Fee for Intervention update

The Business Law firm DWF has revealed figures from its recent Freedom of Information request for “Fee for Intervention” figures from the HSE. These figures relate to the third batch of invoices issues by the HSE in relation to fees for intervention scheme (FFI). These figures for February and March 2013 show that the figure recovered (from businesses) under this scheme has, for the first time, passed the £1,000,000. In fact, this batch of 2541 invoices yielded £1,089,000 in receipts. This relates to an increase of 41% in the number of invoices issues in a period and an average invoice charge of £428.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the construction sector saw the largest increase in invoices (this period also included a targeted campaign on construction site safety by the HSE). It is also report that the number of proactive inspections remained similar to previous bi-month totals of about 3000.

Slips, trips and falls



Slips, trips and falls are a very common cause of injury in the workplace and in public places. The picture shows an

area of paving that has been damaged by vehicles. This is an area that is walked over by lots of members of the public, including a high percentage of older people (more likely to stumble and more likely to suffer injury).
Why show this?

Because this sort of issue is all too common. I will also post lots of other pictures that show lots of other common examples of slip,trips and fall hazards to be found in many workplaces.

Food Safety Rating and Scores on the doors



Local Authorities operate schemes to provide information to customers of food businesses to enable them to make informed choices about the places where they eat out or purchase food from.

The Local Authority Enforcement Officers (Environmental Health Officers, or EHO) are responsible for inspecting food businesses. This is to ensure that they meet the legal requirements on food hygiene. Under the ‘Scores on the Doors’ schemes, each food outlet is given a hygiene rating or hygiene score that reflects the inspection findings and may display this in their premises where consumers can see it. Scores are also available via websites where consumers can see the scores for all the businesses in the local area.

Over two hundred Local Authorities operate a version of the Food Hygiene scheme, based on the scores on the doors approach. Under the Food Standards Agency ratings, a business can be given one of these hygiene ratings:

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Are Rigger Boots banned on construction sites

I was recently asked the question: are Rigger Boots banned on Construction Sites?

This proved to be any interesting and lively area for debate on various forums on the internet.  I can confirm that there is no blanket ban on the use of Rigger Boots on construction sites. There is, however, anecdotal evidence that many sites have chosen to impose their own bans on the use of Rigger Boots. There is a history of accidents and incidents that have been attributed to the lack of ankle support offered by various designs of boots, including rigger boots. As a result of this, I suggest that many contractors will be faced with two scenarios:

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Passive Fire Protection, Part 2

I introduced the concept of Passive Fire Protection in a previous Blog article that can be found by following this link.

In this short article, there are some brief descriptions of some of the terms that are commonly used when discussing or describing Passive Fire Protection.
Fire-resisting structures

Many premises are divided into different areas by fire doors and fire-resisting walls and floors. These are partly designed to keep a fire within one area, giving people more time to escape. Within your building, you should identify which doors, walls and floors in your building are fire-resisting. There may require access to information available from when the building was built, allowing for the affects of alterations, or even from a previous fire certificate. High-risk areas should be separated from the rest of the premises by 30-minute fire-resisting construction. Normally if there are fire doors in a wall, then the wall itself will also need to be fire-resisting. If a wall or floor is required to be fire-resisting then you should not make any holes in it, e.g. for extra doors or pipe ducts, without consulting a competent person and making good the wall penetrations.
Fire-resisting door

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New RIDDOR to come into effect at the beginning of October

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)  2013 are due to come into effect at the beginning of next month, but what changes have been made and how will these changes affect you.

Why the call for change?

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has often been criticised for having overly complicated and confusing regulations which hinder the work of companies, the HSE and individuals. In an effort to response to these criticisms the HSE have decided to develop their existing regulations to reduce confusion and complexity.

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False claims over health and safety

An article about Health and Safety published in the Guardian on 05 September 2013 makes very interesting reading. The article centres on the dim view taken by the authors over the government making “False Claims over Health and Safety”. The article also points out that “The government will best protect people in workplaces by effective regulation and enforcement. The UK is still faced with enormous burdens of work-related ill health, as well as major injuries due to failures in safety.”

In the middle of the article appears this powerful section:

Recently the government has been taken to task for making false or inaccurate statements about UK economic statistics. Similar untruths and distortions are now emerging on occupational health and safety, and should be withdrawn.

Take a look at the full article by clicking here.

HSE to target Construction Sites in September 2013

HSE Campaign: Safer sites – targeted inspection initiative September 2013

HSE Construction Inspectors have been carrying out a major inspection and enforcement initiative during September 2013, targeting the refurbishment sector. They have revealed that they have visited over 1000 sites so far and inspected 1500 contractors. They have also revealed that they have found “material breaches” at nearly half of the sites visited in their month of unannounced site checks. This has led to enforcement notices being issued in quite a few cases.

The main aims of the initiative:

  • to achieve an improvement in industry standards, in particular at small sites
  • to increase awareness of HSE’s expectations of the industry
  • to demonstrate that HSE will use the enforcement tools at its disposal to prevent immediate risk and bring about sustained improvements

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A Brief History of Health and Safety

Working within the consultancy over the past few months I have gained an insight into the world of Health and Safety as it is today, and with this knowledge I have decided to, admittedly briefly, research the origins of Health and Safety in this country and plot it’s development to modern times.

From the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act 1802 to the “Six Pack” regulations of the 90’s, here we go…

First Legislation

The “Health and Morals of Apprentices Act 1802” was the first Health and Safety legislation to be passed by parliament yet it was extremely limited an d was on the whole only applicable to apprentices in cotton and wool mills. There is also not a great deal of evidence that this legislation was ever enforced.

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Construction site safety remains in HSE focus

The following is taken from the foreword HSE Construction Divisions Plan for 2012/13:

“Despite the economic downturn the construction industry remains one of the largest in Great Britain, bringing employment to around two million people; but it remains extremely hazardous. The characteristics of the industry and the challenges it creates in tackling health and safety are well documented. The industry remains a significant cause for concern, in 2010/11, 50 construction workers lost their lives – this was an increase on the previous year. As well as 50 fatalities, 2298 major injuries were reported and 1.7 million working days were lost through work related ill health. These figures remain unacceptable and we must continue to reduce this burden of injury and ill health.”

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