Date:            Thursday 18th October 2018, 09.15 to 16.00

Venue:         The Netherwood Hotel, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria LA11 6ET

Tim Briggs, Director & Programme Leader, Safety Health and Environmental Management Courses, Leeds Beckett University & Chairman, IOSH Professional Standards Committee chaired a successful meeting that covered the following topics:

HSE’s approach to managing noise, HAVs, confined spaces & health surveillance including case studies

Chris Steele, HM Specialist Inspector of Health and Safety (Noise & Vibration Unit), Edinburgh

Chris got the seminar off to a good start with a clear overview of things that employers needed to be aware of when they were developing effective management systems for employees working in confined spaces, or with vibrating tools or in noisy environments. His presentation generated some worthwhile discussions.

A ‘read only’ copy of his presentation can be found here: 18 Oct 2018 Chris Steel – HSE’s approach to managing noise, HAVS, confined spaces and health surveillance

Managing Workplace Noise with practical examples          

Stephen Myers, Area Delivery Manager – Manufacturing, BAE Systems Submarines, Barrow-in-Furness  

Stephen used case studies showing how BAE Systems managers had worked hard to reduce their employees’ exposure to workplace noise by re-designing work areas to reduce noise levels and by ensuring that staff were trained in the correct selection, use and care of ear defenders. He explained that they had also liaised with their Occupational Health Team to ensure that training that was tailored to their employees needs and that they understood that hearing loss develops over a long period of time and cannot be cured.

Managing work in Confined Spaces with practical examples

Gary Woodiwiss, Confined Space Lead Instructor, ARCO Professional Safety Services

Gary started by summarising the legal requirements for managing confined spaces. He then used a series of case studies to illustrate what happens when employees are not adequately trained and things go wrong. He also looked at effective ways of managing work in confined spaces and of training employees to cope with unexpected hazards when they were working in confined spaces.

Delegates were also privileged to be have the opportunity to ‘experience’ one of ARCO’s confined space units.

A ‘read only’ copy of Gary’s presentation can be found here: 18 Oct 2018 Gary Woodiwiss – Managing work in confined spaces

 Managing HAVs on construction sites including practical examples

James Riddick, Health & Safety Adviser, Eric Wright Group, Preston

James began by stressing that it was important for managers to look at ways of removing work methods that could lead to HAVs exposure on building sites. He then recommended that it was important to purchase low vibration tools even if they were more expensive because, in the long run this might well be cheaper than have to deal with employees’ HAV injuries. He explained that when selecting tools it was important to check on the job tool vibration data rather than the manufacturers’ tool vibration data that will have been collected in ideal conditions. He explained that this was available on a number of web sites.

James also discussed live vibration data monitoring , ways of keeping records, occupational health monitoring where necessary, tool and accessory maintenance and appropriate training (including keeping hands warm).

A ‘read only’ copy of James’s presentation can be found here: 18 Oct 2018 James Riddick – Managing HAVS on construction sites

At lunchtime delegates had the opportunity to network with one another, with speakers and with exhibitors as well as having an opportunity to visit ARCO’S confined spaces unit that was parked outside the hotel.

Health surveillance requirements/needs when managing noise, HAVs and confined spaces with practical examples

Joshua Rice, Head of Conventional and Chemical Safety, Sellafield Ltd

Josh started his presentation by defining workplace health surveillance and then looking at HSE’s approach to the need for and management of workplace health surveillance. He explained the importance of risk assessment as a way of understanding when health surveillance was needed and then developing appropriate ways of managing the health surveillance process and training staff so that they understood why it was necessary and what they should do as soon as they became aware of adverse health symptoms related to their work.

A ‘read only’ copy of Josh’s presentation can be found here: 18 Oct 2018 Josh Rice – Health surveillance requirements when managing noise, HAVS and confined spaces

What happens when things go wrong with the management of noise, HAVs and confined spaces including case studies?

Mark Davies, Director/Solicitor, Backhouse Jones Solicitors, Clitheroe

Mark explained that sentencing for breaches of health and safety law are based on a series of steps based on assessments of :

  • the categories of harm and the seriousness of the harm risked.
  • the level of management culpability.
  • the financial position of the organisation to determine proportional size of fine (if applicable).
  • other relevant information such as immediate remedial action.

He then summarised the different circumstances that could lead to the prosecution of culpable individuals, Directors and/or senior managers and referred delegates to information in the HSE Enforcement Policy statement.

He then used a HAVs prosecution case study to illustrate the way that HSE developed their prosecution cases and ways that organisations could develop their defence case. This led to some interesting discussions with delegates and with earlier speakers.

A ‘read only’ copy of Mark’s presentation can be found here: 18 Oct 2018 Mark Davies – What happens when things go wrong