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Arinite Health and Safety Consultants 2015 Review

Category: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards Twitter | Published on: Jan 19, 2016 | Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Read more: Health & Safety

Bowie Untitled22015 has been another year of breaking news and 2016 started with the double-shocking news of the recent deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman. The nature of the entertainment industry is such that we are touched by the deaths of its personalities. We naturally have nostalgic feelings and recognise our own mortality.

Health and safety news is at the other end of the spectrum. Most of us are unaware of rules, regulations and developments, despite the fact that occupational health and safety has a big impact on our working lives.

Here is Arinite’s selection of the health and safety news from 2015.

January

1.1      Five Common Risk Assessment MistakesAn article in the Safety and Health Practitioner highlighted five common risk assessment mistakes:

  • They are completed only for legal compliance.
  • They are completed from the desktop without actually seeing the task.
  • Only the control measures that are in place are covered. Additional control measures are not considered.
  • There is no management plan to implement risk control measures.
  • There is no ranking of assessments so that risks are not prioritised.

February

2.1      Machinery Guarding. An article in the SHP highlighted the importance of understanding the importance of machinery guarding. The key legal requirements for employers are:

  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998.
  • The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
  • The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 which apply to suppliers (not users).

Risk control strategies should follow the Hierarchy of Machinery Guarding as follows:

  • Fixed enclosed guards.
  • Other guards or protection devices such as interlocked guards and pressure-sensitive mats.
  • Protection appliances such as jigs, holders and push-sticks.
  • The provision of information, instruction, training and supervision.

March

3.1     Are British Businesses Supporting Older Workers? This survey found that there were 1.2 million 65+ employees compared to 874,000 in 2011 when the rules changed. 60% of businesses did not know the percentage of workers above state pension age. This raised concerns that employers do not have health and well being systems in place for older workers. This could include: risk management of older workers who have more accidents, health care services, attitude to older workers, management training and flexible working practices.

3.2      School governors were fined after a pupil was severely injured by a shot put in 2014. The Governors were fined £10,000 plus costs under Section 3(1) of HSWA. The Health and Safety Executive said that the school did not adopt the measures identified in their own risk assessment for this activity. The 6-sport multi-session should only have been a 4-sport session and the triple jump was too close to the shot put.

April

4.1      Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) 2015 – The new CDM regulations came into force on 6th April 2015. The main changes included:

  • Principal Designer – replaced CDM Co-ordinator.
  • Client – was recognised as the head of the supply chain.
  • Competence – split into skills, knowledge, training and experience.

Transitional arrangements to be in place to 6 Oct 2015.

4.2        Health Care Providers face new `safety’ obligations from April. The new Care Act 2014 placed new obligations on care providers to disclose information where poor care has led to harm to the patient.

4.3      There was a £600,000 fine for animal feed company for lorry drivers death. 64 year old Malcolm Harrison was buried by grain in Sept 2012. The HSE said this tragic accident could have been avoided.

4.4      L153 – Managing H&S in Construction a new guide was issued by the HSE to go with the CDM Regulations, together with INDG 114, a new Short Guide for Clients on CDM.

May

5.1        Mental Health – This infographic model outlined nine reasons why businesses should care about mental health at work.

June

6.1      Five steps towards a less toxic health and safety culture This article asked whether the phrase H&S become dangerous for the profession? `Health’ is not given the importance as `safety’. In response there should be a refocus on how to prevent ill health. This should include assessment, control, KPIs to monitor reductions in exposure and review.

6.2        HSE Launched an Expert Health Committee. The workplace expert health committee (WEHC) met for the first time on 24th June with a view to a greater focus on health issues in the workplace.

6.3      L64 – Safety Signs and Signals – New guide from the HSE on the Regulations (3rd Edition).

6.4      L111 – Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) 2015 – New guide from the HSE on the revised regulations.

July

7.1 Sentencing GuidelinesThe new guidelines could result in fines in excess of £100 Million. The Court of Appeal guidelines are to apply to all sentences (including corporate manslaughter) from January 2016. The guide is based on the size of the organisation e.g. large (£50M turnover) to very large (well in excess of £50M turnover) – the fines for the latter could in theory be £100 Million.

7.2 Apple Farm Boss Jailed for Manslaughter. Andrew Stocker, the boss of fruit firm, was jailed for 2.5 years for the manslaughter of two workers who were told to `dive’ for apples in a vat and to hold their breaths.

August

8.1      Hugo Boss were fined £1.2 million for Health and Safety Breaches after 4-year old boy died when a changing room mirror fell on him.

8.2   In this article the effectiveness of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was reviewed. It found that the act has worked. Between 1974 and 2014, fatal injuries to employees fell by 87%. Furthermore, as an example, the USA has 5 x the population of the UK but 30 x the number of fatalities.

8.3      The new international environmental management standard ISO 14001:2015 was launched.

The new requirements can be grouped into five core areas:

  • Strategic Leadership. Cross functional top management will need to promote and be accountable for the Environmental Management System (EMS). It should be integrated with business processes and compatible with business strategy.
  • Context. The EMS will need to be built upon an understanding of what internal and external issues will assist or stop businesses from achieving their intended EMS goals.
  • Interested Parties. Businesses will be required to identify interested parties (customers, shareholders, regulators, local residents, etc), their needs and expectations and develop a communication plan to demonstrate that they will meet both legal and voluntary compliance obligations.
  • Risks and opportunities. Businesses will need to consider the impact of a changing environment on their organisation and manage risk and opportunities to build resilience into their EMS and their organisation.
  • Lifecycle.  The EMS will need to consider and manage impacts relating to suppliers, customers and at end of life in addition to those on their site.

October

9.1      Two global companies were fined £1 million over a worker’s death. Siemens Windpower and Flour Ltd were fined following the death of a worker who was crushed to death when a 2.11 tonne load fell on him when loading blades off the Suffolk coast.

November

10.1    What can companies learn from the Thomas Cook report? Thomas Cook was under fire after a report concluded that it failed to meet expected standards of customer care. Particular criticism was levelled at radical cost-cutting at the expense of customer safety. While Thomas Cook was the focus of the report, following the tragic death of two children aged 6 and 7 at a resort the company managed in Corfu in 2006, the inquiry also gave recommendations for the entire British travel industry. Justin King, Sainsbury’s former chief executive who led the report, gave 50 recommendations for the firm and the industry to improve the service they offer to customers.

10.2    Worker Fatally crushed by machine on Pallet Truck. A Wrexham firm was ordered to pay over £200,000 following the death of a worker in December 2012, who was crushed by a machine weighing an estimated half a tonne. He was moving the press on a pallet truck when it toppled over, striking the 51-year-old, causing fatal injuries to his chest. Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Katherine Walker said: “Thirty per cent of fatal accidents in manufacturing in Great Britain involve the fall of a heavy item. It is important that everyone involved in maintenance understands the risks and lifts are properly planned by a competent person.”

10.3     High Visibility Blindness This article asked whether it was time to rethink our approach to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? A major waste company placed 12 street cleaners, wearing yellow high visibility coats in a busy out of town shopping complex and asked shoppers coming out how many they remembered seeing. The average the shoppers reported seeing was four. A month later they repeated the test with 12 workers in shocking pink high visibility coats. The average the shoppers reported seeing was nine. Over time we seem to have become ‘blind’ to both yellow and orange high visibility work ware. Effectively, it no longer actually works to draw our attention to the presence of an ‘at risk’ person. Hence the argument to ensure that there is appropriate and proportionate use of PPE.

December

11.1 Embracing Safety Shortcuts. People are hard-wired to take shortcuts due to the balance between energy intake (i.e. food) and energy output (i.e. effort spent on an activity) which means we automatically take the “path of least resistance”. In other words, we are hard-wired to do things the easy way. This article explained that we should embrace the inevitability of people taking safety shortcuts in developing safety procedures.

11.2    Construction is not my Business! This article considered and explains where construction is part of your business. Construction work is regulated by the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM). Section 2(1) defines construction and it is lengthy. Most businesses will carry out building maintenance, re-modelling, refits and refurbishments from time to time. By definition, this is construction, and no matter how big or small the job, businesses must comply with CDM 2015.

11.3    Five Common workplace injuries. The most common causes of injury, based on the latest HSE figures for 2015 were: slips, trips and falls, burns, musculoskeltal injury, cuts, and falling objects.

Well that’s it for 2015. I hope you have enjoyed my blogs and I look forward to writing more in 2016.

The Arinite Team would like to wish you all a prosperous New Year. It has been a busy and exciting year for Arinite and we look forward to more partnerships with some of you in 2016.

Contact us

Arinite clients appreciate we provide practical, no-nonsense advice about what you need to do to establish and maintain a safe and healthy working environment. My team of health and safety consultants take pride in keeping health and safety simple.

If you need to call upon our expert assistance, or just for an informal chat, please call me on: mobile 0780 361 2948, office 0207 947 9581, or drop me a line at b.richards@arinite.com.

Bryan Richards 15th January 2016

Arinite Ltd, Warnford Court, 29 Throgmorton Street, London EC2N 2AT

 
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