Christmas Shutdown Checks

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As Christmas approaches it is worth a few minutes to consider your holiday shut down arrangements for the factory / office. They may help prevent this festive season becoming memorable for the wrong reasons.

As Farther Christmas leave’s to deliver present, he always checks the list twice to ensure things are not naughty but just nice when everyone returns to work. So, let just run through the list of a few things to check.

  • Are your fire detection systems working?
  • Check that there are no electric fires / equipment still running which may overheat and be the source of a fire;
  • When switching off the electrics make sure the fridge is still working (if safe to do so) and all the old food / milk is cleared out;
  • Check there is no materials stacked against heater or ignition sources;
  • Have you tested the security alarm?
  • Have staff use the out of office response for customers where appropriate;
  • If your computer system fails due to electrical power outage, have you means of alerts?
  • Is your outside lighting working?
  • Have all your welfare arrangements, kitchen waste bins been emptied and put out of the building?
  • Have your skips / waste area been cleared away to prevent possible fire / arson?
  • In a cold spell, will your heating system operate to maintain a temperature to prevent pipe work from freezing?
  • Have any outside service taps been lagged / isolated?
  • Some of your staff may have to be on call or are lone working over the holiday period, including you who may have to check on the premises – this is the time to ensure you have checked that;
  • Ensure staff have regular reporting contact procedures in place;
  • Staff reporting procedures for accident / incidents / breakdowns are updated and communicated to staff;
  • Ensure they have up to date information on who to contact for any absentee / sickness where this may present service delivery problems;
  • And for yourself who is checking on the premises, you let people know you are just checking the premise and what time to expect you back.

As we have previously, mentioned these a just a few items to consider they may present additional thought on things to check before the close of play for the holiday season.

The Avensure Health & Safety team are happy to talk you through the health and safety procedures businesses need to have in place and how to start the process, so please contact us if you want to discuss your health and safety needs in more detail.

Please quote your Client Account Number on all correspondence and telephone calls. 24-hour client advice line: 0800 151 2935


Director struck off after serious safety breaches

The director of a waste transfer company has been found guilty and banned from being a company director after knowingly exposing employees to serious unsafe working conditions.

In November 2018, despite a conviction for transport related health and safety offences following a fatal incident in 2013, and further enforcement action in 2017 for using a poorly maintained and damaged telehandler, the Director allowed the continued use of the same seriously damaged machine on the waste transfer site in Blackburn.

The HSE’s investigation found the telehandler was being used without working reversing lights, a camera or mirrors, which presented a serious risk of people being struck and seriously injured as the driver would not be able to see adequately when reversing the vehicle.

The Director pleaded guilty under Section 37 to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, and 190 hours of unpaid work with a further six rehabilitation days. They were also struck off from working as a company director for five years.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steven Boyd said: “The Director had been previously convicted by HSE following a fatality at a previous company of which they were a director and then was served additional enforcement by HSE on a visit to a new company of which they were a director.

“Despite this, the Director allowed serious unsafe conditions to prevail, presenting a high risk of persons being killed or seriously injured.

“Workplace transport incidents remain a major cause of fatal and serious injuries in the waste and recycling industry. It is important that vehicles are maintained in a safe condition.”