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COVID 19 – Latest Update

Supporting our Members through COVID 19 – UPDATE 6

We hope that you had an enjoyable bank holiday.  We all waited on Sunday evening for guidance from the Government on the next phase and hoped to have some clear messages for you all regarding next steps.

It is clear that as the current lockdown situation has not been eased, we think it is too premature to offer opinion or more detailed plans at this stage, needless to say that any business looking at reopening would need to adhere to Government guidelines to ensure they are complying for staff and implementing required measures regarding social distancing and hygiene.

As mentioned in the previous update it is sensible to review all risk assessments for each of your activities now and consider if these need to be revised or rewritten to allow for ongoing social distancing.  

Sport England

We have found the following link from Sport England which may be of interest to you regarding their Community Emergency Fund.  Please note the deadline of Thursday 15th May 2020 for new applications.

https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus/coronavirus-funding-and-flexibility

Countryfile

Andy Robinson at Institute of Outdoor Learning appeared on BBC’s Countryfile at the weekend.  In case you missed it please view the link below which talked about the current impact on outdoor learning (8min 04 sec onwards).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000j4wr/countryfile-helens-home-patch

The North Face

North Face have launched an initiative called Explore Fund which aims to assist companies that fall into the following criteria.

  • Conservation groups and organisations​
  • Outdoor charities​
  • Outdoor industry associations​
  • Organizations or companies involved in the following sports/ activities:​ camping, environmental education, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, indoor rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, trail running, alpinism​

Applications can be made until 22nd May 2020

https://www.thenorthface.co.uk/about-us/explore-fund.html

Please join our closed Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/798451153625523/

Or follow us on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/activitiesindustrymutual/

 

 

COVID 19 – Latest Update

Supporting our Members through COVID 19 – UPDATE 5

We hope that you are keeping safe and well and that we may soon be at the end of the current lockdown.  We await the further information from the Government regarding any easings they consider can be brought in, and we will update you as soon as we have this.  We thought might be useful to consider how the future might look, and what you can be doing in anticipation of reopening, as we all start to plan for getting back to normal (or whatever the new normal might look like!)

  • Reopening: this will of course depend on any easing of the lockdown, but you could start to plan now for how you might be able to carry out some or all of your activities taking into account the potential need for social distancing
  • Risk assessments: it is sensible to review all your risk assessments for each of your activities now, as well as any pertaining to your staff, and consider if these need to be revised or rewritten to allow for ongoing social distancing. Consider specific Covid-19 measures and if separate specific risk assessments are required.
  • PPE: will we need to wear it? We do not as yet know, but would you be able to carry out your activities if this is a requirement?
  • Economics: can you afford to operate and provide the activities even with social distancing requirements? Or is it better to wait until you can resume fully?

We appreciate that we do not have the answers to these questions now, and much will depend on the Government advice and next steps on emerging from lockdown which we hope we will obtain this weekend.  AIM is here to support you, and we will keep you updated and suggest ways on how best you can seek to resume your normal business activities.

Please join our closed Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/798451153625523/

Or follow us on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/activitiesindustrymutual/

 

 

Play it safe: health and safety fines in the activities industry

Leanne Conisbee of Clyde & Co discusses these changes

With the activities sector continuing to grow, as part of wider trend of increased societal health and wellness awareness, businesses should take note of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) enforcement statistics[1]. These evidence the high level of fines companies now ‘routinely’ receive for health and safety breaches, together with confirmation of the upward trend in the level of health and safety fines, imposed by both the Magistrates and Crown Courts.

Small to medium sized businesses have been impacted most, with the level of fines routinely being a significantly greater percentage of turnover than the fines imposed on large and very large organisations, despite the same harm categories and levels of culpability.

Not every accident can be avoided, but to avoid prosecution and potentially hefty fines, companies do now need to have health and safety at the top of their agendas.

High value fines now commonplace

An analysis of HSE data shows a total of 45 cases in 2017/18 where a fine of over £500,000 was imposed.

There were 19 cases with fines exceeding £1m imposed by the UK’s criminal courts for the 12 month period to 31 October 2018 – with less than half of the cases involving very large organisations, dispelling the notion that only those companies with turnovers in the hundreds of millions or billions receive £1 million plus fines.

Whilst HSE prosecutions were down by 16% in 17/18 to a total of 517, the HSE still revealed an impressive conviction rate of 95%.

Although Local Authority (LA) prosecutions are not included in the 517 prosecutions referred to, the data does reveal a significant increase in the enforcement activity of LA’s, showing an annual increase of 7% to 2,580 in the total number of enforcement notices issued by LA’s in 17/18.

Emphatic and rapid change in sentencing landscape

Stark evidence of increased fines for all sizes of business as a result of the introduction in February 2016 of the Sentencing Guideline for Health and Safety Offences[2] is revealed in the average level of fine rising by over 400% from £29,000 in 2014/15 to £147,000 in 2017/18.

Reported cases affecting the activities industry are few and far between. But that does not by any means indicate any sort of immunity.

Center Parcs was recently fined £250,000 when a young girl fell nearly 10 feet from a tree and broke her wrist during an organised activity. Luton Crown Court heard that whilst the company had systems in place to ensure the safety of guests these were not sufficiently adhered to or implemented in respect of this incident.

A leading leisure centre was also fined £330,000 when a five-year-old boy almost drowned in a swimming pool. Despite being a non-swimmer and staff being informed that he could not swim, the boy was allowed to enter the pool without armbands and without proper supervision. The fine imposed was the largest in any investigation brought by Hounslow Council.

Prevention, prevention, prevention

Whilst the above statistics make for sobering reading, organisations can put themselves in the best possible position to avoid or defend prosecutions, or mitigate any fines imposed, by ensuring that:

  1. Any equipment complies with the relevant British Standards, is inspected regularly and is in good working order;
  2. Robust policies and procedures are in place and followed, and this is checked via adequate supervision and monitoring;
  3. Suitable and sufficient risk assessments are carried out, with control measures implemented;
  4. Training arrangements are reviewed to ensure that staff are properly trained in the policies and procedures; and
  5. Customers are appropriately warned of the risks associated with an activity and they acknowledge receipt of such warnings.

[1] http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/enforcement.pdf

[2] https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/HS-offences-definitive-guideline-FINAL-web.pdf

Institute for Outdoor Learning

Accident Prevention and Claims Defensibility

We had an article published in the IOL‘s Summer edition of Horizons about accident prevention and claims defensibility we thought you’d like to see it.

Other articles on our website that look at this area to check out

https://www.activitiesindustrymutual.co.uk/aim-pharos-be-prepared/

 

 

Thrills and Unfortunate Spills – Clyde & Co

Our colleagues at Clyde & Co have put together a round up of recent personal injury cases affecting the activities industry. This article demonstrates that recent case law is positive for the activities industry but that businesses can always protect themselves further.

 

Quad Bike

Risk Assessments – Review & Monitor

As recent court activity demonstrates the need to review and monitor your risk assessments is vital.

The operator of an outdoor activity centre near Bath has been ordered to pay £33,000 after a member of the public suffered a fractured hip when the quad bike they were riding tipped over and landed on them.

Council investigators discovered that staff had not received formal training in riding quad bikes and were not adhering to the risk assessments. Inadequate procedures were in place to ensure that staff were being appropriately supervised.

On 8 June 2015 the local authority served an immediate prohibition notice against Hamburger Hill, citing the risk of serious personal injury posed by an all-terrain vehicle overturning “and/or impact caused by loss of control due to inadequate rider skills and knowledge, lack of supervision and information, instruction and training”.

Hamburger Hill had introduced concrete tracks for quad bikes in 2009, surrounded by tyre walls of varying heights. The investigation highlighted failings in how these walls were maintained, as well as inadequate procedures to monitor and review the design and construction of the tracks to ensure that they remained suitable for their intended use.

“You can have the most wonderful risk assessments and policies in place but if they are not monitored and reviewed then they are worthless”

District Judge Taylor, Bristol Magistrates’ Court

Hamburger Hill director Russell Steel appeared on behalf of the company before District Judge Taylor at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on 5 July 2018. The company pleaded guilty to an offence under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations in that it failed to control, monitor and review health and safety policies and risk assessments; failed to monitor design and construction of the quadbike tracks and their suitability for that purpose; and failed to monitor and supervise staff.

The company was fined £8000 plus £25,000 in costs as well as a victim surcharge of £170. In sentencing, District Judge Taylor said: “You can have the most wonderful risk assessments and policies in place but if they are not monitored and reviewed then they are worthless.”

Rejecting the argument made by the defence in mitigation that the injury sustained by the member of the public was the result of an isolated incident, the judge said “it was a matter of chance of whether an injury occurred”.

Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and development at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said the case “illustrates the importance for businesses to not only have the correct safety policies and procedures in place but also to make sure they’re adhered to – day in, day out –  and ensure that risks to public health are addressed”.

Author:- Robert Preston Health & Safety @ Work