Article Safety

First Aid in the Workplace – Changes to Regulations

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), carried out an evaluation of first aid in the workplace and found that ‘although first aid awareness and penetration in workplaces was good, compliance was found to be more “in spirit” rather than the letter of the regulations and this exposed some important deficiencies in the format and content of guidance and in the proportionality of the current regulatory requirements for lower risk employees’.
The changes have been developed in consultation with employers and training providers and it is hoped that the new format will make it easier for employers to comply with the regulations.

The initial four day First Aid at Work (FAW) course will be shortened to three days and there will be a new qualification of Emergency First Aider in the Workplace (EFAW) that will require a one day training course. The FAW requalification remains unchanged at two days.
The HSE will also strongly recommend that FAW and EFAW students attend an annual three hour refresher course to prevent ‘skills fade’.
Both the FAW and EFAW courses will be approved by the HSE and must be taught by HSE approved first aid training providers.
FAW certificates will remain valid until their expiry date even if this is after October 1 2009.

For more information, visit

Article Safety

Ground investigation industry urged to take heed of new EC regulations

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In April 2007, yet another piece of EC Regulation came into force. This relates to drivers’ hours and the need for tachographs to record the information. While the regulations were prompted by the need to revise the conditions for those that spend most of their working day actually behind the wheel as drivers, they do have an impact on the ground investigation industry.

The new rules and regulations are complex but below is an attempt to summarise the important points. Acknowledgement and thanks is due to the British Drilling Association (BDA) who have put a lot of work into ploughing through this potential minefield. The Regulations are available in full from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) in the document GV262 (Second Edition 12/2006) “Drivers Hours and  Tachograph Rules for Goods Vehicles in the UK and Europe”.

The summary below developed from a series of meetings between the BDA, VOSA and the Department of Transport.

The regulations define an “in scope vehicle” as one capable of carrying goods for commercial purposes and over 3.5 tonnes maximum permissible weight. To quote VOSA, this means “either the maximum permissible gross weight of the vehicle and that of any trailer (added together) or the towing vehicle’s maximum permissible train weight, whichever is the less.” “In scope vehicles” have to be fitted with a tachograph.

Dual purpose vehicles are classified as being capable of carrying goods and towing trailers or drilling rigs. Such vehicles are typically used within the ground investigation industry for towing cable percussion drilling rigs. The words “capable of carrying goods” are important since tools of the trade may be excluded but recovered samples would not.

A trailer is defined as anything that is trailed so includes a cable percussion rig, compressor, bowser or other mobile plant. This definition comes from a Court ruling.

As we all know the tachograph records drivers’ hours. From the 1st May any new ‘’in scope vehicle’’ must have a digital tachograph conforming to EC regulations. Analogue or digital tachographs are allowed in vehicles supplied before this date. Some older vehicles may not be suitable to take digital tachographs so check with the manufacturer before deciding on which type to buy.

EC Drivers’ Hours Rules are complex and require detailed and careful record keeping. They apply to drivers of ‘’in scope vehicles’’ fitted with a tachograph (when 50 kms or more from base) other than drivers who never exceed 10 days driving over a rolling reference period, typically of 17 weeks. UK Domestic Drivers Hours Rules apply to drivers “of in scope vehicles” fitted with a tachograph when within 50 kms of base.

Drivers subject to EC Rules must not exceed an average weekly driving/working time of 48 hours calculated over the rolling reference period. The calculation of the 48 hours has to include all hours worked (driving and other work) wherever incurred. VOSA have stated that there is no opt-out for individuals wishing to work longer than an average 48 hour week, but break periods and periods of availability will not count as working time.

Because the rules are so complex it is advisable that anyone affected consults the Regulations very carefully. If in doubt seek legal advice.

Greg Southgate
RSA Geotechnics Ltd

Article Safety

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (“CDM”) – Questions and Answers

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Why was it necessary to revise the CDM Regulations 1994?

The new Regulations came into force in April 2007.  The purpose of the updated Regulations is to focus on the virtues of effective planning and management of construction projects from inception, i.e. the design concept.  The Regulations seek to engender a greater emphasis upon  health and safety considerations in order to reduce the risk of harm to those who build, use and maintain structures, and to address the generally accepted trend that the construction industry remains disproportionately hazardous to those working within it.

The aim is to enable members of the construction industry to work together to adopt a more health & safety conscious management programme, by:

  • Simplifying regulation;
  • Improving planning and management from the design stage onward;
  • Early identification of risks;
  • Encourage cooperation and working together;
  • Reduce bureaucracy and raise standards.

What are the CDM Regulations 2007

The new Regulations are divided into 5 parts:

Part 1 – Application and definition of the Regulations;
Part 2 – General duties that apply to all construction projects;
Part 3 – Additional duties that apply to notifiable projects;
Part 4 – Practical requirements for all construction sites;
Part 5 – Transitional arrangements and revocations.


What type of project is notifiable?

A notifiable project is one that will last longer than 30 days (including holidays and weekends) or which will involve more that 500 person days of construction work (calculated on a normal working shift).  Domestic projects for those who live, or will live, in the premises and are not related through trade, business or undertaking the project, are not notifiable.  It is the responsibility of the new CDM Co-ordinator to notify the project.

What is the role of the CDM Co-ordinator and the Principal Contractor?

On all notifiable projects a CDM Co-ordinator and a Principal Contractor must be appointed.  The co-ordinator is responsible for advising the Client and notifying the HSE together with managing the communication of the construction team and creating the health & safety file.  The Principal Contractor is responsible for planning, managing and monitoring the progress of the works.  In addition, they should ensure that the Client is aware of their duties and that the Co-ordinator is appointed and information is provided for the health & safety file.


By what criteria is competency measured under the new Regulations?

There are 3 stages to competency:

  • Basic understanding of risk and how they are managed;
  • Sufficient understanding of the tasks to be used and the risks they involve;
  • The necessary experience and ability to carry out those duties.

The basic premise is, competent people are safer people.  It is important that individuals and organisations recognise their own limitations in this regard.  The Approved Code of Practice provides valuable guidance when addressing the question of competency.


What if the project has already begun?

The 2007 Regulations will apply.  There are provisions dealing with the transition period between the old and new Regulations but, importantly, the competency element must be acquired within 12 months.


Who are the new dutyholders?

Specific duties are imposed upon Clients, the CDM Co-ordinator, Designers, Contractors and Principal Contractors.


They cannot now transfer their liabilities and duties to third parties, however, an agent acting on an existing project, under the CDM 1994, can continue in that role until the end of the project or April 2012, whichever is the earlier.

The Client must also ensure that the project is suitably managed and all relevant  required information is provided.


The Designer must principally comply with the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 and must not begin work until the Client is aware of its duties.  Further, all reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that the other members of the construction team, including the Client, have been provided with sufficient information about the design.

With regard to notifiable projects, a Designer should not start work until a CDM Co-ordinator has been appointed and  they have sufficient information about the design to enable them to comply with their duties.


The Contractor should not start work until the Client is aware of its duties and the Contractor has ensured that any contractors or sub-contractors that it intends to use are informed of the minimum amount of time they will be allowed to plan and prepare.  Every worker should have sufficient information and training for their particular work.

Principal Contractors:

Their duties fall into 3 categories:

  1. Main duties;
  2. Duties related to the construction phase plan; and
  3. Co-operation and consultation.

Overall, Principal Contractors must plan, manage and monitor the construction phase of the project to encourage co-operation and co-ordination between the relevant construction team members.  In addition, they must draw up the construction phase plan, ensure that every worker has a sufficient site induction, is provided with information and training and consult with the representatives of the workforce on matters of health, safety and welfare.

What is a health and safety file?

The CDM Co-ordinator is responsible for creating and revising this document for notifiable projects.  They must liaise with all of the relevant members of the construction team to ensure that the file contains information for the future construction, maintenance, refurbishment or demolition of the structure, in order that the future work is carried out safely.

Are there any strategies I can adopt for a ‘best practice’ approach?

It is important that you integrate health, safety and risk management into the corporate culture by considering the level of “risk”, reducing or eliminating the “risk” wherever possible and keep the “risk” under review.  A paper trail of this process will be invaluable when you audit your compliance with the Regulations or you are asked to illustrate your adoption of the “best practice” approach.

Where do I go for help?

The Approved Code of Practice accompanies the new 2007 Regulations and assists with practical guidance on interpreting and applying the Regulations as well as suggesting ways of improving cooperation and coordination.

Berrymans Lace Mawer

Article Business Practice Executive

Age Discrimination Regulations

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Members trying to come to grips with the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 can find information on the Evesheds website (Drill down via ‘Services and Sectors’ to ‘human resources’ and ’employment law’ to find a list of articles published in this area.)

One of the most useful is entitled, ‘Age Regulation – an insight into how employers are responding to the issues’ (issued 24 October) which reports the results of a survey of 150 organisations. Each section begins with a very brief summary of the Regulations, and ends with a section entitled ‘implications and actions’

Article Safety

Environmental Alert New Hazardous Waste Regulations

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The Hazardous Waste and List of Wastes Regulations have been introduced replacing the existing Special Waste Regulations 1996 and come into effect on 16th July 2005. The definition of hazardous waste now covers a wider range and includes common items such as fluorescent tubes, television sets and computer monitors. It also covers any product bearing an orange hazard-warning symbol, such as certain types of paints and mastics and also a broader range of contaminated soils.


Construction sites are classified as hazardous waste producers. The regulations will have a number of impacts on producers:

  • All producers of hazardous waste must register the premises at which the waste arises with the Environment Agency.

  • Producers must avoid mixing hazardous waste and non-hazardous wastes e.g. separate skips.

  • Producers must still complete a consignment note. There is a new format for consignment notes and guidance is available from the Environment Agency to assist with their completion.

  • The regulations require the Environment Agency to inspect producers of hazardous waste who can prosecute or issue a fixed penalty notice (£300) for the failure to comply with the requirements of the regulations.


All hazardous waste producers must notify their premises to the Environment Agency by the 15th July 2005 and every time a new site starts producing hazardous waste. It will be an offence to produce or remove hazardous waste from any premises that are not notified or exempt, after this date.

The notification which needs to be renewed after 12 months, will be accompanied by a registration code (or premises code) that must be written on all consignment notes.

A list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ can be found at

Article Safety


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The AGS Safety Manual for Investigation Sites was first published in 1992. It has now been extensively revised and extended to reflect the changes in health and safety law and codes of practice which have been introduced in recent years. The manual is designed to provide mangers and supervisors with an easy-to-follow, practical guide to Health and Safety legislation. It will help them understand and maintain the high standards of health and safety required on investigation sites and in offices, both on- and off-site. For ease of use, the manual has been divided into two parts. Part I, which includes Sections 1 to 10 describes in outline current Health and Safety Legislation, while Part II provides guidance and procedures. Each chapter in the manual begins with a list of the main topics covered by the chapter and ends with a list of references from which further and more detailed information may be obtained about the topics covered in the chapter. A model Health and Safety Plan has been included at the end of the manual for users to refine and extend as appropriate to their projects. Whilst some of the legislation is quite specific in its application, other codes of regulations apply to almost every aspect of work. For example, the Display Screen Equipment regulations apply only to workstations incorporating equipment such as VDU’s whereas the Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations apply wherever employees or the self employed are at work. For this reason and to avoid repetition of text, many of the chapters in the manual contain cross- references to other chapters. COST Members Non Members Looseleaf Folder £50 £150 CD* £80 £240 Both £100 £300

* May be used on a company intranet