In 2019/2020 147 Workers have been killed at work, 581,000 workers have sustained a non-fatal injury and 69,208 Employees have reported non-fatal injuries to employers under RIDDOR.
What does this mean to companies?
4 .7 million Estimated working days lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries, £15.0billion Annual costs of work-related injury and new cases of ill health, £9.8billion Annual costs of new cases of work-related ill health and £5.2billion Annual costs of workplace injury.
What is the HSE doing about it?
£54.5million in fines resulting from prosecutions by HSE where a conviction was achieved.
So why are we not doing more about workplace safety?
The reasons are wide and varied from a lack of knowledge or a lack of resources to simply burying our heads in the sand because ‘production is king’. Some even believe that the additional cost of safety is an impediment however the cost of accidents is clearly worse. Surprisingly, in some circumstances a high level of safety can bring cost benefits beyond that of avoiding a negative. A company that can declare to the market that they have achieved a third-party audited level of compliance will have a share price increase which can net an increase in value that could be an order of magnitude higher than the cost of achieving said safety. And isn’t that the responsibility of the board to those shareholders?
What can we do to prevent accidents?
Quite simply, inspect the workplace, find the hazards and put in countermeasures to prevent those potential accidents as far as we are practically able to do.
This may seem like a simple and logical statement to make. However, the complexities of interpretation of that laudable outcome can present an impediment. All too often it can be seen that over-compliance and insisting on unachievable levels of safety can mean reluctance to involve ‘health and safety’ professionals. All I can say is that if zero tolerance to hazards was the only acceptable outcome then please explain welding, grinding and using an excavator?
A true health and safety practitioner should be able to identify the hazards in order to select the appropriate safety measure to reduce the risk as far as reasonably practicable. This means simply, to advise the employer so they can make an informed decision, not to dictate Regulations and standards. To help with innovative ways to reduce the risk and still make the production process efficient and profitable. Anything else is simply running around with a clipboard to avoid unseen liabilities.
A s we stated before, the risks in the workplace are much more complex than previously encountered. We have new Regulations such as those relating to Electro-Magnetic Fields which makes us consider technical means of assessing safety and new computerised safety systems on machinery. All this means that it is no longer possible to point at an in-running nip and guard it. Competence of safety inspectors now has to include complex electrical and electronic systems and not just general health and safety to allow us to identify potential hazards and failures that are not immediately evident yet can have a profound negative effect in the event of failure.
I can do it myself…
Absolutely. With the correct competencies and resources available, there is no reason why you shouldn’t. When you don’t have the in-depth technical knowledge or time to inspect all yourequipment, that is when we can help. Machinery safety & Compliance Services Limited (MSCS) engineers have a wealth of knowledge of the latest requirements and methods drawn from experience of hundreds of industries and workplaces. We like to think we are one of the most efficient in the business and able to write accurate and detailed reports with practical solutions at an extraordinary speed. That means we can deliver your PUWER inspection for hundreds of manufacturing machines in a matter of a week or two. Any company would be hard pressed to do that in-house.
What do I need to do?
The purpose of an inspection is to identify whether the equipment can be operated, adjusted and maintained safely and that any deterioration (for example defect, damage, wear) can be detected and remedied before it results in unacceptable risks.
When making safety upgrades to machinery, it is important that they are compliant. Whether your upgrades are completed by the Original Equipment Manufacturer, a third-party sub-contractor or by your own staff, MSCS can inspect your equipment and provide certification for physical compliance
Most companies carry out risk assessments for processes that use machinery, unfortunately that doesn’t always mean that the correct risk assessments have been carried out on the machinery itself. The PUWER approved code of practice (ACOP) L22 specifically refer to the competence of the person carrying out the assessment or inspection.
Using our considerable knowledge and experience, MSCS can carry out those statutory assessments in relation to the equipment itself on your behalf. This could be on a single individual machine or your entire site.
Our inspections can be done anywhere in the world, on-site or at a venue of your choice.
Our engineers carry out thorough inspections, focusing on safety critical components that could affect the ability of the equipment being operated safely. We will consider the design and installation of the equipment and bring any problems to your attention. For example, if an item has a non-compliant Safety Related Control Circuit, inadequate guarding or requires CE marking and is not at present, we will tell you.
- Risk Assessments -Satisfying the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.
- Assessment of electrical systems and safety related control circuitry in accordance with current standards.
- A Report on compliance of your equipment in respect to each of the sections of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.
- Where non-conformances are identified, we will give detailed help with solutions which reference the Harmonised or other EN Standards.