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Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
For everyone having to work from home, this is a useful video
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
Laptop Ergonomics - Basic Tips - Adult or Child Laptop Use at Home, Work or School
Ergonomic use of Laptop or Computer devices for recreation or work at home, office or school can bring you great benefits, including your children or kids, i...
youtube.com
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
As an employer who has staff travelling you must ensure they have enough 'down' time.

Two men died in a road traffic accident as a result of their employer, Renown Consultants Limited, failing to ensure that they were sufficiently rested to work and travel safely.

busy traffic on uk motorway roadNottingham Crown Court heard that Zac Payne, 20, and Michael Morris, 48, died on 19 June 2013 when Mr Payne fell asleep at the wheel of the work van and came off the motorway, crashing into a parked van, while driving back to Doncaster after a night shift in Stevenage.

The previous day Mr Payne had left Doncaster at 4.30am and driven to Alnmouth, Northumberland, arriving at 7.30am to carry out work on the railway. The expected work did not take place, so after waiting until midday Mr Payne started the drive back to Renown’s Doncaster depot, arriving at 3pm.

On his way to the depot he was asked to take on an overnight railway welding job in Stevenage and, in company with Mr Morris, they set off from the depot at 7.18pm arriving at the site at 9.47pm.

The two men then undertook welding jobs from 11.15pm leaving the site once they had finished at 3.40am. The crash occurred at around 5.30am as Mr Payne was driving back to Doncaster.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) told the court that Mr Payne, who like his colleague was employed on a zero-hours contract, was suffering the effects of fatigue and may have fallen asleep at the wheel or experienced ‘microsleeps,’ which hugely increased the risk of a traffic accident.

The court was told that Network Rail had asked Renown for an additional welding team for the Stevenage job at 7.30am on 18 June and Renown had accepted the job before considering if it had sufficient well-rested employees and before speaking to Mr Payne. The company did not follow its own fatigue management procedures, nor did it comply with the working time limits for safety critical work, such as welding, which insist there should be a ‘minimum rest period of 12 hours between booking off from a turn of duty to booking on for the next’, and it did not conduct a sufficient and suitable risk assessment of Mr Payne’s fatigue.

Mr Payne was also permitted to drive, despite the company’s insurance policy that stipulated only over 25s may drive their vehicles, and heard evidence from other members of staff that the policy was routinely flouted.

ORR found that Renown’s policies and procedures were particularly inadequate because employees were on zero hours contracts, and these contracts created an obvious incentive for employees to volunteer for work when they were too tired as they were only paid for the shifts they worked. This was made worse as Mr Payne, and other trainee welders, were reliant on Renown for securing the qualifications they needed to qualify as welders, which discouraged them for refusing shifts.

Ian Prosser, Chief Inspector of Railways said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Payne and Mr Morris.

“The rail industry relies on a huge workforce of skilled manual staff often working at night and on shifts. Fatigue is a real and known risk which reduces alertness and affects performance. Today’s tragic case shows the fatal consequences that can occur when fatigue policies are disregarded. Safety comes first and ORR will continue to monitor and take action where companies do not take sufficient care to ensure their workforce is not too tired to work.”
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
Covid 19 advice for those who are working from home.

In the current crisis caused by the Covid 19 virus, many people are being asked to work from home. As an employer you are still required to look after the health and safety of your employees when they are working from home whether it is a temporary situation or a regular one.
Because this situation has arisen very quickly, it is unlikely you will have had a chance to properly consider any health or safety issues your homeworking staff may face.
You will need to consider such things as

• How will you keep in touch with them?
• What work activity will they be doing?
• Can it be done safely?
• Do you need to put control measures in place to protect them?

Using IT equipment
Generally speaking, there is no increased risk from display screen equipment (DSE) for those working at home temporarily, so there is no specific requirement to do a DSE assessment on the home ‘workstation’. However domestic tables and chairs are often not the correct height to work for long periods using a computer, and using a laptop or tablet while sitting in a lounge chair/settee et cetera can create neck and shoulder strain.

Consider the following:
• breaking up long spells of DSE work with rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity
• avoiding awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
• getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises
• avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time
if it appears staff may need to work from home for an extended period of time, you should consider allowing staff to take some equipment home. This may include specialised keyboards or mice or possibly monitor risers and desk lamps. It may also be necessary to supply the homeworking employee with cushions to support them or even ergonomic chairs to use at home.
Homeworking and stress
It is suggested you create lines of communication between staff members and any central office. There are many video-conferencing platforms available now, many of which are free to use.

There will always be greater risks for lone workers with no direct supervision or anyone to help them if things go wrong. Home working can cause work-related stress and affect people’s mental health as being away from colleagues could make it difficult to get proper support.

It is important to make sure you keep in touch with your staff working from home, if contact is poor, staff may feel disconnected, isolated or abandoned. This can affect their mental health, but will also adversely affect their ability to work.

Put procedures in place so you can keep in direct contact with home workers so you can recognise any signs of stress as early as possible.
It is also important to have an emergency point of contact and to share this so people know how to get help if they need it.
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
All that was needed was a Fire Assessment - we could have saved them £000's...

Fines totalling £670,000 for student block fire safety failings
The main contractor was among three firms ordered to pay fines totalling £670,000 after admitting fire safety failings at a building used for student accommodation in Leeds.

Judge Mairs at Leeds Crown Court heard how Trinity Halls on Woodhouse Street had only one available fire escape which was compromised due to combustible materials, putting the 27 students who had moved in back in September 2016 at serious risk.

The court heard the students had moved into the building on the upper ground floor while other floors were still under construction.

There were a string of other failures which contributed to the significant risk, including lack of appropriate fire alarms and detection, exposed timber framing, the storage of flammable items on stairwells and no markings indicating fire escape routes.

Judge Mairs described the situation as having the “potential for catastrophe.”

The failings came to light in September 2016 after a concerned father called West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) to report the building. He had been dropping his daughter off to live there, but became concerned by the state of the premises and would not let his daughter stay.

Trinity Developments Ltd, the owners of the building, admitted four safety breaches. Niche Homes Ltd, contracted to manage and let the property, also admitted the same four breaches. These are:

failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment
failing to take precautions to make sure the premises were safe from risk of fire
failing to provide appropriate fire detection and alarm system
failing to provide an adequate number of fire escape routes and exits.
In addition to this APP Construction Ltd, who were contracted to design and build the property, admitted one charge of:

failing to provide an adequate number of fire escape routes and exits.
At previous hearings guilty pleas were entered to the charges, all relating to the period 24th September 2016 to 27th September 2016.

The companies were all offered credit in court for their early guilty pleas. Acceptable safety measures are now in place at the building.

Judge Mairs said that all the companies had “high culpability” and that “the risks were so obvious that a member of the public spotted them – so they should have been obvious to the companies involved.”

In sentencing, he fined APP Construction Ltd £450,000, Trinity Developments Ltd £160,000 and Niche Homes Ltd £60,000. The three companies also agreed to pay costs. APP Construction Ltd will pay £9,000. Trinity Developments Ltd will pay £6,000 and Niche Homes Ltd will also pay £6,000.

Following the sentencing Chris Kemp, Senior Fire Protection Manager for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This case demonstrates the importance those responsible for building construction, development and occupation have in understanding their duties and acting responsibly to take account of the safety of the people they are responsible for.

“As Judge Mairs highlighted, the dangers and risks found at Trinity Halls were so obvious anyone without a technical fire safety background could identify them. The conditions that were found on site were such that some of our senior officers have not seen such blatant disregard for the law and the safety of residents in 28 years.”
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
People check in to this sort of hotel every day and expect to be safe. Clearwater Safety can carry out the Fire Assessment and help the owners stay compliant
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
Site safety is not difficult, but it is not a 'tick box' process. You need to talk to us to make sure your working practices are properly assessed.

According to specialist insurer ECIC, the latest HSE construction statistics revealed 30 fatal injuries to construction workers in 2018/19, which is only a small improvement on the annual average number of 36 fatalities over the last five years.

Additionally, instances in which the HSE had to stop work on construction sites due to unsafe practices accounted for 60% of all the prohibition notices issued between 2018 and 2019.
Richard Forrest Smith, Chief Executive Officer of ECIC, said that the statistics showed that, after years of “marked improvements in health and safety records,” safety standards in the construction sector seem to have reached a plateau.