Tragedy highlights need for PPE management

An investigation into a tragic accident has once again put the spotlight on the need for
better personal protective equipment (PPE) management.

Zachary Cox’s fatal fall attracted press attention because it happened on an emblematic
site: the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, which will be used in the Qatar 2022 World
Cup.

The incident, in January 2017, could clearly have been avoided if PPE safety standards had
been up to scratch. An inquest heard Cox was using potentially lethal equipment,
according to a report by the BBC.

Cox was doubly unlucky, the report says. He fell when a faulty hoist broke, but the safety
harness that could have saved his life also snapped. The 40-year- old worker, born in South
Africa but living in the UK, died from multiple injuries after dropping 130 feet.
It is unclear whether Cox’s equipment had undergone regular inspections, but the findings
of the inquest make this seem unlikely.

The coroner for the case said working practices on the site were “inherently unsafe” and
that site managers “knew or should have known that they were effectively requiring a
group of their workers to rely on potentially lethal equipment.”

Following the inquest, Cox’s family called for lessons to be learnt.

One of these must surely be that any major building site should not only have appropriate
working-at- height safety procedures in place, but that these procedures should be
transparent and regularly audited.

As we can attest at Papertrail, putting the systems in place to achieve this is not hard or
costly. And if it helps to preserve lives, surely no expense should be spared.

Contact us now for more information about how to make your organisation safer and
more efficient.

Could greener energy yield a ‘safety dividend’?

The UK energy system ended last year on a high note. According to the National Grid, 2017 was the greenest year ever for electricity in the country. Renewable energy sources provided more power than coal for around 90% of the year.

This is clearly great news for those concerned about climate change. But increasing the UK’s reliance on renewable energy may have another, less obvious advantage, linked to safety.

Coal, oil and gas are all hard to get out of the ground. They can catch fire or explode when handled. And they are major sources of air pollution. This all means they can have a significant impact on health.

Coal, for instance, is thought to cause 100,000 deaths per trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is about the amount that Russia consumed in 2014. For the same amount of electricity, oil kills around 36,000 people. Natural gas results in 4,000 deaths.

The death rates from renewable energy, meanwhile, are comparatively small. Rooftop solar panels, which are made in pristine lab conditions and have practically no pollution or maintenance risks during operation, have a mortality rate of 440 per trillion kilowatt-hours.

Wind power is even safer, with a mortality rate of just 150 per trillion kilowatt-hours. Naturally, these figures should not discourage renewable energy companies from striving to improve safety.

But it is also clear that simply switching from fossil fuels to wind and solar could cut energy sector-related deaths by two or three orders of magnitude, which is a major achievement.

The key, of course, will be for the wind and solar industries to maintain or improve their safety records wherever possible. This won’t happen automatically.

On the contrary, even though wind and solar are inherently safer than coal, oil or gas, the fact that renewable energy sectors are growing rapidly means special emphasis needs to be placed on keeping safety standards high while scaling up production.

Part of this will need to be through improved training and policies. Part of it will be through the application of technologies ranging from drone-based inspections to personal protective safety equipment management systems, such as Papertrail.

Provided renewables firms make sure this remains a priority, the move to clean energy could deliver a safety dividend as well as better deal on climate.

Contact us now for more information about how to make your wind business safer.

Do you know what PPE management really is?

If you’re heading to the A+A international trade fair and congress then it’s a fair bet you already know what personal protective equipment (PPE) is. But are you on top of PPE management?

While PPE is all about equipping your people with things that will keep them safe, PPE management is about knowing those things are up to the task: that they are not out of date, have passed all relevant inspections and so on.

It is important because in PPE the status of an item can be just as important as its availability. A harness that is not in its legal inspection date, for example, is no more use than no harness at all.

For all its importance, though, PPE management is still often relegated to the status of an administrative chore. And in fairness, managing PPE with manual methods such as spreadsheets can be a pain. But there is no need for it.

With systems such as Papertrail, you can make sure PPE management is simple, standardised and robust. If you want to know more, then why not start with the following online resources:

And if you are still hungry for information then book a demo or look us up at A+A in Düsseldorf, Germany, from October 17 to 20.

  • Visit Papertrail at A+A at the DMM (Hall 6/F40) and SingingRock (Hall 6/C48) stands.

The PPE industry gets serious about safety

If there is one motto you can’t argue with, it must be ‘safety first’. Even in the most foolhardy occupations, you would have to be really mad to ignore basic safety rules.

And when it comes to any industry with an element of risk, companies are fully aware of the need for caution. The problem is that until recently many of them may not have had all the tools to cater for that need.

Take companies that rely on personal protective equipment (PPE), for example. The reason PPE exists at all is to provide users with a measure of safety, yet for it to be effective it usually must be regularly inspected and declared fit for purpose.

Carrying out these inspections is one thing, but being able to quickly and easily find out if they have been done is another. It is a problem that has plagued companies that rely on PPE, for example for working at height. But it is a problem that is increasingly in the past.

Companies such as World Challenge, DMM Professional and Offshore Painting Services are modernising their inspection records processes so they can quickly locate any record or certification from anywhere, at any time.

And a recent white paper from Papertrail predicts a continuing shift towards smart PPE management systems that help organisations improve safety while at the same time cutting costs and administration overheads.

“Users of the Papertrail smart PPE management system have reported more than a 90% reduction in administration workload, along with reduced human error and increased equipment use,” says the paper.

“Furthermore, such smart systems are expected to grow in value over time, as they increasingly evolve to receive and manage status data from future generations of connected PPE devices linked to the rise of the Internet of Things.”

The extent to which PPE record keeping is being modernised, to further increase safety while boosting efficiency, is expected to be a matter of debate in Düsseldorf, Germany, at the A+A international trade fair and congress from October 17 to 20.

The world’s largest international trade forum for safety, security and health at work, A+A’s programme will cover everything from workplace design to occupational fire protection.

In all areas, attendees will be looking for evidence of advances that can help improve the safety of their people and their customers. Thanks to advances in records management, PPE shouldn’t let them down.

Visit Papertrail at A+A at the DMM (Hall 6/F40) and SingingRock (Hall 6/C48) stands

Papertrail Demos: How We Help You Improve Compliance & Safety

Every client who signs-up to Papertrail is given an initial free 20-minute demonstration with our product specialist to see how we can support your compliance, efficiency and safety goals.

Our Demos imply no obligation but are a good way to see how our software solutions and apps will benefit your organisation. Before coming on a Demo, have a think about how our services could be useful. For example:

  • Do you use a lot of safety equipment or kit that needs regular inspections to ensure everyone using it is safe
  • Does your organisation have a range of compliance legislation that involves paperwork every year?
  • In your place(s) of work, does health and safety potentially impact: workers, contractors, or the general public?
  • Do you have assets, or are you managing assets that can cause serious headaches if they break or need repairs?
  • Are you looking to increase operational efficiency, reduce operational budgets, whilst maintaining a strong health and safety culture?

Papertrail could be the answer. We work with hundreds of organisations’ across the world, from small businesses to multi-nationals, to ensure their compliance activities are simplified, minimise risk and stay safe. Your safety is our business. We are on a mission to protect your team, contractors and customers from avoidable risk.

Read our Blog to find out more about how we work across a wide range of sectors.

Book a Demo Today: https://www.papertrail.io/uk/book-demo

BP Deepwater Horizon: Lessons From a Crisis

deepwater horizon oil spill

On  20 April 2010, whilst drilling an exploratory well at a depth of 5,000 feet, around 41 miles off the south-east coast of Louisiana, disaster struck BP Deepwater Horizon. The explosion and subsequent destruction of the oil well caused 11 deaths and billions worth of natural and economic damage along the Gulf of Mexico. Continue Reading…

Top 10 Pieces of Kit for Every Arboriculture Professional

arboriculture-professional-climbersdirect-papertrail

The typical arboriculture professional undertakes difficult, dangerous work regularly, often at a height; managing their own safety without causing unnecessary harm to the trees, local environment and anyone nearby.

Working in arboriculture is three times more dangerous than the construction sector, making it one of the highest risk sectors in the UK. Choosing and maintaining the right equipment is essential for the safety of those doing the work and teams on the ground.

Continue Reading…

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…

Black Diamond: Doing Product Recalls the Right Way

black diamond team

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…