The rise in awareness regarding workplace mental health is on the increase and for good reason, businesses can be held accountable and hold a legal duty to ensure that its employees are protected from physical and emotional stresses within the workplace.
A high proportion of employees, 86%, regard work as key to their identities, emphasising the criticality businesses play in ensuring the mental health and wellbeing of its employees. However, statistics indicate that despite this mental health is currently the number one reason for staff absence – 70 million work days are lost collectively within the UK each year due to mental health illnesses; which in turn is combined with a cost of approx. £2.4bn for UK employers.
Therefore, I am sure you can agree that workplace mental health is a priority that is paramount in order to ensure the highest productivity and a healthy working environment for all within a business.
So in what ways can you help to ensure that your business is providing its employees with a happy workplace environment? Invest into some Mental Health First Aid Training accredited by MHFA England.
Mental health first aid training is available for those who are responsible for adults and youths, whilst being recognised and endorsed by the government to be adopted by businesses in order to stop preventable health issues arising. The training is designed to help to build a supportive culture around mental health, whilst equipping those with the tools needed to support themselves and other colleagues in relation to wellbeing.
Here at Livius Training we offer two types of Mental Health First Aid Training:
https://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/mental-health-1.jpg160314Marketinghttps://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/LTC-Logo-300x90.pngMarketing2019-10-15 12:57:202019-10-21 10:39:11Work Place Mental Health - 'Let's Be Kind To Our Minds'
Class E doesn’t technically exist because electricity is a source of ignition rather than a fuel. However, electrical fires can electrocute those using an incorrect extinguisher. Therefore, these types of fire require special attention.
Note: Once you turn off the electricity supply, you can categorise the fire into one of the appropriate of the classes above depending on source of fuel.
Now, we understand the different classifications, we will look at which extinguishers we can use on each.
Methods of Extinguishing Fires
When extinguishing a fire your main aim is to remove one of the three elements of the fire triangle.
Oxygen, Heat or Fuel.
Fire extinguishers work in different ways to achieve this
goal as you’ll see below.
Some cool the fire by removing the heat. Others smother the
fire by removing oxygen. And, the rest starve the fire by creating a barrier
between fuel and flames
So, let’s look at the different types of extinguisher and
Don’t use on: Electrical fires (Class E – can lead to
electrocution). Class B and C (spray can spread flames). Class D and F.
How it works: The water spray lowers the temperature of the burning material so the fire can no longer burn.
Method of Extinguishing Fire: Cooling
How to Identify: ‘Water’ written in white on a red background. See above picture.
Pros: Rapid extinguishing; no environmental impacts.
Cons: They only extinguish Class A fires
Water Spray Extinguisher
Used on: Class A fires
Don’t use on: Electrical fires (Class E – can lead to
electrocution). Class B and C (spray can spread flames). Class D and F.
How it works: These extinguishers have a specific nozzle that works at high pressure. The resulting spray has a higher surface area than ordinary water extinguishers which increases the cooling rate and therefore the rate of extinguishing the fire.
Method of Extinguishing Fire: Cooling
How to Identify: ‘Aqua Spray’ written in white on a red background. See above picture.
Pros: More effective than a standard water
extinguisher; no environmental impacts.
Cons: Again, they only extinguish Class A fires.
Water Mist Extinguisher
Used on: Class A, B, C, F and Class E (up to 1000V if
dielectric tested to 35kV)
Don’t use on: Class D fires.
How it works: Deionised water passes through a supersonic nozzle which turns water into microscopic droplets. When in use, the fine mist suffocates and cools the fire.
Method of Extinguishing Fire: Cooling &
How to Identify: ‘Water Mist’ written in red on a white background. See above picture.
Pros: Covers a wide range of fire classes; no
environmental impacts; Uses no chemicals so suitable for kitchens and food
Powder Fire Extinguishers
Currently, two types of powder extinguishers are available…
Dry Powder Extinguisher
Used on: Class A, B, C fires. Class E fires (although,
susceptible to reignition)
Don’t use on: Class D and F fires
How it works: The powder forms a barrier between fuel
source and flames starving the fire.
Method of Extinguishing Fire: Starving the fire.
How to Identify: ‘Powder’ written in white on a blue background. See above picture.
Pros: They work on 3 most common classes of fire
Cons: Reignition can occur because the powder doesn’t
absorb the heat; Dangers associated with inhalation (not recommended inside
buildings or small spaces); messy after discharge.
L2 and M28 Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers
Used on: Class D fires. M28 – Sodium, Magnesium,
Aluminium, etc excluding Lithium. L2 – Sodium, Magnesium, Aluminium, etc
Don’t use on: Class A, B, C, E, F
How it works: A specially designed hose sprays the
powder over the combustible metal. This creates a shield which prevents the
metal from encountering the cause of combustion i.e. water/oxygen.
Method of Extinguishing Fire: Interfering with
How to Identify: ‘Powder’ written in white on a blue background. Distinctive hose. See above picture.
Foam Fire Extinguishers
Used on: Class A and B fires. Class E fires (up to
1000V if dielectric tested to 35 kV).
Don’t use on: Class C, D, F
How it works: Foam forms a barrier on the surface of
the flammable liquid which prevents flammable vapours combusting. Similarly,
with solid materials, the foam forms a barrier between the combustible material
and the flames.
Method of Extinguishing Fire: Smothering and
Used on: Small oil pan fires and people who have
Don’t use on: Class A, B, C, D, E and large Class F
How it works: Fire blankets smother fires by
restricting their oxygen supply.
Method of Extinguishing Fires: Smothering
How to Identify: Red case with ‘Fire Blanket’ written
We’ll finish our discussion about fire extinguishers with some general advice…
General Advice about Fire Extinguishers
When to Fight a Fire
There are certain times when fighting a workplace fire is sensible and others when it’s not.
You should only attempt to fight a fire when:
The fire alarm has been raised
Emergency services have been notified
Fire is contained and isn’t spreading
A clear escape route is available
You have the correct fire extinguishers
In contrast, you shouldn’t attempt to fight a fire if:
A fire is larger than a bin (General Rule)
You need more than 1 extinguisher
The room is filled with smoke
There is no clear escape route
The fire involves gas cylinders or chemicals
The correct extinguisher is not available
Locations of Fire Extinguishers
You’ll need to place your extinguishers in the right places
so that you can use them effectively should a fire occur.
Below are some general guidelines to follow.
You should fix fire extinguishers to the wall or on a stand in
their designated areas (which should be clearly visible). This is to avoid people
moving them from the areas you need them most.
In addition, your extinguishers should be kept at a suitable
distance from risk areas and along escape routes.
General guidance suggests placing extinguishers at the
following distances from:
Class A Risks –> 30 metres
Class B Risks –> 10 metres
Class C Risks –> 30 metres
Class D Risks –> Case by Case
Class F Risks –> 10 metres
Adjust these down if you’ll need to get through doorways to
the hazard as this will add crucial seconds.
Furthermore, each extinguisher should have a corresponding
sign above it which details its contents and the classes of fires it
Replacing Fire Extinguishers
Extinguishers don’t last forever.
They each have a shelf life and need servicing annually by a competent person e.g. a fire extinguisher engineer.
And, if they are found to be damaged, discharged or cannot be used safely, they’ll need replacing.
Alongside an annual service, your responsible person should inspect your extinguisher(s) weekly or monthly to ensure they are in good working condition.
Then, after 5 years (10 years for CO2 extinguishers) your extinguishers need replacing regardless of condition.
Every extinguisher has a fire rating.
This rating contains a number and letter i.e. 13A.
The letter gives the fire classification (so here a Class A
And the number notifies you about the size of fire it can
extinguish (the larger the number the bigger the fire).
A fire extinguisher can have several ratings depending on
which fire classes it can extinguish.
For example, a foam extinguisher will have 2 ratings; one
for Class A fires and another for Class B fires.
After reading this post, you should have a better idea of
which extinguisher (s) you need in your workplace.
And, you know which extinguisher to grab in the event of a
Both of which help keep your workplace that little bit
Did you learn something you didn’t know after reading this
If so, what was it? Let us know in the comments!
https://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Featured-image-fire-ex-blog-2.png421750Katie Robertshawhttps://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/LTC-Logo-300x90.pngKatie Robertshaw2019-07-26 12:18:522019-07-31 10:13:15Types of Fire Extinguishers and Their Uses
“3.—(1) Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of—
(a)the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and
(b)the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking”
As an employer, you don’t have to conduct the risk
assessments yourself, but you must ensure that a competent person prepares them,
and they meet the ‘suitable and sufficient’ criteria.
Note: If you employ fewer than 5 staff members, you don’t have to record any findings. However, you’ll still need to conduct a risk assessment.
So why has it become a legal responsibility?
What purpose do they serve?
Let’s take a look…
What is the purpose of a Risk Assessment?
A safer workplace starts with its risk assessments.
Because when you identify your hazards and risks, you can
They help you to:
Discover the hazards in your workplace
Determine whether you have suitable and sufficient control measures
Ensure your staff have the best possible chance to avoid injury and illness
So, let’s move on the all-important 5 steps.
Risk Assessment: The 5 Steps
Risk assessments are commonly split into 5 stages.
Identifying workplace hazards
Determining who may be harmed and assessing the risk
Evaluating and controlling the risk
Recording your findings
Reviewing your findings
I will talk about these in more detail below, but, first, a
couple of definitions.
Definition of a Hazard
– Anything that can cause harm.
Definition of a Risk
– The chance someone can be exposed to a dangerous situation.
To put this into context, a risk assessment identifies
hazards and evaluates the likelihood these will cause harm and the potential
consequences of this harm (i.e. the risk).
With that in mind, we move on to step 1 of a risk assessment.
Step 1. Identifying Workplace Hazards.
Without knowing the hazards in your workplace, you cannot
evaluate your risks.
A good place to start is by walking around your workplace
and asking yourself what could cause harm.
Think about short-term hazards as well as longer-term hazards.
Then, talk to your employees and get their thoughts. Discuss
with them the hazards they face regularly.
Top Tip: Lone
workers and those who work off-site need consideration too.
Additionally, you should:
Consult your accident books for near-misses and incidents. Are there events that keep recurring?
Check manufacturer’s instructions for anything they have outlined.
Consider your workplace design. Is the layout of your workplace presenting any hazards?
Look at all non-routine activities and unusual conditions faced in your environment.
Think about visitors and contractors. What hazards might they face?
Write your observations down before moving on to create a
comprehensive list of workplace hazards.
Remember, you do not have to plan for unforeseeable risk.
Some hazards you can’t predict because they may only develop after certain
incidents. As a result, you can’t plan for them.
So long as you have created ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk
assessments, you won’t be liable.
Next, Step 2.
Step 2. Determining who may be harmed and assessing the risk
In this next step, you need to:
Consider who a hazard will harm
Decide the consequences of any harm
Weigh up the likelihood harm will occur
Ask yourself: Who could be harmed in the event of an accident?
Observations can easily be combined with the first step when
you are busy putting together your list of hazards. Give special consideration
to those who are at higher risk (i.e. pregnant women, young employees, those
with disabilities, etc)
Note down your findings. These observations will help you
when assessing the likelihood and consequences of harm occurring.
Next, start using a risk matrix to assess the risk of injury
As discussed, Risk= Likelihood of harm * Consequence of harm.
1 – Very Unlikely (1 in 1,000,000 chance)
1 – Insignificant (no injury)
2 – Unlikely (1 in 100,000 chance)
2 – Minor (injuries requiring first aid)
3 – Fairly Likely (1 in 10,000 chance)
3 – Moderate (up to 3 days of absence)
4 – Likely (1 in 1000 chance)
4 – Major (over days of absence)
5 – Extremely Likely (1 in 100 chance)
5 – Fatal (death)
So, a point scale becomes useful when analysing your risk.
Take a look at our example below.
By multiplying the likelihood score and the consequence
score, you can quantify the level of risk a hazard poses.
For example, if you have spotted a hazard which is:
Unlikely to cause harm (2), but,
could cause Major injury
the overall risk score equals,
Risk= 2 x 4 = 8
By comparing this to a risk matrix you can see that this risk needs: Action
Step 3. Evaluating and Controlling Risk
After the assessment stage, you need to evaluate each hazard
and put control measures in place to manage them.
These measures can either:
Reduce the likelihood of harm occurring
Reduce the consequence of an event occurring, or,
Here’s where a hazard’s risk score is useful.
Use it when deciding which control measures would be adequate
Onsite training offers the perfect balance between flexibility and cost-effectiveness for training your team.
In this post, I delve into the 5 major reasons why onsite training can work for your business.
Read on to find out more.
Benefits of Onsite
1 – Flexibility
The biggest benefit of onsite training.
You get a choice of dates and times to suit you including
Saturdays and evenings.
And, with Livius, you can split your course over a couple of sessions, so you don’t have to lose staff for a day.
Picking onsite training means you get the training you need at time convenient for you.
2 – Adaptable courses
With onsite training, you train in the environment your team work in on a day-to-day basis.
Therefore, each course is adapted to your environment; your team; everyday tasks being conducted and common problems faced by employees and managers.
A well-trained workforce who have the knowledge to work
safely in their environment
3 – Safer working practices
Following on from the previous point…
Receiving practical, simple to follow advice which is relevant to your situation makes employees safer at work
So, you’ll see a boost in productivity and a reduction in
days off through illness and injury.
A win-win for you and your team.
4 – Open Health and Safety Discussions
As a manager, it can be hard to spot every single hazard in
a working environment.
So, talking to your team is greatly advised.
But, without training, they maybe unsure about the risks they
Group training gives both employees and managers the chance to
think and reflect on issues faced in their everyday working environment.
Which they can discuss with the trainer and take any advice given back into their day-to-day activities.
In the end: Open streams of communication will lead to safer working environments.
5 – Cost-effective team training
All these benefits must come at a cost. At least, more so than sending staff on open courses?
In fact, it can work out cheaper for larger groups.
Over a certain number, you’ll start seeing the savings.
And, for smaller teams? Well, the added flexibility might be worth the slight increase in price.
When looking to train your team, it is important to consider onsite training as an option.
In this post, we have discussed the 5 major benefits of onsite training, from greater flexibility to cost-savings.
So, next time you need your team training, you’ll have a greater understanding of onsite training and whether it can work for your business.
For a personalised quote, fill in our form on our onsite training page. Alternatively, pick up the phone and call us on 0143 396780.
https://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Benefits-of-Onsite-Training.jpg421750Katie Robertshawhttps://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/LTC-Logo-300x90.pngKatie Robertshaw2019-04-17 11:20:402019-05-08 12:13:115 Major Benefits of Onsite Training
The time it takes for an ambulance to reach you can mean life or death.
Based on data from the Ambulance Trusts (Jan–Oct 2018) we
have compiled a list of urgent ambulance response times based on the postcode
districts of Yorkshire.
How does your postcode measure up to the national average of
Take a look…
Yorkshire’s Ambulance Response Times
Before we get going, let’s discuss what the data actually means.
Firstly, each response time is measured as the time taken for a trained person to reach a casualty on an urgent callout.
And, secondly, an urgent call out is classified as any of these cases below:
Major Blood Loss
Casualties who can’t breathe or are having
Women in the end stages of labour
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the all-important data.
Fastest – BD8 – 5m 29s
Slowest – BD24 – 10m 35s
Average – 7m 51s
Fastest – DL3 – 5m 7s
Slowest – DL11 (Low sample numbers) – 22m 41s
Average – 8m 57s
Fastest – DN2 – 5m 30s
Slowest – DN19 – 16m 47s
Average – 10m 0s
Fastest – HU1 – 5m 29s
Slowest – HU19 – 14m 16s
Average – 8m 19s
Fastest – HG2 – 5m 24s
Slowest – HG4 – 11m 58s
Average – 8m 15s
Fastest – HX1 – 5m 52s
Slowest – HX7 – 10m 41s
Average – 7m 55s
Fastest – HD1 – 6m 0s
Slowest – HD8 – 12m 21s
Average – 8m 20s
Fastest – LS2 – 4m 47s
Slowest – LS29 – 11m 42s
Average – 7m 44s
Fastest – S3 – 6m 21s
Slowest – S17 – 11m 23s
Average – 8m 23s
Fastest – WF1 – 5m 34s
Slowest – WF11 – 8m 52s
Average – 8m 7s
Fastest – YO31 – 4m 23s
Slowest – YO61 – 15m 6s
Average – 9m 42s
Yorkshire Ambuance Response Time Analysis
So, how does Yorkshire
compare to the national average?
England’s average ambulance response time was 7m 41s according to the BBC.
Whereas, Yorkshire’s average clocks in at 8m 35s, therefore meaning Yorkshire’s average ambulance response time exceeds the national average.
Within Yorkshire, the DL11 postcode district, which covers rural areas such as Reeth and Muker, experienced the longest average wait of 22m 14s.
However the sample of fewer
than 50 callouts can be deemed as too small to draw reliable conclusions.
Conversely, the YO31 postcode region achieved the shortest response time of just 4m 23s.
Covering York city centre and
York hospital provide a clue as to why the response time was so short.
What do these results mean to businesses and schools?
Consider the average response times for
your area when deciding on the first aid provisions you require.
The longer the wait, the more
beneficial it will be to have greater numbers of first aiders.
It is said that if CPR is administered
immediately after a patient has suffered a cardiac arrest there is a 2/3 chance
of survival. On the other hand, every
minute that CPR isn’t being administered a casualty’s survival rate diminishes
For this reason, there is a need for
sufficient first aiders in the workplace.
However, activities such as CPR are
very intense and hard to sustain for a prolonged period.
And, slower response times mean that
CPR will need to be administered for longer.
So, if assistance is available, first aiders can alternate every couple of minutes to ensure CPR is carried out continuously until the emergency services arrive.
We can provide you with HSE and Ofsted compliant first aid training in the following courses:
The data in this article is taken from this BBC article. They have in turn received the data from the Ambulance Trusts.
https://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Ambulance-Response-times.png421750Katie Robertshawhttps://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/LTC-Logo-300x90.pngKatie Robertshaw2019-03-07 16:46:202019-03-07 17:03:39Yorkshire's Ambulance Response Times: How Long Will You Be Waiting?
And, finally, lets take a look at some of the important dates for 2019 surrounding Mental Health and see how you can get involved.
Mental Health Dates 2019
Children’s Mental Health Week – 4th – 10th February 2019: This year Children’s Mental Health Week is looking to improve both mental health and physical health because a healthy body helps to create a healthy mind.
Time to Talk Day – Thursday 7th February: Time to talk day sets out to get people engaged in conversation around mental health in order to help end the stigma.
Mental Health Awareness Week – 13th – 19th May: This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is aiming to tackle the subject of body image and mental health.
World Suicide Prevention Day – Tuesday 10th September: This day throws suicide into the spotlight and aims to bring a greater understanding of suicide and how it can be prevented.
World Mental Health Day – Thursday 10th October: An annual day which aims to raise greater awareness about mental illness
National Stress Awareness Day – Wednesday 6th November: This day helps to raise awareness for stress and the effects it poses to mental and physical health.
There is no doubting that the workplace has to part of the
responsibility for keeping their staff happy and healthy.
Slowly, but surely, we are realising
Employers and employees are waking up to the fact that good
mental wellbeing at work is extremely valuable.
Now is your chance to act for the greater benefit of your working environment.
Which resource will you use? Which is your favourite? Is your business taking mental
Leave your answers in the comments below.
https://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Workplace-mental-health-1.png421750Katie Robertshawhttps://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/LTC-Logo-300x90.pngKatie Robertshaw2019-02-01 15:28:072019-02-01 15:28:175 Invaluable Resources for Improving Workplace Mental Health
The repercussions of food contamination can be deadly.
Therefore, it is important that your business takes the appropriate measures to prevent contamination.
Knowing the right measures to put in place starts with
understanding how contamination occurs.
Do your staff know the answers to the following questions?
What are the 3 types of food contamination?
How can you prevent food becoming contaminated?
What do the 4C’s of food safety stand for?
In this post, we’ll examine the different types of
contamination, the consequences of food contamination and tips for preventing food
contamination because understanding is the first step in prevention.
So, let’s start with the obvious question…
Why Care About Food Contamination?
Not only is it a legal requirement that food businesses
ensure all food is safe for consumption, but a single case of food poisoning
can cause serious problems for your business.
Consequences range from a drop-in reputation to fines and
Therefore, staying on top of food hygiene within your
business becomes crucial retaining customers and building your brand.
But, wait, what exactly are your legal requirements?
Over the years certain regulations have been put in place restricting
levels legally allowed to be found in food.
You might be thinking “How can my business reduce this form
Buying from a responsible supplier with the current UK approvals is often your best bet when purchasing meat and washing all vegetables prior to use.
Understandably, chemical contaminants are the hardest form of contamination to control.
Acrylamide has become a hot topic in the food safety world because of research suggesting it causes cancer.
Cooking starchy foods, such as potato and grains, at 120oC or above leads to the formation of acrylamide as certain sugars and amino acids react.
Note: Coffee and baby foods can also be affected.
However, the jury is still out on the negative health benefits seen through the consumption of this chemical; many questions about its carcinogenic nature are yet to be answered.
Nevertheless, in the UK, current legislation forces food businesses to consider acrylamide in the preparation of food.
But, fret no more, here are a couple of simple precautions
you can take:
Aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when cooking starchy foods.
Don’t keep your potatoes in the fridge (otherwise they undergo a process called cold sweetening leading to increased levels of acrylamide upon cooking).
Physical contamination occurs when a foreign object enters
the food stuff.
The most common examples are:
Now, let’s see if how you can avoid physical and chemical contamination…
Avoiding Physical and
Physical and chemical contamination can be prevented in the following ways:
Food should be covered, where practicable, to prevent cleaning products and foreign objects from falling into the food.
Adequately controlling pests including insects and rodents.
Remove and dispose of any packaging as soon as it has been removed.
Repair or replace any broken equipment promptly. Teach employees to report any breakages to your responsible person who deals with faulty equipment.
Store cleaning products away from food.
Do not routinely use poisonous bait inside preparation areas.
Select utensils which are resistant to acid and salts.
Decant canned food, once opened, into food-grade containers before storing it in the fridge.
Dilute all cleaning chemicals to the correct level.
Ensure all ceiling structures, pipes and equipment are rust free and non-flaking.
Do not allow food handlers to wear jewellery.
Chewing gum and sweets should not be eaten/chewed whilst working with food.
Maintenance operatives and visitors should be briefed on your food hygiene practices.
And, so, the third and final type of contamination is…
Biological contamination occurs as a result of harmful living organisms growing on consumable food.
These microbes may be harmful in themselves or they may deposit harmful toxins on food.
Dangerous microorganisms can be found in:
And, are passed onto food through a process known as
cross-contamination. This can either be directly or indirectly.
Direct Cross-Contamination: A contaminant comes into direct contact with food i.e. a piece of raw chicken touches a piece of cooked, ready-to-eat chicken.
Indirect Cross-Contamination: A contaminant is passed onto another piece of food via a vehicle i.e. a food handler touches a piece of raw chicken and then fails to wash his/her hands before touching cooked/ready-to-eat food.
But, the most interesting thing is…
This most common type of contamination found in the UK.
And, harmful microbes are the cause of food poisoning.
So, let’s look at the most common type of bacteria.
Under the right conditions, harmful bacteria can multiply
rapidly and then continue to multiply after being consumed.
Amongst the numerous reported cases of food poisoning seen in the UK a year, the most common bacteria causing food poisoning include:
A group of bacteria found in the gut of animals. Salmonella bacteria are present in raw meat, undercooked poultry, unpasteurised milk and some eggs.
Listeria, Listeria monocytogenes
Often found on ready-to-eat foods such as cooked meats, soft cheeses, sandwiches, smoked meat and fish, pate and cooked shellfish. Don’t use these foods past their use by date and ensure that they are kept under the correct conditions. Sufferers offten present mild symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting.
This is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, with 4 out of 5 cases resulting from raw poultry.
A bacteria found in soil. The most well-known strain causes Botulism which is a very severe condition and can be fatal. Clostridium can found in many things including honey, improperly canned goods and pots of garlic.
Found in the intestines of humans and animals. Despite, most strains being harmless, some strains pose severe health risks, such as strain 0157. Outbreaks have resulted from raw and undercooked meat, unwashed salads and dirty water.
As with most diseases, those at greater risk are young
children, the elderly, pregnant women and those who have a weakened immune
However, the best part is….
These can all be prevented by following the 4C’s.
The 4 C’s of Food Safety
A food business can stay food safe and prevent biological contamination by following the 4 C’s.
Cleaning kills bacteria so that they cannot spread.
Your cleaning practices should include:
Washing hands before, during and after food preparation as well as after going to the toilet.
Worktops, utensils, chopping boards, knives, and all other work equipment should be cleaned regularly.
Rinsing unwashed salad, fruit and vegetables in drinkable, cold water.
You should follow a 2-step process:
Wash with hot soapy water
Rinse with clean water
A cleaning schedule can really help you stay on top of things, check out the FSA’s example.
Cooking kills bacteria on food when done properly.
But, because bacteria grow within a temperature range of 5oC to 60oC, dubbed the “danger zone”, the core temperature of food being cooked needs exceed 60oC for specific time frames.
Otherwise, food may still contain traces of harmful bacteria which can multiply further.
Current guidelines state that the core temperature must reach;
60oC for 45 mins
65oC for 10 mins
70oC for 2 mins
75oC for 30 secs, or,
80oC for 6 secs
Monitoring this through a temperature probe and recording the temperatures daily is a good practice and should be included in your HACCP Plan.
Chilling, either by refrigeration or freezing, slows down and even stops the multiplication of bacteria.
However, inadequate temperature control of high-risk foods (such as cooked meat) is one of the leading causes of food poisoning.
Therefore, it is an important aspect of food safety to get right.
Things to ensure:
Refrigerators should operate within the 1oC-4oC range
Commercial freezers should operate below -23oC
Cooked food should be refrigerated as soon as possible (usually with 1-2 hours) if not being used. Do not place boiling hot food straight in the fridge as this can cause it to raise in temperature above 4oC.
Defrosting food should be done in the fridge or microwave.
Your fridge should have clearly labelled sections with raw meat and seafood on the bottom shelves and ready-to-eat food on top shelves.
Cover all food within the fridge (where applicable) to prevent anything falling into the food.
Do not overfill the fridge and ensure there is adequate air circulation.
Rotate your stock each time you have an order arrive. Oldest to the front, newest to the back.
Check all best before and use by dates daily so that anything that has expired can be thrown away.
Monitor and record the fridge and freezer temperatures twice a day.
Cross-contamination refers to the transfer of microorganisms from contaminated surfaces to uncontaminated surface.
Avoiding cross-contamination is crucial to keeping food safe for human consumption, here are 6 ways to prevent cross-contamination:
Always keep raw and cooked food separate.
Never wash raw meat (this helps to spread dangerous bacteria).
Cover raw meat and seafood and store on the bottom shelves of your fridge.
Wash utensils, chopping boards, plates, etc thoroughly between handling raw and cooked foods or use different sets altogether which is the preferred option.
After every use, anything that has come into contact with food should be cleaned with the correct cleaning products.
Hands need to be correctly washed before, during and after handling any food and after going to the toilet.
So, hopefully you have got to grips with food contamination
and know how you can prevent it in your business.
But, if you are ever a victim of food poisoning or accidentally serve up unsafe food, you’ll need to know how to report an incident…
Achievable – How you can you accomplish
Relevant – Does this fit in with the
wider business goals?
time limit should this objective have?
have created a S.M.A.R.T goal for a company dealing with large numbers of
reported injuries in their workshop:
Specific – We want to reduce the number of injuries reported by employees in our workshop by 25%. This will reduce the number of days lost and ensure our workforce go home happy and healthy.
Measurable – We will measure the outcome by comparing the number of injuries reported to RIDDOR before and after training.
Achievable – We will provide extra health and safety training to those in the workshop. We will review the injuries sustained to date and see if there are any patterns. We will engage employees and listen to concerns. We will tell management to apply greater emphasis on promoting safety in the workplace.
Relevant – One of our objectives is to protect our workforce and allow them to conduct their jobs in the safest possible manner.
Timescale – We want to reduce injuries by 25% within 6 months.
goal: We want to
reduce the number of injuries sustained by our employees in the workshop by 25%
within 6 months.
with your S.M.A.R.T. goals, you’ll find it useful to conduct a training needs
exactly does that mean?
Training needs assessment
needs assessment identifies skills and knowledge needed by staff to do their
job in the best possible manner. It helps identify:
Problems in your organisation
Areas in need of urgent training
Current training practices and improvements needed
Performance against legal requirements
Those in need of training
Considering all the options
Here is a look at some of the key ways to get a feel for training needed by
Previous accident reports – Identify areas with the highest level of injury and illness.
Risk assessment – Identify the risks facing your employees.
Current training records – Identify if you are meeting legal requirements for training.
Future skills needed – Identify the new skills that you require shortly i.e. if you are investing in new machinery or if you will have an influx of employees.
Engaging with employees – Gather a more rounded view of training needs. This is important and is discussed in more detail below.
Tasks being performed – Identify how often your employees are performing each job and the skills they need for each task.
The purpose of these activities is to gather and analyse as much data as you
can get your hands on.
It sounds clichè but, the more information available to you in the decision
process, the better the choices you can make.
As mentioned above, one of the best ways of getting to know your training
requirements is engaging with employees.
Here is why.
Engaging employees in your staff training plan
Your employees do their jobs day in day out. Therefore, they can tell you
what training can provide the greatest impact on their ability to work safely
Not only this but consulting staff has the benefit of making them feel heard.
This makes it the most important step in creating a sustainable staff
But, the bottom line is…
The usefulness of the information you receive is determined by the
questions you ask.
Start thinking about the answers you want.
For example, do you want to know whether employees would find it
Data from this will also allow you to prioritise training activities.
Don’t forget to consider the urgency of the training as well i.e. if you
have two employees that have a first aid qualification expiring soon and need
to keep both as first aiders. A refresher
course must become a high priority.
Remember: Some health and safety training is required by law so will
need to be taken care of regardless of its cost-benefit analysis.
Check out how we used our training
organiser to get a better overview of the training needed in our earlier
time to plan!
be different for every organisation and there isn’t a particular method to help
recommend looking at:
The level of training that is affordable over the course of the year.
Putting training in place starting from the highest priority and highest urgency training.
Trying to organise your companies training at dates and times best suited to you. (We offer courses at flexible times such as weekends, evenings or split courses. Contact us for more info).
leaves one last thing…
Without reviewing how you have performed against your goal, your staff
training plan will always be incomplete.
If the company, in our example earlier, experienced a fall in injuries in
their workshop by 50% then they have outperformed their initial goal. The plan
they put in place was effective and no further steps are needed.
However, if they underperformed against their target, an alteration in their
current strategy would be necessary.
https://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Creating-a-Staff-Plan.png421750Katie Robertshawhttps://www.livius-training.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/LTC-Logo-300x90.pngKatie Robertshaw2018-07-04 13:55:002019-06-05 14:13:29Creating a staff training plan for small to medium sized businesses
Livius Training Centre
Rabbit Hill Business Park