HSE International

B&M Waste Services driver’s positive safety actions avert disaster

B&M Waste Services’ driver, Dean Burns, is today being congratulated for his excellent health & safety etiquette.

As a member of B&M’s frontline service team, Dean has received regular training and toolbox-talks to ensure he checks every waste container before lifting it. This ensures there are no members of the public sleeping in there, which is an issue that B&M’s ‘Refuse not refuge’ campaign aims to reduce. B&M also work closely with Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, to further prevent the danger occurring in the first place.

He promptly reported finding a homeless person sleeping in a waste container at a major shopping centre on the Wirral this morning. His actions today saved this man from potential life changing injuries.

Mick Ashall, Director at B&M said “I would like to thank Dean for his rapid response. It is a lesson to all of us in the waste and recycling industry that people seeking refuge in containers is not just a winter issue. We are using this example to circulate a reminder to all of our colleagues in the industry”

For further information on B&M’s campaigns please refer to these two articles

http://bagnallandmorris.com/safety/

http://bagnallandmorris.com/bmwastelaunchesrefusenotrefugecampaignwithdonationtoshelter/

 

For more information or media enquiries, please contact Jayne Kennedy at B&M Waste Services on 0151 346 2900 or email jaynekennedy@bagnallandmorris.com,

www.bagnallandmorris.com

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) appoints a new committee to provide independent expert knowledge & advice on workplace health

The workplace health expert committee (WHEC) will be made up of nine members who will provide expert opinion on emerging issues and trends, new evidence relating to existing issues and, on the quality and relevance of the evidence base on workplace health issues.

Working under the leadership of an independent expert Chair, the WHEC will provide scientific and medical advice to HSE’s Chief Scientific Advisor and Director of Research Professor Andrew Curran and to HSE’s Board.

The committee will encourage collaborative working with stakeholders and partners whilst helping to identify issues of potential concern to Government Departments and business.

In particular, the WHEC will focus on chemical and physical hazards and human behavioural or organisational factors in the workplace (such as shift work) that could lead to physiological and psychosocial ill health. It will not focus on wellbeing, sickness absence management or rehabilitation as these issues are dealt with elsewhere in government. The committee will not consider individual cases of ill health or disease.

Professor Andrew Curran said: “I’m very pleased to have secured such a world-class team of experts in workplace health issues which will supplement our own in-house expertise in this area.

“Our statistics show that around 13,000 people die each year from occupational lung disease and cancer as a consequence of past workplace exposures, primarily to chemicals and dusts. In addition, an estimated 1.2 million people who worked in 2013/14 were suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by work, of which 535,000 were new cases which started in the year.

“I look forward to working with the Committee to help us develop new strategies to reduce these and other causes of workplace ill-health”.

Chair of the committee, Professor Sir Anthony Newman Taylor said: “I am delighted to chair this important new HSE committee.

“Policy for health and safety needs to be informed by the best contemporary scientific evidence. It is our role to provide HSE with robust evaluation of emerging evidence of new hazards and new evidence of well recognised hazards. I greatly look forward to working with this distinguished panel of experts to achieve this.”

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/hse-launches-new-workplace-health-expert-committee/

B&M Waste Services achieve Carbon Neutrality for a fifth consecutive year

Leading recycling and waste management company, B&M Waste Services have this month been certificated as Carbon Neutral for the fifth year running, after being one of the first companies to achieve PAS2060 carbon neutrality.

&M offsets all its emissions by supporting a Gold Standard Verified Emission Reductions (Gold Standard VERs) project, and in total the company has offset more than 14,000 tonnes in the five year period. These projects reduce carbon emissions via the displacement of fossil fuels.

During the past five years, B&M has invested almost £60,000 into high quality carbon offset projects in Indonesia, Brazil, China, Turkey and India. It has further invested £3500 on tree planting initiatives in the North West of England.

This year B&M are supporting a Gold Standard VER Landfill Gas reclaim project in Kocaeli province of Turkey. The project recovers landfill site gases, mostly made up of methane and carbon dioxide, which otherwise would be released into the atmosphere. The project also provides much needed employment opportunity.

Over past years, the business has also supported a range of landfill gas & renewable energy projects in Indonesia, Brazil, China and India – supporting projects and communities across the Globe.

B&M’s carbon neutrality meets the British Standards Industry’s (BSI) Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2060. The company works with Carbon Footprint Ltd on the implementation of its carbon management plan.

Recently, the UK has seen the introduction of legislation to reduce energy and carbon emissions, including the Carbon Reduction Commitment, Mandatory GHG Reporting and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) for larger businesses and requirement for carbon footprint disclosure within supply chains is only getting stronger.

Over the years, B&M have innovated and implemented a wide range of technologies and processes across the business to reduce carbon emissions.

“Environmental performance of waste management suppliers is a key concern to many customers. As well as our desire to reduce impact of our services, we are committed to provide a lower carbon solution to our clients,” said Mick Ashall, Director at B&M Waste Services.

Dr Wendy Buckley, client director at Carbon Footprint Ltd who assist B&M with their carbon programme said “B&M is a trailblazer with a long standing carbon management programme that – unlike some businesses – they have entered into on a voluntary and proactive basis. The business has a long track record of reducing emission intensity and responding to new processes and technologies to reduce impact.”

Beyond these current achievements, B&M plans to roll out further carbon reduction measures, including the recent addition of electric hybrid vehicles to their fleet.

Concluded Mick “B&M will continue to push forward. Although we are currently not required by legislation to measure, manage or offset our carbon emissions it is in the DNA of our business to do so.”

For more information or media enquiries, please contact Jayne Kennedy at B&M Waste Services on 0151 346 2900 or email jaynekennedy@bagnallandmorris.com,

www.bagnallandmorris.com

 

Health and safety warning as temperatures soar

Health and safety warnings have been issued with temperatures in Britain are set to soar.

Today is set to be the hottest day of the year so far.

People are being urged to look after each other in the hot weather, with older people and infants particularly vulnerable to becoming dehydrated, while children are particularly at risk of sunburn.

Dr Paddy Hannigan, Chair of Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “While the young and the elderly are particularly vulnerable, everyone should take care and stay hydrated and avoid sunburn.

“It is especially important to keep an eye on children in these conditions. They should spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm where possible, cover up with a t-shirt, hat, sunglasses and use a sunscreen with a protection level of at least SPF15 generously, reapplying regularly.

“People should be aware of the symptoms of dehydration and particularly take care of older people, especially if they are less mobile and struggle to get regular drinks for themselves.”

Signs of dehydration include:

  • feeling thirsty and lightheaded
  • a dry mouth
  • tiredness
  • passing urine less often than usual

Contact NHS 111 for advice straight away if you or anyone you care for have any of the following symptoms:

  • extreme thirst
  • feeling unusually tired (lethargic) or confused
  • not passing urine for eight hours
  • rapid heartbeat
  • dizziness when you stand up that doesn’t go away after a few seconds

They will then advise the best next action or may ask you to be seen by your GP. If at the evening they may ask for a review by the Out of Hours GP service.

 

Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Support Member for Social & Health Care, said: “While many people enjoy the hot weather it can potentially pose a risk to the very young, the elderly and people with long-term health problems.

‘We do want everyone to be able to enjoy the good weather safely and would encourage people to keep an eye on elderly friends and neighbours  to ensure they are keeping well if the really hot weather arrives.”

 

West Midlands Ambulance Service have also issued this advice:

  • If you’re out in the sun make sure you apply plenty of sun cream, wear a hat and light, loose fitting cotton clothes. Avoid being out between 11am and 3pm, which is the hottest part of the day.
  • If you’re taking advantage of the sunshine and are going out for a walk or hike in the countryside, please make sure you wear the appropriate footwear to avoid any slips or trips.
  • If you’re planning on hitting the road for a trip away, make sure you’re prepared for your journey, take food and drinks and remember to break the journey up. If driving in residential areas, please watch out for ice cream vans and any children that may be distracted around them.
  • We would also ask bikers to be careful and wear appropriate safety clothing. Equally we ask car drivers to look out for bikers, as the number of these on the road will be significantly higher when the weather is good.”

 

Firefighters in Cheshire have issued this advice for people having BBQs during this week:

  • Make sure your BBQ is in good working order; ensure the BBQ is on a flat site, well away from a shed, trees or shrubs; keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area; never leave the BBQ unattended; keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies; ensure the BBQ is cool before attempting to move it
  • Place disposable BBQs well away from the house, shed or fences; do not use disposable barbecues near or on public benches; if you’re using a disposable BBQ ensure it has cooled before putting it in the bin; to avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and then consider pouring water over it to make sure it’s out.
  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base to a depth of about 50mm (2 inches); only use recognised fire lighters or starter fuel and only on cold coals – use the minimum necessary and never use petrol; never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin – they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.
  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder; change cylinders outdoors if possible or in a well ventilated area; if you suspect a leak to the cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles – tighten to fix but do not overtighten; after cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before turning off at the controls to ensure any residual gas in the pipe work is used up

 

Firefighters in Staffordshire are urging people not to swim in unsupervised lakes and pools as temperatures rise.

Statistics from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) have revealed that drowning is still the third most common cause of death in children in the UK. Last year there were a total of 338 water-related deaths according to the NWSF.

Head of Risk Reduction Jim Bywater said: “While the thought of cooling off in the water may seem tempting, it carries substantial risks, particularly in lakes or pools that are unsupervised. The consequences can be life-threatening if things go wrong.

“There are often hidden dangers that can’t be seen on the surface, such as strong undercurrents and undergrowth. I would urge people to call 999 immediately if they do see someone in difficulty and to request the fire and rescue service. If there are buoyancy aids available, throw them over to the person but never get into the water yourself as you could find yourself in the same situation.

“We have specialist teams that are trained in water rescues and have two boats available for us to use should we need to. However, that does not mean that it is safe to risk getting into the water – don’t put yourself in a position where you may need rescuing.”

 

Vet Vicki Larkham from charity PDSA has offered these tips for looking after pets:

  • Never leave pets in cars, conservatories or caravans. Not even for just a few minutes. Even on a cloudy day the temperature can rise very quickly, and you may end up being away for longer than you anticipated. Heatstroke can be fatal and every year we hear sad stories of pets that have died.
  • Provide plenty of fresh, clean water. Pets need constant access to this, so check bowls or bottles at least once a day and be on hand to provide plenty of refills.
  • Exercise in the morning or evening. Just as we wouldn’t go for a walk under the midday sun with our coats on, we should keep our pets in the shade during the hottest part of the day too. Keep strenuous exercise to a minimum and give them free access to cool, indoor areas
  • Check your rabbit for flystrike. This is a serious maggot infestation that can be fatal. During the summer rabbits should be checked underneath at least twice a day for fly eggs and dirt. Make sure to keep their underneath clean by wiping with a clean damp cloth.
  • Provide plenty of shade. Not only is this important if your pet lives outdoors in an enclosure or a hutch, indoor cages should also be kept well away from the window to avoid long periods of direct sunlight. Don’t let your pet lie in direct sunlight for too long.
  • Protect them with pet sunscreen. These are available from all good pet stores and can be used on areas of white fur or on pets with only a thin covering of hair. Protect vulnerable areas, such as the nose and, particularly for cats, the tips of the ears.
  • Enjoy a tidy BBQ. AT PDSA we’ve often had to operate to remove skewers and corn on the cobs from dog’s stomachs– so always tidy up leftovers and rubbish. Remember not to give into those puppy dog eyes and skip the scraps to avoid upsetting your pet’s stomach. Along with the food, be mindful of your drinks. Alcohol can be particularly hazardous for pets and glass bottles or cups can be easily knocked over and smashed.
  • Having your pet’s fur trimmed.  This is a great way to help prevent overheating.
  • Take extra care when travelling. If you’re going away in the car, keep windows open – but not wide enough for pets to get through. Make regular water stops. Never let your dog put their head out of the car window and never leave them in a parked car.
  • Watch out for overheating. The signs of heat stroke start with excessive panting and can progress to fatal collapse. Keep a sharp eye and keep your nearest vet’s phone number handy just in case.. If your pet does get too hot, wrap them in a cool damp towel, changing it regularly with a fresh damp one.

 

The heat could also see the use of Wimbledon’s ‘heat rule’ for only the third time in the history of the tennis tournament.

The rule allows a 10-minute break between the second and third sets of matches if temperatures are higher than 30.1C – something that has only happened twice to date: in 2006 and 2009.

This only applies to women, however, as part of the Women’s Tennis Association guidelines. The Association of Tennis Professionals has no equivalent rule for men.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1NwTZlm

Eleven waste-related deaths in 2014/15

Six members of the public were killed by waste and recycling activities, alongside five deaths to workers in Britain throughout 2014/15, figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today (July 1) suggest.

The provisional figures indicate that one more worker died in the sector than during the previous year, but there was a dramatic spike in the number of deaths to the public, with only one having been recorded throughout 2013/14.

And, the six deaths caused by waste and recycling activities do not include the fatalities linked to the Glasgow RCV collisions and crash last December, HSE has confirmed. The Glasgow incident has been classed as a road traffic incident, and therefore not included in work-related deaths.

The worker fatality count is greatly reduced compared to 2012/13, when a total of 10 deaths were recorded in the sector – but the significant increase in the number of members of the public killed is likely to be of concern.

Workers

Within the waste sector itself, while the number of worker fatalities rose by one when compared to the previous year, it stands at a lower rate than the average count of six fatalities recorded for the preceding five years.

When compared to other high risk industries, waste and recycling ranks better than agriculture where 9.12 deaths were recorded per 100,000 workers (33 overall) but worse than construction, where 1.62 deaths were recorded per 100,000 workers (35 overall). A total of 4.31 deaths were recorded per 100,000 workers in waste and recycling.

waste deaths table

Rick Brunt, HSE’s head of waste and recycling said: “The figures released today show a slight increase and we recognise that with small numbers fluctuations can seem very significant.

“The death of any worker is a tragedy, and while these figures do not represent a significant change in performance, the industry needs to maintain its concerted effort to improve. As a priority sector for HSE we will continue to work with the industry to address the poor safety record and reduce the toll of death and injury.”

“Everyone involved in the industry has a responsibility to focus their efforts on reducing the number of incidents, and making sure that people working in the industry go home safely at the end of the day, with the number of unnecessary deaths and injuries tackled.”

Fatal injury data for 2013/14 released today is provisional, with the finalised figures expected to be published in October. This will follow any necessary adjustments arising from investigations, in which new facts can emerge about whether the accident was work-related, according to HSE.

 

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1NwTZlm

HSE releases annual workplace fatalities

Provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents in Great Britain’s workplaces shows small change from previous years, sustaining a long term trend that has seen the rate of fatalities more than halve over the last 20 years.

Provisional annual data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals 142 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2014 and March 2015 (a rate of 0.46 fatalities per 100,000 workers). This compares to last year’s all-time low of 136 (0.45 fatalities per 100,000 workers). Fatal injuries at work are thankfully rare events and as a consequence, the annual figures are subject to chance variation.

The statistics again confirm the UK to be one of the safest places to work in Europe, having one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations.

However, HSE’s Chair points out that every death is a tragedy. Judith Hackitt said: “It is disappointing last year’s performance on fatal injuries has not been matched, but the trend continues to be one of improvement. Our systems and our framework remain strong as demonstrated by our performance in comparison to other countries.

“Every fatality is a tragic event and our commitment to preventing loss of life in the workplace remains unaltered.  All workplace fatalities drive HSE to develop even more effective interventions to reduce death, injury and ill health.”

The new figures show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:

  • 35 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded – a rate of 1.62 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 45 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 44 deaths recorded in 2013/14.
  • 33 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded – a rate 9.12 deaths per 100,000 workers, the same as the average of 33 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 27 deaths recorded in 2013/14.
  • Five fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded – a rate of 4.31 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of six deaths in the past five years and an increase from the four deaths recorded in 2013/14.

The published statistics also include a breakdown by country and region. These are strongly influenced by variations in the mix of industries and occupations. For example in Scotland and Wales compared to England, there are noticeably fewer employees in lower-risk occupational groups, with relatively more in higher-risk ones. In addition, the number of fatalities in some regions is relatively small, hence susceptible to considerable variation.

HSE has also released the latest available figures on deaths from asbestos-related cancer. Mesothelioma, one of the few work related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, contracted through past exposure to asbestos killed 2,538 in Great Britain in 2013 compared to 2,548 in 2012.

A more detailed assessment of the data will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release at the end of October. As this draws on HSE’s full range of sources, including changes in non-fatal injuries and health trends, and will provide a richer picture on trends.

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/hse-releases-annual-workplace-fatalities/

Company fined £160,000 after death of worker near Aberdeen harbour

A company has been fined over a breach of health and safety law following the death of a worker on a diving support vessel.

Technip UK was fined £160,000 after pleading guilty at Aberdeen Sheriff Court today.

The case follows the death in April 2009 of David Stephenson who was working as a rigger on the vessel when he was injured in an incident near Aberdeen harbour.

He was flown to hospital but was pronounced dead.

A spokeswoman for the company said today: “Technip UK Limited confirms it has pled guilty to the charge in the indictment.

“The charge relates to an incident that took place on the vessel, Wellservicer, in April 2009 that resulted in the death of David ‘Luey’ Stephenson.

“David’s death was a tragedy that the company deeply regrets, and both David, and his family remain in our thoughts.

“Technip accepts it made mistakes, has taken action to remedy those, and continuously invests in and develops its HSE (Health and Safety Executive) practices to ensure it provides a safe place of work.”

The company admitted a contravention of the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations 1997.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency head of enforcement Jeremy Smart said: “This was a tragic incident which should never have happened and our sympathies go out to the family of Mr Stephenson.

“This incident clearly demonstrates that proper risk assessments need to be conducted before any operation is undertaken and the appropriate safety measures put in place.

“Safety failings like this are not acceptable in any industry.”

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1NfEM83

Glastonbury Festival organisers show how they safeguard fans and staff

With preparations for this year’s Glastonbury Festival nearing completion, the team which gets the site ready demonstrated the systems they have in place to protect 135,000 music fans and staff.

Months of planning has gone into looking after the safety and health of everyone at the five-day festival, which starts on Wednesday 24 June.

Organisers also ensure those involved in preparations are kept out of harm’s way. Setting up work includes installing numerous temporary structures including stages for performers. It also includes sanitation, power and site services.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) Sports Grounds and Events Group visited the 1,100-acre site at Worthy Farm, Somerset, today to see how those plans are put into action.

They heard a presentation at the Pyramid Stage from Festival Operations Director Tim Roberts and his safety and health team.

They then had a one-hour tour of the site – normally an award-winning dairy farm, which scooped the prestigious Gold Cup in 2014. The tour gave them a chance to review the temporary structures and facilities, paying particular attention to public and worker safety.

The visit was intended to show visitors, IOSH members who have an interest in event safety, how organisers of one of the world’s largest outdoor festivals put systems in place to avoid incidents so they can now apply it to their own work.

Tim Roberts said the systems they use at Glastonbury can be transferred to other events, no matter what size.

He said that the public perception of Glastonbury is often one of a “crazy, unregulated environment” but the reality is far different.

He said: “It is a professional operation that is going into its 45th year of delivery. If it was anything else but a professional operation it wouldn’t have survived this long.”

In the lead up to the festival, as well as during it and after it, 45,000 people are involved in getting the site ready and clearing up.

Mr Roberts said major challenges they face to health and safety include structural safety, fire safety and the weather. But the site has an excellent health and safety record, with only four RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) incidents reported in 2014.

Mr Roberts added: “We build, feed and entertain a city with no permanent infrastructure. I feel we have pretty good figures on health and safety when you take into account that we invite over a hundred thousand people onto the factory floor.”

Hannah Charlton, health and safety coordinator at the site, told delegates that planning for the festival is a year-round activity, with organisers already looking ahead to next year.

She said: “We are always learning and improving what we do. We will have early conversations with contractors each year, in February and March, rather than waiting until the final moment on site when it may be harder to carry out any necessary remedial works or changes to design or operation.”

 

Original Source: http://www.iosh.co.uk/News/Glastonbury-Festival-organisers-demonstrate-how-they-safeguard-music-fans-and-staff.aspx?

Liquid nitrogen cocktail: Lancaster bar admits health and safety failings

A wine bar where an 18-year-old girl was seriously injured drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen has admitted health and safety failings.

Gaby Scanlon, of Heysham, Lancashire, had to have her stomach removed after drinking the Nitro-Jagermeister shot.

Oscar’s Wine Bar in Lancaster admitted at Preston Crown Court to failing to ensure the cocktail was safe to consume after the incident in October 2012.

Charges were also dropped against barman Matthew Harding, from Lancaster.

The firm’s director Andrew Dunn, of Old Earswick, York, pleaded not guilty to his part in the company’s failings.

The court heard prosecutors would offer no evidence against him if he made a £20,000 payment towards court costs before the wine bar’s sentencing on 17 September.

line

 

Liquid nitrogen at the Eugin clinic in Barcelona

 

Risks of liquid nitrogen

  • Liquid nitrogen, which has a boiling point of -196C, has uses ranging from computer coolant to removing unwanted skin
  • Used in some restaurants for instantly freezing food and drinks creating a cloud of vapour when exposed to air
  • Physicists say it is essential the liquid evaporates before any food or drink prepared with it is consumed
  • If not, it can either freeze and solidify or boil and become a gas inside the person’s stomach
line

 

The company, registered in Swinton, South Yorkshire admitted one count of failing in the duty of an employer to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment.

A not guilty plea was accepted from bar employee Mr Harding, of George Street, Lancaster.

It had been alleged he presented the Nitro-Jagermeister at the customer’s table when it was still producing cold nitrogen gases and was unsafe to drink.

‘Expanding stomach’

Miss Scanlon, now aged 20, was celebrating her birthday with friends at Oscar’s when she drank the shot.

She said her stomach began to expand and a CT scan at Lancaster Royal Infirmary found a large perforation.

The student spent three weeks in hospital as doctors removed her stomach and connected her oesophagus directly to her small bowel.

Welcoming the guilty plea, a statement from her solicitor Patricia Noone said the family hoped the case would serve as a warning to all bars and restaurants to take “take responsibility for what they are serving to members of the public”.

It added: “She now suffers episodes of agonising pain and has been hospitalised several times. She has to avoid certain foods and can no longer enjoy eating.”

The statement continued that Miss Scanlon cannot work full-time, adding: “She has had to watch all her friends go off to university while she struggles to get her life back on track.”

Original Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-32773331

Health and safety obligations for retailers

Retailers are expected to protect anyone who enters their premises from harm, by removing or controlling risks to employees, volunteers, contractors or members of the public. 

This guide was last updated in June 2015

Any employer has to ensure the health and safety of employees while they are at work, and of any third parties affected by their business, which includes visitors to a retail unit such as members of the public, volunteers and contractors, by taking all “reasonably practicable” steps to guard against any “reasonably foreseeable” risks.

Regular and carefully considered risk assessments are needed to identify these risks and allow employers, which will include retail businesses in this guide, to put the necessary measures in place to eliminate them – or mitigate them as far as possible.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment is the cornerstone to effective health and safety management. It should cover all significant hazards (anything that could cause harm) and risks, whether specifically covered by legislation or not.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises a five-step approach to risk assessment:

  1. Identify hazards by determining how people can be harmed;
  2. Decide who might be harmed, and how – identify categories or groups of individuals with particular responsibilities or requirements;
  3. Evaluate these risks and decide on precautions. A risk or hazard should be removed, if possible. If this is not possible, steps should be taken to control or minimise the risk of any harm;
  4. Record and implement your findings; and
  5. Review and update the risk assessment.

More information on is available in the HSE guidance on risk assessment (5 page / 226KB PDF)

Only organisations with more than five employees must document this risk assessment, but it is good practice for any business to document the significant findings. This will provide valuable evidence of risk assessment procedures for any potential future investigation, and can also be shared with employees and other parties to give details of risks and measures to be followed.

Employees should be involved as much as possible in carrying out the risk assessments, to increase their understanding and involvement in the process.

The HSE has produced an online tool specifically for risk assessment in retail units.

Other requirements

Employers must ensure that:

  • employees are provided with health checks appropriate to the risks that they face;
  • one or more “competent” people are appointed to help comply with health and safety regulations;
  • employees have access to emergency contact information;
  • employers cooperate and coordinate on health and safety issues with any third party sharing the workplace;
  • adequate training is provided, and the capabilities of employees assessed, before they are asked to undertake any task;
  • an HSE-approved poster is displayed on the premises, and employees are given an approved HSE booklet; and
  • appropriate first-aid arrangements are in place.

Reporting

A retail business must immediately notify the relevant local authority of any work-related deaths, plus certain work-related injuries, diseases or near misses involving employees “by the most practicable means”, followed by a report within 10 days. Certain injuries to members of the public and self-employed people must also be reported. Each local authority is likely to give details of how to submit a notification and report on its own website.

Keeping within the law

Failure to comply with health and safety laws is a criminal offence. However, if an employer can demonstrate that it took all reasonably practicable steps to guard against relevant risks, based on quality risk assessment, and can show that adopting any further measures against a particular risk would have been unreasonable in terms of time, money and effort, a court is likely to find that no offence has been committed.

Fire safety

Fire safety is not included directly in the main health and safety legislation, but is of course relevant to the safety of employees and third parties.

Any employer or person who owns, controls or manages premises must take reasonable steps to reduce risk from fire and ensure that people can safely escape.

Again, a risk assessment must be carried out, to identify risks and implement measures to prevent or reduce the risk from fire. This can be done as part of the general health and safety risk assessment.

Fire precautions include:

  • measures to reduce the risk of fire and of the spread of fire;
  • a means of escape and an assembly point, with signage if needed;
  • provision of fire extinguishers;
  • measures to detect fire and give warning;
  • training for employees on precautions and the use of fire extinguishers;
  • at least one “no smoking” sign on display.

Insurance

A retail business must have insurance against liability for bodily injury or disease sustained by employees at work.

Public liability insurance is not legally required, but should be considered. This covers the cost of legal action and compensation claims by members of the public for injury or illness, or loss of or damage to property, incurred in the retail unit.

Construction work

If construction work is needed, new legal requirements covering site management and safety came into force in April 2015. The regulations give ‘clients’, meaning anyone for whom a construction project is carried out, a greater role while the work is carried out.

As a commercial firm, you must appoint a principal designer and principal contractor whenever any work involves more than one contractor – even where the work involved is very limited and over quickly. The scope of ‘construction work’ under the regulations is wide, covering everything from major infrastructure projects like HS2 to installing a new office shower. Those who get it wrong may face prosecution, with the potential for unlimited fines and even, in the case of individuals, imprisonment if convicted.

Civil liability

A breach of the health and safety laws does not in itself allow an injured party to claim for damages, but a retail business would be liable if:

  • a reasonable duty of care was owed to the injured party;
  • the duty of care was breached by an act amounting to negligence; and
  • the breach caused loss to the injured party.

For a claim to succeed, it would have to be shown that the loss came about as a result of the retail business’s failure to take reasonable care.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1QsYjbc