MSA Safety’s V-TEC™ self-retracting lifeline is first to use dampener technology for additional safety

MSA Safety’s V-TEC™ self-retracting lifeline is first to use dampener technology for additional safety

MSA Safety is launching its new V-TEC™ self-retracting lifeline (SRL). It is the first in the market to include an inbuilt retraction dampener which allows the user to release the cable safely via controlled retraction; this prevents potential injury to the user and damage to the main body of the unit. It also offers safe operation and a reduction in costs and downtime.

Part of the innovative and easy-to-use V-Series of safety harnesses and SRLs, in addition to the inbuilt dampener, the V-TEC also benefits from patented radial energy absorbing technology which ensures control over any force exerted on it. Together, the radial energy absorber and dampener translate the latest technology into ease of use, inspection and maintenance.

Its construction is based on an award-winning design first used in the MSA Personal Fall Limiter. A clear outer casing allows instant inspection and peace of mind, while the radial energy absorber requires no calibration or adjustment before use. A convenient carrying handle is fitted for easy transport.

“The V-TEC carves out new territory in SRL design and shows the kind of engineering innovation and user-friendly features the world has come to expect from MSA Safety fall protection,” says Alastair Hogg Director for Fall Protection Sales and Business Development, International, “our team at the Fall Protection Centre of Excellence in Devizes, Wiltshire, deserves much credit for keeping us ahead of the field.”

He adds: “The V-TEC SRL and other V-Series products have been designed for use with our Latchways® engineered lifelines to bring customers the highest specification of fall protection on the market.”

The V-TEC SRL is made using stainless steel and engineered plastics for great durability and, when necessary, its cable, energy absorber and retraction dampener can all be quickly replaced on site. A choice of galvanised or stainless cables, is available to meet the needs of different situations.

MSA Safety’s new V-TEC 6m self-retracting lifeline is now available from registered suppliers. Other lengths will be launched later this year.

For further information please contact your local MSA affiliate or visit


Winter Wrapped Up!

To help you prepare for the colder months we’ve got winter wrapped up with our comprehensive range of winter safety products. Turbocast 800™ towable grit spreader can be used as a broadcast or drop spreader.   Turbocast 800 will hold approximately 10 x 25kg bags of rock salt and gives controlled, accurate coverage up to 8 metres width at speeds from 5-20mph. Turbocast 300™ manual grit spreader spreads to a width of between 3 and 7 metres with minimum effort and can be easily pushed along, even when fully laden.   Nestor 400 grit bin has a double skinned lid for supreme strength and durability. The weight of the lid is sufficient to minimise the risk of it opening in strong winds and therefore protects the contents from adverse weather conditions.

Glasdon UK Limited

Telephone: 01253 600410






New sentencing guidelines introduced for corporate manslaughter, health and safety and food safety

New sentencing guidelines have been published today aiming to ensure a consistent, fair and proportionate approach to sentencing organisations or individuals convicted of corporate manslaughter, health and safety and food safety and hygiene offences.

Offences that come under the guidelines are very varied and could include a building firm that causes the death of an employee by not providing the proper equipment for working at height, a restaurant that causes an outbreak of e. coli poisoning through unsafe food preparation, a manufacturer that causes injury to a new worker by not providing training for operating machinery or a gas fitter whose sub-standard work leads to the risk of an explosion in someone’s home.

The publication of the guidelines ensures that for the first time, there will be comprehensive sentencing guidelines covering the most commonly sentenced health and safety offences and food safety offences in England and Wales. Until now, there has been limited guidance for judges and magistrates in dealing with what can be complex and serious offences that do not come before the courts as frequently as some other criminal offences.

The introduction of the guidelines means that in some cases, offenders will receive higher penalties, particularly large organisations committing serious offences – such as when an organisation is convicted of deliberately breaking the law and creating a high risk of death or serious injury. It is not anticipated that there will be higher fines across the board, or that they will be significantly higher in the majority of cases to those currently imposed.

 The increase in penalties for serious offending has been introduced because in the past, some offenders did not receive fines that properly reflected the crimes they committed. The Council wants fines for these offences to be fair and proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the means of offenders.

In order to achieve this, the guidelines set out sentencing ranges that reflect the very different levels of risk of harm that can result from these offences.

Corporate manslaughter always involves at least one death, but health and safety offences can vary hugely; they may pose the risk of minor harm or lead to multiple fatalities. Food offences are also wide-ranging. They could involve poor hygiene or preparation standards in a restaurant kitchen that put customers at risk of illness or that cause fatal food poisoning.

The sentencing ranges also take into account how culpable the offender was. This could range from minor failings in procedures to deliberately dangerous acts.

While prison sentences are available for individuals convicted of very serious offences, most offences are committed by organisations and therefore fines are the only sentence that can be given.

The guidelines use the turnover of the offender to identify the starting point of the fine. Turnover is used as this is a clear indicator that can be easily assessed.

However, turnover is never the only factor taken into account. The guidelines require the court to “step back”, review and adjust the initial fine if necessary. It must take into account any additional relevant financial information, such as the profit margin of the organisation, the potential impact on employees, or potential impact on the organisation’s ability to improve conditions or make restitution to victims. This means sentences will always be tailored to the offender’s specific circumstances. Fines may move up or down or outside the ranges entirely as a result of these additional mandatory steps.

Legislation requires that any fine imposed must reflect the seriousness of the offence and take into account the financial circumstances of the offender. All factors being equal, a similar level of fine given to a large, wealthy corporation on the one hand and a sole trader with a modest turnover on the other would be unfair, just as the same speeding fine given to a premiership footballer and someone on an average income would not achieve the same level of punishment or deterrence.

The UK’s record on worker fatalities is good, but where such offences are committed, the Council believes fines should be available which reflect the seriousness of the offence. As well as causing fatalities, health and safety offences may risk or cause a wide spectrum of injury and illness, including a life-changing disability or health condition for victims.

While addressing remedial action with offenders is the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive rather than the courts, the guideline does provide for remedial orders to be made by the court in addition to or instead of punishment in cases where they may be appropriate. The guideline also includes a range of mitigating factors which allow for voluntary positive action to remedy a failure on the part of offenders to be reflected in sentences.

Sentencing Council member Michael Caplan QC said: “These guidelines will introduce a consistent approach to sentencing, ensuring fair and proportionate sentences for those who cause death or injury to their employees and the public or put them at risk. These offences can have very serious consequences and it is important that sentences reflect these.”

Rod Ainsworth, Director of Regulatory and Legal Strategy at the FSA said: “We welcome these guidelines. They will ensure that there is consistency in sentencing for food safety and food hygiene offences across the country. They will also ensure that offenders are sentenced fairly and proportionately in the interests of consumers.”

Following their publication today, the guidelines will come into force in courts on 1 February 2016.


Apollo Technology extends range of safety services


Investment in the latest test technology is helping a leading electrical FM maintenance company to boost its services for customers by improving the working efficiencies of its nationwide team of PAT engineers.

The Essex-based Project Solver Ltd., a specialist safety testing and compliance company, has recently equipped its portable appliance testing (PAT) team with the latest Seaward Apollo 600 electrical safety testers as part of company moves to utilise the latest technology available.

The new Apollo 600 tester incorporates all of the electrical tests recommended by the IET Code of Practice for the in service inspection and testing of electrical equipment, and also includes an integral digital camera so that visual images of appliances can be saved against test results for fully traceable records.

Established by a management team with a combined experience of over 150 years in the building services industry, Project Solver is NICEIC registered and provides a range of technical FM services to ensure that customers remain compliant with workplace safety regulations and standards.

Included alongside electrical installation inspections, thermal imaging checks, UPS maintenance and other assurance work is a portable appliance testing service that is designed to ensure that all electrical equipment on a client’s premises remains completely safe for staff and building users.

Project Solver test engineers carry out around 1 million portable appliance tests each year for clients in a range of sectors including healthcare, financial services, education, public buildings, government offices, distribution centres and commercial outlets.

In addition to PAT work, Project Solver engineers also use the versatility of the Apollo 600 to check and record details of other workplace safety inspections, including the condition of emergency lighting and fixed appliances.

Seaward’s PATGuard 3 software enables the test results of individual electrical items to be automatically logged against ID numbers and photos for comprehensive and fully traceable records and safety audits.

The Project Solver regional PAT teams carry out risk assessments and electrical testing at client premises before sending the test results electronically to head office for compilation into full test reports.

The reports and test certificates are held in a secure web-based client portal, allowing remote access for downloading and outputting purposes by client contract managers often responsible for the safety of a number of different sites.

As a result of adopting a fully integrated inspection, testing and results recording process, the company claims that test times have been reduced and test processes streamlined so that the overall value of their service to customers has been considerably improved.

Stephen Laccohee, compliance health and safety manager at Project Solver Ltd., said: “Our whole service focus is built around the needs of our customers.

“Electrical safety testing is our core service, but the versatility of the Apollo 600 means we have been able to extend the range of safety work we undertake for clients and maintain a central record keeping database for different types of equipment and checks.

“Working smarter with the new Apollo test technology has significantly enhanced our productivity and means we can provide an all in one solution for many different workplace health, safety and building maintenance tasks.

“As a result we enjoy very high customer retention rates which in turn has provided the platform for consistent business growth.”

More details at and


GEZE UK puts road safety in the driving seat

With commercial vehicle drivers experiencing 50 per cent more accidents than other road users GEZE UK is gearing up to put road safety at the top of its agenda.

GEZE, the UK’s leading manufacturer of door and window control systems, is working with Zurich to undertake a company-wide assessment of the risks its drivers face whilst making work-related journeys.

Over the coming months, drivers will need to read a driver handbook ‘Your Route to Safer Driving’, which contains safety tips and helpful information about what to do in an emergency. They will then complete three online modules – Risk Foundation assesses the driver’s understanding about how to operate their vehicle safely and efficiently; Driver Profile assesses the driver’s history, vehicle usage and journeys undertaken; and the final module, RoadRISK assesses the driver’s attitude to driving, risk and their behaviour.

The results will then be analysed by Zurich. This will give GEZE a thorough understanding of the actual risks faced by its workforce, allowing it to direct resources to where they are needed most.

Kaz Spiewakowski, managing director of GEZE UK said: “Here at GEZE UK we take the safety of our workforce extremely seriously. At least 33 per cent of road traffic incidents involve ‘at work drivers’, so with around half of our staff regularly on the road it is important that we treat driving just as we would any other risk.

“The assessment process offered by Zurich will allow us to decide exactly what we can do to minimise the risks of our drivers being involved in a collision whilst they are making work-related journeys.”

For more information about GEZE UK or its comprehensive range of door and window control systems visit or call 01543 443000.


Loddon’s Flood Doors Pass BRE Flood Test

Loddon Door Services Limited based near Reading have been supplying bespoke steel doors to utility companies for many years to address not only fire protection (up to 6 hours on single doors) and security issues but also those arising from floods. In July of 2014 a double door version of the Loddon Flood Door was tested to PAS 1188-1 for flood resistance by the BRE at their facility at Garston.

The floods of last winter were not a unique, once in a lifetime event. Since 2007 insurance claims for flood damage in the UK are estimated to be over £3 billion pounds. Many insurance companies are now starting to offer flood cover based on the actual level of risk. This is focussing attention on flood protection products and the standards that assess them. One of the foremost of these is PAS 1188-1 which refers to Building Aperture products and was developed in 2009. Among other things it provides test methods for evaluating the effectiveness of doors to withstand a static head of water at 3 depths up to 1460mm which is close to 5ft.

The Loddon Flood Door consists of a powder coated modified fire rated metal door with a bespoke flashing and seals to suit the structural opening. The door is fitted with a Von Duprin 9957 3-point panic bar that provides both security and access control.

Testing was conducted at 3 depths and assessed against a maximum allowable leakage of 7.1 litres per hour. At a depth of 487mm the actual leakage was only 0.24 litres per hour. At 973mm it was only 0.49 litres and at the full depth of 1460mm it was still only 0.58 litres per hour. The BRE declared the doors had passed the test using the criteria in place at the time, however, in a fast moving world PAS 1188 has already been updated to reduce the allowed leakage levels by half. The Loddon Flood doors still achieved the new more demanding requirements with ease.

A PAS is a Publicly Available Specification. This is a sponsored fast-track standard driven by the needs of the client organizations and developed according to guidelines set out by BSI. Key stakeholders are brought together to collaboratively produce a BSI-endorsed PAS that has all the functionality of a British Standard for the purposes of creating management systems, product benchmarks and codes of practice.

Numerous utility premises, including electricity sub-stations, have been fitted with Loddon’s commercial steel door solutions to protect against floods and fires as well as providing security and access control for the end user and enabling vital utility services to continue to operate in even in the most adverse conditions.

For further information contact Loddon Door Services Limited on 0118 934 4034, visit or email