Health & Safety Newsletter - February 2017 University of brighton - accommodation & Hospitality services and a bear that's excited about safety

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) have been fined £950,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £18,700 after two employees sustained burn injuries at two separate branches of the restaurant. On 14th July 2014 a 16 year old worker at one of the branches was asked to remove a container of hot gravy from a microwave. The worker was not wearing protective gloves and sustained serious burns to his hands and arms as the gravy spilt. A similar incident occurred on 1st December 2015 at another branch where another worker spilt hot gravy on themselves whilst removing it from the microwave. Environmental Health investigated and found that KFC weren't following their own procedures i.e. they provided personal protective equipment (PPE) for this activity and didn’t enforce that it was worn. In addition they found that processes were not managed safely and that staff were not aware of where to find spare PPE. All teams in Accommodation & Hospitality Services have risk assessments in place for the work activities being undertaken by staff and/or the environments in which they work. It is really important that everyone follows the control measures and procedures in their area of work to avoid injury. If you have not been shown a copy of the risk assessments in your work area, please ask your line manger to discuss these with you. Procedures are put in place in order to protect staff from injury. An example of this in Hospitality is the new Safe System of Work for emptying, cleaning and refilling deep fat fryers. Everyone should remain vigilant to ensure colleagues are following procedures correctly. Managers should also spot check to ensure they are being followed. As was the case for KFC, having a procedure and not following it is just as bad as not having one in the first place.
The accident statistics have now been put together for the first quarter of the academic year (Oct-Dec) and are available for everyone to view on My Department. This quarter we had 17 accidents in total and ‘slips, trips and falls’ are no longer our top cause of injury. Instead we have ‘contact with extreme temperature’ as our top runner (in this case scalds from spilt hot drinks are included in this category). As always, the accident statistics have been taken to senior management for them to discuss, identify trends and action where required.
Any member of staff who uses a computer for an hour or more a day (whether in one sitting or broken up across the day) must have a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment carried out of their computer workstation. This will ensure that you are setup properly at your computer and will significantly reduce the likelihood of developing work related upper limb disorders (WRULD) in later life. If you haven’t had a DSE assessment and think that you should have one, please speak to your line manager and they will be able to arrange one for you with one of the department’s DSE Assessors. In the meantime, checkout this guidance on keeping free from aches and pains whilst sat at your computer both at work and at home. Remember, DSE isn’t going to cause you a serious injury today, but without addressing the risks now, you could be in pain later in life.
‘’A company employee contacted the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) following their experience with their company first aid box. The employee had cut her finger and went to the first aid box to get a plaster. She found the box to be out of plasters and enquired with a manager about restocking the box. The manager told her that due to health and safety reasons, plasters could no longer be stocked as some people are allergic. The HSE responded and said if there is any concern that staff may be allergic to plasters, then hypoallergenic ones should be purchased. More simply, the person applying the plaster can always ask the injured person if they are allergic to plasters before applying one…..’’ At the University of Brighton we are pro plaster and if the first aid box you are responsible for is low, you can go ahead and reorder plasters and a range of other stuff by completing a First Aid Supplies Request Form and emailing it to Don’t forget, if you work in Hospitality, you will need to order blue plasters. Together we can make health and safety plaster myths a thing of the plaster…...past!!
As well as the health and safety training that our departmental Health & Safety Advisor provides, the central Health & Safety team also provides a range of courses. All the courses are free for staff to attend. All you need to do to book onto a course is check with your manager to ensure you will be able to attend the course (e.g. there will be cover for you) and then Email with your course request. All members of staff can attend these courses. Why not take a look at the health and safety website now and choose something. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn about the safety involved in the use of abrasive wheels, or perhaps you have always wanted to be a DSE Assessor.
Did you know that we have to write our health and safety arrangements down by law? Any organisation that employs five or more staff must write down their health and safety arrangements. For example, risk assessments, policies and procedures. If an organisation has fewer than five employees then they don’t have to writer anything down. However, in health and safety law if an organisation is prosecuted, they are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent. Without writing anything down, this becomes a lot more difficult to prove. Have you carried out or been involved in carrying out risk assessments for your team? If so, are they in need of being updated? Take some time to review your risk assessments and any procedures you follow. No one likes loads of paperwork, therefore you only need to risk assess significant hazards - use of a hole punch isn’t classed as significant and creates unnecessary work.

If you see a hazard, don't ignore it, sort it!!

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