Siemens and Gamesa to Create World’s Largest Wind Energy Company

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Green energy is big business. Since 2015, green energy now generates more electricity than nuclear and coal in the UK. Wind is a vital – and growing – component of this and many other countries energy resources. The wind energy market is about to get more competitive, with the recent announcement that Siemens and Gamesa, a Spanish wind giant, are going to merge their wind farm and service businesses. Continue Reading…

Asset Management: Mission Critical for Renewable Energy Companies

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Renewable energy is increasingly popular across Europe and the rest of the world. In the UK alone, renewables – wind, solar, bioenergy – account for 20% of the UK’s energy mix. In 2015, green energy generated more electricity than nuclear and coal for a whole quarter.

Indeed, the now-historic Paris climate deal, signed at the COP 21: UN climate change conference in December 2015, could not have taken place if countries and private industry weren’t already committed to renewable energy. Continue Reading…

Offshore Painting Services: Papertrail in the Wind Energy Industry

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Offshore Painting Services is a Liverpool-based weather protection and blade repair company for wind turbines and other structures situated in some of the most hostile environments on the planet. Continue Reading…

Black Diamond: Doing Product Recalls the Right Way

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So far, it hasn’t been a great year for Black Diamond Equipment, one of the world’s leading climbing, skiing, hiking and outdoor fashion brands. Product recalls are a fact of life for manufacturers in every sector, but with five in 2016, Black Diamond customers are upset and annoyed. Continue Reading…

How Does Papertrail Save You Time and Money?

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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…

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

What is LOLER, and does it affect me?

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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:

  • Safety Harnesses and Helmets
  • Overhead cranes and their supporting runways
  • Patient hoists and winches
  • Motor vehicle lifts
  • A building cleaning cradle and its suspension equipment
  • Telehandlers and forklifts
  • Lifting accessories

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.

Working at height 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:

  • pallet trucks, where the consequence of the load falling off is very low
  • roller shutter doors
  • escalators
  • fall arrest ropes
  • tipper trucks

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.

Inspection certificate

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.

5 Steps to review your PPE Management System

Common Health and Safety Concerns in the Telecoms Industry

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Can we imagine life without wi-fi and smartphones? There was a time before apps, social networks and a hyper-connected global culture. Connectivity, like our food chain, is all about convenience. Whatever we want, we want it now.

What we don’t often see, or think about, is the industry that makes all of this possible: telecoms providers. The telecoms industry is a label for a sector that includes everything from smartphone manufacturers to communication systems, wireless routers to outsourced call centres.

Globally, this is a multi-trillion dollar industry employing millions of people. Continue Reading…