Health & Safety In The News December 2021

Health & Safety In The News

December 2021

Health and safety in the news is your monthly roundup of important and newsworthy items and events.

Managing fire risk during cladding and insulation removal and replacement on high-rise

This Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance is for construction inspectors, construction B2s, and construction visiting officers.

It outlines the key fire risks to be managed by duty holders during the removal and replacement of insulation and cladding on high-rise buildings.

It aims to help inspectors understand fire risks associated with removing and replacing cladding and/or insulation on high-rise buildings.

It outlines responsibilities for duty holders.

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will regulate high-rise buildings. These are defined as buildings with seven or more storeys or 18 metres or higher and either have at least two residential units or are hospitals or care homes (during design and construction). The guidance does not address the management of other construction health and safety risks, such as safe work at height and public protection.

Download your copy here

How can Ligtas support you?

Ligtas can provide fire risk assessments to ensure that any property in your portfolio conforms to legal standards.

Fears new London buildings are being designed to avoid fire safety rules

London Fire Brigade has voiced concerns that new properties in the capital are being designed to avoid post-Grenfell fire safety rules. A review of plans suggests that new buildings may be “deliberately” designed to avoid rules. They include blocks designed to be lower than an 18 metre (59 foot) limit to be considered a higher risk high-rise building. This is to avoid more intricate fire engineered solutions.

You can read the full article here

How can Ligtas support you?

As you add to your property portfolio, Ligtas can support you by providing risk assessments on properties that you intend to purchase. https://ligtas.co.uk/fire-safety

Any use of a hand-held mobile phone while driving to become illegal

It is already illegal to text or make a phone call (other than in an emergency) using a hand-held device while driving. Next year, laws will go further to ban drivers from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games.

This will mean anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and 6 points on their licence.

Drivers will still be able to continue using a device ‘hands-free’ while driving, such as a sat-nav, if it’s secured in a cradle. They must, however, always take responsibility for their driving and can be charged with an offence if the police find them not to be in proper control of their vehicle.

Ensure your cars are equipped with the correct hands-free devices and employees are aware of the change in the law.

You can read the full article here

Remote visual inspection

This document from the Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed) sets out guidance on the use of Remote Visual Inspection technology and with supporting results to supplement the thorough examination/inspection of various types of plant and equipment.

The use of new and emerging technology, Remote Visual Inspection (RVI), is widely used throughout the field of engineering. The inclusion of this technology enables thorough examinations/inspections to be safely undertaken when unsafe, poor, or no access can be established.

The procedure set out in the document aims to outline the requirements and support the use of remote visual inspection to supplement thorough examinations/inspections. Where RVI can be used to supplement the thorough examination/inspection, the Competent Person is advised to consider the following factors to ensure correct application and results can be obtained:

  • Review scope of thorough examination/inspection and detailed understanding of acceptance criteria
  • It is accepted/not accepted that RVI can supplement the thorough examination/inspection
  • The chosen RVI method procedure and technique is appropriate for the use of thorough examination/inspection
  • The use of RVI is at the discretion and control of the Competent Person
  • The attendance of the Competent Person shall be necessitated by the Written Scheme of Examination/Scheme of Examination
  • The Competent Person must be in attendance to witness, direct and review the RVI process in real-time ensuring compliance with the Written Scheme of Examination, Examination Scheme or Scope of Examination for the equipment
  • The Competent Person will review all results gained from RVI method and technique
  • This will be noted on the Report of thorough examination/inspection report

You can download the full report here

BS 8437 – Code of Practice for Selection, Use and Maintenance of Personal Fall Protection Systems

The British Standards Institute is inviting comments on proposed amendments to this document, which sets out best practices regarding personal fall protection from a large number of sources, including information from manufacturers, research studies and training organisations.

Proposed changes are highlighted, and it is only these areas that are under consultation. The standard is for:

  • Employers, employees, and self-employed persons who use personal fall protection systems and equipment.
  • Designers, e.g., architects and structural engineers.
  • Those responsible for the design of safe access routes on buildings and structures.
  • Those who commission work at a height, e.g., building owners, contractors, and trainers.

This document sets out the proposed amendments clause by clause. The final date for receipt of comments is the 10th of February 2022.

COVID-19 And New Variants

Considerations for employers considering a new variant

Once again, employers are rethinking their plans in light of the new and future CoronaVirus variants. However, it’s important not to wait for the government before introducing extra safety measures, as several cases of the Omicron variant have been identified in the UK.

On 27th November, The Prime Minister announced that CoronaVirus restrictions would once again be tightened

Things to note

  • From 30th November, face coverings are required by law in most indoor settings
  • From 13 December office workers who can work from home should do so
  • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their age or vaccination status. NHS Test and Trace will contact them

How can Ligtas support you?

Speak with Ligtas about CoronaVirus risk assessments and advice.