TB Davies, one of the leading Ladder and Access Equipment specialists in the UK, today announced it was the first firm in the ladder industry and amongst the first in Wales to achieve ISO 9001:2008 certification.
Introduced last November, ISO 9001:2008 is the latest version of the internationally recognised standard for an organisation’s internal Quality Management. TB Davies Quality Assurance Manager, John Jackson, said, “In meeting the new standard, we are demonstrating our continued commitment to ensuring customer satisfaction through the provision of quality products and the delivery of quality services.”
In order to take advantage of expanding business opportunities, it is essential for TB Davies to have the ability to manage all parts of the business with maximum efficiency. Having achieved the new standard, it is required to seek continual improvement in its organisation.
Director David Gray said, “In working with ISO we have analysed and challenged every aspect of TB Davies operations, involving every employee and a number of clients. This has increased customer satisfaction as a result of the enhanced procedures.”
“The quality processes required within the standard ensure product and service development continues. The company currently supplies a broad spectrum of access equipment that includes towers, ladders, podiums and warehouse steps. “I believe that we are now a much more efficient and agile organisation as a result of the quality journey we have taken.”
The ISO award system has allowed the company to grow substantially in recent years and advance its current multi-channel strategy. The Cardiff based firm now operates in a diverse number of markets, and to a varied range of businesses from B&Q owners the Kingfisher Group, through to the Ministry of Defence.
The certificate has been awarded by world leading assessors SGS United Kingdom and John Jackson added “This achievement is down to the developmental approach we take to the business which has underpinned our continuous ISO certification since 1998.”
TB Davies was commissioned through its agent by BAA to provide a compliant working at height solution that would allow inspectors to safely access lorries before passage could be granted through to Heathrow airports main site. A fully laden lorry enters the site every few minutes with every one requiring examination by the team of officers.
The previous method of work involved staff climbing onto the vehicle without any protection and a risk assessment revealed that a significant danger of a fall from the vehicle existed to the inspectors.
The site visit revealed that a highly modified version of our Machine Steps would be the most suitable solution. The step featured a large anti-slip platform with deep serrated treads to help reduce slip even in wet conditions. Large rear wheels would allow for the unit to be safely transported across the truck yard to the vehicle. In accordance with aviation regulations the high guardrails to the side and rear of the platform were colour coded to denote both port and starboard.
The inspectors felt the step would help provide safe access for the majority of vehicle types they encounter.
Traditionally employers have adopted a shock and awe approach to safety education. Show people the consequences of misusing ladders and you will frighten them into using them properly. This approach has two drawbacks; firstly, accidents always happen to someone else, never to me, so I don’t need to worry about the dangers; secondly, if you show me a horror story often enough its impact to shock is lost. Whilst horror can lose its impact, because people are comfortable retelling a funny story, humour has the potential to reinforce the safety message over an extended period of time.
Good workplace safety is according to the Health and Safety Executive dependent on genuine worker involvement. So preventing accidents requires employers to make safety something that employees want to talk about, something cool! The answer is to add an element of humour to the safety message.
Humour, helps to put employees at ease, removes corporate hierarchies and makes serious issues easier to discuss. This in turn allows employees to be creative, to challenge the informal status quo of workplace behaviour and build an approach to safety that they can buy into without damaging their own credibility amongst colleagues. Using humour to communicate a safety message does not have to involve telling jokes. It is about telling stories, or providing images that are memorable and create a desire for people to share that story.
For more information on the The S*A*F*E*™ programme that includes training materials, posters etc. contact TB Davies on 029 2071 3011 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A ladder is an essential workplace tool for anyone working above ground level. However, each year thousands of workers are injured whilst working at height.
Anyone who uses the wrong ladder for a job or uses it inappropriately is courting trouble. Our Ladder Toolbox Talks are the most effective way of reiterating important information to your workforce and keeping them updated on matters that affect their immediate health and safety.
Toolbox talks are best carried out on site and should be specific to the new danger about to be faced. They reinforce the task method statement and are designed to be short, informative and to the point.
They last approximately 30 minutes and are ideal for either raising safety awareness or as a sales training tool for field and office based sales staff. During the month of April we are offering these talks free of charge to help promote good practice and safe methods of work when working at height.
TB Davies is experienced in delivering these informative talks and bring with us a wealth of practical experience to pass on.
Forty-five staff at Lancashire Police had to complete a two-hour seminar before they were allowed to install roadside speeding signs. The class included guidance on how to use a ladder safely. The devices – smiley-face speed indicator signs (Spids) – were being put up freely by staff before health and safety officers from the local council told the force that they were breaching regulations. Some staff were banned from even moving existing signs until they had attended the seminar. Several of the £3,500 devices were left dormant for up to four months as a result. A police statement, which was issued as part of a Freedom of Information request, said: “It would appear that, although working at less than one metre above ground level, staff should have been on a ladder training course.
“It is fair to say that risks associated with deployment of a Spid sign have not changed, but the risks associated with working at height were not fully appreciated initially”. Ben Wallace, the Conservative MP for Lancaster and Wyre, said: “It’s another example of the tail wagging the dog, of bureaucracy gone mad. It beggars belief that bureaucracy stands in the way of common sense, even when it concerns our police force.” Lancashire Police said that the training course had also been necessary because some devices had not been installed correctly and could not detect all oncoming traffic. They said that the courses had not cost anything more than staff time. A spokesman said: “The two-hour class briefly touched on how to use a ladder safely. If we didn’t do it and people were falling off ladders, we would be criticised.”
TB Davies view
As a recognised authority, with over 60 years experience within the access equipment industry (ladders, stepladders, towers etc) we have a duty of care to advocate suitable training for safe ladder usage and inspection etc. What Lancashire Police have done is actually spot-on and in no way should they be criticised as going overboard on health and safety.
They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t! By running the training course they have come under fire from the local MP, who you would have hoped would be more supportive of HSE campaigns to reduce falls from height, rather than fuel the anti “Elf ‘n’ Safety” brigade.
If they failed to provide sufficient training to these staff (who are not actual police officers by the way) and one of them had an accident, whilst erecting a sign, by the roadside, potentially falling off the ladder into oncoming traffic – there would be a huge public outcry as to why they were not trained, not to mention a costly legal action.
Furthermore, Lancashire Police have been prudent enough to get Lancashire Fire Brigade to provide the training internally – so the only cost is time. Not only have Lancashire Police saved tax payer’s valuable money by avoiding the use of a private training company, but few would argue there is anybody more capable on the safe use of ladders than the fire brigade.
It is important to recognise the key issue that underpins the Working at Height Regulations – undertaking a suitable risk assessment before carrying out any work at height task. This will reveal the most suitable equipment and course of action, in a matter of minutes. Some examples of risk assessments can be found here.
For further advice on our certified ladder and scaffold tower training courses or working at height in general, please call TB Davies on 029 2071 3000 or email email@example.com
“Over one in three construction sites visited put the lives of workers at risk and operated so far below the acceptable standard that our inspectors served 395 enforcement notices and stopped work on 30% of the sites”, Geoffrey Podger, HSE’s Chief Executive said today.
This comes after The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out over 1000 spot checks of refurbishment sites across Great Britain during February as part of its rolling inspection programme targeting poor performing sectors in the construction industry.
“We stopped work on site immediately during approximately 300 inspections because we felt there was a real possibility that life would be lost or ruined through serious injury. Our inspectors were appalled at the blatant disregard for basic health and safety precautions on refurbishment sites across Great Britain.
HSE will not tolerate negligence or poor safety standards on construction sites. It is totally unacceptable that so many lives have been put at risk and we will take all action necessary to protect workers, including closing sites and prosecuting those responsible. The construction industry should take ownership of this issue and do more to tackle poor standards on sites”, was Mr Podger’s stark warning to the refurbishment sector.
HSE’s construction division reported that basic safety precautions were being flouted and issues such as work at height remain a huge concern. Over half of the enforcement action taken during this inspection initiative was against dangerous work at height, which last year led to the death of 23 workers.
Last year over half of the workers who died on construction sites worked in refurbishment, and the number of deaths on refurbishment sites rose by 61%.
During the spot checks, HSE inspectors looked at whether:
- Jobs that involved working at height had been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions were in place
- Equipment was correctly installed / assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly
- Sites were well organised, to avoid trips and falls
- Walkways and stairs were free from obstructions
- Work areas were clear of unnecessary materials and waste
- The work force was made aware of risk control measures
Falls from height continue to be the main cause of workplace fatality and one of the main causes of major injury. A fall from a ladder can have dire consequences not just for the worker concerned, but for their employer and their family. Of the 3,409 serious injuries from falls from height in 2006/07, around a third resulted from a fall from a ladder.
The HSE are determined to improve the safety of those working from ladders and from June 2007 have been doing a lot of work with their partners in local authorities and with hirers and ladder retailers to get ‘dodgy’ ladders out of the workplace. By the end of last year 4,194 dodgy ladders had been taken out of Britain’s workplaces.
The HSE have a simple message to ladder users. If it is right to use a ladder, use the right ladder, use it safely. If it’s not the right ladder, exchange it.
A new Ladder Exchange initiative will be running from Autumn
For more information on ladder safty or Ladder Training contact TB Davies directly
on tel:029 2071 3000
or via firstname.lastname@example.org