Content that will appear in the News Letter

A farming company has been fined after a worker aged 34 was left permanently scarred from severe injuries to her leg and ankle when they were caught in an unguarded conveyor system.

The building was formed by a series of 15 grain silos, laid out in two rows, with a narrow corridor at ground level separating the two rows and a high walkway on the fourth floor of the building, across the top of the silos. The corridor housed a chain and flight conveyor into which grain could be emptied from the silos and transported around the building.

One of the jobs required Miss L colleague to climb into a silo from the high level walkway so that he could clean it out. The chain and flight conveyor was started before he entered the silo. The plan was that Miss L would stay at a walkway near the top of the silo to be “on hand” and telephone for help if her colleague got into any difficulty.

While there, she also sampled grain to test its moisture after being dried. However, she heard the chain making a strange sound and decided to make her way back to the ground floor to investigate.

Realising the sound was coming from the far end of the corridor she made her way along it. The narrow width of the corridor meant that she walk on top of the metal plates covering the chains of the conveyor as she walked along.

The court heard that she saw grain piling up at the end of the corridor near to a small door. She tried to open the door but it was blocked. As she made her way back along the corridor, she slipped and caught her left foot in the moving chainwork and was dragged by it.

Her colleague in the grain bin did not hear her shouts for help. She managed to free herself, got out of the building and telephoned for help.

Miss L suffered a serious degloving injury to her left leg and ankle. The ankle ligament complex was destroyed and the joint exposed, requiring extensive surgery, with more likely to be needed, leaving her with permanent scarring to her lower leg. She still suffers considerable pain, can only walk with the aid of a stick and fears she will never be able to work again.

An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the chain and flight conveyor was recessed within a metal trough, offset to one side of the corridor and the floor space alongside was only eight inches wide. In order to walk along the corridor, workers had little choice but to walk with one foot on top of the conveyor cover and one to the side of it.

The conveyor had metal plates designed to be bolted in position above it, to protect persons from being caught in its moving parts, but several were found to be loose or missing, exposing the moving parts beneath.

There were also openings in the top cover of the conveyor to enable grain to pass through from the silos, but the size of the openings was such that a person’s foot could be inserted into the gap.

The investigation also found that movement within the corridor was endangered by poor lighting and an uneven floor surface as a result of an accumulation of grain which had spilled from the silos or conveyor.

A Prohibition Notice was issued after the incident to prevent any further work taking place in the grain drying building.

The farm was fined £35,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 2(2)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Source: HSE Website

A Council has been fined after admitting to failures in how it managed asbestos across its schools.

A specialist contractor tasked with carrying out an asbestos survey by the council in 2004 said that dust and debris found in the boiler room containing asbestos fibres should be removed immediately under licensed conditions.

However, an HSE inspection in April 2010, as part of a national initiative to ensure that local authorities understand their duties in managing asbestos across their school estate, found that nothing had been done.

This was despite school staff and contractors alike regularly entering the boiler room in the intervening six year period.

HSE served a Prohibition Notice barring entry to the boiler house until it was made safe.

The Council was also served with two Improvement Notices regarding the management of asbestos in its schools elsewhere in the county.

The council was fined a total of £35,000 and ordered to pay £15,326 in costs after pleading guilty to a Regulation 10 breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2006) and a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – both in relation to failings across the school estate.

Source: HSE

 

The Health and safety law poster must be displayed on all business premises. The employer has a duty under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER). The 1999 poster or leaflet must be replaced with the new poster or leaflet no later than 5 April 2014.

Source: HSE Website

Between 18 February and 15 March, inspectors will make unannounced visits to construction sites to ensure they are managing high-risk activity, such as working at height.

They will also check for general good order, assess welfare facilities and check whether suitable PPE such as head protection, is being used appropriately.

During 2011/12, 49 workers were killed while working in construction and 2,884 major injuries were reported. The purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in the industry that poor standards are unacceptable and could result in enforcement action.

Source: HSE website

Protectus Consulting can provide health and safety specialist to support your business in having a safe work environment. we can carry out a compliance review at regular intervals to ensure health and safety is implemented effectively. If you need to achieve CHAS accredited we can support you through this.

 

Healthcare workers are often affected by needlestick injuries, however other occupations are also affected. Protectus have prepared with support from local Tattooist companies a training course, specifically aimed at dealing with the Health, Safety and Environmental issues faced by professional tattoo artists and body piercing artists. Needlestick injuries may also affect carers and children picking up used needles.

  • For more details about our courses either contact us or follow the link:

http://cluster24748.website-staging.uk/protectus.co.uk/training/

  • If you prefer the self training method, then we have developed a specialist training pack available for instant download:

http://cluster24748.website-staging.uk/protectus.co.uk/store/presentation-download/

Our training material is certificated, so that you can demonstrate to your clients that you are competent and taking their care seriously.

Blood borne pathogens

The major blood-borne pathogens of concern associated with needlestick injury are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV. However, other infectious agents also have the potential for transmission through needlestick injury, including:

  • Human T-lymphotropic retroviruses I (HTLV-I) and II (HTLV-II).
  • Hepatitis D virus (HDV – or delta agent) which is activated in the presence of HBV.
  • GB virus C (GBV-C) – formerly known as hepatitis G virus (HGV).
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV).
  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
  • Parvovirus B19.
  • Transfusion-transmitted virus (TTV).
  • West Nile virus (WNV).
  • Malarial parasites.
  • Prion agents such as those associated with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).

Between 2002 and 2011, 4,381 significant occupational exposures were reported (increasing from 276 in 2002 to 541 in 2011).

72 significant occupational exposures reported between 2002 and 2011 involved ancillary staff. The majority of these exposures were due to non-compliance with standard infection control precautions for the handling and safe disposal of clinical waste.

Source: Health Protection Agency (HPA) report regarding healthcare workers, released in 2012.

The Health and Safety executive have provided a detailed COSHH bulletin SR12, this document provides essential reading and is relevant to the industry.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/sr12.pdf

Protectus Training

The Protectus Training course and self help pack provides information that helps employers (including the self-employed and franchisees) comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). Demonstrate compliance to other relevant health and safety legislation and provide a safe working environment that minimises the risk of exposure.

We have compiled a short summary of the Health and Safety Considerations for Tattooists, attend our training and ensure compliance to all applicable law.

Main Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

Age restrictions

A person must be 18 years of age before they can have a tattoo. This is a statutory requirement, with criminal penalties on conviction.

Records keeping

The keeping of records protects both the client and the tattooist and therefore the following details should be included in client records:

  • Date of the procedure;
  • Client’s name, address and telephone number;
  • Full details of the procedure;
  • A record of the type of the procedure
  • Medical history.

When assessing medical history, as a minimum a health declaration form should ask for information and history. Please discuss with us what types of forms can be used, we are here to help and can provide email guidance on some matters free of charge. Please get in touch if you have a question.

 Typical Questions

Check and know the history before any procedure.

  • heart disease.
  • medication.
  • pregnancy/breast feeding.
  • blood borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C.
  • low and high blood pressure, epilepsy, diabetes, impetigo etc.
  • skin conditions such as eczema, warts and psoriasis.
  • allergic responses to latex, anaesthetics and adhesive plasters.
  • Conditions that compromise the immune system.
  • Heart disease/pacemaker.
  • Haemophilia.

What should be considered before performing a procedure

  • The tattooist should discuss client’s medical history.
  • Where a condition exists, or there be past history, written authorisation from the client’s doctor should be required before tattooing takes place.
  • The tattooist should record the clients’ response to health history on the client’s record card and consent forms.
  • Remember also that Data Protection legislation applies.

http://cluster24748.website-staging.uk/protectus.co.uk/data-protection-act-2/

Essential equipment to conduct hygienic procedures

  • Alcohol impregnated swabs (pre packed) for skin preparation.
  • Autoclave.
  • Disinfectants, disposable caps or trays for pigments.
  • Disposable latex, vinyl or nitrile gloves may be worn, but must be discarded after each client (they must be disposed of as clinical waste).
  • Disposable razor, kidney dish (autoclavable container for needles), paper tissues and paper towels, sharps container.
  • Spray bottle containing fresh skin preparation antiseptic.

After care advice

  • It is best practice to give out written after care advice as clients are often nervous or excited about their new tattoo and may not take in verbal advice.
  • Basically the treated area must be covered with a lint free sterile gauze which is taped to the skin with micropore tape – this permits ventilation of the damaged skin surface, helping the healing process.
  • The new tattoo should be kept dry to prevent the onset of infection.

Other things to consider

  • The practitioner or the client should be under the adverse influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances.
  • Tattooing should be undertaken in conditions of appropriate privacy.
  • Eating, drinking and smoking should not be permitted in the studio.
  • Tattoo machines (motors and frames) cannot be sterilised and should be carefully damp wiped between clients with 70% alcohol.
  • Because needles are repeatedly dipped into pigments during tattooing, it is  important that fresh pigments are used for each customer.
  • Pigment capsules should be firmly placed in holders while in use, to avoid the possibility of spillage. These should be made of autoclavable material e.g. stainless steel and should be cleaned and disinfected between clients and sterilised between sessions.

Finding a competent practitioner

Tattooists should be registered to operate with the local authority and should display their registration certificate. If the practitioner intends to perform your tattoo without asking for your medical history or personal details such as name and address, this indicates bad practice.

Ask your practitioner for Health, Safety and Neddlestick awareness training and certification.

The work that Protectus have completed with Tattooists in the UK, we can assure you the profession is very serious about Health, Safety and the care of customers.

Corporate manslaughter cases rise.  Ensure your business attends awareness seminars and receives training, Protectus can support with legal requirements. The number of corporate manslaughter cases opened by the Crown Prosecution Service jumped by 40% last year as prosecutors stepped up their use of recent legislation that has produced just three convictions to date.

There were more than 60 new corporate manslaughter cases opened in 2012, up from 45 in 2011. There have been only a few convictions but there will more to follow as there are more than 30 other prosecutions yet to be heard.

Companies that cut health and safety expenditure to help survive the recession could leave themselves liable to prosecution in the event of an accident.

What should you do?

We have prepared a comprehensive overview of your legal responsibilities to Corporate Manslaughter and we are running a number of open seminars on the subject.

  1. Attend one of the seminar sessions: http://cluster24748.website-staging.uk/protectus.co.uk/contact/
  2. Download our latest presentation material: http://cluster24748.website-staging.uk/protectus.co.uk/store/presentation-download/
  3. Whatever you do, ensure you are legally compliant and have assessed the risks in your business.

We are here to support, so please get in touch.

What is the Corporate Manslaughter Act?

Prior to 6 April 2008, it was possible for a corporate entity, such as a company, to be prosecuted for a wide range of criminal offences, including the common law offence of gross negligence manslaughter. However, in order for the company to be guilty of the offence, it was also necessary for a senior individual who could be said to embody the company (also known as a ‘controlling mind’) to be guilty of the offence. This was known as the identification principle.

On the 6 April 2008, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (CMCHA) came into force throughout the UK. In England and Wales and Northern Ireland, the new offence is called corporate manslaughter, and in Scotland it is called corporate homicide.

The provisions in the Act which relate to deaths which occur in custody will be brought into force on 1 September 2011.  There is further information on these provisions later in this guidance.

Where any of the conduct or events alleged to constitute the offence occurred before 6 April 2008, the pre-existing common law will apply. Therefore, the Act will only apply to deaths where the conduct or harm, leading to the death, occurs on or after 6 April.  Therefore if the breach of duty is alleged to have occurred before 6 April 2008, for example where a building has been defectively wired or a person has been exposed to asbestos many years ago, the common law applies.

Individuals will not be able to bring a private prosecution for the new offence without the consent of the DPP (section 17).  This is unlike the position with allegations of gross negligence manslaughter against individuals where no such consent is required.  See below for further information regarding consent.

The offence was created to provide a means of accountability for very serious management failings across the organisation. The original intention was to overcome the problems at common law of ‘identification’ and ‘aggregation’ (the prosecution could not aggregate the failings of a number of individuals) in relation to incorporated bodies. The offence is now considerably wider in scope than simply overcoming these two problems and it now includes liability for organisations which could never previously be prosecuted for manslaughter.

The new offence is intended to work in conjunction with other forms of accountability such as gross negligent manslaughter for individuals and other health and safety legislation.

If you believe that you have an Asbestos problem in your business or handle Asbestos then please contact us or visit our Presentation download pages for the latest guidance.

http://cluster24748.website-staging.uk/protectus.co.uk/store/presentation-download/

 

For Further information regarding prosecution please visit the Crown Prosecution Service, There website is http://www.cps.gov.uk.

The law does not state a minimum temperature, but the temperature in workrooms should normally be at least:

  • 16°C, or
  • 13°C if much of the work is physical.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 lay down particular requirements for most aspects of the working environment. Regulation 7 deals specifically with the temperature in indoor workplaces and states that:

‘During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.’

However, the application of the regulation depends on the nature of the workplace, such as a bakery, a cold store, an office, a warehouse.

The associated ACOP ( Workplace health, safety and welfare. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Approved Code of Practice) goes on to explain:

‘The temperature in workrooms should provide reasonable comfort without the need for special clothing. Where such a temperature is impractical because of hot or cold processes, all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a temperature which is as close as possible to comfortable. ‘Workroom’ means a room where people normally work for more than short periods.

The temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius unless much of the work involves severe physical effort in which case the temperature should be at least 13 degrees Celsius. These temperatures may not, however, ensure reasonable comfort, depending on other factors such as air movement and relative humidity.’

Where the temperature in a workroom would otherwise be uncomfortably high, for example because of hot processes or the design of the building, all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a reasonably comfortable temperature, for example by:

  • insulating hot plants or pipes;
  • providing air-cooling plant;
  • shading windows;
  • siting workstations away from places subject to radiant heat.

Where a reasonably comfortable temperature cannot be achieved throughout a workroom, local cooling should be provided. In extremely hot weather fans and increased ventilation may be used instead of local cooling.

Where, despite the provision of local cooling, workers are exposed to temperatures which do not give reasonable comfort, suitable protective clothing and rest facilities should be provided. Typical examples of suitable protective clothing would be ice vests, or air/water fed suits. The effectiveness of these PPE systems may be limited if used for extended periods of time with inadequate rest breaks. Where practical there should be systems of work (for example, task rotation) to ensure that the length of time for which individual workers are exposed to uncomfortable temperatures is limited.

HSE previously defined thermal comfort in the workplace, as: ‘An acceptable zone of thermal comfort for most people in the UK lies roughly between 13°C (56°F) and 30°C (86°F), with acceptable temperatures for more strenuous work activities concentrated towards the bottom end of the range, and more sedentary activities towards the higher end.’

Source HSE Website,  Wikipedia

Norovirus, better known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages.

The virus, which is highly contagious, causes vomiting and diarrhea. As there is no specific cure, you have to let it run its course, but it should not last more than a couple of days. If you get norovirus, make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and practise good hygiene to help prevent it from spreading.

Norovirus can be unpleasant to experience, but it’s not generally dangerous and most people make a full recovery within a couple of days, without having to see a doctor.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that are the most common cause of stomach bugs in the UK. They are also known as small round structured viruses (SRSV) or Norwalk-like viruses.

Between 600,000 and 1 million people in the UK catch norovirus every year. You may have heard of it as the “winter vomiting bug” because the illness is more common in winter. However, the virus can be caught at any time of the year.

What should I do?

If you have norovirus, the following steps should help ease your symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains.
  • If you feel like eating, eat foods that are easy to digest.
  • Stay at home and don’t go to the doctor, because norovirus is contagious and there is nothing the doctor can do while you have it.
  • However, contact your GP to seek advice if your symptoms last longer than a few days or if you already have a serious illness.

How to stop it spreading

The virus is easily spread by contact with an infected person, especially through their hands. You can also catch it through contaminated food or drink or by touching contaminated surfaces or objects.

The following measures should help prevent the virus from spreading further:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Do not share towels and flannels.
  • Disinfect any surfaces that an infected person has touched.

Outbreaks in busy places such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools are common because the virus can survive for several days on surfaces or objects touched by an infected person.

If you want to know more about Norovirus, please visit the source of this Post at:

http://www.nhs.uk/

 

Step 1: Identify the hazards

Walking around the workplace and communicating with everybody may help one become aware of the hazards not easily identified initially. Feedback from employees, visiting the HSE website for guidance, checking the manufacturers instructions for hardware and learning from the past, ie past recordings of risk etc may help identify hazards.

Step 2: Decide who might be harmed and how

For each hazard identified in Step 1, it must be clear who could be harmed  eg ‘people working in the storeroom’ or ‘passers-by’, rather than identification by individual names. There may be certain groups of people more at risk than others, for example, people with disabilities, expectant mothers, members of the public.

Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions

Once the hazards have been identified, one must decide what to do about them. Legislation on good practice must be adhered and compared to in making continual changes to the safety within the workplace.

Step 4: Record your findings and implement them

A proper risk assessment would result in a proper check been made and queries about who might be affected and investigations done as required. Obvious significant hazards would be dealth with, taking into consideration the people that may be involved. The precautions would be reasonable and would almost eliminate risk, keeping it low at least. Involvement of staff and representatives ensure everybody is aware and complying with good safety procedures.

Step 5: Review your risk assessment and update if necessary

Protectus Consulting  provide full company Risk Assessments in all areas to ensure compliance with current legislation. Contact us today for a quote.

 

 

Sources and more information:  HSE Website

 

 

 

There are significant risks associated with drivers involved in haulage and transport of goods on the road. According to the HSE, reports show that nearly 60 employees were killed over the last 5 years and 5000 seriously injured carrying out duties involved in load distribution. There are many simple steps that can be carried out to significantly reduce these risks. A few simple steps comply with the law and could save someones’ life.

HSE advises that the Freight Transport Association Yearbook and the Road Haulage Association Handbook contain useful summaries of legal requirements and practical advice.

According to the HSE, almost all deaths at work arise from one of the following four scenarios:
…being struck by a moving vehicle, falling loads, falls from vehicles and collasping or overturning vehicles and major injuries are caused by slips and trips, being struck by moving objects, manual handling and falls from less than 2m.

General Guidelines for  Securing Loads onto your Vehicle for Distribution
  • High Loads – low bridges or other structures can cause dislodgement of freight and injury. Warnings such as a Visual Warning Advice or Height of the vehicle must be displayed where applicable
  • Ferry Operations – there are forces likely to be encournted at sea that are not subject to normal road forces; maritime rules are advised from the Department for Transport Maritime Directorate
  • Weight of load – friction is not enought to keep the load in place. Under heavy braking, the weight acting in a forward direction (see video) on the vehicle can be equal to it’s weight acting downward on the vehicle. This can cause serious injuy. It is critical that the load is restrained in such a way that the movement of the load on the vehicle is minimised
  • Choice of Vehicle – the design and construction of the vehicle should be suitable for the loads it will carry
  • Arrangement of Loads – the load platform, bodywork and anchorage points must be in a sound position and suitable for the load
  • Anchorage – rope hooks should not be used to anchor loads (see video), dedicated load anchorage points should be used
  • Load securing equipment – clamps, bolts and harnesses etc should be strong enough for the weight of the load being carried.
  •  Sources and more information:  HSE Website
We provide full company Load Haulage Safety training to ensure compliance with current legislation. Contact us today for a quote.