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Safer School Bulletin January 2015

Policy Update:

Slips, trips and falls

Over the last 3 years 46% of all accidents were due to slips and trips. You can help prevent these accidents by helping to control the hazards and risks in schools.

The top five areas where slip and trip accidents occur are:

  1. The dining hall
  2. corridors
  3. car parks
  4. entrances and reception
  5. classrooms and stairs

To help reduce slips and trips we have a plan everyone in school can be involved in:

1. Introduce a policy and raise awareness

2. Inspect, risk assess and put together an action plan

3. Monitor the situation 

4. Review your performance

New policy template, risk assessment and full details can be found  The Health and Safety Team are to complete audits on your new policy and system during 2015.

Legal Updates:

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (Safe use of work equipment)

Changes to the Approved Code of Practice and guidance:

"This Approved Code of Practice and guidance is aimed at employers, duty holders and anyone who has responsibility for the safe use of work equipment, such as managers and supervisors. It sets out what is needed to comply with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The Regulations, commonly known as PUWER, place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over work equipment. PUWER also places responsibilities on businesses and organisations whose employees use work equipment, whether owned by them or not.

Changes since the last edition:

  • The guidance material has been revised and updated, and there are small changes to some ACOP paragraphs to clarify and update information
  • Time-limited information has been removed or updated, and more use has been made of lists
  • This edition updates references to legislation and links to further guidance."

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Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (as applied to woodworking machinery).

Changes to the Approved Code of Practice and guidance:

"This Approved Code of Practice and guidance is aimed at employers, duty holders and anyone who has responsibility for the safe use of woodworking machinery, such as managers and supervisors. It applies to most woodworking machinery, except hand-held tools, and includes tasks involving wood, corkboard, fibreboard and composite materials. It gives practical advice on the safe use of woodworking machinery and covers the provision of information and training, as well as aspects of guarding.

Changes since the last edition:

  • The guidance material has been revised and updated
  • There are small changes to some ACOP paragraphs, to clarify and update information."

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Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

Changes to the Approved Code of Practice and guidance:

"This Approved Code of Practice and guidance is for those that work with any lifting equipment provided at work or for the use of people at work, those who employ such people, those that represent them and those who act as a competent person in the examination of lifting equipment.

It sets out what you should do to comply with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).

LOLER applies to lifting equipment and builds on the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER).

This edition brings the document up to date with regulatory and other changes. The guidance clarifies which equipment is subject to the provisions of the Regulations and the role of the competent person.

The context and examples have been expanded to show that LOLER applies across every sector using such lifting equipment. New examples show the impact on the health and social care sector."

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All change in CDM in 2015

"As part of the UK Government's drive to cut bureaucracy, some major changes are on the way in relation to the management of health and safety within the construction industry.

It is recognised that that the majority of fatalities within the construction sector occur in smaller constructions sites. It is with this in mind that the HSE is focusing on the simplification of the current Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, so they are easier to understand by those in control of small and medium projects. Some of these changes include the following:

  • It will be a duty of the client to inform the HSE for a construction project which lasts 30 days with more than 20 workers occupying the site simultaneously or project exceeds 500 person days. This may mean the notifiable projects are reduced by approximately 50%, allowing the HSE to focus.
  • Replacement of the CDM Coordinator (CDMC) role, with that of a Principal Designer who is appointed by the client. The need to appoint a Principal Designer will be where a project involves more than one contractor on site. Domestic clients will also have duties for domestic projects, which can be transferred to the Principal Designer and/or Principal Contractor.
  • Removal of the need to assess competency, which was seen as one of the elements of the current Regulations that is overly bureaucratic and replace this with a legal obligation on the client.
  • Removal of the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) associated with the current Construction Design and Management which is to be replaced with industry specific guidance. However, the HSE has since changed tack following a review of the responses to the consultation document and a slimmed down version of the Approved Code of Practice will be retained, but industry specific guidance will also be issued."

Further details will be provided following the introduction of the new guidance in 2015 and how these will affect your role as Client when stepping outside of Asset Management control.


Emergency Asthma Inhalers for use in schools

"From 1st October 2014 the Human Medicines (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2014 will allow schools to buy salbutamol inhalers, without a prescription, for use in emergencies.

The emergency salbutamol inhaler should only be used by children, for whom written parental consent for use of the emergency inhaler has been given, who have either been diagnosed with asthma and prescribed an inhaler, or who have been prescribed an inhaler as reliever medication.

  • The inhaler can be used if the pupil's prescribed inhaler is not available (for example, because it is broken, or empty).
  • This change applies to all primary and secondary schools in the UK.
  • Schools are not required to hold an inhaler - this is a discretionary power enabling schools to do this if they wish.
  • Schools which choose to keep an emergency inhaler should establish a policy or protocol for the use of the emergency inhaler based on this guidance."

The above is taken from the Department of Health guidance. The guidance also includes a consent form and letter to inform parent:

Do I have to have an AED (Automated external defibrillator) in my workplace and is it law that I have to have one?

  • There is no legal requirement for you to have an AED in your workplace, but a first aid needs assessment might identify that there is a requirements for one, in particular if your workplace is remote, or there could be a significant delay in the ambulance service assessing (a requirement for security checks for instance).
  • It may also be that you have an ageing work force, as statistics show there is more risk of cardiac arrest associated with this, if there has been a history of cardiac conditions in the work force or there are high volumes of public that access your workplace.

Asbestos in First World War Army Helmets

  • Following the advice last year regarding 2nd World war gas masks, the HSE have also issued a warning that the majority of the British Army ('Brodie') helmets, issued during the First World War, contain Chrysotile (white) asbestos in the helmet liner. (See attached)
  • As a result the advice in relation to these items is the same as for gas masks - it is not appropriate for children or teachers to wear or handle any artefacts that potentially contain asbestos.
  • Replica gas masks and 'Brodie' Helmets that do not contain asbestos are available as teaching aids.

Help and Feedback:

If you have any questions about the issues raised or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I also welcome your feedback on this publication and any key topics you would like to see in the next edition.

Further information:

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