Mental Health Awareness Week: How to beat stress and keep the mind healthy

Mental Health Awareness Week: How to beat stress and keep the mind healthy

To coincide with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place from 13 – 19 May, the British Safety Council is urging employers to make changes in order to address mental wellbeing. With the aim to reduce the number of people suffering in silence while at work, it has launched a series of practical tools to help them deal with stress and anxiety at work.

It is doing this we are offering our Mental Health Awareness course at HALF its usual cost. Click Here for the course.

Matthew Holder, Head of Campaigns at the British Safety Council, said: “Emotional resilience is important because it improves effectiveness at work. However, it also helps people gain greater immunity from certain illnesses. By making these exercises part of their daily routine, employees should be able to improve their wellbeing and resilience to stress.”

Breathing exercises slow the overall activity of the brain and relax the body and mind with the aim of controlling stress and anxiety.

“Workers’ wellbeing is a shared responsibility between employers and employees and a true reflection of organisational culture. For workers to practice wellbeing and mindfulness at work, they must be supported by their organisations, their senior leadership and by line managers. Our videos feature simple wellbeing exercises, which do not require any infrastructure investment from employers. However, workers’ ability to use them in the workplace is likely to be proof of employers’ commitment to their workers’ health and wellbeing.”

Recognising that mental ill health is affecting society from an early age, this spring the government launched pilot schemes in 370 primary and secondary schools. They are designed to test different approaches to improving children’s mental health. The trial will teach students mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises to help them “regulate their emotions” and deal with “the pressures of the modern world.”

The British Safety Council’s vision is that no-one should be injured or made ill through their work. The charity recognises that great progress has been made in Britain on addressing safety issues, but there is still significant work to be done on wellbeing and health, particularly when it comes to mental health.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 01462 892 021 or email info@safetyandhealthltd.co.uk

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Working at height: Electrical contractor in court for uncovered floor hatches

Working at height: Electrical contractor in court for uncovered floor hatches.

Whilst this happened to an Aberdeen based electrical company, it could easily have happened to any builder or scafolder. R.B. Wilson (Electrical) Ltd was contracted to rewire and install new heating systems in Aberdeenshire Council properties and have been fined for failing to put in place adequate barriers and physical warning signs around open floor hatches in a residential property.

As a consequence of this failure the resident of the property and her brother-in-law fell into one of the uncovered floor hatches and both suffered injuries.

On 19 and 20 February 2018 employees of the company were working at the property when they failed to put in place suitable and sufficient measures to prevent persons from falling into the uncovered floor hatches.

The HSE’s investigation concluded that there was nothing in place to prevent either the resident of the property or her brother-in-law from falling through the uncovered floor hatch at the rear of the property. If adequate barriers and physical warning signs had been in place around the uncovered floor hatch then the incidents would have been prevented.

R.B. Wilson (Electrical) Limited, of 1 East Craibstone Street, Aberdeen pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £24,000.

This is why safety inspections are such an important part of monitoring the work that is being undertaken, whilst it may not have prevented the incident it may have identified failings at an early stage in order that improvements could have been made. We often find that trap doors, particullarly on scafolds are left open for easy access but the consequences of a person falling through can be far reaching.

If yo want more informatoin regarding the safe work at height or how site visits could benefit you, call us on 01462 892 021 for more details

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Changes to the CITB HS&E test

Changes to the CITB HS&E test

The CITB's Health, Safety and Environment test for the United Kingdom construction industry is being updated on 26 June 2019.

The CITB's Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test helps to raise the health, safety and environment standards for those working in the construction industry, giving employers the assurance that thier workforce, and those they work alongside are well prepared to be safe on the job. It’s simply about protecting people.

The updates CITB is making on the 26 June 2019 are the result of two and half years working with industry and experts in other fields to ensure that the HS&E test continues to be fair, valid and reliable.

What is changing?

  • Update to include current practice and legislation – All versions have been reviewed and, where applicable, updated with the latest legislation.
  • Levelling of the playing field – Everyone taking the revised Operatives test will see the same amount of easy, medium and hard questions, in a random combination.
  • One score to pass – There is now only one section of questioning. The behavioural case studies and accompanying questions have been removed.
  • New questions and new style – There are now a wider range of health, safety and environment tasks and responsibilities covered in the questions. A new ‘drag and drop’ questioning style has also been added.
  • Clearer instructions – The on-screen tutorials have been improved.
  • Materials to revise, not memorise – Revision materials have all been updated alongside the changes to the test.
To us, the changes don't seem that extreme, if anything the revised testing methods will give the candidate a better standard of test with more consistency between tests that are taken so the candidate will be able to better maintain their knowledge rather than learn the test before its taken.

Dont forget that the HS&E test is only part of obtaining a CSCS card and the candidtae must undertake the Health & Safety Awareness course to obtain the Site Safe Plus certificate as a minimum before the card can be applied for.

For further information, contact us 01462 892 021
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12-year-old falling from ladder at unsecured site leads to fine

12-year-old falling from ladder at unsecured site leads to fine

Contractor Westdale Services Limited has been fined £160,000 after a 12-year-old boy slipped off a scaffold ladder on an inadequately guarded site.

On May 6th, 2017, two boys were able to climb the rungs of a ladder within scaffolding erected by Westdale Services in Cwmbran by placing their feet either side of a ladder guard that did not fully cover the rungs.

One boy climbed to the top platform of the scaffold and then onto the uppermost ladder which was at an approximate height of 10 metres.

The ladder slipped, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the ground. He sustained life-changing injuries requiring multiple operations.

The HSE's investigation found the security arrangements for preventing access to the scaffolding, especially by children from a nearby school, were inadequate.

Westdale Services Limited of Askern, Doncaster pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £160,000 with costs of £22,310.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Michael Batt said: “The death or injury of a child is particularly tragic and a lot of thought must go into securing construction sites.

“Children do not perceive danger as adults do. The potential for unauthorised access to construction sites must be carefully risk assessed and effective controls put in place.

“This incident could have been prevented by removal of the ladder completely or installing an appropriately sized ladder guard to cover the full width of the rungs.”

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