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Avoiding health and safety hazards

01 September 2008

The second in this year’s Health & Safety series of regional exhibitions and conferences, sponsored by DuPont, will take place at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton on the 8th and 9th of October. The seminar content relates directly to the health and safety issues, which those that work in hazardous areas face every day while the exhibitors offer a broad range of products and services

Health & Safety Series
Health & Safety Series

With health and safety regulations getting increasingly more stringent and the importance of staff welfare and maintaining a healthy and safe working environment a regular topic for public debate, it is essential for engineering managers to remain fully up to speed with the latest regulations, information and products within the health and safety arena. To help professionals meet this challenge, the second in the Health and Safety 08 series of regional exhibitions and conferences is one of the most comprehensive sources of information and advice available.

One of the most popular attractions of Health and Safety 08 – North for readers of HazardEx has to be the free seminar programme developed in conjunction with industry organisations such as the Manchester and North West Districts Branch of IOSH. Papers are to be delivered by a raft of industry experts and IOSH members and will cover issues like risk management and insurance as well as more practical topics such as how to protect against the possibilities of burn injuries from electric arc and how to handle electrostatic discharges. A full programme of seminars can be found on the show website.

With the imminent introduction of an IEC standard for garments, updated test methods and the introduction of a revised European Standard to protect against heat and flame, delegates will be interested in the seminar from Elaina Harvey, protective clothing specialist from the event’s official sponsor, DuPont. Running on both days, the seminar will look at protection against burn injury from electric arc and discuss what the changes in legislation will mean for end users and protective garment manufacturers. Harvey will go on to examine the hazards in electric arc and the importance of risk assessments in helping to identify the potential issues an organisation may face. Delegates will then learn about why it is important for employees to be protected by flame resistant clothing, followed by advice on selecting the most appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Also running of both days of the event is a seminar from Nigel Maddison of independent technical safety consultancy Iburex, who will present a paper on behalf of Ansell Healthcare, entitled Electrostatic Discharges – The Hazards and How to Manage Them. This presentation will explain the phenomena of electrostatic discharging and the formation of hazardous discharges and look at a procedure for assessing electrostatic hazards, which can occur both with plant equipment and, more critically, during manual operations. The seminar will also discuss the selection of appropriate safety measures to meet the requirements of the ATEX Directive as well as the requirements for anti-static clothing and gloves as specified in the new European Standard EN1149-5.

In another paper, Ian Samson of DuPont will look at the correct method of selection and use of chemical protective clothing. This seminar will run on both days of the event and will cut through the jargon associated with protective coverall specifications and discuss best practice in the selection of limited use protective garments. The session will also look at how protective garments should be put on (donned) and removed (doffed) to avoid the potential for cross-contamination of hazardous substances after the wearer has left the danger zone.

According to recent statistics published by the HSE, up to 80% of accidents in the workplace can be attributed to human error, referred to as human factors. Human factors can include such issues as poor design, poor maintenance, attitude to health and safety in the workplace, inadequate training or supervision, poor work planning and organisation. Amongst the educational highlights is the first of the IOSH seminars on day one, 8th October 2008, which looks at Ergonomics = Human Factors – a World Beyond Manual Handling. Delivered by Jon Anslow, the presentation will provide an overview of human factors in health and safety at work today, look at the HSE’s approach, and also provide an introduction to the ‘Inspector’s human factors tool kit’.

In the afternoon on day one, Nick Wharton, considers the human factor of attitude to health and safety in the workplace and how accidents in the workplace caused by a poor attitude can be prevented. Entitled Engaging People with a Cultural and Behavioural Approach to Safety, the paper looks at the challenges businesses face in getting everyone’s buy-in to health and safety approaches due to the differences in their attitudes, values and beliefs. Delegates attending this seminar will get advice on how to handle these problems as well as some recommended solutions that can really make a difference.

Featuring on both days of the event is a seminar from John Norton-Doyle of Principal People who will be looking at Accident & Incident Management and Investigation. His seminar examines the fact that many organisations, both large and small, are totally unprepared to deal with a serious accident when it occurs. In light of the now very real possibility of charges for Corporate Manslaughter being brought against a company, John will look at what organisations can do and what they should be prepared for. The seminar will therefore address a number of topics starting with the management of accidents before, during and afterwards by looking at preparedness and pitfalls. It will then go on to consider the key stakeholders and their requirements as well as discussing how to be a learning organisation. Finally, helpful techniques for accident and incident management and investigation will be outlined which delegates will be able to use within their own organisation.

For those particularly interested in the impact of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act which came into force on 6th April this year, there is a seminar from Kevin Bridges on the morning of the 9th October, whilst the seminar on the second day from Neil Budworth looks at risk management and its influence on health and safety in practice.

Also of interest on day two will be the seminar from Sarah Brown about the perennial issue of asbestos management. The presentation will feature an update on current asbestos issues and recent initiatives, including a summary of the HSE’s asbestos campaign which will launch with national media coverage on the 13th October 2008 based on the success of the pilot media campaign run in North West England. The HSE’s campaign is designed to raise awareness of the risk of exposure to the substantial amounts of asbestos still contained in many buildings. Sarah’s presentation will also focus on the work that the HSE has done nationally with key stakeholders to promote the campaign and its messages, and to distribute campaign materials.

Alongside the educational content, the list of companies supporting the exhibition is extremely impressive. As well as the event partners: Aearo, Ansell and Principal People there are a host of well-known PPE providers such as sponsor DuPont, Marigold Industrial and BM Polyco. Hazardous area health and safety specialist consultants and product and service providers are also well represented with companies such as TAS Engineering, Shawcity and Nederman exhibiting. The experienced staff at the show will be happy to discuss individual visitor applications and help provide the practical assistance, which only face-to-face interaction can bring. A full list of exhibitors is available at the website.

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