P O’Day updated the group on the Health & Safety issues facing the Council. He said that a prosecution of Health and Safety issues at Cupid Green was looking likely. A review of Health & Safety (H&S) issues was undertaken by Corporate Health & Safety (CH&S) and identified 12 work streams that need attention (See attachment). Each had been given to an Assistant Director to lead.
He said that he would only go through some of the key areas of risk, but would also forward a copy of the 12 work streams, to ensure that it would be included within the Minutes, so that the Committee were fully aware of all the work streams. He said that all areas were ongoing; some would take longer than others, meaning that they would conclude at different times.
Lone Working - P O’Day said this was progressing well; training was being carried out by Reliance and The Suzy Lampugh Trust. Staff who have been identified as lone working (i.e. visiting 3rd Party sites alone) are to be given a lone working device and attending the training mandatory. Managers will be given a report on usage every month by Reliance this will identify who has used or not used the device, how many amber alerts or red alerts have been raised and by who.
Noise at work/whole body vibration – a specialist survey has been conducted. For whole body vibration (WBV) a few items equipment used by CSG and the cemeteries are just over the actions levels. Requests have been made of the teams to monitor the usage of these vehicles throughout the day. For noise, this too identified some areas were the lower exposure action value (80dB) was exceeded and a few areas of work were above the upper exposure action level (85dB). This included the Old Town Hall.
Adventure playgrounds – following inspections a number of items of equipment were defective, there is some ongoing work to deal with the immediate issues and work is looking at more longer term options.
Councillor Taylor said that the ongoing court case appeared to be taking longer than expected, and asked when it was expected to be concluded. P O’Day said that they can take up to three years to prosecute but it was up to the Health and Safety Executive.
Councillor Taylor also asked P O’Day to clarify exactly how many items of equipment had issues with whole body vibrations. P O’Day explained that it was not just a simple number as the risk of the equipment was calculated on the level of vibrations, the length of time it was being used. Councillor Taylor asked for clarification about the number of vehicles at Cupid Green where the vibration levels presented a risk. Again, P O’Day said that a similar calculation needed to be applied to these vehicles (level of vibration/length of use). Councillor Taylor accepted this explanation. P O’Day also confirmed that these calculations were being collected, and inputted as data to see if it met the required standard.
Councillor Chapman asked P O’Day about the noise levels at Cupid Green; was an alarm activated when the noise limit was reached? P O’Day said that there was no alarm as such. He said that the type of waste being processed created the level of noise; for example, the level of noise created when glass was processed was substantially higher than when cardboard was. However, this type of waste was not processed all day, and was only processed for short durations. P O’Day said that the wear of protective earmuff was not mandatory at the lower exposure levels, however they had been advised to look at revising this and a future policy would be recommending that it would be mandatory.
Leading on from this, Councillor C Wyatt-Lowe asked if staff tended to wear/use the available protective equipment. P O’Day replied that the observations made of staff was that staff tended to make good use of the equipment. He also confirmed that protective equipment was available to all staff and that DBC had a responsibility to provide this equipment.
Councillor Chapman thanked P O’Day for the update.