Falls and fall related injuries to the Elderly are a serious problem and every effort should be made to prevent this from happening, including the layout of the person’s immediate vicinity, the mobility aids used, the care home/place of care, the community they live in and the relations with their Carers/Healthcare professionals. People over 65 years of age have the highest risk of falling. Over a quarter of falls result in hip fractures and the cost of this to the health sector is about £2billion. A risk assessment (with multiple components) that aims to identify a person’s risk factors for falling should be carried out. Persons younger than 65 years may also need this assessment carried out. There may be a risk of falling due to cogitative impairment, health problems, medication, postural instability, visual impairment, syncope syndrome (passing out due to lack of blood flow to the brain) or simply wearing the wrong footwear.

Together with the risk assessment, there are health and safety measures that can be made in the layout of the care home and in the caring for the service user. The interior and exterior structure of the nursing home can be set up so that, although falls might happen naturally, there are not hazards around that can cause them. For example, one should not leave items on the stairs as they could be a trip hazard. Stairs should be fully maintained, ie any worn or damaged carpet should be removed or repaired. In the design of the care facility, one should avoid repetitive carpet patterns as it may produce a false perception for those with poor eyesight. Stairs and hallways should be well lit. Banisters should be sturdy with easy grip handrails. Older persons should be instructed and supported in the correct use of mobility equipment, e.g walking aids, mobile shower seats etc. Shoes and footwear should fit well to help with balance and stability. There should be grab rails at various points in the care home and places to sit down in the bathroom if needed. Spills on the floor should immediately be moped up.

Other hazards include fire related accidents. This is related to poor sense of smell, reduced tolerance of smoke and poor mobility.  Sources can include cookers, candles, coal fires, heaters and electric blankets. Electric blankets should be checked regularly. Smoke alarms should be fitted and one should not leave clothes drying over heaters. Carbon monoxide detectors should be fitted.When using showers care should be taken so that the care user doesn’t burn themselves. Kettles should only be used if one is capable to do so; the care service provider should ensure there is not a scalding risk and check all hot water appliances and any temperature dependent liquid.





The Sentinel Personal Track Safety card (PTS card) refers to an online record which contains competency information for individuals working on the UK rail lines. It is a database of personnel working on Network Rail. To obtain a Sentinel card, the individual must attend a training course sponsored by their employer (who is approved) and a course run by a licensed trainer. All Sentinel card holders are registered and managed by primary sponsors. The primary sponsor is responsible for the health and safety of the card holder and ensures that all competencies are up to date. The Sentinel card is proof that the individual has completed the necessary training to work on National Rail controlled infrastructure. Only individuals fully employed or starting off as entry level Personal Track Safety in the rail industry can obtain a sentinel card.  Some of the qualifications with the Sentinel Card are below:

PTS Personal Track Safety for non-electrified lines  COSS  Controller of site safety
 PTS AC Personal Track Safety for AC electrified lines  PC  Protection
 PTS DC Personal Track Safety for DC electrified lines  ES  Engineering supervisor
 LKT Lookout and site warden  PICOP  Person in charge of possession
 LKT (P) Lookout trained to use Pee Wee  SPICOP  Senior PICOP
 LKT (K) Lookout trained to use kango warning equip  NP OLE/AC-i  Nominated person
 AOD: HS Handsignaller  AP OLE/AC-i  Authorised person
 AOD:LXA  Level crossing attendant  RIO  Rail Incident officer
 AOD: PO Points operator  BSN1  Bridge strike nominee grade 1
 IWA Individual working alone  BSN 2  Bridge strike nominee grade 2
 TRK IND Track induction  BSE  Bridge strike examining engineer

With over 67,000 personnel working on the UK rail lines, it is imperative that everybody’s qualifications are up to date. To make things easier, new improved Sentinel smart cards (which work as a smart ID card) have been issued from January. These new smart cards have replaced the old ones. Some changes include allowing for records to be instantly updated and closer monitoring of staff hours. Sentinel cards allow such detail as machinery competencies, drug and alcohol tests and hours worked. The updated information is now stored on the smartcard’s chip and updated through regular use, rather than printed on the card itself. Each Sentinel card has a lifespan of 5 years, and can include any changes to competencies, sponsors and medical record.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) have taken over responsibility for regulating health and safety on the railways. Before 2006 it had been regulated by the HSE. This has been one of the changes set out in The Railways Act 2005. The ORR regulates the rail industry’s health and safety performance through UK and European legislative framework. There are many other safety bodies involved with regulating and maintaining safety on the rail lines in the UK. One of these is the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB). The main objective of RSSB is to facilitate and lead in achieving continuous improvements on the health and safety of Britains railways. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch investigates all accidents with a view to improving rail safety. The British Transport Police and the Railway Industry Health and Safety Advisory Committee are also involved in regulations, investigations and improvements on our rail lines.

Sources    rtmjobs.com      network rail media centre    orr.gov.uk

Manual handling includes a wide variety of activities such as lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying loads and objects within the work place. Manual handling is the handling of loads (including people), i.e by human effort, as opposed to mechanical handling by crane, lift trucks etc. The effort may be applied directly or indirectly by hauling on a rope or pulling on a lever. Introducing mechanical assistance, for example, a powered hoist, may reduce but not eliminate manual handling since human effort is still required to move, steady or position the load. Manual handling related injuries can occur in almost any workplace, particularly where there is heavy manual labour, working in awkward positions, repetitive movements of arms, legs and back. These injuries can have serious implications for the person who is injured and for the employer.

Manual Handling disorders are injuries caused to the muscles and back that are work related, causing one or more of the Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). Symptoms include:

  • Pain, numbness & tingling
  • Muscle spasms, cramping and stiffness
  • Pain in the back or buttocks
  • Symptoms of nerve root pressure including leg pain, sciatica
  • Numbness or weakness in one leg
  • Symptoms of arthritis – pain and stiffness
  • Reduced worker productivity
  • Lost time from work, temporary or a permanent disability
  • Inability to perform job tasks

MSDs cover any injury, damage or disorder to the joints of the upper/lower limbs or the back. Work-related MSDs develop over time and can also result from fractures sustained in an accident. The total number of MSD cases in 2011/12 was 439 000 out of a total 1073 000 for all work-related illnesses. There has been a reduction in MSDs over the last 10 years.

Manual handling was reported to be the main cause of musculoskeletal disorders, followed by awkward working positions and keyboard work. MSDs can be broken down into (i) Back disorders (ii) Upper limb disorders (ULDs) and (iii) Lower limb disorders (LLDs).

(i) Back Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders affecting the back are a common work-related complaint. Since 2001/02 there has been a reduction in the estimated prevalence of work-related back disorders from 295 000 to 176 000 in 2011/12. Back disorders mainly occur in the construction and human health activities sectors.

Causes of back disorders

  • Manual handling (i.e. lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling) – the main cause
  • Working in awkward or tiring positions
  • Keyboard work, assembly of small and large parts
  • Age and gender
  • The reported cases were higher for males than females and the age group 16-34 significantly less than the other age groups as reported in 2011/12.

(ii) Upper Limb Disorders (ULDs)

ULDs affect the arms, from fingers to shoulder, and the neck.

Causes of Upper Limb Disorders

  • Manual handling (i.e. lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling) – the main cause
  • Keyboard work and repetitive actions
  • Working in awkward and tiring positions

The highest reports of ULDs is the human health activities, followed by construction and manufacturing operatives

(iii) Lower Limb Disorders (LLDs)

LLDs affect the legs and feet, i.e. from the hips to the toes

Causes of Lower Limb Disorders

  • Manual handling (i.e. lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling) – a high risk factor
  • the risks are increased when lifting is done simultaneously with knee bending, kneeling or squatting
  • Climbing stairs and ladders and standing in the same position, as in conveyor factory work
  • There is an increased risk of LLD for workers in occupations that include tasks that strain the lower limbs such as fire fighters, farmers, construction workers, carpet and tilling layers, minors and factory workers

Common manual handling injuries

The lower back. Muscle and tendon sprains. This is due to lifting and carrying boxes, equipment, handling people etc. The upper back can also be affected
The Shoulder/arm. Muscle and tendon strains. This is mainly due to handling people
The knees. Muscle and tendon sprains. Mainly due to slips and falls, squatting can cause strain here also
Ankles, neck, wrists and elbows. Injuries to these areas are due to a combination of manual tasks, handling people, slips, handling machinery and equipment

Sources   hse website


Protectus Consulting have recently achieved Gold status membership of the Consultant Network Group LRQA (Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance). LRQA provides compliance solutions in the areas of risk management, product safety and regulatory affairs. LRQA is an independent provider of quality assurance in certification, validation and training to international standards. LRAQ is recognized worldwide and has a staff of over 9,000 operating globally. Lloyds Register provides companies operating in the energy and transportation sectors with recognition of their management standards to national and international accreditations. Key standards and schemes include ISO standardization (and updates) in the areas of quality, health and safety, security, the environment and energy, medical devices, food safety, construction and risk. LRQA audits companies’ management systems to ensure they meet the standards of their chosen standards or schemes. LRQA also provides training courses in all areas of quality assurance and auditing.

Protectus Consulting works with a varied number of clients to support their accreditation of ISO 14001:2008 and OHSAS 18001:2008. Protectus Consulting is an all round consultancy of health and safety services in the areas of construction, the environment, health care services, fire safety services, food safety services, public health and all workplace office environments. Protectus Consulting also has on-going training courses in all areas of the workplace, including health and safety law. Protectus Consulting has a proven track record in supporting companies in their achievement of CQC, CHAS and Achilles.

Chat to our team today to find out how Protectus Consulting can help your business.

Lloyd’s Register compliance assurance services for the energy industry

Sources    LRQA   wikipedia

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:


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


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.


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.



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