Thursday, 25 August 2016

HSE Provisional Figures Show UK Fatality Rate Has Plateaued

Newly Published Workplace Fatalities Revealed

During the period March 15 - March 16 statistics have shown that 144 people were killed at work. This latest fatal injury rate is 7% lower than the five year ( 2010 - 11, to 2014 - 15 ) average of 155 deaths. This indicates that there is a downward trend of workplace deaths with it more than being halved over the past 20 years. As it currently stands, these figures are provisional and won't be finalised until July next year, this does mean that the figure of 144 could change.

  • 43 construction workers died last year, this has gone up since the previous year with a total of 35. This figure does include someone who was killed when Didcot Power Station collapsed in February but doesn't take into consideration the three bodies that have not yet been found.
  • 27 workplace deaths occurred in the manufacturing industry, higher than the 5 year average of 22. 
  • 27 fatalities in agriculture, this is lower than the 5 year average of 32. 
  • 6 workers in the waste and recycling industry were killed compared with the 5 year average of 7. 
  • Asbestos related cancer killed 2,515 in 2014, compared with 2,556 in 2013.

IOSH president Dr Karen McDonnell said in regard to the figures -
"Britain is renowned the world over for its health and safety systems. The release of these figures, however, is a timely reminder of the need to continue to improve working conditions, both in Britain and across the world.

Martin Temple, chair of the HSE said -
"Britain has one of the best health and safety systems in the world, but we should always be looking to improve and to prevent incident that cost lives.

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Monday, 25 July 2016

NEBOSH Course Dates - 2016

Health and Safety South East Ltd - Course dates 

We are running the following courses on the below dates, for further details please contact or, you can also visit our website

Nebosh National General Certificate 


Day 1 - Tuesday 11th October
Day 2 - Wednesday 12th October
Day 3 - Monday 24th October
Day 4 - Tuesday 25th October
Day 5 - Tuesday 1st November

Day 1 - Wednesday 2nd November
Day 2 - Monday 7th November
Day 3 - Tuesday 8th November
Day 4 - Tuesday 15th November
Day 5 - Wednesday 16th November

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Friday, 15 July 2016

Do's and Don'ts of Ergonomics

Comfort and Productivity

Spending all day in an office, sat at your desk, typing, answering emails and phone calls, can sometimes make for an uncomfortable experience. Follow these simple yet effective do's and don'ts to help you be comfortable and most productive during your day in the office. 

DO! Keep A Good Posture

To ensure you get the most out of your office chair you must have good posture habits, you may well have the highest quality or a more simpler chair at your desk however, the comfort all depends on you. Studies have shown that by creating a list of reminders within eye sight of your workstation, on how to correctly sit in your chair, have had big results on peoples comfort whilst sitting. 
The list below are key posture tips to help you get started on your list 
  • Keep feet flat and facing forward
  • Don't use the chair base as a foot rest
  • Don't hunch over the keyboard
  • Keep back in contact with the chair at all times
  • Adjust regularly to achieve necessary support

DON'T! Take A Set It And Forget It Approach

Never be afraid to adjust your office chair at regular intervals throughout the day. It is important to be fully aware of what every lever or button does so you can quickly adjust your chair and continue with your daily tasks. This will help maximise your performance. Your chair will have come with instructions or if you don't have them to hand, have a look online to become more at ease with this process.  

DO! Take Short Breaks

Always move around, around every hour or two make it a good habit to take a short walk to the water cooler or if you have a question for someone that is nearby, don't just send an email or pick up the phone stretch out your muscles by going over to their desk. Try not to get in a habit of having lunch at your desk, perhaps take your lunch outside, when you return to your desk you will feel ready to continue with your daily tasks. 

DON'T! Settle For Discomfort

You must not settle for discomfort; you have to take immediate action. If you are suffering from back pain, try to adjust the angle of which you are sitting. If you are getting aches and pains in your knees, try adjusting the chair height. You are in charge of your comfort.

DO! Work To Improve Blood Flow

Good blood flow will help you fight fatigue, sit to stand desks are the best way to do this, you can stretch out and you don't need to leave your desk. Alternatively, there are sit to stand keyboard trays which also help to switch operating positions. 

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Occupational Cancer - Health and Safety Challenge

Britain's Biggest Health and Safety Challenge is Occupational Cancer

Occupational cancer is Britain's greatest Health and Safety problem. However much it may be the countries biggest problem, the BOHS have made clear that all of these cancers can be prevented through better recognition of the risks within the occupation and appropriate focused efforts. Below are some facts that help us gain a better understanding of occupational cancer and how statistics are on the rise.

  • 99% of occupational deaths in 2014/15 are primarily the result of work related lung disease and cancer.
  • At least 8,000 of these deaths are due to occupational cancer.
  • 4,000 of the deaths were linked to asbestos exposure.
  • 2,000 cases of breast cancer are attributed to shift work eg night work, unusual shift patterns that disrupt the body clock.
  • By 2060 occupational cancers will have risen an additional 5,000 compared to the current 8,000.
  • The construction sector has the largest number of occupational cancer cases caused by breathing in carcinogenic substances.
  • Other work-related cancers include crystalline silica dust, diesel exhaust fumes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). 
Following the above statistics, BOHS have released their Breathe Freely Campaign in order to provide guidance, tools and resources that help to recognise, evaluate and control the exposures in the workplace, effectively helping to reduce occupational cancer. 

For more information on this topic please visit 

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Contractor jailed after trench collapses

The Importance of a Risk Assessment

It is easy to fill out a risk assessment, quickly, half heartedly or not at all. However, we must remember the utter importance of why it is there and why it needs to be completed to a high standard. A risk assessment is a management plan, it creates awareness of the risks and also identifies who may be at risk. If it is not in place, the results can on occasion be fatal.

Unfortunately, that was the case for Hywel Glyndwr Richards, subcontracted by a company owned by William Ryan Evans. The company Evans owned was contracted to build a drainage field with infiltration pipes laid at the bottom of deep trenches. On 26th June 2012 Richards entered the trench in order to remove a clump of soil when the excavation collapsed on him, he was buried and sadly died at the scene. Evans was sentenced to six months imprisonment for being in breach of section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The HSE had found that the work had not been planned properly and that the risk assessment was not suitable or sufficient. Workers were not correctly trained and nor was there equipment to prevent the trench collapsing.

This is just one example of reminding us of the sheer importance of having a risk assessment in place, had this have been carried out properly they may have already identified how to prevent the risk of the trench collapsing and therefore preventing such a fatality.

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Electrical safety in the office

Office Electrical Safety

We all depend on electricity for practically everything, lighting, cooking, computing, social media and much more.  Just stop for a moment and take a look around you, there'll be something near by that is using electricity. As you can imagine, in an office electricity is running everywhere, computers, printers, telephone, powering the staff room fridge and microwave. It is paramount that we use this equipment in a safe manner to eliminate the risk of electric shock or letting loose a spark that could turn into a lethal fire.

What Are The Most Common Electrical Hazards?

Most offices have a low risk in terms of electrical hazards, particularly in comparison with other industries. However, we still need to manage the risk of electric shock.

Most electricity- related injuries are typically the result of:

  • Incorrectly installed an/or inadequately maintained electrical equipment
  • Faulty/incorrect wiring
  • Overloaded, overheated, or shorted plugs/sockets
  • The use of flexible leads and extension cables that are prone to damage.
  • Using equipment that is believed to be dead but is still live
  • Incorrect use of replacement fuses
  • Using electrical equipment near a source of water or with wet hands. 
The main causes in an office environment are faulty or defective equipment, unsafe installation, or misuse of equipment, particularly extension cords, power strips and surge protectors. So we need to take care as electricity carries the same dangers regardless of whether it's powering equipment or an office printer. The importance of correctly installing, using, and maintaining equipment cannot be stressed enough. 

Correctly installing and regularly maintaining safe electrical equipment is an employer's responsibility

Under the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989),  employers need to take action for ensuring all electrical equipment on the premises is safe for use and will not present any significant dangers. This includes:
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment selected for workers is safe for work activities and for their intended purpose - need to be CE marked and made to EN standard
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment has under gone through the necessary checks
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment is properly installed and maintained by a qualified/competent person
  • Arranging for equipment to be regularly inspected for faults, to be isolated immediately if faults are discovered, and to be repaired by a suitably trained person. 
  • Preventing all live parts of electrical equipment from being accessed during normal operation
  • Providing all employees with information and training on electrical safety and the correct use of electrical equipment. 
Hopefully, the preventative measures that you implement will be sufficient in safeguarding everyone. But nothing is ever perfect and sometimes things do go wrong no matter how cautious we are. What's important is that we don't let hazards catch us off guard. You need to be alert. Spot them before they lead to an accident and nip them in the bud. 

Teach Your Employees How To Look Out For Hazards In The Office That Could Lead To Electricity Related Accidents

They should look for:
  • Electrical cables that are frayed, loose, or have any exposed wires/insulation
  • Rattling/loose plugs
  • Electrical equipment that gives off a strange odour
  • Overheating equipment (those that are not heated by normal operations)
  • Overloaded outlets or extension cords, inc using extension leads coiled up
  • Equipment that is not working properly
Any faulty equipment, wiring, plugs, etc. should be removed from the premises immediately and reported to the supervisor or whoever is in charge - i.e the competent person. Outlets should not be overloaded, so either take action to plug equipment elsewhere or tell the competent person, who should take action and minimise the need for overloading them. 

You may need a competent electrician to install additional outlets where overloading existing ones and relying heavily on extension cords seems to be an issue.

Tips for minimising electrical hazards:
  • Switch off and unplug appliances when they are not in use and before cleaning
  • Turn off all appliances at the end of the day
  • Do not force a plug into an outlet if it does not fit, or try and use something to force it out of socket if stuck
  • Do not run electrical cords through high traffic areas, under carpets, or across doorways - this will prevent cords from being worn down and minimises accidents
  • Maintain at least 1m of clearance in front of all electrical panels
These safety procedures are an absolute must;
Without them, people will be at risk of suffering from an electric shock, electrical and thermal burns, and even facing death. Whilst other accidents may be more commonplace than electric shocks, the consequences of by passing preventative measures for electrical safety will be significant. 

Did you know that an employee is 20 times more likely to be killed when working with electricity than from all other types of accidents?
There are lots of record cases where people coming into physical contact with electrical equipment or live wires has led to fatal electric shocks. 

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Monday, 6 June 2016

HSE facing more than 12% grant cut

According to the regulators business plan, over the next 3 years HSE will be facing more than a 12% grant cut. In 2019/20 the grant will be 123.4 million opposed to 140.9 million in 2016/17, meaning a 35% grant cut since 2010/11. 60% of funding in 2016/17 will come from the public and the remaining 94 million will be taken from the executives activities including the intervention charging scheme.

'Helping Great Britain Work Well' is a strategy recently published focused on improving national injury and ill health statistics. HSE will be reviewing its sector strategies and publishing updated version by the end of the year. A long term strategy will be that of ill health including partners such as the NHS in an aim to promote behavioral changes. HSE will also focus on major health risks, such as Legionella, silica dust, carcinogens and asthmagens in woodworking, welding fumes and musculoskeletal disorders in food production. This plan should see inspectors making 20,000 inspections in 2016/17.

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