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Safer Sphere Today National Award winning CDM Consultants!

It is ok to not be ok, mental health in construction We take a look at the stigma surrounding mental health and some of the main causes in the construction industry

Project Updates See the latest contract wins and completed projects from Safer Sphere

Safer Sphere News We take a look at the latest Safer Sphere company news and business highlights



What's Inside Forward Managing Directors welcome

Project Updates Discover our latest contract wins & completions

It is ok to not be ok, mental health in construction We take a look at the stigma surrounding mental health and some of the main causes in the construction industry

Industry News All the latest news in construction

Safer Sphere News We take a look at the latest news at Safer Sphere

Page Guide 03 Forward 04 Mental health in construction 08 Health and Safety News 09 HSE - Protecting New Workers 10 Safer Sphere News 11 Introducing... James Keirle 13 Project Updates 15 Contractor Advice Covid-19 16 Business Update Covid-19 17 Case Study

Welcome . . .

Welcome to the March 2020 edition of Safer Sphere Today. In this issue, we take a look at the latest health and safety news as well as providing an insight into our business. This month we explore the subject of mental health in the construction industry and what we can do to spot the warning signs. Also, in this issue we look at the HSE's guidance on protecting new workers as well as exploring our new and completed projects. In addition to all that we delve deeper into one of our projects in our case study feature and introduce the latest member of our team. Safer Sphere operates nationally from our headquarters in St Helens, with additional offices in Liverpool and Reading providing clients with support under CDM 2015. If you have a need for any business or project support please contact our team.

Kindest regards

Mike Forsyth T: 01744 343011 E: info@safersphere.co.uk W: safersphere.co.uk






Main Feature

Workers in the construction industry are likely to suffer with problems with their mental health than more industries but why? The construction industry is a challenging and stressful industry and not only are there numerous risks to a workers health and safety but in recent years the industry has taken its toll on worker mental health. Depression, stress and anxiety is not gender, age or race specific but studies have shown that men are most at risk in the industry. Whilst there are more and more women moving into construction, it does still remain predominately male and It is also a sad fact that male construction workers are three times more likely than the average male to commit suicide, only ex-armed forces are higher which is shocking statistics. Troubling data from the Office of National Statistics found that between 2011 and 2015, of the 13,232 in-work suicides recorded, those within the skilled construction and building trades made up 13.2%, despite construction accounting for little over 7 per cent of the UK workforce. 5

So why men? During the time those alarming statistics were taken the construction industry remained the domain of the man, the red-hot blooded male, the hunter-gatherer. For years there has been a macho image of the builder as a hard-working tough as old boots man who worked on building sites in all weathers and not much phased him. The work is rewarding and has a wide variety of projects, so no two days are the same. Despite the rewards, the work can be stressful, and the pressures are constant with an above average chance of experiencing work-related stress and other mental health issues. For employees, it often hasn’t felt easy to come forward, mention that something’s wrong or ask a colleague to talk. In a workforce that is predominantly male, specific risks associated with male mental health also need to be considered. The “tough guy” image

widespread in the construction industry is very much to blame. Asking for help and opening up about emotions are just not things that come naturally to many of those working in the industry. The combination of these factors results in many suffering in silence. Why construction? The construction industry lifestyle is undoubtedly both challenging and stressful. Long and demanding working hours, working away from home on site for weeks at a time and the lingering unease in the industry, particularly recently where big name construction companies are collaping what seems like every other week. Theses are just some of the factors contributing to poor mental health.


What are the signs? Whilst not everyone shows the same signs of a struggle with mental health, there are few warning signs that as an employer and a colleague we can look out for: Increased lateness, absenteeism and presenteeism (showing up to work physically, but not being able to function) Decreased productivity due to distraction and cognitive slowing lack of self-confidence Isolation from peers Agitation and increased interpersonal conflict among co-workers Increased voluntary and involuntary attrition Increased feelings of being overwhelmed Decreased problem-solving ability. What can employers do?

Upskilling and education – Team leaders responsible for supporting employees should have sufficient knowledge and skills to be able to spot the signs of poor mental health and to provide support and guidance. Peer support – Employers should upskill and educate employees, so they can look out for any peers who may be struggling with their mental health. Knowing how to start the conversation and knowing how to safely signpost peers to mental health services can make a huge difference at the early signs of mental health difficulty. Reduce stigma – Employers need to reduce stigma, raise awareness, change attitudes and provide knowledge to empower employees to look after their mental health and wellbeing. Embed and repeat – It is essential that employers continue to provide these interventions, services and training in order to embed culture change – not just tick the mental health box.

The statistics as they stand are clearly unacceptable – mental health needs to be Commercial Factors made an urgent priority by all employers in the construction industry. Below are a Employers need to prioritise mental few things we can do to help: health in the workplace for commercial reasons too. Unrecognised and Culture check – Undertake a culture unsupported mental health issues can check to establish the culture of the have a massive impact on a company’s workforce and where there may be revenue. According to the National particular pain points for staff due to Building Specification, mental health job design and work-related stress. issues account for people taking almost Culture change – A change in the 70 million days off sick per year, the most culture surrounding mental health of any health condition which is costing needs to start at the top. Leadership the UK economy between £70Bn and teams can show commitment to £100Bn a year. creating a culture change towards mentally healthier workplaces and workforces by signing the Time to Change Pledge or by investing in a Workplace Wellbeing Strategy to create culture change in a safe and structured manner. Mental health safety net – Employers should ensure their employees have access to and are aware of the support available through counselling and therapy services.

"Employers need to prioritise mental health in the workplace for commercial reasons too"



What about women in construction? A Ranstad survey taken around the time of the National Office of research into mental health indicated that female construction workers were more acutely affected by mental illness than men. Nearly half of all women surveyed (45 per cent) said their mental health was average to poor at present, compared with 32 per cent of men. Three-quarters of female workers had experienced loss of sleep due to poor mental health, while 43 per cent of women had experienced reduced productivity, compared with 38 per cent of men. Could this be put down to women answering more honestly in the survey or could this indicate a wide spread problem in general? As more and more women enter the construction industry, particularly in the last few years we could see a lot more alarming figures as more women start to feel the strain of industry. What can everyone do? Established in 2016 by the Health in Construction Leadership Group with the support of the British Safety Council, Mates in Mind aims to make sense of the options and support available to employers and individuals. As well as providing guidance for employers, it also provides useful tools for employees. The NHS also has support and guidance thought their Every Mind Matters initiative. But the easiest thing that we can all do is talk. If you are concerned about a colleague, ask them if they’re ok. See if they want to go for a walk or a cup of tea at lunchtime. Generally, create a safe environment, so they can open up to you if they need to. Even if you don’t suspect a colleague is struggling, be careful of the language you use anyway. Insensitive words or phrases can increase the stigma surrounding mental health and make it even harder 


for the people around you to feel like they can talk about any issues they’re facing. Physical health and safety are already taken extremely seriously in the construction industry. However, statistics suggest that the most dangerous thing on a building site is the human mind. At a time when suicide kills more people in the construction industry than falls from height, it is only right that mental health and safety is given the same level of thought, time and investment as other site hazards to ensure that the workers in the industry are truly protected. The industry has taken steps to reduce the stigma around mental health and to improve support but there is more that each and every one of us can do just by being aware of the signs and encouraging people to talk. Do not underestimate the impact you can make just by talking to someone. You could change someone’s life. For more support, check out some the links provided within this article.  If you are an employee and would like guidance on ways to implement a Health and wellbeing initiative within your business get in touch today. Contact: info@safersphere.co.uk

"Workers are three times more likely than the average male to commit suicide, only ex-armed forces are higher which is shocking statistics" safersphere.co.uk

Latest H&S News

Construction firm fined after worker falls from height A construction firm has been fined after a 17year-old worker fell more than three metres through an opening for a roof light. Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 20 August 2018, an employee of Mark Holland Group Ltd fell through a sheet of insulation covering a skylight when walking across an unmarked and unguarded area on the first floor of a construction site in Southgate Street, Gloucester. He suffered multiple broken bones in his right leg and foot and, after two operations, was advised it was unlikely he could work in construction again. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the inexperienced young employee was not supervised properly and was unaware of the risks on site. There were no physical warnings that there was a hole or a fragile surface, and no verbal warning had been circulated to workers on site. There were also no physical barriers to stop anyone walking from the scaffold onto the flat roof. The company failed to ensure that work at height was properly planned and appropriately supervised.

Despite this incident, the company continued to fail to ensure work at height was planned and managed on site. Numerous failings were identified by HSE during later visits to the construction site. Mark Holland Group Limited of Victoria House, Churchill Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £55,620. Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Banks said: “This worker’s injuries were life changing, and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safe guards had been put in place.“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of injuries in the country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.“Those in control of work at height should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”. https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/02/26/construction-firm-fined-after-worker-falls-from-height/

Company fined after worker suffers crush injuries A construction company has been fined after a worker was injured when a water pump set weighing over 700kg fell on him at a construction site.Southwark Crown Court heard that, on 15 January 2016, a pipe fitter working for Fascel Group Limited was working on the transfer of a pump set from its pallet to a raised platform in Goodman’s Fields, East London. The pump set fell on him. As a result, the worker was pinned beneath the unit, and he sustained serious injuries including multiple fractures and dislocations. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Fascel Group Limited had been contracted to do mechanical and engineering works on the project that included the installation of the pump set. The company had failed to ensure that a safe system of work for the moving and positioning of the pump set was communicated to the operatives undertaking the work. 8

Fascel Group Limited of Sundon Park, Luton pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and were today fined £36,000 with £34,235.45 costs. Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gabriella Dimitrov said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction, and training to their workers.“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”



HSE - Protecting New Workers

Workers are as likely to have an accident in the first six months at a new workplace than any other time in their working career Anyone new to the workplace will be facing unfamiliar risks from the job they will be doing and from their surroundings. We have plenty of advice to protect those new to a job, including six steps to protect new workers.    The extra risk arises due to:  lack of experience of working in a new industry or workplace lack of familiarity with the job and the work    environment reluctance to raise concerns (or not knowing how to) eagerness to impress workmates and managers.   This means workers new to a site: may not recognise hazards as a potential source of danger   may not understand 'obvious' rules for use of equipment may be unfamiliar with site layout - especially where site hazards may change from day to day may ignore warning signs and rules, or cut corners.   Six steps to protect new starters   1. Capability Assess the new starter’s capabilities. For example: literacy and numeracy levels general health relevant work experience physical capability to do the job familiarity with the work being done and the working environment (especially where conditions change rapidly, such as on construction sites).

Take time to walk around the workplace or site with new workers and show them where the main hazards exist (eg falls, slips and transport). 3. Control measures - Make sure the control measures to protect against risk are up to date and are being properly used and maintained: Involve employees and health and safety representatives in discussions about the risk and how best to make sure new starters are protected. Emphasise the importance of reporting accidents and near misses. Make any necessary arrangements for health surveillance. If required, make sure suitable personal protective equipment is provided and maintained without cost to the workers.

4. Information - Provide relevant information, instruction and training about the risks that new workers may be exposed to and the precautions they will need to take to avoid those risks.   5. Supervision - Provide adequate supervision. Make sure workers know how to raise concerns and supervisors are familiar with the possible problems due to unfamiliarity and inexperience.   6. Check understanding - Check workers have understood the information, instruction and training they need to work safely, and are acting on it, especially during the vital first days/weeks at work. Remember to make sure workers know how and with whom they can raise any concerns about their health and safety and that they know about any emergency arrangements or 2. Induction - Provide an induction. Plan it carefully, including photos procedures. of hazards where possible, and use plain, simple language.




Safer Sphere CHS awarded APS Corporate We are delighted to report that Safer Sphere CHS Ltd has achieved the Association for Project Safety (APS) Corporate Membership for the fourth year in a row without any non-conformities. This is a wonderful achievement for the business and it is down to the hard work and dedication of our fantastic team. Achieving the corporate membership is a must for our business, and we hope to continue to use our status to help and assist our clients.

Safer Sphere News

It is important for us to provide our clients with the most up to date safety support and expertise as we continue to grow and develop and our membership with the APS is always a big part of this." Last year Safer Sphere UKS Ltd achieved the businesses first corporate APS membership, and we look to achieve this again later in the year.

Mike Forsyth, Manager Director said "It is no mean feat for a business to achieve this, especially without any non- conformities.

Thank you to all our team for constantly delivering above and beyond!

Safer Sphere launches HARM Zero We were delighted to launch our new software tool last month called 'HARM Zero'. The system facilitates design risk management on any construction project helping eliminate hazards, reduce and manage risks and ultimately avoiding any harm from the construction stage of a project right through to a building's enduse. The live ‘Hazard And Risk Management’ register system is a significant enhancement on the traditional spreadsheet approach used to identify and manage risks in construction. The system can be reviewed and updated in real-time, is Building Information Modelling (BIM) compatible and is the modern and innovative approach to managing safety in design.

Jonathan King, Director Safer Sphere said “We are delighted to officially announce the arrival of HARM Zero. This is the culmination of a number of years work, and we believe that this is a unique system with the potential to transform design risk management in the construction industry. HARM Zero will help to bring designers closer to the construction team and end-users through live risk registers offering improved communication through photos, drawings and safety-related reports. We are already using the system on some prestigious projects such as the Gateshead Quays Arena development and the new Old Trafford Cricket Ground stand and the feedback so far has been fantastic.”

Could you be a Partner? Would you like the opportunity to become a partner for our new online system HARM Zero which is set to revolutionise design risk management in the construction industry?

What you will receive as an exclusive Partner? Full administration access Unlimited projects & unlimited users (contributors) Safer Sphere is seeking a select number of likeUnlimited companies minded, forward thinking companies including Dashboard view to track risks across clients, designers and contractors to join us as multiple sites HARM Zero Partners. Promotes CDM best practice, highlights your commitment and HARM Zero is a significant enhancement from understanding of hazards and risk the traditional spreadsheet approach used to management identify and manage risks. The system Company logo with website link on provides live risk registers to facilitate risk Safer Sphere HARM Zero web page management at all stages of a project through Receive promotion as Partner through to end use. association with HARM Zero 10

Click for video



New Team Member CV Name: James Keirle

Role: Senior Health & Safety Consultant

g n i l i m s s y a Alw

Graduate Member Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (GradIOSH)

James has over 18 years’ experience working on substantial projects as a Project Health & Safety Management Consultant, including working within Client organisations, with a multi-national, multi-cultural workforce. James is an experienced Senior Health and Safety Specialist, with a Level 6 Diploma in Applied Health and Safety, has GradIOSH status and is working towards Chartered status (CMIOSH). He has gained extensive knowledge and experience within the UK and Middle East working in large construction engineering environments including multi-million pound civil, Port, Airport, MEP, Rail, Metro construction projects, including corporate management roles within OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 management system environments. James also has experience of managing various infrastructure projects, as well as leading a number of businesses on health, safety and environmental matters including developing and upgrading health and safety management systems, safe systems of work, setting objectives and targets, managing performance of contractors as well as managing and leading several different teams within a Zero Harm, Incident Injury Free (IIF) culture.

Professional Qualifications CSCS Card: Academically Qualified Person

NCRQ Level 6 Diploma in Applied Health and Safety

National General Certificate (NGC) in Occupational


Health and Safety (NEBOSH)

National Examining Board in Supervisory

National Compliance and Risk Qualifications

Management (NEBSM) Certificate (NVQ 4)

(NCRQ) Level 6 Certificate in Applied Health and Safety

IOSH safety for senior executives

(Distinction) NCRQ Level 6 Certificate in Personal Injury Liability and Absence Reduction (Distinction) Managing Health and Safety Certificate (NVQ 3)

Professional Memberships Graduate Member Institution of Occupational Safety & Health - GradIOSH

Experience James is an experienced Senior Health and Safety professional who is responsible for all aspects of health safety and environmental management within a construction environment, including civil works, steel and façade erection, lifting operations, MEP, fit-out activities, Principal Contractor and Contractor management, across a wide variety of construction projects.

Welcome to the Safer Sphere Team James! 11


Project Updates

New & Completed Projects

Take a look at all of Safer Sphere's new project wins and project completions since our last issue.

Client: Ettridge Architecture Limited Project: 25 Trego Road Development Service: Principal Designer Advisor

Client: Artal Project: Acre Nook  Service: Principal Designer Advisor & CDM Client Advisor


Client: Pozzoni Architects  Project: Cheetham Hill Retail Park Refurb & Fit-Out Service: Principal Designer Advior & CDM Client Advisor

Client: Mazdon Construction Project: Lift Zone 2 Warehouse Project Service: Principal Designer Advisor

Client: MGMA Achitects Project: Vernon Street Residential Development Service: Principal Designer Advisor

Client: Fairhursts Design Group Project: School of Digital Arts - Manchester University Service: Principal Designer Advisor safersphere.co.uk

Project Updates

Client:Â Derwents Estates Project: Jack's Kilner Way Service: Principal Designer Advisor & CDM Client Advisor

Client: ENGIE Project: Burnley School's Project Service: Principal Designer Advisor & Contractor Advisors

Client: Goodwin Construction Project: Market Street Service: Principal Designer Advisor

Client: Planit-ie Project: Manchester University Public Realm Phases 1a & 1b Service: Principal Designer Advisor

Client: Peel L&P & Rossendale Group Project: WGIS Bridge Service: Principal Designer Advisor & CDM Client Advisor

Attention Clients: Profile Opportunity We work with some many wonderful clients and as a way of showing our support to your business and our appreciation, we would like to feature your business in the next edition of Safer Sphere Today.

A note from our Editor

This can be a small profile on your companu, your news or maybe even how we have helped support you on a project. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please contact our Marketing Manager direct on lisa.mitchell@safersphere.co.uk 14


COVID-19 Contractor Advice

COVID-19: Site Preventative Measures for Contractors Keeping construction sites open whilst minimising any risks will be a key priority for contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have detailed below our guidance on-site prevention measure of COVID-19 that we think will help to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. Our advice is in accordance with Government, WHO and NHS guidance. Measures 1. When entering a site, and before touching or handling anything, all site workers/visitors should proceed to the toilets and wash their hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) with anti-septic hand wash and warm water. If available anti-septic handwash is unavailable please use soap and warm water as a minimum. 2. Personal distancing should be practised by all site workers/visitors i.e. not shaking hands, keeping a distance of approximately 2m apart, avoiding interpersonal physical contact etc. 3. Stagger lunch breaks to avoid the close proximity of site workers/visitors in welfare areas. 4. Extra cleaning of welfare facilities, including high alcohol antibacterial washing of these areas, should take place. This should be more thorough and more frequent than your usual cleaning process. 5. Initiate regular toolbox talks on handwashing and inclusion of Government / NHS guidelines as part of the induction process. Place up step-by-step NHS handwashing guides in rest rooms to remind workers/visitors of best practise. 6. If visitors need to come to site ensure they have their own PPE as site PPE cannot be shared and the visitor should not be allowed on-site without it. 7. Do not share any PPE between site workers/visitors. 8. Ensure all site workers/visitors entering the site are fit, healthy and symptom-free, anyone showing any symptoms, coughing, fever or has been aboard recently to area’s such as Italy should not be permitted on site. We will continue to monitor government, WHO and NHS guidance and update our guidance accordingly. Please note that government guidance may change after this issue is published.



COVID-19 Business Update

Safer Sphere Business Update

Safer Sphere as a business is still fully operational. Our team are currently working from home to comply with government legislation. We are contactable via phone, email and various video communication platforms. In line with the government stance to mitigate all unnecessary travel and business operations outside of the home, from the 23rd March 2020 for a period of 3 weeks that aligns with the governmental requests, Safer Sphere shall not undertake any construction site health and safety audits during this time. Whilst health and safety on-site is of great importance, the current Covid-19 pandemic is paramount. This decision has been a difficult one, but one taken to protect the Safer Sphere workforce and wider population in this time of crisis. We shall of course, as soon as permitted by the government, reschedule and pick up any audits delayed, reporting on compliance as soon as practicable. Should you have any queries at this time please contact your Safer Sphere representative. We continue to monitor the situation and will be publishing regular updates and advice on our website as and when any guidance changes. We urge all our clients and friends to follow the latest guidances from the World Health Organization, NHS and the government. Please practise Social Distancing and self-isolate if you are your family show symptoms.

Stay safe and we will all get through this together and healthy.




CONTRACTOR SAFETY SUPPORT We can support you with anything from audits to accident investigation. We can help put together your policies and prodeddures and even put in place a training plan for your team. Why not see what we can do for you?


Case Study

"Safer Sphere responded well to the extremely Challenging programme and ensured that the project was delivered safely and in line with the CDM Regulations."



Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

March 2019 - September 2019



CDM Client Advisor & Principal Designer Advisor

Cobbett House

Service Description Safer Sphere were appointed in the role of CDM Client Advisor and Principal Designer Advisor on the Grade 2 listed Cobbett House building part of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. The former doctors residence has been converted in previous years, the ground floor into clinical areas and a Trust boardroom. This project saw the complete strip-out back to ‘brick’ of 2 upper floors including extensive internal demolition works to enable a full fit-out to provide modern office accommodation, this included the replacement of windows with new heritage windows and the replacement of external cast iron rainwater goods with new cast iron The project is in 2 phases, strip-out and fit-out, with the strip out phase complete and the fit-out phase due to commence. Under CDM2015 the scope of services includes: Principal Designer services in line with CDM 2015. Assisting with Health and Safety in designs, buildability and programme to reduce risk profiles. Assisting the Client in discharging their duties under CDM 2015 Pre-Contract reviews with sub-contractors and packages Reviews of high-risk activities and applicable safe systems of  work for enabling packages 17

Catherine Darbyshire - Legacy Defect and Accessibility Manager - Manchester University NHS FT

Advising on compliance with organisational operating procedures and minimum standards Overseeing Principal Contractor compliance in the construction stage and deliverPrincipal Designer role

Service Challenges Whilst the client and design team led the design with best practice CDM principles, some key project challenges included:-  Working within a partly occupied building, including working around Trust Board meetings Removal of asbestos Reconfiguration of electrical and mechanical services General structural works and specifically the retention of existing clock tower whilst removing structural walls below Unknown structural construction requiring intrusive surveys


Safer Sphere Head Office, Victoria House, 15 Pocket Nook Street, St Helens Merseyside, WA9 1LR | 01744 343011 | info@safersphere.co.uk

Profile for Safer Sphere

Safer Sphere Today Issue 17 March 2020  

Welcome to the March 2020 edition of Safer Sphere Today. In this issue, we take a look at the latest health and safety news as well as provi...

Safer Sphere Today Issue 17 March 2020  

Welcome to the March 2020 edition of Safer Sphere Today. In this issue, we take a look at the latest health and safety news as well as provi...