff following the event has been extremely positive. We would definitely recommend KeyOstas on-site safety training and look forward to working with them again in our business.”

Each attending staff member received a bound handout covering the material delivered on the day and a certification of attendance.

By working with Edgetech over a period of time, KeyOstas were able to develop and deliver a bespoke safety day that incorporated the clients policies and procedures. By doing so Keyostas were able to provide a solution that added value and relevance to the client, covering it’s complete business requirements in health and safety.  As a result this also enabled a larger return on investment by the breadth of subject areas covered.

If you feel that your company may benefit from the above or a bespoke solution please feel free to contact me at anytime.

Devon Glithero – Sales Manager
E:Devon.glithero@keyostas.co.uk
T:01926 813356/ 07714753362

 

KeyOstas delegate is top performing candidate for the NEBOSH Unit D 2016/17

We are delighted to have received notification from NEBOSH this morning that one of our delegates is the top performing candidate for the Unit D of the NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety during 2016/17. Our delegate will be presented with a Best Candidate Award for their Achievement at the NEBOSH Graduation and Awards Ceremony being held Monday 3rd July 2017 at the University of Warwick, Coventry.