Wednesday, 29 December 2010

2 new PEFC standards

There are 1 new and 1 updated PEFC standards:
  • PEFC ST 2002:2010 Chain of Custody of Forest Based Products (replaces Annex 4)
  • PEFC ST 2001:2008 PEFC Logo Usage Rules - Requirements (2nd edition)

The standards are to be welcomed as they now are formatted like other standards and we no longer have Annex 4 as the PEFC standard.

Clause 6.8 Sub-Contracting has been added to PEFC ST 2002:2010; before this, there was no PEFC requirement for sub-contracting. For those companies that already have an SSS system for sub-contracting of FSC products, your existing system already meets the requirements of PEFC but it may need references added.

The main requirement for those companies with systems compiled by Strategic Safety Systems for FSC/PEFC is that the references will have to change; for a start Annex 4 will need changing to PEFC ST 2002:2010, but all the clause numbers are different.

Clause 6.8.2 is rather clumsy and may be interpreted as not allowing sub-contractors to ship onwards to the next link in the chain; the product must be returned to the company owning the certificate.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

New features added to INTACT

For some time now, we've realised that links between the audit schedule and the audit form could make the audit entry process more user friendly.
What we've done is to:
  • Make a link so that, if you double click on a system in the audit schedule, it takes you to the audits for that system, and
  • When you click on the Sign Off button on an audit, it updates the schedule so that the present audit is signed off with today's date and a new one scheduled 1-year hence.

Monday, 13 December 2010

SSS reach certification milestone

The recent certification to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 for Vibixa is a milestone for Strategic Safety Systems.
  • Vibixa is the 40th company we have helped to gain ISO 14001 certification
  • Vibixa is the 20th company we have helped to gain OHSAS 18001 certification
See a list of our successes for these plus ISO 9001, FSC, PEFC and other standards.

Vibixa gain 14001 and 18001 certification

Congratulations to Vibixa, the Cheltenham-based carton manufaturer who have recently gained certification to ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard and OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management Standard. The systems used by Vibixa were developed by Strategic Safety Systems and extensive use is made of the SSS INTACT integrated action management system. SSS have been associated with Vibixa for many years, providing health and safety support and are delighted that the approaches that Vibixa have taken have been rewarded by certification.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Bushell and Meadows gain ISO 13486

Congratulations to Bushell and Meadows, a precision machining company in Tewkesbury for gaining certification to ISO 13485 Medical Devices - Quality Management System using SSS-developed systems.
This is in addition to earlier certification to ISO 9001 for which SSS also provided the systems.
See more.

Friday, 26 November 2010

6 new health and safety bills

Six new Private Member’s Bills were presented to Parliament last week on the back of recommendations in Lord Young’s review of health and safety, published on 15 October.
  • Health and Safety at Work (Amendment) Bill – to amend the HSWA 1974 to make provisions for separate risk-assessment requirements for play, leisure and work-based activities; and to introduce simplified risk assessments for schools;
  • Compensation (Limitation) Bill – to prevent conditional fee agreement success fees and after-the-event insurance premiums being recoverable from the losing party in civil litigation; to facilitate damages-based agreements for contingency fees in respect of successful litigants;
  • Health and Safety Consultants (Qualifications) Bill – to introduce qualification requirements for health and safety consultants; and to provide accreditation for such consultants; (Note: SSS comply with this already.)
  • Low Hazard Workplaces (Risk Assessment Exemption) Bill – to exempt employers from the requirement to produce a written risk assessment in respect of low-hazard workplaces and the premises of those working from their own home with low-hazard equipment;
  • RIDDOR Regulation Bill – to reduce the duties on employers to report matters under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995; and
  • Self-employment (Risk Assessment Exemption) Bill – to exempt self-employed persons engaged in low-hazard activity from the requirement to produce a written risk assessment.
Source: SHP

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Beware the CE Mark, yet again

Here's something really scary. If you thought the CE mark, meant "Check Everything", there's the China Export mark which looks remarkably similar.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Environmental Civil Sanctions to be introduced Jan. 2011

The Environment Agency in England and Wales will start using new enforcement powers, called civil sanctions, from 4 January 2011.
They give the environmental regulators a wider range of options to use against a business committing certain environmental offences as alternatives to prosecution and criminal penalties of fines and imprisonment.
They allow the Environment Agency to take action that is proportionate to the offence and the offender, and reflect the fact that most offences committed by businesses are unintentional.

The Environment Agency will still be able to use criminal punishments for serious offences.

The new civil sanctions the environmental regulator can use against a business committing certain environmental offences include:
  • Compliance notice - written notice to take steps to ensure that an offence does not continue or recur.
  • Restoration notice - written notice to restore harm caused by non-compliance.
  • Enforcement undertaking - voluntary agreement by business to take corrective action to make up for non-compliance.
  • Fixed monetary penalty - a low level penalty for minor offences fixed at £100 for an individual and £300 for a company.
  • Variable monetary penalty - a monetary penalty for more serious offences with a maximum of £250,000.
  • Stop notice - written notice to stop an activity which is causing harm.Civil sanctions have been introduced for a limited number of offences. Initially they will cover offences relating to harm to water resources, hazardous waste and packaging waste.

Other offences, including those covered by the Environmental Permitting regime, will be added by future legislation. The Orders specify which civil sanctions can be used for which offences.

Source of information: NetRegs

Monday, 11 October 2010

Asbestos action

We've been asked advice by a very small building firm who undertook some shop refurbishment. On looking at ceiling tiles, the builder asked the shop owner if they contained asbestos and was assured that he'd had a survey carried out and this was negative.
A member of the public reported to the HSE that material which looked like asbestos was in skip in the street. Examination showed this to be crysotile and amosite (white and brown asbestos.)
What the builder should have done was:
  1. Demand to see a copy of the asbestos survey report and/or
  2. Take samples and have them analysed
before starting any work which would disturb the tiles. Any work involving removing the tiles would have to have been done by a licenced asbestos remover, using appropriate techniques.

Beware the CE Mark, yet again

We've just been asked our advice about an accident that occurred on a machine in Germany. This machine was purchased with a CE mark from outside the EU. The accident caused the loss of several fingers, and there is now an urgument between the purchaser and manufacturer as to who was to blame.
Remember that the "CE marking" process is one of self certification for most types of machinery, and there are obligations on the purchaser to ensure that the manufacturer had followed a rigorous process in ensuring that the machine complied with appropriate harmonised European standards and essential health and safety requirements. In such cases, it is advisable to ask for a copy of the technical file (that whoever applied the CE mark must be able to compile.).
There are also obligations under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) (or the German equivalent in this case) on the user of the equipment, who is normally the company that owns the equipment and employs people to use it.
It is highly unlikely that the HSE will pursue an action against a company in another country, let alone outside the EU.
See more about CE Marking.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Culture of blame on Transocean rigs

A culture of fear and blame is rife across the operations of offshore drilling contractor Transocean, according to a leaked HSE inspection report.

The company, which BP blamed in part for the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in April, was the subject of an HSE investigation across four of its North-Sea rigs last year. The resulting report, which was leaked to the RMT union, highlighted many strengths within Transocean – such as an emphasis on training, support and implementation of key safety initiatives, and good communication of safety-related incidents to personnel – but found that health and safety was in danger of being compromised by an organisational culture of “discipline, blame and zero tolerance”.

The report, which the company has had for several months, states that “unacceptable behaviours by offshore management were raised on more than one rig visited”, including “bullying, aggression, harassment, humiliation and intimidation”. Such behaviours, the report reveals, “are causing some individuals to exhibit symptoms of work-related stress, with potential safety implications”.

Evidence cited by the HSE of the negative impact the company’s culture has had on its workforce include concern among personnel that they will be punished should they be involved in an accident. Staff are also “trying to avoid risky jobs, in case they make a mistake, or have an incident and will then be fired”, and that the expected management response to an incident is “affecting reporting rates, such that some events go unreported”.

While the report underlines the inspection team’s conviction that “senior management are committed to the health and safety of their workforce”, the company’s health and safety policy statement “places emphasis on individual involvement, personal responsibility and accountability”, instead of recognising that incidents tend to result from failings in management control.

Following the leak, an HSE spokesperson said it did not want to comment in detail as it is not a public report, but confirmed: “This particular non-technical report was sent to Transocean in February. No enforcement notices were issued as a result.”

Source: SHP 20 Sept 2010

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Transfer between MS Access and MS Excel

SSS have carried out work on behalf of one of clients to export data from Access to Excel and also manipulate the appearance within the spreadsheet from the Access code. Functions achieved were:
  • Export of 7 queries to separate worksheets within the same spreadsheet
  • Export of data to another spreadsheet, setting the cell colours dependant upon the urgency level of the data.
We can see applications of this arrangement within INTACT.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

New 9001 certifications

Congratulations to VCG Colourlink who have become certified to ISO 9001:2008 with the help of Strategic Safety Systems Ltd.

Legal updates

There are some changes to legislation:
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2010
    Amends the previous regs., replacing ‘dangerous substance or preparation’ with ‘dangerous substance or mixture’ and (as from 1 December 2010 and 1 June 2015) substitutes new definitions of ‘dangerous substance or mixture’. Also other changes that do not affect those people on the SSS Register of Legislation.
  • Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
    Have been updated. The main impact is the removal of the need to register for exemption. See an earlier blog on this.
SSS will be sending out issue "P" of the Register of Legislation to all those companies to whom we have supplied 14001 or 18001 systems.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Waste storage at place of production

The storage and treatment (eg shredding or compaction) of waste at the place of production has been clarified.
You no longer have to be registered as being exempt if:
  • You only store waste at the place where it is produced,
  • You don't bring waste from lots of different sites back to one site,
  • You store waste for less than 12 months

You must store the waste in a secure place (ie ensure that waste cannot be windblown, etc.)

You may also carry out "ancillary treatment" including:
  • Compaction of paper and cardboard stored within a container,
  • Shredding confidential papers for crushing,
  • Compacting large items, or
  • Separating recyclables.

More information on this is available from the Environment Agency via this link.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Need to register a compactor

The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 have closed the loophole where you didn't need to register for exemption if you were compacting waste paper or plastic on the site where you produced it.
You now have to register for exemption if you compact (over a 7-day period):
  • Paper or cardboard up to 500 tonnes (outdoors) or 3000 tonnes (indoors)
  • Plastic up to 100 tonnes (outdoors) or 3000 tonnes (indoors)
Contact the Environment Agency and state that you would like to register a T4 activity for exemption.

Yes, I know it's ridiculous and would drive behaviour in the wrong direction (ie not compacting, thereby requiring more waste company vehicle journies, thereby using up natural resources and adding to CO2 emissions), but we're stuck with it.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Forklift accident despite risk assessment

Tyre manufacturer Pirelli failed to act on the findings of a risk assessment that identified a failure to separate vehicles and pedestrians at its factory in Carlisle.

North Cumbria Magistrates’ Court heard that 62-year-old contractor, Alan Miller, was feeding an electric cable into a sub-floor gallery when the incident took place on 29 October 2008. Once he had finished, he walked through an area within the curing department at the Dalston Road site, and was struck from behind by a pallet being carried on a forklift truck. He suffered a broken leg and has been unable to return to work owing to his injuries.

HSE inspectors learned that several similar incidents had previously taken place in the same area of the factory. In March 2008, a contractor stepped off a walkway in front of a forklift, which forced the vehicle to make an emergency stop. The truck’s sudden halt caused one of the pallets it was carrying to fall and land on the contractor, who suffered a broken leg.

The investigation found that forklift drivers’ vision was frequently obscured because they had to lower their loads to avoid overhead obstructions. Pirelli had identified the problem during a previous risk assessment but had failed to take steps to make the area a pedestrian-free zone.

HSE inspector Michael Griffiths issued an Improvement Notice on 4 December 2008, which required the firm to ensure that vehicles and pedestrians were separated.

Inspector Griffiths said: “The storage area should have been clearly marked as ‘pedestrian free’, and the injured worker should have been told of the risks prior to the incident in October 2008.

“Site operators should provide contractors with appropriate health and safety information, so that they can do their work safely. In practice, this means sharing information about the workplace, the routes to be used, and types of vehicles and equipment on site. Specific hazards and other people on site, including other contractors or visiting drivers, should also be considered.”

Pirelli appeared in court on 16 July and pleaded guilty to breaching s3(1) of the HSWA 1974. It was fined £9000 and ordered to pay £4282 towards the costs of the prosecution.

In mitigation, the company told the court that it had subsequently put up signs to warn employees that the area was a pedestrian-free zone. It also identified safe crossing points and put barriers in particularly dangerous areas. It has also installed CCTV to ensure that drivers follow the marked-out routes.

Source: SHP

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Upgrades to INTACT

Upgrades are being made to INTACT to meet the requirements of Bushell & Meadows, one of our clients, who make extensive use of it. These upgrades include bespoke non-conformance cards which can be printed and added to products, plus advanced analysis and reporting facilities which replace existing spreadsheet and Word methods.

See more about INTACT

Get up to speed on risk assessments

There are two companies I have now started working with after they have fallen foul of the HSE.
After accidents resulting in a minor injury in both cases, the improvement notices state that "the company had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment", with the implication that the accident would not have occurred if the assessment had been sufficient to identify the risk and the company had installed risk control measures.

Don't get into this situation.
Carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments.

See how to carry out a risk assessment and download a risk assessment form from our "Useful information" page.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Hunts open print cafe

Hunts People in Print, near Oxford, opened their Print Cafe on 8th July 2010.
This picture shows Timon Colegrove, MD of Hunts, explaining the concept before the formal opening by Michael Johnson, CEO of the BPIF.
Strategic Safety Systems are proud to have provided, and continue to provide, support for Hunts in the areas of:

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Ruling on legal costs could see HSE shy away from prosecution

Companies facing prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) can take some comfort from a recent High Court decision, writes lawyer Bob Davies.

Serving its judgement on R (On the application of The Law Society) v The Lord Chancellor, the High Court declared that the lord chancellor’s scheme of capping the recovery of an acquitted defendant’s costs to legal-aid rates was unlawful.

Had the scheme, which came into force on 31 October 2009, not been declared illegal, a defendant that had successfully defended an HSE prosecution could have faced recovering its defence costs at an amount significantly below those that it had actually incurred.

However, the High Court’s decision restores a court’s power to award a successful defendant an amount of costs which “the court considers to be reasonably sufficient to compensate the defendant for any expenses which he has properly incurred in the proceedings”. This ensures that a defendant’s costs order (DCO), which an acquitted defendant is entitled to, is paid at market rates and reflects the true cost of the litigation.

Any DCO will have to be met out of public funds, so in an era when intense pressure is going to be applied to public funding, the HSE is going to face stern criticism if several of its prosecutions turn out to have little or no merit. Consequently, this could lead to the HSE taking a less aggressive approach and less keen to prosecute in the more risky cases.

However, it is not known at this stage whether the Government will accept the High Court’s decision, and the health and safety arena waits with bated breath to see whether it will appeal.

Source: SHP Plus.
Bob Davies is an associate at law firm Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Case study - "CE Marking" for Global Cutting Technologies machine

As an agent for a company making die cutting machines in Taiwan, Global Cutting Technologies of Wellingborough needed to follow the "CE Marking" requirements of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.
For such equipment, the "CE Marking" process is one of self certification by the supplier (or manufacturer) where the machine is designed and built to comply with Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) specified in the regulations, plus applicable Harmonised Europeans Standards (HESs).
Global Cutting Technologies came to Strategic Safety Systems who provide support for this. An additional requirement that they had was that they wanted to be in a position where they could carry out this process themselves for future machines.
The approach taken by SSS was to provide a list of the standards, listed clause by clause stating whether or not the clause was applicable. Where it was applicable, SSS described how the requirements were met.
As this was at the design stage, SSS were able to offer advice on the features that needed to be incorporated to meet the standards.
The new standard EN 13849 requires calculations to be done to enable the appropriate protection level to be done, and SSS performed this service. We also assessed the risks, working with key Global Cutting Technologies personnel.
Global Cutting Technologies now have:
  • A set of documentation for the machine that was studied. This forms the basis for the technical file, required by the regulations.
  • A list of clauses for each standard, with statements of how the clause is met, if applicable, as an editable MS Word document
  • Risk assessment methodologies and forms
  • A spreadsheet for EN 13849 calculations.
  • A declaration of conformity certificate with the appropriate standards listed, as an MS Word document.
Global Cutting Technologies Managing Director, Bob Cosford said, “ Although we were already fairly up to speed with CE, a particular project called for us to re-assess what we were doing and we saw this as an opportunity rather than an imposition. In engaging SSS to help and guide us, we found a highly proficient partner who evidently knew the requirements inside out. The project was completed on time and on budget and we now feel even more confident with CE going forward to new projects and existing ones. “

Monday, 21 June 2010

PCS gain certification to ISO 9001

Congratulations to Press Computer Systems (PCS) of Wolverhampton, who have just gained certification to ISO 9001:2008 with the help of Strategic Safety Systems Ltd. This is the second company within the Claverley Group we have helped with certification, the other being Precission Colour Printing of Telford who gained certification to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
The external auditor stated that the PCS systems were "one of the smoothest he'd every seen in an IT company."
See more about SSS support for 9001 and other system certification.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Government body found guilty of fire safety breaches.

The London headquarters of Communities and Local Government – the government department that steers fire safety policy in England and Wales – has been served with an enforcement notice under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

An inspector from the enforcing authority, the Crown Premises Inspection Group, stated: “The concepts of ‘responsible’ and ‘competent’ persons, and the duties placed upon those persons under the Order, appear not to be understood within CLG premises”.

The notice, served on 16 February on the then secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, John Denham, details numerous shortcomings in fire safety measures and management at CLG’s Eland House premises in Victoria. It lists alleged breaches of 13 of the 15 Articles of the Fire Safety Order that impose duties on the CLG, as the responsible person, including:
  • Introducing a fire load in the atrium which was not considered in the building’s fire engineered design, by installing a cafeteria which, it is said, may lead to “uncontrolled fire spread throughout the building”
  • An unsuitable and insufficient fire risk assessment
  • Failing to nominate competent persons to help the responsible person discharge his duties
  • Failure to adequately maintain the fire alarm system, interconnections between fire safety systems, and smoke vents throughout the building
  • Lack of evidence of adequate training and provision of essential fire safety information to staff
Other deficiencies found include an “unacceptable” policy that no one should use portable fire extinguishers in the building; the inability of the building to support the phased evacuation strategy; no adequate arrangements to ensure visitors and contractors are accounted for in an evacuation; and shortcomings in the means of escape for the number of people likely to occupy the building.

Although Eland House is categorised as Crown premises, it is still subject to safety legislation including the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, and enforcement procedures are similar to those of other premises. However, Crown Immunity means the responsible person cannot actually be prosecuted for offences.

The enforcement notice also reveals that the contracted facilities company, having some control of the premises, was sent a copy of the notice. However, it makes it clear that although the company is considered a ‘nominated competent person’, they had not been provided with sufficient means to undertake this role.

Responding to the revelation of the enforcment notice, a CLG spokesman said:

"Following the remodelling of parts of the interior of Eland House, the Department requested that the Crown Premises Inspection Group (CPIG) audit the facility to review the impact that the changes had on the fire safety of the building. The CPIG made a number of recommendations in the form of a Crown Enforcement Notice which was issued on 16 February 2010. The Department has accepted these recommendations which are now in the process of being fully implemented."

The enforcement notice is dated 16 February 2010 and relates to a fire safety audit which was carried out on 26 November 2009. Ironically, the Crown Premises Inspection Group comes under the remit of the government’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, whose unit is itself based at Eland House.

In January, it was revealed that the Fire Service College – an executive agency of CLG – had not carried out a valid fire risk assessment at the time of the fire which destroyed an appliance bay at its Moreton in Marsh premises.

Source: Info4Fire

Monday, 31 May 2010

Permtting Regulations and the operation of a waste compactor

There was a strange requirement in the Waste Management Licencing Regulations 1994. Regulation 18 covered registration in connection with exempt activities. 18(1) stated that "it shall be an offence to have an exempt activity involving the recovery or disposal of waste without being registered with the appropriate registation authority." The strange part is the combination of "exempt" and "registration".
I believe that whoever drafted these regulations realised that it was daft to require everybody who had a compactor for their own waste, or even a bin for their own waste which is subsequently compacted, to be registered for exemption; it would be a bureaucratic nightmare for no benefit.
Therefore, in the Permitting Regulations, this has been specifically revoked.
However, I don’t believe that the Environment Agency understand this yet and there are some who still believe it necessary.
If you want to see the whole rationale behind my opinion, go to this link.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

CE Marking explanation updated

SSS have updated the explanation of "CE Marking" and what it is all about.
What we've done is to remove the listing of the Essential Health and Safety Requirements and Harmonised European Standards and to put these in a separate webpage. That makes it all less cluttered but the listings are still accessessible.
See the new CE Marking explanation.

See the Essential Health and Safety Requirements and Harmonised European Standards list.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Graph function added to INTACT

These show the graphical outputs from the customer complaints (CC) and internal problems (IP) function in INTACT.

INTACT has the ability to count not only the CCs and IPs, but to
  • Total their costs and
  • Compare the counts with the total number of jobs processed
  • Compare the costs with the turnover
These graphs show these outputs. There are 3 graphs because of the need to have 3 different Y axis scales.

The graphs were added in response to a customer request. They wanted to make more use of the recorded data.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Tesco fined for fire safety breaches

Supermarket giant Tesco has been fined £95,000 and ordered to pay over £24,000 in costs after pleading guilty to five breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO).

London Fire Brigade, prosecuting, said firefighters were called to a fire at Tesco’s Colney Hatch store in Barnet on 14 October 2007. When they arrived found the premises locked but managed to gain access after attracting the attention of an employee who was restocking shelves. There had been a fire in the staff kitchen but it had been put out by staff using extinguishers and a fire blanket. There was still a significant amount of smoke in the kitchen, the corridor and staff locker rooms and crews had to ask staff several times to evacuate the premises.

This incident made officers concerned about fire safety in the store, so on the following day they inspected the premises. A number of breaches of fire safety legislation were found, including a failure to review the store’s fire risk assessment, a failure to ensure escape routes were kept clear and inadequate fire separation due to doors being wedged open. An enforcement notice was subsequently served on 2 November 2007.

Tesco pleaded guilty to failing to keep emergency exits clear (£20,000 fine); failing to keep an emergency route clear (£20,000); two counts of fire doors being wedged open (£20,000 each) and storing flammable materials under an emergency stairwell (£15,000). Sentencing took place at Wood Green Crown Court on 20 April 2010.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “Fire safety is a key part of good business management and the general public should feel safe from fire when they are out shopping. London Fire Brigade will continue to take action when businesses, large or small, do not take their fire safety responsibilities seriously. Failure to comply with the law can, as this case has shown, result in a prosecution.”

A Tesco spokesperson told "We take safety matters in all of our stores extremely seriously. We would like to reassure customers that this was an isolated incident and all issues at this store have been resolved."

Source: Info4Fire

Timber yard owner fined over fire safety breaches

The owner of a timber yard has been ordered to pay a total of £130,300 after pleading guilty to several breaches of fire safety legislation.

P and S Ashley Timberworks, 'in breach of fire safety'
Paul Ashley, of P and S Ashley Timberworks, in Cheshire, was found guilty of eight offences against the Fire Safety Order at the Cheshire Crown Court on 11 May.

He was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay Cheshire Fire and Rescue service £50,300 in costs after repeatedly refusing to carry out fire safety measures.

Despite being visited on several occasions by fire safety officers, the first time in February 2008, Mr Ashley failed to provide a suitable fire alarm or proper means of escape. He also failed to implement a ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk assessment.

Mark Cashin, deputy chief fire officer, said: "This is an excellent result. Fire safety is a key part of good business management and Mr Ashley showed little or no regard for the safety of his employees or the people living and working around his premises."
Origin: Info4Fire
Find out more about Fire Safety Support from SSS

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations- when they apply

There is some confusion over when the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 apply. We've had one instance where the HSE have said that it applies when you are selling old machinery.
This isn't true.

Reg. 3 states:

(a) references to placing machinery or partly completed machinery on the market are references to making it available in an EEA state—

(i) for the first time;

(ii) with a view to distribution or use, whether by the person making it available or another; and

(iii) whether for reward or free of charge;

Note that it only applies if it is for the first time. But beware; first time means first time use within the EU, and if you buy even a second-hand piece of machinery, say from the USA, then the regulations apply.

Note also that (ii) states distribution or use. So, even if it is for use within your own organisation, the regulations apply.

See more about CE marking support from Strategic Safety Systems.
See more about CE marking.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Graphical output added to INTACT

In reponse to customer inputs, we'ev started putting graphical analysis outputs to INTACT.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

LegalCheck.mdb version 2.0 available

For those of our clients who are using INTACT to manage health, safety and enviornmental issues, there's an updated version of LegalCheck.mdb.
This is available from the information page on our website and may be downloaded as a zipped file. Simply unzip it and replace the existing copy of LegalCheck.mdb. There are instructions when you open it.

Open the information page
. is under Files.

Fire Safety (Employees' Capabilities) (England) Regulations 2010 come into force

From 6 April 2010, new regulations will clarify your responsibilities to consider the capabilities of your workers to carry out any fire safety-related tasks or assignments.

These regulations (which comprise just a single sentence) mean that you will have to think about:

1. What a worker is able and unable to do when giving them tasks
2. How these capabilities may affect their ability to deal with fire-related risks

For example, you will have to consider a worker's capabilities as regards fire safety if you ask them to work with petrol.

These regulations should not impose any extra burden on your business. They simply re-impose a duty that:

* You had before the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force in October 2006
* Is implicit in your wider health and safety duties

You are reminded that you continue to have a general duty to:

1. Carry out a fire safety risk assessment to identify the general fire precautions you need to put in place
2. Regularly review the assessment and make any necessary changes
3. Pay particular attention to young people when carrying out or reviewing a risk assessment

See more about health and safety services

FSC-STD-50-001, Requirements for Use of the FSC Trademarks by Certificate Holders come into effect.

The new Forest Stewardship Council trademark standard, FSC-STD-50-001, Requirements for Use of the FSC Trademarks by Certificate Holders came into effect on 1st March 2010, it will become mandatory as of 1st January 2011.

On-product and off-product requirements as well as graphic rules are now in a single standard, replacing the 3 documents previously used.

The most significant change is the introduction of new trademark protection symbols and new label and logo designs, which include trademark license codes instead of certificate registration numbers.

More details are available from the link below which also provides an update of 5.1 cbpA FSC Rules for companies for whom SSS have developed FSC systems.

See more information

Thursday, 18 March 2010

New FSC Standard

Sorry chaps,
The Forest Stewardship Council have introduced a new standard covering the use of trademarks. ie their logo.
This is FSC-STD-50-001.
I'll be doing an explanation of this on the SSS website so watch it for updates. It will be in the Useful Information section.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Hunts get ISO 9001 certification

Congratulations to Hunts, People in Print, who we have helped gain certification to ISO 9001:2008. This is in addition to the FSC, PEFC and ISO 14001 certification we helped them with ealier.
See ISO Without the Agony

Friday, 5 March 2010

EN 60204-1 not harmonised to Machinery Directive

At the time of writing EN 60204-1 Safety of machinery. Electrical equipment of machines. General requirements, which is generally considered to be one of the key machinery safety standards, is not harmonised to the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.
See article.

Pleural plaques not a casue for compensation.

People with pleural plaques – small, symptomless areas of fibrosis
found in the lung, caused by exposure to asbestos – will not be able
to claim compensation, according to the Government recently.
A Law Lords’ ruling in October 2007, which upheld a Court of Appeal judgement that the existence of pleural plaques does not constitute actionable damage, caused huge controversy, leading the Government to publish a consultation paper to assess whether it should overturn the judgement, or pursue other options to support people diagnosed with the condition.
See full article.

Friday, 26 February 2010

INTACT extended following Trinity Mirror user group meeting

INTACT, SSS's integrated action management system is being updated to meet additional requirements identified during a user group meeting at Trinity Mirror, Birmingham.
See more about INTACT.

Monday, 22 February 2010

A Local Printer gain ISO 14001

Congratulations to A Local Printer gaining transfer certification to ISO 14001. There weren't even any observations, showing how well SSS and ALP had 14001 covered.
See more about ISO 14001 support from Strategic Safety Systems.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Latimer Trend FSC systems incorporated

SSS developed an integrated ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 management system for Latimer Trend, the leading technical journal printer in Plymouth. Latimer Trend already had certification to FSC and PEFC using their own system, but recently required this to be part of the integrated system. Most of the FSC/PEFC system was already in the 9001 system, so it was a simple matter to add the few extra bits. See more about FSC and PEFC

Saturday, 6 February 2010

A Local Printer switch to an SSS EMS

A Local Printer, the Sussex-based environmental printer have switched to the environmental system developed by Strategic Safety Systems. They already have certification to ISO 14001 using systems they developed themselves, but following the introduction of the SSS-developed ISO 9001 system, they decided to change over to have a simple, integrated system. The change-over took one day.

Trinity Mirror Birmingam start ISO 9001

Trinity Mirror at their Birmingham site have started work towards gaining ISO 9001 certification. The driver for this is internal, rather than the desire to gain a "badge" to help marketing. They see great benefits in having a more structured quality management system than at present. SSS continie to work with them on this.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Trinity Mirror Oldham attain OHSAS 18001

Following the third day of the Stage 2 audit on 28th January, Trinity Mirror Oldham have been recommended by the auditor for certification to OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management. This is the 5th Trinity Mirror site that SSS have helped gain certification and we offer them our congratulations.
Trinity Mirror Oldham prints, amongst other titles, the Daily Mirror and the Independant.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

OHSAS 18001 audit

I'm at Oldham for an OHSAS 18001 stage 2 audit being carried out at Trinity Mirror by Certification International. This is the 5th Trinity Mirror site SSS have helped gain certification to 18001; we also helped with ISO 14001 at Birmingham and Cardiff.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

New features added to INTACT

Following a request from PCP, I have been modifying INTACT, the INtegrated ACTion management system so that it automatically e-mails a designated person when a customer complaint or an inernal problem is raised. This is similar to the version produced for Pindar, Tewkesbury, where the reponsible manager was automatically e-mailed.

This applies to both INTACT and the cut-down front end, EVENTS.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Furfural and LEV testing at Heraeus Electro-Nite. Then down to Harwich to carry out the remaining 2 days of the Managing Safely in the Printing Industry course which I'm running at Sato UK.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Just off to Chesterfield tonight so that I can be bright and early at Heraeus Electro-Nite to start furfural sampling at 06:00.