A great Health and Safety career opportunity

We are currently looking for a Health and Safety Consultant to help service our expanding portfolio of clients. We need an enthusiastic, confident and self‐motivated individual, who is comfortable working unsupervised to deliver health, safety and fire consultancy services to clients from a wide range of sectors.

Ideally, the candidate will be able to demonstrate that they:

  • Are NEBOSH Qualified or equivalent;
  • Have a Chartered Membership of IOSH or can demonstrate that they are working towards it;
  • Are IFE (Part 2) certificated (or their equivalent) (preferred);
  • Can give sensible, practical advice, clearly expressed and tailored to the needs of clients;
  • Can work safely in a range of environments, and both recognise and make timely and sensible decisions in regard to health and safety risks to themselves and others;
  • Can work unsupervised and organise their work‐load effectively, producing reports another outputs to deadlines;
  • Possess an appreciation of the need for commercial awareness and the skills required to manage client relationships;
  • Be based in the Central Belt of Scotland, but be willing and able to travel around the country, and in some cases, further afield.

Even where your experience is limited, it is important that you are keen to develop your career. We will be particularly interested in what steps you have taken to:

  • Build on the foundation of your professional qualifications and put your knowledge into practice;
  • Develop commercial skills as a consultant; and
  • Seek out managerial responsibility.

If you believe that you fit the bill, and would be an asset to the Amalgamate team, then please send a copy of your CV and a covering letter to careers@amalgamate-safety.com

We look forward to hearing from you.

Dealing with Lead Paint – The Risks of Lead Exposure

In the last 20 years, a lot has been done in the UK to remove the risks from lead exposure, but there is still a significant amount of lead paint in older buildings. Up until the mid-1960s, lead was used to make some kinds of paint – for windows, doors and other woodwork, as well as for some metal items, like radiators. A few minor uses continued until the 1980s.

Lead exposure can have serious health consequences, ranging from anaemia, to kidney damage, brain damage, and even death. The groups most vulnerable to lead exposure are children and pregnant women, but severe or ongoing exposure can be damaging to anyone. Therefore it is important to know how to deal with lead paint correctly.

When are you most at risk?

When the work you are doing produces lead dust, fume or vapour you are most at risk. This may include:

  • blast removal and burning of old lead paint;
  • stripping of old lead paint from doors, windows etc;
  • hot cutting in demolition and dismantling operations;
  • scrap-processing activities, including recovering lead from scrap and waste;
  • some painting of buildings; some spray-painting of vehicles;
  • working with metallic lead and alloys containing lead, eg soldering;
  • lead smelting, refining, alloying and casting.

How do you make sure it’s safe?

The easiest way of dealing with lead paintwork thats in good condition is to seal it with a coat of modern paint. But if the paintwork is in bad condition and needs to be removed before you can repaint, use methods that don’t create dust or fumes, like a solvent or caustic-based liquid stripper.

Don’t forget to follow the safety instructions, and remember that solvent-free, water-based paint removers are now available. If you have to use a hot-air gun, use it just enough to soften the paint – don’t burn it, as this will produce fumes. A good guide is to ensure the gun is set below 450C. Keep surfaces moist when removing paint.

Wear protective clothes, gloves and a good quality face mask with a filter conforming to EN143 P2, and shut off the work area. If possible, remove furniture and carpets; otherwise cover them completely.

When you break from the work, store the clothes you’ve been wearing safely (e.g. in a sealed plastic bag) and wash your hands and any other bare skin before you do anything else.

When you’ve taken most of the paint off, moisten the surface and smooth it with a waterproof abrasive paper – don’t use sandpaper.

When you’ve finished, put the paint you’ve removed and any collected on coverings in a safe container, a sealed plastic bag will do, and dispose of it. Clean the room you’ve been working in and any coverings with water and detergent. If you need to get rid of any dust after decorating, you may have to use an industrial standard vacuum cleaner (complying with British Standard 5415), and wash the clothes you’ve been working in separately from any others.


It’s not always fun in the sun!

This year, IOSH is backing a campaign to raise awareness of occupational cancers. The No Time To Lose campaign is currently focusing on skin cancer, and they have recently published a study which reveals the number of people in the UK diagnosed with or dying from the deadliest form of skin cancer because of sun exposure at work.

They estimate that in the UK, every week a person dies from malignant melanoma from sun exposure at work, with 240 new cases also being registered per year. Combining these findings with other recent studies into work-related non-melanoma skin cancer reveals that in the UK on average five people per day are being diagnosed with a form of skin cancer contracted at work.

IOSH states that “The research has given businesses the first full picture of the skin cancer burden on those working outdoors in industries as diverse as construction, agriculture and leisure and entertainment”.

The problem of excess sun exposure is widespread. It is estimated that in the UK 5.5 million people have been exposed to solar radiation through their work – particularly in the service industries, construction sector, manufacturing and agriculture.

Sadly, people are often disinclined to take the risks of sun exposure seriously, but if employers understand what a serious issue it is, they can use their influence to make cultural changes within their business.

The campaign urges employers to develop ‘sun safety strategies’ including, for example, consulting the UV index, making plans to minimise sun exposure around the middle of the day, and encouraging employees who work outdoors to wear long-sleeved, loose-fitting tops and trousers. They emphasise that using high-factor sunscreen is helpful, but should not be relied upon as the only strategy.

For assistance with a range of occupational health matters, including risk assessments and employee health programmes, contact us on info@amalgamate-safety.com or call 0141 244 0181

We’re on the lookout…

We’re looking for a Fire Safety Consultant to join our growing team in Scotland.

We believe in flexible working, so the role will be home-based and we will consider full or part-time options for the right person.


  • Have a relevant Fire Safety qualification
  • Hold membership of The Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) or similar fire related body
  • Understands home-based working and travelling for work
  • Tech savvy
  • At least 3 years relevant consultancy experience in a similar role
  • Has working knowledge of UK fire legislation and regional variances
  • Experience in developing fire safety policies and procedures, undertaking fire risk assessments, delivering training and where required liaising with enforcement authorities
  • Able to build close working relationships with clients
  • Can develop our Fire Safety business and enhance existing revenue streams
  • Be articulate and passionate about fire safety



  • Additional H&S qualifications and experience.


If you have plenty of experience, the relevant qualifications, and a great attitude, then tell us about yourself


Proposed changes to ISO14001

ISO14001:2004 is currently under review and although these changes are still at ‘draft’ stage it is likely they will come into effect in May 2015 (from when the transition period for organisations already holding certificates will begin); further details on the expected changes will be provided on the Amalgamate website as they come to light.

Key changes

  • Improved top management leadership and commitment
  • Addressing of strategic environmental issues including the direction of the business and the interests of stakeholders
  • Sustainable development and social responsibility
  • Environmental influence within the supply chain and procurement
  • Environmental design as a tool for improvement
  • Environmental compliance and the use of performance indicators to track performance


It is becoming increasingly important for organisations to demonstrate that they are considering their environmental performance and impact. Implementing an environmental management system provides practical tools to enable identification and control of environmental impact and improvement of environmental performance, demonstrate senior management support, encourage employee engagement, ensure legal compliance and help to improve efficiency by reducing costs and environmental impact.

Benefits also include:

  • Increased stakeholder confidence and improved reputation;
  • Advantage over competitors when tendering for business, and increased likelihood of repeat business;
  • Cost savings in waste, recycling and energy consumption;
  • Proactive management of environmental risks;
  • Forward planning to ensure on-going and timely compliance with environmental requirements; and
  • Potential reduction in insurance premiums.

What next?

Amalgamate understand that implementing and/or maintaining an environmental management system can be time consuming, but our expert consultants are here to support you.

The revised framework for ISO14001 will enable organisations to implement an environmental management system which is specific to the context of their business. Amalgamate can help you take the first steps towards certification through completion of an initial gap analysis supported by an action plan and on-going project management.

If, as an organisation, you already hold ISO14001:2004, the next step is to revise existing processes, communicate changes to your business, and implement actions, such as training, which occur as a result of the changes. If you are running independent quality, environmental and health and safety management systems, this may be a good opportunity to consider integration; forthcoming changes can subsequently be incorporated.

Amalgamate can provide you with advice and guidance on either implementing or revising your existing management systems. For further information email us at info@amalgamate-safety.com or call on +44 (0)141 244 0181.

OHSAS18001 is going international

OHSAS18001 is changing to become international standard ISO45001. The changes are currently under discussion but the proposed date for implementation is October 2016 (with an expected transition period of two to three years).

Key Changes

The main changes are expected to be:

  • More emphasis on risk management;
  • Involving, securing and demonstrating more engagement from senior management;
  • Increased strategic considerations including consideration of the needs and expectations of stakeholders;
  • Reinforcement of the need to demonstrate and understand compliance status;
  • Use of performance indicators to track improvement.


OHSAS18001 provides a framework for all organisations to instigate proper and effective management of health and safety in the workplace. By having a clearly defined management system in place to identify and control health and safety, organisations are able to plan to minimise risks to their employees and contractors, ensure legal compliance, deliver effective communication and training, and continuously review and improve occupational health and safety.


What are the benefits of an effective occupational health and safety management system?

  • Increased stakeholder confidence and improved reputation;
  • Advantage over competitors when tendering for business and increased likelihood of repeat business;
  • Creating safe working conditions for employees and contractors;
  • Proactive identification and management of hazards;
  • Reduction in workplace accidents and ill health therefore reducing costs and downtime;
  • Engaging and motivating staff through communication, consultation and training to achieve safer working conditions;
  • Forward planning to ensure on-going and timely compliance with legal requirements; and
  • Potential reduction in insurance premiums.

What next?

If you are considering implementing OHSAS18001 now is still a very good time, the changes forecast for 2016 can be considered at the outset and incorporated in the forward planning.

Amalgamate understand that implementing and/or maintaining any management system can be time-consuming. We can support your business with expert resources to either maintain your existing management system and certification with ad-hoc or regular support, or help you take the first steps towards certification. We can provide an initial gap analysis, supported by an action plan and on-going project management.

If you are running independent quality, environmental and health and safety management systems, this may be a good opportunity to consider integration; the forthcoming changes to ISO14001 can also be included at this early stage.

Amalgamate can provide you with advice and guidance on either implementing or revising your existing management systems. Email us at info@amalgamate-safety.com or call +44 (0)141 244 0181.

CDM 2015 – Are you prepared for the proposed changes?

As many of you will be aware, there are changes being proposed to the Construction (Design and Design) Management Regulations in 2015. These significant changes to CDM will have implications to those involved in the design process and will affect how you are currently managing projects.

The proposed changes include the removal of the CDM Coordinator role and the introduction of ‘Principal Designers’, which will see a shift in duty and responsibility for the following areas:

  • assisting the client in identifying, obtaining and collating pre-construction information;
  • providing pre-construction information to designers, principal contractor and contractors;
  • ensuring that designers comply with their duties and co-operate with each other;
  • liaising with the principal contractor for the duration of the appointment, and
  • preparing the health and safety file.

As the industry starts to prepare, draft industry guidance has been issued by both the CITB and the HSE on the proposed ‘Principal Designers’ role. This is obviously subject to change but should provide you with an insight on those new requirements.

If you require CDM 2015 systems development, training or delivery support please do not hesitate to give us a call on +44 (0)141 244 0181.

The Dangers of Diesel

IOSH has been trying to raise awareness of the dangers of diesel fumes. The fumes are carcinogenic, and it is estimated that every year 650 people die in the UK (and 4,500 in Europe) from lung or bladder cancers that they cause.

Some facts

Diesel fumes contain 10 times more soot particles than petrol fumes, and regular exposure to them means that you have a 40% higher chance of developing lung cancer.

800 people are diagnosed with cancer caused by diesel fumes in the UK every year.

Around half a million workers in the UK could be exposed to dangerous levels of diesel fumes.

Some of the main risk employment areas for exposure to diesel engine fumes include: construction, shipping, transport/logistics, vehicle repair, and warehousing.

What does this mean for your business?

This is a sizeable problem and, as with all health and wellbeing issues, employers must ensure that they are making sufficient effort to protect their workers.

Things to consider include: the type of diesel being used, the level of fumes, whether they are building up in enclosed areas, and if they are making sooty deposits or a smoky haze which workers are exposed to.

Where diesel fumes are present, a risk assessment should be undertaken. When doing this, you need to think about the following points:

  • What diesel engines or equipment are used in the workplace?
  • Do engines or machines emit blue or black smoke?
  • Are diesel exhaust fumes released into enclosed working areas such as garages?
  • Are diesel exhaust fumes drawn into the workplace through ventilation inlets?
  • Are diesel exhaust fumes concentrated in confined spaces or areas in buildings where there is limited air movement?
  • Are there visible soot deposits on surfaces in the workspace?
  • Is there a visible haze?
  • do those in the work environment suffer from irritated eyes or lungs?

If you answer ‘yes’ to some or all of these basic questions, there is a risk of people being harmed by diesel exhaust fumes. It’s vital that you arrange a formal assessment of the hazard, which could include measuring elemental carbon concentrations. Depending on the results of the assessment, you may need to either prevent or control the potential exposure. Typical actions to control exposure include:

  • switching to other forms of fuel where possible, e.g. gas or electric
  •  replacing old engines with newer versions with lower emissions
  • making sure that engines are maintained properly – especially fuel delivery systems
  • making sure diesel engine exhausts have filters using ‘local exhaust ventilation’ and good general ventilation in fixed or enclosed workplaces
  • using forced ventilation to draw fresh air into the workplace
  • using connecting extraction pipes for vehicle exhausts in workshops
  • filtering air in vehicle cabs
  • making sure that engines are turned off when they’re not needed
  • if engines have to be left running, making sure the vehicle or equipment is moved outside (checking that no one else is then exposed)
  • making sure cold engines are warmed up in spaces with good ventilation
  • keeping building doors and windows open if it’s practicable
  • rotating jobs between different employees to minimise exposure.

Health surveillance

Ensuring that Occupational Health (OH) checks are undertaken is also key to maintaining workers’ health. Regular checks can alert you to potential problems that may require further action.

Some useful resources



How can you get help?

Hopefully this information will help you to make a start on establishing if there are steps to be taken to protect your employees. However, if you need any assistance with managing Occupational Health please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements. Phone 0141 244 0181 or email info@amalgamate-safety.com.

The Facts about Ebola

What is Ebola?

The Ebola virus is a serious, usually fatal, disease for which there are no licensed treatments or vaccines. It belongs to a group of diseases known as ‘viral haemorrhagic fevers’ (VHF). ‘Haemorrhagic’ means that they can involve bleeding. Lassa fever, yellow fever and Marburg fever are other examples of VHFs.

The current outbreak of Ebola is the largest ever known. It mainly affects three countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In the worst affected areas authorities have implemented measures to control the spread of the virus, including quarantine, border closure and entry and exit screening. So far there have only been a few cases outside of these countries.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who has direct, unprotected contact with an infected person or their contaminated items, such as needles. Healthcare workers, laboratory workers and family members of infected people are at the highest risk.

The risk of Ebola transmission is low. Becoming infected requires direct, physical contact with the bodily fluids (vomit, faeces, urine, blood, semen, etc.) of a person who has been infected with, or died from, Ebola virus disease (EVD). Business travellers are generally considered at low risk in urban areas with good sanitation and hygiene. Travellers to remote undeveloped areas in those countries affected are at higher risk.

How is it spread?

There are two ways people can become infected with the Ebola virus, either from contact with infected animals or by coming into unprotected contact with the blood, body fluids or organs of an infected person. However simply washing hands with soap and water can destroy the virus.

When a person is infected, precautions must be taken to prevent an outbreak. Strict hygiene, sanitation and infection control procedures minimise the risk. Breast milk and semen can remain infectious for several months after recovery.

What are the symptoms of Ebola?

Symptoms develop between 2 and 21 days after exposure. An infected person will typically experience:

  • A sudden onset of fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle pain and intense weakness
  • A sore throat
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain
  • In some cases organ failure, internal and external bleeding

An infected person usually does not become infectious until after they have developed symptoms.

How is Ebola diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis is made based on the symptoms and history of exposure together with specialised blood tests. There is currently no cure for Ebola virus disease. People diagnosed are placed in quarantine in intensive care, where their blood oxygen levels and blood pressure are maintained and their organs are supported. Early treatment in specialised units increases the chance of recovery.

Staying safe

When abroad:

  • Restrict travel to undeveloped remote areas of the African continent where sanitation and hygiene are poor;
  • Pay strict attention to hygiene – always – wherever you are;
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly;
  • Do not touch the blood, body fluids or secretions of any person or animal
  • Only eat well cooked meat;
  • Drink only clean water from a confirmed source and avoid ice cubes;
  • Avoid bats, primates, and bush meat, and forest animals that are sick or found dead.


When in developed countries:

  • Pay strict attention to hygiene – always – wherever you are;
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly – always, even in your home country
  • Drink only fresh water;
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, and dispose of tissue in the toilet. Then wash your hands;
  • Ensure door knobs, handrails, office equipment, etc are regularly wiped down.

Following this advice will also help to protect you from more prevalent contagious diseases like flu, the norovirus and the common cold.

Useful resources

International SOS Ebola: What business travellers need to know

NHS Ebola virus disease: an overview

World Health Organisation

Travel advice


Amalgamate’s Occupational Health team can provide training, information, support and advice to companies with employees travelling and working in affected areas. Please contact us directly if you require further information.