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Covid-19 Risk Assessment for Volunteers

In a crisis such as the Coronavirus, it is vital that volunteers are not put at risk. 
We have therefore  put together a Risk Assessment  for both Organisations who are  controlling volunteers and volunteers themselves  to help them during the response to COVID-19.
 This can be downloaded HERE
The template can be adapted to the needs of your organisation.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): IOSH information and links

IOSH is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to share the latest information and guidance on the coronavirus and how to stay healthy at work.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and chronic lung disease. 

Whilst the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public to moderate, the risk of catching COVID-19 depends on where you live or where you have travelled recently. The risk of catching it within the workplace is low.

However, employers have a role to play in preventing the spread of this disease by taking sensible action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as ensuring that workers have access to appropriate hygiene facilities such hot water, soap and bins to get rid of used tissues.

Workers are advised to maintain good hygiene standards around the workplaceby following the latest advice from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) website which includes the following basic protective measures: 

  • Wash your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand wash or wash with soap and water
  • Maintain social distancing- maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet distance) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose
  • Practice respiratory hygiene
  • Stay informed and follow the advice given by health care providers

Personal precautions:

In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) has advised that most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places, and that self-isolation is only to be undertaken if the individual is advised to do so by the 111 online coronavirus service or a medical professional. Read the full NHS advice here. 

Emergency planning advice:

IOSH advises that businesses follow good practice in emergency planning, preparedness and response. This can be achieved by adopting the following steps:

  • Develop a response plan for if someone in the workplace becomes ill with suspected COVID-19. This should include the immediate response e.g. isolate the individual and contact the local health authority and also how you plan to identify persons who may be at risk without stigma or discrimination
  • Explore ways of remote working (teleworking) that will allow workers to continue their work from home
  • Develop a business continuity plan for an outbreak, which covers:
  • How your organisation will continue to function if workers, contractors and suppliers cannot come to your place of business
  • Communicate to workers and contractors about the plan and their role in it
  • Ensure the plan addresses mental health and social consequences of a case of COVID-19 in the workplace

For further information on emergency planning read WHO document Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 or UK Government Guidance Preparing for emergencies.

Ferry operator Stena Line has been prosecuted after an employee was seriously injured when he was struck by a van that was reversing out of a docked vessel.

Investigating, the HSE found there was no consideration of physical segregation of pedestrian operatives from moving vehicles when vessels were being unloaded. Stena Line Limited had failed to adequately assess the risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles and consequently put in place effective control measures leading to a safe system of work.

On 17 September 2017 George Ball, a pontoon traffic marshall working for Stena Line Limited, was struck by a 3.5 tonne delivery van at the company’s port terminal in Birkenhead, Wirral. The van was being reversed off the Stena Lagan vessel onto the pontoon area by a port service operative.

The vehicle reversed over Mr Ball’s head and body after the initial collision had knocked him down. Mr Ball suffered multiple injuries that included numerous fractures to his skull, ribs and other bones, and loss of sight in one eye. He has been left with double vision in the other eye and ongoing mental health problems.

Investigating, the HSE found there was no consideration of physical segregation of pedestrian operatives from moving vehicles when vessels were being unloaded. Stena Line Limited had failed to adequately assess the risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles and consequently put in place effective control measures leading to a safe system of work.

Stena Line Limited of Station Road, Ashford, Kent, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £400,000 with costs of £6,576.15.

HSE Inspector Rohan Lye said after the hearing: “The injuries sustained by Mr Ball, which affect him to this day, were easily preventable. The risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles is an obvious one which should have been identified and controlled. Had Stena Line Limited employed suitable control measures the life changing physical and emotional injuries which continue to impact Mr Ball and his family would have been avoided.”

Man sentenced following gas concerns at Caravan site

One of the individuals with management responsibility of a static caravan site has been sentenced for failing to have gas appliances properly maintained and inspected and failing to safely store Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the individual had no Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificates for the gas appliances in caravans rented out, some of which were found to be immediately dangerous and had to be disconnected. The LPG cylinders not being used were stored unsafely presenting a risk of fire and explosion.

The HSE ensured that all the caravans on the site were inspected by a competent person (a Gas Safe registered engineer) to ensure the gas appliances and fittings were safe.

The individual pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years. He was also instructed to pay full costs of £22,235.00.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Lindsay Bentley said “This case highlights the importance of not only looking after your employees but members of the public too. Gas safety is so important and regular inspections of the gas fittings and equipment in the caravans, by a Gas Safe registered engineer, would have ensured that they did not deteriorate to a condition where they endangered lives.”

Ref www.hse.org.uk

Farm Vehicles -The Law

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations1992 and the Provision and Use of Work EquipmentRegulations 1998 (PUWER) apply to transport activity.
Vehicles should be able to move around safely, be properlymaintained and operators should be adequately trained.The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations1998 (LOLER) require thorough examination, marking ofequipment and properly organised lifting operations

The most common causes of serious and fatal injuries in agriculture involve moving and overturning vehicles. Transport movements in and around the workplace need to be controlled to protect pedestrians and to prevent damage to equipment and buildings. Other incidents happen when people leave a vehicle without making sure it cannot move or cause injury in other ways. The vehicle braking system must be properly maintained and you should also lower to the ground any raised implements or loaders.

Does your Business or Organisation have a Fire Evacuation Plan?

fire emergency evacuation plan is a legal requirement and normally takes the form of a written document, which includes the actions to be taken by all staff and nominated persons in the event of a fire and arrangements for calling the fire brigade.

Our Fire Safety and Fire Warden DVD’s include a bundle of Fire Safety editable templates including:-

Fire Log Book

Fire Evacuation Plan

Fire Safety Policy

Fire Procedures

Health & Safety after Brexit

There are some things that #Brexit won’t change for small businesses. Like your health and safety responsibilities to #workright

While small businesses will be trying to get ready for Brexit at the end of October, health and safety need not be top of your to do list. Here’s why…

When the UK leaves the European Union health and safety responsibilities in the workplace, to make sure everyone can go home healthy and safe, will not change. Whatever the scenario.

This is because minor amendments have been made to the existing regulations. For example, EU references have been removed. So these legal requirements, and the protections these provide, will be the same as they are now.

After Brexit you should continue to manage your business and employees in a proportionate way to reduce risk and protect people. But it does not need to be time consuming or costly.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are there to provide simple, practical advice on how to work right and comply with the law. Good health and safety is good for business. 

Working together to protect your workers, keeping them healthy and safe, is an integral part of #WorkRight. We want to help your business succeed. 

We know you will be keen to understand how else Brexit will affect your business. So we also hope to provide useful sources of information on a range of topics to help you get ready for Brexit.

Britain is doing a great job. This is one of the world’s safest places to work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are there to make sure that doesn’t change.

Photo credit @muffin 

New regulations to affect vets working with X-rays

All veterinary employers who work with X-rays must register with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) by Monday 5 February 2018, under new legislation.

The Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17) replaced IRR99 on 1 January 2018 and employers must now apply to the HSE to carry out work with ionising radiation.

Under the new regulation, notifications given under IRR99 are no longer valid and all employers must reapply under the new regulations by the 5 February deadline.

Registration with the HSE entails a fee of £25 per employer. All veterinary employers that administer radioactive materials or use a linear accelerator will additionally have to obtain consent, with an additional £25 fee per employer. Failure to comply may result in enforcement action, up to and including prosecution.

More information on how to apply is available at the HSE website.

Practices that are part of a larger veterinary group should check with head office before registering, as only one registration per company is required.

BVA produce an Ionising Radiations Guide and, as a result of IRR17, this is in the process of being updated.

BVA is liaising with the HSE and Radiation Protection Advisors to update the guide.

BVA members will be updated when the new Guide is available for sale. For further information, please contact Ameliaf@bva.co.uk

The draft Approved Code of Practice and Guidance can be downloaded for free from the HSE website and gives advice and direction on how to meet the requirements in the regulations.


18 Week prison sentence

Pembrokeshire man sentenced after worker seriously injured

6 June 2018

A man has been sentenced to 18 weeks in prison after a worker received serious injuries from an electric shock.

Swansea Crown Court heard that, on 12 March 2014, Mr Hearne, under instruction from George Jones, sustained serious injuries whilst plugging a tyre stripping machine into a wall socket. The incident, which took place at Carew Cars, Carew Airfield, Pembrokeshire, could easily have led to a fatality.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the electrical installation at the unit in Carew Airfield operated by George Jones as part of his scrap metal business was unsafe and was more suited to a domestic premise. The socket in use was in poor condition with exposed wires. The roof of the building had holes in it and there was evidence of water ingress on the wall behind the socket which contributed to the incident.

George William Edward Jones of Strawberry Fields, Pembrokeshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 4 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison to run concurrently with his existing sentence.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anne Marie Orrells said: “This case highlights the importance of regular proactive maintenance and inspection of work equipment, including electrical installations, to ensure that they do not deteriorate to the extent that it puts people at risk.

“In this case, George Jones failed to effectively maintain equipment and it could have resulted in a fatal injury.”