HSE Safety Notice – Vertical lifting platforms or lifts for people with impaired mobility – potential falls from height risks to employees and members of the public from over-riding door locking safety devices

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

HSE Safety Notice – Vertical lifting platforms or lifts for people with impaired mobility – potential falls from height risks to employees and members of the public from over-riding door locking safety devices

Key Issues

  • Potential danger from inappropriate use of emergency over-ride devices at the doors of lifting platforms intended for use by people with impaired mobility.
  • Potential for access to be gained to lift well (shaft) when lifting platform/ lift car is at different level.
  • Action required to ensure safe procedures are in place to prevent misuse of landing door unlocking keys except in an emergency situation where access to the lift well is required.

Target Audience

  • Health and social care providers
  • NHS Trusts / Boards
  • Hospitals
  • Public buildings
  • Schools
  • Care homes
  • Catering and Hospitality
  • Education
  • Entertainment and Leisure
  • Retail
  • Services
  • Transport

Introduction:

This Safety Notice is aimed at organisations with vertical lifting platforms for people with impaired mobility, or passenger lifts, installed at their premises.

The Safety Notice informs organisations of the risks from over-riding safety devices at landing doors designed to prevent access to lifting platform / lift wells or shafts.

Safety devices are designed to prevent doors from opening when the lifting platform / lift car is not at the correct position at a landing. Opening the doors when the platform / car is not at the landing presents a significant risk of falling from height.

Background:

HSE is aware of two incidents where emergency landing door keys have been used to override the safety devices designed to prevent opening of landing doors when the platform / lift car is not at the correct landing.

Vertical lifting platforms, like traditional passenger lifts, provide access between floors. Usually they only operate over two to three floors and are hydraulically, screw and nut or electrically operated.

They rely on hold to run operation and operate at slower speeds.

In both incidents the employees of organisations providing care to members of the public (non-employees) were allowed to use emergency lock release keys to open doors on upper landings during normal usage. The use of the key in this way allowed continued operation of the equipment under fault conditions. The emergency keys are intended to allow emergency access to the lifting platform in the event of people becoming trapped and should be under strict control.

As a result of inappropriate use of the emergency unlocking key during daily use of the lifting platform, access was gained to the lift well when the lifting platform was not at the same floor level.

This resulted in people accessing the open lift well and falling.

At one of the premises a resident died as a result of their injuries, and an employee was seriously injured.

Action required:

Organisations which have such vertical lifting platforms or lifts installed should review their procedures to ensure that emergency door release devices are not routinely operated during non-emergency situations. Emergency unlocking should be undertaken only in exceptional circumstances and by suitably trained and authorised people.

Safe working procedures and arrangements should be in place setting out what to do in the event of an emergency or failure. For example, how to deal with trapped people and the arrangements for repairing faults.

All lifts and lifting platforms must be inspected, serviced and maintained. Where the lift is used by work purposes, it must be thoroughly examined by a competent person. See link:  http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/passenger-lifts.htm

For more information, visit the HSE web pages http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/liftingplatforms.htm#utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=lifts-keys-23-nov&utm_content=safety-alert, http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/passenger-lifts.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 – 5TH MAY 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

Safe use of bedrails (health services) – foundation trust fined over bedrail failures

A North West NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £100,000 over its inappropriate management of the use of bedrails at its hospitals.

Following a guilty plea in Carlisle Magistrates’ Court the District Judge referred the case to Carlisle Crown Court for sentencing.

HSE told the court that the Trust failed to ensure that they managed the risk of bedrails, which is a fundamental element of patient safety for which extensive and comprehensive guidance on risk, management and policies existed.

An initial HSE visit to the Trust in February 2012 identified issues with bedrail management, and a second visit in May 2012 resulted in the service of an Improvement Notice (IN) on bedrail management and a letter with recommendations.

The Trust identified actions to improve bedrail management, but failed to implement them. When the Trust was inspected in July 2013, inappropriate bedrails were found to still be in use and management systems were not appropriate to manage the risk. A further IN on identification and maintenance of third party bedrails was served.

The Court was told that the Trust had a policy on bedrail management but did not have the systems or procedures to underpin the implementation of the policy.

Elements of the failure were the lack of a system to identify and inspect third party bedrails; the lack of planned preventative maintenance on manual beds and bedrails; a lack of an effective system to rectify faults with inappropriate bedrails; lack of provision of appropriate training, and a lack of procedures to audit and monitor the effectiveness of the bedrail management system.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Carol Forster said: “The need for adequate risk assessment and management of third party bedrails has been recognised in the healthcare sector for a number of years and guidance and advice has been published by the relevant bodies to this effect.

“Bedrails are used to protect vulnerable people from falling out of bed but the risks from inappropriate use of bedrails include the risk of entrapment by the head or neck, potentially leading to injury or asphyxiation.

“In this case there was a lack of management systems to recognise the risk of bedrails, apply standards and safety alert information, and a corporate failure to prioritise the need to manage bedrails effectively.

“The Trust failed to comply with the expected standards and I hope this case will send a strong message to others with responsibilities for bedrail management.”

Safe use of bed rails

What is the risk?

Bed rails, also known as side rails or cot sides, are widely used to reduce the risk of falls.  Although not suitable for everyone, they can be very effective when used with the right bed, in the right way, for the right person.

However, accident data shows that bed rails sometimes don’t prevent falls and can introduce other risks.

Poorly fitting bed rails have caused deaths where a person’s neck, chest or limbs become trapped in gaps between the bed rails or between the bed rail and the bed, headboard, or mattress.

Other risks are:

  • rolling over the top of the rail
  • climbing over the rail
  • climbing over the footboard
  • violently shaking and dislodging rails
  • violent contact with bedrail parts

Bed rails are ‘medical devices’, which fall under the authority of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). MHRA enforces the Medical Devices Regulations and the General Product Safety Regulations to ensure medical devices are acceptably safe. MHRA guidance on the ‘Safe Use of Bed Rails’ (Device Bulletin DB 2006(06)) and details of when and how to contact them can be found on the MHRA website (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/medicines-and-healthcare-products-regulatory-agency).

What do you need to do?

When bed rails are used during the course of a work activity, such as in a care home or hospital, the employer or self-employed person providing them must ensure that they are safe

Risks identified during inspection include:

  • trapping between poorly fitting mattresses and bedrails
  • rolling over the top of the bedrails when overlay mattresses reduce their effective height
  • trapping between the bedrail and mattress, headboard or other parts because of poor bedrail positioning.

Bed rails need careful management. Users should ensure:

  • they are only provided when they are the right solution to prevent falls
  • a risk assessment is carried out by a competent person taking into account the bed occupant, the bed, mattresses, bed rails and all associated equipment
  • the rail is suitable for the bed and mattress
  • the mattress fits snugly between the rails
  • the rail is correctly fitted, secure, regularly inspected and maintained
  • gaps that could cause entrapment of neck, head and chest are eliminated
  • staff are trained in the risks and safe use of bed rails

HSE advises users to take into account the dimensions in British standard BS EN 1970:2000 (to be withdrawn on 1st April 2013) and BS EN 60601-2-52:2010 when assessing risk and ensuring correct fitting. Manufacturers and suppliers of bedrails also have a duty to ensure that equipment is safe for use and you should refer to their instructions.

For more information, visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/healthservices/bed-rails.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 – 28TH JANUARY 2016

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IN THIS UPDATE

Introduction

Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease – Council sentenced after legionella death at care home

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) and the entertainment industry

IOSH Managing Safely Refresher Course, 11th March, Stoke-on-Trent

Introduction

A couple of months ago, we shared HSE guidance on Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease, after an international engineering firm, which refurbishes turbine blades, was fined a total of £110,000 plus £77,252 costs for failing to manage the risk to public and employees of exposure to the potentially fatal bacteria. Since then, Reading Borough Council (RBC) has been fined £100,000 plus £20,000 costs following an investigation into the death of a pensioner who died from exposure to Legionella at a care home. We open this week’s update with more information and a link to the HSE guidance.

We’re also sharing guidance this week to help those in the entertainment industry understand what they need to do to comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015). The UK events industry is worth £39.1 billion, with the biggest contributing segments in 2014 being conferences, meetings, exhibitions and trade fairs, taking place at approximately 10,000 venues, with an attendance of 85 million. Typical construction projects undertaken during events/productions include building outside broadcasts at sports events, building TV sets in studios, and touring theatre set builds.

And finally, we close this week’s update with details of an IOSH Managing Safely Refresher one-day course we’re running this March in Stoke-on-Trent. Delegates will get to refresh their knowledge on the key parts of the full Managing Safely course, plus there’s a much greater emphasis on monitoring, auditing and reviewing.

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

Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease – council sentenced after legionella death at care home

A couple of months ago, we shared HSE guidance on Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease, after an international engineering firm, which refurbishes turbine blades, was fined a total of £110,000 plus £77,252 costs for failing to manage the risk to public and employees of exposure to the potentially fatal bacteria. (Click on the link to read the press release and guidance: http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/health-safety-news-update-3rd-december-2015/)

Since then, Reading Borough Council (RBC) has been fined following an investigation into the death of a pensioner who died from exposure to legionella.

During the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Reading Magistrates’ Court heard how the 95-year-old vulnerable gentleman arrived at the RBC operated care facility in September 2012.

He had previously been in hospital having suffered a broken leg and was attending the care home to receive intermediate care before returning to his own home.

However, during his stay he began feeling unwell, complaining of aches and pains including tightness of the chest, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. He was also suffering from nausea.

When he was re-admitted to hospital a sample proved positive for the presence of Legionella. He underwent treatment for Legionnaire’s disease, but died on 1 November 2012 from pneumonia related to legionella.

The prosecution said the control and management arrangements needed to ensure the risk from legionella is minimised, need to be robust. The court was told, prior to November 2012, RBC’s arrangements were not robust enough in a number of areas.

The Legionella training for the key personnel at the care home was significantly below the standard required. There were inadequate temperature checks and some of those done with respect to Thermostatic Mixer Valves (TMVs) were done incorrectly.

Showers were not descaled and disinfected quarterly as required; flushing of little used outlets was reliant on one member of staff and there was no procedure for this to be done in the absence of that member of staff.

HSE said the failings were systemic and continued over a period of time and there was a history of legionella problems at the home. The monitoring, checking and flushing tasks were given to the home’s handyman who was inadequately trained and supervised. There was no system in place to cover for him when he was away so that the requisite checks were not done.

Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading admitted breaching Section 3(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £100,000 with £20,000 costs in Reading Crown Court.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Kelly Nichols said: “Reading Borough Council could and should have controlled the risk of exposure to legionella to the elderly and infirm as well as those receiving immediate care prior to returning home.

“RBC’s failings were systemic and continued over a period of time. There was a history of legionella problems at the home. The control and management arrangements were not robust and the legionella training of key personnel fell significantly below the required standard.

“The risks from legionella in nursing and care homes and the required control measures to manage those risks have been known and publicised in HSE publications since May 2000. It is really disappointing to find a local authority not managing those risks. It is important for all care providers to ensure they are managing the risks from hot and cold water systems with respect to both legionella and scalding risks especially due to likely exposure of more vulnerable people.”

For HSE guidance on controlling the risks from exposure to Legionella in man made water systems, click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/. The information will help employers and those with responsibility for the control of premises, including landlords, understand what their duties are and how to comply with health and safety law.  It applies to premises controlled in connection with a trade, business or other undertaking where water is stored or used, and where there is a means of creating and transmitting breathable water droplets (aerosols), thus causing a reasonably foreseeable risk of exposure to legionella bacteria.

We carry out Legionella risk assessments of commercial and residential premises. For more information and/or a no-obligation quotation, contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk.

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) and the entertainment industry

The UK events industry is worth £39.1 billion, with the biggest contributing segments in 2014 being conferences, meetings, exhibitions and trade fairs, taking place at approximately 10,000 venues, with an attendance of 85 million. Typical construction projects undertaken during events/productions include building outside broadcasts at sports events, building TV sets in studios, and touring theatre set builds.

We’re sharing guidance this week to help those in the entertainment industry understand what they need to do to comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015).

What you should know

CDM 2015 is not about creating unnecessary bureaucracy. It is about securing the health, safety and welfare of those carrying out construction work and protecting others who the work may affect, from harm. With this principle in mind, this guidance illustrates how CDM roles and duties can be applied to existing common management arrangements and processes in the four main industry sub-sectors (click on the links for more information):

This will also help others in the industry, with different management arrangements, to determine what they need to do to comply with CDM.

Worked examples for typical construction projects in the event/production industry have been included, to show what proportionate compliance with CDM 2015 might look like in practise. Click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/cdm-2015/worked-examples.htm

This guidance should be read in conjunction with HSE’s L153: Managing health and safety in construction (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l153.htm)

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 [CDM]

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) apply to all construction projects, including those undertaken in the entertainment industry. A project includes all the planning, design and management tasks associated with construction work. For example, the building, fitting out and taking down of temporary structures for TV, film and theatre productions and live events.

CDM 2015 makes the general duties of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 more specific. They complement the general Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and integrate health and safety into the management of construction projects.

The aim is for construction health and safety considerations to be treated as a normal part of an event/production’s management and development, not an afterthought or bolt-on extra. In concert with wider measures taken to ensure a safer event/production, the objective of CDM 2015 is to reduce the risk of harm to those that have to build, fit out, use, maintain and take down structures.

The key principles of CDM 2015 will be familiar to those already managing risks effectively as part of an event/production. The key principles are:

  • eliminate or control risks so far as reasonably practicable;
  • (This means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the real risk in terms of money, time or trouble. However, you do not need to take action if it would be grossly disproportionate to the level of risk)
  • ensure work is effectively planned;
  • appointing the right people and organisations at the right time;
  • making sure everyone has the information, instruction, training and supervision they need to carry out their jobs safely and without damaging health;
  • have systems in place to help parties cooperate and communicate with each other and coordinate their work; and
  • consult workers with a view to securing effective health, safety and welfare measures.

Any actions you take to comply with CDM 2015 should always be proportionate to the risks involved.

Find out more (click on the links)

For more information, visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/cdm-2015/ or contact us on 07896 016380 and we’ll be happy to help.

 

IOSH Managing Safely Refresher Course, 11th March, Stoke-on-Trent

If you’ve taken the IOSH Managing Safely course within the last three years, you may be interested in the one-day Refresher course we’re running this March (Friday 11th) in Stoke-on-Trent (venue to be confirmed).

This is a practical and engaging one-day course that keeps employees’ Managing Safely training up to date. Not only will delegates get to refresh their knowledge on the key parts of the full Managing Safely course, there’s also a much greater emphasis on monitoring, auditing and reviewing, which is learned through two practical case studies.

Course detail

Key aspects of the course

  • Personal reflections
  • Refreshing your knowledge
  • Building on what you know
  • Putting managing safely into practice
  • Applying the management system

Assessment

  • Interactive quiz and discussions
  • Completion of a practical exercise based on the operations of a real business
  • Successful delegates are awarded an up-to-date IOSH Managing safely certificate

How the course delivery style suits you

  • Memorable and thought provoking facts and case studies help drive the points home over the whole course
  • Each module is backed by crystal clear examples and recognisable scenarios, and summaries reinforce the key learning points
  • The course includes checklists and other materials for delegates to try out and then use when they get back to their own workplaces
  • Little ‘down time’ – the programme can be delivered flexibly so that it suits your business
  • Efficient and effective learning – health, safety and environmental basics are covered in a single programme

Business benefits

  • Greater productivity as fewer hours are lost due to sickness and accidents
  • Improved company-wide safety awareness culture and appreciation for safety measures
  • Active staff involvement to improve the workplace
  • Nationally recognised and respected certification for managers and supervisors
  • Enhanced reputation within the supply chain

For delegates to be eligible to take the Refresher course, they must do so within three years of completing their Managing Safely course.

The course fee is £145 plus VAT, which includes lunch and certification.

For more information, or to book a place, please contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk. We provide a wide range of training courses, and our brochure can be downloaded from the Training page on our website (http://www.eljay.co.uk/health-and-safety-training-and-courses.php)

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