WINTER 2011 : ISSUE NO. 4
HEALTH, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT NEWS
SAFETY WHARF ON THE
WINTER CYCLING TIPS Keep pedalling all year round with our handy hints
LOVE FOOD, HATE WASTE How our eating habits impact the environment
Fireworks, cycling and being green; how to stay safe as 2011 draws to a close elcome to the latest edition of Safety on The Wharf. Summer (‘What summer?’ you may say…) has faded away and the nights are drawing in as autumn approaches. The favourite season of many is autumn, with some of us discovering a squirrel-like energy and a kind of back-to-school excitement. Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night are just two events proceeding Christmas that people enjoy and we have included a couple of articles to ensure that you not only have lots of fun on both occasions but also remain out of harm’s way while doing so. Elsewhere you’ll read about how all those falling leaves present a real problem for road users and how you can turn the mess into something really useful for the garden. For the fitness fanatics among us we offer some advice on winter cycling. If you’re thinking about staying on two wheels during the months ahead then this article is a must-
read or, if you’re not considering cycling again until the clocks go forward, this may just change your mind. We have a number of interesting articles regarding environmental issues, including guidance on how to reduce the amount of food wasted and how you can make savings both for your pocket and for the environment. There is an update on the CWML reed-beds installed as part of the Biodiversity Programme and we have an exciting competition in which we’re asking you to suggest a catchphrase for the banners that will be placed on either side of the CWG litter trap. A prize will be awarded for the best one. We hope you enjoy the newsletter. Every member of the Fire, Safety & Environment team has contributed but special mention must be made of Tasmina Khanom, a Year 12 student from Central Foundation Sixth Form who, during her two weeks with the FSE department, researched and submitted many articles.
As always, we welcome any thoughts or
The FSE Team Paul Coster FSE Manager - ext. 2158
comments you may have. Ella Harvey Deputy FSE Manager - ext. 2507 Elina Burgess Senior Health & Safety Advisor - ext. 2526 Louisa Bay Assistant Health & Safety Advisor - ext. 2073 Shuhena Khanam Assistant Health & Safety Advisor - ext. 2706 Eleanor Fenton CWG Environmental Manager - ext. 3088 Tracy Wright FSE Team Administrator - ext. 1332
Safety On The Wharf - Winter 2011
Health and Safety Procedures The new Health and Safety Procedures Manual is now available on Infobase ver the past couple of months the Health and Safety Procedures Manual has been under review and all the procedures that have been updated so far are now available on Infobase. The Procedures Manual has been split into five sections:
1. Health and Safety Procedures: Each time a revised version of a procedure is added to the Manual, it replaces all previous versions. 2. Health and Safety Forms: All forms are referred to in the procedures and examples are available within the appendix. 3. Health and Safety Guidance: This section
provides a selection of guidance from a number of sources, mostly from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It allows employees to gain a better understanding of relevant legislation
relating to the procedures. All guidance documents are referred to within the Health and Safety Procedures.
4. Example Risk Assessments: This section
provides example risk assessments which can be used to assist employees when writing their own department risk assessments. These are only examples and not to be used without first making them department specific. Many more will be added over time and if there is one in particular you would like to see on Infobase, contact Ella Harvey.
This register details all the Health and Safety Legislation relevant to CWG employees. When updating department risk assessments etc. the new forms should be used. We appreciate it can take a while to implement
Do not burn
• Aerosols • Batteries • Bottles
Play it safe this bonfire night
The Health and Safety Procedures Manual is not yet complete and new additions will be made over time. A communication will be sent to all employees via their line manager as and when a new procedure, form or guidance document is posted on Infobase.
5. Health and Safety Legislation Register:
here are many fantastic organised events up and down the country to celebrate Guy Fawkes, but if you do decide to do it yourself follow these guidelines to make sure your night is a roaring success: • Build bonfires away from buildings, trees, fences, overhead cables, and car parking areas. • Only burn clean dry timber. • Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side. • Check that there are no children or animals hiding close by the bonfire before you start lighting. • Ensure that there is a suitable barrier to keep spectators away. • Supervise children at all times. • Keep buckets of water or the garden hose ready.
the new forms within your departments so for auditing purposes we would only expect the new forms to be implemented when forms are due for their annual review.
• Foam-filled furniture
We all remember ‘Follow the Firework Code’ but can you recall it? Here is a reminder: • Attend an organised display. • Purchase fireworks marked BS 7114. • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box. • Follow the instructions on each firework. • Light them carefully at arms length using a taper. • Stand well back. • Never go back to a lit firework, even if it has not gone off as it could still explode. • Never put fireworks in your pocket. • Keep a bucket of water nearby if you are setting off fireworks in your garden. • Never throw fireworks. • Keep pets indoors. • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix and may lead to injury, if you are setting off fireworks do not drink alcohol.
• Tins of paint • Tyres
Do not use the following to light the bonfire • • • •
Petrol Paraffin Diesel White Spirit - use firelighters instead
Love Food, Hate Waste The shocking truth about Britain’s bad food habits educing food waste is a major issue. Each year UK households throw away 8.3 million tonnes of food; most food waste is sent to landfill sites which releases methane gas into the atmosphere.
Some of the foods sent to waste untouched each day are: • 300,000 packets of crisps. • Seven million slices of bread. • 520,000 unused teabags. • 1.3 million yoghurts and yoghurt drinks. If we stopped wasting food that could be eaten, we would save the equivalent CO2 of taking one in four cars off the road. This has a huge impact, not just on the environment, but on our pockets too, and could save an average family £680 per year.
Why does so much food get wasted? Some of the reasons are: • Cooking or preparing too much. • Not using food in time. • Not understanding labelling such as ‘Best Before’ and ‘Use By’ and throwing perfectly good food away.
Check what arrangements your local council have for food waste collections. Many councils insist you segregate food waste before they send it for composting. If they do not offer this service you could try home composting. Home composters are very easy to use, can be bought at local DIY stores and provide good quality fertilizer.
What do ‘Use By,’ ‘Best Before’ and ‘Display Until’ mean Use By - Food can be eaten up to the end of the ‘Use By’ date, but not after this, even if it looks and smells OK. Best Before - These dates refer to the quality of the food, not food safety. When the ‘Best Before’ date is passed, the food won’t be unsafe but may begin to lose flavour or texture. The exception is eggs which should not be eaten after the ‘Best Before’ date expires. Display Until - This is simply a reference for shop staff on stock control.
What can I do?
• Keep a food diary to understand your food consumption and what food you are wasting. You may be surprised at how much food and money you waste. • Check portion sizes to avoid cooking too much. • Understand food labelling instructions. • Extend the life of food by freezing it. • Use leftover food scraps. • Remember special offers on bulk buys are only a saving if you will use the food and not throw it away.
Always follow instructions on food packaging such as ‘Eat within 3 days of opening.’
What is Canary Wharf Group doing? CWG are rolling out a programme of food segregation. This started in DS4 in March 2010, during which DS4 sent 44 per cent of their waste to be recycled. A year after food segregation had started they sent 81 per cent of their waste for recycling or composting. Following this success, it is planned to start food recycling in other buildings. RT3 started food segregation in March 2011. They sent on average 17 per cent of their waste for recycling. In the few months since the system started they have improved and in June sent 38 per cent of their waste for recycling or composting. The system is being rolled out to the other retail areas. In the future it is planned to send food waste for processing by Anaerobic Digestion rather than composting. This is an even better method than composting, using less CO2 during the process and producing energy to be fed into the National Grid as well as fertiliser.
Ready For The Fall
Burning leaves can be hazardous to your health Burning autumn leaves used to be a standard practice, but most places now ban or discourage it due to the air pollution.
Watch your health Leaves contain moisture and tend to burn slowly which generates large amounts of particles like dust and soot. Research has shown these particles can reach deep into the lung tissue and cause coughing, wheezing, chest pains, shortness of breath and sometimes long term respiratory problems. Leaf smoke may also contain hazardous chemicals such as carbon monoxide, which can mix with the haemoglobin in the bloodstream and reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood or lungs. Breathing in leaf smoke can irritate the eyes, nose and throat of healthy adults, it can really affect small children, the elderly and people who suffer asthma or other lung or heart diseases.
Compost it! Composting leaves is the most eco-friendly alternative to burning. Combine them with your food waste for efficiency and to produce great compost. www.environment.about.com
A Trapped Audience Win a £50 voucher in our eco-friendly caption competition Canary Wharf Group, in partnership with the Port of London Authority and Thames 21 (London’s leading waterways charity) has sponsored a ‘litter trap’; a clever device designed to help clean up the Thames. It’s located next to Canary Wharf pier and will be seen by thousands of river users over the three year sponsorship period. Litter traps help protect local wildlife, as well as improving the river’s environment for all. There are currently eight litter traps moored on the Thames operating 24 hours a day. They
turn on the tide so the ‘mouth’ of the trap always faces the flow and is constantly catching litter. The waste they collect each year would reach the 45th floor of One Canada Square if stacked up. As advertising is not permitted on the Thames, sponsoring a litter trap provides a unique opportunity to raise our profile on the river. With this in mind we are asking for suggestions for catchphrases for the banners displayed on either side of the trap. Entries must be ten words or less and relate to CWG’s involvement in keeping the river clean and as litter free as possible. There is scope for two catchphrases to be used with a prize of £50 of CW vouchers for short-listed entries is on offer. Email submissions to tracy. email@example.com or enter in writing to Tracy Wright, L34, DS7. John Garwood, Group Company Secretary, will review all entries. This is just one of Canary Wharf Group’s initiatives that are part of our environmental programme. To find out more please contact Eleanor Fenton. We look forward to receiving your suggestions!
Health and Safety tips for clearing up leaves this Autumn
Raking leaves is a necessity during the autumn months. The dynamics of raking can lead to strain and injury to your back, shoulders and wrists. Raking requires a number of different activities that utilises several different muscle groups, including twisting, bending, lifting and reaching. You can ease the strain of raking by taking the following precautions to minimise your risk of injury to the bones and muscles. 1 Avoid twisting your body while raking. Use your legs to shift your weight rather than twisting your back. Throwing leaves over the shoulder or to the side while raking involves twisting movements that can overly strain the muscles in the back. 2 Use a properly sized rake that is suited for your height and strength. 3 Wear gloves to help prevent blisters on the hands. 4 Bend your knees, rather than your waist, to pick up the leaves. 5 Do some light exercises to warm up your muscles prior to raking. 6 Try to avoid repetitive movements as you will overuse your muscles groups. 7 Wear skid resistant shoes to minimise the risk of falling. 8 Don’t overdo it. Take frequent breaks or slow your pace down. 9 Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. 10 When you’re done, stretch your muscles gently to help relieve tension in the muscles. Have a hot bath to aid relaxation. www.MedicineNet.com
Safety On The Wharf - Winter 2011
Newly planted beds
Reed beds today
A Safe Haven for Wildlife Reed beds around Canary Wharf prove a hit with the locals
ny observer of the docks surrounding the Canary Wharf Estate may have noticed that there are a lot of aquatic birds such as swans, ducks, grebes and various others around at the moment. The docks themselves are surrounded by steep walls, meaning many birds have had to leave the estate to access dry land to rest, and in some cases, nest. In 2007, a system of floating reed beds was installed in Adams Place. These beds served a dual purpose â€“ to help compensate for lost reed beds nationally and to provide an area for birds to rest out of the water. During the nesting season in Spring 2008, a moor hen found them an ideal place to raise four chicks.
The construction of the Crossrail Station box led to the beds being relocated to Park Place where they attracted even more species than before. In 2010, swans, greater crested grebes, moor hens and coots all used the beds to nest and raise their young. As wonderful as it was to see the swans nest (pictured above), it did cause complications, as they pulled out all the reeds to build their nest and knocked down the protective fencing which was installed to help keep litter off the beds. Litter is dangerous to birds as they can get caught in it or swallow it. Luckily, despite the damage, to the fence, the General Services Cleaning Team did a sterling job of keeping the beds and the water around them as litter-free as possible.
When demolition was started on Park Place, the reed beds had to be relocated, it was decided to take the opportunity to have the damage caused by the swans repaired and the reeds replanted. In July 2011, the reed beds were returned to the middle dock in a new home by Heron Quays. The refurbishment included small gap fencing round the beds to keep the litter off, with open areas at each end for swans and larger birds to use without destroying the reeds. The birds soon adjusted to their new home and have been using the beds to rest. In August, a mallard nested and raised six chicks.
Winter Cycling Tips
Make your cycling more comfortable, safe and enjoyable f you are reading this then I applaud you, because it means you are considering continuing cycling as the blue skies (ahem) turn to grey and the temperatures plunge. Wet feet, cold hands, soaked clothes - it isn’t hard to see why some people are put off! But with a few precautions you can continue to enjoy a comfortable ride to work and avoid the winter months becoming a nightmare.
Winter Jacket One of the most worthy winter cycling purchases you can make. They are designed to keep your wrists covered, your back dry and keep you warm but sweat-free. It may be a more expensive purchase but shop around and you should find a decent coat for about £50.
Cycling Gloves A good pair of warm gloves are a must as the cold air on your hands can sometimes be quite painful. They don’t necessarily have to be cycling specific.
Lip Balm and Moisturiser Once you have embraced winter you should also think about the effects of cycling on your skin. The cold air causes skin to become dry, so make
sure you have plenty of lip balm and moisturiser. I always apply a layer of vaseline to my face and lips before I set off on my bike each day.
have for all cyclists. It also assists with keeping you warm by minimising heat loss.
Although mud guards are ugly, especially if you have just bought a beautiful new bike, winter cycling isn’t a beauty competition. I personally don’t mind getting covered in mud, but I am mindful of those cycling behind me getting a face full of water and struggling to see through my spray. Mud guards are cheap and very easy to fit to most bikes.
As the days shorten remaining visible becomes challenging. Lights are a cheap and necessary part of your winter cycling kit, with at least one red light attached to the back of your bike and one white light at the front. Bike lights are more effective if you set them to flash intermittently.
Cycling Trousers Thermal leg-wear will help keep you warm during your commute. They aren’t necessarily essential, but they are far more comfortable than cycling in a pair of shorts for example. I would definitely recommend you try on some of the different options available and find the ones that are the most comfortable for you.
Overshoes These slide over your shoes and keep your feet safe from all but the heaviest rain. Ensure you don’t walk in them, though, as they tear easily.
Helmet A helmet’s key function is to protect you from head injury in the event of a fall and it is a must
With a few well chosen items of clothes and equipment, you can continue to enjoy a comfortable ride to work
For more advice, take a trip to Evans Cycles in Canary Wharf who supply all of the items I have discussed. You will have the opportunity to try items on and chat to their helpful staff.
Did You Know? Start cycling with the Government’s Ride2Work Scheme, available to all Canary Wharf Group plc employees. This offers fantastic savings of up to 42 per cent on the cost of a new bike and kit up to the value of £1000. For more information contact Jill Griffiths in the Personnel Department on ext 2883.