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INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ADVICE - Exhibitions, shows, conferences and corporate events

 Example of activities associated with trade expo

 

Dedicated Safety Advisor

If you are an event organiser and your work includes exhibitions, shows, conferences or other commercial public activities, you will probably have been advised at some point that you need to have a dedicated safety person present at key times and/or alongside you to provide skills you may not have within your team. These are normally build and breakdown periods but they can also extend to the full tennancy period (or even 'the full package'). Our advice is that, professional advice should be available from event concept time, especially with larger / complex events, non-standard events and events where the public are around or might be affected. For these more complex activities, there is a very real need to work closely with an experienced Advisor, who will help you with decision making, paperwork and overseeing activities, all the way from planning phase through to post event review.

Why use an 'outsider'?

Why is there a need for outside help, especially when things have always gone well before, and without help? After all, you and your team have masses of experience and you probably have people with degrees in event management. The requirement for independant support may be for a number of reasons, all intended to keep  large groups of people, whether workers or the public safe. This is so that plans for health, safety and welfare are ensured and so that on-the-spot professional advice is available when it is needed. Also, it is often the case that your activities are associated with construction work. Although, digging, cement and sand are not features which go with these events (well, not normally), the combination of the movement of vehicles, use of plant, erection of temporary structures (etc) certainly do. And so, legal requirements for suitable supervision and checks and advice do need to be put into place.

Don't leave it too late

Some of the enquiries for services we receive are quite late in the day. We cannot comment on the reasons why but suffice to say that budgets have not allowed for this, so we would advise that this is an important item to factor in at the time you are quoting the client for the contract. What we can say is that once arrangements have been made, they are very difficult to undo and they can be embarrassing, illegal or dangerous.

Perhaps you have been told that you must use an Advisor

Often venues or safety advisory groups may tell you that you need to have a "competent safety representative". Competence in this sense means suitably qualified, with relevant and sufficient experience.  A National General Certificate in health and safety is the lowest qualification we would suggest is suitable. In terms of experience you should look for people with a wide 'portfolio' of events experienes and practically acquired learning. This might include for example, exhibitions, product launches, concerts, processions, presence of special effects and significant audiences or public attendance. That way, you should be comfortable that the advice you receive is not just theory, it is also learned at the 'work-face'.

What to look for in an Advisor

Here at T.S.O. all of our Advisors hold higher qualifications than general certificate level, as well as other qualifications, accreditations, memberships of professional bodies and years of dedicated and wide ranging events and work place experience. We also carry insurances, including the absolutely essential Professional Indemnity insurance.To add to that, we are an accredited training company and can relate to the latest updates in laws, codes of practice and awareness of recent incidents.

 Discounted costs

Many of our clients come back to us year after year and we offer generous discounts where we are retained service providers or where we provide services for multiple events.

How to contact us or learn more about us

Please contact us if you would like to know more. Our contact details and direct email details are on each page of our web site.

If you have arrived directly to this item, why not click on news/blog above for other advice and interesting items, visit our 'show reel' to see some of the events we have worked on or click the following if you would like to know more about our team.

CLIENT SAFETY

Before and after implementation of visitor safety systems.

Here is an fantastic example of a company with a true desire to achieve high standards of health and safety for visors and workers alike.

As part of developing their recently aquired site, Mintech (Spares) Limited, a rapidly expanding organisation, approinted us to work with them to develop their health and safety at work provisions. Their work is mainly to 'surgically' dismantle written off BMW Minis and to sell-on just about all of the components. Their environmental credentials are already examplary, both in respect of reclaiming all materials and preventing adverse impacts. 

One of the first priorities we tackled together was that of people coming onto the site, where there are many kinds of hazards, in a positive and friendly way. Now they have a sliding gate and rising barrier system, with dual safety measures to prevent people from being struck or trapped by the devices. Visitors are then channelled via a footpath with signage and guard rails to reception, well clear of hazards.

Well done Mintech

GYMKHANA GRID 2014 - MADRID

 

 

 

TSO Director Jim Campbell is currently experiencing a very hot Madrid. He is there as Safety Advisor to Monster Energy event, Gymkhana Grid European Final 2014. 

 

Tomorrow and Saturday should see a packed venue as competitors show off their skills to find out who can consistently complete the heats in the fastest times and be declared the outright winner. Winners traditionally go head-to-head with the champs who are over from the US; Kein Block and Vaughan Gittins.

CLICK TO VIEW THE STREAMED EVENT.         Saturday, 1st November 2014 at http://www.monsterenergy.com/gymkhanaGRIDLive/

Visit us at our Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages. The short video from which this still image taken is at our facebook page; The Safety Organisation. 

For expert help with any work, documents or training just give us a ring, send an email or just follow the link at this web site.

'BUTTON BATTERY' - CHILD DEATHS.

lithium battery danger if swallowed

 

 

It is very easy to create a wave of panic sometimes. But sometimes good information does need to be spread and awareness levels raised quickly. This is one of those fitting into the second category. Learn and pass-on.

The simple message is that small disc shaped (lithium) batteries when swallowed set up electrical currents which produce sodium hydroxide - CAUSTIC SODA. Caustic soda in its commercial form is a powerful agent which can be used for a number of purposes, including clearing drains.

There have apparantly been two instances of infant deaths in recent times caused by catastrophic bleeding due to this cause. Children who have survived have sustained life changing injuries.

So please, these small batteries are not just a choking hazard, even after a short time inside the body they can cause very serious injuries. Please also treat them in the same way you would treat any other dangerous chemicals. If you must have them, then keep them in a secure place where infants and children cannot get to them and suitably and safely dispose of them as soon as they are not needed.

See the article on the BBC News web site  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-29610570

Health and Safety in Schools - Avoiding Myths

Well folks, summer is coming to a close (shame) but we enter that phase again - myth busting season! And a sector which has can generate lots of its own myths and rumours is a sector we particularly feel close to, education. Perhaps because we care for our kids so much or, perhaps because we try too hard to protect them, we try to anticipate just about every risk and as a consequence, sometimes people can get over-zealous, make mistakes or misunderstanding can creeep in.....  And so, THE MYTH IS BORN. The scary thing is that people can find MYTHS in the world of health and safety, intimidating and difficult to challenge. But we here at T.S.O. encourage just that; challenge the myth.

 

Sometimes 'myths' can be avoided by having health and safety policies, risk assessments and other safe systems of work reviewed by specialists. As an example, we recently discovered a dress policy within a health and safety policy. We understand why - it was to help to protect people from harm. However, the way it was written, it also included people who were at no risk at all. In other words, the dress code intended to protect people, read as relating to everyone.  If it is the case that a dress code for the workplace covers everyone, then it should not be under the heading of health and safety.

The HSE has recently published a guidance article, with links to other important helpful information in relation to schools. This is what it says:-

 

HSE urges school leaders not to wrap kids in cotton wool

Date:
3 September 2014

As the new school year begins, HSE is reminding school leaders to strike the right balance in their approach to health and safety risks.

Bans on children wearing frilly sockshot drinks on school trips and supposed“dangerous footballs” from the playground, are just some of the cases HSE’s Mythbusters Challenge panel has ruled on, where schools have made over zealous and disproportionate decisions in the name of ‘health and safety’ when it comes to dealing with risks to children.

HSE has published new web-based guidance designed to support school leaders to strike the right balance and encourage them to avoid being risk averse. Whilst children need to be kept safe, they also should be able to learn through experience and play conkers without wearing goggles!

Geoff Cox, Head of HSE’s Public Services Sector said:

“Our myth busting shows that schools sometimes go over the top in their efforts to get health and safety right – but in some cases they don’t go far enough.

“We want to encourage school managers to use this guidance to find their own Goldilocks approach – not too much, not too little, but just the right balance. Real risks need to be managed, but that doesn’t mean wrapping children in cotton wool.”

HSE’s Public Services Sector consulted with local government and education stakeholders, the teaching unions and schools health and safety managers to develop the guidance.

For more on common health and safety myths in schools and striking the right balance see:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/sensible-leadership/common.htm

if you need professional advice, support or training on this or on any other topic, please contact us via our freephone number or leave a messave via our online contact. 

Seasonal Advice and a Timely Warning

Flip-flop sandals or safety footwear. An easy decision when it is too late to turn the clock back.

 

A potential client asked us for advice about how can they enforce the wearing of personal protective equipment when temperatures are at or close to 30C. After all, don't they need to consider heat exhaustion, comfort and so-on?

Accompanying the contact was a photograph, which I have permission to use, of what had happened earlier in the day when one of the workers dropped a tool onto his big toe. Fortunately nothing was broken but this served as a timely warning to the worker and a call to duty to the employer.

In short, the employer has to a legal duty to protect the workforce and to supply the right equipment, protective clothing and protective measures to keep them safe. Employees have a legal duty to keep themselves safe and to follow instructions given to them by their employers for this purpose. Easy so far.

But what about the hot weather? Hot weather has little bearing upon the wearing of suitable safety footwear or on the need to keep skin protected or on many other safety factors as well. Other arrangements to keep people hydrated, prevention of heat-stroke and sunburn can be  devised and applied with a little thought and good communications with the workforce.

We will come back to the subject of personal protective equipment (PPE) on another blog soon.

 

Whilst the Safety Organistation Limited is a business and therefore a commercially focussed organisation, we are nevertheless committed to the promotion of a sensible approach to improving health, safety and welfare in the workplace for the good of all. We do this by publishing advice and guidance as you can see here for instance, as well as helping our clients to be safe, healthy and complient. Please contact us if we can help your business in any way.

 

 

Afraid of Being Sued for Performing a Good Deed? - Fear Not; Sarah is on the way!

It is a sad fact that many people are afraid to help people in difficulty because of a fear of being sued, should things 'go wrong'. I know people who are afraid to offer first aid in their workplace and will not put themselves forward for this role for this reason. Especially those of the workforce who have contact with the public.

To help allay concerns, a Bill is to be put before Parliament which has become known as SARaH. The Social Action Responsibility and Heroism Bill.

The intent is to stop people facing a lawsuit for negligence if something goes wrong. 

If successful, the Bill should become law in 2015.

What do we think? We think that this is terrific move towards enabling common sense to prevail and enable people to do what comes natural to members of any community - help others. What a shame though that we need a law to do this. 

 

 

Whilst the Safety Organistation Limited is a buisiness and therefore a commercially focussed organisation, we are nevertheless committed to the promotion of a sensible approach to improving health, safety and welfare in the workplace for the good of all. We do this by publishing advice and guidance as you can see here for instance, as well as helping our clients to be safe, healthy and complient. Please contact us if we can help your business in any way.

 

HSE publishes revised ACoP for Workplace Regulations

The HSE has issued a revamped Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) to help employers comply with the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

The ACoP (L24), which was originally published in 1992 alongside the set of regulations it supports, was identified for review and revision in Professor Ragnar Lofstedt's 2011 report Reclaiming Health and Safety for all.

While dutyholders' legal responsibilities are not altered, the HSE claims the code's changes will make it easier for them to understand their obligations. The Workplace Regs apply to most workplaces except those on construction sites, ships and underground in a mine.

HSE spokesperson Chris Rowe said the code would help employers with issues such as temperature, seating and workstations, and washing facilities.

Additional Information

For more information and informal advice give us a call on 0800 111 4207 or contact us here.

Roofing Company Fined

A roofing company and its' Director has been fined after workers were photographed on a house roof without any fall prevention or arrest measures.

The offences came to light when a HSE Inspector witnessed the dangerous working practices after a complaint was received.

The HSE Inspector saw three workers on the roof of the property without adequate measures such as, scaffolding or harnesses.  There was also nothing to prevent other building materials or objects from falling, also exposing any workers on the ground to a serious risk of injury.

The firm was served with an immediate Prohibition Notice preventing any further work at height until the workers were protected. The company was fined £5000.00 with £4137.00 in costs after it admitted breaching regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations. The director of the company was also given a 2 year conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £1957.00 for breaching section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act in his capacity as a Director.

The fact that there was no incident in this case is immaterial - the danger was there and obvious and someone could have been seriously injured or killed at any time.

If you are unsure of what your duties are in the management of work at height activities, then give us a call on 0800 111 4207 or contact us here and we can help you become legally compliant in all aspects of your management of working at height.   

A small fall but a big tumble from grace.

Firstly, just a little reminder (or advice if your were not already aware), if you can fall when you are working, it is regarded as working at height. It does not matter if it is 6 inches, 6 feet or 600 feet. You must take suitable action to mitigate the risk.

In the UK a company was recently prosecuted for not taking sufficient action to safeguard a worker from harm. The worker was working on a staircase and the safety rails had been taken out to facilitate the work. The company undertaking the work failed to put any temporary measures into place to prevent falls. 

The incident occurred when one of the workers fell over the side of the staircase from a height of only 1 metre. His injuries though were quite serious and kept him from working for a period of three months.

The company was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in court costs. Personal legal costs to defend the case are not mentioned.

This injury and associated trauma was wholly preventable.  Damage to the reputation of the company will no doubt be substantial - who wants to engage a company with a criminal conviction for failing to ensure the safety of their workers? And it is reasonable to presume that insurance costs to the company will now be increased.

Was it worth taking a shortcut in systems and financial outlay to prevent it happening? Might a working at height risk assessment for the job have prevented this? I think that the answers to both questions are very obvious.

The Working at Height Regulations apply to any place of work, whether it is a basement office or cleaning the windows of a tower block. 

Additional Information

Learn more information about our 'working at height training' course here, or alternatively click here for our full range of health and safety training courses

Get in touch

For help with managing any work hazard, training or safety advice please call us on 0800 111 4207, request a free consultation using the form displayed on the right, or contact us here

Health and Safety Week 2014

The UK has reduced the number of fatal accidents in the workplace by 85% since the introduction of laws in 1974. Quite a success but we should not be complacent. Deaths, injuries and work related illnesses still happen.

This week is Health and Safety Week 2014. This is a terrific idea which The Safety Organisation supports enthusiastically. 

That is okay you might say but it does not really affect us. Our answer is, make it affect you. You don't have to do much.

As an example, why not just simply have a suggestion scheme? Ask employees for their input into, what can be done to improve the health, safety or welfare of your organisation? Let us know if you get any interesting feedback and we will aim to publish a newsletter with some of the results. We won't mention your company name if you prefer us not to.

Good luck and stay safe and well.

Get in touch

If you would like to talk to us about any aspect of health and safety consultancy, or training please call us on 0800 111 4207, complete our 'Request a consultation' form displayed on the right hand side of this page, or contact us here.