Health and Safety Basics For Business Owners

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It is Business Safety Week in the United Kingdom, as the Chief Fire Officers’ Associations (CFOA) aims to highlight the importance of protecting staff members from fire hazards and other types of health and safety risks. To mark the occasion, British Safety Services is offering business owners comprehensive advice on how to mitigate any risks in order to protect the health and safety of their staff, customers and any visitors.

Exercise Comprehensive Fire Safety

The main goal of Business Safety Week is to reduce the risk of fires. To help business owners prioritise their fire safety measures, the CFOA has coined a ‘simple’ message:

  • Store stock safely. Corridors, stairs and exits should remain clear.
  • Identify alarm points.
  • Make sure doors are closed to stop fires from spreading.
  • Place flammable objects away from sources of fire.
  • Let someone know if you notice any fire hazards.
  • Ensure everyone is aware of what to do in case of a fire.

Control Health and Safety Risks In Your Business

It is important to carry out a risk assessment of your business and its premises. This will determine if there are any potential threats to the health and safety of your staff and any visitors. Many smaller businesses can use the Health and Safety Executive’s Risk Assessment Tool, which helps ‘low-risk’ business owners comply with health and safety law.

Higher-risk businesses may need to enlist in the help of a professional. At British Safety Services, we offer Health and Safety Consultancy, which includes risk assessments, inspections and audits for businesses in a wide range of fields.

Provide Training to Employees

Once any risks have been identified, it is time to train your staff. All employees should be notified of the potential health and safety risks in your business, and how they should react in the event of an emergency situation.

All staff members should be made aware of the following information:

  • Any hazards that they may face
  • Measures that are in place to deal with these hazards
  • Relevant emergency procedures

Many businesses can conduct training in-house with a staff meeting. The information should be presented clearly, and all employees should leave knowing exactly what is expected of them both on a day-to-day basis and in the event of an emergency. For higher-risk and larger businesses, health and safety training from an external source may be required.

Ensure that all new staff undergo health and safety training, and remember to provide refresher training to all employees, especially those that assume new responsibilities or job roles. To stay on top of this, be sure to keep detailed training records.

Maintain Facilities for a Safety Working Environment

As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for your staff. According to the HSE, these are the basic facilities required to keep your employees safe and healthy at work.

To address health issues, ensure that your workplace has:

  • An effective ventilation system
  • A comfortable temperature in the workplace (the HSE recommends a minimum 16°C, or 13°C for strenuous work)
  • Suitable lighting
  • Adequate room for seating
  • A clean working environment

To address safety issues, ensure that there is:

  • Proper maintenance of work equipment and the property overall
  • Floors that are free of obstructions
  • Windows that can be safely opened

British Safety Services offers a wide range of health and safety training and consultancy services businesses around the world. For more information on how we can help you mitigate health and safety risks for your business, browse our health and safety services or call us at: +44 (0) 121 333 7232

Surviving exam stress

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Everyone has a life and responsibilities outside work: they may have children or other caring responsibilities, or simply want time to pursue other interests. In 2000, the Government launched a campaign to improve the work-life balance for employees in the UK. Employers are encouraged to introduce flexible working practices which enable their employees to achieve a better balance between work and the rest of their lives.

However, while the emphasis from the Government is on a work-life balance, many employees are also studying while working full or part-time, which adds an extra element to the work-life balance equation. This can make it very difficult for those studying to allow themselves enough time to ‘have a life’ outside of their work and studies, particularly when revising for exams.

People approach revision in various ways: some will thrive on the stress and adrenaline rush while others will struggle to open a book and get started. The tips should help people focus their mind and help them achieve the desired results.

Planning is the key to successful revision. Examination dates are published well in advance and you should use this knowledge to plan your structured revision programme.   Don’t leave it to the week before.  Research past papers and examiner feedback, learn from the successes of others and avoid obvious candidate pitfalls.

As part of your revision plan, ensure that you make time for your revision. This is essential in achieving a work-life balance at this time. Often demands from family, friends and work colleagues can seem unreasonable. Put time aside at home when the house is quiet to revise – this can be in the morning or at night depending on when you are most awake.

To make your revision effective, ensure that you organise your revision plan. Avoid doing the same thing all the time – adopt different techniques to keep your interest in the task at hand.

Six Simple Revision Techniques

  1. Condense. Fitting notes onto one side of paper makes the volume easier to stomach, so rewrite and cut down as you go.
  2. Highlight. Target key areas using colours and symbols. Visuals help you remember the facts.
  3. Record. Try putting important points, quotes and formulae on tape. If you hear them and read them, they’re more likely to sink in.
  4. Talk. Read your notes out loud, it’s one way of getting them to register.
  5. Test. See what you can remember without notes, but avoid testing yourself on subjects you know already.  If you have a very patient friend or partner it may help to ask them to test you.
  6. Time. Do past exam papers against the clock; it’s an excellent way of getting up to speed, particularly with exam boards putting added pressure onto you by requiring you to address a wide range of subjects in a very short period of time.

By taking regular breaks and eating properly, you will maintain a healthier mind and body, which will give you a greater chance of successful revision. A breath of fresh air or some other exercise will loosen up your mind as well as your body.

Eating a variety of healthy foods doesn’t just give your body a boost; it also benefits your brain cells. Skipping meals may well give you extra cramming time, but it can also leave you hungry and unable to concentrate, so, eat regularly and sensibly. Think wholemeal bread sandwiches and fruit, rather than cakes and biscuits!

Finally you should adopt a positive approach to taking exams. It is much easier to memorise and recall information if you have a relaxed open mind. A few tips when taking exams are given below.

“Read, Plan, Write, Avoid

Managing Safety At A Construction Site

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As the manager of a construction site, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone working at the property. Here is concise guide to help ensure that your construction site is as safe as possible.

Welfare of Workers
The welfare of workers is important at any construction site. It is your responsibility to ensure that they have access to:

–          toilet and washing facilities;

–          an area to prepare and consume refreshments

–          a place to store clothing and PPE

These facilities must be properly maintained for the duration of the construction project. They should also be kept clean and in suitable working condition at all times.

Vehicle Safety
According to the Health and Safety Executive there are about seven fatal accidents involving vehicles on construction sites every year. There are many provisions that you can take to prevent such accidents from occurring.

It is important to keep pedestrians and vehicles separated to minimise the risk of accidents. By providing walkways and crossings, you can keep pedestrians safe. It is also advisable to consider installing barriers between the walkwaya and the roads.

It is also important to ensure that all drivers are properly trained. Many accidents are caused when an untrained driver takes control of a vehicle. Signallers should also have the proper training and authorisation.

Material and Waste Management
A disorganised and unkempt construction site can lead to workplace accidents. Slips and trips are common injuries that occur as a result of poor maintenance.

When it comes to material storage, ensure that there are designated storage areas for all items on your site. Keep all flammable materials separate and ensure that they are protected from accidental ignition. Do not allow these storage areas to creep into pedestrian routes, as this is likely to cause slips and trips.

Waste management is also crucial. At the beginning of the project, set out guidelines for how waste will be disposed of and who will be responsible for collecting the specific types of waste. Ensure that waste is disposed of regularly and that it is disposed of in the correct way (as hazardous materials cannot be disposed of in the same way as regular waste).

Safety Training
Finally, be sure that all workers and managers on your construction site have received health and safety training. This will ensure that they are aware of the best practices to ensure the welfare and safety of their fellow workers.

British Safety Services offers up a wide range of courses for construction workers. For more information, browse our Construction Health and Safety Training or call us at: +44 (0) 121 333 7232.


Health and Safety Timeline

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Over the course of the past 21 years, the Health and Safety Industry has seen many developments that have improved the working conditions and safety protocols for workers in various sectors. To commemorate these important events, British Safety Services has created a Health and Safety Timeline.

From BSS hosting the first-ever international NEBOSH course in 1993 to the 40th Anniversary of the Health and Safety Act in 2014 – there have been numerous innovations that have helped to improve the health and safety of workers in the UK and around the world.

Download the infographic at:

Asbestos Safety Training Crucial for Tradespeople

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A recent study by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has found that tradespeople across the United Kingdom are in need of training to correctly identify the correct measures for working near asbestos. This dangerous material can be found in buildings that were constructed before the year 2000, and it is important for workers who may encounter asbestos as part of their jobs to undergo safety training.

Asbestos is a major concern among tradespeople but many workers are unaware of the proper safety protocols. Source.

According to the report, Asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) are the single-largest cause of work-related fatalities, causing 4,500 deaths annually. Workers who are the most at-risk are those who frequently disturb the framework of buildings, including construction workers, carpenters, painters and decorators.

The HSE’s survey interviewed 500 tradespeople, and found that many were unaware of the risks presented by asbestos and misinformed about how to protect themselves. Fourteen percent of respondents thought that drinking a glass of water would protect them while 27% responded that opening a window would be a sufficient safety measure. Only 30% of respondents were able to identity all of the correct safe asbestos working protocols.

There are 1.8 million people in the UK who may be exposed to this material while at work, and they should become well-acquainted with the best practices for managing the risk of asbestos. There are many health and safety courses that provide this training, and it is crucial for workers to know the proper protocol in order to stay safe.

British Safety Services offers up a wide range of health and safety courses that provide workers with the essential knowledge required to keep them safe when dealing with hazardous substances. For more information, view our full Health and Safety Courses list.

Health and Safety Executive Reports on Health Risks at Construction Sites

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Throughout July, the Health and Safety Executive visited hundreds of construction sites across the United Kingdom to evaluate the industry’s health and safety practices. Inspectors uncovered some surprising results, as many construction sites were exposing workers to dangerous health risks.

According to the HSE’s report, one of the biggest issues involved workers being exposed to respiratory risks, such as inhaling dusts that contain silica materials. Exposure to hazardous substances such as cement and lead paint also posed significant danger to the safety of workers. Manual handling, noise and vibration are other health hazards that were present at construction sites.

At 13 sites, the conditions were so poor that that the HSE issued prohibitions to stop work immediately. Work on these sites can only resume once improvements are made. At a further 85 sites, enforcement notices were served.

The findings stress the importance of the ‘health’ in ‘health & safety’. While construction sites have seen a significant reduction in workplace accidents, it is also crucial to look after health concerns in order to prevent ill-health and fatal diseases. As such, managers and workers should undergo occupational health and safety training to ensure that all people on site remain in good health.

British Safety Services provides a wide range of courses to teach managers and employers the best health and safety practices on construction sites. For more information, visit our Construction Health and Safety Training page or call us at +44 (0) 121 333 7232.


CSCS Workers Required To Obtain New Labourer Green Card

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Since 1 July 2014, CSCS introduced a new qualification and identification card called the ‘Labourer’ Green Card. Labourers on any site that operates the CSCS Carding system must obtain this card to confirm that they have met the training and examination requirements of the scheme.

In order to qualify for the CSCS Green Card, candidates must also complete the CSCS Health Safety and Environment Touch Screen test

The CSCS Green Construction Site Operative (CSO) Card has been discontinued, so you will not be able to renew this card after it expires. If your existing Green Card expires after 1 July 2014, then your CSO card will stay valid until its expiry date.

To obtain the new Green Labourer’s Card, workers must complete the CITB – Construction Skills Health & Safety Awareness (HSA) training course from the Site Safety Plus range of courses. It is a one-day program that provides advice and guidance on common safety hazards on construction sites. By the end the course, delegates will be knowledgeable about how to minimise the risk of injury while working.

For more information on how you can qualify for the new CSCS Labourer Green Card, visit our CITB training course page or give us a call at 0121 314 1828.

Plankton to petrol pump – What would we do without oil and gas?

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Well, this is a question that we should be asking ourselves as, dependant upon which “expert

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