Letter from the Chair | October 2012

Welcome to the Charities Safety Group. 

I have had the privilege of chairing the CSG for the last 4 years. It that short time the world has changed dramatically affecting everyone in all aspects of their lives. Charities have certainly not been immune from the effects of the global recession. Many have had to re-structure resulting in huge job cuts in the sector. Those who have kept their jobs find themselves with an increased workload covering a wider range of responsibilities. A dedicated health and safety role is becoming a rare thing! Because of that the need for the help the Charities Safety Group can offer is even more vital.  The CSG offers help, support and networking opportunities to anyone working in health and safety as part of a charity or not for profit organisation.  

You will have seen our new look website. I’m sure you will agree it has a bright new look and is easy to navigate from page to page. There are sample risk assessments, policy and guidance on a range of health and safety subjects; presentations from previous meetings; an opportunity to make comments and ask questions as well as links to other useful sites. Please let us know what you think of the new site and tell us of anything else you think would be useful to include. 

Due to government policy the Health and Safety Executive seem to be reducing the services they offer. They don’t seem to be as interested in the third / voluntary sector. They have stopped selling some of their publications including the book compiled by the CSG in collaboration with the HSE - Charity and Voluntary Workers - A Guide to Health and Safety at Work. The good news is the CSG is working on a new up to date replacement for this book. We hope to have it available for download sometime in the New Year. 

2012 started well for the CSG when it was awarded the Alan Butler Gold Award hosted by SGUK. The SGUK awards are an opportunity to recognise, celebrate and communicate the success of Safety Groups and individuals. We were delighted and proud that the work of the CSG was recognised in this way. 

One of the aspects of being Chair of the CSG I enjoy the most is the quarterly meetings. It is an opportunity to meet people from other charities in similar circumstances and learn from their mistakes or offer support and encouragement. It is also a time to listen to timely presentations on relevant topics. Some of the presentations we have recently enjoyed have been by Clair Guise from Marie Cure Cancer Care speaking about CoSHH; Andy Stokes from the RSPB representing Visitors Safety in the Country Group speaking about Volunteers safety in the countryside; Matt Webb from Argyll UK discussing Lone working; John Porter from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust speaking of Personal Safety and also some Legal updates from solicitors Eversheds regarding health and safety issues. These have been extremely relevant and informative meetings. We intend inviting similarly interesting speakers to join us in the next year. I hope you will be able to come and benefit from these events. 

I’m very proud of all we have achieved during the last year and hope we can do as well if not better next year. If you are already a member we hope you agree and will continue to support us and if you have not yet decided to join us we hope you will now be moved to do so. 

Rosalind Williams


Charities Safety Group



From ROSPA | Local Safety Group Seminar Dates

A message received from RoSPA that might be of interest to CSG members:

To all Safety Groups

Please see below, information about local Safety Group Seminars taking place in September/ October that you or your members might be interested in attending.

§  12 September 2012
Herefordshire Health and Safety Group
Asbestos Awareness Seminar

§  19 September 2012
North West Regional Association of Health & Safety Groups
Conference "When things go wrong" - Accident Investigation and Learning
Speakers: HSE, Merseyside Police and the Crown Prosecution Service
Venue: Barton Grange Hotel, near Preston

§  9 October 2012
Sheffield Occupational Health & Safety Association
Annual SOHSA Conference 2012
Further information to follow
Venue: Tapton Hall, Shore Lane, Sheffield, S10 3BU

§  10 October 2012
Hampshire Health Safety and Environment Group
Reviewing of Management Systems for Health, Safety and the Environment
Programme and Booking information
Marriot Hotel, Cosham, Portsmouth

§  10 October 2012
Humberside Occupational Health & Safety Group
Morning Seminar - Planning for the unexpected / Business Recovery
What would your organisation do if a major disase occurred, ie Fire or Flood Registration
Venue: HOTA, Malmo Road, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, Hull

§  18 October 2012
South Cumbria Occupational Health and Safety Group
Day Seminar - Preventing workplace injuries and disease
Seminar Chairman: Mark Dawson, Principle HSE Inspector, HSE, Carlisle Venue:
Venue: Netherwood Hotel, Grange over Sands

§  18 October 2012
South Humberside Health & Safety Group
Venue: CATCH, Kiln Lane, Stallingborough, North East Lincolnshire

§  25 October 2012
Waveney Safety & Environment Group (WASEG)

§  7 November 2012
Leicestershire Occupational Safety & Health Association
Annual Seminar
Venue: Leicester College, Freemens Park Campus


Charity Worker Training for the NEBOSH National General Certificate - National Sponsorship Scheme

A reminder for existing members and information for new members:

The Charities Safety Group in partnership with the National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health have agreed a scheme that gives scholarships to Charities and Voluntary Sector organisations for the NEBOSH National General Certificate qualification. NEBOSH will select appropriate Course Providers who will train, free of charge, those people selected by CSG. Organisations wanting to submit an application should be aware that the criteria limits one Scholarship place for each organisation.   

To underpin the aims of the Charities Safety Group these Scholarships will be offered to small charities and voluntary organisations; those with resources too limited to acquire health, safety and welfare competencies for their existing workers. For this reason organisations that do not employ a Safety Practitioner will be given preference by the Scholarship Board.

To facilitate the consolidation of health and safety competence, Charities Safety Group will offer each successful candidate free membership for a year, subject to the completion of the Group’s new member questionnaire. 

Organisations applying for a scholarship will be asked to assess how the completion of the NEBOSH General Certificate, by one of their workers will benefit their charitable activities. They will also be required to submit a copy of their most recent Annual General Report with their application.

NEBOSH and CSG require that, in agreeing to participate in the sponsorship scheme, the course provider, the nominated charity and the individual candidate should be willing to make themselves available for reasonable, and mutually beneficial, publicity and promotion attendant upon this arrangement, including the taking of photographs for publication.

The Scholarship Board may store application details for up to four years to help with the management of the process. Details may be shared with NEBOSH for the purposes of the scheme.

The Course Providers are geographically spread across the UK. Course dates are sometimes specific to the training organisation.  The Scheme Managers will do their best to match organisations to their preferred location and course dates, but this cannot be guaranteed.

The Course Provider will waive fees and costs related to tuition and examinations (including not more than one resit, if legitimately required). NEBOSH will waive examination and registration fees. Other costs which may be incurred (e.g. travel, accommodation, books and materials) would have to be met by the organisation applying for the sponsored place.


The CSG NEBOSH Sponsorship Scheme

c/o Senior Health and Safety Adviser,
Hackney Homes
Christopher Addison House,
E8 1BJ

The application form can be downloaded here.


Proposals To Review HSE's Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs)

The HSE plans to revise, amend or recind a significant number of approved codes of practice (ACOPS) by the end of 2013 as recommended by the Löfsted report.  This includes oft-referred to documents such as:

  • L8 - Legionnaire's Disease
  • L21 - Management of Health & Safety at Work
  • L5 - Hazardous Substances
  • L127 & L143 - Asbestos
  • L24 - Workplaces
  • L56 & COP20 - Gas Safety

The closing date for consultation is 14th September 2012.

More information can be found on the HSE website here.


CSG Wins Alan Butler Award

It may be somewhat old news but its good news all the same.  The Charities Safety Group won a prestigious gold Alan Butler award at the end of 2011 for demonstrating how it has grown its membership and served the organisations it was set up to support.

Awarded by Safety Groups UK and named after Alan Butler a former chair of the National Health and Safety Groups Council, safety groups across the UK were judged on five key performance questions by a panel of judges:

  1. How does your group communicate with your members, other health and safety organisations and the wider community?
  2. What topics and speakers were included in your Group’s annual programme and / or seminar and why?
  3. How does your group support the HSE and its strategy?
  4. How does your group encourage retention and recruitment of members?
  5. What single achievement is your group most proud of in the last 12 months and why?

Responding to CSG's work the panel said:

The judges picked up on the Group’s active approach to retaining and recruiting new members, providing excellent incentives for Group membership. The Group had increased its membership by 32%, fulfilling one of its key aims - to extend accessibility to good Health and Safety and safety practice and information.

Chair of the CSG, Rosalind Williams, attended the awards ceremony on behalf of CSG to pick up the accolade.

You can read more about the 2011 Alan Butler Awards here and see some more images of the award ceremony here.