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Archive for the ‘Lighthouse Blog’ Category

OUR NEWEST MEMBERS TWO MONTHS ON…

September 27th, 2018[Comments Off on OUR NEWEST MEMBERS TWO MONTHS ON…]

We are really pleased to have Paul and Tom as the latest members to join the Lighthouse Safety Training team as Health and Safety Advisors & Trainers

 

Paul has a background in social care and helps deliver training for both accredited and bespoke courses. He provides health and safety advice and will carry out site inspections. If you see him out on site ask him to view his incredible portfolio of artwork!

Tom has a background in construction and specifically ground works and contaminated land. Tom delivers our health and safety courses and provides H&S Advice too.

Both members have written a blog about their first months at LST…

Paul Hills

“If you would have asked me this time last year where I thought I would be, I would never in a million years have said I would be working for Lighthouse Safety Training. It was around this time last year I was sitting my NEBOSH General exam, which considering the hard work it was, working full time, and managing two children I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed. That was mainly due to Lighthouse Safety Training. From initially booking the course via Pam and Hazel, to day one meeting Harry and the other course candidates to waiting for the exam papers to hit the table, it was always calm and welcoming. Harry even joined a small group of us on the course for a drink one evening at the end of the second week. It was on this occasion that I started to realise the dedication and enthusiasm of everyone at Lighthouse to help and support others.

I have to admit I was very jealous. I thought to myself how great it must be to work there…

A year has passed and here I am.

I have to say I am still slightly in shock! But one thing I am not, is disappointed. I have joined a very welcoming and extremely supportive team. I first met the entire team at a Lighthouse social event at Sittingbourne dogs and despite being nervous decided to drive over. At first, I felt as though I was gate crashing someone else’s party, but everyone came over and chatted and really made me feel welcome and seemed genuinely interested in my background and family life. This has continued into my first couple of months working for the company where I am slowly getting to know everyone and learning the office etiquette. This friendly, encouraging manner is also present in the way my induction was managed and the pace in which I have been introduced to the role. I have a very different background to the rest of the team in Health and Social Care and Site Maintenance. A fact I thought, might hinder me. But in starting the role it soon became clear that we all have “unique” backgrounds which offer “unique” insights to situations that as a team we can pool as a valuable resource. Well hopefully I will bring something to the table!

One thing the Lighthouse team are able to do best, is bring out the best in people. I have seen it in courses and have certainly noticed an increase in my own confidence already since staring the role. I am now conducting my own site inspections and meeting a whole world of people, seeing places and helping in situations that I never would have thought of in my previous roles. I am really looking forward now and thinking of ways to better develop personally in order to add my contributions to the Lighthouse Safety Training Team.”

 

Tom Drew

“My first week started on the 6th August 2018, I was given a warm welcome by all the employees at Lighthouse. Work started quickly preparing for my role within the company as a Safety Advisor & Trainer, immediately I was shadowing a colleague teaching the SMSTS course to employees of Sir Robert McAlpine in London. To close the week I attended the Directors role within Health and Safety course, this was valuable as it showed me what aspects of Health and Safety a Director would have to adhere to.

The second week of my journey with Lighthouse started with a three day level 3 award in Education and Training at Ashford College in Kent. This course helped me acquire the knowledge and skills required to become a instructor as needed for my new role. On the Thursday of my second week I shadowed a colleague whilst they carried out a health and safety audit on a Bellway site in North Greenwich. Then on the Friday I also shadowed a colleague carry out another site audit on a site in West Kensington. By doing this it showed me what the audit process entails and helps to give me the experience and knowledge to eventually carry out the audits on my own.

The third week began with a level 3 course in Emergency First Aid at work, this gives me the skills and knowledge to carry out first aid effectively in a work environment should the occasion ever arise. The middle of the week was taken up by further shadowing of the SMSTS course with one of the days being ran at the Lighthouse offices in their brilliant facilities. To finish the week off I shadowed a colleague carrying out a site safety audit at Camden Lock for MACE.

Finally, my fourth week began on a Tuesday due to the Bank holiday and it entailed further shadowing of course and site audits with one of the audits being in Cambridge. This just shows the diversity of the work carried out by Lighthouse. Being from the North I have been to more parts of London in the last 4 weeks than I had in the previous 24 years of my life. I am eager to develop my skills in teaching and the site auditing throughout my journey with Lighthouse and look forward to being part of varying projects and meeting a whole host of different personalities on the way.”

 

If you see Paul and Tom out and about, please do say hello!



MENTAL HEALTH IN CONSTRUCTION

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 https://form.jotformeu.com/81784639121360



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



WHAT WE ARE ABOUT AND HOW I FITTED IN – STEPHEN LAWS

July 12th, 2018[Comments Off on WHAT WE ARE ABOUT AND HOW I FITTED IN – STEPHEN LAWS]

 

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!

 

 



WHY CHOOSE US?

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.



HE-MEN ON THE CONSTRUCTION SITE

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!


 



SOME ADVICE FOR TRAINING MANAGERS

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
 
 



SECTION 33

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!”



SECTION 40 & THE BURDEN OF PROOF

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

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.



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