News

Monthly Health and Safety Bulletin–Issue No. 002

clip_image002Health & Safety Alerts

We’re getting there, only one accident reported throughout September!

The most common Health & Safety accident and near miss reports received at Kingdom still remain ‘Slips, Trips and Falls’. A lot of these are the result of taking unnecessary risks, sometimes with the best of intentions but, none the less, unnecessary.

Don’t take those risks; Think Safe, Work Safe, Home Safe.

Complete your Shield Training (revisit these modules as often as you feel necessary)

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Legislation Updates

No legislation updates applicable to Kingdom’s industry sectors this month.

Previous updates.

The recent update of RIDDOR, the ‘Common Sense – Common Safety’ report by Lord Young of Graffham, can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/common-sense-common-safety-a-report-by-lord-young-of-graffham

A recent review of the Health & Safety at work Act 1974 was completed by Professor Löfstedt entitled ‘Reclaiming health and safety for all’ can be found at www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/66790/lofstedt-report.pdf

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The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 explained

This month we are looking at ‘Safe Systems of Work’ (sometimes referred to as a ‘Method Statement’)

Definition; A safe system of work is a formal procedure which results from systematic examination of a task in order to identify all the hazards. It defines safe methods to ensure that hazards are eliminated or risks minimised.

The easiest example of a ‘Safe Systems of Work’ is your Assignment Instructions, they are created through a formal procedure whereby the Client and the Kingdom Operations Manager carry out a systematic examination of a task and identify all the hazards then ensure that hazards are eliminated or risks minimised

It’s your responsibility to comply with the ‘Safe System of Work’, following the safe system of work will ensure you minimise any risk to yourself and/or others associated with existing hazards

Case Study of a safe system of work.

Woolworths Fire 1979 Piccadilly Manchester.

At the time of the fire the building contained 500 staff and customers, as a consequence of the fire 47 were hospitalised and 10 died in the fire. Recorded at the time as the worst building fire in the UK since the Second World War.

Fire Brigade identified the following concerns as being significant:

1. Furniture contained highly inflammable polyurethane foam which, when alight, produced thick toxic smoke

2. Fire Exit signs were obscured by thick smoke

3. Multi storey building with no sprinkler system

4. Metal bars cemented into windows in upper floors preventing their use as a means of escape

It’s not reasonable or fair to wholly blame the management of Woolworths for not carrying out a systematic examination of a task and identifying all the hazards as many of the hazards listed above had never been encountered before (The Health and Safety at Work Act was only 4 years old and was not fully implemented until 1983).

Creating a safe system of work to prevent this type of event reoccurring will require actions in the design of buildings and that’s exactly what happened; pressure was brought by the Fire Service in conjunction with the Health & Safety Executive and as a result we now have:

1. Fire retardant polyurethane foam in soft furnishings

2. Illuminated Fire Exit signs

3. Sprinkler systems or dry risers fitted to multi storey buildings

4. Windows are now fitted with hinged cages secured by padlock.

There are always human factors in the safe system of work and the systematic examination of a task and identification of all the hazards in relation to emergency procedures highlighted, in this case, that during the evacuation of the upper floor restaurant, staff were unable to confirm if visitors using the restaurant would get a refund on their purchase. This resulted in many refusing to leave until they had an answer, others attempted to use Fire Exits whilst carrying hot food.

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Dispel the myth (Health & Safety getting wrongly blamed again)

Burger van refuses to cut burger in half

Issue

Enquirer was queuing at a burger van when the customer in front of them received their freshly cooked food and asked if one of the burgers could be cut in half as it was for her children. The stall owner immediately said "Can't do that - health and safety. We're just not allowed to do that." They accepted this excuse and left with the burger intact.

Panel decision

This is not a health and safety matter; there is no legislation which would prevent the stall from meeting the customer’s reasonable request to have their burger cut in half. Health and safety law does not prevent catering staff from using knives, in fact you expect them to know how use them safely. The panel have a real beef with this kind of unhelpful response to customers which completely misuses "health and safety".

View more myths at www.hse.gov.uk/myth/index.htm

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clip_image007Short Quiz

(1) In Health & Safety, PPE stands for?

a) Protect People and the Environment

b) Personal Protective Equipment

c) Politics, Philosophy and Economics

(2) What kind of Act is the Health & Safety at Work Act?

a) Enabling Act

b) Common Law

c) European Norm

(3) How can slip, trip and fall accidents be prevented?.

a) Opening doors for colleagues

b) Stacking boxes in corridors

c) Regular checking of all floor surfaces for defects and spillages

Answers to last month’s quiz: (1) = A, (2) = C (3) = A

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Ask the Safety Department a question or request an area of Health & Safety to be explained.

Email to Health&Safety@kingdom.co.uk