Questions about GDPR?

If you’re working in a European Union (EU) business and you haven’t heard about GDPR already, then you should have… and you will in 2018.

The General Data Protection Regulation is an instrument by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the EU.

It has been variously called “a game-changer” and “the biggest shake up in 20 years.”

But for companies that must comply with it by May 25 this year, the regulation, which gives citizens much greater control their personal data, is potentially a bit of a headache.

The key thrust of GDPR is that it allows citizens to better control their personally identifiable information (PII). The EU says the regulation will give citizens:

  • The right to know when their personal data has been hacked, since organisations will have to inform individuals promptly of serious data breaches, and will have to notify the relevant data protection authority.
  • A clearer right to erasure (or the ‘right to be forgotten’), so when an individual no longer wants their data processed and there is no legitimate reason to keep it, the data will be removed.
  • Easier access to their data, including providing more information on how that data is processed and ensuring that the information is available in a clear and understandable way.
  • A new right to data portability, making it easier to transmit personal data between service providers.

For companies, the challenge will be to identify all relevant PII and make sure it can be easily provided to an individual or deleted if needed. And this PII can include all information about staff and customer certifications.

If you hold this kind of information on spreadsheets or other traditional methods, complying with GDPR could be a problem because you have to track down and take into account every single copy of documents containing PII.

That is why you might want to consider moving to a central, cloud-based system such as Papertrail. With Papertrail, you store all relevant certification data in one place, and can access it quickly and easily from anywhere.

You also benefit from holding the data in a highly secure environment, where access is restricted to the administrators you choose. In theory, Papertrail covers most of the GDPR boxes you need to worry about… but by all means get in touch for more information.

Contact us now for more information about how to make your business more efficient and compliant, no matter where you are.

Equipment Management for Rope Access Technicians

Rope access techniques

Industrial rope access has proven to be a safe, efficient and cost-effective. Common rope access techniques include inspection, surveying, maintenance on buildings, towers, bridges, dams, wind turbines and more. Rope access equipment consists of ropes, helmets, harnesses, carabiners, ascenders, and descenders.  

Safety should always be of paramount concern for those using rope access techniques, with the awareness of the following legislations that are necessary for equipment managers and contractors:

What can go wrong?

Although rope access techniques is one of the safest ways to carry out high access maintenance and repairs in the industry, things can still go wrong. Risks could include falls from height due to poor technique, equipment or anchor failure; struck by falling items resulting in fatality or injury to the user; rope burns; and stuck at height.  

Prevention is better than cure

When using rope access techniques, the main objective is to carry out work efficiently, with minimal accidents, incidents or dangerous occurrences. It is important to asses the risks accurately when using any equipment to ensure it meets safety standards, is properly stored, inspected and maintained. It is also essential that the equipment complies with the international standards and equipment users are trained to use it safely. Any work carried out should be supervised to check users are working safely. 

Training Systems 

Training is a continuous process for rope access technicians it keeps them up to speed on current legislation. IRATA and SPRAT have published guidelines to integrate with on-site safety management systems. 

The International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) is responsible for regulating the training of all workers looking to earn qualifications in the industry. IRATA certifications are available in three different levels and are required for all working rope access technicians. Read more about IRATA Certifications and what is required here

The Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) certification provides instant recognition and credibility to those who carry it. SPRAT encourages the safe use of rope access through education, standards development and certification. SPRAT is also available in three levels available, more information about becoming SPRAT certified can be found here.

Rope Access Program

Based on IRATA and SPRAT guidelines, a safe rope access program should be designed around these four key components:

  1. Management systems
  2. Training systems
  3. Equipment management systems
  4. Qualified supervisors

Equipment Management Systems 

When it comes to the lives of rope access technicians, they are in the hands of the equipment they use. Equipment managers are responsible for maintenance and testing, with each piece of equipment given a unique identifier and inspected before used on a job. Using Papertrail, equipment managers can use RFID or barcode technology to easily identify equipment, create secure and fully auditable inspections in seconds – simply scan and go! 

If your current equipment management system is not working efficiently and you think can be improved. Download our 5 Step Management System Review Workbook, created for equipment managers to ensure your PPE management system is effective.


Important Health and Safety Events and Courses in 2016

health-and-safety-events

Health and safety, unlike some industries, isn’t a community of businesses in the traditional sense. It affects everyone, in every work environment, across dozens of industries and sectors. Different rules apply to different sectors, resulting in a wide range of training courses and events.

Papertrail is part of a group of organisations and companies that serve these industries; which is why we have collated this list of the most important health and safety events and training courses for the rest of 2016. We will make a list for 2017 later in the year.

 

This Year’s Events

Continue Reading…

Key Takeaways from HSE’s First Annual Science Review

help-gb-work-well-papertrail

Behind the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) Helping Great Britain Work Well campaign are 850 scientists, from psychologists, microbiologists, and explosive specialists, working to understand how accidents happen and what can be done to improve the country’s safety record.

This campaign intends to use the most cutting-edge developments in science in order to affect a positive and lasting change on workplace behaviour – specifically, safety-related behaviour. Continue Reading…

How Does Papertrail Save You Time and Money?

papertrail-saves-you-time-and-money

Health and safety compliance was never meant to be about paperwork. Behind most laws are practical, real-world problems that need solutions. Managing health and safety, whether for yourself, boss or clients is about taking those practical steps, then documenting everything from equipment inspections to training. Continue Reading…

What Health and Safety Training Do Climbing Instructors Need?

climbing-instructor

Climbing instructors need to be ready to work with climbers with a wide range of skills. From children who have just started to learn, to experienced adults who are training between outdoor bouldering sessions.

Instructors without the proper training and experience are a risk to those they are meant to support. Continue Reading…

5 Safety Regulations You Need to Know

Working at height

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.

mandatory-regulations

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
  2. The Personal Protective Equipment At Work Regulations 1992
  3. PUWER 
  4. LOLER (if you’re using lifting equipment)
  5. WAHR (if you’re working at height)

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.

5 Steps to review your PPE Management System

PPE Management for Contractors: What you need to know

Climbing at height

What is PPE and when should it be used?

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.

PPE inspections on paper

How to manage work at height PPE

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.

Volume of equipment graph

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.

Who is responsible for PPE?

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.

Who is responsible for training and compliance?

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 User Management for PPE

How Papertrail can help you manage PPE

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!

Are you effectively managing your PPE?

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.

5 Steps to review your PPE Management System