In its 2016 campaign, 'Safety’s a Job for All', SEMA is warning end users of storage systems that their responsibility to design, construct, inspect and properly maintain storage systems has grown significantly in two respects.
April 2015’s new CDM regulations stated that clients are now regarded as the head of the procurement chain and the major influence on project standards and culture. A project is deemed to be more than a construction site.
From February 2016, new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences come into force. Businesses and individuals could face much greater fines and more individuals could face custodial sentences for serious offences than ever before - see www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk for more details.
The top two categories of culpability are:
- Very High - deliberate breach of or flagrant disregard for the law
- High – the offender fell far short of the appropriate standard.
Examples are: failing to put in place measures that are recognised standards in the industry; ignoring concerns raised by employees or others; failing to make appropriate changes following prior incident(s) exposing risks to health and safety; allowing breaches to subsist over a long period of time; and serious and/or systemic failure within the organisation to address risks to health and safety.
SEMA's president Matt Grierson said: “As SEMA works closely with the HSE, we regard ‘recognised standards’ as those which we have established as best practice and are enshrined in SEMA’s Codes of Practice and Guidelines.
“Racking collapse and subsequent potential prosecution are simple to avoid where there is a safety culture and that correct protocols for inspection, maintenance and repair exist. It’s the duty of an employer to manage risk to life and property who must always demonstrate a safe system of work. As the law stands, investment in terms of money, time and trouble must ‘grossly outweigh’ the risk not balance it.”
SEMA’s one-day safety course on Rack Safety Awareness and Inspection for End Users takes an in-depth look at the need for inspections. It details how to conduct an assessment and offers guidance on follow up measures.