Call: 0800 111 4207     Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

News

SKIN CANCER - ARE YOU COVERED?

5 WORK RELATED SKIN CANCERS DIAGNOSED EACH DAY

Image credit to Dreamstime photos

Many of us belive that it is great to have a tan. We feel that we look better and healthier. And it’s nice to have people say, ‘you look good, where have you been?’ So whenever the sun appears, people want to top up their tans so that they look good in their summer clothes or perhaps in their beach-wear. 

But if employers actually told their staff to work under the conditions of solar radiation, with a significant likelihood of developing skin cancer, I suspect that there might be something of an outcry. The statistics for work place fatal injuries was 133 people in the year 2013/14 (source, HSE) but EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR,  statistically 5 people will be diagnosed with a skin cancer contracted at work.  This is likely to be proportionately higher in countries with sunnier climates and larger populations, even allowing for skin types. 

The risks to holiday makers who take sun-soaked holidays are well known and often spoken of but they are not comparable with the risks faced by millions of people who work out-doors for significant periods, day-in, day-out. People who work at events sites, construction, agriculture, maritime, holiday industries and many more sectors are very easily identified as being at greater risk. People who do this type of work are likely to be exposed to U.V. radiation which can penetrate deep into the layers of the skill and damage skin cells, which can then mutate and result in the development of cancers. The Health and Safety Practitioner publication suggests that getting painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the chances of developing malignant melanoma. 

What can be done?

Here are some quite simple tips, though there are more.

  • Look at what work takes place, where it takes place and who does the work. This should give you and idea of the scale of the problem so you can work out how you can manage awareness and develop ways to keep people safe.
  • Check weather forecasts on a regular basis so that you can anticipate what the UV index is. By knowing this, you can tie it in with the above tip on a day-to-day basis.
  • Remember that drinking water is an important part of keeping skin safe. Provide breaks under cover as well as plenty of drinking water and opportunities for workers to drink the water.
  • Eye sight is also damaged by UV radiation. We are aware that glare is unpleasant but our eyes can also be physically damaged by UV. The wearing of sunglasses with 100% UV protection is critical to protect eyesight from UV radiation.
  • You will notice that we have not included commonly known methods such as wide brimmed hats, covering skin and so-on. We would hope that this is commonly known but if in any doubt, please seek suitable advice.

What are the legal issues for employers and for workers?

It is commonly known that employers have legal responsibilities and duties of care but it is a mis-conception that they do not have a responsibility to keep workers safe from radiation from the sun and that they can allow workers to subathe to ‘top-up their tans’ if workers take the choice to do so. Employers MUST ensure that their workforce are safe and healthy during working times - and this includes breaks.

The workforce has a legal duty to ensure their own health as well as safety during working time (including of course, breaks) and to follow the instructions of employers for both their safety and their health. 

It follows then that workers can expect that employers will provide for their protection from the effects of UV solar radiation and that employers will demand that employees follow instructions, use systems and materials provided for their protection from UV rays. 

With this advice, we hope that you will all have a happy, safe and healthy summer.

For support in how to undertake risk assessments and provide safe systems of work for UV solar radiation risks, please contact us at The Safety Organisation. We would be delighted to help.

Recent Activity, Stage Set H & S Advice & Documentation

Assistance with H & S Compliance - stage set build activities

Here is a recent example of the finished product by Perry Scenic Creative (perryscenic.com), who created a terrific stage set for Chessington World of Adventure's, Penguins Live feature.

Our contribution here was to assist with ensuring that systems and features were in place to help insure the health and safety of the construction team and those who would use and view the show. This involved quite a bit of information gathering, recording, devising safe systems of work and closely liaising with the client. This way we hope to have met everyone's needs, not least of which being the end users. 

 

 

 

OUTSOURCE OR IN-HOUSE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH REQUIREMENTS?

In-house or outsource occupational safety and health

OUTSOURCE OR IN-HOUSE?

Occupational Health and Safety

The dilemma for any organisation other than very large ones is whether to have their absolute legal obligations for Occupational Health and Safety undertaken by in-house people or outsourced. Without doubt, the best type is in-house but there is no legal obligation to follow this route. If you have to make a decision of IN-HOUSE v OUTSOURCED here are some thoughts about the advantages of each, which might help you to decide.

 

IN-HOUSE SERVICE

- Close relationship with work-force and management.

- Full understanding of work activities.

- Convenient and close to hand for when needed.

- Skills developed as best needed by the organisation.

- Their interests are with the organisation - first and foremost.

 

OUTSOURCED SERVICE

- No salaries, pensions, insurances or other employment related overheads to administrate.

- Available on ‘phone or internet for immediate advice.

- Payment for services only as may be required - no overheads.

- Extra services such as training available and flexible.

- Likely to have a wider range of knowledge and experiences.

- Can build relationship with client and provide impartial advice.

 For further advice on this subject, please contact The Safety Organisation via any of the routes shown on this page or from anywhere within our site. To have a look at our experiences and competences click the tabs above such as, about us, testimonials, case studes and information. 

Planning for Summer Events

Planning for summer; concerts, carnivals/processions, commercial events and charity events.

Slide1

This is the right time to consider what assistance you require with your licence, permissions or Safety Advisory Group compliances.

Here at the Safety Organisation we have a specialist team to help you with your plans, meetings, writing. As you will be aware you need to cover many areas and for events such as these, they cannot be left to chance. You might like to consider now whether you have the time and expertise (competence - a term in law meaning learning, skills and experience) or whether you are better in being helped by people with high level qualifications and masses of experience.

Whilst you are here, why not have a look around the rest of our site to see who we are (about us) and perhaps look at some case studies. You will have already noticed that we publish lots of news items to help keep people informed and aware. This is where you can find out a little more about legal issues or perhaps visit our information page, where you will see a list of recurring relevant laws and guidelines to be followed for many events. 

Please feel free to contact us for advice as to how we can help you. 

 

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY SUPPORT. - IS IT NECESSARY?

Slide1

Occupational H & S professionals strive to help businesses to be independent of the need for support and to be around when they are needed. The difficulties for businesses in this process is being able to recognise when they are fine to be independent of support and when they absolutely must have the right input. If they get it wrong on either side, it can cost dearly by way of un-necessary spending on skills and tasks they can deal with themselves or financial or reputitional damage due to harm, illnesses or being seen as less than perfect employers (or organisers).

Over the years, I have seen or read about the many reasons why people don’t think of health, safety, welfare and environmental matters as a priority. Here are some of the main ones:

Top of the list of reasons is, “it won’t make money for us, so I will only do what I have to do”. At first glance, this might seem quite harsh and stupid but it can also be quite understandable, especially where new or struggling businesses are concerned. Even with established organisations, significant overheads and time consuming activities such as this can be the difference between profit and loss. Then there is the matter of quoting or tendering for work. The bidder with the lowest overheads might be seen to be in the strongest position to get the contract. The solution to this is possibly to engage the services of an advisory or support organisation which will allow costs to be spread over an extended period.

The next reason is often, “So-and-so in X department did a course and they look after all our requirements”. This is often quoted to us when we are provided with documentation by contractors or sometimes by new/short term clients. The poor soul who is ‘shouldering’ this quote might have attended a course of 1 to 4 days but is then found not to have any time to practice their learning to make it a competence, or they might have insufficient learning for what might be required of them in reality. The tell-tale signs are out of date (and largely irrelevant plagiarised) policies, generic risk assessments and lack of suitable and sufficient safe systems of work. Having people within your workplace to help and assist with legal and moral requirements, with support from Management and the Workforce is really is one of the best ways to address them. Such staff should be valued as they are best placed to recognise issues, advise and assist with the creation of safe systems of work and know when to ask for help from time to time. Therefore ‘up-skilling’ and providing facilities for these appointed people is the way forward.

The third is sometimes paraphrased by ‘what are the chances of being caught’? This group will probably be relatively ‘low on the horizon’ of enforcement officers and in reality will probably ‘get away with it’ for the most part. Their difficulties arise when they are asked to produce paperwork or if there is an incident of harm. It is at this point that they do appear on the ‘horizon’ of enforcement officers. Sometimes they will lose contracts due to lack of workplace H S competence or perhaps they might frantically try to get the necessary paperwork together (often paying a premium for only part of their overall needs). If there has been an incident, they will probably also be looking for a good lawyer as well as trying to minimise the damage to their reputation. All of which are too little, too late. This last group are probably the most difficult to assist as there is also a need for full commitment from the top downwards, a major shift of work-place culture, as well as developing/implementing new systems into well established work practices. 

If there is a common ‘thread’ running through this blog it is probably, please don’t ignore occupational health, safety and welfare issues. They do require time, energy and finance, all of which need to be planned and provided for. However, with the right support, by competent people from within or outside any organisation this is entirely achievable. 

 

 

 

TODAY, IS WORLD CANCER DAY

No time to lose logo

Are you aware of common event-workplace causes of cancer? 

 

We help all businesses but the event industry is just as susceptible to this issue as any other. In the 'developed world' the incident rate of deaths due to work related cancer is a factor of (about) 100 x that of accidents and trauma. 

 

Here are some common causes you will encounter if you are working in typical event environments such as theatres, outdoors, exhibitions, multi-purpose venues, transportation, cities, .....  well, anywhere really:       -  asbestos (ceilings, roof spaces, cellars, tiles, wall-boards just to name a few), wood dust, shift work, diesel exhaust, painting, sun exposure are just a few origins or work related cancers. 

 

Here at The Safety Organisation, we are able to provide awareness training relating to this and other types of hazards. We can help you to ensure that you cover this in your obligatory safety management policies, risk assessments, duties of care, checks and safe systems of work.

 

We are sure that you are working to try to protect your workers but perhaps pressures of running the business get in the way. Why not make contact with us to discuss how we can help to keep you and your workforce safe.

EVENT COMPANIES, ARE YOU READY FOR CDM 2015

CDM Regulations

EVENT COMPANIES, ARE YOU READY FOR  C.D.M. 2015?

If you have any temporary structures at your event which are anything more complex than (for example) an exhibition shell scheme or a marquee, there is a good chance that The CDM Regulations will apply to you.

 

If you were  complying with CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS  2007  (EU Directive 92/57/EEC; the so-called Construction Sites Directive), then you won’t have much to do or learn when the revised Construction Design and management Regulations 2015 version of the Regulations is introduced on 6th April this year.

 

If you were not previously compliant, don’t worry but if you are either an event producer, a production company, a main contractor or a company which is involved in the design of a temporary structure, then  you really must know where you stand in law as a DUTY HOLDER and what you need to do to fulfill your obligations. The lists of duties are specified within the regulations. I have purposely avoided the official jargon/titles here to try to help to simplify things.

 

In case you think that the C.D.M. Regulations apply to the construction industry, yes you are quite right. The big mistake made by the events industry until recently was assuming that they do not apply ‘to us’. But they probably do -  depending upon your activities/event features.

If the regulations apply to your work, then at least part of your event site is effectively a construction during the build and breakdown phases. Your paperwork must also relate to additional requirements (for example, design), in addition to those which would normally accompany the safety management of H & S at Work. The enforcing authority during these phases or if there is an (relevant) incident, for instance structural failure, is the Health and Safety Executive.

To learn more, a great place to start is the Health and Safety Executive web site (www.hse.gov.uk), as they have some great advice and information. If you are starting from scratch or if you do not have a person within your organisation with learning, skills and experience of the application of this law, you will probably need some outside help. For professionals with the right skills, this is not an onerous task and they will be able to help you to remain both compliant as well as safe. By way of example, our company has undertaken two contracts in recent times for C.D.M. compliance studies and to produce relevant paperwork for two arena-use stages / stage features. One only took a day of work and the other, which was more complex, only two days. (It is for duty holders to comply with their safety management details and specifications as described within the paperwork).

 

Please contact The Safety Organisation on any of the contacts (above right) to learn how we can help you with your own events CDM Regulations compliance or for any other help with health, safety & welfare systems and training requirements

THINK AND QUESTION - A Different approach to safety and health management

SAFETY AND HEALTH MANAGEMENT

A SHORT LOOK AT THINKING ABOUT AND QUESTIONING THE MANAGEMENT OF SAFETY AND HEALTH IN ANY WORKPLACE

I often read lots of management tips. Tips about promoting the company, making and impression, how to network and lots more. But given the importance of the safety and health of people who are working or others who might be harmed in some way, I find it really strange that this subject is not regarded as being ‘sexy’ in management forums. I just don't see people telling everyone how to best keep their staff safe. How to stay legal. How to avoid compensation. How to have a great reputation for caring. The extent that a company will go to, to keep people safe and healthy. The reality is that you probably need to visit H & S specialist sites and discussions to find anything which is not berating of the subject in some way. Do you not think that this is very strange, given that since the introduction of H & S laws in most English speaking states about 40 years ago, the numbers of people who die or are injured at work has reduced by several factors? 

I recently read a series of 10 great management tips and one of them ‘struck a chord’ with me, so I decided to follow this through but concentrating on using only management type questions in relation to H & S considerations. The tip was, THINK AND QUESTION. This is exactly what I did in relation to the question itself but I applied my thoughts to the subject of H & S Management of any business ... how should we think and ask questions of it?

Rather than writing a narrative, I did what I most enjoy in these circumstances, which is to compose a ‘mind-map’. This is a list of just some of the items I thought of over about 15 minutes of jotting down thoughts. There are lots of others, equally important. You may come up with your own.  Why not have a look. You can work your own way out from the centre in whichever directions suit you best. I hope that you find it of use.

For professional support with your own MANAGEMENT OF SAFETY AND HEALTH, including systems, policies, compliances, please contact us via any of the links from this page or any others on our web site. 

WINTER DRIVING

winter tyres

WINTER TYRES - CAN BE A PART OF A DRIVER AND TRANSPORT SAFETY POLICY

Whilst winter tyres are not required by law, at temperatures of less than 7C, they can significantly reduce stopping distances and they can better deal with what nature can provide in terms of snow etc. 

It is worth bearing in mind then, that whether you are a small company or large, your safety arrangements for transport and driver safety policies must also take winter and driver skills into account. The laws which require this, other than obvious traffic related laws include the Health and Safety at Work Act and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. If your company is of 5 or more employees (including directors) in size, you must also keep records.

If you need any help with driver safety policy or transport safety policy compliance, please contact The Safety Organisation. Its easy. All our contact details are on this page and every page of our web site.  

 

MANUAL HANDLING TRAINING

Principles of Manual Handling

PRINCIPLES OF MANUAL HANDLING TRAINING

This course is all about the theory side of manual handling. That includes for example, where everyone stands legally, long term and sudden effects of bad practices, how best to use certain principles to stay safe and healthy, plus losts more. The PRINCIPLES OF MANUAL HANDLING course is a CIEH, OFQUAL accredited course of 3 hours duration, followed by a straight forward, multi-choice questions examination.

MANUAL HANDLING PRACTICE TRAINING

The above type of manual handling training provides essential learning but it is best accompanied by the MANUAL HANDLING -  'PRACTICE' course. Again, this is a CIEH, OFQUAL accredited course. However, this covers practical activities and students are assessed on their abilities to carry out their learning by 'handling' objects in a number of different situations. 

The beauty of these courses is that with prior consultation, they can be adapted to suit the requirements of different clients workplace requirements. 

The photograph above is one group of events students undertaking the examination for the PRINCIPLES of MANUAL HANDLING COURSE. Later they went on to put their learning into practice with 'hands-on' training in a typical working environement. 

Both courses can be delivered on the same day. They are both Level 2, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health manual handling accredited courses.

To find out how The Safety Organisation can deliver manual handling training to meet your needs, where you need it, please follow any of the links at this page. 

If you prefer, we can also discuss non-accredited, tailored manual handling training to suit the needs of your organisation. 

Day 10 / 10 STANDS - PLANS, CHECKS & CONSTRUCTION

 complex exhibition stand

 

LAST OF OUR SERIES OF ADVICE BLOGS - FOCUSSING ON EXHIBITIONS AND CONFERENCES

This last item is often one which isoften not sufficiently considered. That is the bespoke stand.

Other than shell schemes and other very basic structures, it is quite likely that the 'mystery' space only, yet to be declared design is likely to fall under the remit of CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS (often referred to as CDM). It is incrediblly important that all exhibitors commit to  site safety systems before it is too late. That means that all intentions and plans are declared and agreed at an early stage. The last thing that anyone wants is a dispute about even simple things such as an overloaded table, naked flames, exhibit creep outside of the footprint of the stand or other areas which could have been discussed and ironed out earlier. It is paramount then that all stand plans must be submitted to the organiser well in advance.

For space only stands; not complex structures, organisers will need:

  • detailed drawings
  • details of materials to be used
  • risk assessments and method statements for all work and fire safety management issues

 Complex structures. Will include features which require structural calculations (load bearing details) multi-story stands, exhibits over 4m high, suspended items, lighting/sound towers and tiered seating.

Organisers will require many details of complex structures. There are some of them;

  • detailed plans
  • loading details
  • specifications of materials
  • fire safety and emergency facilities including gangways
  • confirmations from structural engineers 

The g-Guide contains lots more information, detailed in section 7. 

 

in closing this news / blog item. We at The Safety Organisation hope that this series of 10 blogs on the subject of safety and health for exhibitions and conferences has been of some interest to you. It is only intended as an introduction to the subject and to learn more, please go the G-Guide itself to read it in full context. It must be stressed also that this guidance document itself is only an overview of the knowledge and skills needed to cover a complex field around organising these types of events. The full spectrum of knowledge is probably outside that held in the brain of any one individual, so please don't be hard on yourself or aloof from seeking suport from the right 'people'. In our ordinary life we accept that we need to use solicitors, motor mechanics, plumbers, doctors and so-on. So please, do make sure that you have the right skills-set to help you with the technicalities and legalities for your exhibition or conference. 

Remember, start to plan early so that you can anticipate the full extent of the work and so that you can set the right budget. The rest won't be easy but it should not involve harm to anyone.

 

Good luck and please make contact with us so that we can offer our knowledge and experience to add to the quality of your work.