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… 
As the construction industry starts to become somewhat normal again across the UK, Building will resume, however a lot more building’s will be gracing the sky rather than stretching across the way. 
According to a report by New London Architecture, there are 525 new planned high-rise buildings with 20+ floors, for London alone. 
This will increase the problem Health and Safety professionals face and how to consistently operate safe workings at height. 
 
So, what is working at height? 
According to the HSE, working at height is defined as; work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. 
You are working at height if you: 
• work above ground/floor level 
• could fall from an edge, through an opening or fragile surface or 
• could fall from ground level into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground 
Many business owners recognise that equal opportunity in employment is important and any act of discrimination is unlawful. They also recognise that dignity at work and ensuring that everyone is treated with respect are important aspects of working life. To assist businesses to achieve these outcomes we have put together information below. 
 
Companies need to ensure that no employee or job applicant receives less favourable facilities or treatment on grounds of sex, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, national origins, religion or belief, age, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, sexual orientation, or someone is married or in a civil partnership or are placed at a disadvantage by imposed conditions, requirements or practices which cannot be shown to be justified. These are known as "protected characteristics". 
 
In addition, businesses should avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including recruitment, promotion, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, discipline and selection for redundancy. Candidates for employment or promotion should be assessed objectively against the requirements for the job, taking account of any reasonable adjustments that may be required for candidates with a disability. 
 
To help further it is important to understand and consider the definitions of unlawful discrimination: 
According to the HSE (in their Asbestos Related Diseases Statistics published in November 2020) over 5,000 deaths per year are being caused by Asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. 
What is Asbestos? 
Asbestos is a mineral that was mined for and used heavily in the construction/manufacturing industry following World War II, largely used in insulation, and building materials. This was due to its properties such as being a good thermal insulator, a good electrical insulator, minimal chemical reactions as well as being relatively fireproof. All these attributed made asbestos one of the best building materials. The only downside to Asbestos which was not widely known at the time was that once these Asbestos containing material are broken, the fibres they release are deadly once breathed in. 
What makes Asbestos so dangerous? 
When Asbestos containing materials or ACMs are broken or start to break-down they release exceedingly small fibres into the air, some looks like string others look like needles. 
Hard hitting facts: 
693,000 Workers sustained injury according to self-reports in 2019/20 
Of these self-reports, 168,000 injuries resulted in over 7 days of absence from work. 
65,427 Employee non-fatal injuries reported by employers under RIDDOR in 2019/20 
Of these 65,427 RIDDOR reports; 29% were attributed to slips trips or falls, 19% were attributed to manual handling, 11%struck by moving objects, 9% Acts of violence and lastly 8% Falls from height. 
The number 1 and number 2 workplace injury rate per 100,000 workers during 2019/20 was Construction and Agriculture, forestry and fishing. These industries have a statistically significantly higher risk of injury compared to other industries. Although recent trending suggests that the injury rate has been falling over the last decade, it is now starting to plateau across the board, this includes Self reports, RIDDORS and fatalities. 
111 Workers were killed at work in 2019/20 in fatal injuries. 
Injuries at work do not only affect the individual but also the employers, it is estimated that nearly 6.3 Million working days were lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries. 
It is well established those businesses that continually learn and develop thrive in challenging and changing environments and this success is ultimately determined by the capability of its employees or leaders. 
. Despite this understanding employee learning is limited to compliance training only, with little or no commit to investing in employees beyond this. Usually this decision is due to limits in financial resources or lack of understanding of how learning can transform their businesses. With this in mind we have put together some practical advice on how businesses may overcome these limits and be more innovative about how they can translate learning into business results. 
 
Firstly, it is important to understand where it is suggested learning takes place using the 70:20:10 model: 
 
As shown, this particular model suggests that most learning takes place through practice and experience rather than through formal training courses. This is important as it enables any business to invest in their employees by providing them with continuous opportunities to learn at work. To achieve this continuous learning employers can adopt the following: 
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 

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