Once in a while the MyTeamSafe team stop and say WOW! … this is one of those moments.
Chris Sheldrick worked in the music industry for 10 years and always struggled to get bands to arrive at exactly the right place. With creative thinking and talking to a Mathematician … he managed to divide the world into 3m x 3m squares…. with a unique combination of three random words. 57 trillion squares … 3 words.
Sounds a bit of fun … but it actually, literally, changes the world.
So you’re lost, on a street. Even if you know the street name, where on it are you?
Now, how about you’re lost in a forest (not a reference to The Cure song)…. try explaining that to get help.
With what3words app … your location is described as 3 different words. Just give these three words to whoever needs to know and they can get directions to your exact location.. it’s that simple.
This is a brilliant system so you can tell someone where you are if you are lost or simply need to meet up.
Don’t mix this type of solution up with robust Lone Worker safety solutions, such as MyTeamSafe.
Knowing someone’s location is only one aspect of Lone Worker safety. It’s critical people working alone periodically check-in as safe, an automated escalation process if they don’t.
MyTeamSafe protects people working on their own everyday, everywhere…. out making visits, working late or occasionally working from home. Ensuring the wellbeing of staff and that the organisation meets their legal duty of care obligations.
When it comes to the summer holidays companies often need to look for temporary employees to cover staff on holiday. The employee is likely to be inexperienced, it could even be their first job. This brings new risks to the workplace and increases the chances of an accident.
When recruiting temporary staff you need to consider more than your needs to fill the hours and their ability to do the tasks.
What are the risks?
Every Organisation has a duty of care to all their staff, not just regular employees. Although temporary staff don’t have extra rights they are likely to need extra support to ensure they don’t put themselves or other members of staff at additional risk.
The risks, because of temporary staff, tend to split into two opposing groups; Inexperience to the role and business and then over exuberance, to get stuck in to prove themselves.
The risks and their probability increase because staff just don’t know any better.
The more experienced your staff are it makes it more difficult to spot the simple things that could go wrong. “I just assumed”, “that will be obvious” and “it’s never happened before” can be dangerous… and you will be responsible if it goes wrong.
You need to be particularly aware of temporary staff working on their own. This may be perfectly normal safe practise but inexperienced temporary staff are much more at risk and vulnerable, especially if having to deal with the public.
Even the most experienced employees make mistakes … The BBC reported on the Cleaner that was stuck in a lift for two days! Margate cleaner trapped in lift for two days. This just shows that simple things can quickly escalate if the correct procedures aren’t followed by staff and the organisation doesn’t have processes to ensure all is OK.
How can we reduce the risks?
The best way to reduce risks is regular leadership, a full induction process and the opportunity to shadow or even always work with more experienced staff…. But in the real world that’s not always possible.
So it’s good to break things down … keep it simple.
Try to develop a different “Temporary” staff induction process that specifically highlights some simpler things and more “obvious” risks. Simplify the ethics and expectations you have. Be very specific about potential risks and how they are avoided.
Carefully consider the member of staff that carries out any induction and helps temporary staff to “learn the ropes”. You want someone that is considerate to people that are less experienced to them but also isn’t necessarily the quickest but the most consistent at doing the job exactly as it should be done, safely, not cutting any corners.
Even think about carrying out a separate Risk Assessment, specifically taking into account inexperienced / temporary staff, that may not be fully trained.
Make sure that the employee understands how the risk assessment works. This will help the employee understand the potential risks of the job, as seen through the experts eye.
Ask the employee if they have questions before starting the job. Make sure they know who to talk to if they have any concerns. This is very important to build a good working relationship and ensure staff don’t unintentionally put themselves at greater risk.
Quickly protect staff that work alone?
Especially over the holiday times staffing levels might be different it’s also more likely that staff could be left on their own, even for short periods of time.
It only takes 15 minutes to protect your staff and your business.
MyTeamSafe is a simple, cost-effective safety app that can help protect employees and businesses.
How can it protect employees?
Once set up, users run the app and simply check-in at the agreed intervals, say every hour. If they don’t check-in on-time then their boss/buddy/supervisor is informed by text or email with the user’s details, including the last location. They can then decide what to do next…. As they know the lone worker and what they are doing.
How can it protect the business?
By having a simple, cost-effective, automated set and forget Lone Worker safety system you can quickly cover your legal duty of care obligations by having a defined system and procedure to deal with lone working staff. You also reassure staff you have their wellbeing in mind.
Minor incidents can be solved quickly and effectively and don’t turn into costly ones.
Don’t leave staff all alone, especially when it’s really hot…. sign up for a free trial today.
To protect 15 staff costs just £450 a year … Compare that the cost of lost working days, HR meetings or even legal proceedings.
Take a look at our Demo Video showing you MyTeamSafe in action.
The 2019 summer holidays have now begun. This can only mean one thing, we hope, it’s going to get hotter!
It also means that you need to be proactive to protect yourself and staff from the sun and hot weather.
MyTeamSafe wants to make you more aware of what could happen if you have too much sun and some simple wellbeing tips to keep you safe so you can really enjoy this time of year.
Most Harmful Effects Of The Sun
This is the body’s response to excessive loss of water and salt.
Heatstroke can be life-threatening. Heat exhaustion can quickly lead to Heat Stroke if it isn’t treated quickly. Often Heatstroke can happen when your brain stops being able to regulate your body temperature and you are too dehydrated to be able to sweat.
Although most of us need to take simple precautions in the sun it’s also worth noting the more serious side of skin damage that can lead to different types of skin cancer, according to the British Skin Foundation;
We found this brilliant WikiHowthat we wanted to share.
It has lots of simple tips, some more obvious than others, on different methods to keep you more comfortable during the hotter weather.
Read the full WikiHow article but we’ve summarised below;
Eating and Drinking to Stay Cool
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
Choose cooling foods. (stay away from protein foods)
Make food without using the oven or stove.
Stay out of the sun while it’s at its hottest.
Stay in the shade.
Splash water on your skin.
Wear lighter clothing.
Keep your head covered.
Wear breathable footwear.
Be Prepared; check local weather or news for updates.
Pace yourself when working in the heat.
Use air conditioning, if available.
Close curtains and blinds.
Minimise the effects of sunlight on your roof.
Insulate well. (Better Insulation means less heat in the summer).
MyTeamSafe can’t keep you cool but we can help keep staff safer?
Especially over the summer holiday times staffing levels might be different or you have temporary staff that don’t know your business. At this time of year it’s also more likely that staff could be left on their own. With hot temperatures indoors and outside the probability of an incident is much higher.
MyTeamSafe is a simple, cost effective safety app that can help protect employees and businesses.
How can it protect employees?
Once set up, users run the app and simply check-in at the agreed intervals, say every hour. If they don’t check-in on time then their boss/buddy/supervisor is informed by text or email with all the user’s information, including last location, so they can decide what to do next.
How can it protect the business?
By having a simple, cost effective, set and forget Lone Worker safety system you can quickly cover your legal duty of care obligations by having a defined system and procedure to deal with lone working staff. You also reassure staff you have their wellbeing in mind.
Minor incidents can be solved quickly and effectively and don’t turn into costly ones.
Don’t leave staff all alone, especially when it’s really hot…. sign up for a free trial Today.
To protect 15 staff costs just £450 a year … Compare that the cost of lost working days, HR meetings or even Legal proceedings.
Take a look at our Demo Video showing you MyTeamSafe in action.
“Asbestos is a strong fibrous rock, which can resist heat and chemicals. It was commonly used in building materials between the 1950s and 1980s.
Asbestos was often used as fireproofing but also as a general building material. Almost all buildings built or changed during this period are likely to contain asbestos somewhere.
Products containing asbestos can look the same as those that do not. Often the difference can only be found under a microscope when tested in a special laboratory.” – Hastoe
BUT Asbestos was still used in building materials up to 2000.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a strong fibrous rock, which can resist heat and chemicals. It was commonly used in building materials between the 1950s and 1980s.
Asbestos was often used as fireproofing but also as a general building material. Almost all buildings built or changed during this period are likely to contain asbestos.
Products containing asbestos can look the same as those that do not. Often the difference can only be found under a microscope when tested in a special laboratory. – Hastoe
Why is asbestos so dangerous?
According to the HSE website – Asbestos kills around 5,000 people every year. Did you know this is more deaths than people killed on the road?
Around 20 tradesmen die every week due to exposure to asbestos.
When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. The most common diseases associated with asbestos is asbestosis, Lung cancer and mesothelioma.
These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important to be aware of the risks of Asbestos.
Many workers with high exposures to asbestos have died from these cancers.
It must be remembered that Asbestos materials only pose a risk when they are disturbed or damaged allowing the fibres to be released into the air. This could be as simple as sanding, drilling or breaking up any material that contains asbestos.
Where can you find asbestos inside a residential or business property?
Often asbestos containing materials do not look any different from their more modern equivalents. It is important to understand the age and make of the product to identify if there could be a risk.
The HSE website is a great source of information http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/building.htm
Here are some familiar items that once contained asbestos;
Working from home has its benefits and risks; In this article, MyTeamSafe will cover some of the safety hazards that could come with running your business from home.
A lot of people these days are now working for themselves. The question is if an accident occurs, how do other people know that the person is in trouble ?
Later on in this article, we will be mentioning a safety app that could provide the reassurance for you and your family.
So what are the potential home safety hazards?
Depending on the type of business you run there can be many risks you might not consider in your day-to-day work. These risks can become even more serious when you could be working alone for long periods.
There are many tasks you might do that create risks. Here are the most common ones:
Carrying out tasks that really should be done by two people
Machines and equipment
Hazardous materials and substances
Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
Electrical equipment safety
Trips, slips, and falls
Stress and loneliness
Finally, always consider your own health, Wellbeing and medical needs. These might change over time, you should never ignore them.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Working at Home
Saving money not commuting – No need for driving when you work from home!
Having a pet – You could have a pet for a little company when alone in the house.
Time with your family – Although you are working seeing more of your family can give you a calming force.
Health and fitness – You can go for a little walk at any time work may get a little stressful.
Quieter atmosphere – There is nothing worse than working in a loud environment.
More relaxed – No doubt about it, you always feel more relaxed when in your own home.
Flexibility – Don’t like getting up early? Then don’t! Want to work in a coffee shop? Do it!
Work Life Versus Family Life – 60% of respondents reported that children or family demanding attention was the number one issue when working at home.
Lack of The Right Equipment – Access to office equipment was reported by 33% of survey participants as a disadvantage when working from home.
Household Noise – Household noises, such as a washing machine and dishwasher were reported as a problem by 30% of those working from home. In a separate category, TV noise was reported by 25% of those polled.
Business Phone Interruptions – Children, family, and pets disturbing work telephone calls were reported by 40% of respondents.
Concentration – Difficulty concentrating on work issues was the second biggest problem, reported by 45% of those surveyed.
Stress – There are a lot of people who can’t handle working alone at home. This can make you feel lonely and depressed.
*Figures are quoted are from “The workplace revolution” a 2017 Regus study across 95 countries and 24,000 workers.
As can be seen from the above some of the advantages are also the disadvantages. So it’s about the individual controlling their home working environment to ensure they get the most positive outcome.
Back Health and Posture
Whatever tasks you need to carry out, from working with machinery to sitting at a desk, looking after your Back is very important.
Remember, if you run your own business from home you are unlikely to get paid if you’re unable to work.
If you do work at a desk you need to make sure you have a sturdy office chair that is comfortable and supports your back.
It is also worth noting that the monitors are at head height. Avoiding your neck to droop down which could give you neck ache.
What is good posture?
Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting, or lying down.
Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities. Proper posture:
Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.
Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
Helps the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
In this article, MyTeamSafe will be covering whatyou need to know about cycling safely on the road, including the highway code and possible fines you may face if you do not follow the highway code.
We were all really saddened in the office when we heard about Chris Froome’sterrible cycling accident recently. Especially as it’s only weeks away from one of the toughest sporting events in the calendar … the Tour de France.
Chris Froome says he is lucky to be alive
OK so we all make mistakes but it proves how even when cycling with others there are so many dangers. So we thought we’d do an article about safe cycling.
There are a lot of people who have been put off the idea of cycling, not just because of the potential dangers on the road but also the aggressiveattitude drivers sometimes have toward the cyclists.
There are many people who cycle on roads without any problems typically this is because they cycle consideratelyand make sure they are always visible to other road users.
When cyclists considerbasicbikesafety they then begin to enjoy using a bike more frequently, whether that’s commuting to work or casual journeys.
1. Cycling safely
Consider wearing a helmet. If professionals do, why not you?
Keep your bike roadworthy and well maintained.
Ride appropriately, keep clear of the curb and look well ahead for obstructions like drains and potholes
Watch your speed in conditions like rain.
Follow the Highway Code. – Do not jump red lights as this can result in a fine (this is explained later on in the article)
Be more aware of approaching the rear of lorries. Left turning lorries pose a significant risk to cyclists
Consider wearing high visibility clothing when on the road.
Signal clearly – This helps motorists
Ride in the right position on the road – This prevents accidents and near misses.
It’s a legal requirement to use front & rear lights after dusk, it’s a good idea to have them on during the day too.
Consider having a bell attached to your bike – Not all pedestrians can see you.
Tips for road users
Give cyclists enough space.
At night make sure to dip your headlights when approaching a cyclist.
In wet weather, give cyclists extra room on the road when passing, surfaces may be slippery and vehicles create a lot of water spray.
When taking a left turn make sure to use your mirror and not cut up a cyclist or cause an accident.
What are the legal requirements for bike lights?
This is a great article from Cycling UK website that explains what is the Law and what is not when it comes to cyclingincluding the requirements on reflectors and Lights
What fines could you face?
The maximum penalty for cycling whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is a £1,000 fine, which is also the case for careless or inconsiderate cycling. The maximum penalty for dangerous cycling is a £2,500 fine. – Cycling drunk is a crime in the UK
Driving too close to cyclists £100
NEW law dictates that drivers must keep a minimum distance away from a cyclist while on the road or risk facing a £100 fine and three penalty points. – Driving too close to a cyclist
Cycling on the pavement £30
Although the law is a little more complex, the Highway Code clearlystates: “You must not cycle on a pavement.” The offense of riding a bike on the pavement is punishable by an on-the-spot fine, a fixed penalty notice of £30. – Is it illegal to ride your bicycle on the pavement?
Cycling too quickly and injuring someone could lead to a two-year prison sentence
The offense of furious cycling (one that dates back to 1861), is similar but involves the reckless and potentially dangerous speed of a cyclist. Cycling too quickly and injuring someone could lead to a two-year prison sentence.
How many cyclists are killed each year? (Latest)
Cyclists and motorcyclists are the most likely to be killed or injured on the road. –Cyclist Deaths
In 2016, 18,477 cyclists were injured in road accidents, including 3,499 who were killed or seriously injured.
Mr. Vine and Mr. Boardman are making the point that cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users, and are unlikely to cause a road casualty. The statistics support this.
During periods of high temperatures the weather can have a serious impact on employees’ wellbeing whilst working outdoors. Dangers range from heat stress to potentially life threatening heat stroke.
We all know that too much sunlight is harmful to your skin. It can cause skin damage including sunburn, blistering and dramatically increases the chances of skin cancer.
Did you know skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK, with nearly 16,000 cases and over 2,000 deaths a year (Cancer Research UK’s Melanoma skin cancer statistics).
This US company, GME Supply Co., produced this really informative video
Symptoms of Heat Stroke:
Elevated pulse rate
Dizziness and/or vertigo
Skin that’s hot to the touch
Severe, migraine-like headaches
Individual has stopped sweating
1. Avoid Caffeine
It might sound obvious but drink plenty of fluids such as water, try to avoid caffeine. You need to drink more fluids, more often than you would during other times of the year.
Although avoiding caffeine is preferable any fluids are better than none.
Your energy is the most import thing to focus on when working in the heat, and caffeine isn’t the solution. Caffeine will dehydrate you more quickly, whether it’s in the form of a hot or cold drink, it’s just a boost but the death of your energy and will still lead to dehydration. The best replacement for a coffee in the morning is fruit.
It’s not about grabbing the iced water from the freezer, that can be the most damaging thing to do to your body – it shocks your system, so can affect your digestion, negatively affect the spleen, weakens your immune system and exacerbate existing health conditions.
Did you know if you give dogs ice to eat it can confuse their brain into thinking they are actually cold and it can make them try and heat their body up even more.
TIP : Look out for drinks that are rich in electrolytes; These will not only give your body time to properly digest it, but it will also help to prevent cramping.
3. Wear Light Colour Clothes
Dark colours absorb more heat than light coloured clothing. Some companies have dark coloured clothing which will make you hotter. It might be worth asking your manager about having dark clothing in the winter, and light coloured clothing in the summer. White, beige and light pastel colours are the best shades to wear to keep your skin cool.
If you’re working from home, take your socks off so that the heat can escape.
KEEPING SAFE : We all need to take care of ourselves but this is particularly true if you work on your own. It’s not about the danger of the job it’s about ensuring others know where you are and that you are safe… it’s a legal duty of care.
Learn more about Lone Worker safety by visiting the MyTeamSafe website at http://bit.ly/what-is-lone-working – Try our lone working safety app free for 30 days – Be up and running protecting staff and business in 15 minutes. From £ 2.50 per month you can afford to be protected. “When you’re on your own, you’re not alone”.
This Storm will begin to develop at 6pm today 18/06/19 till 9pm tomorrow 19/06/19.
This map shows the perimeter of the UK and who is most likely to suffer from the yellow warning storm today and tomorrow.
According to the Met Office thunderstorms may develop bringing torrential rain, hail and lightning to a few places, with potential disruption to travel and flooding.
What To ExpectS
There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds
Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services
Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures
There is a slight chance that power cuts could occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost
Staying Safe In a Thunderstorm
Before a thunderstorm
Make sure to unplug any electrics to prevent power surges
Make sure to seek shelter. Lightning can strike as far as 10miles from the center of the storm. If you can hear the thunderstorm then you are already within range of where the next ground flash may occur.
During The Thunderstorm
Avoid using a telephone – Telephones can conduct high amounts of electricity.
Avoid using sinks and taps – Electricity may be travelling within the pipes.
Be aware of metal objects that can conduct or attract lightning, including golf clubs, golf buggies, fishing rods, umbrellas, motorbikes, bicycles, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs, wire fencing and rails. If you are in a tent, try to stay away from the metal poles
If outside avoid water and find a low-lying open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles or metal objects
Driving In a Thunderstorm
If you are caught up in a thunderstorm whilst in the car it is advised to keep the windows shut at all times. The car frame can act as a conductive. This passes the current around the passengers in the car and onto the ground. Leaving the windows open can put the driver and the passengers at risk.
Cars can be damaged internally and externally.
Convertible cars with fabric roofs are at high risk of setting a light if struck by lightning.
Cars with metal pedals, steering wheels and car handles can carry an electrical current.
If you have a modern car then you could find you have built-in GPS systems and stereo systems that when traveling in a thunderstorm could potentially blow the fuse. This is because a current can travel through most parts of the vehicle. It is advised to keep these turned off when travelling.
Between 1962 and 1995, 184 deaths alone were caused by building failures resulting from the wind. The majority of damage reports come from domestic dwellings. The average cost of damage each year is at least £300 million*. – Travelling in storms, rain and heavy wind
In the UK Postmen and women tend to work 6 days a week. Hours vary depending on the location and route. The average person walks about 10miles, some shorter, some longer.
The Question is...
Are postmen and Women At Risk Of Injuries?
There are some things to think about. Postmen and women are entering private property on a daily basis and they have their own risks. Here are a few hazards they may face in their working day.
You see it on the TV shows. Some dogs seriously hate a trespasser especially a postman or woman. Even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels it or its territory is being threatened.
In 2018 Postman Alan Quinn from Paisley required hospital treatment after a traumatic attack with a German Shepard which has now scarred him for life. Mr. Quinn was off work for 3 months due to the injury, he went back to work and changed his route, but the memory of the attack still haunts him.
Bella, a four-year-old black cat, lets out a "growl" when the postie approaches the house, before jumping up and grabbing the post.
But the Royal Mail said Bella is putting the postman "at risk of injury" and, after a health and safety assessment, has said the cat must be restrained and changes made at the home in Patchway, Bristol.
Treats Seasonal Depression (commonly referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder)
The Harmful Effects of the Sun
Sun Damage to the Eyes
What About Snow?
The snow can be a serious change of weather and makes it more difficult to deliver the post, especially when lugging extra weight around in their bags.
They could be dodging vehicles that are sliding on the road or coming off driveways. This could potentially be dangerous or even escalate to a serious accident.
In The US well... MailMen just do doughnuts!
Postmen and women must be able to carry at least 35 pounds of weight in their bag. They often use a shoulder bag that doesn't carry the weight evenly so more workers are now using rolling carts now to avoid back problems.
Can you be sued?
The short answer is yes. However, whether that person will ever find a lawyer willing to file a lawsuit really depends on the particular facts of your case. It is a good idea to speak with a lawyer who has handled fall down cases when talking about the details of your case.
There is a law called the Occupiers Liability Act 1984. Under this, householders have a duty towards visitors to their homes.
This means householders should make sure it is safe for visitors to travel across any of their land they make publicly accessible, such as footpaths and driveways.
MyTeamSafe Can Help Postmen & Women On Route.
What Is MyTeamSafe?
MyTeamSafe is a comprehensive lone working app for organisations to prove their duty of care.
MyTeamSafe Lone Working App ensures that your lone working requirements are fully satisfied.
You create different escalation strategies to meet your range of lone working scenarios. So, you decide how often Users need to check in. Then when who and how escalations are handled if they are late using push notifications, emails and SMS.
You must risk assess any person that may have to work independently or without direct supervision and put in place policies and safety systems to minimise any risks:
People making visits
People working late
Going to external meetings.
Staff out on the road
These situations might not be dangerous but, even with a minor incident, the business is still responsible. Lone workers are particularly vulnerable, even for short periods of time.
It’s Mental Health Awareness week in the UK 13th – 19th May.
It’s great to see so much positive press enabling discussion around all aspects of Mental Health.
This blog isn’t meant to be provocative but I believe that it is good to discuss and consider Wellbeing, which seems to be the hot topic at the moment but also not blur it as a catch all for everything.
Life is often a roller coaster and our general Wellbeing can ebb and flow as our lives and those around us change and evolve. BUT this must not be confused with true Mental Health wellbeing.
Mind have a really good article about Mental Wellbeing and Mental Health.
Good employers, like good family and friends, naturally support positive wellbeing. But the “niceties” of general wellbeing should never be confused with true Mental Health and a person.
Just because “Wellbeing” is the flavour of the month don’t dabble with a Pandora’s box that you don’t understand. If you have concerns always refer people to professional support.