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Latest Health & Safety News

GDPR comes into for on 25th May 2018 – are your Health and Safety Management systems Data compliant?

The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) comes into force on the 25th May 2018, replacing the 1995 Data Protection Directive, and placing much more stringent requirements on organisations and individuals who handle personal data. 

 

Data handled or processed within your health and safety management systems is likely to include “personal data” e.g. names, job titles, home address, and phone numbers and “sensitive personal data” such as occupational health records and accident reports, witness statements.

 

GDPR extends the existing duties under the 1995 Data Protection Directive broadening the scope and handing the consumer greater control over their own personal data, and imposing harsh penalties, of up to 4% of global turnover, on organisations that fail to comply

 

One of the most significant differences between GDPR and the Data Protection Act, is Consent. Under the DPA, data collection does not necessarily require an individual to given advance consent or opt-in to an organisation holding and processing their data. Whereas under GDPR individuals must be provided with clear privacy notices, allowing them to make an informed decision on whether they consent to allow their data to be stored and used. This consent can then be withdrawn at any time.

 

Advice from the Information Commissioner (the Regulator for GDPR) is that all organisations should;

Make themselves fully aware of the new regulations

Identify and document current data processes, 

Document what personal data, and sensitive personal data is held;

Define justifications for holding personal data;

Assess and categorise the security risk level associated with personal data held

Identify where data is shared with 3rd party organisations;

Demonstrate that they meet compliance requirements;

 

GDPR is a serious issue for all involved in health and safety management, but currently there is limited specific guidance to assist compliance. Pernix Safety Management can assist in meeting these needs. Our specialist Consultants and Associates are now fully versed in the anticipated requirements of GDPR and how thee will apply to health and safety data in your organisation. Call us now to discuss how we can help you 01733 33100 / 07597793626.  

ISO 45001 Health and Safety Management system to be published

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has just announced that ISO 45001, the new international standard for occupational safety and health, is set to be published in early March 2018. ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001, which has been widely adopted by organisations seeking an effective health and safety management system 

 

The new standard mirrors the management system structure used for existing environmental and quality standards ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. As such it will be the first global standard of its kind, providing organisations with a framework for improving health and safety management, reducing workplace risks and creating healthier, safer working conditions for employees, and others affected by the organisations activities.

 

In announcing the publication of the new standard David Smith, Chair of ISO PC 283, said

 “alignment of ISO 45001 to the suite of ISO management system standards would come as a welcome addition. We now have an international standard for occupational health and safety, aligned with other business standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO/IEC 27001, that helps organisations manage this key risk as part of their business processes. “ISO 45001 is a significant improvement on OHSAS 18001. Effective application of ISO 45001 will reduce the risk of harm in the workplace.”

 

OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn when ISO 45001 is released, and those already working to OHSAS 18001, will recognise most of the requirements in ISO 45001. However, there are several changes from OHSAS 18001, which will need to be studied in more detail including 

  • The Business Context: Chapter 4.1, external and internal issues: This inserts new clauses for systematic determination and monitoring of the business context.
  • The involvement of workers and other interested parties: Chapter 4.2 requires additional attention to the needs and expectations for workers and other interested parties and worker involvement. Organisations must systematically identify and understand factors that need to be managed through the management system.
  • The management of risk and opportunity: Chapters 6.1.1, 6.1.2.3, 6.1.4: Organisations are to determine, consider and, where necessary, act to address any risks or opportunities that may impact (either positively or negatively) the ability of the management system to deliver its intended results, including enhanced health and safety at the workplace.
  • Commitment of leadership and management: Chapter 5.1, ISO 45001 provide for a stronger emphasis on senior management to actively engage and take accountability for the effectiveness of the management system.
  • Setting objectives and measuring performance: Chapters 6.2.1,6.2.2) add a additional focus on objectives as drivers for improvements 

There are also extended requirements for:

  • Participation, consultation and participation of workers (5.4)
  • Communication (7.4): More prescriptive in respect of the “mechanics” of communication, including determination of what, when and how to communicate.
  • Procurement, including outsourced processes, and contractors (8.1.4)

 

Pernix Safety Management provide health and safety services which enable organisations to prepare and migrate to the new ISO 45001 standard. Call us now to learn more. 01733 331300 / 07597793626

 

New Year - New Laws on Fire Safety?

Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower that killed 71 people, the existing fire safety legislation of the Regulatory Reform Order 2005 has rightly come under close scrutiny 

Former head of the Health and Safety Executive Judith Hackitt was commissioned by the Government to conduct an independent review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety taking into account submissions from a wide range of bodies including the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Institute of Safety and Health (IOSH)London Fire Brigade (LFB)and British Safety Council(BSC).The work of the review is in two phases and an interim report has recently been publish with the final report due in 2018. 

 

In the forward to the report Ms Hackitt comments,

”As the review has progressed, it has become clear that the whole system of regulation, covering what is written down and the way in which it is enacted in practice, is not fit for purpose, leaving room for those who want to take shortcuts to do so”, and further that 

“I have been shocked by some of the practices I have heard about and I am convinced of the need for a new intelligent system of regulation and enforcement for high-rise and complex buildings which will encourage everyone to do the right thing and will hold to account those who try to cut corners”. 

 However also cautions that “Changes to the regulatory regime will help, button their own will not be sufficient unless we can change the culture away from one of doing the minimum required for compliance, to one of taking ownership and responsibility for delivering a safe system throughout the life cycle of a building.

 

Phase two of this review will focus on defining a revised regulatory system which will be simpler, clearer to all involved and deliver better overall outcomes. It will be important for this revised system to continue to allow innovation in building design and construction and not introduce disproportionate delays or cost into building processes. Any additional time spent at the front end of designing and specifying a building is likely to yield significant benefits in time, cost and safety in construction and throughout the building’s life cycle. 

 The revised system must be risk-based and proportionate and therefore not burden low-risk, small-scale or simple projects with requirements which are intended for complex and high-risk buildings where both the risk and consequences of catastrophic events are intrinsically considerably higher.  

 

Change is clearly required but to create a new regulatory framework that delivers the above objectives is likely to be a complex process with no “ quick fixes” In the meantime fire safety must be managed as effectively as possible. Regardless of the legal complexities, the practicalities of fire safety remain and all those responsible are urged to review their own arrangements in light of the above reports.

 

Pernix Safety Management are qualified and competent in fire risk assessment and management, and provide services through the UK. For further details please contact us 01733331300 / 07597793626 

HSE to pilot stress management standards in Education, NHS, and Prison sectors

Peter Brown, head of the HSE’s health and work programme, told IOSH’s National Safety and Health Conference that the pilots would evaluate the effectiveness of the standards, which were first published in 2004, in preventing and managing work-related stress in education, health and the prison service. 

The HSE plans to use the findings to develop sector-specific guidance that offers employers “tested” solutions to be rolled out across these sectors. The guidance will consider issues such as 24/7 connectivity, organisational justice and new technology.

The three two-year pilots, which form a key objective in the HSE’s stress work programme, will be carried out in 26 schools, one NHS board and a prison. 

The HSE Stress Management Standards provide a yardstick against which employers can gauge their performance in tackling stress at work. There are six standards: 

Demands 

The organisation will achieve this standard if employees indicate that they are able to cope with the demands of their job and systems are in place to respond to any individual concerns. 

Control 

The organisation achieves this standard if employees indicate that they are able to have a say about the way they do their work and systems are in place to respond to any individual concerns. 

Support 

The organisation achieves this standard if employees indicate that they receive adequate information and support from their colleagues and superiors and there are systems in place to respond to any individual concerns. 

Relationships 

The organisation achieves this standard if employees indicate that they are not subjected to unacceptable behaviour, e.g. bullying (at work) and systems are in place to respond to any individual concerns. 

Role 

The organisation achieves this standard if employees indicate that they understand their role and responsibilities and systems are in place to respond to any individual concerns. 

Change 

The organisation achieves this standard if employees indicate that the organisation engages them frequently when undergoing an organisational change and systems are in place to respond to any individual concerns. 

 

While the Standards have been widely promoted by the HSE and supported by many employee and health profession groups there has been very little published analysis of their effectiveness in practice.

However, those that have used the standards, and who have evaluated appear to show positive results. 

  • Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde NHS Foundation Trust reported that related interventions contributed to a 40 per cent reduction in cases of work-related stress. 
  • Aberdeen University reported that, after one year of implementing the standards, the average days lost per person due to stress reduced by 21 per cent. 
  • Scottish Power achieved an 11 per cent reduction in stress-related sickness absence. 

Pernix Safety Management supports the use of the HSE Management standards and actively work with our clients to seek practical measures of preventing and reducing stress in the workplace. Call us now more details on who we can help your organisation 01733 331300 / 07597793626

New HSE Strategy places emphasis on workplace health issues

Launching the new strategy at its annual conference Senior HSE figures set out 19 strategic plans for the next three to five years, with health issues at the forefront of the agenda and highlighting how the organisation will proritise its inspection resources in the future. 

Philip White, the HSE’s Director of Operational Strategy; stated that the HSE would concentrate its resources where the problems are most significant and its efforts can make a difference, and identified in 6 key areas as;

agriculture; 

construction; 

transport and logistics; 

manufacturing; 

waste and recycling; and 

public services. 

Quoting Harvard professor Malcolm Sparrow’s dictum that regulators “shouldn’t go everywhere”. He added that “We will concentrate on the most serious risks, the high hazard sectors, and companies with the poorest risk management records,” and “also need to work to make our advice and guidance more accessible for SMEs.” 

White explained that recent HSE enforcement activity in 2016–17 had included a focus on, three manufacturing sub-sectors, food manufacturing, wood working and fabricated metals – with the HSE finding that one third of the businesses inspected were non-compliant on health. He further commented “While it’s disappointing, it’s also heartening that we were focusing our inspection effort in the right places,” 

HSE Deputy Director of the Work and Health Strategy Peter Brown, provided further detail on its three established focus areas – occupational lung disease, Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)and work-related stress. He commented that “We will consider other issues, but with a reduced level of resources,” and added “Our intention is to work with key stakeholders, and use our communication channels to amplify any enforcement action.” 

The HSE went on to highlight concerns in the Small to Medium Size (SME) sector where employers often adopted generic policies including manual handling training in addressing MSD risks rather than designing out the problem at source. Phillip White commented  

“SMEs are regularly buying in manual handling training, because they think they ought to. But what about solutions by design, or using lifting aids? We would like design solutions to be the default option, and to see employers buying in solutions that suit their workers.” 

Full details of the HSE Strategy can be found at -  www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/strategiesandplans/index.htm

Pernix Safety Management provide a range of services which support employers in all sectors in achieving the standards of health and safety management advocated by the Health and Safety Executive. 

Contact us today for more information 07597793626

 

Directors more likely to be prosecuted for health and safety offences

 46 UK company directors were prosecuted for safety and health offences in the 12 months to 31 March 2016 compared with 15 in the previous 12 months. 

Thirty-four of the 46 people prosecuted were found guilty and this resulted in 12 prison sentences – the longest of which was two years. In contrast, the number of employees prosecuted by the HSE dropped from ten last year to one in 2015-16. 

 

Commenting on the figures, Chris Morrison, partner and UK head of safety, health and environment at Clyde & Co, said: “The data confirms what we’ve been seeing in practice with the HSE displaying an increased zeal to prosecute the most senior individuals within a business yet virtually ignoring employees who are frequently more culpable. By making senior management responsible for the health and safety failings of their business and their staff, the increased enforcement is a serious boardroom issue."

 

“While the majority of director prosecutions relate to SME [small- and medium-sized enterprises] businesses due to there typically being some form of proximity or nexus with the director, the new game-changing sentencing guideline for health and safety breaches with turnover-related fines has created a new set of worries for directors of all sized businesses.”   

 

Clyde & Co found that in the first six months since the new sentencing guidelines for safety and health offences were introduced on 1 February, the total value of fines imposed following HSE prosecutions increased by 43%. £20.6m worth of fines were handed out between February and August 2016, compared with £14.4m in February to August 2015. The true figure is likely to be much higher, however, because prosecutions by local authority health and safety enforcement officers were excluded from this sum.

 

There have been several very high fines over the last couple of months. Network Rail was fined £4m after a pensioner was killed at a level crossing in Suffolk; production company Foodles Production received a £1.6m fine for safety breaches that led to Harrison Ford being crushed by a hydraulic door; and Alton Towers amusement park operator Merlin Entertainments must pay £5m for the Smiler rollercoaster crash that injured 16 people.  

 

Morrison said: “After decades of relatively stable and predictable fines, the tide is now rising rapidly as the new guideline is applied by the criminal courts. The worrying thing for company directors is that fines are now hitting the £1m mark for non-fatal offences and even those where nobody had been injured meaning that any breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act is now potentially a serious threat to a company’s bottom line.”  Analysis of the sentencing trends by Clyde & Co suggested that medium-sized organisations, with a turnover between £10m and £50m, have been hit the hardest, with fines removing a higher proportion of their turnover than any other business group, the firm said. 

 

“Whilst health and safety has for many years featured prominently on many board meeting agendas, time spent on the point has not necessarily been significant,” Morrison added. “However, with the risk of turnover-related health and safety fines now being so large, they are now material from an accounting and governance perspective which demands that all directors – executive and non-executive alike – sit up and take note. “The new sentencing guideline means the commission and conviction of a health and safety offence has now become a potentially business critical issue, which senior management can no longer disregard as immaterial.” 

 

Work-related illnesses up again. - Employers must do more.

Latest figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) state the numbers of employees suffering from work related illness rose from 1.2 million to 1.3 million in the 12 months to 31 March 2016.

Of these illnesses around 80% were classified as either musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) which are typically related to manual handling activities, and poor ergonomics in the workplace, and psychological illness such as stress, depression or anxiety, that can be caused or made worse by a range of workplace pressures and working conditions.

Over 30 million working days were lost to injury or ill health in 2015-16: 25.9 million days due to work-related illness and 4.5 million days due to workplace injury, representing an annual rise of nearly 10% which is the highest since 2007-08. 

The figures; based on the government’s quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and used by the HSE and used as part of their annual statistical publication cite work-related stress, due to workload pressures, including tight deadlines, too much responsibility and not enough support from managers, and particularly noteworthy. 

The cost to the economy, in terms of lost productivity, care and support, of work-related injuries and illnesses in 2014-15, excluding long latency illness such as cancer, was stated as £14.1bn. 

Work-related illness attributed to £9.3bn of this total (an equivalent of £17,600 per case). Workplace injuries made up the remaining £4.8bn (equivalent to £1.6m per fatal injury and £7,400 for every non-fatal injury).  

Announcing the latest figures, the HSE tweeted: “With stats like these, ask yourself if your firm’s health agenda can be improved” HSE chair Martin Temple added: “We should all be proud of Great Britain’s health and safety record. However, there is more to do, particularly in tackling work-related health, from which everyone can benefit.”

Pernix Safety Management echo these thoughts; injury and illness are not acceptable and enviable consequences of work. Health and safety hazards and risk can, and must be managed effectively in all workplaces. We urge all employers to make the review and improvement of their health and safety arrangements a key priority for 2017 

 Our team of Health and Safety Consulants can provide practical assistance and support to all organisations in reducing the risks to their workforce. For more information please call us on 07597793626 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

New Regulations for the Control of Electromagnetic Fields come into force.

The Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016 comes into force on 1st July 2016, how will this impact on UK business?

Firstly we need to understand what Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) are and how they occur in the workplace

EMF is a physical field produced by electrically charged objects. It affects the behaviour of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction. It is one of the four fundamental forces of nature

A EMF is produce every time we turn on an electrical device, and in typical industrial settings can vary from 1 – 300 GHZ, therefore we are all likely to be exposed to it at some point.

Depending on the electrical frequencies, power and duration, exposure can cause several recognisable health effects including, direct physical effects vary from tingling sensations, heat stress and even burns in extreme cases, sensory effects e.g. nausea, vertigo, visual disturbance and hearing effects.

Consequently, standards have been developed on what levels of exposure can be permitted while ensuring the health and safety of those effected. These have been in operation for several years on a non-statutory basis.  In June 2013 the EU issued the Electromagnetic Fields Directive that sought to introduce statutory regulation of EMF within each Member State by July 2016. 

The Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016, implement the requirements of the EU Directive in the UK, and require employers to assess EMF risks in their workplaces and take action the prevent exposure above certain proscribed limits, and otherwise to reduce exposure as far as practicable, specifically to

•    Ensure that exposure is below a set of Exposure Limit Values (ELVs)
•    When appropriate, assess the risks of employees’ exposure and eliminate or minimise those risks.
•    Ensure take workers at particular risk, such as expectant mothers and workers with active or passive implanted or body worn medical devices, are into account
•    When appropriate, devise and implement an action plan to ensure compliance with the exposure limits
•    Provide information and training on the particular risks, if any, posed to employees by EMFs in the workplace and details of any action taken to remove or control them
•    Take action if employees are exposed to EMFs in excess of the ELVs
•    Provide health surveillance as appropriate.

   
While it is thought that the majority of equipment in use in the average workplace will not exceed the ELV’s, the following of examples of equipment or process where this might occur

•    Broadcast & telecoms base stations, inside the operator’s designated exclusion zone
•    Dielectric heating and welding
•    Electrically powered trains and trams
•    Furnaces, arc and induction melting
•    Induction heating
•    Induction soldering
•    Industrial electrolysis
•    Industrial magnetiser and demagnetisers e.g. tape erasers
•    Magnetic particle inspection (crack detection)
•    Maintenance of radar or high-powered communications systems
•    Medical diagnostic and treatment equipment using EMFs
•    Microwave heating and drying
•    MRI equipment
•    Radar – air traffic control, weather & long range
•    Radio and TV broadcasting systems and devices
•    Radio frequency or microwave energised lighting equipment
•    Resistance welding, manual, spot and seam welding

Employers must assist these risks and determine appropriate controls that could include measures such as

•    Moving the worker further away from the EMF source,
•    Selecting equipment that produces less intense EMFs;
•    The use of physical screening or similar health protection mechanisms;
•    The use of signage, access controls and floor markings; maintenance arrangements; supervision and management; training requirements; health surveillance and personal protective equipment etc

Further information is available from the Health and Safety Executive website, including a new guide – HSG281

New Online Training and Risk Assessment system takes the strain out of Display Screen Assessments, and provides great new training opportunities

New Online Training and Risk Assessment System


DSE Set Up RedPernix are pleased to announce a new on-line service that offers users a highly cost effective way of meeting legal obligations to provide health and safety training and completing Display Screen Risk Assessments.

Our new system is centred on a high efficient and user friendly on-line administration platform that allows for training and assessment to be scheduled, completed, managed and recorded with ease.

The training and assessment modules have been developed to ensure compliance with legal requirements, in a highly interactive and interesting way, and can be completed by users at a time and pace to suit them.

Lets take a look at the system in detail.

DSE System GraphicFirstly you decide which of your employees will take part in the training and assessment and their details are quickly loaded onto the admin system. Next the users receive email notification of their enrolment into the system with login details. Users then complete the training and or assessments as necessary.

Training content, pass marks etc. can all be individually configured. The DSE module takes users through a step by step process of training followed by the self assessment at the end of which they are provided with information that may help them resolve any issues or risk identified there and then.

Remaining risks are collated by the system for the attention of a nominated in company administrator who can take on managing these and recording result at the touch of a button.

All actions, processes and records are securely stored on our remote servers and can be retrieved as and when required

The Benefits for your company and employees

Save time and money;

  • Bespoke design and configured to your company reqirements
  • Users can complete at a time and pace that suits them
  • Ease of of set up and administation
  • No more paper form filling

Ensure legal compliance;

  • Training material designed and acrediated by Health and Safety professionals
  • Risk Assessments in accordance with Health and Safety Executive guidance
  • All training and assessment actions recorded in real time
  • Secure data management and storage

Call Us Now for a Free Demonstration

Pernic Safety Management 01733 331300 / 07597793626

Safe as Houses Scheme for Residential Landlords

 We are pleased to announce the introduction of our new Safe as Houses Scheme for Residential Landlords.
The service provides Landlords with complete piece of mind, reduces costs and workload in complying with health and safety requirements.
We are offering a free initial survey of your property to assure you are meeting your health and safety compliance requirements

 

                                            

As a Landlord of Residential Property you face ever increasing responsibilities for the health and safety of your properties, their tenants, visitors and neighbours. 

There are a number of specific safety regulations that govern the letting of residential property, including Fire, Gas, Electricity, Legionella, and the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to which all landlords must comply.

Likewise, where your employees or contractors provide services to the common parts of the building or     individual properties e.g. cleaning, maintenance etc., the premises are their place of work and under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and supporting Regulations, you must ensure their safety 

Failing to do so increases the risk of injury, ill health and even fatality, and the penalties for so are severe and could result in heavy fines and /or imprisonment.

 

In practical terms, the range of specific requirements and technical expertise necessary to complete them, mean that ensuring you are complying with these requirements can be difficult, time consuming and expensive. Consequently Landlords are increasingly looking for new ways and means of reducing these burdens while still comply fully with their legal requirements.

 

 Pernix are able to provide a comprehensive sdervice, tailored to clients specific needs including Fire, Electrical, Gas, Legionella, Energy Performance Certificates and Premises Inspection and Assessment in accordance with HHSRS

 

 

Fire Safety
•    Fire Risk Assessment – In accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (2005
•    Smoke Detection and Alarm – Installation, maintenance, inspection and testing
•    Emergency Lighting– Installation, and ongoing inspection and testing
•    Fire Extinguishers and Blankets– Supply, commissioning, maintenance
•    Fire Signage – Specification and installation
•    Furniture and Furnishings – Fire Rating checks

 

Electrical Safety
•    Electrical Installation Condition Report – Valid for 5 Years
•    Portable Appliance Testing – On change of tenancy and annually

 

 

Gas Safety    
    •    Annual Gas Safety Inspection and Certificate – Completed by Gas Safe Registered Engineers
    •    Gas Appliance Servicing– Completed by Gas Safe Registered Engineers
    •    Carbon Dioxide Detectors – Installation, and ongoing inspection and testing

 

 

Legionella Risk Assessment
    •    Survey and Written Risk Assessment – Initial and bi-annual review
    •    Remedial Works
    •    Ongoing monitoring and maintenance

 

Energy Performance Certificates
•    Inspection and Certificate – Valid for 10 years

 

 

 Housing Standards
•    Inspection and Survey
•    Assessment against the 29 standards of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System

 

 

  Call us today for a free survey and quotation 01733 331300 / 07597793626

 

IOSH 
Pernix Safety Management - Director – Alan Hurst C.M.I.O.S.H
Registered Office – Peterborough, Cambs, PE3 6FB
Contact 01733 331300 / 07597 793 626 enquiries@pernix-safety.co.uk
 
 QSHCR