We at the Wilkins Safety Group would like to wish you all a happy, prosperous and, above all, a safe New Year.

Happy new year 2018In our forthcoming newsletters we shall endeavor to keep you up-to-date with legislative changes, updates and tit-bits from the world of health and safety. Like previous years we will keep it informative and relevant and not inundate you with unnecessary advertisements or sales pitches from other companies.  We will keep you informed of upcoming training courses and services available from us. We will also keep you abreast of the latest HSE cases which we hope make you think about your business and what you can do to improve things.

As an organisation we look forward to working with you during this forthcoming year to assist in ensuring you and your company attains compliance with health and safety legislation, then maintaining that compliance.

We also have 2 recent HSE cases for you to look at and think about:

We hope you learn from the mistakes of others that are highlighted in our weekly newsletters and, as a result, do not have similar accidents at your workplace.

As ever, if you have a subject that you would like us to cover one week, please contact us by phone 01458 253682, email, or via our Facebook page or by Twitter.

Health & Safety for 2018.

To start 2018 I thought that I would give you the what we know has just changed, or is going to change in 2018.

Standard for selecting CDM Principal Designers

BSI has published the specification for procuring all CDM 2015 services

The National Standards Body for the United Kingdom, BSI has published PAS 91:2013+A1:2017 for application across the UK.

The new free to download standard covers, for the first-time, the engagement of those design organisations to be appointed by the project client as Principal Designers under the CDM Regulations 2015.

CDM 2015 requires that design and contractor organisations appointed to work on a construction project must have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience and organisational capability to fulfil the role that they are appointed to undertake.

The client responsible for appointing the design and contractor organisations must take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that those parties have the necessary skills etc.

The standard sets out the core health and safety related questions to be asked by CDM 2015 construction project clients and the evidence required to be satisfied that those appointed possess the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability to carry out the Principal Designer function.

Successful prior assessment can reduce bureaucracy

The new PAS 91 provides for acceptance by clients of relevant successful assessments by registered members of the Safety Schemes in Procurement Forum (SSIP), against the PAS sectionsconstruction quesionnaires leaflet which covers health and safety questions only.

To help reduce cost and bureaucracy client compliance with PAS 91 includes acceptance of relevant, successful assessments by an SSIP registered member scheme in lieu of responses to the H&S question. This enables the clients to give additional attention to project-specific health and safety questions.

PAS 91 states that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) supports SSIP, noting that suitable assessment of a supplier by an SSIP member assessor meets the client general requirement to exercise “reasonable judgment” based on the evidence provided.

So, to be sure that your chosen Principal Designer is reaching the required standard you should be checking that they are listed on the SSIPs Portal 

ISO 45001

The final draft international standard (FDIS) ISO 45001 was made available in November 2017, and the current best prediction is that the finished version will be published in February 2018.  Most of the changes from the draft published in April 2017 (DIS2) were fairly minor, to align other management standards such as those for quality, environment and information security.

Although the existing OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn at the same time, organisations already using it will have a 3-year transition period to migrate to ISO 45001.  However, although some organisations might find contracts that require ISO 45001, since there is no legal requirement to have either standard, organisations which have invested time and effort in OHSAS 18001 can chose not to migrate.

The transition period refers only to a time during which BSI and others will certify organisations to the old standard.  Some organisations might feel “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and continue to operate to the old standard.  We will watch during 2018 to see the uptake of the new standard.


The good news is that the estimated incidence of manual handling injuries in the workplace has decreased since 1990 by around 40%.  So a pat on the back to those who have helped design out manual handling, provide training, and reduce the pressures that result in hurried handling and injuries.

The bad news is that rates of stress in the workplace remain stubbornly high, with estimates that nearly half of all working days lost to ill health can be attributed to stress, anxiety or depression. That’s a figure to make senior managers look more closely at mental health issues during 2018.

Traditionally ‘falls from height’ has been the biggest cause of workplace fatalities.  However, being hit by a moving vehicle has now claimed that unwanted position.  Construction and agriculture are the key culprits in this area, but other industries have had fatalities, from refuse collection to taxi driving.

So perhaps 2018 is the time for you to carry out a ‘Stress Audit’, to identify what is causing stress and then manage these as you do any other hazard that is damaging to your business


Who can predict where Brexit will take us in 2018?

Whilst it was reported that a specific amendment to the Brexit Bill to protect health and safety law was rejected in November 2017, in December 2017 a final amendment was narrowly accepted, which has the effect of protecting all the EU laws, including those relating to health and safety, from being changed without the permission of Parliament.

Amidst rumours that some leading politicians would like to get rid of the protections provided by the Working Time Directive, this is some comfort.  Whether you are in favour or against Brexit overall, you can now perhaps be optimistic that sufficient parliamentarians will be keeping an eye on regulatory protection of safety, health and welfare.

My own thoughts are that post Brexit, the British Government will want to show the UK as the safest place to work and, if anything, will tighten the health and safety laws we already have. They would also be aware that any downgrading of legislation would not go down well with the trade unions.

So be optimistic in 2018! That way you will ready for whatever comes our way and REMEMBER that The Wilkins Safety Group is here to help you.

Taunton & Somerset CPD Group at The Lawns Taunton

Martin Kent our Customer Relations Manager has arranged the CPD seminars – see below. As previously requested, if you could let Martin know whether or not you can attend it would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you would like to give a talk, or know of somebody who would, please contact Martin.

Our next Seminar will be on Wednesday 24th January 2018. Could you please arrive by 12:30pm prompt.

Our speaker for this one is Luke Morgan from Rockwool and there will also be a talk from the Rock Panel side of the Business, you can download a PDF here on what Luke is going to talk about.

If you haven’t already booked your place, or if you are not on the CPD Seminar mailing list but would like to be please drop Martin an email and he will deal with your request.

As per our last one if you could let Martin know whether or not you can attend within 7 days of receipt of his email, it would be greatly appreciated.

Contact Details [email protected] 07585623817 or 01458 253682

Training Courses

We shall be running new courses again in 2018 and the dates and details of forthcoming courses will be published here each week.

But remember we are still available for running “In House” courses and are looking to add new training courses to our list.

If you have any questions about these courses or any other training or would like us to run a particular course for you, call Jon Wilkins of the Wilkins Safety Group on 01458 253682 or email him.