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ladder work at height

HSE have banned the use of ladders on building sites

No, this isn’t the case. Ladders and stepladders can be a sensible and practical option. They can be used for work at height when the use of other work equipment is not justified because of the low risk and short duration (short duration means working on a ladder for no more than 30 minutes at a time); or when there are existing workplace or site features which cannot be altered.

You need to be formally ‘qualified’ before using a ladder at work

No, you do not.  You need to be competent. This means having the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to use a ladder properly for the work you will carry out, or, if you are being trained, you work under the supervision of somebody who can perform the task competently. Training often takes place on the job and does not always have to take place in a classroom. What matters is that an individual can apply what they have learned in the workplace.

You need to have two feet and one hand on a stepladder at all times when carrying out a task

No, this isn’t true. When you need to have both hands free for a brief period to do a job using a stepladder (eg putting a box on a shelf, hanging wallpaper, installing a smoke detector on a ceiling) you need to maintain three points of contact at the working position.  This is not just two feet and one hand, it can be two feet and your body (use your knees or chest to help with stability) supported by the stepladder. Ensure a handhold is available to steady yourself before and after.

HSE has banned the use of ladders to access scaffolds and you will be fined if you ignore this ban

No, this isn’t true. Ladders can be used for access as long as they are of the right type (ie a suitable grade of industrial ladder), in good condition and effectively secured (tied) to prevent movement. You should ensure they extend at least one metre above the landing point to allow for a secure handhold when stepping off.

 

From the Health and Safety Executive Website – for more information about working at height visit the HSE – Working at Height  or speak to one of the team at PSP Risk on 01823 212951

With Farm Fatalities rising over 70% in the last 12 months which lets face it is a shocking devastating and worrying statistic and it recently being farm safety awareness week, what can you do to protect yourself, your families and your workers?

This time of year can be exhausting for agricultural workers, with pressure of the weather being somewhat unpredictable and needing to race the clock to get things completed it is understandable sometimes risks can be taken

It is widely acknowledged that farming can be a very dangerous occupation, daily challenges are faced with contributing factors of long hours, fatigue, stress and isolated working conditions in many circumstances.

A quote from a Health and Safety Executive Inspector was hard to ignore….’In 20 plus years of doing his job he had only investigated ONE incident which could not have been genuinely unavoidable’

Quite a statement you will agree?

We all know farms can be hazardous places machinery constantly on the move, feed wagons and milk tankers in and out at all times of the day and night.

By taking the time to read if you haven’t already, or if you have take the time to refresh your memory on things like SAFE STOP when using a farm vehicle could save an incident from happening.

Take a minute to put a helmet on before jumping on a quad bike

No one wants to be thinking if only I did it that way, that may not have happened.

With these incidents on the rise, we can only expect more potential visits from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Incidentally it was just announced in the Farmers Weekly 3rd May 2021 their costs per hour have risen from £124 to £154 per hour.

Fees For Intervention were introduced in 2012, meaning businesses are charged for the costs of an investigation from the time a material breach is identified to the point when a decision is made on the enforcement action. Farmer’s Weekly estimate that on average, an inspector will spend 6 hours on one investigation.  Meaning the average cost of one investigation is £950

At PSP Group, we have access to a product called ‘Rural Protect’ which you may have read about, the product has many features and benefits, one of which is fees for intervention cover which essentially will cover the cost of the HSE Fees if they arrive at your farm for an inspection.  Please be aware it will not cover any ‘fine’ costs but it will cover court costs if needed limits will apply.

The policy can be sold in isolation and the premiums start at around £300 per annum, it is very quick and easy for us to obtain a quotation for you, don’t waste any time give us a call today 01566 777710.

 

Having heard that there had been a spate of catalytic converter thefts in the local area, the team at PSP Risk and Motor wanted to put some information together to help keep your vehicle safe and secure.

Claims for theft of catalytic converters from cars has increased by over 40% and the vehicles most likely to be targeted are older low mileage petrol hybrid vehicles.

Why is theft of catalytic converters so attractive?

It’s because they contain a honeycomb coated with precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium which help to reduce and filter harmful gases from the vehicles’ exhaust systems. These precious metals can be sold to make money.

Unfortunately, the act of stealing a catalytic converter is relatively easy, but there are steps you can take to make it harder for the prospective thieve.

In order to steal the parts, thieves, need to gain access to underneath your vehicle to use cutting tools to detach the box and pipes. By parking half on the pavement and half on the road you are helping thieves to gain access, therefore ensure you vehicle is parked fully on the road and if possible, park close to walls or fence with your exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb.

Arrange for your catalytic converter to be tagged with a unique serial number, this will make it easy to identify if it is stolen. You may also get a sticker you can put in the window warning would be thieves that you have tagged your catalytic converter.

For a fleet of vehicles arrange the parking with the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles, therefore restricting access to the underneath.

If your vehicle is a target and you suspect the catalytic converter has been stolen, contact your insurer and arrange for the vehicle to be inspected for additional damage.

* Catalytic converter theft represented 19.8% of thefts from private vehicles October – December 2019 and 29.7% from January to March 2021, according to Ageas’  claims data.

 

Fixed Electrical Inspection

The testing and inspection of Electrical systems is required under the Electricity at Work Regulations and will therefore apply to business premises.

Most establishments require a full test and inspection every 5 years. This work must be carried out by competent and accredited contractor.

They also require an Annual Routine check, this check may be completed by a competent person who is a user of the system. The person doing the routine check will need to look for breakages, deterioration, signs of overheating and ensure that adequate labelling is in place.

 

The following is a general summary of of the requirements for certain establishments-

          • Industrial       Annual Routine Check       Fixed Test 3 years
          • Commercial   Annual Routine Check       Fixed Test 3/5 years
          • Offices             Annual Routine Check       Fixed Test 5 years
          • Shops              Annual Routine Check        Fixed Test 5 years
          • Pubs                Annual Routine Check         Fixed Test 5 year
          • Restaurant     Annual Routine Check         Fixed Test 5 years
          • Hotels              Annual Routine Check        Fixed Test 5 years
          • Petrol Station  Annual Routine Check       Fixed Test 1 year
          • Construction Site   3 Month Check            3 Month Test

It is a legal requirement to comply with this legislation and in the event of large fire loss at a premises a copy of the electrical report and certificate will be required.