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How good leadership can create a culture for success – now and in the future 11/04/2019

Health and safety practitioners within organisations tend to be trying to be either a leader themselves, create leaders or develop their existing leaders by showing them what good leadership looks like. Whatever the case, good leaders have to be receptive to coaching and accept the responsibility that comes with their role.

This is according to Lawrence Waterman OBE, chair of the British Safety Council, who began his presentation to delegates in the BSC Conference Theatre this morning (Thursday) with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “It is better to lead from behind and put others in front. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

Lawrence elaborated: “Leadership is not about sticking to a position but looking into how to bring people together to support risk management. You want people to be willing volunteers. Simply imposing rules and compliance on them will lead to polarisation. But if you do things in a disciplined, organised way that is respectful of everyone, they will feel free because they understand that the organisation is looking after them and they are not at risk of being harmed.”

He explained that creating an organisational culture for success is a key responsibility of any leadership team: “Safety culture is the organisational culture. Leadership has got to be about creating the atmosphere and opportunities for everyone to contribute to managing risk. It also needs to focus on future-proofing the organisation – less shutting the stable door after something has happened and more crystal ball-gazing to anticipate the future.”

This means standing back and looking at how work is being done and anticipating its impact and future implications. By doing so, said Lawrence, leaders will be in a better position to help the workforce see how to protect themselves from both immediate and future threats. Referring to research by the British Safety Council on how work is changing technologically, demographically and contractually, he said leaders need to think about ways of protecting and managing for the future.

He went on to explain how the actions and activities of leaders are very important in this respect. He said: “They have to be clear about objectives, which act as navigational tools for people. They need to create followers – there is no movement without the first follower. They must demonstrate model behaviours and listen as well as speak. They should aim to surprise and do things differently, where possible. And they must motivate, encourage and praise.”

Referring to that last activity, Lawrence emphasised the importance of focusing on excellence rather than failure. He said: “Rewarding and thanking people is so much more effective than criticising them, or simply monitoring compliance. Talk to people about things that are being done right and which you would like to see more of. Reward and recognise, which you can do in the most trivial, inexpensive ways.”

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Sign company fined for safety breaches 28/03/2019

SIGN-FITTING contractor, AR Signs Limited, has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered multiple, serious burn injuries.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 14th September 2017, the 22-year-old employee of AR Signs Limited was using a breaker tool to dig a hole for the posts of a new sign at the Hellaby Hall Hotel in Bramley, near Rotherham, when he struck a mains electricity cable, causing a large flash. The worker suffered burn injuries to the inside of his right arm, the top of his right hand, the inside of his left arm, and the right-hand side of his face. He also had burns to his hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and beard.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that no cable diagram or ground scanner was used to determine the presence of the mains cable, and no training had been given in the use of the breaker tool.

AR Signs Ltd of Leicester Street, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £35,000 and ordered to pay £2,475 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Sarah Robinson commented: “This wholly avoidable incident was caused by the failure of the company to appropriately plan and execute a safe system of work whilst fitting the signs.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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Brigade outlines how to make buildings safer 05/03/2019

LONDON FIRE Brigade has outlined how the Government can make buildings safer in its response to the post Grenfell Tower fire consultation on Approved Document B (ADB) of the building regulations.

ADB sets the standards for building fire safety and is used to develop designs for many new and refurbished buildings. It covers everything from where sprinklers should be fitted and how buildings should be designed to limit fire spread to how to design fire service access and means of escape for disabled people.  

Outdated guidance

Deputy assistant commissioner Lee Drawbridge said, “The previous guidance was outdated and confusing and allowed for designers to short cut safety, for example we have received building designs where the plan for wheelchair users in the event of a fire is to wait in a toilet area, which we deem clearly unacceptable when considering the individual.

“It would be reckless to miss the opportunity for change to make our buildings safer for everyone but especially those who would struggle to escape a fire. Crucial measures we want to see in the guidance include ensuring sprinklers are installed in more buildings, suitable provisions to support people who may be vulnerable in a fire situation and stricter rules when refurbishing buildings.”

What the Brigade is calling for

In its submission to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the Brigade is calling for:

  • Automatic fire suppression systems to be fitted in a number of buildings including all purpose built blocks of flats (or all blocks over six storeys at the very least), all homes where vulnerable people live and all care homes and sheltered accommodation blocks. 

  • Appropriate means of escape in the event of a fire, especially for people who are disabled.

  • That the design of a building restricts the potential for external fire spread regardless of its height or use.

  • Clearer detail of the types of buildings the guidance can be applied to.

  • A full review of firefighting access and facilities, such as fire hydrants and firefighting lifts.

However, the Brigade is warning that whilst changes to ADB are crucial, the Government also needs to urgently address wider issues including the competency of all who use the guidance.

DAC Drawbridge continued, “Reviewing Approved Document B is just one aspect of a broken building regulation system.

“We want the Government to understand that making changes like the ban of combustible materials in the external walls of some buildings will not solve all the safety issues in buildings and serious consideration needs to be given to other measures including the competency of building designers, building control bodies and fire risk assessors.

“We would also urge the Government to commit to a regular review of the guidance to incorporate new research as it becomes available so that the guidance evolves with new understanding of how buildings and materials perform in fire.”

In the last few weeks, as part of its ongoing campaign on building safety, the Brigade has lobbied for its campaign to push for the inclusion of sprinklers in more buildings.

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Manchester Mayor to speak at Fire Safety North 20/09/2018

THE MAYOR of Manchester Andy Burnham will deliver a keynote address at Fire Safety North on 10 October.

Mr Burnham will deliver a Mayoral address on Fire Safety at 9:30am in the Fire Safety Keynote Theatre (sponsored by Advanced) at EventCity Manchester. He will explain who Manchester is tackling fire safety issues in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. The mayor will also discuss the emergency response to the Manchester Arena bombing, which tragically killed 22 people.

Fire Safety North takes place on 9-10 October 2018 at EventCity, Manchester and is co-located with Health and Safety North. The event dedicated to supporting fire and safety professionals to achieve and maintain the very highest standards of fire safety management. Its objective this year is to enable delegates to learn, network and procure. Delegates will be able to access more than 30 hours of CPD accredited content and more than 150 exhibitors will be on site.

You can attend Fire Safety North and reserve you place at Mayor Burnham’s address for FREE. Simply register at www.firesafetyevents.com/north

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Farm Safety Week set to raise awareness 11/07/2018

NATIONAL FARM Safety week starts on the 16 July and aims to raise awareness of safety in farming.

The week is also set to highlight that agriculture is working to change the safety record and share good practise. The aim is to raise awareness that health is not just physical health but also mental wellbeing.

The industry is encouraged to get involved by making small changes like ensuring hi viz clothing, removing rubbish to avoid fire hazards or making larger commitments such as risk assessments and getting tractors and trailers brake tested.

Farm safety policy adviser of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Tom Price said, “It is no secret that farming has a poor safety record. It is a record that can be changed and we all have a part to play in making this happen. Last year 29 workers lost their lives in farming work place incidents that in many cases could have been avoided.

“Safety is not just one week. Safety is something that should be in our minds every day we are at work. Farm Safety Week is a way to help move safety right up the agenda and set us up for a year of change and improvement. Farm safety Week is an industry wide focus on safety and how things can change in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.”

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Leading manufacturers set for Fire Safety North 17/08/2017

Fire Safety North will take place at EventCity in Manchester on 10-11 October and has the backing of leading manufacturers in the fire sector.

Leading brands such as Advanced, Apollo, C-Tec, Johnson Controls, BT Redcare, FirePro, Wagner, Evac+Chair, Safety Technology International, Patol, Fike, Gerda, Kingspan, EMS and more will be among the 30+ exhibitors showcasing their latest products at Fire Safety North.

The event is uniquely co-located with the long-established Health and Safety North and will see more than 2,000 delegates from every level of the buying chain, with a real focus on core markets including installers, engineers, fire safety officers, health and safety managers, facilities managers, risk assessors, insurers, consultants and local governments. 

C-TEC, one of the UK’s largest independent manufacturers of life safety electronic equipment, will be exhibiting at Fire Safety North after attending Fire Safety Scotland in May. C-TEC’s marketing manager Andy Green said: “We are delighted to be supporting Fire Safety North as it’s great to see an event so close to our Wigan base that will attract delegates from across the North of England. 

“We are a proud British manufacturer and are looking forward to showcasing our products to such a diverse audience. It’s great to see many of our fellow manufacturers supporting the event and we look forward to welcoming you to stand FS11 on 10-11 October.”

Fire Safety North is also being supported by key industry associations including the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM), Institution of Fire Engineers, British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association, Association for Specialist Fire Protection, National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers and the Association of Insurance Surveyors (AiS). Both the AiS and IFSM will be hosting open meetings on 10 October.

Delegates will be treated to more than 14 hours of free educational content that is being split across two theatres – The Fire Safety Keynote Theatre (Sponsored by Advanced) and the Fire and Evacuation Theatre (Sponsored by Fire and Security Matters magazine). Sessions will include a mock trial under fire safety legislation, legal advice on the Fire Safety Order, panel debates on how to protect tall buildings from fire in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, a guide to passive fire protection, examining the role of the responsible person and a live chemical explosion demonstration.

For more information or to register to attend for FREE, visit www.firesafetyevents.com

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