Benefits of going paperless
Why you must inspect equipment and keep records
As an Equipment Manager, it is necessary to inspect any equipment where there could be risks to health and safety. A risk assessment should be carried out to determine if there is any need for inspections and routine maintenance to ensure the continued safety of your colleagues. Inspections must be recorded and evidenced, a management system like Papertrail can help you complete inspections in a clear, efficient and systematic way.
Regulations to be aware of
There are five main regulations that businesses with safety equipment must consider:
1. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA, the HSW Act, the 1974 Act or HASAWA) is the main piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the UK. The act clarifies the general responsibilities of everyone from employers and employees to owners and managers of the workplace for maintaining health and safety.
2. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
The Personal Protective Equipment At Work Regulations 1992 is a set of regulations created under The Health and Safety Act placing liability on the employer to ensure suitable personal protective equipment has been granted for those who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety at work.
3. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
These regulations aim to make work safer for anyone using and coming in contact with equipment, this includes employers, employees, contractors, suppliers and people who may need to access any equipment. The regulation ensures that equipment is kept in good order and that maintenance, training and inspections are carried out to suitable and sufficient levels to identify if the equipment can be used.
4. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
LOLER places responsibilities on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. If any lifting equipment is provided you must manage and control the risks to avoid any injuries or damages.
5. The Work at Height Regulations (WAHR)
Falls from height is one of the biggest causes of deaths and major injuries for the work at height sector. The Work at Height Regulations was introduced to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height.
Are you complying with these regulations?
Papertrail helps businesses to comply with health and safety regulations, as well as saving time on inspections and reduce risk.
Using Papertrail allows you to inspect several items and add inspections to multiple records at once, this saves you more time in comparison to logging inspection records individually. Read more on the features of Papertrail that can help you complete inspections and keep accurate records.
You can review and improve your equipment management system today for FREE – created for Equipment Managers.
Download our 5 Step Management System Review Workbook and discover how Papertrail can meet your safety management needs.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is equipment designed to protect the user against health and safety risks at work. There is a vast range of PPE that provides different types of protection for the user. PPE can be used to protect the eyes, head, body, hands and arms, feet and legs and in high-risk places, the lungs. It can incorporate items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses.
Wearing and using PPE is required when employees or contractors are undertaking high-risk work. So, if you or your team are working at height, that’s classed as high-risk work. It is essential for everyone in the workplace to understand the importance of identifying and wearing the appropriate equipment. Carrying out a risk assessment identifies the hazard(s) that may occur and help to determine what equipment is needed. PPE must be regularly inspected for safety and compliance purposes.
Whenever PPE is used, a detailed record must be created inclusive of the employee’s name, the equipment item, and the date. Many equipment managers create a simple spreadsheet – which indeed will suffice and introduce accountability amongst staff members. However, the more equipment you use results in an expansion of data that must be recorded, this can increase the risk of errors and the amount of time spent documenting inspections.
The management is often overlooked even though it is necessary when using any equipment, using a PPE Management System can boost the confidence in inspections and management of critical safety equipment.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992) clearly states, according to Regulation 4, “Every employer shall ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to his employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work except where and to the extent that such risk has been adequately controlled by other means which are equally or more effective.” Therefore, according to the law, it is the employer’s responsibility to protect the employee by providing the correct PPE. The regulations also require that the equipment is fit for its objective by correctly assessing it, maintaining and storing the equipment following the manufacturer’s instructions, and utilising it accurately.
It is crucial for equipment owners to look after PPE and to provide suitable storage facilities when it is not in use to keep it clean and in proper condition. Contractors must ensure equipment is kept clean and in excellent repair, following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule to discover shelf life and replacement periods. Intricate repairs and maintenance should only be completed by specialists, however, simple maintenance of PPE can be carried out by a trained user. Suitable replacement parts for PPE should always be readily available; it is also worth keeping a disposable supply of equipment for any potential visitors and third-party contractors that may be required to wear protective equipment.
Employers hold responsibilities concerning the provision and use of PPE supplied for employees. Wherever there is a risk to health and safety, employers are accountable to provide appropriate PPE alongside training to their staff members.
When selecting and using PPE, contractors should use equipment that is CE marked to prove it complies with the regulations. Employers should take the size, fit, and weight of the equipment into consideration when choosing equipment that suits the user; employers are expected to provide appropriate training in its usage. Employees should be informed as to why PPE is required, when to use it, how it can be replaced, and who/how to report any damaged equipment.
Complying with regulations is effectively a joint effort between the contractor and the employee. The contractor is accountable for training, ongoing development and supplying the appropriate equipment, whereas the employee ensures that training is working in practice, the equipment is stored safely and maintained, and that any incidents or faults are reported and fixed properly.
Papertrail is designed to reduce your workload, increase your productivity and manage health and safety inspections globally. Easily create and manage hundreds of items of equipment records in minutes, our PPE management system allows you to add: your entire equipment inventory – regardless of size, inspection evidence, manufacturer checklists, set reminders and notifications and manage your team’s user permissions. Read more about the features to make your management system work for you!
You can review and improve your inspection management system today for FREE! Download our 5 Step Management System Review Workbook, created for Equipment Managers to ensure your PPE management system is effective.
The occurrence of errors for manually tracking safety equipment using pen, paper and spreadsheets can be significantly high and generates accountability issues. Even with the best folder structure, it can take time to navigate to a specific record. It can be difficult to search for a record when you are uncertain of the specific name as you might not be able to read the serial number of the item correctly.
Using barcodes, QR codes and data matrix codes to help, find and inspect speeds up safety management even further improving the effectiveness of your equipment tracking.
The Papertrail mobile app has a built-in barcode scanner making it easier for you to inspect your equipment. You can also connect a scanning device to your computer to use in the web app.
The integration of barcodes makes the inspections of equipment in your Papertrail account so much easier and here are a few reasons as to why:
It’s extremely fast!
Never search through your account to locate the correct record for a piece of kit again! Easily input the barcode from the equipment into the record details. When carrying out inspections, just scan the barcode using a barcode reader, or Papertrail’s built-in barcode scanner, and begin your inspection. With access to records being quicker, ultimately means increased productivity.
Use the barcode scanning online OR offline
We understand how frustrating it can be when you cannot get service or wifi connection, with barcode scanning this is no problem at all! Carry out your work from anywhere, even offline. Scan as you would with wifi carrying out inspections offline and sync the app when you connect again, your inspection records will all be backed up in the cloud.
No barcode on equipment? No problem!
We understand not every piece of equipment comes with a barcode and if that’s the case with you, don’t worry! It is very easy and cheap to buy some makeshift barcode stickers that work similarly. There are also many tools online that generate barcodes, QR codes and data matrix codes which you can print on stickers and use for free.
Decreased chance of errors
Human error is inevitable, however, with the barcode technology, the chances of data entry errors are minimised. Also having the app on mobile means more mobility and flexibility, equipment personnel can use their mobile devices to scan barcodes on the go.
Identifier codes that you can use with Papertrail
Implement a barcode system within your team today. There are many different brands for you to choose from for scanning barcodes, connect your scanner by Bluetooth or USB to your laptop. Use the Papertrail app with built-in barcode scanning, simply tap the scan button for the camera on your mobile device and begin scanning! You can import your equipment, create a record and complete an inspection within seconds when using the built-in scanner.
Papertrail helps businesses around the world reduce the risk of accidents and cut inspection times. Smart PPE management systems can help reduce administrative workloads by more than 90%. Download a copy of the white paper for FREE on ‘How to design and develop a smart PPE management system’, created for Equipment Managers to guarantee your PPE management system is smart!
What is LOLER?
The Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) place responsibilities on equipment managers and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. All operations involving lifting equipment must be planned by a competent person, the regulation also requires that equipment is fit for purpose, appropriate for the task and suitably marked, with maintenance and defects reported.
What is lifting equipment?
Lifting equipment includes any equipment that is used in the workplace for lifting or lowering loads, including accessories providing a link between the two. This includes any lifting accessories used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it.
Examples of lifting equipment according to the HSE:
If you use or manage working at height equipment (Fall Protection, Fall Arrest, Fall Restraint) then you are likely to be familiar with the following equipment types in your inventory that requires a LOLER Inspection certificate:
Karabiners, Slings, Hitch Cords, Cambium Savers, Pulleys, Friction Devices, Harnesses, Ropes, Swivels, Anchor Rings, Connectors, Ascender/Descender, Figure 8, Fimbl Saver, Lanyards, Mechanical Hitch, Prussiks, Shackles. All of the above requires a six-month inspection certificate to show they are operating properly and fit for purpose.
Who must comply with LOLER?
Anyone with responsibility directly or indirectly for work equipment and its use must comply with LOLER, this includes equipment managers, employers, employees, self-employed and those who hire work equipment. Anyone who is accountable for lifting equipment in their company must be aware of LOLER and the procedures.
Equipment that’s not covered by LOLER
Equipment may appear as ‘lifting’ equipment and thought to be covered by LOLER. Nonetheless, there are some notable exceptions that are not covered by LOLER, when this equipment is used it must be maintained for safety and inspection under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). Equipment that is not covered by LOLER includes:
Using Papertrail to comply with LOLER
You are required by LOLER to give your equipment a thorough 6 monthly inspection before completing an inspection report. If you are not already using a management system, Papertrail helps you create a report and guarantees it is saved against each item inspected and ensures it can be reproduced as a PDF print off or digital display at any time. Follow our step by step on how to produce and save a 6 monthly inspection report.
With Papertrail, you can set daily, weekly, monthly or 6-monthly inspection schedules for all your equipment, and get notified whenever another inspection is due – so you’ll never forget to make them! Using Papertrail to record these inspections and create the reports needed for LOLER compliance is so much easier and less time-consuming than paper records.
You can review and improve your inspection management system today for FREE! Download our 5 Step Management System Review Workbook, created for equipment managers to ensure your PPE management system is effective.
ISO established ISO 9001:2015 for *quality management systems, it comprises a set of general standard requirements governing the quality management system of certified companies or any other organisations. ISO 9001:2015 is internationally recognised, it is the most used quality management system standard in the world, used in over 170 countries by over a million companies! The standard applies to all types and sizes of organisations, helping you organise processes, improve the efficiency of processes and continually improve.
ISO 9001 is a standard that creates trust. When working with different companies the customer will need to know they can trust you to complete good quality work. Showing them you are certified and comply builds confidence when they work with you.
*What is a Quality Management System (QMS)?
A Quality Management System is a set of documented policies, procedures and responsibilities organised into a structured system of processes to assist an organisation in realising its quality vision, goals and objectives. Businesses in adventure, arboriculture and work-at-height benefit substantially from a standardised system, as the safety risks and service focus in these industries, mean that improving quality management is essential to staying competitive, and staying safe!
An ISO 9001 certification produces numerous benefits for any business.
The most important benefit of being ISO 9001:2015 certified is meeting the increasing requirements of customers. Customers want to receive the highest quality of service. ISO 9001 helps you consistently meet customer demands and a service that is dependable and can be relied on.
Reduced operating costs
When adopting a QMS there is a continual improvement of processes resulting in operational efficiencies saving you money overall. This includes your safety management, training procedures and even your staff rota.
Improved stakeholder relationships
Improve the perception of your organisation with staff, customers and suppliers.
Learn how statutory and regulatory requirements affect your organisation and its customers. Having a robust quality management system in place will also help in establishing a positive safety culture.
Improved risk management
Greater consistency and traceability of products and services means problems are easier to avoid and rectify.
Proven business credentials
Becoming certified by an internationally recognised industry standard speaks volumes.
Ability to generate more business
When obtaining an ISO 9001 certification you must identify and analyse your business processes, this can only be achieved through effective quality management. Corresponding to the requirements will teach you more about how your business functions. Certification opens doors to more business as procurement specifications often require certification to carry out work. Moreover, people are more prepared to pay premium prices for your service if you are ISO certified.
Becoming fully certified with ISO 9001 should take between 2-3 months. It is important to think about what the business wants to achieve, there are 5 main steps to become certified.
Step 1 – Preparation
The first step addresses how to prepare for the best execution of the ISO 9001 at your business. You would set the goals and objectives that will benefit your business, look at training and plan your project.
Step 2 – Documentation
To get certified, the standard states that every business must issue and maintain the following six documented procedures.
Control of Documents (4.2.3)
Control of Records (4.2.4)
Internal Audits (8.2.2)
Control of Nonconforming Product / Service (8.3)
Corrective Action (8.5.2)
Preventive Action (8.5.3)
Step 3: Implementation
Next, it is time to implement your ISO 9001 quality management system throughout your company. It is important that all employees understand how the new processes and requirements benefit them, you must ensure the benefits are clear.
Step 4 – Audit
You must evaluate the company to see if all ISO 9001 requirements are being followed.
Step 5 – Certification
After completing the internal audit an independent auditor will visit the business and complete a site audit. The auditor will also perform a site audit after you have collected records worth two months using the processes.
Many Papertrail Subscribers use our off the shelf management system to demonstrate ISO compliance.
You can review and improve your equipment management system today for FREE! By downloading our 5 Step Management system review Workbook, created for equipment Managers to ensure your PPE management system is effective.
Papertrail partnered with DMM in 2015 to launch a revolutionary new technology designed to improve safety, accountability and efficiency for safety equipment users worldwide. DMM iD uses RFID chips in-built into DMM safety equipment to uniquely identify equipment and instantly record inspections using Papertrail’s cloud-based safety management system.
DMM iD technology keeps safety and security in mind. RFID chips are built into DMM equipment during the manufacturing process – containing unique product information. This equipment, when bought, can then be easily scanned by an RFID reader (similar to a barcode reader) which will pick up the information from the chip and record it instantly in Papertrail’s cloud-based safety management system. Buy an RFID reader from the Papertrail shop here.
Not only does DMM iD help counteract the rising problem of counterfeit PPE, but it also helps users collect and record important information about the usage and inspection of safety equipment through a seamless integration with Papertrail’s cloud-based safety management system.
Unique product information, such as a serial number, is the only foolproof way to identify whether or not a product is genuine or counterfeit. RFID chips are the best way to present this information, as they are completely integrated with the safety systems you use, and are indelible – unlike ink or paint, which can fade over time.
DMM iD integrates seamlessly with Papertrail: the time spent creating records and making inspections can be reduced by 90% by using an RFID reader. Likewise, the accuracy of safety management data is increased!
Improve your asset inventory management with DMM iD 2.0 – Distance Reading! To complement the current RFiD solution, now read multiple items at the same time from a distance. Your equipment is grouped into kitbags with iD Tags ready to be scanned from a distance. DMM iD 2.0 is new and available in 2020, first introduced at the A+A Trade Fair in Düsseldorf – see below a demo of the new technology.
Papertrail aims to help businesses around the world to reduce the risk of accidents and cut inspection times. Using DMM RFID PPE Technology combined with the Papertrail app, you can improve safety, efficiency for equipment users and form a smart equipment management system.
Smart PPE management systems can help reduce administrative workloads by more than 90%. Download a copy of the white paper for FREE on ‘How to design and develop a smart PPE management system’, created for Equipment Managers to guarantee your PPE management system is smart!
Counterfeit or illegal items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the market are on the increase. It was initially reported by the BBC over three years ago and referenced by British Safety Industry Federation.
Supplying fake PPE can be life-threatening as often this equipment does not perform as they should, compromising users and exposing your organisation to a risk of harm or prosecution. Established equipment manufacturers such as DMM and Petzl are often the targets of counterfeiters looking to make a quick buck from users who are simply looking for replacement equipment to keep them safe.
Papertrail partners with equipment manufacturers such as DMM, launching a revolutionary new technology that helps counteract the rising problem of counterfeit PPE using RFID chips built into equipment at the point of manufacture to provide a durable and scannable unique identify. Read more on how DMM ID helps prevent the use of counterfeit PPE here.
Equipment that is popular and easy to reproduce are often targets for counterfeiters; please note: all types of equipment can be counterfeit versions. Examples of counterfeit PPE that have been found to date include anchors; ascenders; descenders; carabiners; dynamic ropes; harnesses; climbing equipment; helmets; goggles; ear defenders and many others.
Read Petzl’s article with guidance on how to deal with fake equipment. Following these steps:
CE (Conformité Européenne) Certificates are the hardest piece of PPE to fake. All PPE must be supplied with instructions for use and be appropriately tested and marked with a CE marking – without it, the product is illegal to use as protective equipment in the workplace.
CE Certificate Checklist
If you answer ‘No’ to one or more of these questions, then contact your PPE suppliers immediately for advice.
|Is the CE mark present on the product marking/labelling?|
|If present on the product, is the CE mark in the correct font and at least 5mm high?|
|For products, including respirators and chemical protective clothing, is the CE mark accompanied by a 4-digit number? (e.g. CE 0120)|
|Were written instructions for use provided within the product?|
|Are the instructions for use printed in the clear and legible text?|
|Is the name and address of the manufacturer detailed on the user instructions?|
|Does the certificate clearly contain the notified body’s name and number (4 digits)?|
|Is the notified body from within the EU? There are a few non-EU notified bodies and therefore caution should be taken?|
|Does the certificate show signs of tampering i.e. differing fonts and sizes, colour changes etc?|
|Does the certificate contain a date and notified body signature? (generally an individual)|
|Does the certificate have its terms and conditions included?|
|Does the certificate show a clear description of the product, including model references, specifications, and test references?|
|Does the certificate state that it is an EC type-examination certificate?|
|Does the certificate include a manufacturer’s name and address?|
|If a validity period is stated on the certificate, is it still current?|
To confirm the authenticity of PPE, you can call the notified body in your country, who will be happy to check the certificate against their records. Find out who the notified body is in your country here. Alternatively, if you have purchased equipment that has a unique serial number, Barcode or RFID chip, you can validate its authenticity by searching the Papertrail Product Directory
DMM and Singing Rock serial number searches are currently available digitally, with many other reputable equipment manufacturers such as Teufelberger, committing to provide Unique Serials Numbers by 2020 .
Unique equipment data is available to add to a Papertrail account with one click. The data includes all the certificates and relevant documentation, which should form as part of your equipment management record-keeping system.
Gathering all the information for your equipment records is often challenging to do with a large inventory of safety equipment. If you are unsure you have all of the relevant paperwork, then it could be a good time to review and improve your inspection management system.
Download our 5 Step Management System Review Workbook, created for equipment managers to ensure your PPE management system is effective.
Many people are unsure of how to work out the date of manufacture on a piece of their PPE or other equipment, and in turn, are unaware of the date the product needs to be retired. So, we thought we would give you a few tips on how you would find this out with some of the main manufacturers; take a look at our equipment manufacturers and import equipment from our PPE Directory.