This Week's News 16.03.18

Company fined after apprentice injured in fall from height

A scaffolding company has been sentenced today for safety breaches after a 16-year-old apprentice joiner fell approximately four metres from a scaffold platform. Sheffield Magistrates' Court heard how, on 6 September 2016, the apprentice was passing roof tiles from the loading bay to a colleague on the scaffold when he caught his foot in a gap between the scaffold platform and the loading bay. The apprentice fell backwards under a single guard rail to the ground below, sustaining injuries including a fractured cheekbone, broken wrist and injuries to his ribs. The apprentice also required 13 stitches for a deep cut above his left eye. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the loading bay edge protection did not include an intermediate guard-rail or toe board. Bland Scaffolding Ltd of Old Ship House, Wath Road, Elsecar pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £918 in costs.

If you think health and safety has to be complicated - it doesn't

This site is for employers and those who want some basic information on what they must do to make sure their businesses comply with health and safety law. Managing health and safety doesn't have to be complicated, costly or time-consuming. In fact, it's easier than you think. If you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees (and the injury or illness was caused after 1 October 2013), you shouldn't have to pay compensation for many businesses, all that's required is a basic series of practical tasks that protect people from harm and at the same time protect the future success and growth of your business. The site will take you through the steps and help you make sure you have done what you need to - and no more. The HSE has introduced the H&S ABC logo onto guidance and tools to show small and medium-sized businesses just how straightforward health and safety can be. So, when you see the logo, you'll know that it's designed specifically with you in mind. In general, health and safety laws apply to all businesses. As an employer, or a self-employed person, you are responsible for health and safety in your business. Health and safety laws are there to protect you, your employees and the public from workplace dangers. The approach you take should be proportionate to the size of your business and the nature of your business activity. For most small, low-risk businesses the steps you need to take are straightforward. If you have fewer than five employees, you don't have to write down your risk assessment or your health and safety policy. Click here.

Motivating your staff

Darren and Jackie Ambrose are the founders of the multi-award-winning salon D&J Ambrose in Pinner, Middlesex. They talk about the ways they keep their staff driven here.

Supervision of apprentices

Many young people are likely to be new to the workplace and in some cases will be facing unfamiliar risks from the job they will be doing and from their surroundings. They will need clear and sufficient instruction, training and supervision to enable them to work without putting themselves and other people at risk. Young people are likely to need more supervision than adults. Good supervision will help you get a clear idea of the young person's capabilities and progress in the job and monitor the effectiveness of their training.  Apprentices under the age of 18 should not be left alone to work without supervision and should never be the last in the salon at the end of the day and asked to lock up.

Effective staff meetings

Getting in the habit of conducting regular staff meetings will help achieve many purposes including to:

  • reinforce the company's vision, values and mission
  • inform and update employees
  • share successes, challenges and updates
  • brainstorm ideas and to gather employee feedback
  • gather all employees together who might otherwise not meet
  • share important information or news with staff before it goes public
  • provide training to employees
  • ensure a message is conveyed consistently to all employees at the same time.

A positive employee staff meeting can boost morale, help lower staff stress and frustration, and encourage new and innovative ideas. Though it may be difficult at first to get into the habit of conducting regular staff meetings, ensuring they occur regularly and on a consistent basis will lead to better-informed and more productive employees.

Dealing with difficult staff

How does their behaviour impact on other staff? Is the person making work miserable for others? Firstly, you need to recognise that low self-esteem might be behind this behaviour. The person may be compensating for a feeling of inadequacy by acting superior. Point out the specific behaviours (in private) that you want the person to stop doing. In many cases the person is likely unaware of how they are perceived. Encourage the individual to share his or her knowledge and skill with others and then provide positive feedback when they do that. Remind the individual that teamwork is vital and that the overall success of the salon depends not on his or her individual talents but the overall capability of the team.

Team ITS warmly welcomes this learner who started her Apprenticeship this week

Katie Currie - Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship - Inspirations Hair & Beauty, Woodley

Congratulations to the following learner who completed her Apprenticeship this week

Amy Painter - Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship - Scully Scully, Godalming

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