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RISK MANAGEMENT AND STRONG COMMUNICATION KEY FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE WITHIN COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL SECTOR

Landlords, managing agents and facilities managers cannot approach health and safety as a box ticking exercise, but instead need a strategy underpinned by ongoing risk management and strong communication. This was the view of Steve Bennett, Director of Safety Delivery Limited, who was speaking at a Health, Safety & Fire Risk Awareness seminar organised by security systems and building technology integrator Interphone. He explained that all companies involved in managing a residential development have a shared responsibly, so need to work closely together to protect residents, visitors and employees.

“Completing an annual risk assessment, filing it away and forgetting about it for another year is simply not enough, and taking this approach could lead to prosecution and significant fines,” explains Steve Bennett. “Only with high levels of cooperation and coordination will property businesses and their partners ensure that appropriate safety systems are in place that are legally suitable and sufficient.”

Since the introduction of the Sentencing Guidelines last year, dubbed the most dramatic change in health and safety enforcement since 1974, companies of all sizes have faced increasingly heavy punishment for health and safety offences. Many sentences subsequently imposed have been based upon high or very high exposure risk, so it is now possible to be prosecuted simply on the basis of what might happen. Therefore, having insufficient risk assessments, measures or controls in place represents a systemic failure to address health and safety and will be penalised accordingly.

Bennett went on to say: “The Guidelines are being enforced and penalties have been increased dramatically, so many more £1 million fines are being imposed. In fact, total fines between February 2016 and 2017 reached £54 million, a 44 per cent increase when compared to the previous 12 months. When you also consider the potential for extended prison sentences for directors, it is imperative that companies understand their obligations and how best to achieve compliance.”

Julian Synett, Managing Director of Interphone commented: “The tragic events in West London this year have further underlined the importance of health and safety in our sector. There is an increasing need within the commercial residential sector to understand the legal and moral responsibility it has regarding the protection of residents, employees and members of the public. As a result, we are committed to running our safety awareness courses, already attended by more than 125 industry professionals, to provide guidance and understanding in this critical area.”

Safety Delivery Limited provides a full range of Health & Safety and Fire Safety consultancy services – such as compliance advice and audits, risk assessments and provision of safety management systems – and training courses for both managers and employees. In particular, the training services cover IOSH Working Safely and Managing Safely courses, along with specialised training courses including Fire Safety training supported by the Fire Protection Association (FPA).

This latest event is one of a series of Safety Awareness Courses run by Interphone at its head office in Harrow. For further information on forthcoming events or to register interest in attending please visit: www.interphone.co.uk/events/health-safety-and-fire-safety-awareness-training-seminar-3

Interphone, the security systems and building technology integrator for the commercial residential sector, has teamed up with consultancy and training provider Safety Delivery Limited to run a Health, Safety & Fire Risk Awareness seminar. The half-day session will provide insight into an organisation’s legal responsibilities with regards to building safety and how best to achieve compliance.

The free event will be held at Interphone’s headquarters in Harrow on 24th October and is open to managing agents, facilities managers and other property-related professionals. The key speaker will be Steve Bennett, Director of Safety Delivery Limited, a safety compliance and training specialist who is a Technical Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

“Anyone involved in property management and development needs to keep up-to-date with the latest requirements to ensure they remain compliant, so should consider attending the seminar,” explained Steve Bennett. “Recent legislation such as CDM 2015 and the Sentencing Guidelines have changed the Health & Safety landscape, with sentencing of companies and directors becoming far more punitive including 19 fines of more than £1 million and treble the number of directors being prosecuted.”

Julian Synett, Managing Director of Interphone commented: “Recent tragic events in West London have underlined the importance of health and safety in our sector and everyone’s responsibility to protecting residents, employees and members of the public. Our series of safety awareness courses have already been attended by more than 100 professionals from the commercial residential sector and we are committed to running these events to provide guidance and understanding on this critical area.”

Safety Delivery Limited provides a full range of Health & Safety and Fire Safety consultancy services – such as compliance advice and audits, risk assessments and provision of safety management systems – and training courses for both managers and employees. In particular, the training services cover IOSH Working Safely and Managing Safely courses, along with specialised training courses including Fire Safety training supported by the Fire Protection Association (FPA).

Further details on the Health, Safety & Fire Risk Awareness seminar and other Interphone events can be found here