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Comply at Work safety snippets & business bytes Developing Personal & Team Resilience


Training Courses


Are You Sitting Comfortably?


Adverse Weather


Dealing With Festive Risks


The ABC, D and E of Business


December 2013

Sn Saf ip ety pe ts Thursday 16 January 2014 @ 9:00am To celebrate the opening of our new training facility we are offering a FREE taster session on this fun and interactive yet valuable session on Personal Resilience. Places are limited and on a first come, first served basis. Please contact us as soon as possible to register your interest and further details will be issued nearer the time

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Developing Personal & Team Resilience Training Outline Stress and its effects are the biggest reason for staff absenteeism. More & more pressure is being placed on many of us with a less secure working environment. We are being pushed to out limits. This taster explores resilience, what it is and how we can develop skills to boost our ability to cope through testing times both as individuals and as a team.

Date: 16th January 2014

Looking at emotional strengths and developing practical and effective ways to strengthen and develop these skills. We will explore triggers to stress, habits and behaviours, our ability to communicate and the choices we make that impacts on how we ‘see’ situations. The emphasis for session is based on the understanding that developing resilience factors has a proactive approach, is sustainable and reflective of positive psychology.

9.00am – 10.30 am

Comply at Work Training Centre, Horwich , Bolton.


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Comply at Work Training Courses NEW YEAR, NEW LIFE SKILL Full 3 – day First aid Qualification on 13,14 and 15 January 2014 at the Comply at Work Training centre Horwich, Bolton only a few spaces left, please register your interest now!

PICK and MIX Short Awareness Courses: Manual Handling Friday 17 January 2014 – 1 pm Asbestos Awareness Friday 17 January 2014 - 3 pm You can book on both or either session – please contact us for details!

Coming soon! One Day Accredited Health and Safety Course Please register your interest now before all our places are booked!


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Comply at Work can assist with DSE computer workstation assessments in line with legislation and best practice. Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

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Are You Sitting comfortably? In the chair. A recent study has blown traditional thinking about how to sit at a computer workstation out of the water. According to Scottish and Canadian researchers, the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 have it all wrong. The findings of the recent report suggested that sitting up straight for prolonged periods is likely to cause damage to the spine. The scientific solution? The report recommends that sitting upright, so that the angle between the thigh and torso is 90°, should be avoided. The optimum angle is 135°, which means almost laying down in your chair! However, we strongly advise you continue to follow the current legislation and official guidance.

Tip 1. Staff using DSE for prolonged periods of time should be provided with a chair which is adjustable for height both in the seat and the back rest. This is what the Regulations require and even if your staff pick up this news story, there’s no obligation to do more.

Tip 2. Encourage your staff to take breaks away from their desk - as per the Regulations. According to the study, doing so reduces the likelihood of the individual suffering from aches and pains and more serious health issues.

Although scientists have identified that reclining in your chair is better for the spine, it won’t be ideal in many workplaces. Source: Indicator


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Adverse Weather Strong winds, heavy rain, flooding - in recent months the UK has seen it all. Should you factor such weather conditions into your health and safety arrangements? Be prepared. Recent weather events, such as “Storm Jude” at the end of October, have led the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) to urge businesses to identify proportionate precautions to be followed in the event of extreme conditions. Although this sounds sensible, IOSH did let itself down by suggesting some fairly impractical advice, such as urging drivers to avoid treelined roads. In the real world. Regardless of the weather, life must go on. But this doesn’t mean you should overlook the increased risks created by adverse weather conditions. The case of Kennedy v Cordia (Services) LLP 2013 showed that employers can be found liable if they fail to alter working arrangements as necessary during extreme weather Tip 1. If staff could be affected by adverse weather, your risk assessments should identify what this might be, what steps should be taken and when. Be explicit; for example, when it comes to clearing snow and ice from paths you could include the following: “Ensure that paths are safe to use by the time staff arrive at work; all access and egress routes should be cleared of snow and ice by 7.30am.” Tip 2. When covering this area in your risk assessments make sure it’s clear that exceptional measures, e.g. closure of the workplace, would only occur if the weather conditions are extreme. Tip 3. If you need employees to continue to work in extreme weather conditions you will have to provide them with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as warm and waterproof clothing. You should reflect this in your risk assessments. To summarise: You can be held liable if you fail to address extreme weather in your risk assessments. Make your instructions explicit, e.g. identify the time by which snow/ ice must be cleared, what PPE should be worn and when.


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Sn Saf ip ety pe ts Tip. We’re not saying that you should overlook basic common sense health and safety when it comes to the Christmas period, but you should follow the simple - and perfectly sensible control measures.

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Dealing with festive risks Every year stories appear in the press about killjoys putting health and safety in the way of seasonal festivities. Examples include staff being told that formal electrical inspections should be completed on tree lights and that they must have working at height training to put the fairy on top of the tree. Working at height In December, staff may suddenly start climbing on wheeled chairs. After all, how else are they supposed to get to the top of the Christmas tree? Rather than allowing your staff to adopt such potentially dangerous ways of getting to hard to reach spots, we suggest that they follow a safer approach. The control measures include: avoiding working at height •

using equipment that’s designed for working at height, for example, stepladders and hop-ups

maintaining three points of contact on steps etc. at all times

visually checking any work equipment before use. If there are signs of damage, it should not be used.

Where to put them? When it comes to identifying suitable locations for decorations, common sense doesn’t always prevail. Therefore, to ensure that decorations don’t block fire exits, ventilation ducts, etc., our document suggests the following: •

What about safety checks? Some would have you believe that Christmas lights should be subject to a portable appliance test before they’re put up. However, as the HSE has rightly pointed out, this is unnecessary. Staff should: •

complete a visual inspection on lights before putting them up

not use the lights if there are any signs of damage, e.g. frayed cables, burn marks on plugs etc.

Partied out Finally, our risk assessment covers some basic precautions that should be observed during and after the Christmas party. Here we suggest staff should: •

be encouraged to drink responsibly; and

not report for work while they may be under the influence of alcohol (unpaid leave).

There’s no need to ban festivities in your workplace on safety grounds. However, basic control measures, e.g. using appropriate access equipment, visually checking tree lights and not obscuring signage, should be followed. If you would like a sample risk assessment which identifies what control measures should be in place, please get in touch.

decorations should not be put anywhere where they may block safe access to and egress from the building, or anywhere where they may obscure safety signage.


Source: Indicator

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Bu By sin te ess s

A A A AA B B B BB C C C CC D D D DD E E E E P12 | Business Bytes

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The ABC, D and E of Business! Remember these initials ABCDE to excel at business:

A bility –be good at what you’re planning to do, or have the means to get good at it B uzz – your business has to fuel your passion, so that you have the energy and enthusiasm to keep going

C ustomers – there has to be customer demand for it. D o deals – learn how to convince your customers to buy – ‘it’s not enough that they like your products or services; they have to buy them’

E ffort – expect to put in lots of time and energy. It’s a lot of work to get a business off the ground and keep it moving towards your goals

These five points also apply to your communications. For example, think of something you have to communicate regularly – a monthly report, a weekly team meeting, an annual review etc. Then ask yourself:

A bility – do you have the skills to produce a fantastic communication every time? If not, what can you do to improve? Train yourself? Delegate parts to others who do have the skills?

B uzz – do you enjoy creating and delivering it, or is it a chore? What could you do to make it more enjoyable? Involve others? Change something about how you do it? Change the format?

C ustomers – do people actually value it? Or is the main reason you’re doing it habit, rather

than value? Ask: ‘what harm would it do if I communicated it less often, or made it shorter? Or what if I just stopped doing it?’

D o deals – does your communication always trigger the desired response in others? If not, how can you influence this? (This is usually helped by having a clearer Call To Action at the end; and giving persuasive benefits why they should do it)

E ffort – do you put enough time into the three elements of communication – the prep, delivery

and follow-up? Which could you spend more time on? In fact, you could apply ABCDE to all sorts of things – whether you’re doing the right job; your important relationships, both at home and work; and so on. Source: Andy Bounds


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Complyatwork December 2013  

Health and Safety training and Business Advice

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