National Hard Hat Awareness Week Promotes Recognition of Concussion

DURING HARD HAT AWARENESS WEEK, 14-20th June, Headway – the brain injury association, and leading safety manufacturer Centurion are working together to promote the importance of recognising and reporting signs of concussion to hard hat wearers.

On today’s construction sites, there is widespread awareness of the need to wear a hard hat, but in a survey carried out by Headway last year, 52% of workers surveyed said they had experienced a head injury which they did not report to their manager. Of those workers who’d sustained a head injury, only 6% sought medical attention.

There is growing evidence of the short and long-term damage that can be inflicted by even a single knock to the head.

Hard hat awareness weekPeter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, said: “Concussion is often referred to as mild head injury and while most mild head injuries result in no long-term damage to the brain, it can cause temporary disruption to brain function that can last for a matter of hours to days, weeks or even months.

“People may experience dizziness, nausea or even distorted vision so for those working on a building site, potentially operating heavy machinery or working at height, this could lead to some very dangerous situations for themselves or colleagues.

“We want to remind people about the importance of wearing hard hats and taking any impact to the head seriously. Even a minor brain injury can have a major impact so take time to stop work, report the incident and recover fully before returning to work.”

Chris Tidy, technical and training specialist at Centurion Safety Products said: “We’re very proud to be working alongside Headway for the second year to promote national Hard Hat Awareness Week.

“The impact of a brain injury can be life-changing for both the injured person but also their wider family and friends. Wearing a hard hat, maintaining, and storing it appropriately, and being more concussion aware, are all very vital to keep hard hat wearers safe.”

Centurion have worked together with their partners Arco, experts in safety, and Mips to raise awareness of concussion in the workplace. To support this, Centurion has produced ‘Stop, Report and Recover’ concussion-aware information posters and booklets for distribution to construction sites nationwide alongside updating their ‘Wear and Care Guide’, emphasising the need to regularly check the condition of, and maintain, hard hats.

Hard Hat Awareness Week was introduced to drive awareness of brain injury through activities designed to encourage best practice around safety equipment.

Source: Roofing Today

Further information can be found on the Headway website.

HSE Blitz Alert: Health and safety spot checks and inspections during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Please be aware that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is carrying out spot checks and inspections on all types of businesses in all areas to ensure they are COVID-secure.

Inspectors will make COVID-secure checks as part of their normal role in visiting workplaces during the pandemic. The HSE will also be working with approved partners who will carry out spot check calls as well as visits. Failure to participate in a spot check could lead to enforcement action, according to the HSE.

As well as participating in the phone calls and visits, the HSE is advising that business take the following steps to help keep workplaces COVID-secure, which include:

  • Carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment
  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Keeping your workplace clean, with handwashing and hygiene procedures

In particular they are checking ventilation in premises and work areas. Guidance to help companies address this issue is available on the HSE website: Ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

BSG has also published its own guidance documents which can be downloaded from the hub in the Health & Safety Documentation / Coronavirus COVID 19 section. They include:

  • 713 Corona Virus Hard Copy Risk Assessment REVIEWED 26.5.21.doc
  • BSG Covid-19 Office Risk Assessment REVIEWED 26.5.21.docx
  • Ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus.docx

To access the BSG Hub, click this link https://hub.bsgonlineservices.co.uk/login.phtml and log in with your username (email address) and password. If you tick the ‘Remember Username’ box you won’t have to log in again.

Please register here if you have not previously registered for access to the BSG Hub. https://bsgltd.co.uk/bsg-hub-registration-page/

Should you have any questions about how to prepare for an HSE inspection related to COVID 19 or any other health and safety issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Working at Height breaches increase by 84% on construction sites

The Building Safety Group (BSG) has reported an 84% increase in the number of ‘Working at Height’ breaches occurring on construction sites during the first quarter of 2021. BSG’s latest figures were obtained following 4300 independent site inspections that took place between 1st January and 31st March this year.

BGS’s report is a cause for concern as ‘Working at Height’ remains the biggest danger for construction workers. Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2020 show that almost half of all construction accidents (47%) were from falls from height. There were 40 fatal injuries in 2019/20, slightly up on the 5-year average of 37 per year. 29 of these fatalities were due to falls from height. Over 60% of deaths during working at height involve falls from ladders, scaffolds, working platforms, roof edges and through fragile roofs.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 require employers and those in control of any work at height activity to ensure that the work is properly planned, well supervised and carried out by competent people. In general terms, being competent to work at height means having the right skills, knowledge, training and experience. The precise definition of competence for a specific job depends on the nature of the work and the equipment being used.

“Working at Height is clearly the most dangerous activity carried out in the construction sector” commented Andy Harper, Technical Support Manager at BSG. “We can all do more to ensure that work is properly planned, supervised and conducted by qualified workers who have the required skills for the job in hand. Having the correct control measures in place and assessing the risk is also essential for avoiding accidents. In addition, companies should try to complete as much work as possible from the ground, ensure safe access and egress and importantly, make certain that any equipment used is suitable and designed for that purpose, installed and used by a competent person and inspected as required by the Working at Height Regulations 2005 and relevant guidance”.

For further information about the risks of working at height and how to limit risk exposure, please visit the BSG website www.bsgltd.co.uk.

Note to Editors:

Information Sources:
BSG’s Non-Compliance Reporting Index (NCRI)
HSE Report: Construction statistics in Great Britain, 2020
PBC Today: Health & Safety News

About BSG
The Building Safety Group (BSG) is the UK’s largest construction safety group offering consultancy, training and non-compliance reporting services. We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation which has been in business for over 50 years. For more information please visit www.bsgltd.co.uk

About BSG’s Non-Compliance Reporting Index (NCRI)
BSG’s ‘Non-compliance Reporting Index’ (NCRI) is the only known real-time, reporting service which compiles high volume health & safety non-compliance data, collected for and on behalf of the construction industry through site inspections.

BSG Membership subscriptions

Following ongoing investment into BSG’s service provision, the Board of Directors (who are all BSG members) have decided to increase annual subscriptions to £102 per person. The increase, effective from 1st June 2021, follows expenditure on new functionality for the BSG Hub which is now used by over 2200 users UK wide. We have also invested in developing a new online Training management system which will allow BSG to manage all of our members’ CITB training course renewals, relieving them of the administrative burden. This facility will become available for members later this year.

SMSTS & SSSTS Certificate Renewal

Companies must renew their SMSTS & SSSTS certificates by 30th April 2021 at the very latest if their existing certificates expired after 1st October last year. Operatives whose certificates expired before the 1st October 2020 will be required to join a full SSSTS/SMSTS course, rather than the refresher equivalent.

If this applies to your business, we would encourage you to book staff affected on to a course as soon as possible to ‘beat the rush’.

Please find below a list of SMSTS & SSSTS courses at BSG that are not yet fully booked:

SITE SUPERVISORS SAFETY TRAINING SCHEME REFRESHER (SSSTS 1 DAY)

SITE MANAGEMENT SAFETY TRAINING SCHEME REFRESHER (SMSTS 2 DAYS)

SITE SUPERVISORS SAFETY TRAINING SCHEME (SSSTS) 2 DAYS

SITE MANAGEMENT SAFETY TRAINING SCHEME (SMSTS)

First Aid Certificate Renewal Deadline: 31st March 2021

Companies must renew their First Aid certificates by 31st March 2021 at the very latest if their existing certificates expired after 1st October last year.
If this applies to  your business, we would encourage you to book staff affected on to a course as soon as possible to ‘beat the rush’.

Please find below a list of the First Aid courses at BSG that are not yet fully booked:

First Aid at Work

First Aid at Work Requalification

Emergency First Aid at Work

BSG Classroom Training to continue during lockdown

We are pleased to confirm that all BSG Classroom based training will continue to run during the current lockdown period alongside our online remote training courses. Please remain assured that all BSG classroom training is provided within a COVID secure environment in accordance with UK Government guidelines.

The following courses are available to book at BSG:

CITB TEMPORARY WORKS SUPERVISOR (1 DAY)

CITB TEMPORARY WORKS CO-ORDINATOR (2 DAYS)

CITB SITE SUPERVISORS SAFETY TRAINING SCHEME (SSSTS) 2 DAYS

CITB SITE SUPERVISORS SAFETY TRAINING SCHEME REFRESHER (SSSTS 1 DAY)

CITB SITE MANAGEMENT SAFETY TRAINING SCHEME (SMSTS 5 DAY) 

CITB SITE MANAGEMENT SAFETY TRAINING SCHEME REFRESHER (SMSTS 2 DAYS)

CITB HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARENESS (1 DAY)


COVID-19

Operating a safe site during COVID-19

PLANT TRAINING 

Plant & Machinery Courses

WORKING AT HEIGHT

Basic Scaffold Inspection (2 DAYS)
Working at Height
Mobile Scaffold Tower (AGR & 3T)

FIRST AID COURSES

Emergency First Aid at Work
First Aid Requalification
First Aid at Work

ASBESTOS

IATP Asbestos Awareness
IATP Non-Licensed Asbestos Work

Dust breaches up 23% on construction sites

The Building Safety Group (BSG) has reported a 23% rise in the number of dust breaches occurring on construction sites. BSG’s report was based on 9000 independent site inspections conducted over a 6 month period from June to November 2020. Two periods were compared which revealed the increase. Between June and August there were 209 infringements recorded. This was set against 258 non-compliances that were catalogued between September and November 2020.

Dust breaches on construction sites: 1st Jun – 30th Nov 2020

The most common types of breach found included ‘failure to set up effective dust suppression and extraction procedures on site’. ‘Not having dust masks face fit tested’ was also a common violation recorded by BSG advisers. Each year 1,000s of construction workers contract or die from respiratory diseases due to breathing in dust and fumes. Managing and controlling exposure to dust has become a major challenge for the industry.

BSG’s report coincides with the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) recent month-long initiative inspecting respiratory risks and occupational lung disease in the construction sector. The primary focus was to identify what measures had been put in place to protect workers’ lungs from asbestos, silica and wood dust. HSE inspectors also looked for evidence of employers and workers knowing the risks, planning their work and using appropriate controls. Enforcement was required where it was found that people were not being adequately protected.

BSG’s Managing Director, Stephen Bell commented: “Construction workers have a high risk of developing these diseases because many common construction tasks can create high dust levels. Work-related cancers, mainly linked to asbestos and silica, are estimated to kill 3,500 people from the industry every year. Thousands of others suffer life-changing illnesses from their work.”

Stephen added: “Our advice is to always look at ways of stopping or reducing the amount of dust before the job is started. For example, different materials could be used, less powerful tools or other work methods. Once these controls have been put in place, it is of course vital to check that they are working properly and effectively.”

Note to Editors:

Advice

If you would like practical advice on how to reduce dust levels in your business please contact Andy Harper: 0300 304 9070, email: buildingsafetygroup@bsgltd.com

About BSG

The Building Safety Group (BSG) is a not for profit organisation set up by construction companies to provide Health & Safety training and consultancy services for the building industry. We have over 800 members throughout the UK operating across 3500 workplaces. BSG conducts over 21,000 site inspections every year and trains more than 10,000 people.

About BSG’s Non-Compliance Reporting Index (NCRI)

Non-compliance data is extracted from BSG’s ‘Non-compliance Reporting Index’ (NCRI). The index is used to support the only known real-time, reporting service which compiles high volume health & safety non-compliance data, collected for and on behalf of the construction industry through site inspections. Data for BSG’s report on dust compared data from June to August with the period September to November 2020.

BSG Training courses to continue during lockdown

Following notifications from the relevant industry bodies, BSG can confirm that it will continue to run all classroom and remote training courses throughout the lockdown period and thereafter, including;

To view all of the latest BSG courses available, please download the enclosed BSG Training schedule. BSG Training Schedule 2020

All BSG services to continue during lockdown

Message to BSG members: Following the Government’s announcement on Saturday 31st October, please be advised that the Building Safety Group will continue to provide site inspections for our members during the lockdown period along with all other BSG services. If your company does not require site inspections during this time however, please can you let us know at your earliest convenience. In the meantime, should you need any advice or have any queries during these challenging times, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Membership Subscriptions

Following various investments to improve member services, which included launching the BSG Hub, subscriptions have been increased to £98 per person. The decision was made by the Board of Directors who are all members of the Building Safety Group. The increase, which is the first since October 2019 despite rising costs across the business, has been made with immediate effect.

COVID-19: New documentation

Following Wednesday’s announcement by the government, the following documents have been updated on the BSG Hub;

  • BSG Covid 19 Test and Trace Guidance for operations in England
  • Working-safely-during-covid-19-construction-outdoors-100920
  • Working-safely-during-covid-19-other-peoples-homes-100920
  • Working-safely-during-covid-19-offices-contact-centres-100920

These documents are also available on the government’s website: Source: ow.ly/S8CF50BmQrv

BSG COVID-19 Update: Government Briefing 9th September 2020

Following yesterday’s announcement by the government, BSG would like to draw attention to one of the points made which could have a direct impact on construction operations in England:

We expect guidance relating to this issue and other matters to be published in new government documentation shortly, at which point we will post further notifications.

COVID 19 breaches on construction sites down by 41%

The Building Safety Group (BSG) has reported a 41% decrease in the number of COVID 19 breaches occurring on construction sites over a three month period. BSG’s report is based on 4400 independent site inspections carried out between 1st June and 31st August 2020.

The drop in breaches has been attributed to more companies successfully adapting to new working practices on construction sites, in light of the pandemic. Over time it is expected that this trend will continue as the industry becomes more accustomed to operating under the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus.

The most common types of COVID 19 ‘non-compliances’ reported by BSG Safety Advisers over the last three months have included;

  • Management and operatives not following social distancing guidelines
  • Inadequate welfare facilities on site with insufficient cleaning regimes
  • Too many people in the canteen area with insufficient segregation
  • Not enough hand sanitizing stations on site
  • PPE not available when required
  • Outdated Site Operating Procedures found on site

 

 

 

 

 

BSG’s Managing Director, Stephen Bell commented: “We are pleased to see that COVID 19 breaches have fallen since we began risk assessing companies’ prevention measures to counter the coronavirus. Although we expect this downward shift to continue, now is not the time to become complacent so it is vital that our industry remains vigilant and continues to follow government Site Operating Procedure (SOP) guidelines.” Stephen added: “BSG’s position will be to continue to advise construction companies on how best to avoid COVID 19 transmission as well as mitigate against all other hazards which can occur on site.”

For advice on how to safeguard against COVID 19 please contact BSG’s Technical Support Manager, Andy Harper 0300 304 9070.

Notes to editors

The Building Safety Group (BSG) is a not for profit organisation set up by construction companies to provide Health & Safety training and consultancy services for the building industry. We have over 800 members throughout the UK operating across 3500 workplaces. BSG conducts over 21,000 site inspections every year and trains more than 10,000 people. BSG’s reporting data is extracted from its ‘Non-compliance Reporting Index’ (NCRI). The index is used to support the only known real-time, reporting service which compiles high volume health & safety non-compliance data, collected for and on behalf of the construction industry through site inspections.