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The European Investment Bank has offered a ten year loan to Southern Water which should help fix waste water problems in Lidsey. Lidsey was one of a number of UK locations which the EU condemned this March as failing to meet waste water treatment standards.

Untreated waste water can be contaminated with harmful bacteria and viruses, presenting a risk to human health.

Anneliese Dodds MEP has welcomed the loan, allowing for better treatment of waste water across the South East.

“It’s great that provisional funding for this has been agreed. The loan should mean that Southern Water can now get a grip of this problem, and potential health risks to the people of Sussex can be dealt with. It is unfortunate that it has taken so long for the problem to be fixed, but I welcome any moves to protect people and the environment in the South East.”

Local e-learning company Cherrystone have had their full range of products endorsed by the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL).

ITOL is the UK’s elite professional body for learning and development professionals, and promotes commitment to the highest standards in the learning and development profession. It pursues this mission internationally as well as in the UK, with a presence in over 30 countries.

ITOL director Harry Bundred said: “I have been very impressed by the quality of material produced by Cherrystone. I am confident that it will be of great value to trainers, managers and individual learners.”

Through the Cherrystone website, you can quickly access a wide range of ebooks, videos and audio recordings, on topics including personal development, leadership and management, and health and safety. The products are reasonably priced and the easy to use credits system means that you can target your spending on the areas which are most relevant to you and your business. Signing up is free and you will immediately receive a free e-book which is full of top tips for managing your business. All of Cherrystone’s video content is free to access until the end of June –a great reason to sign up today!

Malfunctioning household appliances over a three-year period caused around 12,000 fires in Britain, research by the consumer group Which? has stated.

The research suggested that the main culprits were washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers and as a result of this, Which? is urging people to register the appliances that they buy with manufacturers. This would mean that they could be alerted of any recall. The group also brought forward research that was found by Electrical Safety First, which found that only a third of people register the electrical appliances they buy. Therefore, it is unlikely that they would be notified if manufacturers recall faulty items.

Obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, the government figures cover January 2011 to March 2014.

There is no doubt that this is a huge health and safety risk, with many products bought by consumers considered to be faulty and the reason for a fire to start. At the top of the scale, washing machines take 14% of the blame, causing a total of 1,723 fires. As stated, tumble dryers are also in the mix, causing 1,456 fires, about 12% of the total.

Dishwashers took 11% of the blame, cookers stand at 9%, fridges and freezers at 7%, central heating 5%, toasters, grills and microwaves at 4%, TVs 3%, washer dryers 2% and finally, irons at the bottom with 1%. These percentages were found by Which?.

This is also a wakeup call for manufacturers and businesses that sell these appliances and because of the results that have been found the government is reviewing the system for recalling appliances that may cause a threat to households.

 

E-cigarettes have split opinions across the UK and Southern Rail will introduce a ban across all services as well as at stations. From the 26th of July, passengers will not be able to use the devices on trains or on stations that are operated by the company.

The operator runs the Gatwick Express service and so it brings these companies and other firms in line with the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise. Overall, Southern manages 156 stations in London, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent. Its passengers make an average of 446,500 journeys per day on the trains, the firm stated.

Other businesses have already banned e-cigarettes and this includes Thameslink and Great Northern as well as Transport for London.

Not only are transportation services banning e-cigarettes, but also people will be banned from using the devices in enclosed spaces in Wales. This includes restaurants, pubs, taxis, lorries and at work and is likely to come into effect during 2017. This plan has divided opinions between health and medical groups, which includes some anti-smoking campaigners.

A grand total of 2.6 million adults use e-cigarettes in Britain and so the new laws in Wales as well as the ban of them on rail services is bound to cause controversy.

As the frost sets in across much of Sussex and the Hastings area, what sort of precautions should employers and employees take to minimise the impact on the workplace. We asked Raquel Twigger from employment law specialist Stephen Rimmer LLP’s for more information on what to do in case the snow comes.snow

Make sure you have a severe weather policy in place

If there is a severe weather policy, make sure all employees are familiar with it and know what is expected of them. The policy should provide clear reporting procedures, explain how far they are expected to make an effort to get into work and whether they can expect to be paid that day or not. If there is not a severe weather policy, employers should strongly consider drafting one

Contingency planning

Consider contingencies, so for example where staff can work remotely, try to ensure they have the necessary means with them such as laptops, network codes and so on to do so. Encourage them to think ahead and take home case files or data as appropriate to support home working. Remember to stress what is expected of homeworkers eg the same level of professionalism and attention to detail, client care and data protection as in the office.

Offer holiday or make the time up later

Workers should be given an opportunity to take the time off as paid annual leave or to make the time up in lunch hours or by working extended days over time.

Schools and other outside factors

Remember that certain employees may not be able to work because other services such as schools or nurseries have been closed. Remember that carers of dependent children in these situations are entitled to take additional unpaid time off to care for their children in an emergency. So offer them paid or unpaid leave and don’t penalise them if they have not been able to make it into work because they have to remain at home to care for their children.

Health and Safety aspects of travelling to work

When determining how far employees need to go to get into work, do consider the health and safety implications of them doing so. Do not encourage them to drive in poor weather conditions even if they own large 4×4 style vehicles. It may be reasonable to expect able employees to walk to work within a given radius of the workplace but obviously the same cannot be said of disabled employees.

Closing the workplace

Consider when it may be appropriate and safer to close your business such as when there are problems with the heating in the building which may contravene health and safety, plumbing issues affecting toilet facilities or other weather related hazards on site but do remember that if you close your business, you are obliged to pay your employees regardless of whether they could or would have turned up.

If you need a severe weather policy drafting or simply more advice on the subject please contact Raquel Twigger at Stephen Rimmer LLP Solicitors on rt@stephenrimmer.com 01323 644222.

As the countdown to the festive season gets underway, ensure lone working in your business is subject to risk assessment and that lone workers are not placed at more risk by the nature of their role.lone-worker

Convenience store operator McColl was recently fined £150,000 for failing to protect its staff during a series of store robberies in Merseyside. At the hearing, the court heard that shop staff had raised concerns about the lack of lockable doors into back room areas and the need for CCTV. One manager with concussion, another member of staff was threatened with a knife, and some of the staff said they were so traumatised, they did not feel they could work in a shop again.

In finding the company guilty of the charges, the judge pointed to the “systemic failings both on and before the date of the actual robberies” and “The absence of proper and adequate risk assessments is where things started to go fundamentally wrong”.

Although there are no general restrictions on working alone, Health and Safety legislation requires employers to take care of the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees, as far as reasonably practicable and to assess the health and safety risks to which employees are exposed whilst at work. It’s important to have a clear policy in play, and to make sure that everyone in the company knows, understands and implements it.

A useful guide to lone working is published by the Health and Safety Executive and can be downloaded from their website here.

Ever panicked or felt nervous because you have a presentation to do? Then this great infographic gives seven great tips and pointers on how to avoid the anxiety associated with presenting to a group or crowd.

Check it out and see the tips on how to avoid anxiety in presentations. (You can click to enlarge the image if you need to)

7SurefireTipstoOvercomePresentationAnxiety_

Source: www.24slides.com

Let’s Do Business Hastings returns to Sussex Coast College on the 31st October 2013 and this years event has over 125 exhibition stands spread over two floors and more than 1000 business owners and key decision-makers under one roof, it’s the perfect place to source top quality products & services and network with like-minded business leaders from across Sussex and beyond.

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Let’s Do Business Hastings at SCCH

Launched in November 2003, the Hastings Let’s Do Business exhibition is organised by the Let’s Do Business Group and Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce.

Entry to the event is free (registration is required) however they have two paid for (£10 per person) speed networking sessions, one is at 11.30am and the other is 2.30pm.

If you don’t know how to get there then here is the address for Hastings Let’s Do Business event.

Sussex Coast College
Station Approach
Hastings
East Sussex
TN34 1BA

Tel: 01424 442222

It is recommended that visitors pre-register if they can. Here is the link.

To see who is exhibiting at the event please go to their exhibitors page here.

 

Hastings Business Centre has become one of the first business centres in the UK to install heart defibrillators on site.

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HBC’s Jim Christy and Mish Standen check out the new life saving equipment installed at the Innovation Centre.

The company which has bases along the south coast, has purchased one automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) from DOC UK. The device is portable and automatically connects a user to a call centre where medically trained professionals will guide them through the de-fibrillation process.

Jim Christy, director for the Innovation Centre in Hastings said: “As a business our very first priority is the safety of the people on our site.

“Hopefully, the equipment will never need to be used, but even if the defibrillator never leaves its case, it will act as reassurance to the thousands of people passing through ours doors every year.”

Vincent Mathieu, managing director of DOC, said: “Every six minutes, someone in the UK dies of a heart attack. Sadly cardiac emergencies are a huge risk, so it is great to see firms such as the Innovation Centre leading the way.”