Tag Archives: Risk Assessments

CHAS makes it easy to locate COVID-19 secure contractors

CHAS, the supply chain risk management expert, has added a Statement of Best Practice (COVID-19) to its member-focused packages designed to assist anyone who engages contractors in immediately identifying whether or not they are COVID-19 secure.

Organisations have had to rapidly adapt their working practices to operate safely during the Coronavirus outbreak and CHAS’ Statement of Best Practice (COVID-19) helps to verify that these adjustments have been made in line with latest Government and sector-issued guidelines.

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In order for a contractor to qualify as COVID-19 secure they must confirm (and, where appropriate, evidence) that they have taken three key actions which include:

  • Producing and putting into place COVID-19 specific risk assessments, method statements and controls 
  • Sharing the risk assessment with staff (and online for organisations with over 50 employees)
  • Displaying a notice to confirm they have complied with Government guidance

Construction-related businesses must also indicate that they are following COVID-19 Secure Site Operating Procedures as detailed by the Construction Leadership Council.

For contractors to comply, they simply need to login to the contractor portal and upload and submit evidence to show they meet the requirements. Meanwhile, CHAS clients log on to the CHAS Client Portal and they can instantly see whether a contractor has completed the Statement of Best Practice (COVID-19).

For those organisations who are not already CHAS clients, it is quick, easy and completely free to register and includes a range of business benefits, from the ability to easily source compliant contractors by trade and region from a database of over 50 0000 through to the availability of dedicated business services.

CHAS managing director Ian McKinnon informed Security Matters: “We recognise that organisations are looking for reassurance that everyone within their supply chain is operating to the required COVID-19 secure standards, but we also know that it’s extremely difficult for organisations to perform these checks independently, and particularly so while running on skeleton staff. The Statement of Best Practice (COVID-19) makes it easy for CHAS contractors to qualify for work while affording CHAS clients immediate visibility of a contractor’s COVID-19 secure status.”

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IFSEC International announces SSAIB as official Installer Partner for 2020 event

Professional security installers are the essential lifeblood of IFSEC International and FIREX International. Long-standing event partners the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has been named as the official Installer Partner for the 2020 shows, which take place at London’s ExCeL from May 19-21.

SSAIB is a certification body for security and fire alarm installation professionals, security guarding services and monitoring. SSAIB-approved companies are exclusively invited to IFSEC International and FIREX International 2020 in order to meet with trained SSAIB personnel and engage with over 500 leading manufacturers and suppliers of security and fire safety technologies and services.

IFSEC and FIREX are the perfect learning environments for SSAIB companies where they can spend three days totally immersed in state-of-the-art technologies, solutions and discussions all focused around the driving issues in security and fire. It’s where the entire security and fire communities always come together to collaborate, ask the big questions and find the practical answers to their current challenges.

The SSAIB will also use its time at IFSEC and FIREX to host its regional South East meeting, which makes it convenient for approved companies to make full use of their time at IFSEC, mixing SSAIB business with their own fact-finding and discovery missions.

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The 2020 events also mark the return of the SSAIB to FIREX International, where representatives will be on hand to discuss various BAFE-approved certification opportunities in fire system design and installation, life safety risk assessment and the correct use and maintenance of portable extinguisher equipment. With the national agenda now firmly fixed on promoting certified life safety schemes and awareness, the SSAIB’s presence at FIREX International will rigorously contribute to the show’s stated aims of promoting expertise and guidance in life safety.

In line with the new decade, the SSAIB will once again host the official Installer Bar in IFSEC that will have a dedicated ‘Roaring 20s’ theme to herald 2020.

SSAIB CEO Alex Carmichael commented: “We’re delighted to be named as the official Installer Partner for IFSEC and FIREX International 2020. They are the premier events for both the fire and security industries and we would very much encourage our registered firms to visit us at ExCeL next May.”

Carmichael added: “We’ve also incorporated our South East regional meeting into IFSEC 2020 because it gives the many firms that attend our events the opportunity to immerse themselves in all the latest developments and technologies on show at IFSEC and FIREX. Not only can they do this and hear all the latest updates we’ll be sharing, but they’ll also be invited to join us at our Installer Bar for an informal catch-up.”

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In addition, Carmichael observed: “The SSAIB has enjoyed a lot of success by lending its name to an IFSEC bar over the last two years, so we’ve decided to try and build on that further by making a welcome return to FIREX as well.”

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Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service deploys Panasonic rugged tablets to assist front line firefighters

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is “transforming” working life for its firefighters on the front line by equipping them with Panasonic’s rugged Toughpad tablets to access vital information during emergency episodes.

The Fire and Rescue Service is deploying 13-inch Panasonic Toughbook CF-D1 tablets in the front cabs of its fire appliances. These Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) are permanently mounted in the front of the vehicle and connected to the existing Tetra Network. They will be used for providing vital information on the way to a call-out, such as sending status updates to Command and Control, outlining risk assessment requirements, vehicle safety data, safety data on any chemicals stored on site and details on the occupancy of the premises and nearby hydrant locations.

Smaller and lighter 10-inch Panasonic FZ-G1 Toughpad tablets are being installed in the back of the appliances for use by firefighters inside and outside of the vehicle when at the scene of an emergency. These devices will be used day-to-day for the asset management of equipment and inventory and, in the future, for providing valuable emergency information on site, such as vehicle crash rescue data, as well as for regular community duties such as home fire safety surveys and hydrant inspections.

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John Barlow is responsible for modernising Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s front line communications devices. “We’re investing to change all the existing MDTs to a more agile device so as to allow the crews to work more efficiently and smartly,” explained Barlow. “The Panasonic devices are ideal for all the conditions in which we work. We can read the device in bright sunlight and it’s built to be used outside and in wet conditions without any problems. Feedback from field trials with the devices has been positive.”

In the future, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service sees other big advantages for firefighters in being able to use devices at the scene of an emergency. For example, at a road accident, firefighters can use the devices to identify important information about the safety features of a vehicle, such as airbags, such that they can quickly be turned off before trapped passengers are released from a vehicle).

“This type of use will be an absolute bonus for operations, making the task so much simpler and enabling the firefighters to work more effectively than ever,” enthused Barlow.

Commenting on the value the devices bring to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Callum Faint (Cambridgeshire’s area commander) informed Risk UK: “It’s a massive step forward. In the past, a member of the fire crew would have to remain in the cab of the fire engine. Now, being able to demount the information source and take it with us means that the information can be right there, on the scene. This really helps to improve our operational effectiveness.”

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The Panasonic Computer Docking Solutions Team has designed the mounting solution for the Panasonic CF-D1 tablets in the front of the vehicles. The team used as much of the existing infrastructure as possible, such as the power management units, to keep costs down. It has also future-proofed the vehicles by fitting antennas that will work with the imminent introduction of the new Emergency Services Network.

For the FZ-G1 tablets, the Panasonic Computer Docking Solutions Team designed a bespoke bracket for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service that can be fitted on all of its vehicles generically. The design also incorporates into the bracket a handheld barcode reader, such that it could be installed in a convenient location next to the tablet.

The Panasonic Project Management Team is working closely with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and its nominated installation contractors to support the build and imaging of the devices alongside installing the units in the appliances. The deployment will be completed before the end of the Autumn.

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Risk assessment procedures boost for building services contractors announced by the ECA

Enhanced risk assessments are now available for free to Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) member companies following a major upgrade to the ECA’s ‘e-RAMS’ online service.

As a result of the new upgrade, ECA members can now use e-RAMS to carry out ‘quantified risk assessments’ which allows levels of risk to be estimated numerically.

Other new features include enhanced method statement templates, an ability to add company logos to printed risk assessments, an option to upload useful pictures to the method statement and a streamlined process for producing and printing the reports.

The ECA’s director of business services, Paul Reeve, said: “This major upgrade, much of which responds to user feedback during 2015, will allow users to choose between a basic or a quantified risk assessment. Plenty of clients and major contractors look for quantified risk assessments and so, with the new improvements, we expect e-RAMS to be even more useful to members.”

The new e-RAMs service is the latest addition to ECA support for firms to meet the requirements of commercial clients and Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs). The service has already been used by hundreds of ECA members to produce risk assessments since it was launched in January this year.

Paul Kent, company director at Kent Electrical Contracting Ltd, said: “The e-RAMS service provided by the ECA has saved my business time and money and is a vital tool in managing our Health and Safety obligations.”

Steve Whiteman, contracts manager for CHS Electrical Ltd, commented: “e-RAMS is certainly a more integral part of our company’s day-to-day operations now and, to be honest, we welcome it with open arms.”

Andrew Tyrer, managing director of Cox & Tyrer, explained: “In consultation with our H&S external auditor we have been using e-RAMs and it has met with client approval.”

*Further information on e-RAMS is available here

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