Posted by: David Cant | November 11, 2012

10 signs of poor Workplace Health and Safety

Most companies work hard to comply with workplace health and safety regulations. However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regularly receives reports of injury, psychological trauma, and death due to negligence or ignorance. Management and staff in all industries need to be alert to signs of inadequate health and safety.

1. Poor Housekeeping Procedures 

Slips and trips cause some of the most common workplace injuries. They are usually caused by poor housekeeping such as:

• Dirty, slippery, oily floors and stairs

• Ill-fitting carpeting

• Blocked aisles with trailing wires and cables.

2. Improper Handling of Hazardous Substances

The regulations for handling hazardous substances are covered by Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). Illness from chemicals, fumes, dusts, vapours, gases and biological agents can result from:

• Lack of personal protective equipment

• Inadequate ventilation

• Inadequate enclosures around equipment that produces contaminants.

3. Work Equipment in Poor Repair or Misused

The lack of regular maintenance and repairs for equipment results in increased safety risks. Problems include frayed cords, missing safety guards on moving parts, and use of equipment for another purpose.

4. Loud Noise

Continual high levels of noise create a physical discomfort and even injury for employees. This noise can be a distraction from the job at hand, and an interference with operational communications causing risk of injury in using equipment and tools.

5. Repetitive Motion

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is caused by performing the same motion over and over again. This is a common problem with people who work on computers or on assembly lines.

6. Fatigue

Fatigue is often evident in a person’s irritability or obvious tiredness. Chronic fatigue is a safety issue, especially in a workplace with equipment. Sometimes this is due to long hours of work or shift work.

7. Workplace Violence

The HSE defines violence related to the workplace as: ‘Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened, or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.’ This can be seen in:

• One time incidents such as attacks by a disgruntled employee or robber

• Persistent patterns of behaviour such as bullying, sexual harassment, or even physical abuse.

8. Lack of Signage

Signage is important for identifying emergency exits, warnings about dangerous operations or supplies, and for denying access. Good signage is appropriately placed, a good size, and easy to understand. Usually, there are both words and graphics.

9. Illiteracy

HSE report identifies functional illiteracy as a risk factor for workplace safety. Signs of it are evident when employees ignore cautionary signage or do not follow written procedures for operating equipment or handling hazardous substances. Management sometimes does not understand the health and safety implications.

10. Poor Design

The HSE cautions that poor design of a facility and workstations can create health problems and accidents. Common problems are:

• Inefficient flow of operations so employees do not have adequate space for using equipment or moving between work areas

• Failure to follow ergonomic principles when designing work stations

• Stairs with unsuitable handrails and uneven steps

• Lighting that causes eyestrain and risks in operating machinery.

Management in all workplaces must comply with Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. This means developing and implementing a health and safety policy. It also requires ongoing diligence in identifying and correcting poor health and safety practices in the workplace.

Posted by: David Cant | October 18, 2012

Fire Risk Assessments Birmingham

A fire risk assessments is a practice that is intended to help you identify any fire risk and hazard in your premises. After the identification of the risks and hazards, you can then make a decision on whether the risks are within the acceptable range or if something must be done to mitigate and control them. This assessment is a legal condition for any person that owns, operates or manages a business. Every business must comply with the fire safety regulations which are contained in The Fire Safety Order of 2005. The Fire Safety Order puts the biggest emphasis on how to reduce and prevent the risk of fire. The law requires that fire risk assessment be carried out by a competent person known as a fire risk assessor. This person can be an outside contractor or someone within your company. However, finding the right person for this job is not as easy as it sounds because the competent person should have sufficient training, knowledge and experience on fire safety.

The process of carrying out fire risk assessment involves the following five steps

Step 1: Identifying the fire hazards

It is obvious that for fire to arise there must the source of fuel, ignition and oxygen. When these three conditions are present and mostly in close proximity, subsequently the risk of fire is increased as a result.

In most average premises, fire hazards mostly fall into the ignition and fuel categories, while oxygen is present in the surrounding air. Occasionally, oxygen may be found as gas in piped systems or cylinders, or in its chemical form (oxidizing agents). Potential sources of ignition include hot surfaces, naked flames, hot work, friction, arson etc. Potential sources of fuel include everything that burns like solids, liquids and gases.

Your fire risk assessments should list all the potential sources of fuels and ignition present in your premises.

Step 2: Identifying people at risk

The greatest danger when there is a fire is the spread of smoke, heat and the fire through the premises. The smoke and other products of combustion are the biggest risk to the people trying to escape because they can incapacitate them quickly. If the premise doesn’t have sufficient means of escape, then people may get trapped in before they can evacuate.

Step 3: Evaluating the risks

This involves assessing the effects of each specific hazard, taking into account any existing control measures already in place. Then, decide on whether to add any other control measures so as to mitigate the risk to the acceptable level.



Step 4: Recording your findings

Record all the significant findings of the fire risk assessment together with all the details of the people faced by each particular risk, where:

a)      You are the employer and you have at least five employees.

b)     An amendment notice under The Fire Safety Order wants it.

c)     A license under a ratification is in force

Step 5: Reviewing and revising the fire risk assessment

Note that fire risk evaluation is an ongoing process. It must be audited and monitored regulary to ensure that existing and new control measures are working effectively.

Business owners have plenty of responsibilities including meeting current health and safety standards. If employers do not have the time, knowledge or skills necessary to perform such duties they should nominate a qualified employee to complete health and safety tasks. In many cases, nobody within the company has the ability to keep records, develop policies or perform a health and safety audit. This is why so many companies use an external health and safety support service. A competent person has the ability to evaluate multiple health and safety issues and help an organization make any necessary improvements.

Health and Safety Support Services

Competent person support services helps business owners keep up to date with all health and safety requirements. Companies of all sizes can benefit from the services offered. Business owners who want to meet current health and safety standards should consider having an audit performed so they can see how well their company is doing. A professional health and safety audit includes a visit to the company and staff interviews. An audit will reveal which areas need improvement. Company owners and supervisors may be surprised to find out that their company does not meet many of the current health and safety requirements.

Keeping Employees Safe

It is essential for employers to protect the health and safety of their employees by following the latest health and safety guidelines. Some employers neglect these duties because they do not know how to perform inspections, conduct safety meetings or complete necessary paperwork. It is not only ethical to keep employees safe, but it can also prevent company lawsuits. With so many safety solutions available, business owners have no excuse for not taking care of important health and safety matters. Competent person service provide the type of support a company needs. Employees can have the competent person take care of all health and safety duties or provide the in house staff with the amount of help they need to complete the job.

Selecting the Right Competent Person Service

Business owners who select a highly qualified health and safety service can expect to receive an annual workplace assessment, monthly health and safety inspections, monthly safety meetings and basic health and safety training. A competent person can create all necessary health and safety policies and take care of incident reporting duties. Employers will not have to worry about the health and safety aspect of their business when they select the right competent person.

When selecting a competent person service, business owners should make sure the person has up to date knowledge because safety requirements change over time. The person should have experience in the industry as well as formal qualifications. Members of The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register have at least two years of practical experience.

Posted by: David Cant | April 30, 2012

CSCS Cards, CSCS Tests & CSCS Test Centres

Here follows a list of the key CSCS Card Tests Testing centres in the UK

CSCS Cards & Tests Birmingham

CSCS Cards & Tests Manchester

CSCS Cards & Tests London

CSCS Cards & Tests Nottingham

CSCS Cards & Tests Scotland

CSCS Cards & Tests Liverpool

CSCS Cards Tests for Supervisors

CSCS Cards Tests for Managers

More to follow when they become available or call 0800 1488 677 to book your CSCS test today

Posted by: David Cant | June 20, 2011

Fire Risk Assessments are top priority in any warehouse

To protect the assets of the building and workers, fire risk assessments are essential and fire safety must be a top priority in any warehouse.  Storage of certain products can result in a greater risk of fire.  Flammable liquids can easily ignite and raze a warehouse to the ground. Sprinklers, fire extinguisher, and emergency plans will help safeguard people and property.  Some of the largest fire losses in the industry have occurred in warehouse.

The following fire safety guidelines can be very useful:

• Storage of materials should be at least 18 inches below fire sprinkler heads.
• Clear access should be maintained to all fire extinguishers and fire alarm panels.
• Fire extinguishers must be identified with appropriate signage.
• Trash accumulation and debris can be a potential fire hazard, as well as a hindrance
to evacuations.

There should be a designated area for storage of pallets, crates, etc., and limit the stack height of pallets to 6 feet.

• Aisle ways must be to clear free and of obstructions.
• Emergency lights must be functional at all times.
• Extension cords cannot be use for permanent wiring.
• Store flammable liquid properly.
• Never store materials in front of electrical panels or in electrical rooms.

For Fire Risk Assessments Services contact Veritas Consulting on  08001488 677 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            08001488 677      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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