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Risk Advisor - RMAS Newsletter

Health and Safety for Father Christmas16th December 2010

Welcome to the latest copy of Risk Advisor from RMAS. We have a Christmas flavour to our December newsletter which has a Health & Safety focus this month.

We also introduce you to Victoria Barrett one of our team of Health & Safety advisors.



What's in this month's newsletter?




Health & Safety Update

Free No Obligation Health & Safety Assessment

RMAS specialise in supporting and assisting small and medium sized businesses who cannot afford to employ their own health and safety manager. We are based in Northants, and work with clients and organisations across Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and beyond by providing simple and cost effective solutions for Health & Safety compliance.


We are focused on providing a professional, competent, client focused service to all of our clients with dedicated Chartered Safety & Health Practitioners (CMIOSH) see Victoria Barretts profile below.


Services are available on an ad-hoc, interim or retainer basis (in the form of Risk Management Packages) which can provide you with access to Competent Health & Safety advice and support whenever it is needed throughout the year, with a fresh & friendly approach at competitive rates. 

RMAS fully understand the problems experienced by small and medium sized organisations and appreciate that Health & Safety may not always be your main priority. RMAS specialises in providing organisations with information and knowledge to help you manage Health & Safety, secure new contracts and demonstrate your competence without the need to employ your own Safety Managers.


In order to assist you RMAS offer a FREE no obligation Health and Safety Assessment provided by Victoria Barrett of Northants Risk Management for local businesses.


The idea of the FREE assessment is to assess the level of H&S support that you may need in the future.

During this assessment we discuss with business owners their H&S concerns & issues, we assess the risks in the workplace and look at written procedures and management systems already in place. Taking into account the size of the premises, processes, plant and

equipment in use, risks involved in the workplace, number of employees, type of industry and standards of procedures currently in place and number of other sites or premises - we will then recommend a Risk Management Package (RMP) which acts as a retainer support service for the potential client to best serve their business. We will NOT sell a service that is not beneficial or necessary! A typical RMP would include:


health and safety at Christmas
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Comprehensive company audit
  • Training gap analysis review
  • Fire risk assessment
  • Training management in implementation of the policy (usually half a day)
  • Company review (usually after 6 months)
  • Designated Competent Specialist
  • Preferential rates for awareness and refresher training courses
  • 24/7 telephone & Email support


Additional services can be added or deducted from this typical package but generally the above would suit most businesses. The costs for these depend on the size of business and number of sites that would require visits as part of the audit and fire risk assessment service.
For more information or to arrange a Health & Safety Assessment please call 084 321 81 673 or email RMAS

During this assessment we discuss with business owners their H&S concerns & issues, we assess the risks in the workplace and look at written procedures and management systems already in place. Taking into account the size of the premises, processes, plant and


Health & Safety at Christmas

How would Christmas be affected if managed by a Health & Safety consultant


Consider these Christmas Carols and the thoughts of our, thankfully fictitious, Health & Safety Consultant.


bellsJingle Bells

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way


A risk assessment must be submitted before an open sleigh is considered safe for members of the public to travel on. The risk assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly if passengers are of larger proportions. The stables must be registered with the local authority under The Riding Establishments Act and the owner must show evidence of Public Liability Insurance cover to at least £10,000,000. Please note permission must be gained from landowners before entering their fields. To avoid offending people of other ethnic origins and cultural beliefs, this activity must be of a non-Christian nature. Laughter must not exceed 65 decibels when measured from the closest boundary and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance.

As a sleigh is defined as a Class 4 vehicle under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations should the proposed journey across fields include any road, track, footpath, towpath or bridle-path then said sleigh must have a current MOT test certificate and the driver must be in possession of a driving licence for this type of vehicle. If the sleigh is capable of carrying more than 5 persons and is available for hire, it also falls within the definition of a public carriage vehicle, meaning it must appropriately licensed.


Little Donkey

Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road
Got to keep on plodding onwards with your precious load


The RSPCA has issued strict guidelines with regard to how heavy a load that a donkey of small stature is permitted to carry, also including guidance regarding how often to feed the donkey and how many rest breaks are required over a four hour plodding period. Please note that due to the increased risk of pollution from the dusty road, Mary and Joseph are required to wear face masks to prevent inhalation of any airborne particles. The donkey has expressed his discomfort at being labelled 'little' and would prefer just to be simply referred to as Mr. Donkey as to comment upon his height or lack thereof may be considered an infringement of his equine rights. Persons in charge of donkeys are reminded of their obligations to clear up after their animals. Failure to remove donkey-droppings is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act punishable by a fine of up to £5,000.  Furthermore as the carrying of a load by a donkey is obviously a commercial activity, droppings are defined as commercial waste and must be disposed of by a licensed waste contractor.


We Three Kings

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

Whilst the gift of gold is still considered acceptable - as it may be redeemed at a later date through such organisations as 'cash for gold' etc, gifts of frankincense and myrrh are not appropriate due to the potential risk of oils and fragrances causing allergic reactions. Such gifts may also need to have an export licence and must be declared to a Border Control Officer.


We would not advise that the traversing kings rely on navigation by stars in order to reach their destinations and suggest the use of RAC routefinder, Google Maps or satellite navigation. Please note as per the guidelines from the RSPCA for Mr Donkey, the camels carrying the three kings of Orient will require regular food and rest breaks. Strict animal health regulations will apply which may involve animals being quarantined for a period of 4 months. 


Their Royal Highnesses are advised to use high factor sun protection, only consume water from accredited sources, have up-to-date inoculations and vaccinations appropriate to their intended travel plans, be aware of moorland ticks prevalent at this time of year and lodge their itinerary with the Mountain Rescue Service.

If you have any similar Christmas Health & Safety story’s please call 084 321 81 673 or email RMAS

Meet the Team

Introducing Victoria Barrett of Northants Risk Management, one of the team of Health & Safety Specialists at RMAS


Victoria Barrett is a highly skilled and competent health and safety compliance specialist with twenty years professional experience, with specialist knowledge in the Asbestos and Construction Industry.  Victoria joined Northants Risk Management Solutions in January 2010 working in the Northamptonshire area after working with Private Consultancy Groups, P&O Cruises, BBC White City and Powergen-Utilities.


Victoria is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Safety and Health (IOSH) and an Affiliated Member of British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS).
She keeps her knowledge up to date by maintaining her Continuing Professional Development (CPD).


The Bricklayers Lament

A salutary warning for those in the building trade


You will find that the sketch will expose a number of Health & Safety and welfare issues such as –

  • Lone workers
  • Lack of a method statement
  • Lack of adequate guards
  • Lack of appropriate training
  • Lack of appropriate safety equipment
  • Incorrect equipment
  • Accident Reporting


  Just in case you have not come across this before it is The Bricklayers Lament from the Oxford Union Speech in 1958 by Gerard Hoffnung. (See video right)


If you have identified any more Health & Safety risk exposures arising for this sketch please call 084 321 81 673 or email RMAS





Christmas Offers from RMAS

request a RMAS guide


Special Christmas and New Year Deals from RMAS


We have a number of special arrangements for clients of Risk Management Advisory Services.


These include the following

  • Free review of your employment procedures
  • Free Employment Guide “Working Together”
  • Free no obligation Health & Safety Assessment in Northants
  • Free Security Systems review


Don’t forget the offers. If you wish to take advantage of any of these just call 084 321 81 673 or email RMAS






All of us at RMAS hope you have a safe, healthy and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.