How to Manage Mobile Worker Health and Safety

IOSH issues a new guide for mobile workers’ health, safety and security.

New publication is specifically aimed at companies who deploy employees overseas on both long and short term assignments.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has teamed up with the International SOS Foundation to develop a new publication that outlines an organisation’s responsibilities for the health, safety and security of workers who travel overseas in the course of their work.

“Managing the Safety, Health and Security of Mobile Workers: An Occupational Safety and Health Practitioner’s Guide” is one of a range of IOSH courses in London. It discusses how an occupational safety and health professional’s skills, knowledge and expertise can help organisations care for workers who are travelling the world on business by developing the competencies to assess risk. It also gives guidance to subsequently plan, maintain and implement risk mitigation strategies, systems and procedures.

The Guide addresses the need for careful planning and preparation in considering worker wellbeing and medical, personal safety and security issues. It goes on to make the case for dynamic risk assessment, in which risk is constantly re-assessed in line with changing health, security and political conditions.

It also reviews such issues as safety while travelling on roads, things to consider when choosing accommodation and managing the risks from diseases.

In addition, the guide examines how to react if a critical situation develops, and highlights the need for advance planning in terms of scenario analysis and development of emergency action plans.

In recognition of the diversity of people in the workplace, the publication also covers the specific arrangements that may be required for women, older workers, workers with disabilities, those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and students on placement.

The guide aims to help companies build competencies and therefore resilience, allowing health and safety professionals to contribute to a company’s overall travel management processes.  As Dr Pascal Rey-Herme, group medical director at International SOS, says in the foreword to the Guide: “The world is changing. Many people no longer work in their home country. Organisations around the globe are expanding and sending their people to work in emerging markets and high-risk locations.”

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Health And Safety At Home: Don’t Leave Your Pets in the Conservatory in Summer

Keep your pets safe in hot weather by keeping them out of hot, stuffy living spaces

Conservatories can get very warm during the summer months – and that could be lethal for your pet.

We all love to spend time with our pets in the summer, and we’re always looking out for their well-being too. We make sure that they’ve got access to plenty of water, never leave them in hot cars and always ensure that we play with them in the shade. When it comes to leaving your pet at home though, it’s important to be aware of just how dangerous it can be to leave them in the conservatory.

Spending time together

We spend a lot of time in our conservatories during the summer. With the doors open and the sunshine streaming in through the windows, they’re a great place to relax. Chances are, your pets will be there with you too, whether it’s your cat making the most of the sun or your dog waiting for you to throw a ball out into the garden for them to catch. However, you should never be tempted to shut them in there while you’re not there.

Our pets are more sensitive to high temperatures

We’re all aware of the dangers of leaving our pets in the car, and those exact same dangers are there in your conservatory. It can become hot very quickly, and what starts as a comfortable temperature for your pet can soon become dangerous. Some conservatory glass, such as Solarlux windows, is very good at reflecting heat, but that’s to make the room more comfortable for you, not safe for your pets to be kept in. No matter how cool it may feel to you, it’s never worth the risk.

Keep your pet safe this summer

Babies can get too hot very quickly too, so take the same approach as you would do with your pets and never leave them unsupervised in your conservatory. When you do leave your pet indoors during the summer, always make sure that they have access to water and shade – and keep your conservatory off limits.

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Safety Advice For Roofers

Roofer safely working on a roof, with a harnessHow To Keep Safe On The Roof

Work as a roofer? You’ll know that safety is the most important part of the job. We take a look a rooftop safety.

If you work as a roofer, then you’ll already know that safety is the most important part of the job. With so much potential risks in this line of work, it’s essential to have adequate training and take all necessary precautions to prevent any nasty accidents. In this post we look at the most important things to remember if you want to keep safe while working on a roof.

Insurance

With a job that carries risks, it is especially important to take out roofers insurance so that you are covered in the event of any incidents. Do your research and make sure you get the best cover for your money.

Adequate Access Equipment

It’s essential to ensure that you have adequate access equipment in order to access a roof safely. This means having the right ladder for the space, and ensuring that all equipment is in full working order. It’s worth taking the time to search the internet to see what sort of new equipment is available – especially if you have been in the industry and using the same equipment for a long time. If this is the case, then it is also necessary to make sure that older equipment is checked and updated if required.

Edge Protection

In many cases it is necessary to set up some kind of edge protection, such as a guard rail, toe board or brick guard. This adds an extra layer of security should you or a colleague loose your footing or drop equipment – remember, you have to keep any potential passers-by safe, as well as yourself.

Personal Protective Equipment

It is essential to use adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) including helmets, goggles and gloves. Make sure any PPE used meets minimum safety standards and is in fully functioning order. This offers extra protection in the event of an accident, and can make all the difference between a minor and a major incident.

Keep The Site Tidy

It is essential to keep your site tidy at all times. It’s obvious that working at a height is risky, but don’t forget that it can be just as hazardous to be on the ground. Falling materials are one of the most common causes of accidents experienced by roofers, demonstrating the need to be clean and ordered. You should never throw anything from a roof, and it’s important to use nets if there is any chance of materials falling – this is mandatory if working in a public space.

Transport Materials Safely

You should never be tempted to carry too much up a ladder, as you risk losing your balance or dropping materials on people standing below. It’s far better to make several trips and take longer doing a safe job.

Respond to the Weather

There are some weather conditions in which you should not be on a roof – heavy rain makes surfaces slippery and hazardous. Never be tempted to work in circumstances that could potentially be risky, as many people have learnt this lesson the hard way.

Consider going on a health and safety awareness training course before starting your first job. If you are a self-employed contractor, this is especially important.

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Construction Site Safety: How To Reduce Dangerous Slips and Falls

Worker walking on trackSlipping and tripping on construction sites is a major hazard; some 1,000 injuries sustained by site workers in an average year involve broken bones and dislocations. Obstacles, stray cabling, wet surfaces, uneven surfaces and changes in level are the main causes of incidents.

Slippery or wet surfaces

Wet – mop up or dry as far as possible and use clear warning signs.

Slippery – if possible, make safe by mopping up if a liquid and using warning signs. If a substance such as ice or mud, then use an appropriate ‘gripping medium’ such as grit or stones.

Much could be done to vastly reduce these risks. For example, the use of non-slip temporary surfaces such as those from Tufftrak Mats to cover slippery surfaces is one safety measure worth taking.

Uneven surfaces

A common risk on newer sites before roadways and paths have been constructed to level the ground up, these can be made safer by the creation of designated walkways, signage and good lighting.

Trailing cabling

Using cordless tools is a help, but where cabling has to be run then keeping them tidy, moved to one side away from foot and vehicular traffic, and perhaps raised and run well above ground are some measurers worth taking.

Level changes

Where an abrupt level change such as a step or ridge is in evidence. These can be made safer using ramps – failing this, clear warning signs and bright tape or paint on the leading edge is advisable.

Obstacles

Remove items likely to cause a hazard as soon as possible – a typical issue on sites when, for example, deliveries are made or machinery is left somewhere.

Site users, staff and contractors should be encouraged to look out for and advise when hazardous situations arise.

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Workplaces Need To Improve Fire Health and Safety

Office fireYou Can’t Be Too Safe

Businesses are bound by law to maintain the safety of their employees and any people who may visit their premises, but it’s fair to say many do the minimum required and, once done, it often gets put to one side. The thinking perhaps is that, being that they’ve ‘done’ the fire safety checks for another few months, all is well.

Fire and other aspects of safety should ideally be an ongoing concern of a business as things can soon change turning a low risk environment to a higher risk one.

For example, a heater moved into an office since the last fire checks were made back in the summer could suddenly present a fire risk – especially if it’s near flammable materials. Perhaps those bin bags full of old paper work from clearing a few filing cabinets not present last time fire safety checks were undertaken present a risk now?

Risk Assessment

Employers must undertake a fire risk assessment, but the important thing is to keep it up to date and use it as the foundation for fire safety. This goes hand in hand with general health and safety risk assessments, and ideally should be referred to frequently.

By getting into the habit of checking fire risks regularly, new hazards will be picked up on sooner.

Equipment

Many businesses ‘get by’ with the minimum of firefighting equipment and warning signs. Safety and risk reduction could be reduced considerably by doing more – for example by having more fire extinguishers and smoke alarms than are necessary.

Regarding signs, add more to warn against fire hazards and display fire exits signs, and keep abreast of new signage legislation.

General workplace equipment such as electrical items including computers and photocopiers – even the office kettle – can become a fire hazard. Overheating and frayed cabling presents a risk, so inspections such as PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) should be kept up to date. If no such inspections are currently in place then it’s worthwhile implementing them.

The Employee’s Role

Often overlooked, but employees should take an active part in fire safety measures. As they’re familiar with their specific work area, they should be able to spot risks as they develop – companies could do more to install a culture of ongoing vigilance amongst their employees.

Encouraging tidiness is a help; rather than letting hazardous items build up, such as stacks of paper or that heater hastily wheeled in to add a bit of extra warmth during a cold spell, ask your employees to monitor their workplace fire risks frequently.

Training is linked to fire safety; companies should review more regularly the training and safety procedures in place for those employees working in a hazardous area or with flammable materials. What are the latest safety procedures and are they being implemented?

Less Obvious Fire Risks

More thought could be given to materials and substances that can provide a fire risk over and above the obvious. Substances such as petrol, thinners and certain chemicals are obvious risks but what about less obvious ones such as dust, grease and packaging materials?

For example, large amounts of dust could prevent electrical equipment ventilating properly so causing a fire risk. These should come under the general risk assessment but make room for the ‘less obvious’ risks.

Doing A Little Extra

It’s tempting to do the minimum necessary when it comes to fire safety checks and monitoring; after all, there are many demands on the working day. That said, more businesses could add to their fire safety regime and make their workplace much less of a fire hazard.

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Sports & Recreation Safety for Children

Sports & Recreation Safety for Kids

Sports can provide kids with physical (i.e. weight maintenance, coordination, fitness) and emotional (i.e. confidence, self-control, self-confidence) benefits. Nevertheless, risks of injury do exist. According to the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), from 1997 to 1999, kids between the ages of five and 14 had practically 2.4 million leisure and sports injuries! Though the huge majority of sports injuries amongst kids are minor, they can produce grave conditions and maybe lifelong health troubles.

Children are at an even greater danger than grownups of becoming hurt, as they are still growing. Therefore, the possibility of obtaining harmed muscles, ligaments, bones, and tendons is much greater than for grownups. Nevertheless, parents and coaches can take specific steps to decrease the threats and cruelty of sports- and recreation-related injuries in kids.

Children’s safety in leisure and sporting activities begins with the organization of the activities themselves. Instead of being organized by age, the kids should be organized according to ability, weight, and size. This is mainly true in regards to contact sports. The performances of kids, who are smaller compared with others their age, often exceed their capability. This is done to finish with stronger and huger kids their own age. Thus, their possibilities of ending up being injured increases. It is important to discover how certain sports programs position kids into groups.

Second of all, you ought to find out more about the coaches and sports facility where your child plays. Licensed athletic fitness instructors with skills in determining and averting sports hurts, work at numerous centers. Also, verify that adequate Child Security Signs and Children at Play indications have actually been published around the area.

In addition to the company of your child’s sporting activities, devices is another major element. More than 200,000 injuries transpire every year in the United States on playground devices. Malfunctioning equipment or equipment not protected effectively can enhance the risk of injury to your kid. Furthermore, your kid’s protective gear ought to be the appropriate size, fit and safety-evaluated for a particular sport. Your daughter or son ought to likewise know the best ways to utilize protective gear appropriately.

Lastly, numerous medical-related actions can be taken to both prevent and treat injuries. Before your kid’s sports season begins, your pediatrician ought to offer him or her a health examination. Next, make sure that your child just plays sports when he or she feels comfortable and physically able to do so. Nevertheless, even when various preventative measures have been taken, such as the setting up of Kid Safety Indications and Kids at Play check in an area, mishaps take place. When the kid is hurt, worn out or ill, he or she must stop playing instantly. “Playing through” the injury can be damaging to the kid’s health. Likewise, if your child suffers an injury or a constant sign that negatively impacts his or her playing capability, treatment must be sought straightaway.

Increasingly more children today are delighting in the world of sports and leisure. While many benefits exist for them, mpms and dads ought to likewise utilize various methods to protect their security, such as by publishing Kid Security Indications and Children at Play signs where the sporting occurs.

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How A Client Managed To Stop A Contractor

After reading this story never again will you think that as a client you do not have any power to stop something you do not believe in or something that you disapprove. It is important for you to remember that as clients, we are the users of services, and that as such we have the full right to disapprove something in order to provide workers with humane working conditions. This story certainly proves it.contractor-frustrated

In Cambridgeshire a roofing contractor was fined for safety failings that threatened the safety of three workers. Fortunately the contractor was fined for the shortcomings in his business, but it definitely raises the question of how safe construction workers are and what can be done to improve their safety.

high-riskWhat happened is that Stevenage Magistrates heard how Kerry Parmenter was contracted to carry out roof work at the premises of Cottage Linen Limited in Hertfordshire. Work on the roof was stopped by the project client after they were informed by HSE of unsafe working methods following a site visit. Furthermore, HSE found that workers were being put at risk by working on the fragile roof without adequate controls and using inappropriate equipment. Kerry Parmenter had failed to adequately plan, manage and supervise the work.

This of course shows that everyone has to be careful and considerate of people who work in construction sites. If you see any sort of threat, it is also important for you to react to it, no matter who you are. Frequently, the work on fragile AC roofs is referred to as “high risk activity”. Luckily, after the incident Kerry Parmenter, of Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and Regulation 9 (2) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005 and was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,459.

After the events took place, we also had the opportunity to hear the opinion of the inspector who was in charge. This is what HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed had to say after the hearing:

The_crane_and_the_Main_Street_midrise_on_the_Infinity_(300_Spear_Street)_construction_site,_SF“Work on fragile asbestos cement sheet roofs is a high risk activity with a history of fatal injuries. Workers are at risk of falling through the roof or from open edges if protections are not in place. There is publicly available guidance on the HSE website highlighting the control measures required for carrying out this type of work.”

Even though this particular incident was soon resolved, we have to ask ourselves how many incidents like this one have to happen before the people and the authorities realize that construction workers are truly exposed to health hazards and that their safety is often compromised only because they have a certain occupation. No one should be worried about occupational hazards, and especially not construction workers who did not consciously choose a hazardous occupation, therefore it is our duty to make sure their health and safety is guaranteed.

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