Diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEEs) and non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) – the risk to construction (and other) workers

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Recent headline news has made us all too aware of the effects of air pollution on the climate and our health, and this is contributed to significantly by emissions from combustion engines installed in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) – used extensively in the construction industry. The Mayor of London has responded by targeting the sector with the world’s first “ultra-low emissions zone” for NRMM and – nationwide – under the Clean Air Strategy, the government will be exploring the use of environmental permitting to address the problem.

Whilst “cleaner” engines have started to become available, those powered by diesel are still the most widely used on construction sites, and inhalation of diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEEs) can cause a number of ill health effects – both short term and long term, including – evidence suggests – an increased risk of lung cancer. According to HSE statistics, each year, around 3,000 workers in construction suffer with breathing and lung problems they believe were caused or made worse by their work. That is 0.14% of workers in the sector, compared with 0.09% of workers across all industries.

So, what should be done to prevent this risk?

The below HSE guidance “Control of diesel engine exhaust emissions in the workplace” includes control measures which can be implemented quickly and easily on a construction site and in other workplaces, e.g. switching off engines when not required, and adopting a programme of regular engine maintenance.

But a reduction in pollution can also be achieved through the use of cleaner fuels. Alternatives include low sulphur diesel (LSD), ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD), biodiesel, blends of biodiesel with petroleum diesel and emulsified diesel. Low sulphur diesel has sulphur content of 300 – 500ppm and reduces particulate matter (PM) by 10 – 20% compared to non-road diesel fuel (which has a sulphur content or 3000 – 5000ppm).

And pollution control equipment such as diesel oxidation catalysts or diesel particulate filters can be retrofitted directly onto an engines exhaust system.

Under CDM 2015, design decisions made during the pre-construction phase of projects should also be considered, as these too have a significant influence on the health and safety of everyone affected by the work. For example, lighter buildings, often delivered by low carbon building methods (with no increase in cost), can reduce on-site excavation and heavy machinery due to the requirement for smaller foundations. An example of this is the timber structure of Dalston Works in London which weighs a fifth of its concrete equivalent. And as most the construction was off-site, there were 80% fewer site deliveries than usual.

The below guidance can be downloaded by clicking the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg187.pdf and more information is available on the HSE web page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/healthrisks/cancer-and-construction/diesel-engine-exhaust.htm. Alternatively, please contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Control of diesel engine exhaust emissions in the workplace

Legislation

The law requires that a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to health which arise from exposure to hazardous substances is made, eg DEEEs. This is covered by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and several other regulations, in particular the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended) (COSHH) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Having completed the assessment, there is a further duty to take the necessary steps to prevent or adequately control exposure to the hazard, and to use and maintain the relevant controls.

Risk assessment (COSHH regulation 6)

The health risk assessment will help you to assess the risks to health from exposure to hazardous substances and identify the necessary steps needed for controlling these risks. As workload, frequency of work, and work practices may change over a period, it is necessary to regularly review the assessment. In all but the simplest cases, you should record the assessment.

For DEEEs, the aim of the health risk assessment is to decide on the level of potential exposure, and then on the preventive measures or the level of control which you will need to apply. For example, if there is obvious blue or black smoke in the workplace, the controls need to be more stringent. In some circumstances, such as if there are visible exhaust emissions or complaints of irritancy, the assessment may necessitate carrying out monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the controls.

In order to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment you need to ask a series of questions, find answers and then come to a conclusion. These questions include:

  • How likely is it that exposure to DEEEs will happen?
  • Who could be affected, to what extent and for how long? How many people are potentially exposed to the DEEEs? Can the exposures be avoided?
  • Have there been any ill-health complaints from potentially exposed groups? If yes, what has been done about it?
  • Is the engine being operated at full speed or left idling? What is the purpose of running at idling speed or full speed. Can it be avoided?
  • What is the state of the engine, and how many miles or hours have been completed? Can the engine efficiency be improved, and can operating times and distances be reduced? Improving the efficiency of the engine will also bring financial benefits.
  • What happens to the exhaust emissions: do they enter directly into the workplace, or are they piped away or processed through a treatment system? Could they trigger your fire detection system?
  • Is there visible smoke near the exhaust point? What is the type of smoke, ie white, black or blue? How could it be avoided? Is there a visible haze in the workplace? Can it be avoided and how?
  • What controls are in place to comply with COSHH? Are they satisfactory?
  • Are there soot deposits in the workplace; how significant are they? What can be done to avoid them? What methods are in place for regularly cleaning the workplace?
  • How many engines are running at any one time? Are they all necessary?
  • Is it necessary to use diesel engines, or can alternative power sources be used?

Prevention and control of exposure (COSHH regulation 7)

The answers to the questions in paragraph 17 will guide you in deciding on the actions necessary to prevent or control exposure to DEEEs in the workplace. The control measures you choose need to be based on: the levels of risk and exposure; the type of workplace; present work practices; cost and benefit factors. Because of the variety of workplaces where exposure may occur, the potential exposure and the level of risk will be different. For example, there may be increased exposure where fork-lift trucks are being used in a warehouse all day for moving goods, whereas in a maintenance depot the exposure may be intermittent as the vehicles enter, stay there for maintenance, and then leave.

Prevention

Health and safety legislation requires you to prevent the exposure of employees and others to substances hazardous to health. You should be able to prevent exposure to DEEEs by adopting one or a combination of options, for example:

  • changing the method of work;
  • modifying the layout of the workplace;
  • modifying the operations to eliminate exhaust emissions inside the workplace; or
  • substituting diesel fuel with a safer fuel or alternative technology where practicable, eg compressed natural gas, battery powered vehicles.

Your risk assessment should take account of any other risks posed by these alternative fuels and technologies, for example the use of alcohols may generate greater quantities of aldehydes with possible accompanying irritancy.

Control

There will be situations where it may not be reasonably practicable for you to prevent exposure to DEEEs. In these situations, you should consider the circumstances individually and take the necessary control measures to reduce exposure. These may include:

Engineering controls

  • the use of lower emission or more fuel-efficient engines where possible, eg higher engine injection pressures to reduce particulates, fitting exhaust gas recirculation systems to reduce gaseous oxide emissions;
  • the use of cleaner fuels such as low sulphur diesel fuels;
  • enclosing the exhaust tailpipe from which DEEEs are emitted, for example by using a fixed flexible hose with a tailpipe exhaust extraction system (see Figures 2 and 3);
  • using partial enclosure with local extraction ventilation (LEV) as shown in Figure 4;
  • the use of diesel exhaust gas ‘after-treatment’ systems such as catalytic converters to oxidise organic substances and gases, and catalysed and non-catalysed particulate traps to remove particulate matter;
  • using a combination of LEV and sufficient general ventilation, eg tailpipe exhausts with open doors or roof extraction;
  • using sufficient general ventilation, eg manual or mechanical roof extraction;

Practice and administrative controls

  • using processes or systems of work which will help you to reduce the generation of DEEEs, for example switching off engines when not required for a substantial period of time and adopting a programme of regular engine maintenance;
  • where practicable, reducing the number of employees directly exposed and their period of exposure, eg ensuring that office staff working adjacent to DEEE areas are not exposed, job rotation; and

Respiratory protective equipment (RPE)

  • as exposure to DEEEs is best controlled at source or by other means as described previously, RPE should only be used as a last resort. The RPE chosen should be suitable for protecting against the gaseous and particulate components. The use of nuisance dust masks as worn by cyclists are ineffective against DEEEs and, therefore, should not be used as a means of control in the workplace. Detailed information on RPE for use in the workplace can be found in the HSE guidance book HSG53 Respiratory protective equipment at work: A practical guide.

Use of control measures (COSHH regulation 8)

You should ensure that any control measures are properly used or applied. Employees should make full and proper use of any control measure or personal protective equipment provided by the employer, and report any defects to management for immediate attention.

Maintenance, examination and the testing of control measures (COSHH regulation 9)

You should ensure that all the measures provided to control exposure to DEEEs in the workplace are maintained in an effective state, and kept in efficient working order and in good repair. Where engineering controls are used, they should be thoroughly examined and tested at suitable intervals. LEV, for example, should be thoroughly examined and tested at least once every 14 months.

With the exception of disposable filtering facepiece respirators intended for single shift use, RPE should not be used unless it has had a recent thorough examination and maintenance. The interval between thorough examination and maintenance should not be more than one month.

You should keep a record of such examinations and tests of LEV and RPE for at least five years from the date on which they were made. The record should be readily available for inspection by employees or their representatives, or by enforcement authorities.

Monitoring for exposure to DEEEs in the workplace (COSHH regulation 10)

Under regulation 10 of COSHH, monitoring at the workplace may be required for the following reasons:

  • to determine if there is a failure or deterioration of the control measures which could result in an obvious health effect, eg irritancy from exposure to DEEEs;
  • to determine whether any workplace exposure limit (WEL) or any in-house working standard has been exceeded; and
  • when necessary to check the effectiveness of a control measure provided, eg particulate filter, LEV and/or general ventilation.

The health risk assessment will help you decide if it is necessary to carry out monitoring, for example, to judge the effectiveness of controls. A suitable monitoring strategy, as determined by a competent person such as an occupational hygienist, will indicate whether personal monitoring, fixed placed (static) monitoring, or both are required. It will show which site(s) require monitoring, when and how often, and which sampling and analytical methods would be appropriate.

Personal monitoring for exposure to DEEEs

You may need to carry out personal monitoring to determine the extent of inhalation exposure to DEEEs, and hence the level of risk. Personal monitoring samples should be collected in the breathing zone of the employees. Such samples should be collected where there is a significant potential for exposure during their working shift and include peak exposures, eg while repairing or testing/maintaining an engine, while driving a fork-lift truck or during lashing in ro-ro ferries.

The duration of sampling depends on the workplace situation, such as the nature of the work and the type of monitoring. However, to collect sufficient material from the workplace air and determine the time-weighted average (TWA) exposure, sampling periods will mainly be between six and eight hours. In some instances though, depending on the circumstances, short-term measurements may be all that is required to make decisions on the risk of exposure and level of control. The number of people you decide to sample at each location will depend on the nature of exposure and size of the exposed workforce, for example:

  • processes or operations where exposures are likely to occur;
  • the number, type and position of sources from which the DEEEs are released; and
  • which groups of employees are most likely to be exposed.

Fixed place monitoring

Fixed place monitoring is appropriate in those areas of the workplace where it is impractical to collect personal samples, eg outside a toll booth. Such fixed sampling is useful for determining the effectiveness of your control measures and for measuring background concentrations of DEEEs.

What substances to monitor

Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) above 1000 ppm 8-hour TWA in the workplace, may indicate faulty, poorly maintained or inadequately designed control systems in particular LEV or roof extraction systems. As measurement of the CO2 level is easily carried out and because it is a useful indicator of the overall adequacy of control measures, it may be used as one of the steps in any assessment of the level of exposure to DEEEs.

Respirable dust levels may be measured to help you assess the particulate exposure if, for example, the workload is particularly heavy. However, the levels measured will include particulates from all sources and not just the DEEEs.

In situations where personal exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) may be high (such as at toll booths and in car parks where the majority of vehicles are petrol driven) measurement of CO will provide an indication about the adequacy of controls.

Irritancy

As the definite causes of irritancy are unknown, if any of your workforce complain of this health effect, it is important to look for better means of control rather than to monitor for other gaseous constituents of DEEEs.

Health surveillance (COSHH regulation 11)

Under COSHH, no formal health surveillance is required by employers of those exposed to DEEEs or related emissions. However, if employees are concerned about the short or long-term health effects of exposure to DEEEs, they should discuss the problem with management. If still not satisfied with the outcome, they should voice their concerns with their union representative if available or the works safety representative. Furthermore, if management notices that employees are suffering irritancy effects following exposure to DEEEs, it may indicate that the controls have failed and prompt action is required.

Employers must provide information on health and related matters to employees or their representatives in accordance with the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 and the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996. Such information allows employees or their representatives to help employers develop control measures.

Information, instruction and training (COSHH regulation 12)

Adequate information, instruction and training should be given to employees on the health hazards associated with occupational exposure to DEEEs and on the proper use of control measures. This information should also be made available to employee safety representatives or other appropriate people.

The information, training and instruction should enable employees to recognise obvious deterioration in the controls used (such as poor maintenance of engines, damage to extraction equipment or ineffective general ventilation), so they can report to employers who would then take the necessary action to rectify the situation.

 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Control of legionella (and other) bacteria in metal working fluids (MWFs)

Legionella bacteria are commonly found in water supplies at low concentrations and if conditions (eg temperature and nutrients) are right, these microorganisms will grow. Water mix metal working fluids (MWFs) are mostly water and their industrial use may produce aerosols. Inhaling an aerosol contaminated with Legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease. HSE guidance L8 “Legionnaires’ disease. The control of legionella bacteria in water systems” recommends that the MWF storage and distribution system of lathe and machine tool coolant systems should be cleaned and disinfected every six months or more frequently if recommended by machine tool or fluid suppliers.

However, the Health and Safety Laboratory has carried out research, Survival of Legionella pneumophila in metalworking fluids, which shows there is a minimal risk of Legionella bacteria contaminating such a system, if the system is properly managed.

HSE’s guidance on managing bacterial contamination of metalworking fluids suggests a risk-based approach, based on monitoring fluid condition and bacterial contamination: http://www.hse.gov.uk/metalworking/bacterial.htm

If you can demonstrate that metalworking fluids are managed in accordance with the COSHH essentials sheet Managing sumps and bacterial contamination (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/mw05.pdf) and HSE’s guidance on managing bacterial contamination in metalworking fluids an additional assessment of the risk of Legionnaires’ disease is normally unnecessary. However, further assessment and precautions will be necessary to cover any special circumstances, such as deep cleaning of sumps and machinery with jet washers, where the potential for exposure to airborne hazardous bacteria is much greater. This is due to the disturbance of microbial slime known as biofilm – where Legionella may survive. Avoid water jetting where possible, as it tends to create fine water droplets or mists.

If water jetting is necessary carry out a risk assessment, to include respiratory and other risks such as those arising from the use of high pressure and electricity, see,

More guidance on metalworking fluids can be found on the HSE web page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/metalworking/index.htm

For more information on controlling the risk of Legionnaires’ disease, see Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease: http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/index.htm, or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk, ad we’ll be happy to help

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

 

COSHH advice sheets updated for woodworking industry

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’s suite of direct advice sheets specific to the woodworking industry has been updated, and can help employers, the self-employed and franchisees comply with COSHH regulations.

The new sheets set out what to do to reduce exposure to substances such as wood dust to an adequate level, and protect workers health.

Direct advice sheets for the woodworking industry

This information will help employers, the self employed and franchisees to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), as amended, to control exposure to wood dusts, etc, and protect workers health.

WD0: Advice for managers: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#advice-managers

WD1: Bandsaws: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#bandsaws

WD2: Circular bench saws: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#circular-bench-saws

WD3: Cross-cut saws: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#cross-cut-saws

WD4: Vertical spindle moulders: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#vertical-spindle-moulders

WD5: Overhead and CNC routers: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#overhead-CNC-routers

WD7: Hand-held sanding machines: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#hand-held-sanding-machines

WD10: Wall saw: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#wall-saw

WD11: Surface planer: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#surface-planer

WD12: Fixed sanding machines (narrow belt): http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#fixed-sanding-machines-narrow-belt

WD13: Fixed sanding machines (disc): http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#fixed-sanding-machines-disc

WD14: Fixed sanding machines (drum/bobbin): http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#fixed-sanding-machines-drum-bobbin

WD15: Chop saw: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#chop-saw

WD17: Suction hose attachment for cleaning: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/woodworking.htm#suction-hose-attachment-for-cleaning

For more advice on managing woodworking safely visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/woodworking/index.htm#utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digest-10-apr-19&utm_term=woodworking&utm_content=coshh-advice-sheets

For more advice of control of substances hazardous to health visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/

Or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Safety in the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock (revised guidance)

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

Safety in the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock (revised guidance) – metal company fined after worker loses foot

A Bedfordshire metal company has been fined for safety breaches after a worker suffered severe leg injuries and lost most of his foot.

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how the 24 year-old, who was an agency worker for the company, was injured when a trolley carrying metal stock fell on his legs causing severe injuries.

A bundle of 18 stainless steel bars weighing about 900kg was on a four wheeled trolley. The trolley was manually moved by the worker and another staff member but it tipped over and the bundle of bars fell off the top of the trolley trapping his leg and foot. He was rushed to hospital by the emergency services.

His right leg was broken and his right foot was badly crushed. Despite a number of operations to save his foot, most of it was amputated and he now has a prosthetic foot. It was many months before he was able to return to work. He is currently only able to work on a part-time basis.

HSE found that the metal trolleys had been used on site for some 20 years without incident. The metal company purchased the trolleys to be used as ‘workstations’, but employees had chosen to also use them to move metal stock around the site. There was no risk assessment or written system of work for these trolleys at the time of the accident. The trolley also had faulty wheels and there was no record of any maintenance.  After the accident, the trolley was given a safe working load of 500kg; half the weight placed on the trolley at the time of the accident.

The metal company pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £130,000 with costs of £2,456.40 and a victim surcharge of £120.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Emma Page said: “[The worker’s] life has been drastically altered by what happened and this incident could have been very easily avoided with some very simple measures. The right equipment and a correct maintenance system would have prevented this from happening.”

Safety in the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock

Many accidents, some resulting in death and serious injury, continue to occur during the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock. They cause enormous social and economic cost over and above the human tragedy involved. It is in everyone’s interest that they are reduced. Accident investigations often show that these injuries could have been avoided.

This revised guidance (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg246.pdf) is aimed at directors, owners, managers and supervisors and pays particular attention to the most common hazards, including (un)loading of delivery vehicles, storage systems, workplace transport, mechanical lifting and injuries from sharp edges.

New sections compare the use of single- versus double-hoist cranes and give additional information on the safe use of pendant and remote controllers, suitable lifting accessories, working at height and providing better access arrangements with stock products. There are now specific requirements which effectively prohibit the stacking of ‘U’ frame racking and ‘barring-off’.

This revised guidance was produced in consultation with the National Association of Steel Services Centres (also known as NASS) and the City of Wolverhampton Council working as partners with HSE in the Steel Stockholders Lead Authority Partnership (SSLAP).

For more information, visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg246.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 – 31ST MARCH 2016

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(Please note that there will be no further updates until Thursday 21st April.)

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

Guidance on safe use of inflatables – two children killed on same day in separate incidents involving bouncy castles

Tragically, and unbelievably, two children were killed last Saturday in separate incidents involving bouncy castles.

According to reports, in the UK, a seven year old girl died from multiple injuries after a gust of wind tore the bouncy castle she was playing in from its moorings and flung it 400 metres at a fairground in Harlow. A man and a woman were both arrested in connection with the incident, on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

And In China’s Henan province, one child died and approximately 40 were injured when the bouncy castle they were playing in was blown 164 feet into the air, again by strong winds. The operator was taken into custody. This is the third such incident in China in as many years – each resulting in a fatality.

HSE Guidance on safe use of inflatables

Inflatables, such as castles, slides, domes etc can be bought from a number of different manufacturers and suppliers in the UK, both new and second hand. They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and can be designed for use by adults, children or both. They can also be hired by organisations or members of the public for parties etc.

The quality construction, maintenance and operation of inflatable play equipment can be extremely variable.  Buyers, hirers and users should make sure they know what it is they are paying for; things are generally cheap for good reason!  Health and safety law will apply to the supply, hire and use of inflatables for commercial purposes.  It does not apply to private, domestic buyers and users.

Inflatables are great fun but accidents involving broken limbs and necks or the entire inflatable blowing away with people in it are not unheard of.  A few basic measures can make all the difference to an event:

  • If you are buying an inflatable for work or renting one for an event, ensure it has been built to the current British Standard (BS EN 14960) and if it has, there will be a label on it saying so. If there is no label you may be taking a risk with the safety of those using it.  Buyers should ensure they get an invoice stating that the inflatable has been manufactured to this standard.
  • The label will tell you when it was made, how many people can use it and what heights they should be.
  • After its first year and annually thereafter, the inflatable must be tested by a competent person to make sure it is still safe for use. A new unit should have an ‘initial test’ carried out at the point of manufacture to confirm it complies with BS EN 14960.  The HSE supports annual examination by Inspectors registered with PIPA or ADIPS. Hirers should ask to see proof of this test.
  • Every inflatable should have at least 6 anchor points, though bigger ones will need more. The operator manual that should be supplied with the inflatable will tell you how many there should be.  If there is no manual you cannot be sure how many tie down points there should be for safe use.
  • All the anchor points must be used, preferably with metal ground stakes at least 380mm length and 16mm diameter with a rounded top. Anchor points on the inflatable should have a welded metal ‘0’ or ‘D’ ring fitted to the end. If ground stakes cannot be used then a system of ballast using water or sand barrels or tying down to vehicles that will give at least the same level of protection should be used. Each anchor point should have the equivalent of 163kgs to give this.  Beware of tripping hazards if you secure in this way.
  • Have a good look at the inflatable when it is blown up. The outer edges of the front step should at least line up with the centre of each of the front uprights. Under no circumstances should the width of the step be less than this. The whole unit should look symmetrical and those bits that should upright, should be upright.  If it looks misshapen or deformed there may be internal problems which may make bouncing unpredictable.
  • If there is an electrical blower with the inflatable this should be tested like any other portable electrical appliance. The tube that connects the blower to the bag should be at least 1.4m in length.

Making sure that the inflatable is run safely is equally important; the majority of injuries come from misuse.  There should be constant supervision when the inflatable is blown up and it is strongly recommended that hirers ask for this to be provided as a condition of hire.

Operating instructions should be supplied by the manufacturer or supplier and these should include at least the following:

  • Restrict the number of users on the inflatable at the same time to the limit in the manual or on the unit label. Don’t exceed the user height limit given in the manual or on the unit label and keep bigger users separated from smaller.
  • Ensure users can get on and off safely and that there is safety matting at the entrance in case of falls or ejections. These mats should not be more than 2″ in depth.
  • Users should not wear shoes, should take their glasses off if they can and pockets should be emptied of all sharp or dangerous items.
  • Users should not eat or drink whilst playing or bouncing and anyone obviously intoxicated should not be allowed on; they are a danger to themselves as much as to others.
  • Don’t let things get too rough and don’t let users climb or hang onto the walls. Don’t let users try to somersault.

A properly trained supervisor will be aware of all of this and should be able to keep the inflatable running safely and make sure that no one gets hurt.

I am grateful to The Inflatable Play Enterprise (TIPE) for their help with this advice.

If you have any questions about any of this, further help can be found on the PIPA website (http://www.pipa.org.uk/) or in British Standard BS EN 14960 – ‘Inflatable play equipment – safety requirements and test methods’

For more information, visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/fairgrounds/faqs.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

 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 27TH AUGUST 2015

IN THIS UPDATE

Introduction

Self-employed – do I have duties?

Business case studies

Safety Alert – ‘Norfolk Range’ large wheeled dry powder fire extinguishers manufactured before 2009 by UK Fire International Ltd

Links to guidance on CDM 2015

Introduction

With the late summer bank holiday in striking distance, there’s no getting away from the fact that Autumn is on the horizon. And our typical British wet weather is not the only thing to have dampened our spirits over the summer months. Tragic incidents such as the Bosley Wood Flour Mill explosion and Shoreham Airshow crash have brought health and safety very much into the public eye. With investigations ongoing, the causes remain to be seen, but could possibly result in a criminal inquiry at the flour mill if evidence of negligence is found. According to an HSE press release (http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/further-hse-enforcement-notices-issued-at-bosley-wood-flour-mill/), a Prohibition Notice has been served on the mill owners, “preventing work activities until the issues identified involving the processing and bagging of large amounts of paper dust in one of the sheds on site, have been resolved”. In their guidance document “Safe handling of combustible dusts – Precautions against explosions”(http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg103.pdf), the HSE advises that dusts produced by many materials we use everyday are flammable, and, in the form of a cloud, can explode.

Are you self-employed? From 1 October 2015, if your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then health and safety law will not apply to you. If you don’t know whether or not your work activity falls into this category, more information is provided below.

Do you want to know how other businesses manage health and safety? The latest suite of HSE business case studies below provides links to a variety of video and narrative case studies of businesses doing just that, effectively and proportionately, with the help of online HSE guidance.

Do your work activities involve manufacturing, warehousing or engineering? Then you may be familiar with large dry powder fire extinguishers, which are the subject of HSE’s latest safety alert.

Finally, and following on from our previous news updates on CDM 2015, we close this week with links to the following guidance:

  • L153 – Managing health and safety in construction – CDM 2015: Guidance on Regulations
  • INDG411 – Need building work done? A short guide for clients on CDM 2015 (rev)
  • Construction Phase Plan for small projects (CDM 2015) – CIS80
  • Industry guidance for dutyholders
  • CITB CDM wizard app for construction phase plan

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

Self-employed – do I have duties?

In 2011, the Löfstedt Review link to external website recommended that those self-employed whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others should be exempt from health and safety law. This recommendation was accepted by Government.

So, from 1 October 2015, if you are self-employed and your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then health and safety law will not apply to you.

HSE estimates that health and safety law will no longer apply to 1.7 million self-employed people like novelists, journalists, graphic designers, accountants, confectioners, financial advisors and online traders.

What the law says

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2015/9780111136980), says:

  • if your work activity is specifically mentioned in the regulations above
  • or if your work activity poses a risk to the health and safety of others, then the law applies to you

What is meant by ‘self-employed’?

For health and safety law purposes, ‘self-employed’ means that you do not work under a contract of employment (http://www.hse.gov.uk/enforce/enforcementguide/investigation/status-contract.htm) and work only for yourself.

If you’re self-employed and employ others the law will apply to you. You may be self-employed for tax purposes, but this may not be so for health and safety. This is a complex area and HMRC have produced employment status guidance (https://www.gov.uk/working-for-yourself/what-counts-as-self-employed).

What is a ‘risk to the health and safety of others’?

This is the likelihood of someone else being harmed or injured (eg members of the public, clients, contractors etc) as a consequence of your work activity.

Most self-employed people will know if their work poses a risk to the health and safety of others. You must consider the work you are doing and judge for yourself if it creates a risk or not.

For example if you operate a fairground ride for the public to use then your work could affect the health and safety of other people and you must take appropriate steps to protect them as the law will apply to you.

Find out more about ‘risk’

HSE guidance on risk management (http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/index.htm) explains more about the risks your work activity may create and how best to manage these.

High risk activities

The law says that there are certain work activities where the law applies because they are high risk. If your work involves any of these activities, then the law will apply to you:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Gas
  • Railways
  • Asbestos
  • GMOs

For more information visit the self-employed workers guidance topic page on the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/self-employed/index.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Business case studies

This is the latest suite of HSE business case studies, where businesses tell their stories of how they manage health and safety effectively and proportionately and how online HSE guidance helps them to do this.

Two of the case studies focus primarily on leadership, while the others describe examples of health and safety management in SMEs.

The video case studies were produced in collaboration with 3rd year Film Production and Media students from Edge Hill University in West Lancashire.

Video case studies

Bootle Containers Ltd

Bootle Containers is a medium sized manufacturing company with 55 employees, specialising in design and production of containers.  This film describes the company’s health and safety management systems and why they think good health and safety is good for business.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/bootle-containers.htm

Lamont Cleaning and Support Services

Lamont is a small company of 15 employees, specialising in commercial and industrial window cleaning. This film shows how they work with their employees to manage health and safety.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/lamont-cleaning.htm

Laser Quest Stourbridge

Laser Quest Stourbridge is a hi tech gaming centre with 11 employees. This film describes how the owner manages the company’s health and safety.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/laser-quest.htm

Merseytravel

Merseytravel is the strategic transport authority for the Liverpool City Region, with 850 employees. This film tells how effective leadership and employee engagement improved health and safety performance.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/merseytravel.htm

Mount Anvil Ltd

Mount Anvil is a medium sized construction and development company based in London. In this film, senior leaders from the company describe how they manage health and safety and why it is so important to their business.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/mount-anvil.htm

Narrative case studies

Applied Industrial Systems Ltd.

Applied Industrial Systems Ltd (AIS) specialises in the creation and provision of software and control systems to a diverse client base across the transport, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/ais.htm

Connors Building & Restoration Services Ltd.

Connors Building & Restoration Services is an asset management company with 33 employees, specialising in building services, ground maintenance and inspection.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/connors-building.htm

Loop Technology Ltd.

Loop Technology is a small, family run business with 21 employees, specialising in industrial automation.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/loop.htm

Technicraft (Anglia) Ltd

Technicraft is a metal fabrication company with 25 employees. It provides services including laser cutting, punching, presswork and welding.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/technicraft.htm

More narrative case studies for SMEs and larger businesses can be found by visiting the Business case studies page on the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/case-studies.htm?ebul=hsegen&cr=2/27-jul-15 or contact us for advice and guidance on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Safety Alert – ‘Norfolk Range’ large wheeled dry powder fire extinguishers manufactured before 2009 by UK Fire International Ltd

Issue Date

12 August 2015

Target Audience

All premises where large dry powder fire extinguishers are likely to be used for example: chemical industry, offshore industry, merchant shipping, nuclear industry, manufacturing, mining, warehousing, engineering, metals and minerals processing and production.

Key Issues

‘Norfolk Range’ large dry powder fire extinguishers, manufactured before 2009, may be affected by moisture ingress at a threaded joint at the base of the unit, rendering the unit inoperable. The problem may not be identified during routine service inspections.

  • Users should identify if their extinguishers are likely to be affected. If yes and the extinguisher has been left exposed to adverse conditions since its last extended service, the condition of the elbow joint at the base of the unit should be examined by a competent service engineer.
  • If you are unsure if your extinguishers are affected by this safety alert, consult Britannia Fire Ltd.
  • Service engineers should closely examine, and if necessary, remove the elbow to confirm if there is evidence of water ingress to the discharge tube. If there is any doubt about moisture affecting the powder in the discharge tube, consider subjecting the extinguisher to an extended service including full replacement of the dry powder.

For more information click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/norfolk-large-wheeled-dry-powder-fire-extinguishers.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Links to guidance on CDM 2015

L153 – Managing health and safety in construction – CDM 2015: Guidance on Regulations

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l153.htm?ebul=gd-cons/jul15&cr=2

INDG411 – Need building work done? A short guide for clients on CDM 2015 (rev)

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg411.htm?ebul=gd-cons/jul15&cr=3

Construction Phase Plan for small projects (CDM 2015) – CIS80

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis80.pdf?ebul=gd-cons/jul15&cr=4

Industry guidance for dutyholders

http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/cdm-guidance-documents/

CITB CDM wizard app for construction phase plan

http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/cdm-wizard-app/

Please note that the HSE are starting to remove the current CDM 2007 web pages and plan to remove them all by October 2015.

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

Also contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.