Author Archives: Kiri

Part-time Administrative Assistant role available

There is currently an opportunity for a part-time Administrative Assistant to join our team. We are looking for a self‐motivated person to support our health and safety consultants in providing excellent service to our portfolio of clients.

The role will primarily consist of proof-reading and formatting of technical reports in Pages and PDF formats, and preparing them to be submitted to clients. There will additionally be some scheduling of appointments using Daylite – our internal Client Relationship Management software. Guidance and training will be provided on the use of all of the above, but prior knowledge is beneficial.

This is a flexible part time role of 10-12 hours per week, to be split across 2-4 days, with some home-working possible. These elements will be discussed at interview.

It is essential that candidates:

  • Have excellent English and proof-reading skills;
  • Maintain high levels of accuracy and attention to detail in their written work;
  • Have good IT skills, with knowledge of Apple software including Pages, and also Adobe Acrobat, beneficial;
  • Be able to organise their work‐load effectively, completing tasks to strict client-led deadlines.

If you are interested in the role and fit our criteria, please email careers@amalgamate-safety.com with your CV and covering letter before September 15th.

Health and Safety Training for New Hotel Staff – Getting it Right from Day 1!

It’s always good to get out and about in Scotland, so we enjoyed travelling up North to deliver a range of health and safety training to the team at Perle Oban as they got their new hotel ready to open. The hotel is part of the Perle Hotels group, an independent hotelier with 3 existing locations on the beautiful Isle of Skye.

We were on site to do a general Health and Safety ‘walk round’ and review with staff to identify potential hazards and risks prior to opening, as well as a Fire Risk Assessment, and sessions of Fire Warden, First Aid and IOSH Working Safely training. Our aim has been to ensure that their health and safety arrangements reflect their corporate values, as well as ensuring that their legal duties and responsibilities are fully considered.

The work we’ve done so far has given them a solid grounding in health and safety, and made sure that their staff have the knowledge to be able to support customers in the event of an emergency – and most importantly, the skills to help prevent one from ever occuring.

It has been a great experience working alongside the Perle Oban team, helping them to make sure that a positive Health and Safety culture is embedded in the hotel right from the start. We wish them all the best at their new site!

Opening up new premises is always a busy time for any company, and sometimes Health and Safety considerations get put to one side. But leaving health and safety training and management for later is just not worth the risk. We can be there to assist you from the start – making sure health and safety are integrated from day 1 and that your team and assets are protected. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you as your business grows. Call 0141 244 0181 or email info@amalgamate-safety.com

 

Asset Protection – fire door survey for international manufacturer

The Fire Door Survey

We recently completed an extensive fire door survey for a large international soft drink manufacturer. Their production site had around 200 fire doors and emergency exits. All of these needed to be visited and checked to see whether they were fit for purpose. Our Fire Safety Consultant, Billy Murdoch, spent the day on site, verifying which doors were up to scratch, and which ones needed work.

A thorough examination was made of:

– Door leaf & frame;
– Glazed apertures;
– Intumescent fire and smoke seals;
– Closing & opening devices;
– All ironmongery;
– Mandatory safe signage; and
– Cleaning

Lessons Learned

As we’ve seen in many offices and factories, one particular problem was fire doors being kept wedged open. This can happen when staff want increased ventilation, things are being moved between rooms, or simply because they want more convenient access. However, a fire door that’s propped open isn’t a fire door anymore. It has been prevented from doing its job. On a day to day basis that might not seem like a big issue. But if a fire occurs, that choice could be devastating, as a fire would progress unchecked through any adjoined areas.

We recommend that the responsible person at any site makes a regular tour of their company’s premises, to make sure this isn’t happening, and remind staff of the importance of keeping fire doors closed. This is a common and easily identifiable problem, with a simple solution. For more technical matters of course you need an expert – but it’s great to keep an eye on the basics yourself.

Continued Support

After successfully completing the fire door survey and feeding back the remedial actions, Amalgamate have been asked to coordinate the remedial works on behalf of the client. Working closely with one of our other clients, Worksmart, we have agreed a works package, and developed robust Risk Assessments and Method Statements that fulfil the client’s needs in a stringent production environment. We look forward to completing the working in the coming weeks.

If you need consultancy support or advice on managing your fire safety duties and responsibilities, Amalgamate’s fire safety experts are on hand to provide that help.

Contact us in Ayrshire on 01294 443 806, in Glasgow on 0141 244 0181. Or email info@amalgamate-safety.com for more details.

Fire and Legionella Risk Assessment of new accommodation in Glencoe

At Amalgamate we’re always enthusiastic about supporting the growth of our clients, so we’re very pleased to have been able to provide further health and safety services to Glencoe Activities as they expand into providing accommodation. We’ve worked with them previously, doing Risk Assessments on their golf course, so we were pleased to get involved in their next steps too. They’ve recently branched out by opening their lovely riverside ‘Wee Lodges’, and we were on call to help out by undertaking a detailed Fire Risk Assessment and Legionella Risk Assessment for the lodges, hot tubs, and also the clubhouse. These assessments ensure that everything is in place to protect the health and safety of all guests and staff – a top priority for both us and our client.

When your business is developing, it is always important to look at how those changes will affect your existing health and safety management processes and policies. Whether you’re opening up a new site, expanding existing premises, scaling up staff numbers, or moving into a different business area, there are many considerations that have to be looked at. At Amalgamate, we have the knowledge and experience to help you to assess the situation, and develop a practical action plan that integrates health and safety in the core of how your organisation operates.

It’s great to see the Wee Lodges being so popular, and to know that we’ve played a small part in ensuring that things run smoothly. Well done Laurence and all the team at Glencoe Activities!

To find out more about the health and safety consultancy services that we offer to companies in Scotland and beyond, read our Consultancy page, call us on 01294 443 806, or email us on info@amalgamate-safety.com

You can also read Case Studies detailing how we’ve worked with a variety of clients across different industries to produce great results in health and safety here.

Health and safety management services for Ypeople

We’re thrilled to announce that we are now working with Ypeople – a fantastic charity that operates across Scotland. They deliver a broad range of approaches to support children, young people and families, for example providing accommodation support, homelessness support, counselling and mentoring services. With around 170 employees, thousands of service users per year (including residential and community based services for a range of service users including people in housing need, asylum seekers and children and young people) and 19 locations, spread over a wide geographical area, Ypeople need to ensure that their health and safety management system is tailored to reflect their specific requirements and responsibilities.

Initially, our Director Allan MacDonald met with the team to understand their needs and requirements, and to do a full gap analysis exercise to provide a review of their current health & safety management system, benchmarked against applicable legislation, recognised best practice, and care inspectorate standards.

Allan said: “Working with the Facilities Manager, as well as HR Managers and workers, we carried out a thorough review which covered all policy and procedures associated with health and safety, including risk assessments, fire risk assessments, maintenance logs, training records, accident and inspection reports. Now we’re delighted to be moving on to providing a full retained consultancy service to Ypeople. Among other tasks, we’ll be developing their policies and procedures, undertaking fire safety work, and updating their health and safety management system.”

Working in partnership, we’re looking forward to helping Ypeople to take proactive steps towards developing a robust approach to health and safety management, while also growing and improving the safety culture throughout the whole organisation.

To learn more about the range of consultancy services that Amalgamate can provide, visit this page . If you’d like to get in touch, email us at info@amalgamate-safety.com or phone us on 0141 244 0181.

Working with Ayrshire Councils – Making First Aid Courses a Top Priority

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve been chosen as the preferred supplier for the First Aid Training Framework for North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire Councils. Over the next 3 years, Amalgamate will be providing a full array of first aid courses to council employees, including First Aid at Work, Emergency First at Work, AED (Defibrillator) Training, and specialised courses for dealing with children and elderly people.

Since our creation in 2011, we’ve benefited significantly from the support provided by North Ayrshire Council and their Economic Development Team, specifically Steven Rieley as their Economic Development Officer. This has included support provided as a fledgling business through the growth programme, access to funding and advice for marketing and IT development, and leadership training for our senior team.

Our Director Allan MacDonald is delighted with the win, and commented “This framework is a great step for us, and we’re excited to be working in partnership with all of the Local Authorities to provide this training. The whole tender team including Kiri Goss, Annette Armstrong and Stuart Watt put in a massive amount of effort to win this fantastic opportunity and we are delighted that our hard work is definitely paying off!

It’s a great opportunity for us to share the knowledge and skills that our expert trainers have; and make sure that if council staff are faced with an accident or a sudden illness, they’ll feel confident that they know what to do to help, and can maybe save a life. What could be more rewarding than that?”

We provide first aid training to many different types of business, and can deliver at your premises or at our offices. If you’d like to learn more about our First Aid courses, read more here, or contact us at info@amalgamate-safety.com or on 0141 244 0181.

Health surveillance in action – working with Alba Tyre Management

We were delighted to support our client Alba Tyre Management in their continuing process of improving health and safety, by providing medical checks as part of their new occupational health surveillance provision. Our doctor took staff members through a series of health tests:

  • BMI check
  • Lung function testing
  • Vision testing
  • Hearing testing
  • Blood pressure check

Alongside this, employees were able to discuss any health problems that might affect (or be affected by) their work. At the end of the process, we issued reports, advising whether each individual was fit to work in their standard contractual roles, as well as for safety-critical roles. We also provided recommendations where we felt that workplace adjustments could be beneficial, and highlighted the need for follow-up checks.

Part of our process in delivering health surveillance services is ensuring that we help businesses keep on top of scheduling follow up and annual checks. We’ll get in touch with our clients to remind them when further tests are due, to make sure that employee health is monitored effectively. This way they reap the optimal benefits of the process, helping to prevent avoidable health issues from developing.

We’ve worked with companies in many different sectors and industries. To read more about what we do, check out our Case Studies page. To learn more about health surveillance and our other occupational health services, contact us on 0141 244 0181, or email info@amalgamate-safety.com

Occupational Health Assessments

We can provide Occupational Health Assessments at your workplace, for preventative, health surveillance or treatment plan purposes.

Loss of income from reduced performance, or absence of key members of staff is an expensive burden for business. In 2016, 137 million working days were lost to sickness absence, costing UK businesses in the region of £16 billion per year.

Occupational Health Assessments can help to tackle this problem – reducing sickness or injury absence, while also improving staff productivity and morale.

We offer a variety of services, including:

Health surveillance – our doctors can assess staff for Fit to Work certification, to confirm if they are able to perform standard and/or safety-critical roles. They can also monitor health issues for preventative care, including vision and hearing tests, lung function testing, blood pressure and BMI monitoring.

Consultations – where an employee has an ongoing health problem, assisting in the development of a plan to help them continue to work or return to work if possible, and to establish any adjustments that could be made to help them to work, while protecting their health.

If you’d like to know more about any of our Occupational Health services, call us on 0141 244 0181 or email info@amalgamate-safety.com

Legionella – Are you aware of the risks?

Having recently supported one of our clients with Legionella inspections for new rental properties that they had taken on, we realised how rarely companies think about the risks around water systems in their premises.

So what is Legionella? It’s a type of bacteria frequently found in natural water systems like rivers and ponds, where it rarely causes problems to humans. But in purpose-built water systems, conditions can mean that it develops into a cause of illness. This can include the obvious industrial type of facility like cooling towers, but did you know that anywhere that water is stored can be a problem?

Properties that have evaporative condensers, refrigerated cabinets, swimming pools, or even just standard hot and cold water systems can see outbreaks of legionella-related illnesses. The most serious of these, Legionnaires Disease, causes a type of pneumonia and is fatal in approximately 10% of cases. But even the lesser related infections, like Pontiac Fever and Lochgoilhead Fever are unpleasant flu-like diseases that are best avoided.

To reduce the risk of Legionella-related illness occurring on your premises, we can provide a Legionella Risk Assessment and Control Scheme, (in accordance with the L8 Code of Practice). This will not only inform you about the risks at your business, but also give you clear, easy-to-follow guidance on what steps to take to minimise them.

To find out more about Legionella, or get advice on risk assessments and surveys, contact us on 0141 244 0181 or email info@amalgamate-safety.com

Women and Safety – how gender impacts health and safety

Today is International Women’s Day, so we’re focusing on women and safety. Women make up 42% of the workforce in the EU, however, historically there has been little focus on how gender and sex differences affect health and safety. Research studies have focused primarily on men, while excluding or ignoring women. But understanding the impact of gender and sex differences on people’s occupational health and safety can help to reduce inequality in the workplace.

In generalised terms, it still true to say that there are gender differences in how people are concentrated in occupations and industries, and therefore there are often differences in the kinds of hazards that they face. Additionally, their working conditions and the attitudes and behaviour of their employers can affect the hazards they deal with, and how risks needs to be assessed and controlled. For example, there are differences in working patterns, as women are more likely to work part-time than men; and an EU-wide survey found that “women were more likely than men to undertake repetitive tasks or repetitive work and were more likely to have difficulty taking breaks” which has significant effects when it comes to the risk of musculoskeletal injury.

In relation to health and safety management (as in other management areas), there is an ongoing problem of under-representation of women in safety committees and other decision making groups. Therefore issues around female-specific health and safety can be marginalised or overlooked. While some might argue that a gender-neutral approach is best, this in fact tends not to occur, and management adopts an automatically male-centric approach, which results in risks to female workers being underestimated or even ignored altogether.

So, what to do to improve things? Firstly, ensure that there is appropriate representation in groups that deal with implementing health and safety in your organisation. Then do some research on how sex and gender differences affect your industry. There are plenty of helpful resources out there on women and safety that can assist you in developing a more rounded approach to health and safety. Here are some starting points:

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has information on gender issues and safety and health at work and including gender issues in risk assessments

The TUC provides a range of guidance around gender and occupational health.

The Health and Safety Executive offers information related to new and expectant mothers, and how they can be supported.