Spotlight On – Hand-Arm Vibration

Spotlight On: Hand-Arm Vibration

In June, national bus and coach builder Alexander Dennis Ltd. was fined after they ignored numerous warnings about the dangers that the overuse of hand-held power tools posed to their workers’ health.

In this article, we’re going to put the spotlight on hand-arm vibration in the workplace, and the risks associated with it.  Continue reading

Spotlight on – CDM 2015, the Principal Designer Role

In response to the many questions being asked about the Principal Designer (PD) role under the new CDM 2015 Regulations, the HSE has posted some useful answers:

Who can carry out the role of the Principal Designer (PD)?

The PD must be a designer – an architect, consulting engineer or quantity surveyor, or anyone who specifies and alters designs as part of their work. They can also be clients, contractors and tradespeople if they carry out design work or arrange for or instruct persons under their control to do so. They must have the right mix of skills, knowledge and experience or organisational capability to carry out all the functions and responsibilities assigned to them in Regulations 11 and 12 and have control over the pre-construction phase.

Commonly, the PD is likely to be:
– for larger projects – a design practice or a technical department of a principal contractor e.g. a principal contractor doing design and build;
– for smaller projects – a self-employed architect/technician, small design practice, a project management company, a client’s internal estates management team, or even a specialist tradesperson such as an electrician where they lead on the design function;
so long as they meet the criteria of;

  • i. being a designer;
  • ii. having the relevant SKE or organisational capability, and;
  • iii. being in control of the pre-construction phase.

Does CDM 2015 require the Principal Designer to be a member of the project design team?

No. The PD must be appointed by the client as soon as it is established that more than one contractor is or is likely to be working on the project to plan, manage, monitor and control the design stages.
If the client gets it right and appoints the PD early at the concept stage, then the appointment should commonly take place before the project design team has been fully identified or assembled. The PD may provide their own design team, appoint a team or manage and control any team appointed by others.
Whatever the model, which provides maximum flexibility for the client, – the PD must be able to prove to the client that they have the SKE or organisational capability to fulfil all the functions – proportionate to the nature, size, complexity and risk profile of the project. Once in place, the PD should be in control of the design team so that they, and the design team, can carry out their roles effectively.

Can a client carry out the role of the Principal Designer?

Yes. If a client fails to, or decides not to appoint a PD the law provides that the PD role is automatically assigned to the client.
Many clients will choose to take on the PD role themselves but irrespective of whether by choice or otherwise, the client must have the SKE or organisational capability to fulfil all the PD functions and responsibilities effectively.

It is important to understand that if the client fails to appoint a Principal Designer, then the client automatically become the Principal Designer.

Click here some general information about CDM 2015

Spotlight On – Health and safety in the agricultural sector

Health and safety in the agricultural sector

A recent survey has put the spotlight on health and safety culture in the agricultural sector, looking at farmers’ attitudes and what can be done to reduce the occurrence of accident and injury in the sector.

In the UK, the agricultural sector remains one of the most deadly industries. In fact, the HSE have said that agriculture, forestry and fishing is the riskiest industry sector in terms of fatal injuries. Whilst the sector accounts for just 1 in 100 workers, it accounts for 1 in 5 fatal injuries to workers.

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Spotlight on – IOSH’s No Time To Lose Campaign

IOSH’s No Time To Lose Campaign

The aim of the No Time to Lose Campaign is to bring about better understanding of the causes of occupational cancer, and to help businesses take action. The campaign is working to:

  • Get carcinogenic exposure issues more widely understood
  • Raise awareness of the issue
  • Suggest some solutions to tackle the problem in the UK, with a national model that could be transposed internationally
  • Offer free practical advice and original, effective materials to help businesses implement prevention programmes.

It aims to spread the idea that small changes on the workplace can result in a big difference.

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Spotlight On – Driving Licence Changes

Driving Licence Changes are upon us. The paper counterpart to the driving licence was introduced in 1998 to display information that could not fit on the photo-card driving licence.  This includes information about penalty point as well as about provisional vehicle entitlements. As of early June 2015, it has been abolished. DVLA have stopped issuing the paper counterpart and those currently in circulation will no longer have any legal status and should be destroyed. Part of the reason for this change is to reduce the burden on motorists. This information is now freely and easily available on-line.

As a business, you should be checking that those who drive on Company business (including those who use their own vehicles) are eligible to do so: have they got a driving license, is it valid, etc. The paper counterpart was a simple route to check this. That route has not disappeared and has been replaced by an on-line system.

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Spotlight on – asbestos disease and what WHO have to say

Asbestos – disturbing facts

  • Around the world, a staggering 125 million people are exposed to asbestos at the workplace
  • According to WHO (The World Health Organisation) estimates, more than 107 000 deaths each year are attributable to occupational exposure to asbestos
  • In the UK, asbestos causes around 5,000 deaths

  • asbestos disease remains the single cause of work-related deaths in the UK

  • Asbestos isn’t yet a thing of the past – asbestos can be present in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000
  • Current estimates suggest that there are still up to 1.3 million workers are at risk of asbestos exposure
  • When asbestos containing materials are disturbed, fibres are released into the air. If inhaled, they can cause serious diseases. These often take a long time to develop, and it is often too late to do anything after diagnosis.

So, is asbestos as bad as we are led to believe?

Short answer: yes.

Longer answer: All forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans  and stopping the use of all forms of asbestos is the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases.

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Spotlight On – Buy Quiet (Noise at Work)

Buy Quiet (Noise at Work)

Buy Quiet is an HSE initiative, aimed at reducing noise in the workplace, and managing the risks posed by noise at work.

Exposure to noise at work has been a concern for many years, and whilst there has been success in reducing workplace noise exposures, there are still some industries and incidents where levels remain high and lead to unacceptable risk of hearing damage.

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Spotlight On – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Unsafe gas appliances can cause the release of a highly poisonous gas: carbon monoxide (CO). You can’t taste it, see it, or smell it – but it can kill quickly. It can also cause serious long term health problems such as brain damage.

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