smas Worksafe Local Supply Chain

SMAS Worksafe forms new partnership with Local Supply Chain to increase visibility of companies holding valid SSIP certification

Achieving the H&S standard required to attain certification with SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement) is a great thing for any business operating in construction in the UK to do. It means that you have a documented management system, appropriate to your business, which supports your team to carry out work in a safe way which reduces the risk of harm to both themselves and others. Meeting this requirement and achieving SSIP status as a contractor has become a prerequisite in recent years.

Having SSIP certification in place means companies can save time and money over the year as they are able to use this to demonstrate good health & safety practises without having to complete multiple prequalification forms for different clients.

Due to a new partnership with Local Supply Chain (LSC), SMAS Worksafe members can benefit from advertising their SMAS certification on their LSC profiles. This means that clients using LSC as a way of finding or managing existing suppliers, can see the status of a company’s SSIP certification with SMAS without the need for the company to do anything. Once a supplier adds their SMAS membership in LSC, Profiles are automatically updated based on their status, rewarding those company’s which keep their SSIP status up-to-date and their H&S systems in-date with an SSIP scheme, which may be seen as preferential with clients; versus other suppliers without this in place.

This partnership is another step forward in improving the visibility of SSIP certification and automating this process to remove administrative efforts required by suppliers. It is also another positive step forward in supporting those companies with SSIP certification to benefit from future work opportunities.

If you are a SMAS Worksafe member and you have a profile with LSC then all you have to do is update your LSC Profile to include you’re a member of SMAS and from there your up to date SMAS information will be accessible direct from within LSC by organisations who are seeking suppliers for their projects.

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SMAS Worksafe welcome new partnership with UKATA

SMAS Worksafe welcome new partnership with UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA)

SMAS Worksafe are proud to announce we have formally joined in partnership with the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) with the aim to upskill SMAS Worksafe members in asbestos and 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. UKATA is instantly recognised and respected for the exacting standards in asbestos training delivered by its members in accordance with current HSE Legislation. UKATA is committed to both maintaining and improving higher standards of asbestos training through ongoing monitoring of UKATA-approved training providers.

UKATA members will receive regular updates from SMAS Worksafe on subjects such as health & safety, environmental and quality management, modern slavery and anti-bribery and corruption whilst SMAS Worksafe members can expect regular information and updates from UKATA around asbestos and asbestos training

Commenting on the new partnership, Craig Evans, UKATA Chief Operating Officer stated “It made absolute sense and we are delighted to partner with SMAS Worksafe. Our collaboration recognises the quality standards of both organisations and aims to assist members and the wider industry alike to demonstrate their commitments to workplace safety”.

Business Development Manager at SMAS Worksafe Trish Meyer said of the partnership, “The aim of this partnership is to raise standards in asbestos across the industry. I look forward to working with the team at UKATA to ensure that our members are kept up to date with all the relevant asbestos information and know how to identify relevant and accredited training.”

A builder using corona practices whilst working on a new build site

HSE announce updated construction guidelines

HSE has updated its health and safety guidelines for construction sites safe following the Coronavirus outbreak. The latest update includes all the information you need on cleaning & hygiene, PPE, fit testing and RPE, social distancing and more.

There is also a step-by-step risk assessment guide which you may find extremely helpful if you’re struggling with what you need to incorporate and take into consideration for your site or business.

Cleaning & Hygiene

HSE recommend that you use signs and posters to help your workers to practice good handwashing technique and to remind them to cough/sneeze into an arm and avoid touching their faces.

Handwashing

  • provide handwashing facilities with running water, soap and paper towels
  • provide hand sanitiser at locations in addition to washrooms
  • provide hand sanitiser nearby for people getting in and out of vehicles or handling deliveries, if they are unable to wash their hands

It is also important to make sure that surfaces remain clean at all times, increasing the level and frequency of cleaning and making sure you clean surfaces that may not normally be cleaned – such as a kettle.

Clean equipment frequently

  • Set clear guidance for the use and cleaning of toilets, showers and changing facilities to make sure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible
  • Clean work areas and equipment between uses
  • Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • If equipment like tools or vehicles are shared then clean them after each use

Find out more about cleaning your workplace to reduce risk from coronavirus (COVID-19).

PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It includes different types of respiratory protective equipment (RPE), such as respirators.

Face coverings are not the same as PPE.  A face covering does not protect people from work-related hazardous substances however, they may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure against coronavirus – find out more.

PPE for protection against coronavirus usually only necessary when an individual is carrying out certain healthcare activities and so would be less need for people working within a construction environment and there it is recommended to continue using the protective equipment provided and used before the outbreak started.

Space Management:

Spacing the distance between people by 2 meters is an effective way to reduce the spreading of the virus and therefore it is incredibly important that you do what you can to make sure that the correct spacing is being used when working.

Managing your space effectively will enable you to get as many people as it’s safe to do so in a building or on-site and still keep the risk of spreading the virus down.

Entrances and exits

Stagger arrival and departure times so that people do not use entry and exit points at the same time.

Provide handwashing facilities so people can wash their hands when they get into and leave work (provide hand sanitiser where this is not possible).

Social distancing

Keep work areas 2 metres apart and allocate one person only to each work area. If this is not possible, then keep the number of people in each work area as low as possible.

To help workers to social distance you can:

  • use floor tape or paint to mark work areas
  • provide signage to remind people to keep a 2 m distance
  • use screens to create a physical barrier between people
  • have people working side-by-side rather than face-to-face
  • limit movement of people
    • rotating between jobs and equipment
    • using lifts and work vehicles
    • in high-traffic areas like corridors, turnstiles and walkways
    • allow only essential trips within buildings and between sites

For more detail on the guidelines visit HSE’s website and find out more about social distancing in the workplace.

There is also additional information available from the Scottish government’s coronavirus guidance for employers in Scotland and from the Welsh government’s guidance on maintaining physical distance in the workplace.

Breaks and canteens

Stagger break times so that people are not using break rooms, canteens or rest areas at the same time and make sure that if more than one person is using the canteen or rest area that they are remaining 2 meters apart and wipe down surfaces once they are finished.

Using outside areas for breaks and encouraging staff to stay on-site during working hours will also help to reduce the risk of spreading in the workplace and then into general circulation by visiting shops etc.

Providing packaged meals could help to avoid fully opening canteens. Reconfigure seating and tables in welfare areas to maintain spacing and reduce face to face interactions.

For more information as well as a free step by step risk assessment guide, visit the HSEs website by clicking here.

 

Green Home between the black ones. ( 3d render )

Leading UK development company sets new targets to reduce carbon emissions

Barratt Developments has announced three new carbon emissions targets as part of its drive “to become the country’s leading national sustainable housebuilder”.

Their first aim is to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and be the first major housebuilder to do so. Earlier this year they became the first national housebuilder to publish science-based targets for reducing carbon emissions, and they look set to continue this work with a new net-zero goal by 2040.

The second aim the firm announced is for its new home design to be net-zero carbon from 2030. They aim to achieve by this goal by continuing their ‘fabric first’ approach over the next 10 years covering such elements as better insulation, more efficient services and new green technology.

Their third and final aim is to purchase 100% of its operational electricity from renewable sources by 2025. They have announced already that just under half of their energy is already coming from renewable sources and over the next 5 years aim to take that all the way to 100%, reducing their emissions by a further 3,300 tonnes of carbon.

“Identifying and implementing what is needed to achieve these reductions will be an ongoing process across the entire Barratt business,” the firm said. “For instance, reducing diesel use will involve new technology such as solar assisted generators, whilst driving down plant emissions on site and improving the energy credentials of its buildings will all help Barratt to achieve the 2040 net-zero target.”

The targets continue Barratt’s drive to reduce carbon emissions – since 2015 it has achieved a 22% reduction through initiatives such as improving plant efficiency and rolling out energy efficient show home lighting.

With companies such as Barratt putting an emphasis on reducing their environmental output, you can also take steps to reduce your businesses environmental impact by filling out our preferred supplier question set. Showing your businesses you take further areas of compliance, such as environmental, seriously may help you business win work over those that don’t.

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Construction Phase Plan (CPP)​

A construction phase plan (CPP) is a required document for all construction sites and should be proportional to the size or the duration of the project. 

This health & safety plan is necessary under the Construction (Design and Management) regulations 2015 (CDM).

Learn more about the CPP and how to complete it from the health and safety professionals at SMAS Worksafe.

What is a Construction Phase Plan?

The plan is a health and safety monitoring document which contains the arrangements, site rules and specific measures required when work involves risks as per schedule 3 of the Construction (Design & Management) CDM regulations, i.e. working near high voltage power lines. 

The information recorded in the CPP should be specific to the work being completed and it should take into consideration observations from the pre-construction information plan.

Do I need a Construction Phase Plan?

Under the Construction (Design Management) (CDM) regulations 2015 if you are the only contractor or principal contractor, you must create a CPP. The depth of the plan will depend on the size and scale of the project. 

Small projects may not require particularly detailed plan documents but there must still be evidence of coordination between the contractor and the team in considering health and safety for all involved.

Who is responsible for the Construction Phase Plan?

The main coordinator of the Construction Phase Plan will be the contractor or the designated principal contractor, if there is more than one on-site.

However, as this is a legally required document, the responsibility for its production also falls to the client. The principal designer and designers working on the project will also be responsible for providing all the relevant information which the contractor will need to create an exhaustive CPP.

Therefore, though the principal contractor is responsible for the management of the work, there must be co-operation between the key site decision-makers for the document to be completed in full.

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What should a CPP contain?

A CPP should contain the details below, along with any other information relevant to the specific project it is being drafted for.

  1. The name of the contractor the plan is being prepared for.
  2. The client’s name and address.
  3. The principal designer’s contact information.
  4. The principal contractor’s details.
  5. Description of the project for example:
    • location of the project
    • timescales, including key dates
    • nature of the work
  6. Project team members and their details, including contact information.
  7. Details of site management arrangements, such as site meetings and safety information to keep personnel updated.
  8. Information relating to the management of work including:
    • Health & safety goals and health monitoring methods
    • Considerations for workers and the public, for example during access to and egress from the site
    • Site rules – e.g. emergency procedures and specific safety arrangements
    • Welfare facilities – personal hygiene facilities must be in place before work can start
    • Site inductions
    • Consultations and briefings with workforce and project team
    • Emergency arrangements, including first aid and fire safety procedures

When is a Construction Phase Plan prepared?

Work cannot be started on a construction project until the plan is prepared so the principal contractor must have it completed before work begins. However, the document typically contains answers to problems identified in the pre-construction information plan so the contractor may need this to be completed before drawing up the CPP.

When should a Construction Phase Plan be updated?

Depending on the nature of the work, some details of the project may not be certain or finalised when work is due to begin. Because of this, the plan should be a live document to be updated as and when details that were not available at the beginning of the project are clarified and assessed.

Smaller projects will likely not need to be updated but, should the plans change, or the schedule need to be altered, the CPP should be altered if necessary.

Requirements of Schedule 3 of the CDM regulations 2015:

Schedule 3 of the CDM 2015 also requires the CPP to include specific consideration for works relating to a few safety risks, including:

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  • Burial under earthfall, falling from a height or engulfment in swampland, particularly where the risk is more considerable due to the nature of the work or the methods being used at the site.
  • Considerable risk from hazardous substances and chemicals.
  • Exposure to ionising radiations where the designation of controlled and supervised areas is a requirement of regulation 16 of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999.
  • Risk from high voltage power lines.
  • Drowning risks.
  • Risks presented by working on earthworks and underground tunnels.
  • Risks to divers with air supply systems.
  • Work carried out in caissons with a compressed air atmosphere.
  • The use of explosives.
  • Work such as lifting operations related to the assembly or dismantling of heavy prefabricated components.

Need advice on preparing a CPP and other Health & Safety procedures?

Get in touch with SMAS Worksafe, the UK’s leading Health & Safety accreditation body for the construction industry, for more information.

The workers are using personal protective equipments. For healthcare professionals caring for people with covid-19, the CDC recommends placing the person in an airborne infection isolation room.

Unexpected HSE site checks

The HSE has begun to visit sites across the United Kingdom to make sure that sites are following the correct Covid-19 (Coronavirus) guidelines.

Martin McCabe is Head of Safety, Health, Environment and Quality at HGH Groundworks & Civil Engineering, and a member of the CIOB’s education, qualification, standards and practice board and his site was one of those that was checked.

The site was one that had shut down and recently reopened and the HSE visited the site to make sure they the correct guidelines were in place and being followed by all staff.

Martin McCabe on the unexpected visit:

“The HSE’s visit was unannounced. The inspectors were inducted and went through the site’s coronavirus symptoms checks. They interviewed some of our staff and asked what our COVID-19 checks were. They also enquired about our travel arrangements and then looked at our method statements and risk assessments. They completed a full review of our records of symptom checks and re-inductions. Interestingly, they were still keen to focus on plant use and maintenance. They checked plant operator competence and inspection records.

We received no actions from the visit. It’s down to the dedication of each member of the team, strong supervision has been crucial.

This experience has only reinforced my view that site supervisors are the key to getting things right. They’re the people who drive the culture and behaviours on-site. When you have supervisors who lead by example, it gives you the best chance of success”.

For the full article and more information from Martin on the site visit, please click here.

It is likely that these unannounced checks will continue to happen in the construction industry throughout the UK so please make sure that you are doing all you can to keep your sites safe and compliant.

If you are running on reduced staff and would like help with managing your supply chain and their compliance, please click here and see how our site compliance reports can help you keep on top of your site.

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SMAS Worksafe Application Reverted after Covid-19 eases

Update: Changes to SMAS Worksafe SSIP application. 

Back in April due to the unforeseen impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) had upon the construction industry and particular those wanting to renew their health and safety application, SMAS Worksafe made a number of changes to the SSIP assessment to support members who may be struggling with retrieving information.

Companies were given additional support, where if they couldn’t access pertinent information (due to furloughs and/or site/office closures) but wish to keep important certifications in place during this period they were able to use documents from previous applications.

Now with much of the industry back to work under new social distancing guidelines, the changes made will be removed and the assessment will revert back to its normal process as of Tuesday 30th June.

This allows us to make sure that those who are going through their SSIP assessment are up to the required standards to be on-site, which is incredibly important for both us and our clients.

Building Inspector Looking At House Renovation Project

Construction Leadership Council Announce “Road to recovery”

The Construction Leadership Council published has released its 3-phase “Road to recovery” for bringing the construction industry back to normal following the Coronavirus pandemic which has caused the industry to slow down.

The three major phases they have outlined are the following:

They hope the outcomes of this plan will mean there will be a more capable, professional, productive and profitable sector, which delivers better value to clients, better performing infrastructure and buildings, and competes successfully in global markets.

The CLC believes it will take at least 2 years for the industry to fully recover but most of the recovery work will be done in 2021. The Office of National Statistics reported construction activity fell by 2.6% in Q1 2020, and by 5.9% in March.

Whilst The Construction Products Association estimates that construction output will fall by 25% in 2020, with the largest falls in activity in private housing (-42%), commercial construction (-36%), and private repair maintenance & improvement (-35%).

Among the chief aims of the plan, developed by the CLC’s Covid-19 taskforce, are the retention of key skills and employment of the maximum number of people possible by getting the industry back to work wherever it is safe to do so.

The CLC also wants to ensure a pipeline of future workload for all parts of the sector and boost productivity to secure improved value.

The taskforce’s plan looks at the actions required to overcome the problems arising from the industry entering the recovery phase of the crisis and is now engaging with government to see how the plans might be delivered.

Construction Leadership Council joint chair Andy Mitchell said: “The unprecedented challenge of coronavirus calls for unprecedented solutions. I am delighted by the way that the industry has collaborated at a pace to develop this plan, targeting those interventions that will help the industry get back on its feet as quickly as possible. We hope that everyone will take the opportunity to read the plan and consider the part you can play in its delivery.”

Eddie Tuttle, Director of Policy at CIOB, welcomed the plans. He said: “This is an important time for the industry, and a key focus currently is job retention and creation. We are pleased to see this response includes many of our calls made in recent months, including input from our written submission to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee inquiry on the impact of coronavirus, and look forward to working with the Construction Leadership Council on making these steps a reality.”

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Mental Health Awareness Week #KindnessMatters

This week (18 – 24 May 2020) it’s National mental health awareness week in the UK and whilst the world is feeling very different at the moment, it’s important that we remember to take time to look after our own mental health as well as others.

The focus of this years campaign is around #KindnessMatters and while the UK is starting to slowly return to work, with constructions sites reopening under new social distancing rules, many will be worrying about the safety of their own health as well as others.

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) have produced a guidance document on how to support mental health at work but another area we must remember is how our mental health can be affected online. The charity MIND have produced a set of online mental health tools. as well as other guidance on how to stay safe online.

Listed below are SMAS Worksafe’s 5 top tips to support good mental health taken from the People First organisation.

  1. Get plenty of sleep
  2. Have a good balanced diet
  3. Getting out in the sunlight and exercise
  4. Either over the phone, online or at a safe social distance, connect with others
  5. Take time for yourself and do something you enjoy

health and safety on buidling sites

Pay for your SSIP assessment when you’re ready

As construction sites reopen under new health and safety guidelines installed by the UK Government to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), house builders will be wanting to ensure that all contractors coming back on to site have all their accreditations, including SSIP, in place.

As one of the leading SSIP registered member schemes, new contractors to SMAS Worksafe can start their application for free and only pay when they’re ready to submit their application and get back on site. We aim to turn assessments around in just 3 days and you can have direct contact with your Assessor by phone and email.

For those SMAS members coming in for renewal, we made some changes to our application that aim to assist those members to ensure they’re not help back from getting on site by not having a valid SSIP certificate in place.

To find out more about how an SSIP certificate can benefit your business, call the Membership Team now on 01752 697 370