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Showing all posts tagged: hse

This recently revised brief guide describes what employers need to do to protect their employees from falls from height. Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries.

INDG401 describes what employers need to do to protect their employees from falls from height. Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries. Work at height means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. Common causes are falls from ladders and through fragile roofs. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 aim to prevent death and injury from a fall from height.

A free digital Copy can be downloaded here http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.htm

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A logistics firm has been fined £250,000 after a worker was killed when he fell through a warehouse roof in Wythenshawe.

Michael Sweet, 48, from Stockport, was cleaning out the guttering at Aramex (UK) Ltd on the Ringway Trading Estate near Manchester Airport on 12 December 2011 when he stepped on a fragile panel and fell to the concrete floor below.

Aramex and Mr Sweet’s employer, roofing contractor Gary Edwards, were both prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found no safety measures had been put in place.

Manchester Crown Court heard Aramex had hired Mr Edwards to fix a leak when water began to drip into the warehouse and offices, as he had previously carried out work for the company. He arrived on site with Mr Sweet and they were asked to fix the leak and clean out the guttering.

Later that same day, Mr Sweet fell through the warehouse roof when he stepped on a clear roof panel, designed to let light into the warehouse. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

During an interview under caution, Mr Edwards admitted that the only safety equipment he had provided for cleaning the warehouse roof had been a pair of gloves.

Safety measures could have included placing boards over the fragile roof panels, using harnesses, erecting scaffolding or hiring a cherry picker. However, Mr Edwards failed to implement any of these or to carry out a risk assessment for the work.

The HSE investigation found Aramex had also ignored its own health and safety guidelines. The company failed to supervise the work or assess how it would be carried out, despite knowing the roof was fragile.

Aramex (UK) Ltd and Gary Edwards each pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Aramex, of Heywood Distribution Park in Heywood, was fined £250,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £20,000. Gary Edwards, 55, of Silverdale Road in Gatley, received a four-month prison sentence suspended for one year, which means he will be sent to prison if he commits another offence in the next year.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Ian Betley said:

“Michael Sweet sadly lost his life because neither Aramex nor Gary Edwards put enough thought into his safety while working on a fragile warehouse roof.

“Mr Edwards had carried out work at the warehouse on several previous occasions and so knew the roof could be dangerous, but he failed to take any action to keep Michael safe.

“Aramex was also aware of the risks but simply left the two men to it, rather than carrying out its own assessment of how the work would be carried out and monitoring what was being done.

“Companies and individuals have a legal duty to ensure the safety of workers they employ or who carry out work for them. If Aramex and Mr Edwards had taken their responsibilities seriously then Michael’s life could have been saved.”

Information on preventing workplace falls in available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls.

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A scaffolder died when he fell eight metres through a fragile roof light while working on top of a chemical store at a creamery in Cornwall.

Two companies were today sentenced over the incident at Dairy Crest premises at Davidstow near Camelford on 4 November, 2008.

Truro Crown Court heard today that Michael Stone, 44, of Hartley, Plymouth, was erecting a scaffold at the premises when the incident happened.

The court heard self-employed Mr Stone was contracting for specialist fabrication firm Dartmeet Services which was contracted to creamery owners Dairy Crest to replace the roof on the chemical store.

The building had fragile rooflights but Mr Stone had not been made aware of this and no signs or markings were evident to indicate the danger. The HSE investigation found Mr Stone and his employees were not requested to sign in to gain access to the roof and no-one at the site checked his risk assessment for the work.

Mr Stone landed on a concrete floor when he fell, suffering multiple injuries. He died in hospital seven days later.

Dairy Crest Ltd was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 costs for breaches of health and safety legislation in the case brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The other defendant also in court for sentencing was the main contractor, Dartmeet Services, were fined £30,000 with £10,000 costs.

HSE Inspector, Barry Trudgian, said:

“This is yet another tragic fatality caused by working on a roof with fragile rooflights where the risks are well known. In this case, no-one involved took proper control to make Mr Stone aware of the issue.

“There should have been signs on the building indicating the presence of fragile rooflights and any work on the roof should have been subject to a thorough risk assessment and supervision.

“Simple, straightforward, common sense procedures could have saved Mr Stone’s life.”

Dartmeet Services Ltd of Union Street, Newton Abbot, Devon pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Dairy Crest Ltd of Esher, Surrey pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 9(3) (a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Further information on working near rooflights can be found on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/casestudies/rooflights.htm

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From 1 October 2013 HSE no longer approves training and qualifications for the purposes of first aid at work.

Training organisations who were formerly ‘Approved’ by HSE to deliver First Aid at Work Training can no longer claim to be HSE Approved or use their HSE Approval number.

The flexibility arising from the changes in the Regulations gives employers more choice in the first aid training they provide for their employees and who they choose to provide it.

An employer will need to satisfy themselves that the provider they choose is able to deliver first aid courses which meet the criteria for First Aid Training. Your chosen training provider should be willing to demonstrating how they satisfy certain criteria set by HSE.

Criteria when choosing a First aid training provider

These criteria include:

  • the qualifications expected of trainers and assessors
  • monitoring and quality assurance systems
  • teaching and standards of first-aid practice
  • syllabus content
  • certification

Training organisations should also meet the criteria set by the principles of assessment for first aid qualifications .

These principles of assessment for first aid training expand on:

  • competence and qualifications of first aiders
  • the quality assurance systems required
  • how training is delivered
  • how training is assessed

Training courses

If an employer has identified that first-aiders are needed in their workplace, they must ensure that those identified to be first aiders undertake training appropriate to the need - typically this may be first aid at work (FAW) or emergency first aid at work (EFAW):

  • EFAW training enables a first-aider to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or becomes ill while at work.

Durations: FAW training courses involve at least 18 hours of training and are run over a minimum of three days.

  • FAW training includes EFAW and also equips the first-aider to apply first aid to a range of specific injuries and illnesses.

Duration: EFAW training courses involve at least six hours of training and are run over a minimum of one day.

  • Employers may also identify some other level or standard of training that is appropriate to their needs. 

Other appropriate training identified by an employer should have a duration that relates to the syllabus content (as compared with FAW and EFAW) HSE continues to set the syllabus for both FAW and EFAW.

The findings of the first-aid needs assessment can help employers decide whether their first-aiders should be trained in FAW or EFAW or to some other appropriate standard. As a guide, the table in First aid at work: your questions answered suggests what first-aid personnel to provide under different circumstances. Employers can also use the HSE First aid at work assessment tool which is designed to help employers determine the number and type of first-aid personnel to provide in their workplace.

How Long is a Certificate Valid for?

Certificates for the purposes of first aid at work last for three years. Before their certificates expire, first-aiders will need to undertake a requalification course as appropriate, to obtain another three-year certificate. Once certificates have expired the first aider is no longer considered to be competent to act as a workplace first aider.

Standards of first aid Training

You should be taught the first-aid management of injuries and illness, in relation to the topics covered in FAW/EFAW training courses, in accordance with:

  • current guidelines published by the Resuscitation Council (UK); and
  • the current edition of the first-aid manual of the Voluntary Aid Societies (St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, St Andrew’s First Aid); or
  • other published guidelines, provided they are in line with the two above or supported by a responsible body of medical opinion.

Where an employer requires training other than FAW or EFAW qualifications to demonstrate workplace first-aid competence, you should ensure that common elements of the syllabus are taught in accordance with the same guidelines and that there is a sound basis for the way in which any other elements are taught.

HSE Does not accept E-learning and blended learning

For the purposes of first aid at work training, regardless of the training an employer selects (FAW, EFAW or some other appropriate training for the circumstances) HSE does not accept e-learning, blended learning or any other form of distance learning as a valid form of delivery.

Training must be delivered face to face. This allows for the hands on, practical approach necessary for first aid training.

Refresher training

HSE strongly recommends that first-aiders undertake annual refresher training, over half a day, during any three-year certification period. Although not mandatory, this will help qualified first-aiders maintain their basic skills and keep up to date with any changes to first-aid procedures.

HSE approval of first-aid training organisations

Since changes to the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation 1981 on 1 October 2013, HSE no longer approves first aid training and qualifications – or first aid training providers.

The only first-aid training HSE approves is under the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (first aid) Regulations 1989. 

HSE does not run training courses.

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