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Caution - Mind the Drop

We often hear of companies who have been taken to court over health and safety violations. Some organisations have been fined thousands of pounds because they didn't use the proper safety signs, or because a certain piece of equipment wasn't being used properly.

Sadly, though, accidents can't always be prevented, and the unthinkable does sometimes happen even in safety-compliant workplaces. Take, for example, the sad story of Nigel Chester: the 46-year-old safety inspector was visiting a Premier Foods factory in Nottinghamshire when he stepped through a 'door to nowhere' and suffered a 13ft fall, resulting in severe head injuries that eventually proved fatal.

Unusually for this type of case, though, the company was eventually judged to be free from blame, and Chester's tragic death ruled an accident. Why? Because the door (installed a decade ago during the construction of a gantry that was eventually deemed unnecessary) was locked and marked with an appropriate warning sign. Nigel Chester had unlocked the door using a master key, and he presumably didn't notice the sign, which read "Danger. Keep this door locked. Four metre fall to the floor if opened."

While this sign was sadly not enough to save the life of Mr Chester, it was enough to convince a jury that his death had been an accident, and it seems that the company will not be penalised. We are not suggesting that this should be any consolation to Mr Chester's family, nor indeed to the factory workers who witnessed the incident, but one must wonder how much sooner an accident like this would have occurred had the sign not been in place.

If there are any unmarked hazards in your workplace, be sure to label them with the correct safety signs as a matter of urgency. It's the law, and it could well save lives.

Source: Daily Mail

Valve tags

We offer a wide range of valve marking tags here at Label Source. In this blog post, we will detail each of the available options, allowing you to make an informed decision and select the right valve tag for your requirements.

  • Brass tags are corrosion-resistant and non-magnetic. They conduct heat and electricity, and they are highly durable. Available with serial numbers, or customised to your specifications.
  • Aluminium tags are lighter than our brass products; they are also highly reflective. Coloured aluminium can be a particularly eye-catching choice.

  • Plastic tags are resistant to solvents, acids and alkalis, and we have nine different colour combinations to choose from. Like the brass tags, our plastic tags come with serial numbers or customised to meet your needs.

  • Finally, our valve control tags are made of durable, tear-resistant plastic and specifically designed to inform workers whether a valve is 'open' or 'closed'.

Click here to see Label Source's full range of valve marking products. If you need any more information, please give us a call on 0800 3761 693 or email info@label-source.co.uk.

Electricity can kill! If hazards from electricity in the workplace are not clearly displayed, accidents can occur and some may even lead to death, as well as causing damage to property. People working within certain industries can be exposed to electricity more than others, and these are the people who are more likely to have an accident, especially if they are not informed of the dangers, and take the necessary precautions. However, virtually all companies have exposure to electricity to some extent, particularly with computers and printers.

It was reported that well over 100 accidents a year in the UK are due to electric shocks, with 89 serious injuries and 6 fatalities (in 2010/2011). Exposure to live electrical equipment can cause respiratory failure, heart attacks, electrical burn injuries and seizures. Other physical injuries can be caused by tripping over trailing wires or leads.

If there is any potential hazards in the workplace then count on us for your electrical safety signs. Our signs and labels will help identify the dangers, clearly informing and warning staff or building users of the potential risks from electricity. Our labels and signs inform workers of the voltage of the appliance (whether high or low voltage), live wires and terminals, electrical cables (overhead or underground), safety connections, isolation and safety devices, electrical arcing, and inspection labels, amongst others. An electric shock notice is also available to help inform workers of the actions needed to be taken in the event of injuries from contact with powered equipment, with recommended treatment guides including resuscitation, location of first aid equipment and emergency contact details.

So if you come into contact with electrical supply equipment, such as switchgear or busbars, cables or conductors, caution should be taken to make sure that the power source is disconnected. All cables, plugs, sockets and isolators should be maintained and checked regularly by competent personnel.

Make sure your workplace remains safe from electrical hazards, with our range of signs and labels providing a constant visual reminder of the need to take care when in contact with electrical equipment. 

Brighton Pier

It wouldn't be Christmas without at least one farcical health and safety story. Previous Decembers have seen pantomime actors banned from throwing sweets into the audience and carol singers ordered to apply for permits; this year, attentions have turned towards Brighton, and the city's traditional Christmas Day swim.

According to a number of reports - most notably this one from Mail Online - Brighton and Hove City Council will be closing the beach on Christmas Day to prevent revellers from entering the water. According to the Mail, this move was sparked by two separate incidents:

  1. Back in October, an "experienced male swimmer" had to be rescued by the lifeguard after experiencing some difficulty.
  2. Christmas 2011 saw the rescue of another male swimmer during the Christmas Day swim itself.

Now, on the face of it, this ban may seem like an absurd overreaction (that's certainly how the Mail are portraying it). However...

  • People have died in Christmas swims. Somewhat further down the page, that Mail article mentions a woman who died during "a similar swim in Hastings".
  • Lifeguards don't work on Christmas Day. And nor should they be expected to! While the local swimming club do their part to ensure that everyone stays safe during the swim, the club's sea swimming coach has admitted that they do not have the capacity to oversee "4,000 ridiculous people in costumes...throwing themselves in the sea after drinking alcohol".

  • Sea swimming is dangerous. Even strong swimmers have to be careful in the ocean, where the current can change at the drop of a hat. Moreover, hypothermia is a big concern at this time of year, especially with so many swimmers entering the water without wetsuits.

  • Even one incident is too many. The Mail article opens with the following headline: "Brighton bans traditional Christmas Day dip because of health and safety fears after just TWO swimmers got into difficulty". It is slightly alarming to think that two incidents is not enough, especailly given that similar incidents have proved fatal elsewhere. How many people would have to drown before this ban ceased to be risible? Clearly, if even one life is at risk, then Brighton and Hove City Council have done the right thing.

While the aforementioned pantomime/caroling bans were rightfully dismissed - even by the HSE itself - it seems that this swimming ban has been put in place for a very good reason.

Further Reading: 5 Safety Tips for Christmas

Get all your signs, labels and nameplates ordered before the mad Christmas postage rush! Here at Label Source we want to please all our customers by getting their products out on time, so don’t leave it too late!

Winter has arrived, and the weather is getting colder. It is that time of year where the cold and the flu are easy to catch, and the wet and windy weather conditions can cause more potential accidents. Get your warning, safety and hygiene signs in to make sure you and your colleagues are fit and healthy this Christmas and New Year.

Label Source provides a range of warning signs, to help identify wet surfaces or slippery floor. We provide a range bathroom signs informing and reminding people to wash their hands, or to use the hand sanitiser.

Order your signs today and get them before Christmas to start the New Year happy and healthy.