Health & Safety Newsletter - April 2017university of brighton - accommodation, hospitality & otters fighting over who is fire warden services
The department’s Driving at Work policy has been updated to include the addition of the new hospitality van to our white fleet (vehicles owned by the department). There have also been a number of other minor changes and the addition of section about the use of hand held devices whilst driving. If you drive either your own vehicle or a university owned vehicle for work purposes, then this is a good time to remind yourself of the policy and its requirements. If you drive your own vehicle then you must provide access to your driving licence via the gov.uk website and details of your insurance cover via the askmid.com website. If you are going to be driving university owned vehicles only, you just have to provide access to your driving licence. The Driving at Work policy details the procedure for checking these documents and can be accessed via My Department or by asking for a copy from your line manager. Remember: Driving at work is classed as ANY driving activity that isn’t your commute from home to your usual base.
Town fete organisers arranged a custard pie fight but it had to be cancelled as they were unable to get insurance based on the activity being ‘too dangerous’. The HSE confirmed that this was ridiculous and that there are no health and safety regulations or reasons to stop a good old fashioned custard pie fight! The HSE couldn't think of any risks involved with the activity that would render such harmless fun uninsurable.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) was contacted by Preston City Council due to their concerns about the gas appliances in a property they had been involved with. The HSE contacted the landlord to establish whether she was complying with her legal duties as a landlord to ensure that annual gas safety checks were carried out. The landlord failed to co-operate with the HSE and also failed to produce a gas safety certificate to demonstrate checks had been carried out. She was served with an improvement notice, but did not comply with the improvement notice either. As a result the HSE prosecuted her for breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulation 1998 and she was sentenced to a 26 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and was ordered to pay £1000 costs. Following the hearing the investigating HSE Inspector said ‘If you rent property out, you must comply with requirements of the Gas Safety Regulations, including the need to have a gas safety certificate. Gas appliances should be regularly checked, as faulty appliances can kill’.
Don’t forget that you can access lots of different health and safety training courses through the university’s central Health & Safety Team on Staff Central. If you don’t have regular access to a computer whilst at work, ask your line manager or supervisor to give you some time to see what training is on offer.
The sentencing guidelines have been reviewed and updated for Health & Safety prosecutions and other crimes. One main reason as to why health and safety sentencing guidelines have been reviewed is because there was a perception that large companies get off quite lightly when they injure or even kill someone as a result of poor health and safety management. As the university is classed as a large organisation, for the worst types of offences it can now receive up to £10,000,000 fines which would need to be paid out of the university’s own budget. This would not be covered by insurance. For managers in the university the reviewed guidelines mean that for the worst types of offences, managers can receive unlimited fines to pay out of their own finances and up to 2 years imprisonment. If the department continues on the path it currently is on, the organisation and individual managers should avoid these types of punishment. MANAGERS REMEMBER to continue to review risk assessments and ensure the control measures are in place and working. You can risk assess anything that you think needs to be risk assessed, you don’t need to wait for the Health & Safety Advisor to tell you to. For more information about the sentencing guidelines, checkout the PowerPoint presentation by clicking the button below.
A bakery has been fined for safety failings after a worker was injured whilst using a powered bowl mixer. The member of staff caught his wedding ring on an unguarded attachment of the rotating shaft on the powered bowl mixer, which caused injuries that resulted in the need to partially amputate the finger. The HSE investigation found that the bakery had modified the machine by adding a securing clip to the rotating shaft but had not then identified the additional hazard this caused by exposing dangerous moving parts of the machine. The bakery pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations surrounding the provision and use of work equipment and was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £5,950 in court costs. If you use work equipment, particularly in the hospitality service where the equipment has moving parts, these must be guarded to prevent access whilst the equipment is in use. If you notice any piece of equipment in your workplace that has moving parts that are accessible whilst the equipment is in use, you must take the piece of equipment out of use immediately and report it to your line manager. Line managers should then consult the department’s Health & Safety Advisor by email or by calling 01273 641388 to help them decide on what action to take.
Congratulations to our latest group of staff who have achieved the IOSH Managing Safely Award : Harry Hillery, James Donegan, Matthew Silver, Mick Donegan and Richard Smith. Well done to them and everyone else who has passed the qualification so far :-D