Health and safety in the workplace is improving with a decline in serious and fatal injuries over the past year, according to new figures released from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this week.
Provisional statistics published by the HSE report 148 worker deaths between April 2012 and March 2013, down from 171 the previous year.
The average number of employee deaths in the workplace over the past five years was 181 per year, the HSE said.
Figures also show 19,707 workers suffered major injuries such as amputations, fractures and burns in 2012/13, compared with 22,094 in 2011/12.
HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: “This year’s figures demonstrate that Britain continues to improve its health and safety performance, but we still see too many deaths and injuries occur in the workplace, many of which could have been prevented through simple safety measures.
“As the economy grows, new and inexperienced additions to the workforce can increase in the risk of injuries to workers.”
Construction continues to be a high-risk industry with 156 major injuries per 100,000 employees, according to the HSE figures.
Prolift Access offers a range of training courses to help employees work safely at height, ranging from IPAF operator training and PASMA training courses to the safe use of ladders and stepladders.
Click on the link to find out about IPAF operator training and other Prolift Access safety courses.
Order a digital anemometer from our online shop
High winds are forecast to batter the South West in the coming days, which is likely to result in unsafe weather conditions for operating mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).
The Met Office has upgraded its severe weather warning for the region and has put the Westcountry on amber alert throughout Monday.
Gusts between 60mph and 80mph are forecast to hit Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. The wind could be even stronger on exposed or coastal areas.
Under BS EN280:2001+A2:2009, the maximum wind speed in which MEWPs (except those designed specifically for interior use) can work is 28mph or 12.5 m/s. Operators must also be aware that wind speed can increase with height and may be 50% greater at a height of 20m above ground level.
The guide on the IPAF website also states: “Care must be taken when handling building cladding, sheet materials, panels and other such materials which can act as ‘sails’ and seriously affect the stability of a MEWP, especially in gusty wind conditions.
“For the same reason, signboards and the like must not be applied even temporarily to the platform.
“You should be aware of the shielding and funnelling effects of high buildings which may cause high wind speeds on days when the wind speed in open areas is low.
“Other sources of local high wind speed to consider are aircraft slipstreams at airports and high-sided vehicles on motorways.”
If wind speeds exceed 28mph when the platform is raised, lower it and do not operate the machine until the wind drops.
Wind speed can be measured by using a digital anemometer. Click the link to buy a digital anemometer from our online shop.
One of the images released by the HSE showing a fall risk during soffit replacement work
The importance of safe and efficient powered access has again been highlighted after nearly half of building sites inspected by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) failed basic safety checks in September.
The HSE said failing to protect workers during activities at height was among the most common problems discovered as it visited 2,607 sites during a month-long safety drive.
Unsafe scaffold and ladder set-ups were of particular concern at some sites, as well as exposure to harmful dust and inadequate welfare facilities.
Inspectors found basic safety standards were not being met on 1,105 sites. On 644 sites, practices were so poor that enforcement action was necessary to protect workers – with 539 prohibition notices served ordering dangerous activities to stop immediately and 414 improvement notice issued requiring standards to improve.
HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Heather Bryant, said: “It is disappointing to find a significant number of sites falling below acceptable health and safety standards, where our inspectors encountered poor practice this often went hand in hand with a lack of understanding.
“Through initiatives like this we are able to tackle underlying issues before they become established and we will continue to work with the industry in an effort to drive up standards.
“However those who recklessly endanger the health and lives of their workforce can expect to face tough consequences.”
Powered access provides a safe solution for working at height and, at Prolift Access, we have a fleet of more than 400 machines available to hire. Click the link to view our full range of scissor lifts, boom lifts and telehandlers for hire.
Prolift Access is also an IPAF-approved training provider, offering a variety of safety courses. Visit the Prolift Access training page for more details.
Prolift Access is offering big savings on power tool and site transformers this winter.
Our special offers could see you save nearly £140 off RRP if you order a 10kVA air-cooled site transformer from our online shop.
5kVA power tool transformers are now available with a £56.99 discount off RRP, while there is also the chance to make a saving of nearly £70 if you buy three 3kVA transformers.
View our Prolift Access e-shop special offers for more details or to place your order.
Telehandlers are now available for hire through Prolift Access, giving customers even more options when working at height is required.
Four of JCB’s telescopic handlers now complement the company’s existing hire fleet of more than 400 machines, ranging from 5.14m self-propelled micro scissor lifts to 41m booms.
The telehandlers, part of JCB’s Loadall range, offer another powered access solution when loads need to be moved to or from unconventional or unreachable places.
They can also offer a practical alternative to cranes if loads need to be placed on high places such as rooftops and, with 4WD as standard, they offer plenty of traction and performance even in soft, muddy areas.
The largest of the telehandlers available is a JCB 540-170, with a maximum lift height of 16.7m.
The 535-125 Hi-Viz and 535-140 Hi-Viz Loadalls offer lift heights of 12.28m and 13.78m respectively while the smallest of the quartet – the 531-70 – has a lift height of 7m.
The Loadalls use JCB’s EcoMAX engine and are designed for ultimate manoeuvrability with three different steer modes.
Two-wheel steer is ideal for travelling at high speed on the road, four-wheel steer is used for working in tight spaces, and crab steer is perfect for manoeuvring close to walls and buildings.
Click on the link to browse the range of telehandlers for hire from Prolift Access and see their full specifications.
(From left) Niftylift UK sales manager Tim Ward, Prolift Access engineering manager Terry Cole, Prolift Access managing director Andy Pearson and Niftylift managing director John Keely.
Prolift Access has seen its fleet size soar past 400 after taking delivery of its new HR21 4x4s from Niftylift.
It is the latest milestone in an incredible three years of growth for the Somerset-based company, which was formed in 2010.
Prolift Access has opened depots in Cornwall and Hampshire in the past 15 months which, alongside its main office in Wellington, have helped continue the firm’s rapid expansion across the South West.
Managing director Andy Pearson said: “We are still seeing strong demand in the marketplace, and our growth has exceeded our expectations.
“The Niftylift products fit very well in our fleet, with their great feather-light overall weight, SiOPS and market-leading outreach.
“The team at Niftylift make it so easy to do business with them, and that means we can offer our customers the right kit, on time, with a great back-up service.”
For more details and full specifications, visit our Nifty Heightrider 21 self-propelled boom lift hire page.
New Niftylift HR21s have become the latest additions to Prolift Access’ extensive hire fleet, which now boasts more than 400 units.
The Height Rider 21 4×4 self-propelled boom lift offers a working height of 20.8m (68ft) and a working outreach of 12.8m (42ft), combining innovative weight and space saving design with an excellent turning circle for better manoeuvrability.
An extra large platform is suitable for up to two people, with plenty of room for tools. With a straight line vertical outreach of up to 10m, the HR21 is perfect for working on the sides of buildings or wall.
Its four-wheel drive makes it suitable for work on rough terrain and inclines of up to 45%. A telescopic upper boom, fly boom and platform rotation all allow for flexible positioning.
Watch the video above to see the HR21 4×4 put through its paces. For more details and full specifications, visit our Nifty Heightrider 21 self-propelled boom lift hire page.
Prolift Access is looking for an experienced and highly motivated sales executive to join its busy Cornwall depot.
The depot provides powered access solutions across the county, and into Plymouth and West Devon.
The successful candidate will generate and follow up on sales enquiries across the area, while maintaining relationships with existing customers and increasing the company’s customer base.
Key responsibilities include:
- Generating and following up on sales enquiries
- Developing customer relationships and maximising revenue from existing accounts
- Increasing Prolift Access customer base
- Regular visits to new and existing customers, offering proposals and quotes when required
To apply for this job, please email your CV and covering letter to [email protected] or call 01726 890899 for more information.
Tradespeople are being warned to be aware of Britain’s most venomous spider when they carry out their work over the coming weeks.
The false widow spider is being spotted in increasing numbers across the South West after a warm summer saw breeding numbers increase at an alarming rate.
The majority of sightings have been in outbuildings, sheds, houses and gardens, meaning tradespeople are at high risk of disturbing the spider – a cousin of the deadly black widow – during the course of their work.
A bite from a false widow is most likely to cause just localised swelling and pain, although it could trigger a potentially fatal extreme allergic reaction for some people.
Experts say the spider will only bite if it feels threatened, and that a bite can be treated in the same way as a wasp or bee sting. Click the link to read more about false widow spider sightings in the South West including how to spot them.
Two revised health and safety regulations have come into effect in a bid to help companies comply with the law more easily.
The reporting of workplace injuries has been simplified and greater flexibility has been introduced for managing the provision of first aid training, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said.
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 have been amended to remove the requirement for HSE to approve first aid training and qualifications.
An HSE statement said: “The change is part of HSE’s work to reduce the burden on businesses and put common sense back in to health and safety, while maintaining standards. The new approach applies to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors.”
Changes have also been made to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 in an attempt to clarify and simplify the reporting requirements, while ensuring that the data collected gives an accurate and useful picture of workplace incidents.
The main changes are in the following areas:
- The classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers has been replaced with a shorter list of ‘specified injuries’
- The existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness
- Fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrence’ require reporting
Click on the links for more HSE information on First Aid at Work or RIDDOR.