Tag - CDM Services Liverpool

Welding Health & Safety

Welding Fumes and Suitable PPE

If you are looking for advice about welding fumes and the suitable PPE to wear it can be difficult to offer advice for every time someone welds something. The advice that you will find below will help you understand which steps you should take so the work environment is safe for your employees.

Ventilation Considerations

Do you need to ensure your workers are using a filtering face mask and that they have additional ventilation along with fume extraction? If you offer any or all of these options it’s vital that you ensure they are used correctly.

  • When local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is used correctly the quality of the welds are not affected. You may need to provide all of your welders with the correct type of respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
  • If your welders are undertaking short jobs FFP3 dust masks offer a good amount of protection and they tend to be quite cheap. Please note that you will have to purchase different sized dust masks as the same mask will not fit everyone.
  • Powered filtering welding visors can be used when your welders are working for more than 2 hours. Additionally, they can also be used when it’s not viable to use extraction.

Eye and Face Protection

Your team should wear a helmet that comes with a filter lens and a cover plate. Hand shields need to protect the neck and face, forehead and ears. Approved safety glasses that come with side shields or goggles should be worn under the helmet.

Safety shields or goggles should provide protection from slag chips, flying metal and other hazards.

Head and Ear Protection

A fire-resistant welder’s cap or another form of head covering needs to be worn by your workers. This will protect their head and hair from radiation, splatter, flying sparks and burns.

When working over head or out of position ear muffs or plugs should be provided. If there is loud noise then approved muffs or ear plugs should be provided.

Body Protection

Clothes that are oil-free and that allow freedom of movement should be worn. Long sleeved shirts and buttoned cuffs will help to protect the arms and neck from radiation.

Foot Protection

Steel toe, leather, high-topped boots that are in good condition need to be worn. If your welders are working in slag or heavy spark areas leather spats should be strapped around their legs and the tops of boots to prevent burns and injury.

Hand Protection

Welding gloves that are dry and free from holes should be provided. The gloves should be flame-resistant and provide general hand protection.

Minimising Fumes

One of the first steps you need to take is to determine if the job can be altered so that there is less welding, cutting and gouging involved. Excessive currents and long-duty cycles can produce a lot more fumes along with affecting the quality of the weld. Are your team using the optimum settings? You should also determine if you can use a welding technique that creates fewer fumes. Can you use TIG (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) instead as it produces a smaller amount of fumes?

Shielding Gas

Has your shielding gas been optimised? Doing so could result in the lowest emission of fumes. You should also bear in mind that the best gas for the work that your welders do may not be the cheapest. If you’re worried about the cost please note that the cost of the gases can be offset by the savings you have in terms of labour costs thanks to an increased speed in production.

Removing Surface Platings

Check to see if you’re able to remove surface platings, paint, dirt and oil. These substances typically increase the fumes and could on occasion may them toxic. Please note that hot work on chromate or lead paints and cadmium plating is very hazardous.

Changing The Environment

Can you change the environment so the welder does not have to breathe in the fume cloud?

Can you:

  • Give them more space to work?
  • Provide turntables and other pieces of equipment so the workpiece can be manipulated?
  • Plan the welding sequence differently?

If your welders can work with their head out of the rising fumes they will breathe less in. Fewer fumes equals a lot less risk.

Fume Control System

It’s crucial that you ensure the fume control systems are all working correctly. You need to:

  • Carry out maintenance on your non-disposable RPE and your fume-extraction equipment.
  • Check that you have no common faults such as faulty valves, blocked filters, or crushed or split ductwork.
  • Ensure that your fume extraction systems are examined thoroughly by a competent individual at least every 12 to 14 months. Please note this is a legal requirement.

You need to check that any non-disposable welding visors or filtering masks are in good condition. While there is no specific time period set for these checks you should set a schedule.

Take into account the recommendations set by the manufacturers, where the respirator is used and how much they are used. Checks every 4 weeks is normal practice. However, respirators used a lot less often need to be checked every 3 months.

Have a question?

If you would like to speak to us about any of our CDM services, then our team would be happy to help.

Employer of the year, St Helens Chamber Business Awards, CDM, St Helens Health and safety, Business Awards

Safer Sphere makes final of St Helens Chamber Business Awards

Safer Sphere is delighted to have made it into the final of the St Helens Chamber Business Awards in the tough category of ‘Employer of the Year’. The St Helens Chamber Business Awards are a celebration of local business and the winners in category go forward to compete in the National Chamber Awards which is a massive opportunity.

Mike Forsyth, Managing Director, Safer Sphere said “We are absolutely thrilled to have made the final of the St Helens Chamber Business Awards in the competitive category of ‘Employer of the Year’. This category, in particular, means a lot to us as a business as it is our people that make our business and we want to keep and attract the best talent to so that we continue to grow. To win the employer of the year would not only be a great accolade for the company but would help us to gain the best talent for our business.”

The St Helens Chamber Business Awards takes place on Thursday 16th May at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Asbestos in work

Asbestos in Work

This article follows on from our previous blog post Asbestos the silent killer

Asbestos is the UK’s biggest cause of work-related deaths. In fact, Asbestos has claimed the lives of 50,000+ people in the last 3 decades. While Asbestos can take some time to develop it can cause Mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. These diseases don’t just affect workers, they can also affect their families if they have inadvertently come into contact with it.

It can take up to 30 years for someone to show symptoms of Mesothelioma and the other diseases that Asbestos can cause. This is why it’s often hard to work out what is causing the symptoms. Some people may not have realised they were working in a building that contained Asbestos or even realised that they had come into contact with Asbestos. This is usually why many people are shocked that they are suffering from Mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer.

What Exactly is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that was once quite widely used during the 1960’sand 1970’s. The reason behind its use comes down to the fact that it was considered to be a very versatile material in the building industry. While the use of Asbestos has been banned for many years it can still be found in some buildings. This is because some older buildings still stand and are considered to be structurallysafe. While many old buildings have been torn down and replaced with something new, there are still old ones located all over the UK that contain Asbestos.

This material was once used in shipbuilding, insulation, textiles and fireproofing. Unfortunately,this means that thousands of people who worked in these industries were potentially exposed to it.

The Risk of Exposure Today

As we have already seen, Asbestos is no longer used due to its disease-causing properties. However, there is still a risk of exposure, especially in the construction industry. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advice on Asbestosis that there is still a high risk of exposure to people with certain job roles, in particular, those work as:

  • Carpenters
  • Computer installation engineers
  • Demolition workers
  • Electricians
  • Fire and burglar alarm installers
  • GasFitters
  • General maintenance workers
  • Heating and ventilating engineers
  • Cleaners
  • Joiner
  • Painters and Decorators
  • Plasterers
  • Plumbers
  • RoofingContractors
  • Site Managers
  • Surveyors
  • Telephone engineers

If you have worked in any of the above professions you may have been exposed to Asbestos at some time.

How Can Workers Stay Safe?

In our last blog on Asbestos,we looked at the training required to deal with the discovery ofthe substance along with what to do if Asbestos is uncovered. Here we look at the laws along with regulations that mean that building controllers need to manage workers’ exposure to Asbestos.

On non-domestic premises, under the regulations the building controller must by law:

  • Identify materials that may contain Asbestos
  • Keep up to date records about the Asbestos
  • Assess the risk of exposure
  • Plan how any risks will be managed
  • Inform anyone who may work on the building
  • Inform anyone who may disturb the Asbestos

The Health and Safety Executive has an ‘Asbestos Licensing Unit’ that regulates every company who is working with Asbestos and grants them permission to carry out any required work.

Asbestos Work Plans

If Asbestos is found to be present, then as the employer you should provide workers with a ‘work plan’ by law. This work plan should identify the type of Asbestos that has been found, along with the type and level of exposure employees are likely to deal with. The plan will also cover how you plan to eliminate or reduce the exposure and how as the employer you intend to monitor the exposure of your employees.

As the employer i.e. Principal Contractor on a project, you should provide full and complete training along with any relevant information to employees that could be at risk of exposure.

Working with Asbestos

No attempts should ever be made to work with Asbestos unless your business has an Asbestos removal licence. Additionally, no individual should ever work with Asbestos products unless they have had the correct training, information and protection.

As the employer it is imperative that you keep accurate and up to date training record along with the results of air monitoring face-fit testing. The face-fit testing will ensure that an employee is wearing a mask that adequately fits and proects them and the records will demonstrate that you have done everything you can as the employee to protect workers.

Removing Asbestos

It is quite difficult to remove Asbestos as there are some very strict guidelines that surround it. If the Asbestos needs to be removed while there are people working in the affected building they may need to be temporarily relocated. It is typical for the part of the building where the Asbestos is located to be sealed off so that other areas are not contaminated.

Suspected Exposure

If a worker shows signs of Asbestos exposure then as the employee you should advise them to see their doctor straight away.

There can a variety of illnesses that throw up similar symptoms so whilst you should never jump to conclusions that your symptomsare related to Asbestos exposure, it is always best to make medical practitioners aware of any potential exposure.

There is always a risk when working with older buildings of Asbestos exposure, but employers can minimise the risks by putting in place work plans, appropriate PPE, Face-Fit Testing and the appropriate training. Effective communication of the dangers is key so that workers can carry out their roles with safety in mind and employers will be safe in the knowledge that they are doing everything they can to protect their team.

Have a question?

If you would like to speak to us about any of our CDM services, then our team would be happy to help.

Asbestos Health and safety

Asbestos the Silent Killer

While many buildings that once contained asbestos have now been torn down or had the asbestos removed, this dangerous substance still silently kills approximately 5,000 workers each year. This alarming figure is higher than the number of people that are killed on UK  roads each year.

 

Unfortunately, around 20 people die every week due to past asbestos exposure. However, the problem of asbestos is not confined to the past, it can still be present in any building that was built or any building that was refurbished before 2000.

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos is dangerous because it can cause hidden illness that may not appear for many years after someone has come into contact with it. This is why asbestos is known as “The Silent Killer”.

 

Exposure to asbestos can cause you to suffer from the following serious and fatal conditions:

 

Asbestos-related Lung Cancer

Asbestos-related lung cancer looks the same as lung cancer that has been caused by smoking and other behaviours/exposures. For every death that was caused by lung cancer, it is estimated that there is also one death from Mesothelioma.

Pleural Thickening

Pleural thickening is a condition that can be caused by heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the pleura (Lung) becomes thick and swells. If the condition is particularly bad the lung can be squeezed. This can result in a lot of discomfort and shortness of breath.

Mesothelioma

This is a type of cancer that affects the lungs’ lining. It also affects the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract. Mesothelioma is usually associated with exposure to asbestos and, unfortunately, by the time someone has received a diagnosis the condition has usually reached a fatal stage.

Asbestosis

This condition is a serious one and sufferers often have serious scarring of their lungs. This condition is typically caused by heavy asbestos exposure over a number of years. Causing progressive shortness of breath, the condition can also be fatal.

 

Information on training

Employers should make sure that anyone who may disturb asbestos during their working day, or anyone who supervises the employees who may disturb asbestos gets the right training. They should have the knowledge and training that enables them to work in a safe and competent way without any risk to themselves or to other people. Safer Sphere can provide asbestos training

 

The Types of Necessary Training

All workers and their supervisors should be able to recognise any materials that contain asbestos and know exactly what they should do if they come across them. There are 3 levels of information, instruction and training that workers and their supervisors need to be aware of:

 

Asbestos awareness – This is made up of information, training and instruction and gives workers and their supervisors the information they need so they can avoid disturbing asbestos.

 

Licensable work with asbestos – This is made up of those who are at a high risk of working with asbestos. Only managers and competent workers are provided with this information, training and instruction that includes using the right PPE.

 

Non-licensable work with asbestos – Those who need this type of information, training and instruction undertake work that requires them to disturb materials that contain asbestos. For example, drilling holes in asbestos, cleaning or repairing asbestos roofing or cement sheets.

 

A worker who attends a training course about asbestos will not ensure that they are competent enough. Workers must implement and consolidate the skills that have learned during their training, in their instruction and assessment and their on the job learning.

 

The level of information and the amount of training and instruction that a worker receives must be appropriate for the work that they do. A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) will help the workers and those training them identify the topics that need to be covered. This is to ensure that every worker is competent and can avoid putting themselves and those who they work with at risk.

How do I Identify Asbestos?

It’s not always easy to identify asbestos, however, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has an image gallery which depicts some common materials that contain asbestos. These images include but are not limited to:

 

  • Asbestos fire blankets
  • Suspended AIB ceiling tiles
  • Pieces of AIB
  • AIB window panelling

 

What do I do if I Potentially Find Asbestos During my Work?

If you unexpectedly come across asbestos or something that you think may be asbestos you should stop work right away. You will need to confirm what the material is or assume that it is asbestos. You will need to carry out a risk assessment that will help you determine whether you need a licensed contractor to carry out the work.

 

If you undertake non-licensed work on asbestos you should only do so if you have had the appropriate training, instruction, and information.

If I Have to Work With Asbestos is it the Responsibility of my Employer to give me Personal Protective Clothing (PPE)?

Yes, if it is likely that you will be exposed to asbestos your employers should provide you with all the personal protective clothing (PPE) you need. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has more information on the required PPE.

Do I Need a Certificate That Proves I’ve had Asbestos Training?

No, there is absolutely no legal requirement for you to have a certificate that shows you’ve had training. However, some training providers issue certificates that indicate that you’ve completed an asbestos training course.

You can read part two of this asbestos article here

Have a question?

If you would like to speak to us about any of our CDM services, then our team would be happy to help.

Competence CDM15

Competency (SKET) are you competent to discharge your duties?

The UK construction sector has a health and safety record that makes it one of the country’s most dangerous industries for workers, with injury and fatality rates that are above average as well as higher than normal rates of illness from work-related causes. Therefore, it is an area of increasing concern for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Competence has been a major part of the strategy used to improve the construction sector’s health and safety record. The term is directly referenced in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM), whose success is largely dependant on ensuring that everyone involved at every stage of a construction project is competent.

However, the HSE’s proposals for a CDM revision has removed the mandatory requirement for individual competence in CDM 2015 and the CDM 2007 requirement for corporate competence. The CD261 consultation on replacement of the CDM regs from 2007 to 2015 has indicated that one of the main reasons for the proposed changes is to lower the difficulty of meeting the CDM 2007 competence requirements. For example, it cites the growth of commercial-based competency programmes and the excessive use of paperwork and other questionnaires.

A history of competence and legal definition

The definition of competence is a complicated matter and the law has been trying to accurately define it for some time. The present meaning included a combination of attributes, qualities, and characteristics.

Indicators of the legal meaning of competence can be found in some early health and safety cases. In one 1912 case, coal miners were poisoned when carbon monoxide escaped into the mine. The contemporary mining legislation required the manager and fireman to remove the workers until the incident had been investigated.

Although both men were well qualified, the House of Lords held that they did not have the necessary experience to navigate the situation and the owners of the mine were found liable.

It appears that being competent goes beyond possession of certain qualifications. It also addresses experience.

In another case, this one taking place in 1957, one employee who was well-known for playing jokes at work injured another employee. The employer was found liable on the premise that this person was not a competent employee, which under common law must be someone who behaves responsibly at work and has a positive attitude toward workplace health and safety.

Other cases make additional specifications, so it appears that there is no single universal definition of competence. It appears to depend on the processes, the circumstances, the amount of risk, and what parties are involved. It is also a standard that has to apply to companies as well as to people. Given all these variables, it is not surprising that the term ‘competence’ has created so much confusion in the construction industry.

CDM and Competence

  • Under CDM 2007, “competent” individuals must be appointed to fulfil the various required roles. This also applies to companies. CDM requires all appointees to be competent, including:
  • Contractors
  • Primary contractors
  • Designers
  • CDM co-ordinators

 

CDM 2007 is accompanied by the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP), which provides assistance and advice on the assessment of competence.

Under the ACOP, an individual or organisation is competent only when they have:

  • Sufficient knowledge of the work to be done and the risks that the work entails
  • Sufficient ability and experience with the duties involved with the project; can recognise their limitations, and take the right measures to prevent injury to construction workers and/or those impacted by the construction work
  • Knowledge about the work they will be expected to carry out and the risks that this work may involve. Such knowledge may be acquired by formal or on-site training
  • The right experience: workers are more apt to use safe practices if they understand why the practices are necessary and past experience is a good indicator of ability.

 

Under CDM 2015, the corporate competence requirement was removed and the direct requirement for individual competence included in CDM 2007 has been replaced with a new regulation 8, which states that anyone responsible for engaging a contractor for a construction project must take reasonable steps to ensure that the contractor has:

Received the required training, instruction, and information AND the appropriate supervision to meet applicable legal provisions and maintain the welfare, health, and safety of those impacted by the work. This requirement is comparatively simple and appears to be a far cry from the CDM 2007 requirements for competence. The new regulation 5 requires all projects to have management arrangements in place, and the HSE expects that the present explicit requirements for competence will be effectively replaced.

PAS 91 standardised pre-qualification questionnaires can be used to make proving competency easier for both suppliers and clients by reducing the need for suppliers to complete a variety of pre-qualification questionnaires for different clients. The result is a huge saving in time and money for both parties.

The standardised PQQ format PAS 91 helps to:

  • Let suppliers know what information is required at pre-qualification
  • Make it easier for buyers to identify contractors with suitable qualifications
  • Improve the consistency between many pre-qualification databases and questionnaires

What are the implications?

The CDM 2015 approach to competency in construction is a much simpler approach. Its definition of competency as described in regulation 8  is based on the skills, knowledge and experience of contractors and the organisational ability of an organisation.

Regardless of these changes, everyone in the construction industry will have to demonstrate that everyone on site is competent. Not only is this a common law requirement, but it is also implied in legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work, Act, so the new principal designer will have to be proven to be competent.

Clients and other parties will have to ensure that they demonstrate competency to do the role they are engaged to do, that will pass the scrutiny of the courts. SKET cannot be randomly delivered: it must be assessed and will involve some cost and bureaucracy. For example, a training needs analysis may have to be performed. The HSE stance on competency training is that it may be accomplished using standards that are nationally agreed upon and criteria created by professional bodies.

CDM 2015 does not have an ACOP, but instead HSE produced the regulations accompanied by targeted guidance in the form of document L153, so it remains to be seen what this means for regulation 8.

SKET principles, PAS 91 pre qualified questionnaires and the guidance in document L153 are all now being used to help construction project participants achieve and demonstrate competence in construction in line with the CDM 2015 regulations.

Safer Sphere are able to advise on any aspect of CDM 2015.

Have a question?

If you would like to speak to us about any of our CDM services, then our team would be happy to help.

Assocation for Project Safety, CDM, Safer Sphere

Safer Sphere achieves APS Corporate Membership for third time

Safer Sphere has achieved the Association for Project Safety (APS) Corporate Membership for the third year in a row without any non-conformities. This is a wonderful achievement for the business and it is down to the hard work and dedication of our fantastic team!

Protecting the public under CDM15 regulations

Protecting the Public under CDM 2015

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) are the primary set of rules governing construction projects. It applies to all construction and building work and includes every type of project from new build and conversions to refurbishment and demolition.

Part of the law requires those in charge of construction projects to carry out operations without posing a danger to the public. This includes other workers who can potentially be affected by the construction work.

According to HSE inspector David Kirkpatrick, construction companies must make it a priority to secure their construction sites to prevent access by unauthorised parties. These sites can be full of hazards that vulnerable people such as children may not be able to fully understand.

Under CDM 2015, the project client should provide all necessary information about the following particulars:

  • Site boundaries
  • Usage of land bordering the construction site
  • Site access
  • Steps to prevent unauthorised parties from accessing the site

This information will guide the measures taken by contractors. Key issues that need to be addressed are:

  • Managing access to the site
  • Any hazards that could present a danger to the public
  • Vulnerable groups that may be affected

All construction sites must have:

  • Defined measures to manage access across designated boundaries and,
  • Steps to prevent unauthorised people from gaining access to the work site

While there has been a decline in the numbers of children being injured or killed on construction sites, complacency must be avoided. Two or three children die every year after accessing building sites, and many more are seriously injured.

It’s not just children who are at risk but also other members of the public, such as passers-by, can be injured by:

  • Tools or materials that fall outside the boundaries of the job site
  • Tripping and falling into trenches
  • Being hit by moving construction vehicles

For maximum efficacy, the pre-construction information from the client should include:

  • All project boundaries
  • Information about adjacent land use
  • Access information
  • Measures to keep unauthorised people out

To manage site access, the following are required.

Site Boundaries

To manage public risk, boundaries must be defined by suitable fencing. The fence type should be consistent with the type of site and the surroundings. Contractors need to determine what the perimetre will consist of, supply the fencing, and maintain it once erected.

Questions that contractors must ask themselves include:

  • What is the type and nature of the construction work being performed
  • How heavily populated is the area?
  • Who will need to visit the site while work is being carried out?
  • Will children be attracted to the site?
  • What are the characteristics of the site? For example, location, proximity to other buildings, current site boundaries.

In populated areas, this will typically mean a mesh fence around two metres high or hoarding around the construction site.

Authorisation

The primary contractor must take adequate measures to prevent unauthorised parties from accessing the site.

  • People may be restricted to certain areas or authorised to access the entire site.
  • The contractor must explain applicable site rules to authorised parties and perform any required induction.
  • They may have to accompany or supervise some authorised parties while on site or accessing certain areas.

Hazards that Present a Risk to the Public

Many construction site hazards present a risk to visitors and the general public. Contractors must consider if they exist on a certain project and, if so, how they will manage them.

  • Falling objects: Objects must not be able to fall outside the site boundaries. Contractors may have to use brick guards, netting, toe-boards, fans, and covered walkways.
  • Site vehicles. Contractors must ensure that pedestrians cannot be hit by vehicles entering or leaving the site.
  • Access equipment. Measures must be taken to prevent people outside the site boundary from being hit while scaffolding and other access equipment is being erected, used, and dismantled.
  • Stacking and storing materials. Reduce the risks associated with storing materials by storing them within the perimetre of the site, ideally in a secure location or away from the fencing.
  • Excavations and openings. People can be hurt if they fall into excavati9ns, stairwells, and other open areas.
  • Other hazards include road works, slips, trips, and falls in pedestrian areas, hazardous substances, plant equipment and machinery, dust, noise, and vibration, and energy sources such as electricity.

Vulnerable Groups

Children, the elderly, and people with certain disabilities may need special consideration, especially if work is being done in locations like hospitals and schools.

Children can be attracted to construction sites as potential play areas. Constractors must take all reasonable steps to keep them from accessing the site and endangering themselves.

The steps below are especially important for child safety:

  • When work is finished for the day, secure the site thoroughly
  • Cover or erect barriers around pits and excavations
  • Immobilise vehicles and lock them away if possible
  • Store building materials such as cement bags, manhole rings, and pipes so that they cannot tip or roll over
  • Remove access ladders from scaffolds and excavations
  • Make sure that all hazardous substances are locked away

Safer Sphere are able to advise on any aspect of CDM 2015.

Have a question?

If you would like to speak to us about any of our CDM services, then our team would be happy to help.

How to pass a Health And Safety Inspection

How to pass a construction site H&S audit

The health and safety needs of a construction site can change from one year to the next, which is why audits need to be carried out on a regular basis.

This routine diligence helps to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of employees within an organisation by detecting areas where improvement is needed. It also ensures that construction companies remain compliant with their legal duties and responsibilities.

What is a health and safety audit?

A health and safety audit is an independent and methodical assessment of a construction site’s processes. The documented results are measured against mandated criteria to confirm that the site managers are upholding health and safety standards.

In general, a construction site audit will review factors like the following to ensure a safe environment for workers:

  • Procedures involving hazardous materials
  • Safe and proper use of equipment
  • Presence of hazards such as exposed live wires, holes that have not been barricaded off, and debris in the work area

When you’ve been informed that your construction site is scheduled for an audit, here are some steps you can take to make it as conscientious and safe as possible. Although these processes should be in place and remain in place throughout the construction.

Post safety notices

Posting safety notices is required on all construction sites. This includes clearly identifying and marking all dangerous materials and hazards, from toxic chemicals to wet paint, so that there can be no mistake as to what they are. The single most common cause of accidents on construction sites is a failure to communicate.

Create walkways

Create clearly marked walkways that help site visitors and inspectors avoid hazardous work areas, such as places where falling debris might be a risk. By the same token, protect workers from accidentally interfering with and injuring each other by isolating all work areas that could overlap. You can do this by posting temporary barriers and caution tape where appropriate.

Have management tour the site

Arrange for company managers to carry informal safety inspections at a construction site to identify any areas that may need attention. This internal auditing team could include your company’s managing director and a senior level manager from your client’s firm.

New sets of eyes can spot problems that people who work on the site every day may miss. Any potential safety issues that come to light during these inspections must be acted on immediately.

Run PPE checks

All personnel on a construction site should be wearing the correct Personal Protective Equipment or PPE, and know where it is stored.

This equipment, which may include safety hats, protective glasses, steel-toed shoes or boots, and protective gloves, must be kept in a clean and dry place that is also easy to access.

Designated employees should inspect all PPE every week to confirm that it is being properly cleaned and maintained and that there are sufficient quantities of replacement items for any equipment that breaks. Record each check to create an inspection record.

Prepare site checklists

All construction vehicles on a job site should be checked on a regular basis by competent and qualified personnel. Engage a mechanic to carry out a planned maintenance programme that involves a thorough check of each vehicle and essential components like steering and braking systems. Certain equipment falls under LOLER (lifting equipment regulations) so is subject to specific testing at predefined intervals.

Complement this type of professional inspection by requiring each worker to inspect a vehicle before they climb into the driver’s seat or take up the wheel. This combination of professional and in-house inspections can turn up issues before they become major problems and reach the attention of H&S auditors.

Inspect equipment regularly

Plant facilities aren’t the only areas that need inspecting. On a construction site, have each worker check things like electrical equipment, lifting straps, and hand tools for defects or excessive signs of wear before use. For example, if a safety hat is cracked or the handle on a hammer is loose, someone could easily be hurt.

Carry out safety inspections

Arrange for the construction site project and/or safety inspector to carry out a more formal safety audit, accompanied by site workers if possible. These types of inspections could include steps such as safety spot checks, where inspecting one aspect of on-site safety can provide an idea of site-wide safety conditions.

These inspections accomplish a dual purpose: to identify areas of concern and demonstrate the commitment of senior management to the safety of all workers on the construction site. When properly conducted, they can enhance trust between workers and management.

For maximum efficiency, schedule these higher-profile inspections to support the informal management tours and to prepare in advance for independent safety audits.

Follow up in scheduled intervals

When these actions are collected into a workplace system, it ensures the safety and well-being of everyone working on a construction site. Your system should consider the following factors:

  • How often an inspection should take place
  • Who is responsible for scheduling them
  • Who is responsible for carrying them out
  • The abilities and qualifications of those carrying out the inspections
  • What information is included on the checklists
  • Any actions that will arise from these inspections
  • Who is responsible for correcting any issues uncovered during the inspection
  • The time frame for carrying out inspections

Each time a construction project begins, it’s worth compiling an audit schedule to ensure that all aspects of the work are being reviewed for safety and quality throughout the project duration as opposed to the same few areas that are traditionally targeted.

When you create your own system for a construction site health & safety audit, it ensures that any issues that develop on a job site never evolve into problems with catastrophic consequences. Construction contractors who don’t properly fulfill their obligations for on-site safety may risk significant penalties or loss of contracts. It also stands to reason that sites with poor safety conditions are dangerous to workers by causing them to risk injury or worse.

Safer Sphere are able to advise on any aspect of CDM 2015.

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St Helens, Pride of St Helens, Awards, Health and Safety, CDM

Safer Sphere named finalist in the Pride of St Helens Business Awards

Safer Sphere is delighted to reveal that we have made the final of the Pride of St Helens Business Awards in the tough category of Small Business of the Year. This comes fresh off the back of the company’s win at the National Association for Project Safety (APS) awards where the business was crowned CDM Consultant of the year.

The Pride of St Helens Business Awards are a celebration of local businesses and what theses business bring to the town.

Mike Forsyth, Managing Director, Safer Sphere said “We are delighted to have made the final of the Pride of St Helens Business Awards and as a St Helens based growing company, we feel it really highlights the positive impact all the businesses in the final are making to the local economy. All our team are either from St Helens or the local area and this recognition of the business is down to them and hard work they put in.”

The awards take place on Thursday 15th November at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Safer Sphere, APS Awards, CDM, Manchester

Safer Sphere named CDM Consultant of the Year at National Awards

Construction (Design and Management) specialist, Safer Sphere has won ’CDM Consultant of the Year’ at the National Association of Project Safety (APS) Awards, which recognises excellence in construction health and safety risk management.

The North West based CDM consultancy beat off strong competition from some of the biggest names in the CDM industry to take home the crown at the 2018 APS Awards held in Manchester.

Safer Sphere won the prestigious award based on the CDM services provided to the multi-site Design and Build PRS scheme by Dandara, which sees the development of residential units across Salford, Leeds, and Birmingham. The project delivery is made up of big names such as Sir Robert McAlpine, Galliford Try, and Interserve; Safer Sphere was appointed as Client CDM Advisor and Principal Designer Advisors on the project.

On receiving the award, Mike Forsyth, Managing Director at Safer Sphere said:

We are delighted to have won CDM Consultant of Year at the national APS awards as this is one of the highest accolades we can receive for our business. To make it into the final of these leading industry awards is an achievement but to win just highlights the amazing success for Safer Sphere and its accomplishments. This award is solely down to the efforts and expertise of the team as well as the great support of our clients. The Dandara PRS scheme has been a fantastic scheme to work on and we will continue to work on the scheme having been appointed on the Sweet Street and Chapel Wharf fit-outs, which means we will be seeing the project through from concept to completion. Safer Sphere has one the best CDM delivery teams in the industry and this award is testament to this, I couldn’t be more proud.