The research commissioned by the Ladder Association, has again highlighted concerns regarding unsafe and potentially dangerous ladders continue to be sold via online platforms to unsuspecting consumers in the UK.
According to the Ladder Association’s market surveillance study, which is part of the Ladder Association’s ongoing ‘Step Up to Safe Ladders’ campaign, has found that 70% of the commercially-sourced multipurpose ladders they tested failed to meet the minimum safety requirements designed to keep users safe. The Ladder Association stated, ‘Those products that failed include the top 3 products listed on each of the world’s best-known online retailers, Amazon and eBay. Worryingly, all samples tested that were purchased online from Amazon and eBay as part of this study, failed the safety tests, were non-compliant and were unsafe to use.’
To find out more visit: Ladder Association
To book our Working at Heights - Steps & Ladders, email [email protected]
The HSE are currently voicing the safety concerns to businesses on staff safety when working with metalworking fluids or coolants.
The task is highly technical and is a specialist field applying precision engineering, though the process can also cause harm to an individual’s lungs and skin.
Following past inspections by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), they have uncovered areas of poor performance around control of metalworking fluids in businesses that use computer numerical control (CNC) machines.
Therefore, the HSE have announced from October until March 2024, they will be endeavoring to inspect manufacturing businesses that are using metalworking fluids or coolants in their machining processes.
As mentioned, the HSE states, ‘being exposed metalworking fluids can potentially cause harm to lungs and skin through inhalation or the direct contact with unprotected skin; specially hands, forearms and face. In addition, breathing in the mist generated by the machining can lead to lung diseases such as occupational asthma and occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis.’
For more information and access to the HSE resources, click here
To book Lung Function testing, email [email protected]
The HSE has issued a bulletin to advise companies to be aware of fires on, and around, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) powered forklift trucks and other similar vehicles that have occurred during starting, build-up of deposits in fuel systems, in particular, the vaporiser units of LPG powered vehicles has led to a number of fires.
Deposits in vaporiser units, flow regulators and shut off valves cause the truck to fail to start, particularly from cold. Build-up of deposits can lead to sticking valves and the mixture supplied to the engine being too rich to be ignited.
Repeated starting attempts can result in the release of unburned LPG, which in extreme cases can be ignited, setting fire to the vehicle and surrounding materials.
July 2023 - HSE inspections to visit woodworking businesses
The HSE are currently inspecting woodworking businesses to ensure that organisations know the established health risks associated with woodworking, including wood dust, and have effective controls in place to keep workers safe and protect their respiratory health.
The Health and Safety Executive has issued new guidance on this which includes information on:
The advice also includes how employers should support employees after an incident. For further information click here
The HSE’s Asbestos & You campaign urges people working in construction to be aware of disturbing asbestos, especially when renovating and refurbishing properties built before the year 2000.
The HSE has teamed up with various partners to spread the message to various industries and professions including builders, carpenters, electricians, joiners, plasterers, plumbers, and roofers to name a few.
For more information and access to the HSE resources, click here
Electrical safety on construction sites (HSG 141) – Revised edition
This latest (second) edition is aimed at those responsible for planning and subsequent management, and those who control the installation, and use of electrical systems and equipment on construction sites is available from the HSE website, click this link:
The revised guidance explains what to do to reduce the risk of accidents involving electricity, as well as advice on safe working practices for everyone who controls or influences the design, specification, selection, installation, commissioning, maintenance or operation of electrical systems and equipment during construction activities.
Practical information is provided to allow you to understand what the requirements of the relevant legislation may mean in practice.
There are 4 cases of motor vehicle repair workers being crushed to death by an incorrectly supported vehicle since April 2022 and 21 workers in the motor vehicle repair industry have been killed in the 5 years to March 2022. More than half of these deaths (13) were caused when work took place under a vehicle that wasn’t properly supported.
• Use axle stands that are in good condition and inspected every year
• Use stands on firm, level ground and securely located under a strong point on the vehicle
• Securely chock wheels remaining on the ground
• Do not exceed the rated capacity of the stand
• Always prop cabs, trailers etc. that could drop under their own weight
• The prop should be locked in position before gaining access
• If there is no prop fitted, or if one is fitted but you are unsure it will be effective, provide your own
• Prevent movement of air suspension, either by using suitably rated props or stands to prevent the chassis lowering or by deflating the system
• Do not tamper with the ride height for the purpose of recovery or repair
The HSE has recently fined a Company and its Director after they failed to provide suitable welfare facilities at a construction site in North London.
Following a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection of the site, it was concluded the welfare facilities for individuals did not comply with the minimum requirements.
Firstly, the toilet provided was not flushable and was situated in a room which didn’t have a door or window coverings. In addition, the Inspector found there was no sink, hot water, soap or towels provided. Individuals could only use cold water for cleaning which was provided from a pipe in the room next to the toilet, the company had provided no rest area.
The Company in question was issued with an Improvement Notice by HSE requiring the firm to ensure suitable welfare facilities were available at the site. On a second inspection by HSE some 2 months later, the HSE found the company had made no improvements to individuals welfare situation as requested in the Improvement Notice issued earlier.
Following this the company pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 15th February 2023, and was fined £1334, ordered to pay costs of £1748. The Director was fined £416 and ordered to pay costs of £1622.07.
The HSE inspector commented: “Providing suitable and sufficient toilets is an absolute duty and there is no exception to them being provided or made available. The reality is that many of the smaller sites we inspect don’t have basic facilities at all.”
The HSE Inspector continued and stated “Inspectors will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against employers who fail to comply with an Improvement Notice. Welfare is a fundamental and basic necessity for workers. It is also required by law.”
Occasionally within the last 2 years communication links have broken down between the service provider and organisations which has potentially led to some of the statutory requirements being missed and subsequently when the HSE make a visit, organisations which have missed the deadline dates are being charged under the HSE Fee for Intervention.
Therefore, it is recommended that companies mindful and are all up to date. The responsibility is on your organisation to have this in place and below is a guide on the area’s most common required.
First Aid Kit
Health and Safety Law Poster is displayed
Public Liability Certificate is displayed
Hearing damage is a serious issue and employers have a duty to protect employees, assessing measures to reduce the risk. If there is a noise problem in the workplace, employers have a duty to consider different solutions to ensure the workplace is a safe environment to work in.
Areas for an employer to consider are using quieter equipment or a different, quieter process; engineering/technical changes to reduce the noise at source; using screens, barriers, enclosures, or absorbent materials.
Have you considered if there is a noise problem, and the following areas would be a cause for concern?
The industries known to have noisy tasks are construction, demolition, or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries; waste and recycling.
Noise is a natural part of everyday life, though unmonitored noise in the workplace can potentially cause permanent and disabling hearing damage, which can deteriorate over time. Once hearing damage has occurred, conversation can become difficult or impossible, family members may complain, for example, the television being too loud. Or individuals may struggle using the telephone, and maybe unable to sleep. Finally, another sign that an individual has experienced hearing damage is having muffled hearing at the end of the day, even if it is better by the next morning.
Statistics demonstrate that the Construction sector is the most badly affected for injuries resulting from Manual Handling. Activities such as scaffolding, moving heavy loads and repetitive tasks, e.g., brick laying are some of the tasks that can contribute to injuries that workers are picking up. Some of which can develop into conditions that can stop them working and leave them struggling to stand, walk or sit down.
Companies should identify their moving and handling risks, where possible prevent this at the design stage. Once on site and before work starts, employers should talk to workers about controlling risks to ensure that employees are suitably trained, that suitable manual handling aids and equipment are there to prevent injuries. Monitor their use.
The HSE website has a selection of materials and advice which companies can use to assist with this process. The Manual Handling Assessment Charts (MAC) helps to identify high-risk workplace manual handling activities, to assess the risks posed by lifting, carrying and team manual handling activities. It helps organisations to understand, interpret and categorise the level of risk of the various known risk factors associated with these activities. MAC has a numerical and colour coding score system to highlight high-risk manual handling tasks.
Construction sites are to be visited to ensure that businesses are taking action to protect their workers. Everyone involved in construction has a role to play in keeping people safe, from designers to contractors to workers, and inspections will focus on the planning of the work at the design stage, as well as the actual tasks being undertaken to ensure that correct measures such as lifting equipment and training are in place.
For further information see the HSE Website
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is advising businesses to think how they need to adapt to warmer working conditions for their staff. Following Julys record-breaking temperatures, the HSE is asking employers to ensure extreme heat becomes part of their long-term planning. Temperatures reached an unprecedented 40oC in some parts of England in July, adapting to climate change is something all businesses will need to consider as warmer weather becomes more frequent.
Employers have a legal duty to assess risks to the health and safety of workers, which includes reviewing their risk controls they have in place and update them if needed. This extends to risks from more frequent extreme weather such as heatwaves.
While there is no maximum temperature for workplaces, all workers are entitled to an environment where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Heat is classed as a hazard and comes with legal obligations like any other hazard.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, which require employers to provide a reasonable temperature in the workplace.
John Rowe, HSE’s Acting Head of Operational Strategy, commented: “We expect employers to take this recent weather event as the prompt to review how they assess the risk of high temperatures in their workplace and identify now those changes that will future proof them.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe working environment while effectively managing risks to the health and safety of all workers, including women of a childbearing age.
You must carry out an individual risk assessment for pregnant workers and new mothers. This applies to workers who, are pregnant, have given birth in the last 6 months, or are currently breastfeeding.
If you employ gig economy, agency or temporary workers who are pregnant workers or new mothers, you will have duties under health and safety law.
For health and safety purposes, they should be treated no differently to other workers. The HSE guidance applies to all new and expectant mothers. It’s important for employers to support them all equally. The legal protections outlined also apply to some transgender men, non-binary people and people with variations in sex characteristics, or who are intersex.
Once your worker has informed you in writing, you must complete an individual risk assessment and make any necessary changes to support them.
There is now separate advice for pregnant workers and new mothers themselves.