43% of Sites Visited Fail HSE Construction Blitz

HSE Construction site ‘blitz’ finds breaches at 43% of site visits.  The HSE Board received a report on 12th December 2018 on the immediate findings from the four-week National Construction Inspection Initiative during October 2018. The initiative focused on health with an emphasis on lung disease and respiratory risks caused by asbestos and dust. The HSE Board was told that: “This was a collaborative … Read More

Santa’s List of Christmas Safety Tips

With Christmas almost upon us, it’s worth taking stock of elf and safety messages as the festive season is upon us! Here are 12 tips that will help you put safety at the top of your Christmas list: Secure your ho-ho-home (and office): Don’t be an easy target – thieves will go elsewhere if they have to work hard to steal … Read More

Fall From Loft Leads to £80k Fines

Major house builder lacked understanding of loft fragile surfaces risk. A construction company has been fined after an employee fell through a plasterboard ceiling onto a staircase below at a site in Basingstoke in October 2016. Basingstoke Magistrates heard how the employee was working in a loft space when he fell through a plasterboard ceiling onto the staircase below. He … Read More

Firms Back Mandatory Mental Health First Aid

Fifty employers have backed an open letter to the prime minister calling for the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations to be amended to make “mental health first aid” a legal requirement with the same statutory footing in workplaces as first aid. The letter has been signed by dozens of representatives of UK employers, including Universities UK, PwC, Royal Mail, … Read More

HSE Inspects Cladding Projects on Tall Buildings

Advice to Inspectors published on fire risk during work on tall buildings HSE has announced that the regulator is undertaking a series of inspections of removal and replacement of Aluminium Composite Material cladding projects on tall buildings. The focus of the visits will be on fire safety, though other matters of evident concern found will also be dealt with during the … Read More

Director Manager Maintenance Sentenced to Jail Fined £700k

The Managing Director of a waste and recycling company in Liverpool has been sentenced to 8months in prison for breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act after a worker was fatally crushed by a baling machine’s hydraulic ram in 2010. Jonathan Gaskell, his company, Gaskells (North West) and its maintenance manager Michael Cunliffe had all been … Read More

Agreement on Workplace Exposure to Diesel Engine Emissions

The three parts of the EU legislature – the EU Commission, EU Council of Ministers and European parliament – have now reached agreement on including workplace exposure to diesel engine emissions (DEEE) in the updated Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD). The agreement, announced in a press release on 11 October, follows a vote by MEPs on the employment and social … Read More

Young Person Loses Fingers Using Saw

A sole trader builder from Cornwall has been sentenced after one of his employees sustained serious, life-changing hand injuries whilst operating a handheld circular saw in February 2017. Bodmin Magistrates heard how the company was undertaking a barn refurbishment when the 17 year-old workman was injured whilst using the saw to cut wooden flooring sheets. The blade came into contact … Read More

CDM15 Offences See Managing Director Disqualified

The Managing Director of a small building company has been disqualified from being a company director for three years.  He pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act over health and safety offences at a “poor” site in London. The contractor has also been convicted of offences under the CDM Regulations. Kewie Doherty was … Read More

HSE & Brexit Planning

As with all sectors and government departments HSE need to plan for deal or no deal when it comes to Brexit.  At the recent HSE board meeting a topic put forward for discussion in the board report was HSE’s Brexit communications strategy. A discussion was held of how the HSE intends to communicate legislative changes flowing form the Brexit process, … Read More

The Wellbeing Impact of Lone Working

Millions of UK workers work alone, for all or part of the working week. We explain how some home workers can be more at risk of stress than office based employees. How do HSE describer lone working? “Those that work by themselves without close or direct supervision”.  However, the range on types of lone working is not so clear.  Employers … Read More

How GDPR Applies to Accident Reporting?

Under the new GDPR rules, I’ve heard that consent is required to process personal data. How does this affect the collection of information for the accident book? Under GDPR, the first principle is to process all personal data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Processing (including collection, recording, organisation, structuring and storage) must have a “lawful basis”. At least … Read More

New CDM15 Health & Safety Test for RIBA Architects

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will over the next twelve months develop a new mandatory test for all UK Chartered Members on “health and safety and building users life safety”. “About time!” says Elizabeth Sinclair, Director of Epica Health & Safety. “Too many times designers do not comply with their duties and responsibilities under Construction (Design and Management) Regulations … Read More

Gross Negligence Manslaughter Jail Terms to Increase

Employers or managers convicted of gross negligence manslaughter after a workplace fatality are likely to face longer prison sentences under a new guideline published by the Sentencing Council on 31 July. Applying to sentences delivered in England or Wales on or after 1 November, the new guideline is an attempt to bring consistent sentencing to sentences for all forms of manslaughter, but … Read More

College Gas Installation Contractor Exposed After Multiple Gas Leaks

College gas installation contractor exposed after multiple gas leaks at a college in Hertfordshire.  A utilities company has been fined over £446,000 for dangerous gas installations. St. Alban’s Crown Court heard how the defendant was contracted to carry out all the gas, plumbing and above ground drainage work at the premises from December 2010 until September 2011. Multiple gas leaks were … Read More

Actions Speak Louder Than Words! Give Today

Epica Health & Safety were the headline sponsor for the City of Liverpool Business Awards 2018, organised by leading private sector lobby group Downtown in Business, with Liverpool’s leading business men and women rewarded with the achievements of the best businesses in the city region. The awards which filled the enchanting Sefton Park Palm House set the perfect background for … Read More

Is it Too Hot to Work? Temperatures in the Workplace

Is it too hot to work?  In offices or similar environments, the temperature in workplaces must be reasonable. There’s no law for maximum working temperature, or when it’s too hot to work.  Employers must stick to health and safety at work law, including: keeping the temperature at a comfortable level, sometimes known as thermal comfort providing clean and fresh air … Read More

SUMMER, SUMMER, SUMMERTIME!

Epica Health & Safety have launched its Sun Safe campaign this month. As temperatures are soaring across the UK, the risk of skin cancers become more of a threat. As skin cancer is now the most common cancer, Epica Health & Safety launched their summer campaign predominantly with clients working outside. The campaign includes the delivery of useful information regards … Read More

Principal Designer Fined Over Fire Risk

Principal Designer and Principal Contractor failed to Comply with CDM 2015 Responsibilities A Principal Designer and Principal Contractor have both been  fined after serious breaches of their health and safety duties under CDM 2015. Exeter Magistrates heard that concern was raised about the lack of health and safety controls on a large timber frame extension project at a residential home … Read More

Pollen Free Work Environment

Whilst we all long for those beautiful long summer days and the smell of freshly cut grass, hay fever sufferers dread the high pollen counts, and the itchy, sneezy, wheezy symptoms that are associated with it. A 2013 study showed that anywhere between 10-30% of adults suffer with hay fever, and research from the Met Office suggested that UK employees who … Read More