Reducing Time on Compliance

By Louise Hosking MCIEH CMIOSH CMaPS PIEMA SIIRSM

Chartered Safety & Health Practitioner, Director at Hosking Associates Ltd

My top ten tips on how you can save time on compliance.

  1. Have a strong, uncomplicated documentation management system you understand and can easily check. File paperwork/electronic info as soon as it comes in and hold others accountable to do the same
  2. Expect high standards and those around you will too. Make it clear what you expect from others and manage them well. Coach rather than tell.
  3. Talk to contractors about how they will work safely and watch how they work in practice. Use photos and bullet points to agree safe systems rather than reams of generic documentation.
  4. Understand how to manage risk in line with the hierarchy of risk control and use this knowledge when you talk to people. Collaborate. Make strong risk based decisions at the time rather than going back and forth with RAMs.
  5. Prioritise actions, not everything needs to be done today
  6. Create a good team, delegate well, trust your contractors – H&S is a team sport so share the love
  7. Have a good administrator
  8. Use the HSE website if you don’t know something. Its quick to use and most answers are there.
  9. Don’t try to cut corners. Looking for work-arounds might save time now, but it may come back and bite you later
  10. Avoid having accidents by having a clear safety management system which works in practise – not just on paper. Investigations, recriminations and legal action are hugely time consuming
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Fire Safety – Making Compliance Easy

A recent fire which broke out on the British Airways flight in Las Vegas caused utter ‘pandemonium,’ as passengers evacuated. Reports claim as many as 13 people were injured, and amid the panic, hysterical passengers trampled on a woman’s head as they desperately headed for escape.  This terrifying event poses a question – do you know what to do when there is a fire?

Research shows that 14% of people would see what everyone else was doing and ‘go with the flow,’ with one in 20 admitting they would simply ignore the alarm unless told otherwise.

Those responsible for fire safety in their place of work were also asked if they were aware of their legal and safety obligations. 46.5% stated they either did not know what they were or were unclear. So why is the percentage so low?

Fire safety can be seen as a complicated issue. There is a lot to think about with laws, regulations and measures that need to be put in place. It can baffle anyone. But it doesn’t have to be, it can be simpler.

The most common fire safety hazards include:

  • poor evacuation procedures
  • exposed wires
  • blocked fire exits
  • faulty fire doors and
  • fire doors being wedged open.

There are an average of 162 building fires in Great Britain every day, resulting with more than 9,100 fatalities or casualties in 2013-14. This works out at around 25 people harmed by fire every day.  Hazards like wedged open fire doors are occurrences we come across frequently without even realising, which means they can unfortunately be forgotten about.

Fire doors are one of the most neglected components in fire safety, most of us wouldn’t consider how much we rely on them. In the event of a fire, they are the first line of defence in preventing the rapid spread of flames, heat and smoke. But to save lives, they must work.

Fire doors are meant to be kept closed to provide protection in the event of a fire. Failing to meet these requirements can result in loss of business, big fines and even a prison sentence. In 2013/14 there was 527 fires in care homes and sheltered accommodation in London, resulting in two deaths and 34 injuries. One of the main issues being fire doors wedged open. Wedging or propping open a fire door poses a serious risk to people and buildings, as it allows fire to spread.

It is clear to see why fire doors are wedged open as a means to an end. For many, being able to keep fire doors open makes daily life easier by enabling freedom of movement through busy buildings. It also improves ventilation and reduces the risk of injury from handling a heavy fire door.  The need to hold fire doors open is recognised by fire inspectors across the UK, by recommending solutions such as a door retainer. These keep fire doors open safely and legally, without compromising on safety.

Compliance doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. What simple checks can you make? Making sure exits are clear, fire doors aren’t wedged open and evacuation plans are up to date. These help provide a safer environment.

Fireco makes compliance easy with simple solutions for complicated problems; making buildings safer, accessible and ensuring compliance is taken care of. For more information visit www.fireco.uk.

 

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Changes to Health and Safety Law Poster – Arco Ensures Workplace Health and Safety Compliance

Health-and-Safety-Law-PosterMaking the legal requirements for health and safety management interesting and engaging is key to raising awareness of its importance in the workplace. Research conducted by the HSE showed that the 1999 versions of the Health and Safety Law poster and leaflet were visually unappealing and rarely read.

The HSE commissioned a re-design of both the poster and leaflet in a range of formats as part of its commitment to make health and safety information more accessible.  The new design was introduced in 2009 and employers were given five years to implement the changes in their workplace. The deadline of Saturday 5th April for all employers to display the new 2009 Health and Safety Law poster is looming and Arco, the UK’s leading Safety Supplier is making sure that businesses aren’t unknowingly caught out.

Employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER) to display the approved British Health and Safety Law poster in a prominent position in each workplace. The new 2009 poster offers businesses the latest safety information and also identifies ‘changes in the law to reduce the administrative cost to employers of having to provide additional written information on the poster or with the leaflet, and having to keep this information up to date’.

In order to meet the new health and safety requirements, employers can now purchase a poster direct from Arco. A range of formats are available including specific posters for businesses in Northern Ireland, for those working on offshore installations as well as a Welsh language version.

Arco has also created a dedicated safety signs brochure that can be found on the safety resources section of its website. The brochure offers customers advice on suggested viewing distances, standards, colours and materials, as well as full list of products available.

For further information please visit www.arco.co.uk or pick up a catalogue from any of the 40 Arco branches nationwide.

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