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RICS has recently launched ‘Surveying Safely’, the first guidance note of its kind intended to ensure consistency in the approach to health and safety procedures across the construction sector.

Surveying Safely, identifies the

practical, moral and ethical issues that confront property companies and individual professionals, and has a much broader scope than any other publication.

The guidance includes employers,

employees and corporate legislative health and safety duties; the assessment of hazards and risks;

a safe workplace; occupational health concerns; visiting premises and sites, and procurement and management of contractors and construction work.

The publication has been used

by many organisations as part of their health and safety induction process, particularly to assist the competence of property professionals visiting premises and sites.

In compiling the guidance, the RICS Health and Safety Advisory Group consulted with professional groups from across the globe. ‘Surveying Safely’ is applicable to

RICS members in Great Britain and provides recommendations for good practice in other countries where legislation and regulations may differ.

Ian Watson, chair of RICS Health & Safety Advisory Group, said: “This new guidance will be of benefit to RICS members, property professionals and organisations to assist in providing premises and working practices for the health and safety of all. ‘Surveying Safely’ pulls together existing health and safety guidelines, consolidating and refining them so that they apply to RICS members and other property professionals.”

John Parsons, RICS associate director, added: “Surveying Safely is intended to prompt property organisations and property professionals to recognise and accept their responsibilities to manage and control health and safety related risks. The guidance should prove to be an invaluable tool to all those operating in the construction sector.”


SE Controls, a specialist in natural ventilation and smoke control options, has gained CHAS accreditation.

Mark Soleil, operations director of SE Controls commented: “We have

now achieved full CHAS accreditation which provides members with our pre completed H&S assessments to a nationally recognised standard. The accreditation enables SE Controls to reduce the amount of time spent completing pre-qualification questionnaires, and provides clients with confidence that we are serious about our management and health and safety and can meet all of our customer’s site health and safety guidelines.”

CHAS (Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) is said to be quickly establishing itself as one of the leading health and safety pre-qualification schemes in the UK. Perceived by many as a contractor’s scheme, the scheme actually caters for any company working within or around the construction supply chain. By offering to standardise the first stage of the CDM core criteria, health and safety, the scheme saves time and resources when main contractors are appointing specialists sub-contractors.

The assessment and approval process is carried out by SSIP appointed

auditors who in turn are approved by the HSE. This process effectively audits and evidences how companies manage their health and safety procedures and subsequent accreditation confirms that systems demonstrate compliance with important health and safety law. Compliance is then reassessed bi-annually.

Accredited companies are added to the CHAS online database of

approved suppliers where prospective buyers can search for compliant and accredited suppliers, which can save them time in the procurement process.

‘By offering to standardise the first stage of the CDM core criteria, health and safety, the scheme saves time and resources when main contractors are appointing specialists sub- contractors.’

86 « Clearview NMS « September/October 2011 «


Too many first aid kits in UK workplaces are missing essential equipment, which is putting employees at risk, and means employers are breaking the law, according to workplace equipment provider, Slingsby.

Under The Health and Safety Offences Act, all workplaces must have a first aid kit that is suitably stocked, as well as an appointed person to implement a first aid procedure that all employees are aware of. Usually, notices explaining where the first aid box is kept and details of relevant people should also be displayed in a prominent position.

Lee Wright, marketing director of Slingsby explained: “We're constantly answering questions from employers about first aid kits and being asked about their contents. Most first aid kits that we see are either missing essential items or contain the wrong things completely. Employers can face hefty penalties for breaking health and safety laws and usually there is no excuse for it, especially for the sake of a few bandages or a pack of plasters! Although workplaces are legally required to have a dedicated person who is responsible for first aid, the reality is that in many organisations, the first aid kit is something that everyone forgets about until there's

an accident. This means that in many cases when things are used in first aid kits they are never replaced.”

Lee added: “In all companies and

organisations, the responsibility of the first aid kit should be an integral part of someone's job description and it should be checked on a regular basis to ensure it is always fully stocked with suitable items and anything that is used is replaced. This needs to be instigated from a senior level in the same way that most other everyday tasks are, such as ensuring the post is sent every evening or turning the lights off when a building is empty.”

As part of The Health and Safety

(first aid) Regulations 1981, employers also have a responsibility to provide appropriate equipment, facilities and training depending on individual risks. This could include training for first aiders that is relevant to a particular hazard or providing different types of equipment for specific areas depending on individual risks.

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