Group of children holding planet earth over defocused nature background

Together, we will save our planet

Today (April 22nd, 2021) is World Earth Day. We only get one planet and as of today, we haven’t done a good job at looking after it. World Earth Day was Earth Day started in 1970 and today EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement. They work with more than 75,000 partners across over 192 countries to drive positive action for our planet.

Everyone has a responsibility to reduce their environmental footprint and small changes such as walking or cycling to work instead of driving is something that you may be able to do easily depending on your location. We can also make changes to the products we use, using energy-saving lightbulbs, shopping locally to reduce shipping and even eating less meat can all have a positive impact on our environment.

According to the IEA Global Energy Review, the demand for all fossil fuels is set to take the second-biggest jump in history this year as the world looks to bounce back from the Coronavirus pandemic. Coal demand alone is projected to increase by 60% more than all renewables combined, underpinning a rise in emissions of almost 5%, or 1 500 Mt. This expected increase would reverse 80% of the drop in 2020, with emissions ending up just 1.2% (or 400 Mt) below 2019 emissions levels.

Polluted Oil-Spill

An oil spill permeates the soft ground at a junkyard specialising in scraped cars.

Sometimes we can have a negative impact on our environment accidentally. For example, spilling oil into a river or using harmful chemicals that may destroy natural habitat. These are far less common but have just as great, in some cases even greater impact on our environment and the chances of these accidents can be greatly reduced through safety measures and procedures.

So we all need to do our bit to win the fight on emissions which is why SMAS Worksafe offer packages that include Environmental management. We can help your business to spot and reduce the risks of these such issues ever occurring. We will look at the kind of work your business carries out and identify areas that might be harmful to any environment you’re working in so we can help you to come up with the best practices to stop an accident from occurring.

Although these accidents are rare, they cannot just have a negative impact on the environment, but also cost your business lots of money. Most breaches of environmental law are criminal offences and carry penalties of a fine and/or imprisonment. For cases tried in the Magistrates’ Court, the maximum penalty is a fine of up to £50,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment, whilst cases tried in the Crown Court could incur an unlimited fine and/or two years imprisonment.

To learn more about environmental risks, how you mitigate them and the penalties that could fall your way, click here.

If you’re interested in having your business checked over against Environmental regulations to reduce the risk of an event ever happening, check out our Worksafe Pro package here.

Alternative Energy Wind Turbine Green Landscape at Sunset

UK set to announce plans for 78% Reduction in Carbon Emissions by 2035

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnston is scheduled to announce huge changes to the UK’s climate change commitments in the hope to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.

Lots of industries will have to be involved in a national effort to achieve the targets and would require solutions such as electric cars, low-carbon heating and renewable electricity to be the main driving force behind achieving these goals.

electric suv of the future charging electricity with public charger

electric SUV of the future charging electricity with public charger

The prime minister’s commitments, which will become law, bring forward the current target for reducing carbon emissions by 15 years. This would be a world-leading position and for the first time, climate law will be extended to cover international aviation and shipping.

Homes will need to be much better insulated, and people will be encouraged to drive less and walk and cycle more. Aviation is likely to become more expensive for frequent fliers.

The government has accepted the advice of its independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) to adopt the emissions cut, which is based on 1990 levels.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted a major surge in CO2 emissions from energy this year, as the world rebounds from the pandemic.

Environmentalists welcomed the government’s move but warned that ministers had consistently failed to achieve previous CCC-set targets.

The CCC report accepted by the government says low-carbon investment must scale up to £50bn a year in the UK. But it adds that in time fuel savings from more efficient equipment will cancel out investment costs.

The CCC believes around 1% of GDP – national wealth – would need to be spent on shifting away from fossil fuels over 30 years.

APS Announcement with SMAS

SMAS Worksafe add APL to their Affiliate Partners

SMAS Worksafe, one of the leading SSIP member schemes, are pleased to announce the partnership with The Association of Professional Landscapers.

Association of Professional landscapers logo

The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) was formed to help consumers make an informed choice. Established in 1995, the APL, which is a specialist group of the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and represents landscapers who have met a required standard of professionalism. Members of the Association are registered with the government endorsed TrustMark scheme and are regularly inspected and agree to follow our Customer Charter.

 

All APL members also hold appropriate insurances and have traded for a minimum of two years.

The APL provides homeowners with greater assurance when selecting a landscaper. As a customer, you can feel confident that the APL landscaper you have chosen has met prescribed professional standards. By choosing wisely, you can ensure that you are never caught out by a rogue trader, and the quality and standard of work will remain high at all times.

 

Commenting on the new partnership, Phil Tremayne, Gene ral Manager, The Association of Professional Landscapers stated “We are very pleased to be partnering with SMAS Worksafe and look forward to collaborating our efforts in developing and maintaining professional standards and services.  The APL provides the confidence you need when choosing a landscaper, designer or professional gardener.”

Partnership Manager at SMAS Worksafe, Trish Meyer said of the partnership, “the partnership with  The Association of Professional Landscapers will cement our ongoing commitment to excellent standards in the industry.”

SMAS and Harpercrewe

Harpercrewe join with SMAS Worksafe

SMAS Worksafe are delighted to announce that we are now working with HarperCrewe to support their contractor management systems.

HarperCrewe draw on 30 years of industry experience, they focus on designing, building and marketing sustainable developments, combining flexibility of design and tenure. They have a fresh approach allowing them to work with landowners, investors and communities in a way that large housebuilders can’t. HarperCrewe aim to deliver innovative design, outstanding build quality, optimal returns and exciting spaces for people to enjoy – and landowners to be proud of.

As from the start of February 21, all contractors and suppliers working with HarperCrewe will be required to hold a valid SSIP certificate as a minimum requirement and to have that certificate registered with SMAS Worksafe.

“At HarperCrewe, we are always looking at new and improved ways of working more efficiently with our Contractors, so we are happy to announce that we have partnered with SMAS Worksafe to manage our Contractors’ Health & Safety Stage 1 requirements.” Michael Jefferies – Commercial Director, HarperCrewe

SMAS will shortly initiate an onboarding campaign for all contractor and suppliers who HarperCrewe work with and support them through the process.

“SMAS are extremely pleased to have gained this new client. We are excited to work with HarperCrewe and be an integral part of contractor management solutions for them” Mark Claridge – Partnership Manager, SMAS Ltd

To find out more about how SMAS can support your supply chain procurement and management systems contact Mark at markclaridge@smasltd.com or 01752 393404

SMAS Worksafe member tiers

Introducing Worksafe Pro and Worksafe Infinity

SMAS Worksafe are delighted to announce our new plan structure which will help our members easily identify what level of compliance and support they wish to obtain and the pricing and benefits for each.

Our new three-tiered systems starts with Worksafe Assessment, which includes the standard SSIP Assessment as well as a Worksafe PQQ Profile. The next level of compliance is Worksafe Pro, which includes a Policy Template, an IEMA Environmental Review and an IRCA Quality Review. The final and highest tier is Worksafe Infinity which includes all of the above as well as Action Plans, Helpline Access, Tailored Policies provided by us and a Mid Year Review. Worksafe Assessment, Pro and Infinity checklist

Worksafe PQQ Profile

Access to additional areas such as Environmental and Quality Management with the ability to self-upload your documents.

Policy Templates

Pre-written templates are available for both Modern Slavery and Anti Bribery policies.

IEMA Enviro Review

An IEMA qualified professional from SMAS Worksafe will review of your Environmental Management approach to ensure that they meet the required standards.

IRCA Quality Review

An IRCA qualified professional from SMAS Worksafe will review of your Quality Management approach to ensure that they meet the required standards.

Action Plans

We’ll look to understand how well your meeting your obligations as a supplier and make recommendations on areas of improvement whilst helping you to avoid any financial or legal implications as well as win more work with Clients.

Helpline Access

On-demand advice and support around all areas of your SMAS Worksafe membership including environmental.

Tailored Policies provided by SMAS Worksafe

We’ll review your business activities and produce a set of bespoke policies and procedures that are compliant with IEMA and IRCA that you can implement in your business saving you both time and money.

Mid-year review

After 6 months, we’ll get back in contact to see how you’re getting on with your policies and procedures making sure you become a more reliable supplier helping your people consistently deliver great service.

SMAS and SafetyCulture

Safetyculture join SMAS Worksafe partners

SMAS Worksafe is partnering with inspections and training provider, SafetyCulture, to provide a digital solution for SMAS members

Adapting to every-changing guidance and ensuring health and safety compliance has never been more important – or challenging.

Traditionally a responsibility held at management or individual HSE level, health, safety and compliance is now a concern for every individual operating on the frontline.

Global compliance technology leader, SafetyCulture, is on a mission to empower employees and their businesses to manage those increasing demands: with a simple mobile app that anyone can use in minutes.

Dan Joyce, General Manager EMEA, SafetyCulture, explains:

“Top-down, infrequent audits no longer work; companies need better visibility of their sites and real-time data capture to ensure they’re driving efficiency, safety and excellence at every stage.

“They also need to ensure they’re creating and sharing consistent, quality-assured training materials that will equip their workers with the knowledge they need. Creating a culture of both accountability and continuous growth is critical for today’s business operations.

“Empowering staff on the ground and equipping them with the right tools is the first step. This is exactly what SafetyCulture sets out to deliver.”

SafetyCulture, a SMAS Worksafe partner, helps more than 26,000 companies to raise standards and performance worldwide.

To support SMAS Worksafe members, SafetyCulture will be working with SMAS Worksafe to offer the use of its flagship tools, iAuditor and EdApp. Members can get started in just a few clicks, here: SMAS and SafetyCulture.

Members will benefit from pre-populated health, safety and quality checklists to drive best practice, with the ability for complete inspections on their mobile phone or tablet. iAuditor enables users to flag issues, assign actions, and gain real-time insights to ensure high standards.

Easy-to-use targeted micro-training in workers’ hands through EdApp will ensure workers are equipped with knowledge of policy, compliance, and regulatory requirements: reducing risk, enhancing efficiency and minimising operational downtime.

Among their customers, SafetyCulture helps brands such as SA Brain, London City Airport, Coles, Accor and more. This year, they secured recognition for their flagship product iAuditor at the international 2020 SaaS Awards as a SaaS solution that demonstrates an innovative and intelligent approach to the challenges presented in assessing and communicating risk, or asserting best practice in the workplace.

About SafetyCulture

SafetyCulture Logo

SafetyCulture is a global technology company which supports businesses to do their best work every day. Its adaptive, mobile-first products help to streamline operations and foster high performing, safer workplaces. Its flagship product, iAuditor, is used by more than 26,000 organisations in nearly every industry to optimise processes and performance. The technology empowers teams to perform checks, report issues, collect on-the-ground data and communicate fluidly.

NEW Client dashboard member status tag

Updated contractor profiles

Here at SMAS Worksafe, we’re always looking for ways to make your user experience as friendly as possible, so we’ve made a few changes to try and help our clients quickly and easily navigate the current status of contractors Preferred Supplier areas.

You will now easily be able to see whether an area is not complete and to what level. Self-Certified or Reviewed by SMAS, making it easy to see what areas can be improved upon or could be filled out to improve your businesses compliance across all areas.

Below you can see examples of each of the stages, not complete, Self-Certified and Reviewed by SMAS.

disc saw cutting through concrete

The HSE’s focus on respiratory risks

HSE targets the Construction sector – what you need to know

During the month of October 2020, the Health & Safety Executive will be carrying out a construction health initiative focusing on respiratory risks across the sector.

This is the fourth time the HSE has carried out a health-focused inspection across the construction sector and this time it will, inevitably, include checking to make sure that businesses are taking measures to make the workplace Covid-secure. This is not, however, a one off campaign but part of a strategic plan to improve health overall within the construction industry.

The biggest risk to construction workers, after asbestos, is silicosis which is a form of occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust. Silica is a substance naturally found in certain types of stone, rock, sand and clay and therefore working with these materials can create a very fine dust that can be easily inhaled.

The HSE estimates that over 500 construction workers die from exposure to silica dust each year so it’s important that workers and employers understand the risks, plan their work and use the right controls, and this is what the HSE inspectors will be looking for during their investigations.

Wearing masks is an obvious way of helping to minimise the risk of inhaling dangerous substances and the use of water or extraction fans can stop the dust from getting into the air in the first place.

It is essential that SMAS Worksafe members review their current polices to ensure that they are compliant with the regulations and that employees are able to explain their understanding of the risks and demonstrate what procedures are in place to prevent exposure at source or, where this is not possible, to reduce the risk of harm to as low as is reasonably practicable.

Our Insurance partner, Premierline Business Insurance Broker, has recently produced an article which provides tips to help keep your team safe from the long-term and short-term effects of not using respiratory safety to protect from dust, fog, smoke, gases and other airborne particles that can cause damage. Read more here:

Man drilling into a tile wall

UKATA urges every tradesperson to undertake asbestos training

UKATA is a leading authority on asbestos training, a not for profit association established in 2008 with a set purpose in mind: to be recognised as the asbestos industry’s most eminent training association.

The primary focus of the association is to ensure that its members offer the highest standards of training to raise much-needed awareness of the dangers of asbestos.

2019 marked twenty years since asbestos was banned in the UK but the deadly building material is still claiming the lives of more than 1,000 tradespeople every year because of a lack of awareness of the dangers.  This figure includes joiners, electricians, and plumbers, making it the single biggest cause of work-related deaths.

With asbestos used widely for decades in both residential and commercial properties prior to its ban, it is estimated to be present in thousands of buildings in the UK and contained in more than 4,000 products including loft insulation, ceiling tiles, cement fireplaces and textured ceilings.  It is not always easy to identify due to it being mixed in with other materials, such as cement.

When undisturbed asbestos rarely poses a threat. However, when work is undertaken that could disturb asbestos-containing materials, there is real risk of releasing asbestos fibres. When inhaled, they can cause deadly asbestos diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma (terminal cancer of the lung linings).

UKATA is urging every tradesperson to ensure they undertake the appropriate level of asbestos training relevant to their role.

Craig Evans, UKATA Chief Operating Officer, explained:

“Too many people are exposing themselves to asbestos unknowingly because of a lack of awareness of the material.

“Any person who may potentially come in to contact with asbestos in their day to day work, must legally receive the correct level of information, instruction and training. Asbestos awareness training is intended to help workers avoid carrying out work that will disturb asbestos containing materials. However, for those workers who are planning work that will intentionally disturb asbestos fibres, then a higher level of asbestos training will be required.

“Since UKATA was established ten years ago, we have provided asbestos awareness training to around two million people, but this is still not enough particularly when you consider how many tradespeople there are in the UK.

“Asbestos awareness training is widely available throughout the UK. The sacrifice of half a day’s work to undertake asbestos awareness training could ultimately save your life and safeguard those around you.”

To find a UKATA approved asbestos training provider near you, visit www.ukata.org.uk or for free advice call our team on 01246 824437.

SMAS Worksafe and Workscreen partnership logo

SMAS Worksafe partner with Workscreen

SMAS Worksafe are excited to welcome WorkScreen Ltd to the growing number of partners.

The partnership between one of the leading SSIP member schemes and WorkScreen will enable SMAS Worksafe members to easily access the essential hearing checks that all staff working in a noisy environment should have access to, through their employers.

WorkScreen is the world’s first calibrated online hearing test system dedicated to occupational health and addressing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) in the workplace. The WorkScreen system uses a unique combination of novel technology with a simple tablet handset interface, so that testing is easy, standardised, high quality, fast and flexible to the needs of organisations, health providers and workers.

Leveraging over 30 years of experience in healthcare technology and services, WorkScreen has developed a revolutionary ehealth solution that provides a portable and cost-effective hearing test that meets UK Health & Safety and noise regulations. This means that high-quality hearing tests can be conducted by anyone, anywhere, at any time of day without specialised training.

Workscreen will publish regular industry-related articles from SMAS Worksafe on relevant health & safety, environmental and quality management subjects, whilst SMAS Worksafe members can expect regular information and updates from WorkScreen around hearing and noise-induced hearing loss.

Commenting on the new partnership, Tom Parker, WorkScreen’s Director stated “WorkScreen is really pleased to bring easier hearing tests at work to thousands of SMAS members in a convenient, modern way, making this vital test even more accessible to more organisations at a lower cost.

“Good hearing is vital to safety at work. Hearing health is also associated with wider issues such as mental health, fatigue and cognitive function, contributing to staff welfare and productivity. Following the legislation to prevent hearing damage due to noise is, therefore, more important than ever from a business point of view and from a moral standpoint, as well as from a legal perspective.”

Partnerships Manager at SMAS Worksafe Trish Meyer said of the partnership, “It has been a pleasure working with Tom Parker at WorkScreen and learning about the first-class calibrated online hearing test system. The aim of this member benefit partnership is for our membership base to have access to a cost-effective and versatile hearing test for their staff with the added ease of doing so on-site or any other suitable location.”

ABOUT WORKSCREEN

With many OH companies unable (or refusing) to offer hearing tests at work, WorkScreen is the easiest – and the safest – way to test hearing at work while COVID is around. WorkScreen technology means consistently high quality, safe, no contact HSE/occupational hearing tests for any number of staff, anywhere, at any time of day. Reducing costs and improving flexibility means more time for rewarding, demanding or productive work without compromising staff care or protection.

Download a WorkScreen-Service-Plans.pdf (97 downloads) here.