Capital Event Edinburgh 2012

“Safer together – moving forward”

The day began with snow and strong winds and a bitterly cold temperature in the city and particularly further north. But virtually everyone managed to arrive on time.

Chris Jackson, National Chair provided a welcome and stated that it was thought a room for 12 upstairs would be enough but then needed to have downstairs room for 40 and finally a double room for 80.

Karen McDonnell

He introduced Karen Mcdonnell IOSH Vice President and Head of ROSPA (Scotland)as Chair for the day.

Dr. Karen McDonnell welcomed everyone to the event and expressed a delight at how many throughout Scotland and England were at the event. She also invited everyone to use the Share Point table to leave questions and to take information.

Chris then introduced members of the Executive and gave the delegates an introduction to NASHiCS. He provided examples of Members benefits including the Focus on Care, the new issue of which had arrived that day, the regular e-News and the Safety information portal (SIP) briefing notes on a number of issues.

Fiona MacNeill Head of Public Services (Scotland) HSE gave a short explanation of her work at the HSE and encouraged delegates to stay and look around Edinburgh.
She listed 4 things she would cover.
1 Working arrangements protocol with the Care Inspectorate.
2 Priorities in Care Services and Topical issues.
3 Update on HSE Guidance.
4 Update on changes in HSE.

Fiona stated that ‘we’re better working together’ and that cooperation and a working consistency is a must. Consistency from the LA enforcement and the HSE is quite difficult with a tolerance of risk and the competency of managers. HSE policy must be to promote consistency.

The second item is clarity in the overlapping areas. Who leads? Why have protocols? There are finite resources so overlaps need to be identified.
She explained some of the legal difficulties with overlapping.
The need to identify a clear lead.

HSE problem area section 3 (HSAWA)- people not in their employment – e.g. Service Users, Contractor etc….
Care Inspectorate visit care homes more frequently that the HSE.
Therefore in everyone’s interest to look at overlapping areas.
Important for the HSE to lead where serious failings on safety occur.

She then summarised details of the protocol and regulators. Who is responsible for what – inspections? Areas of regulatory interests. She asked delegates to focus on Annex B- areas of interest.

Fiona informed the group of the example lift case study within this protocol where a lift was not stopping level with the floor. LA inspector visited home – no inspection done- no correction/repair in place – LA inspector considers prohibition – LA inspector phones Care Inspectorate and following discussion concludes that a safe system of work was acceptable, they worked together to solve the problem.

She said that the protocol was out now for consultation ending in April with publication in mid May.

Fiona went on to raise the issue of falls from height and balconies quoting an instance when a person fell 11 metres from a window and also other falls including one instance where the window had not had a restrictor (first floor) installed.
The HSE/NHS has issued an alert about side stay window restrictors. Inspect regularly to spot signs of wear. Consider additional restriction on old installation.

She quoted other incidents which were under investigation by the HSE in Scotland so could not be publicised.
These concerned Burns – Scalds – Choking- Falls on stairs- Failure of lifting equipment.

HSG 220 Being revised for care homes this year. Electrical installations to be improved.
Update on HSE guidance including section 51 in relation to domiciliary care Legionella issues.
She also updated delegates on the HSE group itself. They had been to ‘hell and back’. HSE had gone through 3 reviews with a difficult 18 months. The results however were not so bad on its effect on the HSE.
Only higher risk activities will now be inspected e.g. waste and construction.
A new panel has been set up to disapprove stupid claims e.g. bonkers conkers.
The fee for intervention had been put back until October.

Risk activities shifted from Risk Averse to Risk benefits. Health and Safety is not an excuse.
Care providers need to take an approach based on ‘sensible risk management’. Look at activity first – the benefits and then the risk assessment.
No planned proactive Health and Safety inspections.Will investigate deaths and serious injuries. HSE want message to get out. We are aware of emerging problems.

Finally she then took a number of questions from the floor covering Electrical , Rosepark fire – no prosecutions, Choking , Falls from windows BS6357 –part 2 and ‘Getting the balance right’