HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 29TH SEPTEMBER 2016

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Safer Sites target inspections – coming to a street near you

HSE construction inspectors will be carrying out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.

This year the Initiative is being undertaken as a series of two week inspections across the country, beginning 3 October 2016 ending 4 November 2016.

During this period inspectors will ensure high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.

These include:

  • risks to health from exposure to dust such as silica are being controlled
  • workers are aware of where they may find asbestos, and what to do if they find it
  • other health risks, such as exposure to noise and vibration, manual handling and hazardous substances are being properly managed
  • jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions, such as proper support of structures, are in place
  • equipment is correctly installed / assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly
  • sites are well organised, to avoid trips and falls, walkways and stairs are free from obstructions and welfare facilities are adequate

Where serious breaches of legislation are found then immediate enforcement action will be taken, but inspectors will also be taking steps to secure a positive change in behaviour to ensure on-going compliance.

Health and safety breaches with clients and designers will also be followed up to reinforce their duties under CDM 2015 and to ensure that all dutyholders with on site health and safety responsibilities understand and fulfil these.

Follow the SaferSites Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SaferSites)  to see what inspectors find on site and keep updated throughout the initiative.

How to manage your site safely (click on the links for more info):    

For more information, visit the HSE web page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/index.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 22ND SEPTEMBER 2016

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Traffic management on construction sites – construction company fined £800,000 after worker injured

A construction company has been fined £800,000 after a contractor was run over on a large site in Surrey.

The contractor was a site foreman on the large housing development project when, in December 2014, he was struck by and pulled under a large bulk powder (mortar) carrier. He had been walking along the site road toward the rear of the vehicle which was located on a T junction having just reversed into it. He walked along the nearside of the vehicle as it pulled forward and turned towards the nearside. He was hit by the vehicle and pulled under it.

He suffered serious life threatening injuries. His skin was removed and split on his left arm and leg, he fractured his left hip requiring a pin to be inserted, and fingers on his left hand were broken. His left leg has been left permanently shorter than his right by 20mm.

Reading Crown Court heard the site, run by the construction company (appointed as the principal contractor), had failed to plan and manage the workplace transport effectively. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court the incident could have been avoided had they monitored and taken action to ensure workers stayed behind the pedestrian barriers and not walked on the road, and prevented large HGVs reversing 100s of metres at a time.

The construction company pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 36 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £800,000 plus £10,984 costs.

HSE’s inspector John Berezansky said.

“[The contractor] suffered life changing injuries because [the construction company] did not properly manage and monitor the workplace transport on their construction site. When working with such large delivery vehicles and construction plant, especially on projects where there are lots of pedestrians,  the principal contractor much take responsibility and ensure the health and safety of all those involved.”

Traffic management on site

What you need to do

Important statistic: on average, each year, about 7 workers die as a result of accidents involving vehicles or mobile plant on construction sites. A further 93 are seriously injured.

The law says that you must organise a construction site so that vehicles and pedestrians using site routes can move around safely.

The routes need to be suitable for the persons or vehicles using them, in suitable positions and sufficient in number and size.

The term ‘vehicles’ includes: cars, vans, lorries, low-loaders and mobile plant such as excavators, lift trucks and site dumpers etc.

The key message is: construction site vehicle incidents can and should be prevented by the effective management of transport operations throughout the construction process.

Key issues in dealing with traffic management on site are:

  • Keeping pedestrians and vehicles apart
  • Minimising vehicle movements
  • People on site
  • Turning vehicles
  • Visibility
  • Signs and instructions

What you need to know

Each year within the construction industry, approximately ten people die as a result of being struck by vehicles on site. In addition, there are hundreds of preventable accidents and injuries.

Accidents occur from groundworks to finishing works and managers, workers, visitors to sites and members of the public can all be at risk.

Inadequate planning and control is the root cause of many construction vehicle accidents.

Keeping pedestrians and vehicles apart

The majority of construction transport accidents result from the inadequate separation of pedestrians and vehicles.

This can usually be avoided by careful planning, particularly at the design stage, and by controlling vehicle operations during construction work.

The following actions will help keep pedestrians and vehicles apart:

  • Entrances and exits – provide separate entry and exit gateways for pedestrians and vehicles;
  • Walkways – provide firm, level, well-drained pedestrian walkways that take a direct route where possible;
  • Crossings – where walkways cross roadways, provide a clearly signed and lit crossing point where drivers and pedestrians can see each other clearly;
  • Visibility – make sure drivers driving out onto public roads can see both ways along the footway before they move on to it;
  • Obstructions – do not block walkways so that pedestrians have to step onto the vehicle route; and
  • Barriers – think about installing a barrier between the roadway and walkway.

Minimising vehicle movements

Good planning can help to minimise vehicle movement around a site. For example, landscaping to reduce the quantities of fill or spoil movement.

To limit the number of vehicles on site:

  • provide car and van parking for the workforce and visitors away from the work area;
  • control entry to the work area; and
  • plan storage areas so that delivery vehicles do not have to cross the site.

People on site

Employers should take steps to make sure that all workers are fit and competent to operate the vehicles, machines and attachments they use on site by, for example:

  • checks when recruiting drivers/operators or hiring contractors;
  • training drivers and operators;
  • managing the activities of visiting drivers.

People who direct vehicle movements (signallers) must be trained and authorised to do so.

Accidents can also occur when untrained or inexperienced workers drive construction vehicles without authority. Access to vehicles should be managed and people alerted to the risk.

Turning vehicles

The need for vehicles to reverse should be avoided where possible as reversing is a major cause of fatal accidents.

One-way systems can reduce the risk, especially in storage areas.

A turning circle could be installed so that vehicles can turn without reversing.

Visibility

If vehicles reverse in areas where pedestrians cannot be excluded the risk is elevated and visibility becomes a vital consideration.

You should consider:

  • Aids for drivers – mirrors, CCTV cameras or reversing alarms that can help drivers can see movement all round the vehicle;
  • Signallers – who can be appointed to control manoeuvres and who are trained in the task;
  • Lighting – so that drivers and pedestrians on shared routes can see each other easily. Lighting may be needed after sunset or in bad weather;
  • Clothing – pedestrians on site should wear high-visibility clothing.

Signs and instructions

Make sure that all drivers and pedestrians know and understand the routes and traffic rules on site. Use standard road signs where appropriate

Provide induction training for drivers, workers and visitors and send instructions out to visitors before their visit.

For more information, visit the HSE web page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/vehiclestrafficmanagement.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 15TH SEPTEMBER 2016

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Scalding and burning – charitable company sentenced over injury to service user

A limited company providing housing support services for vulnerable adults and children has been sentenced, and fined £8,000, after a service user was burnt at one of its properties where five service users required 24 hour support with every aspect of day to day living including personal care.

In April 2015, a female 49-year-old service user with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and severe learning disabilities was assisted to a shower room by a support worker. During the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation the radiator in the shower room was described as being very hot due to lacking an individual thermostatic control.

While the support worker was aware the radiator was hot, she did not consider it to be hot enough to burn. The support worker showered the service user and began drying her while she was sitting on a chair.

She then assisted the lady to step out of the shower area and take hold of a grab rail which was positioned above the radiator. While standing over the radiator her leg came into contact with the radiator.

As the service user is non-verbal and has difficulty balancing she was unable to move her leg away from the radiator or to communicate with the support worker to alert her. It is unknown exactly how long her leg was against the radiator.

The support worker noticed a burn on the left side of the injured lady’s left calf. She alerted the assistant team manager and the lady was taken to a specialist burns’ unit for treatment on the burn that extended 20 centimetres up her calf.

At a follow up appointment it was noted that the burn was not healing properly and a skin graft was taken from her thigh and applied to her calf. As a result the victim has been left with permanent scarring.

During the course of the investigation it came to light that the company had been alerted to the risk posed by the radiator. Following a routine inspection in November 2011 carried out by the local authority environmental health team, a written report required the radiator to be covered and a follow up email in 2012 asked whether the radiator in the bathroom had been provided with a suitable cover to protect clients from scalding.

Despite this being drawn to their attention, the court heard the company’s internal systems failed to ensure remedial action was taken. There was also a failure to carry out any general internal risk assessment regarding the danger posed by the radiator in question although an individual risk assessment in relation to the injured party identified that she was at risk from heat sources because she might not be able to move away from them easily or quickly.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Hazel Dobb said: “It was foreseeable that an unprotected, hot radiator could pose a risk to vulnerable individuals with reduced mobility and to those who could not react appropriately or quickly enough to prevent injury.

“There are several published sources of guidance on preventing burns and scalds which are available to download from the HSE website and we urge all dutyholders to visit the resource to help avoid such incidents in the future.”

Scalding and burning

Risks from hot water and hot surfaces

The health and social care sector often provides care and services for individuals who may be vulnerable to risks from hot water or surfaces. Those at risk include children, older people, people with reduced mental capacity, reduced mobility, a sensory impairment, or people who cannot react appropriately, or quickly enough, to prevent injury.

Risk of scalding

Health and social care settings have increased water temperatures for a number of reasons including the need to satisfy hot water demand, efficient running of the boiler and controlling the risk from Legionella bacteria. High water temperatures (particularly temperatures over 44°C) can create a scalding risk to vulnerable people who use care services.

Those who are vulnerable to the risk may be in hospitals and other care settings, care homes, social services premises and special schools. The risk of scalding/burning should also be assessed in community facilities such as hostels, or staffed and sheltered housing, where vulnerable people may be at risk.

Many accidents involving scalding have been fatal and have mainly occurred during bathing or showering. Where vulnerable people are at risk from scalding during whole body immersion, water temperatures must not exceed 44°C.  Any precautions taken should not introduce other risks, eg from Legionella bacteria.

Risk of burn injuries

Serious injuries and fatalities have also been caused by contact with hot pipes or radiators. Where there is a risk of a vulnerable person sustaining a burn from a hot surface, then the surface should not exceed 43°C when the system is running at the maximum design output.  Precautions may include insulation or providing suitable covers.

Further information

For more information visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/healthservices/scalding-burning.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 7TH SEPTEMBER 2016

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Employers’ liability insurance – textile factory owner fined for insurance failings

The owner of a textiles firm has been prosecuted after failing to provide evidence of Employer’s Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI) to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over a period of six months.

He was charged with breaching the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 and was fined £1000 in total and ordered to pay costs of £9,143.35.

Speaking after the case HSE Inspector Wayne Williams said:

“Failure to provide suitable insurance puts workers at risk of not being adequately compensated in the event of an injury or illness sustained whilst at their place of work”

Get insurance for your business

If your business has employees you will probably need employers’ liability insurance.

If an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of the work they do for you, they can claim compensation from you.

Meeting your health and safety duties is easier than you think. As long as you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees (and the injury or illness was caused after 1 October 2013), you shouldn’t have to pay compensation. However, if a court finds you are liable, employers’ liability insurance will help you to pay any compensation for your employees’ injuries or illness.

Only a few businesses are not required to have employers’ liability insurance. If you have no employees, or are a family business and all employees are closely related to you, you may not need it. For further details see the HSE leaflet Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969: A brief guide for employers: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse40.htm

How do you get employers’ liability insurance?

You can buy employers’ liability insurance through insurers or intermediaries like brokers or trade associations. You may find that it often comes as part of an insurance package designed to cover a range of business needs.

Your policy must be with an authorised insurer and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has a list of these. You can check their register on the FCA website: http://www.fca.org.uk/

For more information visit the HSE web page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/get.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 1ST SEPTEMBER 2016

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Gas Safety Week – 19-25 September 2016

Gas Safety Week aims to raise awareness of gas safety and reminds us to have our gas appliances safety checked annually by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.

We know gas safety is important all year round, but the value of Gas Safety Week lies in getting many people involved – strength in numbers! By focusing all of our communications in one week, we are more likely to generate media interest and have a greater impact. Over 3,000 supporters have already signed up to this year’s Gas Safety Week.

One simple way to get involved is to join the Gas Safety Week Thunderclap (https://www.thunderclap.it/en/projects/44718-gas-safety-week-2016-is-here), and a pre-written message of support will be automatically sent from your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account at the start of Gas Safety Week – let’s get #GSW16 trending!

Don’t forget to pledge your support online (http://info.gassaferegister.co.uk/s/619bb2975f094c6ef1d08f3cea3245d932d17ff7), and HSE will email you a free digital toolkit in the next few weeks, to help you promote gas safety – including social media updates, web banners, images, articles, a press release kit and more.

If you’re looking for inspiration on how you can go the extra mile, why not visit GasSafetyWeek.co.uk (https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gassafetyweek) to see what others did in 2015 to support the week.

Man sentenced for pretending to be Gas Safe Registered

A 35-year-old self-employed worker from London has been given two suspended jail terms for falsely claiming to be Gas Safe Registered.

At the Old Bailey the court heard how he signed Gas Safe certificates for a number of properties. This was only discovered after a gas leak was reported by National Grid at a rented property.

He was found guilty of four charges of regulation 3(7) of the Gas Safe Installation and Use Regulations 1998 and was given an 18 month suspended sentence for two years for the property where a gas leak occurred and 12 months suspended for two years for the three other charges. He was also given two community orders.

Health and Safety Executive Inspector Monica Babb said after the hearing: “Gas Safe registered engineers are regulated and have to ensure they can prove they are competent. This safe guard is removed when people choose not to register, putting people at risk in their homes.

“It is important that anybody who has gas work carried out checks their engineer is carrying a valid gas safe registered identification card. They should also check online or call Gas Safe Register to confirm they are competent to carry out the work ”

For more information on domestic gas health and safety, visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/ or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence