HSE Fee for Intervention


If the HSE visit your workplace and find that you are in material breach of health and safety law you will have to pay for the time it takes for them to identify what is wrong and to help you to put things right. This is called fee for intervention (FFI).

FFI was introduced in October 2012 and at that time the charges were £124 per hour. Since then there has been two increases in the hourly rate. The first came in 2016 when it increased to £129 per hour and most recently in April this year when the charge went up to £154 per hour.

What is a material breach? This is something that the inspector considers serious enough that they need to formally write to the business requiring action to be taken to deal with the material breach. If the inspector issues a notification of contravention (NoC) after their visit, the business will have to pay a fee.

The fee may include the inspector’s time:

  • at the business or workplace
  • writing NoC’s and preparing reports
  • preparing and serving improvement or prohibition notices
  • getting specialist advice
  • taking statements
  • gathering information/evidence

Examples of material breaches include:

Falls from height – not adequately planning and/or supervising work at height.

Lifting equipment – no statutory thorough examinations of lifting equipment.

Workplace transport – not ensuring safe drivers eg fork lift truck drivers who are neither trained nor competent.

Musculoskeletal disorders – significant uncontrolled risk from manual handling or repetitive work where reasonably practicable controls are available.

The guidance on the application of fee for intervention includes many examples of what are classed as material breaches.

More information on Fee for Intervention, including Guidance on the Application of Fee for Intervention (HSE47), is readily available on the HSE website.

Until next time…………….



Fork Lift Pre-Operational Inspections


In a recent newsletter I reported that 18% of HSE fork lift incident investigations showed the causal effect was mechanical due to ineffective maintenance, 10% involved fork defects, 18% were due to mast/carriage defects, 8% were brake defects and 5% were down to transmission issues.

Pre-operational, or pre-shift, checks should be conducted by the operator in accordance with the specific instructions published in the relevant manufacturers operating handbook. Any defects which may affect the trucks safe operation should be reported to the supervisor or manager so that they can be rectified.

The checks may include:

  • Fork Arms
  • Carriage Plate
  • Backrest Extension (Load Guard)
  • Mast
  • Mast Rollers/Slides
  • Lift Chains and Chain Pulleys
  • HydraulicsPicture1
  • Wheels
  • Tyres
  • External Condition
  • Rated Capacity Plate
  • Operating Position
  • Operator’s Seat
  • Lights
  • Audible Warning Devices
  • Hydraulic Controls
  • Drive and Braking
  • Steering

Other checks will depend on the motive power of the truck in question.

Gas Powered Trucks

The gas cylinder must be undamaged, mounted correctly with the locking pins or straps intact, engaged and secure. Examine the supply pipe for kinks, damage and signs of fouling where possible leaks could occur. Turn the gas supply valve on, checks for leaks, particular attention should be given to the seals on all valves and couplings. The bottle orientation must be checked for accuracy.

Internal Combustion Engine Trucks

Confirm adequate fuel level. Ensure that the ignition key switch and combined starter function correctly, and ignition light should illuminate and the starter turns the engine, the key switch should also satisfactorily stop the engine. If appropriate the cold start and stop controls should be intact and functional. It is especially important that any oil pressure and charging light are working. Physically and visually check any interlocks, instruments and gauges to ensure they are functioning in accordance with the manufacturer’s operating handbook.

Starting Procedure—Electric Trucks

The traction battery is secure and the power supply cable is intact, connected and secure. Confirm adequate charge. Ensure the on/off key switch system activates the power and isolator switch (if fitted) functions correctly. Physically and visually check and additional interlocks or gauges to ensure they are functioning in accordance with the manufacturer’s operating handbook.

And finally…………….

Fault Reporting

The operator must follow the company guidelines and reporting procedures. Starting off by filling in the inspection book and if found unfit for use isolate the truck before reporting the fault to their supervisor.

Operators, unless suitably qualified and authorised, should not carry out repairs and adjustments to lift trucks.

This may appear to be a lengthy process but, in reality, will only take a few minutes to complete.

If you do not have a pre-operational inspection checklist that you are using get in touch and I can send you over an editable template.

Until next time…………


Happy Birthday Phoenix Training


Today marks a very special day is Phoenix Training’s history – we are celebrating our 35th birthday.

Since it’s inception the training landscape has changed dramatically so we have also had to adapt as necessary.

When the business first began in 1983 it was part of the Co-Operative Society and was set up to work with young people who took part in the Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in a number of different industries.

Since 1990 the business has been privately owned and managed. Firstly by David and Val Nesbitt and then in 2010 the baton was passed to David’s daughter, Emma.

Emma first joined Phoenix Training in 2000. During that time Phoenix Training worked on several Government funded contracts as well as delivering fork truck training commercially. The Government funded contracts (work based learning for adults, short job focussed training, rapid response service and Gateway to Work) made up a majority of the organisations income. At various stages Phoenix had branches in Liverpool, Manchester, St Neots, Newark, Kettering, Wellingborough and Northampton.

Towards the end 2009 all Government funding came to an end so the decision was made to become fully commercial. The only branch remaining is Wellingborough.

There have been a lot of changes within the fork truck training industry since 2010 and, in my opinion, this has been a big improvement. There is now far more focus on operator safety but there is still some way to go.

As Emma has a passion for health and safety she delivers a number of health and safety courses which are not industry specific. Today, for example, she was delivering manual handling training at a primary school. This is not our usual target market but the staff did require training on safe lifting techniques.

The team at Phoenix all have their own individual skills set and each bring something different to our offering.

Emma started as the receptionist but after one year started to work as a trainer on the Gateway to Work contract. In 2008 she returned to Head Office to assist with the running of the office and in 2013 took the decision to become a fork lift instructor. Shortly after  she became a manual handling instructor and since 2016 she has been delivering IOSH Working and Managing Safely courses, both locally and nationally.

Steve has been with us since 2004. He is a highly experienced fork truck instructor as well as manual handling trainer.

Paul joined the team in 2014. Having come from a manufacturing background he has a breadth of knowledge within the industry and a broad knowledge of health and safety.

Dave started with us in February 2018 and he has experience of being both an in-house as well as a self-employed instructor working with many different industries.

The newest member of the team is Julie. Julie started with us just two weeks ago as an administration assistant. As Emma is now spending more time delivering training she really did need some help! Julie has previously worked in a very different type of industry but compliance is something she is very familiar with.

Looking back over the past 35 years it really has been a journey and we are excited about what lies ahead.

Should you require any additional advice or guidance please do not hesitate to contact us on 01933 677708 or email info@phoenixsafetyservices.co.uk

Until next time………….

Fork Lift Truck Training Timings & Ratios


Questions that I am asked on a regular basis are regarding course timings and the number of candidates allowed on the courses.

The course timings and training ratios are set by each of the individual accrediting bodies.

The Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA) was formed in 2012 by the four main accrediting bodies within the UK. They have since been working together so that the standards upheld by accredited training providers are the same regardless of which accrediting body they belong to.

Updated course timings were issued to ITSSAR accredited training providers in 2015.

Examples of course timings on the most popular trucks we deliver training on are as follows:

Counterbalance, Reach, Side Loader, Pivot Steer (Bendi/Flexi), Multi-Directional and Telescopic Trucks

Experience Level Number of Operators Number of Training Days















Safety Refresher

Up to 3



Up to 3


Novice – no experience at all on any type of rider operated forklift truck
Experienced operator – untrained but has experience / trained but more than 5 years ago / has an oversees certificate
Refresher – trained operator tested within the last 5 years and with recent experience of using the truck
Conversion – adding an additional category of truck

The maximum number of candidates permitted on a fork lift training course is 3.

If the training required is for overhead gantry crane or M.E.W.P.’s (scissor lift or cherry picker) the training ratio differs slightly. On these courses we are permitted up to a maximum of 4 candidates.

The number of days training is also less on these pieces of equipment and dependent on the candidates level of experience and the number of candidates the training can take between 1-2 days.

Should you require any additional advice or guidance please do not hesitate to contact me on 01933 677708 or email info@phoenixsafetyservices.co.uk

Until next time………………………



The New Counterbalance & Reach Truck Test


In January we were notified by our accrediting body, ITSSAR, that the The Accrediting Bodies Association for Workplace Transport (ABA) had revised the testing standards for counterbalance and reach trucks and it would be live from 30th January 2017.

Testing a candidates competency will remain the same and each candidate will still have to pass three elements of training – pre-operational check of the truck, theory test and practical test.

The ABA have amended certain criteria on the practical test so that safety criteria will be penalised with higher penalty points than before. An example of this would be:

Fails to check all around: (old test)    3 points          (new test)     5 points

They have also added that where a candidate has more than 3 occurrences of any one 5 point penalty, an example being as above, then the candidate is mandatorily disqualified.

The changes to the pre-operational check is that there are now mandatory components. At Phoenix Training we have been doing this and covering the mandatory components for several years so there will be no obvious change.

The theory test now has 5 mandatory questions. If any of the mandatory questions are answered incorrectly the result will be a referral (regardless of the overall score).

It was not mandatory for accredited training organisations to use the new testing standards until 1st September but from this date all accredited training organisations who deliver training to ITSSAR, RTITB, AITT and NPORS standards will be expected to do this.


At Phoenix Training we made the transition to the new system in March and it is working well. Some of our training material has been amended to take into account the changes.

The development of the new testing regime is to ensure national and uniform standards across all members of the ABA. This is the first time the test has been updated since 2000.

For more information on the new testing standards for counterbalance and reach trucks please do get in touch on 01933 677708 or email us info@phoenixsafetyservices.co.uk

Until next month…………….

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Phoenix Training Wins National Award


We are not ones to blow our own trumpet but in May 2017 we were nominated for the Material Handling Equipment Training Provider of the Year in the inaugural Talent in Logistics Awards.


We were asked a number of questions and to demonstrate how we had exceeded customer

expectation and measurably contributed to improved safety and efficiency. Thanks to some of our valued customers submitting some outstanding testimonials we were able to provide the

evidence for this.


I received a phone call in late May to tell us we had been selected as one of the six shortlisted finalists and that the awards ceremony was on the 22nd June.


The shortlisted finalists also included Wincanton Training Services, Global FLT Ltd and Operator Training Solutions Ltd to name a few.


Phoenix Training Wins National Award


We are not ones to blow our own trumpet but in May 2017 we were nominated for the Material Handling Equipment Training Provider of the Year in the inaugural Talent in Logistics Awards.

Til Winner

We were asked a number of questions and to demonstrate how we had exceeded customer expectation and measurably contributed to improved safety and efficiency. Thanks to some of our valued customers submitting some outstanding testimonials we were able to provide the evidence for this.

I received a phone call in late May to tell us we had been selected as one of the six shortlisted finalists and that the awards ceremony was on the 22nd June.

The shortlisted finalists also included Wincanton Training Services, Global FLT Ltd and Operator Training Solutions Ltd to name a few.

We were the otalent in logisticsnly shortlisted finalists from Northamptonshire.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the ceremony as I was on holiday and due to work commitments I was unable to ask one of the team to represent us on the evening as the awards were being held in Telford.

Whilst on holiday I received an email from the organisers to tell me that we had been successful in winning the category. That did make the holiday even better than it was!

Upon my return from the sun I was greeted by the award, a certificate and a bottle of Champagne.

The whole team are incredibly proud of this achievement especially as we are a small organisation in comparison to others but it does prove that if you are passionate about what you do the hard work really does pay off!

For more information on how we can help you to improve workplace safety and efficiency please contact us on 01933 677708 or email us at info@phoenixsafetyservices.co.uk

You can also take a look at the wide array of training services provided at http://www.phoenixsafetyservices.co.uk

Until next time……………………..

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What is PUWER?



PUWER is the acronym for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 which came in to force on the 5th December 1998.

The Regulations state the responsibility and/or control of work equipment lies with the employer, duty holder and anyone else.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the statute and underneath the statute lies a number of regulations , PUWER, being one of them. Some of the regulations do overlap.

Regulations should not be considered in isolation from other health and safety legislation.

PUWER applies to all workplace and work situations where the Health and Safety at Work Act applies.

Regulation 4 looks at the suitability of work equipment. So this means that whilst you are work it is not acceptable to stand on a chair to reach something or to change a light bulb as that is not the intended use of the chair. A suitable piece or work equipment, in these examples, would be a step ladder or something similar.

The employer or duty holder should also ensure that the work equipment used is maintained in good repair and efficient working order. This could mean that it undergoes an inspection prior to use.

Regulation 9 is all about training. It’s not just about ensuring that the person who is using the work equipment has received adequate training and any risks that there be and precautions to be taken but it includes the managers and supervisors of those who use work equipment.

This does not mean that managers and supervisors have to be qualified operators of work equipment, eg forklift trucks, but it does mean that they need to know what the risks are and what precautions must be taken.

If managers and supervisors aren’t aware of the risks how will they know if an operator of work equipment is using it dangerously?

If you have any questions or would like some advice and guidance please feel free to call me on 01933 677708 or email me at info@phoenixsafetyservices.co.uk

Until next time……….

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How To Select the Right Safety Footwear by Clive Astin


A plethora of hazards present themselves to workers feet.  From falling objects, to stepping on spikes, to hot and cold temperatures, chemical hazards, as well as slip risks.  The list certainly goes on!  Whether you’re an employer or an employee, understanding the latest safety footwear standards will ensure that you and your staff are wearing safety footwear that exceeds the minimum legislative and protective requirements, ensuring the safety of the wearer within specified working environments.

All new safety footwear products must be manufactured and certified under EN ISO 20345:2011, and the first part of selecting the correct safety footwear is to pay attention to the Safety Ratings:

Safety Ratings Include: 

SB – Basic requirements: Safety footwear with a toe protector that can bear impact of 200 Joules
S1 – Basic requirements: Closed heel area, energy absorbing seat area, antistatic properties and resistance to fuel oil
S1P – The same as S1 but with P penetration and absorption
S2 – As S1 plus water penetration and absorption
S3 – S2, but with penetration resistance and cleated outsole
S4 – S1 plus entirely moulded polymer/rubber upper, making them waterproof and leak-proof
S5 – S4 plus midsole penetration resistance

So you’ve chosen your Safety Rating.  Now chose your Slip Resistance:

SRA – Tested on ceramic tile, wetted with sodium lauryl sulphate (soap solution)

SRB – Tested on steel with glycerol
SRC – Tested under both SRA ad SRB conditions

Now you’ve identified your protective and slip-resistance ratings, choose from these additional symbols and abbreviations:

A – Antistatic

AN – Ankle Protection

C – Conductive

CR – Cut-Resistant Upper

ESD – Electrostatic Discharge

HRO – Heat-Resistant Outsole

I – Electricity Insulating

M – Metatarsal Protection

P – Penetration Resistance

WR – Water Resistance

WRU – Water Penetration and Water Absorption Upper

So there we have it.

Follow these four simple stages and you’ll be sure to have happy, comfortable and safe feet!

1:  Ensure you see ISO 20345:2011 on the label

2:  Choose your Safety Rating
3:  Select your Slip-Resistance
4:  Select Your Additional Symbols

You can download a simple safety footwear guide here.  Gorilla Safety features an easy ‘selection filter’ on the right-hand-side of their website here, ensuring the four stages can be easily followed.


“Due to health and safety reasons……….”

Have you ever gone in to a shop or premises and seen signs that start with the words “due to health and safety reasons”? I know I have (more than once).

Last week I was in a retail outlet and I saw a sign that said “due to health and safety reasons we can no longer sell display tvs sorry for any inconvenience”.

This did get me thinking of what the health and safety reasons could be as I know this particular retailer has sold display televisions in the past. Not much had changed from a previous visit other than the store layout. After browsing the store I was still curious so I thought I would ask a member of staff.

Sadly, the member of staff had no idea and said that the signs had been put up over the previous weekend but he wasn’t told why.

I decided to leave it and not trouble the staff any further as they were particularly busy. The problem is I have a curious mind and it does bug me that some companies due the “health and safety” tag for reasons/excuses rather than just saying it is company policy.

Yesterday I decided to phone the store to ask what the health and safety reasons were. The lady who I spoke to seemed surprised that I was asking the question but she too was unable to answer the question so she asked the health and safety rep.

It turns out that as the tvs are now displayed on a racking system the power sockets are quite a way back so for the store to sell the display items it would mean the staff members having to lean over the racking system whilst on ladders and this would be an health and safety concern for the staff member(s) as well as the general public (if the televisions were to fall).

That made perfect sense and I was happy with the explanation.

The lesson I have learnt from this is that you should not worry about asking a question and challenging something that may be easily accepted just because it is for health and safety reasons.

Until next time…………..

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