OUR BLOG 

 
Below are a number of posts containing useful tips and insights from the Directors of Auxil Limited, acknowledged industry experts and trusted advisors in the fields of Health & Safety and Human Resources, which will hopefully trigger some thoughts or ideas. 
 
Why not join the conversation? We would love to hear your views… 
Most employers throughout the UK understand, more than ever, how important the Health and Safety of their workforce is, with this in mind our focus this month is on health and safety training and why it is important. 
In the first instance, it is a legal requirement that employees are competent to undertake required tasks in a safe way. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (HSWA) 1974 states that employers need to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision is necessary to ensure, "so far as is reasonably practicable", the safety of their employees and others affected by their activities. 
 
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) 1999, outlines where safety training is most important, e.g. when people start work, on exposure to new or increased risks and update skills and knowledge where needed. The MHSWR require employees to consider the capabilities, training, knowledge and experience of workers and ensure that the demands of their work do not exceed their ability to carry out their role without risk to themselves and others. 
Many businesses are changing their focus, expanding or contracting their activities and rethinking their products and services and how they deliver them. This is particularly so during times of significant uncertainty, for example following the Covid 19 pandemic and the vote by the UK to leave the EU. In this context, businesses need to introduce and manage change to achieve objectives, whilst maintaining the commitment of their people, as well as ensuring that business continues as usual. 
Yet research shows that most change initiatives fail to get their intended outcomes and may even limit business potential. The effects of not managing change effectively can be devastating, so it’s important that business owners understand the issues and techniques to support effective change. So, with this in mind we have put together a number of points to help with implementing business change during challenging time. 
 
Fire accidents are one of the most common accidents that can happen around you. In fact, it causes more deaths than other types of accidents, and a lot of it is due to lack of preparedness. 
Fires do not have to be deadly, if you know the early signs of a possible accidents and the associated fire safety measures you must take to protect yourself and more importantly everyone else on the premise. 
Below are some things that will prepare you for a fire accident in your premises, so loss of lives and property is minimal; 
Install smoke detectors outside every sleeping area and on every additional level of your premises. These can be linked or non-linked detectors, this should be stated in your fire risk assessment, 
Keep a log of all smoke detectors, their date of purchase, last service date, monthly test date and its results, and other pertinent information because in most cases, smoke detectors give you the first sign of a fire accident. Keep all smoke detector tests and service dates in your fire logbook, 
We can all agree that companies will be compelled to think carefully about employee health and wellbeing for the foreseeable future. So, with this in mind we’ve put together 4 Top Tips to help you on your way. 
Lead by example 
• Create time in the working day for other activities that can help reduce stress. 
• Take time out to rest after busy periods: take regular breaks and use your annual leave entitlement. 
• Don’t work when you’re unwell. 
• Avoid working excessive hours or emailing employees outside working hours. 
• Encourage your team to do the same. 
 
Consider your Management style 
• Are you fair, open, and consistent? If so, your team is more likely to cope well under pressure. 
• Do you regularly give positive and constructive feedback? 
• Are you approachable and comfortable having sensitive conversations? 
• How do you handle conflicts or cases of bullying/harassment? 
• Do you adapt your management style to suit the needs of individuals? 
• Do you give your team members as much autonomy and support as you can? 
• Do you communicate change effectively and support your team through it? 
• Do you give people who work alone or in the work environment opportunities to form relationships with others? 
CDM stands for Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 and not Cadbury’s Dairy Milk! 
CDM 2015 applies to all construction work which means the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work. 
Who are the duty Holders under the CDM 2015 regulations? 
1. Clients are organisations or individuals for whom a commercial construction project is carried out and have control of the decisions relating to the build. They must; 
a. Appoint a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor in writing or accept their duties themselves and assess their competence; 
b. ensure an F10 notification is submitted to the HSE, if the project is over 500 person days or over 30 days with more than 20 persons on site at any one time; 
c. Ensure suitable welfare facilities are in place from day 1 of construction 
d. provide Pre-Construction Information (PCI) to every designer and contractor appointed 
e. before the construction phase begins, a Construction Phase Plan (CPP) is in place 
f. a Health and Safety File for the project is prepared when construction is complete 
 
We can all agree that consultation with employees during difficult and changing times has always been important. Going forward, it will become even more important as we move toward to our new normal, with new and innovative ideas on how we can work and live our lives safely and securely. So, with this in mind we have put together a number points that will help employers achieve meaningful consultation to enable businesses to reap the associated benefits, such as, better decision-making and problem solving, cost reduction, improved innovation and productivity. 
 
• Be open and honest. Not only will it help build trust in decision- making, it will also help to create a culture where employees feel able to speak up. 
• Be proactive and involve employees in the design of information and consultation arrangements. 
• Ensure there is a strategic focus at all meetings and provide employees with training so they can correctly identify this type of strategic issue. 
Working safely during the coronavirus pandemic has been and is at the forefront of business owners’ minds. To enable businesses to return to work, following the latest information from HM Government, employers are required to produce a risk assessment. 
 
To help, we have listed below the requirements employers must consider when producing their Covid-19 Risk Assessment: 
1. Are your employees fit to come to work or are their immediate family are infected or vulnerable, 
2. Should they be isolated, 
3. What happens if they show symptoms at work, 
4. Can your employees work from home and use technology 
5. Can you stagger shifts to reduce numbers at premises at any one time 
6. How are your employees getting to work, driving, using public transport, cycling or walking 
7. How are they signing in and out safely 
8. How is social distancing being managed within the workplace, 2m spacing, and moving around the workplace 
9. Use of desks, workstations, people in shared rooms or using shared working platforms. 
 
Construction company, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd was sentenced for safety breaches after worker, Mark Smith, fell 4.8 metres via an unprotected opening. 
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 28 April 2016, Mr Smith, aged 36, was working at Stone Gappe Hall, Lothersdale, Keighley, owned by Richard McAlpine, a director of the McAlpine team of companies. Mr Smith was attaching straps to a water tank while preparing to pass it to a decrease flooring of a water tower at the property, in order to paint the floor. 
 
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) observed that Mr Smith fell through an opening that did not have fixed aspect protection. As a result, he sustained serious injuries including: a tibial shaft fracture, a distal fibular fracture, a fracture to the left patella, orbital and nasal fractures, lacerations to the face, a concessional head injury, damage to his ribs and he was hospitalised for 9 days.  
 
UK employees can expect to receive a 1.1% real salary increase in 2020, compared to the 1.2% increase seen in 2019, according to research found by XpertHR. 
The median basic pay award edged up to 2.8% at the end of the quarter, 0.3 percentage points higher than the average seen in every other rolling quarter in 2019. However, XpertHR warned that the increase should be viewed with caution as its analysis looked at pay settlements awarded between 1 August and 31 October, traditionally a period where few pay reviews are concluded, the underlying picture is of organisations increasing pay by 2.5% across 2019 as a whole. 
 
Employers are in the dark about the rates they would need to pay their employees on the national minimum wage and national living wage from April 2020, as the general election has delayed the national minimum wage announcement usually scheduled for this time of year. 
This month, we are taking a look at recent news. 
An article published by hsmsearch.com shows that “a solar panel company has been fined after a worker fell through a skylight during the installation of solar panels on a farm workshop in East Sussex.” 
On July 23rd 2018 Brighton Magistrates Court heard how an employee of SolarUK Limited fell approximately four meters through a unprotected skylight, sustaining multiple long term injuries to his wrist; whilst carrying out insulation work in Ninfield. The court heard as he stood to move he stepped onto the unprotected rooflight. An investigation by the HSE found that, although the company were aware of the risks from fragile surfaces and unprotected edges, they failed to plan or properly supervise the work, failing to ensure that access to hazardous areas were prevented; thus showing that all the workers were at risk of falls throughout the job. 
 
SolarUK Limited, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of The Working at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £40,000 and ordered to pay an additional £2,170 to cover costs and a victim surcharge. 

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