Blue Tape

The HSE describes blue tape as rules imposed business to business and not due to legislation, such as SSIP schemes etc.  The HSE has found that many of these additional rules are completely pointless leading to excessive record keeping and not adding to safety.  The HSE thinks that blue tape is giving health and safety a bad name

Be careful, the HSE is saying the above but we feel at GD that it is being disingenuous, as in reality if you get a visit from one of its inspectors they will go through your procedures with a fine toothcomb to try and pick your procedures up on something to justify an FFI charge.  So its like walking on a tightrope trying to do enough but not too much


As ever if in doubt give us a shout.  Have a safe September.  Ian and the team

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HSE to target Principal Designers

The HSE’s business plan for 2019/2020 sets out a clear agenda to investigate Principal Designers. Since the introduction of the Principal Designer stakeholder under the CDM Regs 2015 there have been few successful prosecutions of Principal Designers, however the scrutiny of Principal Designers and their compliance with their duties is about to get a lot closer.

The HSE business plan sets out the key objectives for 2019/2020 as follows:

 lead and engage with others to improve workplace health and safety;

 provide an effective regulatory framework;

 secure effective management and control of risk;

 reduce the likelihood of low-frequency, highimpact catastrophic incidents;

 enable improvement through efficient and effective delivery

So please ensure that your relationship with the PD is appropriate for any projects in hand


As ever if in doubt please let us know


Have a safe quarter, Ian and the team

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GATEX passenger fatality

The ORR are writing to all Minor Railways regarding the tragic death of a passenger on the GATEX service who had his head out of the window

It seems the reporting of this incident in relation to the prosecution of the operating company has been slightly incorrect

GD Rail’s MD has had a meeting with the ORR Principal Inspector responsible for Minor Railways and has clarified one or two points, GD Rail will be updating its customers “GATEX Issues” risk assessments during the routine reviews of the SMS

Anyone we think has particular issues has been spoken to


Have a safe one.  Ian and the team

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The HSE has a campaign in full swing regarding the generation and protection from dust.  This means that in nearly all cases the sweeping up of arising’s that causes dust is forbidden

Additionally if RPE is specified to be worn for the task the user must be face fitted, to ensure the mask fits them correctly

All power cutting equipment must now be fitted with an extraction system of some sort to collect dust and chips at source

As ever, if in doubt give us a shout


have a safe period, Ian and the team

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Safety fines up 450%

A report highlighting the outcomes of safety prosecutions has shown that fines have increased dramatically since the introduction in Feb 2016 of the new sentencing guidelines

In the ten months prior to Feb. 2016 the average fine was £40,500.00(GBP) in the ten months following Feb 2016 fines had risen by nearly 450% to an average £221,700 (GBP)

This does not include the drive to recover Fees For Intervention monies that HSE inspectors now seem to be engaged upon


Our customers have little to worry about but SHEF matters should stay top of your agenda


Have a safe period.  Ian and the team

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Working time and Breaks

A recent tribunal win by Network Rail clarifies the need for employers to provide twenty minute breaks after six hours of work.  This is good news for common sense and in a nut shell as long as staff are provided with alternative breaks to make up the twenty minutes all is well.

We have spoken to customers having issues with this point but if you want more detail please give us a ring


Have a safe period.  Ian and the team

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HSE Hikes Its Rates

The HSE has increased its charges for FFI, on the 6th April 2019 they rose by 20% to £154.00 per hour, which in an eight hour day is a charge of £1,232.00.  The reason for this rise is the HSE has been unable to fund itself from its FFI revenue, despite charging businesses £15 million in 2017/18 it didn’t hit its £17million target

As the HSE is under pressure to pay for itself expect their inspectors to be keen on billing every time they turn up to your site.  Material breaches are now not what we were promised when this scheme was introduced in 2012 and are now mostly found in paperwork and systems so your paperwork and systems need to be up to speed

It seems that the average charge levied to inspections / visits is £2,500.00


Have a safe quarter.  Ian and the team


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Changes to the HSE accident reporting site

The HSE has changed its RIDDOR reporting site, there is no change to the legislation but the site has been “updated”

The biggest change is that the e mailed reporting number and PDF copy will now not be e mailed to you after you submit the form

Make sure you take a copy of the form before you submit or it is lost in the system and you will not be able to retrieve a copy

Have a safe month


Ian and the team

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Pre start medicals

A number of customers have been having problems with claims for hearing, eyesight and HAVS

To enable employers to defend themselves against spurious claims it is important that all new starters have a pre employment medical check

This will set a medical start standard for the new employee at your company

Should in the future an employee claim against you as employer with an allegation of injury to hearing for example whilst employed with you the claim is easier to verify if there is a value to check any alleged hearing deterioration against  

For customers that carry out health surveillance, ensure that sight and hearing is included on the list of annual checks


have a safe month


Ian and the team 

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