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I found the course informative and very useful, I thought our tutors methods were excellent, and it was the best course I have ever attended.
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Archive for the ‘Lighthouse Blog’ Category


September 9th, 2018[Comments Off on MENTAL HEALTH IN CONSTRUCTION]

Over 200 construction workers a year take their own life. We need to change their minds and shape their futures.

Here at Lighthouse Safety Training we are passionate about getting the message out there that there are options and support for those with mental health issues. We learnt a lot when Martin Coyd of Mace joined us for a session on Mental Health on Friday.

On 24th October as part of our open morning the team will be hosting a seminar about the concerns, industry focus, available training and the advocates of mental health. If you would like to attend register here

HSE Fines- Who should receive the Money?

September 5th, 2018[Comments Off on HSE Fines- Who should receive the Money?]

Hello all again it is good to see a lot of feedback on my last post so it at least means you are reading my blogs! Which I will take as a positive! It is good to have discussions and I would never criticise any effort to join in, so please feel free to comment.

As you can see from the heading of this blog, it regards the HSE fines. Two things have spurred this debate. The first was a prosecution from my home town of Sittingbourne –  Kent County Council Asbestos Fine £200,000.

If you didn’t read the above link, to make it simple Kent County Council received a £200,000 fine for poor management of asbestos. There are some other bits in the link that are interesting (mathematical risk of 0.0009% in 100,000 and the airborne levels being normal).

Anyway back to my blog…

A colleague of mine at Lighthouse pointed this out to me today 25% cut in HSE Inspectors The HSE have face a reduction in HSE inspectors from 1311 in 2010 to 980 in 2016. They are also facing a 46% reduction in funding.

For me it is quite clear, but I want to know your opinion. Should HSE fines go to better use? Now the HSE do get costs from court cases, in the KCC Asbestos case above, the HSE were awarded £21000. The court will get £200,000 and the HSE £21000. Not only does that disappoint me, but frustrates me. I think it should be the other way around, the court should receive the £21000 of costs and the HSE £200,000.

I would like the fines to go to better use. The HSE in May 2018 prosecutions came to a total of £1,500,000 & in June £640,000 that’s £2.2 million in fines in 2 months. Why can’t the HSE use that money? Maybe at Buxton in their research laboratory? The reason I put about the school, not just because it is a local school, but because the £200,000 that was fined to the Council, why not make them ring fence that money for compulsory asbestos training? Or just improving H&S Standards. What I see is that fine could be better used towards the issue rather than the crowns coffers. KCC have to pay £200k as well as the costs of downtime and lawyers etc and the training and corrective actions too.

Here is another example:

Thanet Council £250k HAVS

Now before anyone says “we cannot let anyone get away with soft fines”, I still want the punishment, I still want justice. But I want the Justice to be positive and actually improve safety standards.

What do you think? Comment below


Is it time to scrap the term “so far as is reasonably practicable”?

August 23rd, 2018[Comments Off on Is it time to scrap the term “so far as is reasonably practicable”?]

It has been a while since my last blog. So, I thought I would choose something special to talk about.

As you can see from the title of my blog- Is it time to scrap the term “so far as is reasonably practicable”? the topic is simple but does need explanation.

Now before the crux of the blog one thing:

Section 2(1) of the HASAWA 1974 states the following…

“It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

Now lets dissect this a little and lets first say it a different way… Your employer must only look after your Safety, Health and welfare where they feel its reasonably practicable. Where they don’t feel it to be reasonably practicable does that mean they then don’t have to ensure your health and safety?

Now I find this really hard to say to employees. It happened when a student of mine many years ago, simply asked –“has my employer got to ensure that I am safe at work?” Of course I replied yes, but in the back of my head I thought “but only where they feel it is reasonably practicable” so I repeated that to my student, that “an employer should ensure your safety where they feel it is reasonably practicable”. How would you feel hearing that? I find it uncomfortable to say.

How do you feel about working for an organisation (and in this case every organisation under the HASWA 1974), who only has to ensure your health, safety and welfare where reasonably practicable? Surely they should just ENSURE your health and safety and not just ensure it so far as is reasonably practicable?

Also fellow H&S People – Another issue that I want to bring up is the biggest discussion point that we have all faced “what is reasonably practicable”, and we all know the time, inconvenience, money and effort versus the risk. But lets face it, that’s rubbish and difficult to interpret. Money being the biggest argument, the value of money (although there is a value) is relative to the individual, I wouldn’t spend £100,000 on a car but I bet a premiership football player would, right? We all have had decisions over turned for “not being reasonably practicable”

So, to recap. I feel uncomfortable ensuring health and safety where reasonably practicable and we argue like mad about the definition of reasonably practicable.

So why don’t we change it? Why don’t we redefine it? Shall we have a more structured approach legally? The reason for changing it… Well to stop the insanity of arguments or being over ruled in your H&S decisions, to make the safety of staff more black and white and structured.

Now before you want to comment that- if we don’t have SFARP then we could be prosecuted for paper cuts or something else as innocuous, I am sure the HSE would not take it that far ever, so let’s be real about this. I am serious about this idea. 40 years ago perhaps the term SFARP was suitable for the times but in this modern age surely we can take it that next stage in improvement?

What is easier to achieve? From a H&S view, something that is an absolute duty to carry out or one that is only reasonably practicable to carry out?

I would like to know your thoughts




I haven’t always done operational safety, my background is in quarrying, process operation and heavy plant starting as a Labourer, so as you could imagine I was the young lad who used to hide when I saw the health and safety manager or indeed my manager.

As I grew older and progressed in my career I decided to carry out my NEBOSH course 8 years ago and I learnt not only what, but why health and safety is in place, and this changed my thought process completely.

Shortly after successful completion of my NEBOSH course I was lucky enough to be offered an opportunity into this world we call health and safety by Lighthouse Safety Training a small company that were running just 1 course at a time and dealing with a handful of clients. Throughout my time at Lighthouse I have developed immensely as a person and a professional. At the beginning of my career I started off looking at PQQ’s and policies moving quickly to site inspections, DSE assessments and before I knew it I really had gained what we all strive for when starting out – “experience”.

I think it’s safe to say that because we were good at what we did, we received great feedback which resulted in repeat work and word of mouth about the quality of our service spreading.

One of my biggest experiences was my secondment to Willmott Dixon. 6 weeks that turned into 3 years as Health, Safety & Environmental manager where I looked after between 3 and 9 construction sites ranging from 3 to 40 million in value and covering everything from demolition to build to finishing.

It was my role to develop sites not just criticise them, ensuring they were compliant by carrying out audits, completing paperwork, managing the safety of subcontractors and delivering required training. My focus during this time was health (noise, dust, vibration) and overseeing all high risk activities like tower crane assembly and dismantle and then finally attending a monthly directors meeting to feedback on progress with the safety team.

Following my return to Lighthouse full time I started teaching more delivering CITB, IOSH and bespoke courses before becoming a Director and starting to manage the consultancy team, which to this day I learn from daily.

One thing I ensure is that we instil my / our ethos into all of our employees. I started to understand the health and safety persons side of the story (its not easy) and early on I realised that I knew what it was that I wanted to achieve and that was to “change the minds” of those who we engage with so that they don’t see us as someone who tells them that they are wrong but a team who are trying and are available to help by providing realtime realistic and practical information.

So what is it we do that you wouldn’t expect?

We aim to build relationships – build relationships with those who we engage with whether its directors, managers, supervisors or indeed employees.

To develop our clients and their company culture.

Inform – the key to this development we feel is “information” we don’t just tell you to do it and we don’t just stick it in a report. There is always an explanation and or advice for why something is in place as you are more likely to “change your mind” if you understand the risks involved (teach a man to fish and all that!) and we know we are achieving this. Last year we achieved the highest scoring NEBOSH candidate in the UK and our regular pass rates are very high.

We have a different approach to how we go about our business. We are based in the south east but regularly work all over the UK delivering courses and carrying out audits & inspections.

Our team who are all directly employed are selected based on our core values – honesty, professional, enthusiastic and go through our set development plan which includes certain training courses, NVQ level 6, teaching qualifications and gain practical experience, all with the backing and ability to work towards Chartered status with IOSH, just as we did, so why not get in touch and speak to the team. See if we can change your mind and shape your future!




May 25th, 2018[Comments Off on WHY CHOOSE US?]

It is fair to say that there are a great deal of Health & Safety Consultants & Trainers. All have great ideas, delivery and expertise. This is fantastic because at the end of the day, our opinion is that we are all working for the same cause – health and safety!

We believe at Lighthouse that good Health & Safety should be the minimum for all members of staff regardless of position in an organisation.

We believe totally in the protection of people, the future of people & the health of people. We work hard every day to ensure that people go home to their families each day, so they can enjoy life and go on enjoying it! Lighthouse Safety has the firm belief of Changing Minds of people we meet, for the better. Changing the mindset of people to work safer, be safer and live safer. As a result we shape the future of the people we meet, we help people to look after themselves to enjoy the life they have. We all feel very proud of what we do and as a result we have amazing working relationships with our clients and students, because we care.

We can offer a vast range of H&S help, from training, audits, advice, or risk assessments. We can deliver award winning NEBOSH Courses also IOSH, CITB, Bespoke Training, and First Aid Courses. We have fantastic classroom facilities at our HW in Rainham Kent and can cover any location in the UK carried out by a team off passionate tutors and advisors that we are very proud of. We  deliver results to any size organisation, we can even assist in improving legal compliance. But all of that comes from the reason why we do what we do, we believe that good H&S should be the minimum for all members of staff regardless of position in an organisation.

We believe in Changing Minds & Shaping Futures and we can do for you to.


May 10th, 2018[Comments Off on HE-MEN ON THE CONSTRUCTION SITE]

For the majority of people, picking something up and putting it down again is an everyday occurrence.
An occurrence which does not take much thought. Pick up coffee mug. Take lifesaving sip. Lower coffee mug. (Repeat as many times as necessary).

With lifting being such a common task, you would have thought that injuries due to lifting incorrectly would be at a minimum… Wrong! Unfortunately, musculoskeletal injuries are quite common in the work place. We all know someone with a dodgy back! Surprisingly, manual handling is a leading cause for these injuries. Let’s have a look at a few statistics…

507,000 cases of musculoskeletal disorders in 2016/17 (Source: Self reports labour force survey)

Work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) account for 39% of all work related ill health (Source: HSE website)

8.9 million Working days were lost due to WRMSD, the highest rates being in the construction industry. (Source: HSE website, 2016/17)

As we can see, these figures are too high. One of the leading causes of WRMSD’s is manual handling injuries. So how is it something that we do day in and day out causes so many problems? Let’s set a scene.

Imagine you are on a construction site. You are tasked with moving bags of cement from point A to point B. You have no manual handling aids, but luckily you have a work friend to help you. You start off with picking up one bag and carrying it to point B, but as you turn around, you spot your friend carrying 2 bags! Who proceeds to give you a cheeky wink as he walks past you. Not wanting to be out done, you summon your inner He-Man and attempt to pick up 3 bags, putting out your back in doing so.

Behavior is one of the main causes for manual handling injuries. Whether it’s because workers don’t want to ask for help as they believe it will make them look inferior or weak, can’t be bothered to lift correctly, or underestimate the lift. Just because you can lift 40 kg above your head in the gym with a nice easy to grip barbell, doesn’t mean you can easily shift four 10kg bags of sand… Hello back injury!

WRMSD’s are no laughing matter, causing serious pain to people suffering from it. Just changing your behavior and approaching loads without your ego is a good step in the right direction.

Remember, don’t be a He-Man!



May 3rd, 2018[Comments Off on SOME ADVICE FOR TRAINING MANAGERS]

This blog is aimed at Managers who organise and manage training requirements for their organisations, trust me this will help!
Whenever we deliver training here at Lighthouse, we always ask our students why they are on the course- what is the reason we are here? Almost every time candidates shrug their shoulders and say “no idea, got an email yesterday saying I had to”. Humph.
So what we have turn up to our halls are a lot of students who have no idea why they are here or what the course even is! It then takes half of our course convincing students the good reasons we are here and why they should listen. What makes it even worse is that someone/organisation has paid for that student to be there!
Please let me give you a bit of advice, if you manage training records & organise training courses, call the person you are sending on the course prior to them attending and tell them why they are there. Do not tell anyone its because a client wants it or because it is to tick a box. Training should be because you are investing in someone’s competence & skills. As Richard Branson once said Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.”
Letting staff know why they are on a training course is vital to it being a success. Most students (I would say 60%) believe training is just box ticking and the other 40% are just grateful not to be working. Only once in 8 years of training has anyone from an organisation actually turned up to an introduction of a course and actually stated why the course was being delivered and it was amazing! The students from the start felt valued and intrigued. They participated in the course and were very happy to discuss, (usually that would be a battle which we eventually win, however it would just be nice not to have the battle in the first place).
If you organise training make it worth while and give the students the reason why they are there, you get more for your money


April 24th, 2018[Comments Off on SECTION 33]

Section 33

Harry Collins our Training Director writes: “Following my last two blogs- Section 2 & Section 40 of the Health & Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 I am now writing about section 33! The last in this series and will hopefully help a few people out.

So section 33 of the Health & Safety at Work Etc Act 1974, what does it say? Well in short…

It is an offence to contravene any Prohibition or Improvement notice, It is an offence to obstruct an inspector, It is an offence to make false statements to an inspector, It is an offence to make false entry to any register, It is an offence to forge a document.

Now the above Law should not be a surprise to anyone, that forging a document or making a false entry to a register was a bad thing to do, but many do not realise it’s an actual criminal offence. In a recent prosecution by the HSE two scaffold inspectors were prosecuted for signing of scaffolding that they had not actually carried out. This caused the scaffold to be unsafe and an employee fell from the scaffold and was seriously injured.

On this note, I have been witness to and have heard many stories of paperwork being completed without actually conducting the requirement of the paperwork. One scenario that occurs a lot would be signing to confirm understanding of Risk Assessments and Method Statements, or delivery of site inductions and more often delivery of Tool Box Talks. As a rhetorical question… Have you ever or been in knowledge of signing of or forging paperwork with regard to H&S matters?

Add the above message to the other two blogs:

  1. Supervision & Monitoring- A legal & moral requirement to provide, conduct and document H&S Monitoring
  2. Burden of Proof falls to the accused– Should an accident & investigation from an enforcing authority occur the requirement to prove compliance falls to the accused
  3. Falsifying documents- Evidence of “tick box” practices could lead to hot water, legally, very quickly

So to summarise on the blogs in total, whilst paperwork may be a burden, it is hugely important. However you do not want to be doing paperwork for paperwork sake, or checks on the checks for the checks! You need in this modern world a robust, accurate and in date management system especially a H&S system and more often than not you may need help….. Which is where Lighthouse come in. We offer a consultation service / health and safety advisor service which aims to advise our clients on the dangers of and the legal requirements that govern their work.

To comply with Regulation 7 of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, companies need to demonstrate that they have access to competent health & safety advice.

We provide this service via our retained customer service contract, where for a nominal monthly fee, our customers retain the right to quote our company name (interaction between us and our client dependant) as their retained health & safety advisers. This service is accompanied by certification and CVs of key personnel from Lighthouse Safety staff. We will also assist in the writing of health and safety policies, pre qualification questionnaires and safety scheme accreditation applications. We are a friendly, knowledgable team so why not give us a call to see how we can help!”


April 19th, 2018[Comments Off on SECTION 40 & THE BURDEN OF PROOF]


I have heard a lot of statements about the HASWA (Health And Safety at Work Act) 1974 that you are guilty until proven innocent, a change from what normally is understood with regards to innocent until proven guilty. This is not entirely correct. In all Criminal court cases the accused is always innocent until proven guilty, however…..

Section 40 of the HASWA 1974 states…..

In any proceedings for an offence under any of the relevant statutory provisions consisting of a failure to comply with a duty or requirement to do something so far as is practicable or so far as is reasonably practicable, or to use the best practicable means to do something, it shall be for the accused to prove (as the case may be) that it was not practicable or not reasonably practicable to do more than was in fact done to satisfy the duty or requirement, or that there was no better practicable means than was in fact used to satisfy the duty or requirement.

But what does it mean?

Hold on, hold on. Lets put this into perspective a bit…. You have an employee who hurts themselves falling off a ladder, the HSE charge you under the HASWA 1974, the court would expect you as the employer to prove you did everything that was reasonably practicable to prevent that accident happening.

As a result of this, it is does make a defence hard to prove, as if you did do all that was Reasonably Practicable, the accident should not have occurred. This is not to say you cannot successfully defend yourself in a H&S court, it just becomes very difficult. Just for a minute now imagine you have a work scenario occurring, picture it in your own workplace circumstances. Now if there was to be an accident, you may be needed to prove that you did all you could to prevent it. The responsibility of proving that you did all that was reasonably practicable is down to you, as the Senior Manager or Director. Now ask yourself, can you do more? If an accident was to occur could you have done more? If the answer comes back as yes, defence of a legal situation would become very difficult.

To clarify, you are not guilty until proven innocent, however you do have the responsibility to prove you did all you could to prevent an accident the prosecution does not.

Now, this not to scare anyone, just to highlight your legal duties and to make you more aware. A lot of misconceptions occur in H&S and it is a passion of mine to correct as many as I can of them.

Look out for my next piece on Section 33.

SUPERVISION SECTION 2 HASAWA (Health And Safety At Work Act)

April 17th, 2018[Comments Off on SUPERVISION SECTION 2 HASAWA (Health And Safety At Work Act)]



Most Employers and Safety Managers are aware of the legal requirement to provide a level of suitable supervision, if you didn’t, you do now! Regardless of what we do with regards to the line of work, Health and Safety Laws require Supervision to be provided, however no H&S Law will not specify exactly how or what that supervision will be.

When I deliver training, I go a stage further and add to supervision the word Monitoring. For both moral and legal reasons Monitoring staff with regards to H&S is an absolute must, allow me to explain…

Lets say, I was a machine operator and every morning I was required to pre inspect my machine prior to use. I would have to, after completing these checks, complete paperwork to confirm what I had checked and its condition. Now, it is quite common practice, to tick the boxes and get on with work, not even doing the checks correctly and carrying out this practice over a long period of time.

Two things to look at with this scenario

1. The human- A human will at some point without doubt take a shortcut, if an employee realises that a shortcut taken was not discovered the likelihood of repeating that shortcut increases after each time and then becomes a habit. Leading to the machine never being checked and being operated with potential faults and risking lives.

2. The Law- If this situation was to unfold into an accident, could you prove that you provided a suitable amount of supervision? Whilst paperwork can become a burden, when was the last time you checked that the checks are being completed correctly? Could you prove you did?

As a Training Provider, all our instructors regardless of how many years they have taught for will be vetted, we will attend one of their courses to ensure that standards are high, even this morning I audited the paperwork of a trainer, to ensure compliance. We complete compliance checks to maintain standards and to ensure staff are being vigilant. Why should you Monitor your staff for H&S? Well for the same reasons – maintain high standards of H&S and to ensure staff are vigilant to ensure H&S is a priority thus prevent accidents!

A secondary reason to prove legal compliance, if an HSE inspector ever came calling you may have enough evidence to show that you did all you reasonably could to provide supervision and prevent an accident.

As H&S Consultants, we are required by our clients to audit areas of work to ensure compliance and quality of H&S work- to check that the things that should be being done are actually being done. When was the last time you checked that the checks were being done correctly? If it has been a considerable time, can we rely on everyone doing what they are supposed to how they are supposed to do it?

Remember it is a legal requirement to provide supervision & monitoring, not only will it help with legal compliance, but more importantly it will help prevent accidents occurring.


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