Category Archives: Health Issues

Workplace Plumbing Safety Tips

Following the correct guidelines when performing any plumbing ask is essential to ensuring complete safety for yourself and whomever you are doing the work for. Knowing about your responsibilities as a employee and also if you are an employer, knowing what you have to do is critical to be sure you are abiding by the law with all the work you, and your company does.

 

Main Employer Responsibilities

 

  • the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risk to health (this includes the supply of all necessary personal protective equipment)

  • safety in the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances

  • the provision of information, instruction, training and supervision as necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of employees

  • the provision of access to and exit from the workplace that is safe and without risk

  • the provision of adequate facilities and arrangements for welfare at work.

  • provide a health and safety policy statement

  • undertake regular risk assessments

Main Employee Responsibilities

  • take reasonable care at work of your own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by what you do or do not do

  • do not intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for your health and safety

  • co-operate with your employer on health and safety matters. Assist your employer in meeting their statutory obligations

  • bring to your employer’s attention any situation you think presents a serious and imminent danger

  • bring to your employer’s attention any weakness you might spot in their health and safety arrangements.

As a plumber it is necessary you understand what types of actions are to be taken by you or your employee in order to keep the workplace or worksite safe at all times, there are statutory regulations in place in order to keep safety to a maximum and to make sure you do not have any law suits coming your
way.

 Some of the actions taken to keep safety to a high are risk assessments, method statements and permit to work statements. The permit to work statement is a list of checks which you would carry out before taking on any dangerous plumbing jobs
like going up high to fix a broken pipe.

When
on site it is important to lay down a list of requirements for safety. If you are on a plumbing job which may take you a few days, it is essential to make sure your plumbers read these before working on the site. Some regulations to take into consideration can be found below.

 generally ensuring a safe place of work

  • precautions against falls from height or into excavations

  • protection against falling objects

  • protection against structural collapse (while work is taking place), i.e. the building falling down! safeguards when working in excavations

  • prevention of drowning (falling into water)

  • provision of safe traffic routes (on sites)

  • prevention and control of emergencies (site emergency evacuation procedures, etc.)

  • provision of welfare facilities – WCs, washing facilities, canteens/rest areas, shower facilities (if required)

  • provision of site-wide issues – clean and tidy sites, adequate lighting, constant and fresh air supply, etc.

  • training, inspection and reports – proper training of staff, use of properly trained staff to do the work, proper supervision of staff and monitoring the work carried out by staff to ensure it is carried out in a safe manner.

 

Plumbing safety tips

To ensure you always stay safe when working, it is best to follow these simple, yet somewhat obvious instructions.

  • Do not walk under a ladder that has somebody working up it

  • Wear the correct safety equipment (ie boots, hard hats etc.)

  • Always make sure to not work with plumbing issues near electric whilst power is on, turn all power off to prevent anything tragic happening

  • Make sure you have received full training on the job you are about to undergo

  • Do not work if tired as many times we have seen work going wrong due to sleep deprivation

  • Follow the correct health and safety guidelines (mentioned above)

  • Be sure to use the correct tools for the job to ensure you complete it safely

 Author Bio

This article was written by Dan Mawson who is the owner and founder of Multicore emergency plumber wigan.

He is an avid blogger, plumber, electrician and web developer hoping to share his knowledge through the web.

 

The Top Five Mistakes Made by the DIY Electricians

The Top Five Mistakes Made by the DIY Electricians

 

We live in an age where everyone is surrounded by Pinterest inspiration boards, online guides, and Youtube video tutorials – so it’s no surprise, we have turned ourselves into the do-it-yourself generation. It certainly is a good feeling to accomplish something and be proud of our own work. But how safe is it to approach electrical work as a DIY electrician?

With the given nuances to electrical work, we are needlessly putting ourselves at risk. Here are the top five DIY homemade electricians’ mistakes and how to properly fix them:

  1. Installation without a junction box – Do not attempt to connect wires without an electrical box. Junction boxes shield the connections from unintentional damage and contain sparks and heat from a loose connection or short circuit. Add an electrical box. Be sure the installation is done properly and the box is flush. If the outlet is wiggling or loose, it’s not adequately installed and needs repair.

 

  1. Outlet overload – Every outlet is prepared to handle a specific electrical load. For instance, you’d never want to plug a refrigerator in your sitting room, as you know the general purpose of that circuit isn’t designed to handle such a large electrical power draw. Placing a high demand on a circuit creates an unnecessary hazard of shock and fire. Be wary of the demand placed on circuits and how much equipment you are plugging into each outlet (including those plugged into extension cords and power strips).

 

  1. Securing Electrical Wires – Properly securing electrical wires does not mean stapling and hammering a wire too tightly. If the insulation is accidently pinched or perforated, you are prone to a serious fire risk. Accidentally pinching or piecing an electrical wire can create an arc fault, resulting in a possible fire. Inspect wires and avoid piercing or hammering these – they should be secured properly without being too restrictive and always use specialized staples and staple guns and/or fasteners.

 

  1. Stuffing electrical boxes – Do not overstuff an electrical box. Every electrical load has a minimum box size. Calculate the proper electrical box size. Use the following formula to help you:

-Add 1 for each hot wire and neutral wire going into the box

-Add 1 for all the ground wires combined

-Add 1 for all the cable clamps combined

-Add 2 for each connected electrical switch or outlet

Take that figure and multiply it by two for a 14-gauge wire, and by 2.25 for a 12-gauge wire. This figure establishes the minimum box size required in cubic inches – choose a box with this amount of volume.

 

  1. Incorrect wiring type – To an inexperienced individual, wires look almost the same, but they’re intended to be unique and purposeful. Each wire (copper, aluminum, residential and outdoor) has a type, rate amperage, and specific use. Choose the appropriate wiring type. Incorrectly using these can place you at risk for shock, electrocution or fire.

Wiring mistakes and problems are far too common, and when ignored have the capacity to cause short circuits, shocks, electrocution and even fires. If you’re in doubt, don’t do it yourself, as a lot can and will go wrong. Hire a licensed professional, who is specifically trained to perform and recognize the hazards associated with the job.

 

Written by: Vania Silva. Vania is an electrical safety advocate and enjoys reading and writing about electrical related issues.

Before You Hit the Road: Tips for a Safer Commute

The workplace isn’t the only place where you should strive for safety. The roadways can be equally as dangerous and an accident before work can start you off on the wrong foot. If you are like millions of other drivers, commuting may be one of your least favorite parts of the day and for good reason, according to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), a division of Texas A&M University, the average commuter spends about 42 hours a year in traffic congestion.

Not only can traffic congestion cause major headaches and stress, it is also a contributing factor in accidents across the U.S. Texas, alone, is notorious for some serious traffic jams. Here are some tips to having a safer commute and ways to prepare for your morning drive before you even hit the road:

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep can be hard to come by, particularly when you’re putting in overtime and trying to balance a life outside of work. A good night’s sleep is essential to physical and mental health, productivity and safety at work as well as safety on the road. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep at night. Additionally, NSF also reports that at least 100,000 crashes occur each year due to sleep deprived drivers. Do yourself a favor and get enough sleep, even it means skipping the nightly news report or chatting with friends on social media.
Prep for the Day the Night Before

Remember how Mom used to urge you to set out your clothes for school, the night before? It’s not a bad idea. The more prepared you are for your day, the better. If your morning is full of too much to do before you even get behind the wheel, you may leave the house stressed out, running late, and as a result, you may drive more recklessly thus increasing your risk of an accident.

Relax

Some drivers really hate commuting. It can be stressful, it can cause anxiety, and it can cause rage. If you get in the habit of relaxing before you leave for work, you may be and feel ready to face morning gridlock. While a relaxing bubble bath may be out of the question, some yoga poses or even brief meditation could put you at ease, making you more focused and less likely to lose your cool while driving. Relaxing exercises not your thing? Consider going for a brisk walk, a short run, or even hit the gym before work, it may have the same benefits.

Check Out The Traffic Beforehand

For many commuters, traffic is traffic, but sometimes taking a look at the traffic before you head out the door can help you prepare for what you can expect or what you may want to avoid. Check out traffic cams or download an app like Waze to get an up-to-date look at the roads and any delays due to accidents or construction. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast, too, as a rainy morning in Texas can make for a nightmarish commute. Preparedness may not always reduce the hassles of a morning commute, but it can help you stay safer.

Choose the Best Steel Lockers for Your Office

Purchasing a locker for your office means you need to be well-informed before you make a buying decision. Depending on your requirements, you can customise your office’s locker system as well as select the accessories that will enhance it. The most important consideration you need to make is how many tiers you will need. This one variable will assist you in quickly determining what characteristics will work for your storage and security needs. Always double-check the dimensions and description for verification as well.

Handle Types
You also have to consider the handle type. Locker systems are featured with a lift handle, door pull or recessed handle design. Lift handles supply the user with fast and convenient access to the items or content within a locker. This kind of handle makes it easy to add a padlock for securing the handle and preventing any kind of access that is unauthorised.

Recessed handles are designed to keep vandals from striking the handle component in order to obtain access. Door pull handles, like lift handles, provide an easy way to affix a padlock. Most of the box lockers that are sold feature a door pull handle design. Now that you have become acquainted with the three main handle designs, you need to think how the locker will be used, the style of locker you will need and the size and colour options.

Compartment Storage Lockers
For instance, compartment storage lockers are ideal to choose when you need to store and safely secure personal items or equipment. These types of lockers come with either latch-fitted or key-operated locks. The lockers are good for storing equipment when you are not using it.
Niche Type Storage and Security
Other locker storage solutions for the office include the post locker, which is made to safely store snail mail. and the laptop, which enables an employee to store his laptop or laptop accessories. You can also use headset lockers that are available for storing headsets.

Laptop Storage
The laptop storage lockers that are used provide a cost-efficient way to store laptops. The lockers come fitted with either latch or key-operated locks. You can choose a separate frame and door colour or keep the frame and door color the same. Usually, the frame on this sort of locker is grey whilst the door may be grey, red or blue.

Headset Lockers
Another storage option – a headset locker – is usually divided equally among sixteen compartments. Typically, the lockers are offered in one size and each of the compartments feature a standard key-operated lock.

Quality Features
Any locker you choose should offer an air vent system on the door, a welded front frame, through frame locking, welded internal door strengthener and knuckle hinges. The locker should feature, as standard, an anti-bacterial powder coating as well. Using this type of coating prevents the spread of MRSA and E-coli bacteria at bay. MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which causes different infections in the body.
The office locker you choose should be quality engineered so it will supply a dependable and sturdy storage and locker system for many years. Any built-in security adds extra confidence that office electronics and personal items will not be stolen or seized. Make sure the office locker you select offers replacement keys or locks, if necessary too. Numbered cards that show locker numbers are usually available.

You can get a better idea of the various locker styles by visiting such sites as locker-selector.co.uk. When you have this kind of reference, you can better visualise how a locker system can be incorporated into your office environment.

Be Aware and Prepare to stop spread of Zika virus.

As Congress haggles over how many millions or billions of dollars to spend to help stop the spread of the Zika virus in the U.S. before summer, researchers at New Mexico State University are already testing wearable mosquito repellent devices to determine which ones can best help us protect ourselves against these insects.

“The goal is to find out what works and what doesn’t,” said Immo Hansen, an NMSU associate professor of biology involved in the investigation. “There are so many products on the market that simply don’t work, so I think it’s really important to test them in a scientific way.”

This month, a group from Hansen’s Molecular Vector Physiology Lab, in the College of Arts and Sciences, began a series of tests to determine the effectiveness of a dozen commercially available wearable repellents, including clip-ons and wristbands. Though the study is ongoing, preliminary data revealed that citronella-based bracelets and wristbands have little effect on mosquitoes, whereas OFF Clip-On devices not only repel mosquitoes, they also kill them.

“Some people are really resistant to putting repellents on their skin, so they would rather choose a wearable device,” said Stacy Rodriguez, manager of NMSU’s Molecular Vector Physiology Lab and lead researcher on this project. “Right now, we are just trying to see if the wearable devices are as effective as the spray-on devices.”

The group plans to publish the results of this research by mid-summer.

This analysis is a follow-up to a study the group conducted last fall on 10 commercially available spray-on repellents. During this experiment, Rodriguez and her colleagues recognized the most reliable sprays as DEET products and lemon eucalyptus-based insect repellents.

For the current study, the group is testing the wearable devices using a 70-foot wind tunnel located in an NMSU research facility. After taking baseline readings, the researchers put on the repellent devices and position themselves upwind of a series of test cages. Depending on the product’s repellency, the caged mosquitoes either fly away from the test subjects or toward them.

The wearable devices are being tested against the same two species of mosquito used in the spray repellent study: the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), both of which carry the Zika virus.

“These two mosquitoes have very different levels of attraction to even one certain individual,” Rodriguez said. “Since attraction varies, repellency is also going to vary, so it’s important to test multiple species when you’re looking at repellents and their efficacy.”

Thanks to body chemistry, mosquitoes are also more inclined to bite someone who “smells” good to them.

“Everybody has a different bacterial flora on his or her skin,” Hansen said. “The bacteria break down components of sweat and produce a different set of olfactory clues for the mosquitoes. Some people just smell better to mosquitoes than others, and there’s really nothing you can do about that except wear repellents. There’s nothing you can do to change the bacterial flora on your skin.”

Consequently, these chemical differences can impact which repellents work best for you.

“Something that might work for one person because of his or her body chemistry, might not work for somebody else because he or she has different chemistry,” Rodriguez said.

While the Asian tiger mosquito hasn’t established significant populations in New Mexico, Aedes aegypti – one of the primary vectors of dengue, Zika virus and yellow fever – can be found in your backyard in Las Cruces.

“Be aware; prepare,” Hansen said. “Get yourself a good repellent, wear long sleeves, long pants. Try to avoid getting bit.”

The mosquito that carries the Zika virus can breed in as little as one centimeter of standing water, Hansen explained. For those with ponds, his recommendation was to get Gambusia, or mosquito fish, from the Doña Ana County Vector Control to keep backyard mosquito populations at bay.

Next fall, Hansen and Rodriguez plan to investigate mosquito attractants for use in baits. Surprisingly, even though humans attract mosquitoes all the time, Rodriguez explained that creating a chemical to attract mosquitoes is actually harder than repelling them.

“We have such complex odors that it’s actually hard to emulate that in cream or a bait trap,” she said. “It’s actually much more complex than creating something that disguises your human smell.”

Article Provided by…

Molecular Vector Physiology Laboratory
New Mexico State University
Immo Hansen, biology professor
immoh@nmsu.edu (575) 646-7719

The Top 5 Reasons to Talk to Your Employees about Workplace Safety

Workplace safety is constantly on the mind of business leaders and companies. This is because there is no way to guarantee complete safety, but there are a lot of things you can do to prevent major accidents.

While many companies put up signs, give a safety talk when on boarding employees, and review once a year, this is not an effective strategy to maintaining a safe workplace. Consistently talking to your employees about safety is one of the best ways to ensure a safe workplace for everyone.

Why should you consistently talk to your employees about workplace safety?

1. Keeps safety top of mind

When you talk to your employees about safety regularly, it keeps safety top of mind. It shows that workplace safety is a series topic in the organization and one that is not to be joked about. It also ensures that there are no mental lapses of safety procedures. Whether employees are tired, or have other things on their mind (which everyone does), it makes sure that when they walk into the workplace they are paying attention and understand the importance of safety.

2. Holds everyone accountable

Talking to your employees about safety makes sure that everyone is held accountable. Not just the employees, but also the managers, CEO, and company as a whole. Talking about workplace safety shows that everyone is in it together and it’s not just one person taking the lead. It opens the conversation for questions to be asked and clarified. It enables everyone to feel like they have a role in keeping the workplace safe, which they do.

3. Employees take ownership

When we say, “talk to your employees” we really mean have a conversation. It is well known that people take ownership in things when they feel they’ve had a voice in the conversation/been a part of the decision process. So talking to your employees and giving them a voice in the conversation about workplace safety will help them feel valued and truly take ownership of it. It will allow them to become leaders and hold themselves, as well as everyone around them, accountable.

4. Becomes a part of the culture

When you stay consistent with something in a business for an extended period of time, sooner or later, it becomes a part of the culture. This is obviously the end goal with workplace safety. Having a culture of safety ensures that everyone is holding each other accountable from the top down. If you don’t consistently talk to your employees about safety it will quickly become something that is not often thought about. Having conversations often about safety will ensure that it becomes engraved in the culture of your organization.

5. Creates new ideas

Talking with your employees about workplace safety is good for them and also good for the company. By opening up the conversation you open up a platform for new and innovative ideas. Employees are the ones working on the ground floor everyday and seeing the safety procedures in action. They know the good ones, and the not so good. They will be able to bring new and innovative ideas of how to continue to keep the company a safe place to work.

As you can see there are a lot of benefits that come from consistently communicating with your employees about workplace safety. It is the most effective way to prevent major accidents and keep employees safe.

Author Bio:
August works at HUMAN Healthy Vending, a healthier for you vending company, and the owners of the complete guide on how to start a vending machine business.

The Hidden Dangers in the Workplace

Sometimes, the dangers of a work environment are easy to assess. Dangerous factory work, mechanical jobs, and other rough and ready professions are noted for their inherent danger and risk. Where there is the greatest risk, there is also the greatest precautions. However, it’s not just the obviously dangerous workplaces that pose a threat to employees and employers. Seemingly safe environments, such as offices and retail spaces, always pose a risk. The only difference is all too often these environments are not treating with the same risk as others.

In this article, we take a look at some of the workplace threats that can cause trouble but which are often overlooked by less than stellar workplace safety reviewers.

How to Stay Safe

When it comes to keeping your employees safe, communication is key. A business owner could have the very best workplace practices, but there’ll be ineffective if they aren’t conveyed to the employees.

It’s always important not to just boringly walk through the dangers of the workplace with your employees; there’ll be more likely to remember it if it’s livened up through role play and/or other interactive ways.

Finally, one of the most important aspects of keeping safe is making sure you have a plan for what you do if something does go wrong. This, in many cases, is just as important as prevention. Make sure your employees know the procedure for handling workplace injuries and accidents. Similarly, you should also be prepared to handle things going wrong by ensuring your business is properly covered and prepared to deal with whatever happens. As with most things in life, its preparation and prevention that offer the best keys to success. You’re can’t always control what happens, but you can control your reaction.

Next, we move on those less than obvious – but very simple – dangers lurking in your workplace.

Hidden Threats

Clutter

Clutter is actually more of a hazard than you’d think. Apparently, it undermines our mental productivity and can greatly affect the mood of an office. A messy environment equals a messy mind, one in which dangers happen more by blindsiding and inability to focus. And then there’s also the physical danger; the more stuff lying around, the more chance there is that somebody will trip over and fall. The answer? A simple new policy: no mess!

Cabinets

Cabinets are the enemy of HR professionals. These simple objects have a disproportionately high effect on injuries in the workplace. Whether it’s a cabinet draw left open or a cabinet that hasn’t been securely fastened to the wall, the dangers are obvious once you’re aware of them. And the injuries can be very painful, as well as potentially very serious. So what do you do? Let everyone know the dangers of drawers being left open, and also ensure they’re attached to the wall.

Eyestrain

You might be quite amazed just how many people suffer from eyestrain. Roughly 6 out of 10 people will suffer eye problems, just from looking at their screen for long periods of time. Of course, this is part of the modern world; everything is done on computers. Still, that doesn’t allow you to wash your hands of the problem – or you might just end up paying for it later. There are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it happening.

The first is making sure everyone takes regular breaks from their digital screens. The simple, easily remembered 20-20-20 rule can help here. Every twenty minutes, tell your employees to take twenty seconds to stare twenty feet ahead of them. Doing this might just stop pain from developing in their eyes. You should also remind them to blink while they’re working at the computers.

Air Quality

The quality of the air in an office is another one that is often overlooked. However, poor air can lead to problems such as poor breathing, increased illness, and food sanitation issues. The best solution for this is to make sure the office receives plenty of fresh ventilation, especially if harmful chemicals are used during cleaning.

You can’t always prevent accidents from happening, but you can take steps to ensure the risk if minimal. By taking the appropriate steps, you can protect both your employees and your business from avoidable instances that can cause real issues.

This article was submitted by Helen Sellers

HAVE YOU MADE SAFE TRAVEL PLANS FOR THIS MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY?

If you are traveling for this holiday, it is important that you don’t just throw a few things in a suitcase, and head for the sunset!  Make your plans based on safety, no matter how you plan to travel.   

As service stations gear up by hiking their gas prices, airlines may have limited discount flights available, but highway traffic is a nightmare. Prepare for your trip by mapping your route and then using road services, travel associations, the internet, news and any other source you can find to get updates. Remember that traveling at off hours can save you both money and time, not to mention hassle. 

You’d love for your Memorial Day weekend trip to be fantastic with perfect weather, but we all know how Mother Nature loves to mess with vacation plans. Check out a reliable weather resource, and plan to pack the proper clothes. Just because it’s warming up in some areas, there may be need for a sweater for evenings, or other warm clothing for camping. 

You don’t need to have a specific budget, but it’s a good idea to know how much you can afford to spend for the weekend and to have a rough idea of how much your planned adventures will cost. Understanding the price of travel, lodging and activities is a great start. Then you’ll have a better idea of how much to spend on meals and incidentals. (Especially if you plan to frequent a casino, make up your mind how much you can afford to gamble, and if you lose, stop; don’t try to catch up!) 

When driving, leave early enough to arrive at your destination in plenty of time. Remember, you state law enforcement officers will be working extra personnel in order to ensure your safety, by seeing that you don’t speed. Don’t drink and drive, or you could possible wind up with different accommodations than you had planned! Also, don’t text and drive. 

If traveling by car, be sure to notify family members or friends of your planned destination, and when you plan to arrive.  If you find you may be late, be sure to let them know where you are and not to send out the Mounties, that you should be there within a certain time.

Take a survival kit along, just in case: a first-aid kit, plenty of water, some non-perishable foods and snacks, your cell phone, a blanket, and pet food if your four-legged friends are traveling with you. Whether you are flying or driving this holiday, stock up with hand sanitizer, as many surfaces will be shared very often by others; doorknobs, arm rests and trays on planes, gasoline pumps, just about anything you touch while traveling.  There are some ugly bugs that seem to thrive on those who are traveling on planes, trains, or automobiles!  

For this first outing of summer, we wish everyone a safe journey, or if they stay home, a restful day.  Have a fun and safe summer; watch for the kids in the neighborhood because sometimes they forget to watch for you!

KEEPING OUTDOOR WORKERS SAFE THIS SUMMER

Although it is still snowing in the Northeast, warmer weather is making its presence felt in other areas of the United States. Those fearless firemen in California have really had a “hot” job, fighting all the fires lately. It is sad to think that someone set those on purpose. The risks that the response teams go through, as well as loss of homes and innocent animals  living in those homes, in addition to wildlife, causes us to hope that they catch the perpetrators soon. 

Besides firemen, there are so many others who work outdoors every day. Gradually becoming acclimated to warmer temperatures helps them adjust easier. It pays for workers to watch out for each other, because there may be a co-worker who is older, or one in bad health that may fall victim to a heat stroke or heat fatigue. 

Those workers should be trained in first aid and know what to do in each situation. If they suspect someone has had a heat stroke, here’s suggestions on what to do: 

  • Call for emergency medical help immediately.
  • Move person to a half-sitting position in the shade.
  • If humidity is below 75%, spray victim with water and vigorously fan. If humidity is above 75%, apply ice packs on neck, armpits or groin. 

Here are some symptoms of heat stroke:

  • In severe heatstroke, the victim can go into a coma in less than one hour. The longer the coma lasts, the lower the chance for survival.
  • The victim’s body feels extremely hot when touched.
  • Altered mental status (behavior) ranging from slight confusion and disorientation to coma.
  • Conscious victims usually become irrational, agitated, or even aggressive and may have seizures.

Heat exhaustion is characterized by heavy perspiration with normal or slightly above normal body temperatures, the result of dehydration. Heat exhaustion affects workers and athletes who do not drink enough fluids while working or exercising in hot environments.
Heat cramps are painful muscular spasms that happen suddenly, affecting legs or abdominal muscles. They usually happen after physical activity in people who sweat a lot or have not had enough fluids. Many times you will see athletes that are given Gatorade to replenish fluids and electrolytes. If you think someone is having heat cramps, have them drink cool (not cold) water or a sports drink, lie or sit in the shade, and stretch the affected muscles. Caffienated drinks or alcohol will contribute to dehydration.  Workers wouldn’t have alcohol on the job, but others who are outdoors on recreational activities should limit their intake in extremely hot situations.

Outdoor workers should have a good supply of water on hand, wear sunscreen, long-sleeved shirts, and a hat, or hardhat, depending on the occupation. There are attachments made to fit hardhats to create more of a shade, and even an attachment to protect the back of the neck. Be sure to take plenty of breaks in the shade if possible, and try to begin work earlier in the day in order to finish before it gets too hot. 

These tips apply not only to workers, but to all who enjoy being outdoors during the warm months for summer activities, camping, boating, athletic events, or working in the yard. It pays to protect oneself. Extreme heat can catch up with anyone, no matter how strong they are, if they don’t take care of themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are Landlords’ Gas Safety Obligations? (Guest Post)

Landlords have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their tenants, and should take reasonable steps to do so. One of the most important regulations landlords in the UK must adhere to is the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. These oblige landlords to ensure that every relevant gas fitting and flue is maintained safely in order to prevent their tenants suffering from illness or injury.

This involves conducting gas appliance services every 12 months and keeping a record of these checks for two years. The record should answer the following questions:

–          When was the appliance or flue checked?

–          What address did the check occur in?

–          What is the name and address of the landlord or agent that controls the property?

–          Where are the appliances located?Gas-safety

–          What kind of gas appliances are they?

–          Were any problems noticed?

–          Were any defects repaired?

–          Was the flue’s effectiveness checked?

–          Was the supply of combustion air examined?

–          Was the heat input or operating pressure examined?

–          Was the operation of the appliance checked?

–          Was the landlord or agent notified of any defects?

–          Who carried out the check?

–          What the Gas Safe Register registration number of the person who carried out the check?

This record should also be provided to the tenants of the premises, and when a new tenant moves into a property, they should be provided with a copy of the most recent record.

Landlords’ gas safety obligations are not solely confined to the rooms their tenants live in, but also any communal areas, such as hallways and walkways. Landlords must also not merely ensure their gas appliances are serviced, but are also responsible for any repairs and maintenance that their appliance may require. It is best practice to repair any defects as soon as possible – not only could delays cause harm to tenants, but tenants may even try to reclaim part of their rent through the small claims court if they do not feel that their landlord kept their property up to standard.

Gas appliances that are in parts of a building solely occupied for non-residential use do not come under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, nor do any gas appliances tenants provide themselves. However, it is best to have any gas appliances owned by the landlord and any flues that are connected to tenant’s gas appliances checked annually; this may help landlords to meet any additional duties they have under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

If a tenant’s central heating shuts down due to a boiler breakdown or disconnected by an engineer, landlords must provide their tenants with alternative emergency heating until the heating is back on. It is illegal to use gas appliances that have been deemed as unsafe or that are suspected of being hazardous; therefore, landlords must not encourage their tenants to use any appliances that have been classed as unsafe and should arrange repairs as quickly as possible. Landlords who have any doubts over an engineer’s advice should still adhere to their advice, but can contact the Gas Safe Register for further assistance in the interim.

Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke writes about health and safety on behalf of boiler breakdown cover specialists 247 Home Rescue.