BSG Awards 2019 Special Edition Newsletter

The BSG Awards 2019 Special Edition Newsletter is now available for members to download from the Secure Area.

This month’s issue includes:

  • BSG Annual Awards
  • Winners and Judges’ Comments
  • Summary of Award Winners and Highly Commended Members
  • BSG Awards 2019 highlights video
  • BSG Awards 2019 photos
  • New BSG Byte – Fire on Construction Sites
  • 2020 course schedule

For more information about the BSG Awards Ceremony, please visit our BSG Awards 2019 page on our website:

Exposure to welding fume – Revised guidance

HSE has now revised its guidance on exposure to welding fume.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health direct advice for welding to help make sure exposure to any welding fume released is adequately controlled has been published, along with HSE’s web pages on how to manage exposure to welding fume.

In the new year, HSE inspectors will be visiting businesses across the country to check compliance with the law. As an employer, by law, you should protect your workers’ health by controlling the risks from welding fume. This includes specialist welders and workers who do some welding, no matter how small the amount.

In February, the HSE released a safety alert about the change in enforcement expectations for mild steel welding fume.

There is new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer that exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans. The Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen.


With immediate effect, there is a strengthening of HSE’s enforcement expectation for all welding fume, including mild steel welding; because general ventilation does not achieve the necessary control.


  • Control of the cancer risk will require suitable engineering controls for all welding activities indoors e.g. Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV). Extraction will also control exposure to manganese, which is present in mild steel welding fume, which can cause neurological effects similar to Parkinson’s disease.
  • Where LEV alone does not adequately control exposure, it should be supplemented by adequate and suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to protect against the residual fume.
  • Appropriate RPE should be provided for welding outdoors. You should ensure welders are suitably instructed and trained in the use of these controls.
  • Regardless of duration, HSE will no longer accept any welding undertaken without any suitable exposure control measures in place, as there is no known level of safe exposure.

Risk assessments should reflect the change in the expected control measures.

Action required:

  • Make sure suitable controls are provided for all welding activities, irrelevant of duration. This includes welding outdoors.
  • Where engineering controls alone cannot control exposure, then adequate and suitable RPE should be provided to control risk from any residual fume.
  • Make sure all engineering controls are correctly used, suitably maintained and are subject to thorough examination and test where required.
  • Make sure any RPE is subject to an RPE programme. An RPE programme encapsulates all the elements of RPE use you need to ensure that your RPE is effective in protecting the wearer.

BSG Safety Alert: Mild Steel Welding Cancer Risk

WWT Construction Occupational Health and Fire Safety

WWT Construction Occupational Health and Fire Safety – 14th Nov 2019 Gloucestershire College

Join us this Thursday at the WWT Construction Occupational Health and Fire Safety event at Gloucestershire College, Cinderford Campus, Gloucester College, Northern United Way, Cinderford, GL14 3FF.

The free event will run from 08:30 to 13:00 on Thursday 14th November 2019

08:00 – 08:30 Registration Tea, coffee and breakfast rolls

08:30 Welcome and introduction

The program will then consist of talks on:

  • Asbestos
  • Protecting the public
  • Fire Safety for smaller builders (presented by BSG – Nick Blignaut)
  • Construction Dust
  • Basic COSHH
  • Mental Health

To book your FREE place, please click on the following link:

BSG Byte – Fire on a Construction Site

What are ‘BSG Bytes’?

BSG Bytes are a series of short videos discussing topical industry health and safety matters.

BSG Byte – Sherri masson

Our new BSG Byte is with Sherri Masson, Safety Adviser for the South region at BSG. During the video, Sherri will be discussing:

  • Why are construction sites high risk areas for a fire?
  • What are the common risks of fire in construction?
  • How do we prevent risks from fire in construction?

Members can view the BSG Byte by logging into the ‘BSG Secure Area’. Please visit our website to login:

Not yet registered for BSG’s Secure Area?

Click here to sign up:

Digger death leads to builder being jailed

The director of a building firm has been sentenced to ten months’ imprisonment after he fatally crushed an employee with a digger.

digger death

Image credit: HSE

Robert Harvey was operating the machine when Nicholas Hall was pinned against a wall by the excavator bucket, causing fatal injuries.

The court heard Harvey’s company, Front Row Builders, was building a vehicle wash bay for Peter Lawless Road Planing at an industrial estate in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, on 7 May 2016.

Harvey was using the digger to lower cement and blocks into the excavation pit for the three men working there, including Hall, to use in building a wall. He tipped the bucket to empty the mortar contents and shouted to Hall to “scrape the rest out with a shovel”.

Hall was pinned against the wall by the excavator bucket and died of blunt force injuries to his chest and abdomen.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Harvey failed to undertake a sufficient assessment of the risks to those who had been instructed to work with him and was not appropriately trained to use the excavator.

Robert Harvey of Reston Drive, Glasgow pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 (a) and Section 33 (1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974, and was given a 10 month custodial sentence.

Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working,” warned HSE inspector Helen Diamond after the sentencing.

If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the death of this worker could have been prevented.”

More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:

Source: Iosh Magazine

BSG October 2019 Newsletter

BSG’s October 2019 Newsletter is now available for members to download from the Secure Area.

This month’s issue includes:

  • BSG Awards 2019
  • HSE conducts construction site health blitzes
  • Construction and mental health: CN’s Mind Matters 2019 Survey
  • Lorry drivers told to ‘Look out look up’ as knowledge gap leads to electrocution fatalities
  • Fire-risk warning issued for HPL cladding
  • Women in construction: ‘Men aren’t that scary’
  • Mesothelioma patients call for action on asbestos so “no one suffers like they do”
  • Hand-arm vibration exposure calculator and publication updated

Safe Excavation – BSG Attends Working Well Together Event

In September, BSG attended a Working Well Together event on Safe Excavation at the Construction, Skills & Innovation Centre (CSIC) in Taunton.

The free half-day event provided self-employed builders and smaller construction companies with practical up-to-date information, help and advice in regards to Health Issues. The information given on the day helped companies to take action to protect their employees’ safety, future health, and wellbeing.

Topics covered included:

  • Trench support / shoring
  • Utility Searches
  • CAT & Genny
  • Keyhole Technology – Vac-Ex
  • Occupational health – Dust, Noise, HAVS
  • Asbestos and contaminated land

BSG Safety Advisers Keith Gass, Chris Bennett and Tim Payne at the WWT Safe Excavation event.

For more information about upcoming events, please visit WWT’s website:

Increase in Subscription Fees

Following ongoing investment into BSG’s service provision, the Board of Directors (who are all BSG members) have decided to increase annual subscriptions to £96 per person. The increase, effective from 1st October 2019, follows expenditure on the recruitment of additional Safety Advisers to support regional demand as well as investment in our new Training facilities and technology software suite.

HSE Conducts Construction Site Health Inspections Starting in October

BSG understands that a new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspections initiative has been scheduled to start on the 7th of October.

HSE inspectors will be conducting site visits on construction sites to ensure workers are being adequately protected from occupational lung disease. The inspections will run until early November.

For information about the key areas which the HSE are likely to target and how BSG members can ensure that they are compliant with all health and safety regulations, please visit the HSE Blitz Notice page on BSG’s secure area.

HSE Blitz Notices

Hand-arm vibration exposure calculator and publication updated

Hand-arm vibration exposure calculator

HSE has made updates to their hand-arm vibration (HAV) exposure calculator.

HSE’s HAV exposure calculator helps estimate and record workers’ exposures to HAV and compare them with the actions values in the regulations as part of a HAV risk assessment.

It includes drop down vibration magnitudes for common tools from HSE’s HAV database that can be used to make cautious estimates of exposure before representative in-use data for specific tools is available.

The revised calculator can be accessed on the HSE’s website.

Hand-arm vibration (L140)

The HSE guidance book L140, Hand-arm vibration, has been revised.

The new edition has been updated in keeping with changes to related legislation, technical advances and experience. The emphasis is on the control and management of risks from exposure to hand-arm vibration (HAV).

HSE’s policy on the control of HAV has not changed.

HAV is a hazard for employees in many industries and occupations. Regular and frequent exposure to HAV can lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

HAVS is a permanent disease, causing disability which can progress with continued exposure to HAV. HAVS and vibration-induced CTS together account for two thirds of the ill-health cases reported through RIDDOR.

Following HSE guidance will reduce incidence and prevent progression of disease.

The book can be purchased through HSE Books or it is available on the HSE’s website to be downloaded for free.

Electricity breaches up 31% on construction sites

The Building Safety Group (BSG) has reported a 31% increase in the number of electricity breaches occurring on construction sites. BSG’s report was based on 20,000 independent site inspections which compared the first six months of 2018 with the same period during 2019.

The most common types of infringement included damaged and trailing cables as well as the temporary position of impermanent supplies around the site. Damaged wire sheathing or exposed conductors were also common violations recorded by BSG advisers.

BSG’s report follows new IET* wiring regulations introduced at the beginning of the year which mean construction sites must be fully compliant and up-to-date with the latest BS7671 wiring laws, especially in relation to how cables are supported in the event of a fire whether using cable hooks, ties or hangers. The change of wiring regs follows the tragic death of two firefighters at Shirley Towers in 2010 who became entangled in fallen cables.

BSG Safety Adviser, Craig McCarter commented: “Construction fires can spread rapidly because of the flammable materials exposed and contained within a site. Knowing how cables can be better managed will significantly reduce the risk to workers, as well as emergency service crews.” Craig added: “The new IET regulations mean that cables must be adequately supported against their premature collapse in the event of a fire, so that they fall to the corridor and do not trap people.”

For more advice on how to implement and manage safe cabling on site please contact BSG Safety Adviser Craig McCarter 07779 433 912 or call BSG’s Technical Support Manager, Chris Chapman, 0300 304 9070.

Note to Editors:

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.

*IET: Institution of Engineering and Technology

BSG Autumn 2019 Training Newsletter

BSG’s Autumn 2019 Training Newsletter is now available to download below.

BSG Autumn 2019 Training Newsletter

This month’s issue includes:

    • CITB skills and training fund for micro and small companies
    • SMSTS refresher course, time to renew your qualification?
    • CSCS to end exemption to the CITB health, safety and environment test
    • Recent changes to CITB’s HS&E test
    • Poor mental health: Long working hours is the biggest negative contributor
    • Change afoot for work at height?

BSG September 2019 Newsletter

BSG’s September 2019 Newsletter is now available for members to download from the Secure Area.

This month’s issue includes:

  • BSG’s top 12 rules to reduce workers’ exposure to dust
  • Is society’s ‘man up’ message fuelling a suicide crisis among men
  • ‘Stop. Make a Change’ campaign returns in September
  • Crane accident victim secures ‘substantial’ damages
  • New second edition hand-arm vibration (L140) guidance
  • HSE stats show ageing workforce continues to be an at-risk group
  • Spontaneous combustion of linseed oil
  • MPs launch inquiry to gather evidence on construction sector’s silicosis burden

Free Working Well Together Event – Safe Excavation

Working Well Together are holding a free Safe Excavation event on Thursday the 19th of September 2019, 08:30 to 13:00, at the Construction, Skills & Innovation Centre (CSIC), Bridgwater and Taunton College in Bridgwater TA5 2LS.

The construction industry has taken huge strides forward with regards to Safety and Health within the construction industry. There is still significant opportunity to make our high-hazard industry safer and to continue to drive down the rates of accidents and ill health linked to construction work.

This free half day event will provide self-employed builders and smaller construction companies with practical up-to-date information, help and advice in regards to Health Issues. The information given on the day will help you take action to protect you and your employees’ safety, future health, and wellbeing.

Topics covered will include:

  •  Trench support / shoring
  •  Utility Searches
  •  CAT & Genny
  •  Keyhole Technology – Vac-Ex
  •  Occupational health – Dust, Noise, HAVS
  •  Asbestos and contaminated land

For more details and how to register, please click here:

Look Out Look Up! to reduce overhead power line incidents

On average, one person dies or is seriously injured each month as a result of contact with overhead power lines. Data from the Health & Safety Executive shows that one in four of these cases (26%) will involve a lorry driver, making construction and road haulage workers at extreme risk of fatal injury in the workplace.

To help reduce the number of fatalities amongst lorry drivers, the UK’s energy network operators have joined forces to launch Look Out Look Up!.

As part of the campaign, the ENA has released a new, thought-provoking film targeting those working in construction and road haulage. The film explores the journey of two road haulage workers carrying out a job near overhead power lines resulting in a fatal accident. As well as showcasing the dangers of working near overhead power lines, the film also reveals the devastating affects these accidents can have on friends and family.

The film is available on YouTube at and can also be found at the ENA website:

Advice for those working in construction, or whose work involves lorries and other such HGVs and may take place near overhead power lines:

  • Risk assess – know where overhead power lines are and mark them on a map. Find out the height and reach of your equipment and how this compares to the maximum working height under overhead power lines. Share this information with workers and contractors.
  • Control measures – don’t work near an overhead power line if you don’t have to. Speak to your electricity network operator for advice. Select suitable machinery and equipment and use it safely.
  • Know what’s safe, and what isn’t – certain work should be avoided within 10 metres of overhead power lines, such as for example operating Lorry mounted cranes (such as hiabs or palingers), Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP’s), tipper vehicles and cranes.
  • Keep your distance – when overhead power lines are damaged or fall to the ground, individuals should stay well away and contact their local network operator by telephoning 105.
  • Know what to do if you make contact – if your vehicle has come into contact with an overhead power line, stay in the cab and try to drive clear. If that is not possible, jump clear of the machine, move away and don’t touch it once on the ground.
  • Call 105 – if an incident occurs, contact your network operator by calling the national 24-hour emergency number 105.

New second edition Hand-Arm Vibration: The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 (L140) guidance available

The highly anticipated second edition of L140 is now available. The new guidance has been updated in keeping with changes to related legislation, technical advances and experience. It is aimed at employers as well as those who advise employers, such as health and safety professionals, vibration specialists and occupational health professionals.

Hand-arm vibration or HAV is a widespread hazard for employees in many industries and occupations. This second edition of L140 outlines what an employer’s duties are under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 as they relate specifically to HAV. The layout of the revision has been modified to emphasise control of exposure. There are minor changes to the legislation, but no changes to HSE’s policy on the control of hand-arm vibration.

The guidance analyses the employer’s legal obligations to control risks to employees’ health and safety from exposure to HAV and to prevent HAV-related diseases, such as hand-arm vibration syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. Furthermore, it covers the management and control of the risks from HAV and how to protect employees, with practical guidance on risk assessments, estimating vibration exposure and arranging health surveillance.

The new guidance can be found here:

The guidance in this book will continue to help dutyholders to reduce risks from vibration to the lowest level reasonably practicable. Further information is available on the vibration pages of HSE’s website:

BSG Byte – Timber Frame on a Construction Site

What are ‘BSG Bytes’?

BSG Bytes are a series of short videos discussing topical industry health and safety matters.

BSG Byte – Shane Ponting

Our new BSG Byte is with Shane Ponting, Safety Adviser for the central region at BSG. During the video, Shane will be discussing:

  • Why is timber frame construction a higher risk?
  • How do I manage these risks?
  • What information is available?

Members can view the BSG Byte by logging into the ‘BSG Secure Area’. Please visit our website to login:

Not yet registered for BSG’s Secure Area?

Click here to sign up: