Safety News and Blog Part 2
My apologies for the lack of new information etc. on this page, my excuse is very tardy but I have undergone major surgery to remove my bladder and a few other bits following the return of cancer but I am pleased to say I am fit and well again now.
A firm has recently been prosecuted for health and safety breaches after an employee was injured, it was revealed in Court that the firm had wonderful (but worthless) looking H&S Policies and risk assessments in place but these were proven to not be implemented. District Judge Taylor said, "You can have the most wonderful risk assessments and policies but if they are not monitored and reviewed then they are worthless". Stagesafe does not produce safety documentation for Clients so they can just use them to show to their prospective Clients to obtain work, this is not what they are intended for.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR ELECTRICIANS
The 18th Edition of The IET Wiring Regulations will be launched on 2 July 2018.
This update, also known as BS 7671:2018, provides an opportunity for all electricians to get fully up to date with the latest industry standards via the City & Guilds 2382: 18th Edition qualification (IEE Wiring Regulations, BS7671).
BS7909: 2011 – THE CODE OF PRACTICE FOR TEMPORARY ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES.
BS7909 is used in a huge range of events beyond the scope of the IET Regulations. The Standard outlines the necessary management arrangements and the required range of electrical supplies, heavy-duty flexible cables and portable distribution units needed. The systems used range from very simple to highly complex and the Standard gives recommendations for all temporary electrical systems.
NAPIT CITY AND GUILDS ACCREDITED TRAINING PROGRAM PROGRAM IN TEMPORARY POWER SYSTEMS.
This course has been developed on behalf of Skillset by James Eade to assesses the competence of those wanting to (or who already are) currently acting in the Senior Person Responsible (SPR) role for BS7909.
Delegates will get the certificate awarded if they pass the assessment. For more information on the requirements and origin of the course, dates and venues, visit the sub site www.skillset.eade.uk.com
The course consists of 10 modules and assessments are carried out at the end of each module to ascertain the candidates understanding of the content. Candidates also undergo a final more general practical assessment to help assess their competence.
There are no entry requirements although you must be conversant with basic electrical theory and the Wiring Regulations. Candidates would be expected to hold an electrical NVQ level 3 or City and Guilds City & Guilds 2382: 18th Edition qualification (IEE Wiring Regulations, BS7671) or have equivalent knowledge gained through other means such as private study.
1.Understanding health and safety requirements in the electrical environment. Gain an appreciation of the application of Standards, regulations and the law.
2.Understanding different earthing arrangements, sources of supply and earthing practices.
3.Understanding cable losses, specification and power quality.
4.Understanding protection methods including RCDs, electrical separation and automatic disconnection
5.Equipment testing and certification
6.Temporary electrical system testing and certification
7.Management of temporary electrical distributions and management structure
8.Requirements for systems in agricultural, water-based and similar environments
9.Power supply arrangements in mobile and transportable units1
CDM - AGAIN
It is clear that there is still an issue with many promoters, venues, production companies and artists not understanding or implementing their CDM responsibilities across all forms of entertainment. The Exhibition industry has the greatest take up with Corporate Events and Touring Music being the least engaged from the comments noted.
ACOUSTIC SHOCK – MUSICIANS & NOISE ASSESSMENT
The compensation claim that went to the courts recently in which a musician is suing the Royal Opera House for alleged Acoustic Shock must focus our attention on our full and complete compliance with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations, detailed and regular examination and assessment of noise exposure must be maintained and recorded, importantly ensuring that no casual exposure during rehearsals can be claimed as poorly managed is also important.
The concern over the Judges remarks that an acoustic shock could cause harm at a level as low as 82dB(A) is significant as the requirement to enforce the wearing of appropriate hearing protection commences at 85dB(A) [twice that figure].
Acoustic Shock is also called Call Centre Ear where persons working in call centres suffer the wrath of frustrated call recipients who blow a whistle or use an air-horn back at the call maker – the resulting damage can be hyperacusis – instant deafness and a shutdown of the auditory nerve(s) or acoustic shock which makes the ear hyper-sensitive to all noise where for example passing vehicles sound like a chainsaw running full tilt next to your head.
Whilst music noise was compared to a noisy factory the reality of all noise causing harm is very real and regardless of the pleasure we seek and receive from music must be treated as causing harm.
The matter is on the HSE Joint Advisory Committee for Entertainment (JACE) agenda, the HSE has encouraged all of us to consider being more detailed in our assessments, audiometric record keeping, management of rehearsal limits and protection and the keeping of complete health surveillance records.
It was identified that Clients will now seek to avoid the intrusive assessment process and favour pre-recorded music over the use of live music thereby potentially harming the job prospects for musicians in events and general entertainment.
MARQUEE FIRE SAFETY
The safety of marquee side panels, rigid panels and roof sheets and sections has been questioned. Data on testing does not seem legitimate in all cases and testing certification is often a lot older than the products brought to the site.
HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT IN THE LIVE MUSIC AND EVENTS INDUSTRY (THIRD EDITION) ISBN: 9781904031918
After what seems like years of waiting I am very pleased to say the latest edition of my book is now available, this is what the publishers have to say about it:
Chris Hannam’s major work on Health and Safety Management in the live music and events sector has been substantially expanded and totally revised for this third edition. Its 52 chapters cover all aspects of staging live entertainment events and the author’s treatment is highly detailed, running to well over 1000 pages.
The author draws on long personal experience in the industry and his approach is specific to the hazards that events create, for instance, whether its manual handling or mechanical lifting or electrical safety or many other relevant topics, he provides answers on how to manage projects in the area of public performance.
There are comprehensive chapters on all of the legal frameworks for machinery, fire safety, work equipment, employers liability, PPE, working at height, special effects, temporary structures, COSHH, traffic management, working time regulations and many more. Health & Safety at Work magazine states: “This is an outstanding piece of work: an awful lot of book for the price, and an essential reference for anyone working in the events/entertainment sector”.
Order your copy direct from the publishers at www.etbooks.co.uk
A review from Health and Safety at Wowk magazine.
Recently I had to arbitrate in a dispute between two users of a local community building. One complained that equipment installed by the other (a theatre group) was unsafe both electrically and structurally. I went to my library for help, but have to say that none of the books I found was as good as this one by Chris Hannam. How I wish I had discovered it sooner! It would have given me shortcuts to the solution and also made me more confident that the advice I gave was well-founded.
Here, Hannam provides a complete overview of the health and safety issues that may arise in live music and similar events. When you think of a major event such as a Glastonbury, Reading or Leeds festival, with all that they involve in terms of providing (hopefully safe) amenities for thousands of people, with temporary structures put up by a whole spectrum of providers – while also having to manage noise, electrical safety, lifting, lighting, crowd control, emergency procedures, security, lasers, pyrotechnics… You quickly get some idea of the potential safety headaches.
The book, now in its third edition, contains many of the topics you would find in a general health and safety management textbook, but there is so much more besides. For a start, the treatment is very detailed: Hannam really does get down into the fine detail and does not (as some other authors do) gloss over specifics with sweeping injunctions to take “appropriate” precautions (whatever they are).Then there is the greatest strength of the book: whatever Hannam is talking about (and he writes in a very conversational style) he makes it specific to the hazards that events create. So whether he is covering mechanical lifting, temporary structures, electrical safety, manual handling or another of the host of relevant topics, he is always direct about how best to manage that issue in the context of a public event. To do so, he draws on vast personal experience, and he does not hesitate to feature case study examples of where health and safety have not been properly managed – and what the consequences were. His scope is not limited to health and safety: he also covers wider topics such as licensing law, basic food safety and waste/environmental issues.
Overall, though, this is an outstanding piece of work: an awful lot of book for the price and an essential reference for anyone working in the events/entertainment sector.
Three MPs have called on the government to consider a temporary ban on the use of inflatable play equipment in public areas until its safety can be guaranteed.
The call follows the death on 1 July of Ava-May Littleboy, aged three.
She was thrown 6m into the air after an inflatable trampoline erected on the beach at Gorleston-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, exploded “with a loud bang”, according to eyewitnesses.
The girl received CPR at the scene and was later taken to a hospital, but died shortly afterwards.
Robert Halfon, the constituency MP for Harlow, Essex, where Summer Grant died in after an inadequately secured inflatable was blown away in high winds in March 2016, made the call on social media on 1 July. He was later backed by Labour MP for Bristol West Thangam Debbonaire, and Conservative MP for Winchester Steve Brine,
Halfon said: “After two horrific tragedies, the government needs to look at an update of regulations and inspection regime and consider a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public areas until we can be sure that they are safe.”
Halfon subsequently requested an emergency debate on the issue in the House of Commons on 2 July, but his request was denied.
Norfolk Constabulary, the HSE and Great Yarmouth Borough Council have launched an investigation into the Gorleston incident.
According to a report, the “inflatable trampoline” implicated in the accident was part of a semi-permanent “Bounce About” area on the beach that had been operating every summer for around a decade.
Various press reports cited hot weather and the inflatable overheating as the cause of the accident, but The Telegraph reported that the temperature at the time of the accident, around 11 am, was 19 degrees Celsius.
It has also been suggested that an internal structural failure could have caused air chambers in the inflatable to collapse.
Operators and hirers of inflatables are subject to the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998, which require them to be inspected regularly by a competent person to ensure they remain safe for use.
Inspection and certification can be undertaken by a number of approved bodies, including the Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme (ADIPS) which is managed by the Amusement Device Safety Council (ADSC).
An alternative inspection scheme is offered by the Pertexa Inflatable Play Accreditation (PIPA), which runs a database of tested inflatable play equipment. According to the BBC, Bounce About is registered with PIPA.
In a joint statement issued by PIPA and the Register of Play Inspectors International (RPII), PIPA said that both bodies were “saddened by the tragic death of a girl on 1 July at Gorleston beach in Norfolk”.
“It would be inappropriate to comment until the facts of this tragic incident are known but the RPII and PIPA offer their full support to the HSE, police and other authorities in their investigations,” the statement said.
It added that there are 23 million uses of inflatable play equipment in the UK each year.
HSE guidance on the safe practice in fairgrounds and amusement parks is contained in HSG175.
Responding to a query, ADSC chairman Robert Kluth said: “The HSE consider that any ride operator following HSG175 and has their device inspected under ADIPS will normally be doing enough to comply with the law.
“ADIPS system is not compulsory and operators of amusement devices are free to take other action but they need to be prepared to show what they did was equally effective.”
Following the conviction of owners of the Harlow inflatable for manslaughter by gross negligence, the HSE said that it was considering commissioning research that could lead to changes to BS EN 14960, the standard for inflatable play equipment and testing methods.
Also under consideration is new guidance to amplify Section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which applies to “any person who designs, manufactures, imports or supplies any article for use at work or any article of fairground equipment”.
The HSE said that it was “actively engaging with industry stakeholders, including representatives of both operators and inspection bodies, and will provide suitable and sufficient information reminding them of their legal obligations in relation to the operation and inspection of inflatable devices.”
A TIME TO ACT, A TIME TO CHANGE
Recently a company was prosecuted for a breach of health and safety regulations following an accident, an accident investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed the company in question had a health and safety policy and generic risk assessments but none of these documents had been correctly implemented.
The Judge, in this case, said the documents were good examples of what was required but were in fact quite worthless works of fantasy as neither the policy nor the control measures listed in the risk assessments had been put into practice and therefore did nothing to aid the reduction of risk as the law requires. The fine they received was very substantial indeed because of this.
It must be remembered that a band or artist is an employer and a business and so has all the responsibilities of an employer in the same way as any other employer and will need all the necessary safety management systems in place , don’t forget to include the freelancers within this and that contractors safety documents alone are insufficient.
I get to see this kind of situation on an alarmingly regular basis within the live music and events industry, I even get asked to write documents by organisations, companies and artists who do not require any help with implementation or establishing basic health and safety management systems as they have no intention of attempting to be legally compliant, they just want a set of good-looking safety documents complete with corporate logos etc. that can be brought out, dusted off and given to any potential client or venue who may ask for them, usually this is part of their attempt to secure work and is what many vendors mean when they tell you all their health and safety requirements are complete. This is not what these documents are designed for.
For those readers who may not be aware, the aim of the risk assessment process is to evaluate hazards, then remove that hazard or minimize the level of its risk by adding control measures, as necessary. By doing so, you have created a safer and healthier workplace. The purpose of the health and policy is to express the employer’s commitment to health and safety. It must include a statement regarding the responsibilities of the employer, supervisors and other workers. A policy states clearly what the employer intends to do about commitment and support for health and safety in the workplace. Most businesses set out their policy in three sections: The statement of general policy on health and safety at work sets out your commitment to managing health and safety effectively, and what you want to achieve. The responsibility section sets out who is responsible for specific actions. The third section sets out the arrangements for health and safety within the organisation.
Both of these documents are legally required and must be fully implemented to be effective and gain the required result of being part of an effective safety management system. It’s no good putting it on paper if you don’t put it into practice. Compliance and risk management go hand in hand together.
We find the people who really need to have copies of risk assessments very rarely see them, they are the workers, those who do the work, and they need to know what safety control measures are required to make the job as safe as possible before they start work. How can they without the risk assessment to advise them?
All workers are entitled to work in environments where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Under health and safety law, the primary responsibility for this is down to employers. Your Health and Safety Policy shows your workers what you are doing to achieve this, how you are doing it and what they are expected to do. How can they be part of the process if they don't know your policy?
These documents, when used correctly can help demonstrate what you have done to be compliant, reduce risk and improve safety, a kind of "get out of jail free card". Its what potential clients really should be looking for when they assess your safety competence.
Employers have a duty to consult with their employees, or their representatives, on health and safety matters. Consultation must be either direct or through a safety representative that is either elected by the workforce or appointed by a trade union if one exists.
It is an employer's duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this.
This means making sure those workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace.
Employers have duties under health and safety law to assess risks in the workplace. Risk assessments should be carried out that address all risks that might cause harm in your workplace.
Employers must give employees information about the risks in your workplace and how they can be protected, they must also instruct and train their workers on how to deal with the risks.
I never cease to be amazed at the paperwork some companies or organisations produce but I then find something completely different is actually happening in the workplace and that the employer has not made any one of their workforce responsible for or even knows how safety should be all fully implemented in practice on site. A lack of training of both staff and supervisors is usually and obviously lacking.
The problem goes back to the procurement stage as employers, promoters, event managers and production managers rarely bother to have a procurement system in place to properly assess contractors (including freelancers) for health and safety competence, OK so they may ask for insurance details and copies of RAMS (Risk Assessments and Method Statements) but seldom is a Policy asked for and once received these documents are just filed away and not properly assessed or even read. As already mentioned, many companies just have these documents to send out to potential clients, they depend on them not being scrutinised by clients or for any further questions to be asked. Both I and most other safety consultants see the same old documents with just a name or date change being regurgitated for dozens of different events, nothing site, tour or event specific is included. Be very wary about any business that becomes defensive when asked about their safety management systems as full cooperation is required.
Usually, the person (often an office junior or production assistant) requesting these documents will not know why they are required and if asked they will reply with “we have to have them” or “it’s the law”. Wrong answers.
So, from the outset, within the live music and events industry contractors are normally not being managed as the law requires. On an event site or in a venue a “competent person” for health and safety should be appointed to monitor contractors and all aspects of safety, this includes touring productions.
There is also a legal requirement under Regulation 7 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 for companies (employers) to appoint “competent persons” to advise them on health and safety, it also amazes me how this is often overlooked, case history has rejected a person holding a NEBOSH General Certificate as a “Competent Safety Advisor” in favour of a higher level qualification so be warned when selecting your “competent” safety advisor.
By law, staff must have, training, instruction, information and supervision. History still shows contractors and crew are still often selected because they are known to the Tour or Production Manager and not because they are health and safety competent and have been assessed or can prove their safety competence. Training is important and effective, as it will educate your employees on proper workplace procedures, practices, and behaviour to prevent possible injuries and illness.
Use health and safety documents for their intended purpose and not just to give to copies to potential employers or clients.
Failing to comply with these or other health safety regulations can invalidate any insurance you may hold making health and safety management one of the best insurance packages you can invest in when used correctly.
Currently, touring music productions often have the poorest levels of health and safety management, if any.
Perhaps one of the hardest roles we have as safety advisors in the live music industry is trying to persuade employers /clients of the benefits of health and safety. there are several reasons for this, a great many still view the production industry as like running away to join the circus, not a "proper job", and the fact the industry is in fact made up of many varied industries of small businesses with only a few employees, freelancers making up the majority of the workforce but regardless, its a fact that a safe and healthy workplace not only protects workers from injury and illness, it can also lower injury/illness costs, reduce absenteeism and staff turnover, increase productivity and quality, and raise employee morel as well as saving your hard-earned reputation, potential legal costs and fines, costs for loss or damage to equipment etc. In other words, safety is good for business, and if you think safety is expensive, try having an accident! A simple cost/benefit analysis will show incredibly positive results.
Do you recognise any of these bad traits in your business or organisation? It’s time to act now and change.