Despite there being two bank holidays in the month, our consultant team was kept very busy throughout May, both helping customers at their premises and conducting site safety visits.
With all of our site and audit reports now being available to our customers on their own MyTHSP page, they are able to address and close out any actions or recommendations made in real-time, with the added advantage of being able to upload evidence in support.
This data also allows us to develop and create more resources to help them manage the day to day administration of health and safety.
Last month saw consultants providing advice regarding risk assessments 85 times, whilst another 56 times they assisted with COSHH assessment questions. In all of the cases, we were able to direct the customer to the builder tools available on MyTHSP, which are designed not only to take the pain out of the process of risk assessment, but to ensure that employers produce compliant, comprehensive, and coherent documentation.
The other three issues in our top five for May were; the management of health hazards, the management of portable tools and fire safety.
For some time there has been confusion surrounding Portable Appliance Testing or PAT. There is no legal requirement for PAT, only that employers maintain electrical equipment to prevent danger. PAT is one way to demonstrate this. It is however industry best practice for construction tools of 110v to be tested at three-monthly intervals, and this is the advice we have been giving our customers.
It is a sad fact that employees are more likely to be harmed by a health hazard than as a result of what we might consider an accident. Work-related ill-health ends careers and can significantly impact your quality of life. The problem is, it never seems to be an immediate impact and we put off worrying about it to some point in the future, whilst doing the damage today. The HSE are taking a very strong line on the management of health hazards, and our team have been providing advice and support to customers looking to reduce both the likelihood of harm and, as we are seeing far more often now, the risk of prosecution and significant fines. Last year a Grounds Maintenance company were fined £600,000 for failing to manage the risks from hand-arm vibration between 2009-14 and this size of the fine is not unique.
Last on the list for May is fire. More and more details are coming to light following the tragedy of Grenfell and as a result, several of our customers are engaged in replacing aluminium cladding materials from high rise residential buildings with our team of senior consultants providing guidance on fire safety during the projects.
Health and Safety Consultant Director