Sunday, 17 April 2011

Fire Regulations and Risk Assessment

There was a significant change to how fire safety in business, industrial, and commercial property was legislated in 2006. The Regulatory Reform Order replaced over 70 separate components of fire safety legislation and gave responsibility to those who are best placed to address the issues of fire safety (to be known as the responsible person). The responsible person (usually the owner, an employer or occupier of the premises) was given a duty to carry out a fire risk assessment and then instigate appropriate safety measures to ensure that the risk to life by fire is minimised. They were also given responsibility to ensure that the assessment once carried out was regularly reviewed and kept current.

The five main tasks for completing a fire risk assessment are as follows:

1.Identify the fire hazards - Where could a fire start, how could it start and what could burn.

2.Who might be at risk? - Employees, visitors to the building as well as anyone who maybe particularly vulnerable, e.g. Disabled staff, young persons etc.

3.Evaluate and implement - Think about the things you have found regarding the potential hazards and who may be at risk and go about removing or reducing those risks to protect the premises and the people who use them.

4.Record, plan and train – Write down the findings and what actions you have taken to prevent or reduce the risks. Make a plan on how to prevent fires and if in the event a fire does start, how you intend to keep people safe. Train any staff for specific roles that may be needed and make sure that ALL staff are clear on the actions they must take if there is a fire.

5.Review your plan – Regularly review your risk assessment and plan, making any changes that are needed due to staffing changes, new legislation or new equipment or activities. Ensuring that a full record is kept.

The ‘responsible’ person can carry out the fire risk assessment themselves or with the help of ‘competent’ person(s). The term ‘competent’ person appears in three articles of the regulations and refers to anyone who ‘…has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities…’ to implement the requirements in view to fire fighting and detection, procedures for serious and imminent danger and danger areas, as well as safety assistance.

There are circumstances where you may feel you would benefit from expert advice and there are many places that you can turn too. As well as having companies listed in local directories, you can find health and safety companies online, who can assist you on your assessment or train you how to complete the assessment yourself. If you are unable to locate a company yourself you may be able to contact your insurer for their recommendations.

There is a wide range of safety equipment available for commercial use, from emergency exit signs, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire blankets and sprinkler systems to fire doors, fire ladders and escapes. How many of these are needed in your place of work is up to the ‘responsible’ person to decide. Any equipment that is used must be properly maintained and kept in good working order. A failure of equipment could be deemed the responsibility of the ‘responsible’ person unless there is a recorded maintenance contract – in which case the authorities may take action against the contractor.

The regulations also require the Fire and Rescue Authorities to audit business premises in their local area to make sure that there are adequate safety measures in place and that minimum requirements are being met. They also have a duty to provide fire safety advice when requested and act openly to identify risk and where possible allow the responsible person a reasonable timescale to implement any improvements that are suggested.

For more information on the things covered by this article, we recommend contacting your local Fire Authority, your insurance provider or a qualified Health and Safety adviser.

SEE Improvements are fully qualified and insured Health & Safety Advisors who can help with all your questions on Fire Risk Assessments. With offices in Kent and Central London Health & Safety Consultants SEE Improvement Solutions Ltd will provide a free consultation to discuss your Fire Safety requirements. For practical and cost effective Health and Safety in Maidstone contact SEE Improvement Solutions Ltd.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Make Health And Safety A Top Priority For Your Business

Statistics show that health & safety is becoming more of a top priority for companies and that injury and deaths are falling. However the one thing that statistics do not show is the unreported incidents and accidents that occur throughout the UK every day. The reasons behind not reporting these vary but one common reason is that companies dont want to damage their reputation, suffer regulatory action or increase their insurance premiums.

If you work for a company and injure yourself then you have the right to make a claim against the negligent party. When you start work with any new company check that they have an up to date certificate of employers liability insurance displayed, as this is a legal requirement. Also ensure that you understand what is expected from you as an employee in order to safely carry out your role, ask if there are any inherent risks and what the control measures are.

If you are an employer you must follow the RIDDOR guide lines for reporting any injuries, disease or dangerous occurrences. Having appropriate insurance for you and your employees will allow you to be able to focus on your business, safe in the knowledge that you are legally protected in the event of a claim against you or the company. You must ensure that your employees understand the companies policies and procedures and what they need to do to comply with them. You must also ensure that they are adequately and regularly trained to maintain their competence.

Employees: by following safety protocols and procedures and using all available control measures you will lower your chances of becoming a statistic. You should always check with your employer if you have questions about what is expected of you or if you have concerns about how to carry out your job safely and compliantly. You should report any unsafe conditions or acts immediately, never rely on someone else! If you do get hurt or have a near miss report it immediatley.

Employers: make safety a key business driver and never underestimate the importance of safety meetings and how often you should hold them. Most companies do a safety meeting weekly or monthly but you can do these daily or at the end of each shift if required. It depends completely on your line of work and the risks involved!

For value adding common sense Health and Safety in Thurrock and Basildon contact SEE Improvement Solutions Ltd for a free Health & Safety consultation.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Health And Safety Qualifications

Anyone looking for a health and safety job without suitable qualifications 'need not apply' according to new research.
The 2011 National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) Jobs Barometer found only three of 100 nationally advertised health and safety vacancies failed to specify an appropriate level qualification or professional status.

Between 23rd March and 6 April 2011, NEBOSH examined one hundred job adverts for health and safety managers or advisors. In 93 cases, a NEBOSH qualification and/or Technician Membership of IOSH or higher was specified.

Overall, 66 of the 100 positions mentioned at least one NEBOSH qualification.

Membership of IOSH (The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) at Technician level or higher was mentioned in 48 job adverts. Five mentioned 'Tech IOSH', 'Grad IOSH' was specified 17 times and 26 positions called for Chartered Membership (CMIOSH). Membership at all three levels requires accredited qualifications.

The average top-end salary advertised was £45,000 per annum. The majority of vacancies (29%) were located in London, with a further 28% in the Home Counties and South East. Around one in six (18%) were based in the Midlands or East Anglia, 7% in the North West, 7% in Wales and the South West, 5% in Scotland and 2% in Yorkshire and the North East. Slightly less than one in 20 (4%) vacancies were "flexible" on location. Many of the roles required travel throughout the UK and some overseas.

NEBOSH Chief Executive, Teresa Budworth, said: "It's clear that anyone seeking a job as a health and safety manager or advisor in the UK will struggle to find a position without appropriate level qualifications."

The 2011 NEBOSH Jobs Barometer also revealed that as many as 62% of advertised health and safety positions included responsibility for environmental management, up from 55% in April 2010. Over half (53%) of job titles refer to "environment", up from 42% last year. Job titles and responsibilities also included "quality", "facilities", "risk management","assurance" and "well-being".

Health And Safety Consultants in Grays SEE Improvements are fully qualified members of IOSH and The Institute of Environmental Management And Assessment.Contact them for a free consultation.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Company ignored safety consultant's advice

Coventry Construction Ltd has been prosecuted for failing to respond to the advice given by visiting HSE officials and its own health and safety consultants. It admitted breaching S.2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £6,000 plus £8,000 costs.
During November 2009, HSE inspectors took issue with the condition of the company's workplace at Torrington Avenue in respect of inadequate guarding of drills and guillotines, poor control measures when spraying and storing flammable paint causing potential fire and explosion risks, and inadequate storage of oxygen and acetylene cylinders.
One of the inspectors commented: "This company repeatedly ignored advice and information we issued to them which demonstrated a blatant disregard for the welfare of its workforce. The company had hired consultants to advise them on health and safety matters but failed to heed the advice given them in relation to machinery guarding."
Health and Safety Consultants in Bromley and Bexley SEE Improvements provide expert Health and Safety advice and training. Contact us now for your free Health and Safety check.

Head injury resulted in blindness

A self-employed builder and fitter using a tower scaffold erected on top of a freight container fell to the ground while ascending from it. Employed on the project to refurbish an agricultural building in Newgate Street, Hertfordshire, he suffered a head injury which has blinded him in one eye.
Contractors Balsham (Buildings) Ltd of High Street, Balsham, Cambridge admitted breaching S.3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and r.4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for which it was fined £7,000 plus £8832 costs at Watford Magistrates’ Court.
SEE Improvements are based in the South East of England and cover the Essex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex areas. For commonsense and cost effective health and safety consultants in Bexley contact SEE Improvements.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Containment solutions

If your company works with potentially hazardous or toxic materials, then this will put you at risk. Perhaps you deal with radioactive substances, maybe flammable substances, or maybe just things that can damage the ecosystem such as oil. In any of these situations you have more responsibility than other companies to make sure that you work carefully with your materials and substances and avoid damaging the environment. This will mean taking precautions now and spending a significant amount of money as an investment.

To fully contain these materials you will need to have containment tanks that can store them e.g. oil containment tanks, fuel tank containment solutions, polyethylene tanks and fluid containment tanks. Any of these can help to store your materials and fluids and prevent them from leaking.

Your first duty is to make sure that you choose the very best fluid tanks and container tanks. You need to spend time and effort in selecting tanks that will be able to store your fluids without leaking or rupturing and this will prevent the materials from contaminating local surroundings or finding their way into the local wildlife.

Another important consideration is maintenance. While you might have chosen the best fuel tank or the best fluid containment tanks, this does not necessarily mean that the tank will be impervious to decay forever. Things as simple as condensation in a water bag can over time cause damage as condensate is acidic, while if you are using chemical storage tanks then of course there are many ways that the tanks might degrade over time depending on the chemicals you are using.

You need to make sure to regularly check your containment tanks for damage and make regular inspections. From time to time you need to empty them out of all that they contain, and then you need to clean out the insides to keep them as clean as possible and to give them a new lease of life. During this process if you do notice any damage to the tanks then you should act pro-actively to get it fixed or to replace the containment tank altogether - it is crucial that you do so before the tank becomes a problem rather than waiting until it is too late. You might be able to get repair kits for containment tanks in some cases, and if you want to be extra secure and safe then you can use professional services to handle your containment tank inspections.

However from time to time you are still likely to get problems even if you try to stay ahead of them, and in these cases you might find yourself having to deal with a spill or a leak. Another precaution then is to use environmental emergency services and to make sure that you know their number and call them clean up your spills with vacuum trucks etc should anything go wrong.

For Environmental advice or Health and Safety Consultants in Dartford contact SEE Improvements.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Workplace Safety

When you talk about workplace safety, it should be one of the most important conversations you have, as ignoring it may lead to serious consequences for employees and a business. Sadly, the inability of some organisations to implement effective workplace safety is leading to an increase in work place related accidents. It is the duty of management to ensure that its workers have a safe working environment and the potential of risks is minimised as much as possible.

Management should be aware of all the potential injuries or accidents that can be caused to their employees due to the failure of risk management. It also requires strategical tactical planning along with proper utilisation of safety tools for making sure that workers remain safe at all times.

Workplace accidents not only result in injury of workers but also affect their overall performance. If an organisation fails to introduce workplace safety within their working environment, then any injury or accident caused to any of the workers can lead to dire consequences. The organisation will not only have to pay heavily for the cost of compensation to the employee, but will also have to pay an increased insurance premium and possibly face fines and lost production time. The organisation also damages its reputation and shareholder confidence.

As a part of workplace safety, every organisation should provide its workers with all necessary safety equipment. They should provide all necessary safety clothing, tools, workforce apparels and a written safety manual and procedures in case of any emergency. Workers should be trained how to use all necessary safety equipment before they start working in their specific areas.

A responsible organisation will always make sure that their workers or visitors are safe by following all workplace safety rules. This is a factor, which sets them apart from other organisations.

For practical and cost effective Dartford Health and Safety contact SEE Improvements.