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Driver Safety

Driver risk is one of the fastest growing areas of concern in occupational health and safety.  Last year 160 people were killed in workplace accidents and most employers go to great lengths to ensure the safety of their employees, especially those in traditionally hazardous or dangerous industries such as manufacturing, construction or energy.

Yet, almost 2000 people die each year on Britain’s roads and around a third of these are believed to involve someone driving on business. 

Do you feel that you are doing enough to manage the hazards and risks faced by your employees on the road?

For more information or help and guidance on how best to manage the safety of your employees while they drive for work please contact us here.

CALLS FOR TOUGHER REGULATION ON CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY IN TOURISM

IFSEC FIRE newsletter today (14 Noc 2015)  publishes an article of a report into the deaths of a family whilst on holiday in Corfu in 2006. 

The Coroner, David Hinchliffe  calls for an EU wide safety standard to prevent further tragedies, saying "There is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken." 

The circumstances are that the death occurred due to a faulty boiler and that the holiday company, a very well know and perhaps the best established brand, had breached it's dut of care. It is also reported that since then a further 43 holdaymakers have died due to the same cause, CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING. 

ABTA and the Federation of Tour Operators calls for "safety checks by qualified health and safety specialists rather than "often inexperienced and overworked tour reps." 

They also call for campaigns encouraging holidaymakers to take CO1 detector/alarms with them on holiday and information brochures advising of the dangers of CO1 poisoning. 

If you are a travel company and wish to have competent safety, health and wellbeing support, please contact us via any of the methods on this web site. We are friendly and we will be pleased to tell you how we can help you.carbon monoxide advice

One Direction Stage Tour Sept. 2015

Construction Design and Management compliance document for the stage (temporary demountable structure) by ourselves, on the behalf of our client, LS-Live who designed and made it. 

Yet another example of our wide range of skills.

http://www.onedirectionmusic.com/gb/tour

 

3 QUICK WORDS TOWARDS SAFETY AND HEALTH PLANNING

 

It all starts from here:

When we train people how to understand legal and moral duties for managing occupational safety, health and welfare it can all be very overwealming. But what if it was possible to break things down into manageable chunks?  Suddenly things begin to make a little more sense and easier to plan and implement. Here is an example of one of the ways you can do this.

All workplaces by law have to have plans for what we will call here, health and safety. No, not the elf'n-safety with the bad reputation for stupidity. The proper occupational health, safety and welfare we should all understand and trust. The problem is; where to start and what needs to be done? From there, things can take an odered route, taking account of priorities.

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  TO ENABLE YOU TO ENLARGE THIS CHART - PLEASE DOUBLE CLICK THE HEADING OF THIS ARTICLE

 As can be seen, if you first think stategy; who is involved, what should be acheived, what might a policy might need to include and so on, you will have already have made a great inroad towards you goals.

 The next is to think  predictive. For this purpose, this means thinking things out and drawing up plans to ensure the safety and health of those concerned. PLANNING is the key word here, meaning, not left to chance. Planning is the process of looking at what might happen - hazards. Then looking at what the adverse consequences might be and how those effects can be minimised to an acceptable level. This is what is often known as undertaking risk assessments. But it also means creating plans for safety too. 

The last element for this purpose is that of dynamic planning. Sometimes circumstances change and our original intentions and plans need to change to take them into account. The default position is always that if our plans don't apply or need to be changed, we stop our activities if we have to do so in order to protect both health and safety of people. But we can and indeed should draw up new plans. And if they are both suitable and sufficient, our work can continue or re-start. 

 We hope this helps you to understand some of the legalities and to guide you towards with your own plans for safety, health and welfare. 

 

 If you need any help with your practical plans or training for safety, health or welfare, please just give us a call. We would be delighted to help. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAUFFEUR OR PROFESSIONAL?

Do you need to know the difference?

Firstly, just to set the record straight, this is not a blog intending to be disrespectful to chauffeurs. They too are skilled at what they do. 

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There is a quite old story where an expert and their chauffeur trade places. The location is normally that of a lecture. Because the driver has heard the boss's presentation many times before, he asks to deliver it himself. This goes ahead and is fine until he is asked a question, upon which he skillfully plays it down by saying, "this is such a simple question, my driver here will answer it".

 Here is the point, just about anyone can deliver 'a script', but you need an expert to teach it, practice the skills and interpret the knowledge when necessary. 

 So from now on, please bear in mind; you should check on the knowledge, skills and experience of those you engage.

 

Here at The Safety Organisation, we promote our competence in occupational safety and health all over this web-site. We are very knowledgable, skilled and practiced in what we do. And what we do is to provide you with a brilliant level of service as occupational safety, health and welfare professionals but in a very personable way. Please get in touch for your training, events and workplace needs. We will be delighted to help you (not just work from a script).

 

LIVE EVENTS, SAFETY AND COMPETENCE. THE CONFERENCE

Event Professionals

Do you know about the conference about the competence of safety and health 'professionals' in London, on 17th Nov 15?

No? Then please have a look at the details above and check out what this is about in our account below or at

http://stagesafe.co.uk/…/live-events-safety-and-competence-

A key element of this conference is to discuss the present situation and the future of events specialising occupational safety and health practitioners.

As well as there being some terrific practitioners, organisers and venues out there, this is not always the case in whole or in part.

Some so-called health and safety advisors are currently quite scary in their lack of provable competence which is accepted by some venues and organisers alike.

Why is this?

Maybe this is because only introductory levels of qualifications only are sought by many venues and organisers alike because they genuinely believe that what they require is right. This is often reflected low fees by those with lower provable competence levels. It is worrying to consider how practitioners with such low fees can also pay for insurances, membership of professional bodies such as IOSH, IIRSM, CIEH (and others). Then there is the need for continued professional development and other absolute essentials necessary to providing a suitable level of knowledge and skills. Like most good things in life, they don't come cheap or without lots of effort.

This explains why, when competent occupational safety and health professionals encounter unsafe / non-compliant work practices those undertaking the work (probably truthfully) say, 'well I have been doing this for years and nobody has ever challenged it before.'

Everyone has a stake in this, venues are responsible for what happens on their property, organisers and producers are responsible for all phases (planning, operation, checks and improvements) and workers for their safety and those of people who might be affected by their work. It is not enough for them to say that they have employed someone with the right qualification, perhaps even for just part of the processes such as build and break-down. That is not a 'get-out-of-jail-card'. What is needed is for all phases to be thought out, planned and operated and for the right records to be in place. To do this, a high level of competence is required. That means learning, development of skills and practice.

Good indicators of competence are where Practitioners promote their competences and make public what qualifications they have, make their experiences known and provide you with full details of terms, conditions, codes of practice, CPD, indemnity insurances and lots more

So please, go along to the conference or at least support it by letting everyone know about it to promote good practice and to help make the conference a success.

Have a look around this web site to see lots of examples of proofs of competence including, meet the team, case studies and lots more. To make contact with The Safety Organisation for help, advice and servics just follow the links or make the call. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING - How it can have a very positive effect on your business

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Health and Safety Training. A short video of how it can have a benefit to any business click on this link to view a short video from IOSH

Here is a short video from IOSH which shows how any business can benefit from health and safety training

The video speaks for itself and we are sure you would agree that business leaders, managers, supervisors and workforce alike will all benefit from learning how to keep safe, healthy. How to protect against prosecution and claims. How to reduce absenteeism and improve productivity. How to improve their image and reputation.

 

The Safety Organisation is committed to providing quality services, awareness and training to businesses and the events industry. 

If you have any questions or if you would like us, The Safety Organisation to help you with your health and safety training, please just contact us for no-pressure advice.  

HOW COMMON ARE WORK RELATED CANCERS?

IOSH VIDEO FEATURING DR LESLEY RUSHTON

 

 

WORK RELATED CANCERS - PROBABLY MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK

 

That sounds quite scary so let's start with the good news. Work related deaths and injuries are generally decreasing year upon year due to greater awareness and legislation developments in recent years. That is fantastic. But  the ‘flip-side’ is that work related diseases are increasing. In fact for every death from work-place accidents there are around 100 deaths from work-place diseases, particularly cancers. 

 

Who is at risk from work sourced diseases?

 

In short, most people are at risk in some way from work sourced diseases. The main thing to appreciate is that some places and activities are of a much higher risk; from either likelihood or severity of what might happen. 

 

For instance, if your work takes you into the open-air, it might be skin cancers. If you work in a building which was constructed before 1999, it might be asbestos initiated cancers. Or if you work where diesel engines are common place, issues with inhaling exhausts. Other less obvious work areas might include decorating or hair-dressing. 

 

To find out more

 

If you would like to know more, IOSH have some terrific free resources, including fast facts, pocket information cards and posters which you can access at http://www.iosh.co.uk/NTTL/Home/Free-resources/Solar-pack-lite-version.aspx?sc_camp=5741BD62DA8D4A81BF6F48E1C130536A (http://www.iosh.co.uk/NTTL/Home/Free-resources/Solar-pack-lite-version.aspx?sc_camp=5741BD62DA8D4A81BF6F48E1C130536A)

 

Or you can view their latest video via the link we have provided  on this blog.

 

 

For advice or support about any health or safety subject, regardless of your work sector, please feel free to telephone us or send us an email.

HOW DO TRAINERS KEEP THEIR SKILLS SHARP?

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CIEH, NW ENGLAND, Trainers Forum

Maybe you have never heard of the CIEH - or to give it its full title, The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. But it has been at the forefront of environmental and public health in the UK for over 130 years.

It's market-leading qualifications help organisations and employees in a variety of sectors in over 50 countries.

And over 10 million people around the world hold a CIEH qualification.

Their qualifications help organisations and employees in a variety of sectors in over 50 countries.

And - all of their profits are channelled back into their charity arm to fund research and policy development in the pursuit of advancing public and environmental health worldwide.

Our company is one of the training outlets of the CIEH and we have 7 of their workplace safety qualifications  in our portfolio of accredited training to offer.


All CIEH training centres and trainers are licensed on an annual basis and audited from time to time, so standards are high.

Keeping Training Skills Sharp

Part of what CIEH trainers do is to get together from time to time, normally two to three times each year to swap thoughts and ideas on training and receive updates from the CIEH on changes and developments. Yesterday was one of those occasions for the NW of England group.

For example we shared ideas about what makes a great presenter, which is very different to a great trainer (something which can be easy to forget), how to avoid setting ourselves traps of distancing ourselves from students (very easy to do) and sharing ideas on how to keep students interested, even when the subject is really 'dry'. Of course we also received updates directly from the CIEH, who normally send someone from HQ in London to keep us abreast of developments in new courses, changes to courses, training aids and so-on.

Unlike most learning sessions for professionals, these sessions are free to attend. But trainers do give up their valuable time and travel to these Forums as part of their commitment to improving their services. It is really worthwhile though as their is a wealth of knowledge and experience to tap when such groups get together to co-operate in this way. Wow!

Well done to all who attended and I look forward to seeing you all soon.

To see what CIEH courses we can offer, please have a look at our pages on this subject. We would be delighted to let you have more information if you would like to email or give us a ring.

Marketing and P/R - Missing an Obvious Advantage?

Shooting Yourself in the Foot?

Other than as part of my Company responsibilities, I am not involved in Marketing, P/R, Media and the like, so I am happy to concede from the onset that I am not an expert in this field. What I do wonder though, is why those who are experts have not yet caught on to the positive aspects of great Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare actions by their clients

 

At this point, I can almost hear the groans. ‘Elf’n Safety, how to shoot yourself in the foot, how boring is that? Health and Safety is not our concern. I don’t know what all the fuss is about’ and so-on. Some of you may be ‘tuning out’ now but please bear with me.

Isn’t this how we used to consider environmental matters? It isn’t so long ago that environmental issues were thought of alongside ‘real-ale drinking hippies’ and ‘nutty protesters’. Environmental issues are now regarded as being both a priority and 'cool'. Today, regardless of how imperfect things may still be, organisations of all sizes are using their positive actions for the environment as part of their public image improvement actions. For actions, I think it is probably fair to include, advertising and P/R

 

Perhaps not any more

If this is the case, then how about giving some thought to Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare? Perhaps this is not the best expression to use to market an organisation’s commitment and arrangements to keep people safe, healthy and looked after - I did say that I am not a Marketing professional, but there are some VERY interesting commercial advantages of improving systems and promoting them. Obvious consequences are, ‘our staff have much less time off work due to sicknesses because we look after them’ (for instance in work places where lots of dusts are created or work is repetitive). ‘Our accident rate is (for example) less than half of the national average and improving because we care about our workers’. ‘Occupational cancers due to fumes, dusts, materials etc are a factor of 100 higher than other causes of workplace deaths. We believe that we have reduced our exposure levels to zero’. Later, having reduced absences, a company can perhaps afford little perks for staff which can also be used to promote the company; “Here at The Company, we have reduced absences so much that we now allow staff to take extra time off for those special occasions ….’

 

In fact there are some distinct advantages here

I once again concede that I am not an advertising person but in principal, are any of the above ideas bad? It is for the professionals to make them commercial and inspirational. It is for organisations to find the time and resources to make them facts behind them a priority if they wish to benefit from the advantages. 

Maybe then, we can all be winners. Improved productivity, reduced absences, fewer claims, lower insurance rates, higher turnover/profits, customer loyalty as well as many other positive advantages. 

As OHSW professionals, clearly our learning and experiences tell us that good practises make good sense. We see excellent practices where organisations put the work-force first but don’t tell anyone because it just comes naturally to them. But we also see organisations who just don’t connect good practices with good commercial priorities, so they seriously lack informed awareness, they do not budget for or sufficiently prioritise their activities to  address their legal and moral requirements. What they both have in common is that ‘they are missing a trick’. That element is that OHSW could be commercially sexy if in place and ‘sold’ well. 

IMPORTANT HEALTH & SAFETY LEGAL UPDATE - England and Wales

Important Legal Changes

TWO IMPORTANT LEGAL CHANGES COINCIDE

Here in the UK, two circumstances have made the need for paying attention to health and safety systems even more important.

The first is that for all health and safety at work cases committed AFTER 12TH MARCH 2015, upon conviction Magistrates can now impose unlimited fines. Prior to this, Magistrates would have to refer a court upwards to Crown Courts if they felt that their sentencing powers might be insufficient.

The second is that a recent High Court Ruling (R v Boardman 2015),  held that Criminal Procedure Rules (CPR) demand that both sides (prosecution and defence) must rigidly comply with court deadlines or risk not having their case heard or fully heard as they might have wished. In short, one side attempted to present evidence to the other only a few days ahead of the trial date and this was held to be far too late. The evidence was therefore excluded and they 'lost' the case. 

The combined effects are firstly; that health and safety cases might now be more likely to be tried at Magistrates Court so no reliance should be put upon having further time to prepare beyond this trial date. And secondly; that the investigation of circumstances and administration by both prosecution and defence should be completed well ahead of this time or risk having their case decided upon without the court considering all potential evidence. For the defence this might include for instance, thorough accident investigation, statement taking, examination of records etc.

It is also necessary to have any mitigating circumstances prepared such as improvement in health and safety management systems which have been implemented developed and established as a result of the incident or accident ahead of a trial date. 

In practical terms if a company might be prosecuted, even if the enforcing authority might take some time to decide whether or not to prosecute (a period of a year or more is not exceptional), then it needs to start seeking advice, preparing their defence and or mitigation early so that if a prosecution follows, they are able to meet the court’s timetable right away.

 

 

Here at The Safety Organisation, we are able to use our skills and knowledge with accident investigations and after-event improvements in health, safety and welfare systems but we very much prefer to help our clients to avoid investigation and litigation and protect their reputations  by helping them to have top level occupational health and safety compliance systems which prevent this from happening as a preferred option.