OJ Safety's Blog

The (other) Invisible Threat

“This is the biggest health crisis in my lifetime, worse than asbestos. Construction workers are ticking almost all of the at-risk boxes […] and the HSE is invisible; I’m amazed” Lawrence Waterman, British Safety Council After Boris Johnson ordered the Construction workers of the United Kingdom back-to- work he insisted that businesses would keep them […]

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A Christmas message to all our Clients

It’s been a tough year for all of us. Tough emotionally, tough in business, tough financially. Tough all round. Some of us have lost loved ones and were unable to see them before they passed, unable to mark their passing. Some of us have been unable to visit elderly parents and relatives for months, relatives […]

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Developing Brownfield Sites

A recent report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England reports that as many as 1.4 million brownfield sites could be suitable for development across England. There is undoubtably political will for the development of brownfield sites but the issue is the unknown cost of developing the land. A staged, sequential, logical gathering of data […]

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The Fire Safety Bill

The continuing Government response to the Grenfell Fire disaster In March 2020, the Home Office introduced a new bill to improve fire safety in buildings in England and Wales. The proposed Fire Safety Bill will amend the Fire Safety Order 2005 to clarify that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage […]

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All things PAT Testing

All things PAT Testing The all-new 5th Edition of the IET Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment (COPITSEE) is due to be published in October 2020 The Code was first published in 1994. When the Electricity at Work Regulations (EWR) came into force in 1989, the subject of electrical safety […]

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HSE ‘putting firms on the spot’ over COVID

The HSE say they carried out over 1,000 spot checks in the first few weeks after it resumed inspections. The safety inspectors restarted “proactive” inspections of construction sites at the back end of May. Figures for the three weeks between 26 May to 18 June show that the inspectorate carried out what it termed “spot checks” at […]

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Fined for being bad at your job!

Well, its finally happened. Someone has been fined, at Court, for being incompetent. A Self-employed safety consultant was fined for breach of legislation for providing health and safety advice on technical and complex matters while not being qualified to advise his clients. Luton Crown Court heard how a self-employed health and safety consultant provided inadequate […]

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HSE Ramp up spot checks on business COVID Procedures

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are carrying out spot checks on businesses that have reopened since the UK went into lock-down. The HSE inspectors are visiting workplaces across a large range of sectors following up on any reports or concerns about safety procedures in the workplace including over COVID-19 and ensuring compliance. They are also […]

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Does any body remember Brexit?

Is it true? Was it all a dream? Are we leaving or have we left? Brexit was on the top of everyone’s agenda, on everyone’s list, now it isn’t. Now its not spoken about. The problem is that as the date of ‘uncoupling’ draws near we have to look at our legal framework and access […]

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To HAV and to hold

More and more Principal Contractors are asking for proof that hand arm vibration has been looked at in the site RAMS before they are prepared to pass them. This can be a daunting prospect if you haven’t done it before. So here is a guide to how to do just that. First make a list […]

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Hung out to dry!!

The HSE guidance for home working was written nearly 25 years ago. It might as well have been written a thousand years ago. It was written for another time, another community. It no longer has real relevance or bite. If the pandemic has taught us anything it has shown us that quite a lot of […]

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‘It’s really no accident’

A client rang the office today to tell us that he had, had an accident. What do you mean you had an accident? Don’t you mean you had an incident? What even is an Accident? The dictionary tells us that it is a NOUN meaning ‘an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting […]

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HSE Granted 14 Million for more Enforcement Officers: Be Aware

HSE has received reports of over 56 deaths to workers resulting from suspected covid-19 but has taken no enforcement action and no action to shut down any workplaces, a select committee heard yesterday. HSE Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, said apart from a small number of concerns, most reports had either been dealt with immediately, or […]

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Once Upon A Time In…..Anywhere

Normal work-life is boring. Boring like a Tarantino Movie. Hours and hours of not much punctuated by short bursts of extreme chaos. In a way that plateau of slow-moving normality lulls us into feeling that nothing will ever change. Nothing will burst this safe, protected bubble. It creates the conditions for the chaos but doesn’t […]

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Dungeons and Dragons

I had a bad dream this week. Somewhere in the middle of Dante’s Ninth Circle, right at the centre of Hell, in a dungeon frozen into the ice, are the figures of two earnest looking gentlemen locked in eternal combat. Theirs is a circling, non-contact kind of dance where each one tries in vain to […]

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Between the "2 Metre" Lines

Has anything brought workers mental health collectively and concurrently to the fore as much as the current pandemic. Normally, anxiety is a very personal and individual happening. At the moment its powerful, overwhelming force is moving through the population, like huge waves, outwards, in concentric circles. Most of us, especially those of us who are […]

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Are You "The Tiger King"

I’ve been watching the Netflix series ‘The Tiger King’ whilst this period of lockdown has been on. Fascinating watching. Carol Baskin V Joe Exotic. I got to thinking about how they are around risk. Some things in the program were obvious. People who live with tigers get bitten. Some people are more careful than others. […]

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What ‘R’ the real issues of a return to work.

As the Government wrestles with the philosophy of wealth versus health what are the real issues preventing us from going back to work? More than 20,000 people have died from Covid-19 in NHS hospitals and thousands more in care homes. But there are growing concerns about the economic impact of lockdown. Gerard Lyons, Boris Johnson’s […]

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Ready Up Everyone!

In the words of my eight year- old playing fortnite next to me in the room where I am trying to work. We know that we are facing at least another three weeks in tight lock-down and after that, presumably, the country will begin a slow unfurling, a gradual unclenching. Undoubtedly, we will be full […]

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How to Manage Health and Safety of a Team When Remote Working

The Covid-19 pandemic has swept across the globe and changed the way we all work, potentially for longer than we first thought and maybe even permanently. More and more businesses are discovering that they may be able to work from home or offer more flexible working as a standard, so it is a great time […]

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CDM (Construction Design and Management) Roles and Responsibilities

It is worth reflecting on where you sit in the CDM process as this will determine your statutory duties and the statutory duties of those around you. Take a few minutes out of your day to read the following chart and understand how it all fits together. Roles and Responsibilities Commercial clients Organisations or individuals […]

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Coronavirus advice for employers

People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service. A Isolation note will provided to employees with evidence for their employers that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone […]

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Why Should my Business Choose ISO 45001?

One of the many benefits of ISO 45001 is that it involves the whole organisation in the Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OHSMS). While we all need to take responsibility for our own health and safety at work – and for that of others, top management has overall responsibility. They need to take an […]

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Coronavirus and Lone Working

As an employer, even during this terrible health crisis you have the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as for any other workers – and with a sudden rise in the number of people temporarily working from home, following government advice to reduce social interaction during the Coronavirus pandemic, are you sure your […]

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Initial Findings from the Grenfell Disaster

Key Learning Points to Manage Fire Safety in Your Buildings The horror of the Grenfell tragedy hopefully marks a turning point in the UK for how we design and manage fire safety in our buildings, whether they are used for business or domestic purposes. Some attention has been focused of the London Fire Brigade and […]

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OJ Safety Cloud

The new O J Safety ‘Health and Safety Cloud Management System’ There are many cloud management systems in operation Nationally, available through many of our competitors. Our experience with these systems has led us to believe that in many cases they are cumbersome, over-complicated and expensive. This has led us to putting our resources into […]

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Funny Health and Safety Stories: Are They Real?

Health and safety services can be a pretty dry subject area but the sector is not completely without humour if you look hard enough. While legislation and improvements in recent years have made many workplaces much safer, we appreciate that there’s often a funny side to things and people are left bemused when they see […]

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Asbestos Awareness Training, How Often?

A common question asked in the health and safety industry is how often my employees need asbestos awareness training. Is it every month, year, or every few years? With there been no definitive legal requirement, every company is different. However, recommend your organisation needs training every year. This is certainly the case if you are […]

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Coronavirus in the Workplace

What is coronavirus?  COVID-19 is an illness that can affect the lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus. In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a global health emergency. Respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Whilst the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk […]

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Corporate Manslaughter:

What is it and Who Does it Apply To? You might be surprised that offence of corporate manslaughter is a fairly recent addition to UK law. It was introduced in 2007 and became actual law in 2008. Here we take a closer look at what the offence of corporate manslaughter is and who or what […]

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CITB CSCS Card Scheme: Is It Good or Bad?

The CSCS cards have long been a little controversial in the construction industry. Some feel they are an extra expense and waste of money, others believe they provide a quick and easy way for site managers to ensure that workers who are being hired to do a job are properly qualified. Here we take a […]

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Mental Health in the Workplace

If you work a full-time job, you probably spend around 40 hours a week at your place of employment. If you are suffering from mental health challenges, however, that work environment can be a difficult place to thrive. Unfortunately, mental health is one of the least talked about issues in the world, particularly when it […]

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Health and Safety from Scratch!

How to organise your Companies’ health and safety. When you set up a small business there are many pressures on you commercially and organisationally to ensure that the business is set up on the right footing, especially when that involves employing other people. Health and safety may not be in the forefront of the mind […]

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Mental Health First Aid

Thousands of people go on a training course each year to learn first aid skills such as how to bandage a wound or resuscitate someone if their heart has stopped beating. But have you ever thought about learning mental health first aid? Back in 2017, an initiative was put in place by Public Health England […]

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Recreational Drugs and Work

There are many issues in society today with regard to the availability and use of psychoactive substances, some of which even dance around the edge of legality. There are also the changing attitudes to, and widespread use of, cannabis together with pressure from various groups to legalise THC. It is difficult sometimes for young people […]

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Asbestos in Schools

Schools not meeting the required standards! Shockingly, around 80% of schools in England have asbestos present somewhere within their buildings according to a recent survey by the DSE.  The Department For Education has revealed that asbestos management is not “in line with” it’s own guidance. Almost 20% of the schools in England that have taken […]

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The Great British Standstill

The Great British Standstill........ Whether we leave the EU in the short term, the long term, never, or in name only is still an unknown factor and may be for some time to come. The EU (Withdrawal Act) 2018 applies itself to our health and safety Legislation and ensures that the EU references are removed and replaced […]

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Google is my Competent Person

The other day I took a camera into a shop in Leeds to get a quote for repair to a screen which was broken. The quote was £230 plus VAT. I went home, bought the screen from Amazon for £27.50, Googled it, then watched a video on you tube. When it arrived the day after […]

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HSE Release most recent fatal accident statistics

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today released its annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19 as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2017. The provisional annual data for work-related fatal injuries revealed that 147 workers were fatally injured between April 2018 and […]

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Falling from Grace

The UK has, consistently, the lowest workplace fatality rates in the EU. On average we suffer around 1 workplace death per 200,000 workers. The number one cause of workplace fatality is working at Height. Around a quarter of all workplace deaths involve a fall from height. Whilst we can applaud the UK Businesses for implementing […]

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Road Traffic Matters

One third of all road traffic collisions involve someone driving at work, so both Employers and employees share the burden of responsibility as well as a legal obligation to manage the risks associated with this. Since health and safety responsibility extends to all work activities it also includes driving vehicles on public roads. This brings […]

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Houses in Multiple Occupation, What should I do as the Responsible Person?

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property that is shared by three or more tenants who are not members of the same family. HMO landlords must have a licence from the Local Council Housing Department. This ensures that the property is managed properly and meets certain safety standards. The licence will be valid […]

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Professional Risk Assessment

7 Reasons Why You Need Professional Health and Safety Risks Assessments  Many companies worth their salt engage health and safety service providers for risk assessments. The process involves hazard identification, risk analysis, and risk control. Why is this process important? Why should you find the experts to help you through? Well, this article offers you […]

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Catch 22 ‘The Competent Person’ requirement

Small businesses are often caught in a trap as far as the requirement in law, to have a ‘Competent Person’ within the Company for Health and safety. Competence is based upon a few factors including training, experience, knowledge, skills etc but often comes down to one factor, ‘Are you actually trained to do the job?’ […]

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Subcontractor Management: The Health & Safety Challenges

The construction sector, manufacturing and industry as a whole have long been seen as the backbone of the UK economy. When they’re doing well, the nation is generally considered in good health. One of the major challenges that construction companies face in boom times is getting the right staff on board. The solution for many […]

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Asbestos Awareness

It has been more than twenty years since asbestos was banned in building materials in the UK and several decades since we began to understand what a serious health risk it poses. Because health problems can take years to reveal themselves, we are still seeing the effects of its use in construction even today. Every […]

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H&S Service Please!

The HSE has recently conducted a survey of the role of Health and safety Consultants and the service they provide to small and medium size companies within the UK. The regulator is concerned that – in the eyes of the public and possibly some politicians – both it and the UK regulatory framework could become […]

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People and vehicles do not mix!

Injuries suffered by pedestrians being struck by vehicles within the workplace continue to happen as companies fail to either recognise the risk on their premises or fail to properly deal with the identified risks. In the vast majority of cases, after investigation by the HSE, it is found that  inadequate measures were in place to […]

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Welding Fumes Changes in Law coming

Welding Fumes Law Changes There is some evidence that some forms of welding are linked to COPD, Occupational Asthma and lung cancer. The risk from stainless steel welding is more linked to occupational asthma. Studies are continuing to establish the causational link between welding and these diseases and the HSE Guidance is awaiting updating. It […]

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Annual Health & Safety Statistics: 2018

On 31 October 2018, HSE published the all industry annual health and safety statistics for workplaces. Here we take a look at the key figures. The statistics are compiled using the Labour Force Survey (LFS), and other sources, and cover everything from ill health that is work-related, injuries in the workplace, lost working days and […]

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Unannounced HSE Visits - Are You Ready?

Unannounced HSE Visits - Are You Ready? We have seen an upsurge in unannounced HSE visits to Manufacturing Companies across Yorkshire over the last six months, which leads us to conclude that they are much better staffed, focussed and organised. The inspections are, in theory, intelligence led but that may be being loosely interpreted by […]

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