Man completing a RIDDOR form

A Simple Guide to RIDDOR Reporting

RIDDOR, which stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations is the legislation which controls which workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses you should report, and how you should report them.

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Bonfire night and firework safety

Remember, Remember the 5th November, Bonfire Treason and Plot! Yes – it’s that time of year again when we commemorate the foiling of the gunpowder plot to blow up Parliament in 1605.

Tonight is bonfire night and while we all enjoy seeing the fireworks, each year there are approximately 1000  injuries caused by careless handling of fireworks and bonfires. In the excitement that surrounds bonfire parties some basic rules are sometimes forgotten.

Did you know sparkler temperatures can reach up to 2000 C? That’s a lot hotter than the boiling point of water.
Rockets travel to a speed of 150 miles/hour- not easy to leap out of the way from those.

The best way to see fireworks is to go to an organised display, but if you are planning on having a few fireworks at home, these simple rules may help.

RoSPA’s Firework Code

Please take care  and follow the firework code (RoSPA):

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time.
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.
  • Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
  • Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving
  • Teach children to hold sparklers away from their body and not to wave them near anyone or run whilst holding them.
  • Teach children not to pick up used sparklers or fireworks- they will still be hot/may explode

If you suffer any burns:

  1. cool the area immediately with cool water for at least 10 minutes.  This helps to take the heat out of the wound, helps with pain relief and reduces some of the swelling.
  2. Remove clothing providing it isn’t stuck. If it is stuck, leave it on.
  3. Remove jewelery from hands etc. – burns will cause fingers to swell, and circulation to the fingers may rapidly become impaired.
  4. DON’T put lotions or potions or butter etc on the burn.
  5. Once you have cooled the area cover it with a suitable burns dressing, or clingfilm if proper dressings are not available.
  6. Seek medical advice if you are at all concerned, and in any case if the burn is larger than the casualty’s hand, if the skin is white or charred, or on the face, hands or other sensitive areas where blistering occurs.

Following these simple rules should mean that bonfire night is an enjoyable affair.

Wrap up warmly and have fun everyone!

For Further Advice

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents  (RoSPA)have Safer Fireworks website with lots of useful information about firework safety

The UK Government also has a useful firework safety website, covering firework safety and the law.

First Aid training for minor burn injuries is covered in the Emergency First Aid training course syllabus, while the full 3-day First aid at Work training course covers burns in more detail.

Important First Aid Regulation Changes

This October has seen the biggest shake-up of First Aid legislation since 1981, with the Health and Safety Executive withdrawing from the approval of first aid courses.

But do you know what it means for you?

In the past, you could be assured that your HSE-accredited training provider had gone through rigorous checks to ensure that they were fit to run first aid courses on your behalf.  In a sense, the HSE had already done due diligence on training providers, meaning that you didn’t have to.

As of 1st October, all that has changed.

Training providers can now choose their own path of quality control and accreditation, and you, as the employer, must decide which providers are good enough, and which are not.

Training providers will run courses which are either:

  • Voluntary Accreditation Scheme Courses
  • Voluntary Aid Society Courses
  • Unregulated Courses

Formally Regulated Qualifications

These are operated under rigorous accreditation schemes, recognised by regulators such as Ofqual, the SQA and the Welsh Government.
HTS Training opted to follow this route of accreditation, as we believe that it gives by far the greatest assurance of high standards of training for our customers.

Voluntary Accreditation Scheme Courses

As the name suggests, these are schemes that are operated by a variety of the first aid industry bodies.  These bodies have set up their own monitoring and quality control schemes which members are required to abide by.

Voluntary Aid Society Courses

The Red Cross and St John Ambulance continue to run first aid training courses which are considered to be of suitable quality for employers.

Unregulated Courses

It will be possible for trainers to set up unregulated, and carry out their own quality control.

It will be up to employers to investigate whether their training is of a sufficiently high standard in advance of the training, and to prove this level of due diligence should anything subsequently go wrong.

In all cases, the HSE remains the organisation who sets the syllabus in conjunction with Skills for Health for core first aid at work training courses.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call us on 01234 308 740, or get in touch via our contact page.

HSE First Aid Regulation Changes 2013

Tuesday 24th September 2013.

From October 1st 2013 First aid Regulations are to be amended to reflect the fact that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will no longer be responsible for regulating first aid training within the workplace. However the legal requirement for employers to provide adequate first aid training for employees, according to first aid needs, remains unchanged.

What does this mean for employers?

This means that the responsibility of ensuring the quality of first aid training moves to you, the employer.

What are the options?

As an employer, you have the option of obtaining First Aid training from a variety of training providers who offer training through

  • Regulated qualifications
  • Voluntary accreditation schemes
  • The Voluntary Aid societies
  • Unregulated training

However, with exception of those offering regulated qualifications, the HSE is not able to verify the quality of courses offered (source: First Aid at Work (Advance Copy)  Health & Safety Executive, 2013. Depending on the source of your first aid courses, some due diligence may be required as described below.

Regulated qualifications

Regulated qualifications are nationally recognised and are obtained from training centres for Awarding Organisations (AOs), recognised by qualification regulators (Ofqual, SQA and the Welsh Government).  They have dedicated quality assurance processes and monitor and approve training centres to ensure training meets a high standard.

If your first aiders undertake Regulated First Aid Qualifications, the guidance is clear that you DO NOT need to undertake any lengthy due diligence process, as this has been carried out as part of the creation and ongoing accreditation of the course.  Regulated Qualifications have the “Ofqual” or “SQA” logo on certificates, so an HSE inspector will accept this for the purposes of the first aid regulations.

HTS Training Ltd has been delivering the new regulated qualifications with very positive feedback from students since the creation of these courses in early 2013.  We are a registered centre with Qualsafe Awards, a leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation in first aid.

Voluntary Accreditation schemes

Some providers will operate through voluntary industry schemes that will set and maintain standards in line with HSE requirements. It is not mandatory for training providers to part of these schemes and some further due diligence will still be required.

Voluntary Aid Societies

These include St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid.  The HSE accept these organisations as delivering their training to a sufficient standard, so that no further due diligence evidence will be required.

Unregulated training

If you choose a provider who is offering unregulated qualifications then you will need to carry out due diligence to ensure that the training is suitable, meets the content set by the HSE and Skills for Health and that training providers can demonstrate robust quality assurance.

The guidance published by the HSE covers six pages of due diligence (reasonable investigation) that an employer should undertake if they choose unregulated first aid training. This includes checks on the competency of trainers, internal quality assurers and more.
The HSE’s GEIS3 “Selecting a first aid training provider” document gives more details on the exact nature of the due diligence that needs to be carried out, including checking:

  • the FAW certificates of trainers/assessors
  • the quality assurance methods used
  • the course syllabus
  • that the syllabus complies with the currently accepted guidelines published by the Resuscitation Council UK and the voluntary societies
  • is underpinned by accepted medical practice

For more information, advance copies of “The Health and Safety (First-Aid )Regulations 1981, Regulations and Guidance (L&$) and Selecting a first-aid training provider (GEIS3)’ are now available on the HSE website.

This change has come about in response to ‘Reclaiming Health and Safety for All: An independent review of health and safety legislation’,  by Professor Ragnar E Lõfstedt, which was published in November 2011.

Update – 1st October 2013: Changes to first aid regulation came into force from 1st October.

Could your workplace benefit from an AED?

The simple answer is “Yes”!

Fabrice Muamba almost died in April and would have done so without an AED close at hand, and his coaches and the consultant cardiaologist who knew how to operate one.

30,000 people a year in the UK have a cardiac arrest out of hospital. Statistically if you have a cardiac arrest out of hospital your chances of surviving are poor; less than 10% people will survive. This appalling statistic hasn’t changed much in many years.

However with prompt intervention with an automated external defibrillator device and good basic CPR, your chances of survival go up to about 74%.

Many employers are often put off purchasing an AED on the basis of cost of the device, and the time that it takes to train staff to use one. However,  the machines themselves are very reliable and easy to use.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death and you have a responsibility for ensuring safety to your staff, visitors and customers so why not invest in an AED? After all, you invest in fire extinguishers and hope you will never need to use those either!

Course Launch: Medical Emergencies in Dental Practices

June 2012: We are delighted to announce that we have now launched a new course for Dental Practitioners.

Supplementing our existing 2-hour CPR for Dental Practices course, we are now also offering a 4-hour CPR & Medical Emergencies in Dental Practices course.

For more details, click on one of the course links above, or give us a call on 01234 308 740.

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