Category Archive

Health and Safety

availability for Fire Risk assessments and Fire Door assessments

This month is all but booked up with only a couple of appointments available, please don’t leave it to the last minute adding more pressure on yourself, book now for MARCH.

Should you have a Fire Door Audit?

The Need for Fire Door Audit Under Fire Safety Regulations 2005

Fire doors are an essential part of any fire safety system. They help to prevent the spread of fire and smoke, and they can help to save lives. However, fire doors can only be effective if they are properly installed and maintained.

The Fire Safety Regulations 2005 (FSR2005) require all fire doors to be inspected and tested on a regular basis. This is to ensure that they are still in good working order and that they will be able to perform their intended function in the event of a fire.

There are a number of things that can go wrong with fire doors, such as:

  • They can be damaged by fire, smoke, or water.
  • They can be obstructed by furniture or other objects.
  • They can be fitted incorrectly.
  • They can be fitted with the wrong hardware.

If any of these things happen, the fire door may not be able to perform its intended function in the event of a fire. This could lead to the spread of fire and smoke, and it could put people’s lives at risk.

That’s why it’s so important to have your fire doors audited on a regular basis. An audit will identify any problems with your fire doors and it will help to ensure that they are in good working order.

Yjis is not dissimilar to arranging for the full service of your fire extinguishers annually and can detect faults in advance of a failure that can cause that part of the fire defence to fail

If you’re not sure whether your fire doors have been audited recently, you should contact your local fire authority. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action or you can contact HSADD and we can help you with guidance, advice and audit reports.

Here are some of the benefits of having a fire door audit:

  • It can help to identify any problems with your fire doors.
  • It can help to ensure that your fire doors are in good working order.
  • It can help to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.
  • It can help to save lives.

If you’re serious about fire safety, then you should have your fire doors audited on a regular basis. It’s an investment that could save lives.

Have you received a letter of claim?

Two of our Clients have had to deal with receiving letters, one was over three years ago, and the other was on 7th February 2023, for a slip claim that ‘allegedly’ occurred on 3rd February 2023.

FIRST CASE

A female entered the premises just 28 days after the alleged date and asked if the venue had CCTV from the date of the fall and that she needed to ‘report’ that she had fallen over – on a wet floor – 28 days earlier. She was fully aware that CCTV isn’t retained after a number of days, however, she miscalculated!

CCTV was immediately preserved for one night on either side of the alleged date, after a significant amount of searching we couldn’t see anyone falling over, let alone breaking an elbow and walking out! A report was completed and everything was stored. 10 days later the claim arrived!

The Client had ISITCHECKED and Compliance Management systems in use, so when the letter came in HSADD was tasked to reply and help with supporting evidence collation and within 24 hours the venue insurers were in possession of a significant file of training records, floor checks, Risk Assessments, staff details, Clean as you go Policy, induction records – plus CCTV which showed that no-one had fallen.

The Insurance and loss adjusters plus solicitors acting on behalf of the insurers were extremely pleased with not only the response time but the quality of evidence.

The case was not progressed any further by the claimant’s Solicitors

SECOND CASE

Similar to the above a female falls over, does not report anything to the venue, leaves the venue, and within 4 days a letter of claim arrives, with the wrong date on it! This produced a dilemma if we had relied on what they said we could see no incident, the venue didn’t and expanded the search to find an incident the day before.

Again a rapid response for the defence evidence enabled a quick response to the claim, which HD CCTV showed that the incident as described by the claimant was somewhat dissimilar from CCTV!

A video conference was arranged with the Loss Adjuster and once the evidence was explained to him and he watched the CCTV he is satisfied that this case will be stopped.

COMPLIMENT

During the meeting the Loss adjuster commented “I AM VERY IMPRESSED WITH ISITCHECKED, IF THIS SYSTEM WAS DEPLOYED AND USED PROPERLY THIS WOULD CHANGE THE UK SLIP AND TRIP DEFENCE OVERNIGHT”

FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT – DO YOU NEED ONE??

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) is the main piece of legislation governing fire safety in buildings in England and Wales. It places legal duties on anyone in control of these premises (the Responsible Person – usually the owner or landlord) to undertake a fire risk assessment and put in place and maintain general fire precautions.

The FSO applies to all workplaces and the common parts of buildings containing two or more domestic premises. This includes:

    • Offices
    • Shops
    • Factories
    • Schools
    • Hospitals
    • Care homes
    • Multi-storey flats
    • Shopping centres
    • Hotels
    • Restaurants
    • Pubs
    • Nightclubs
    • Any other building where people work or visit

The Responsible Person must carry out a fire risk assessment to identify the fire hazards in their premises and to put in place measures to reduce the risk of fire and to ensure that people can safely escape in the event of a fire.

The fire risk assessment must be carried out by a competent person. This means someone who has the knowledge and experience to identify and assess fire hazards. The Responsible Person can carry out the assessment themselves, or they can appoint a competent person to do it for them.

The fire risk assessment should be recorded and kept up to date. It should be reviewed regularly to make sure that it is still accurate and that the measures in place are still effective.

The Responsible Person must also provide fire safety training to employees and other people who work on or in their premises. This training should cover the following:

  • The fire risk assessment
  • The fire safety procedures
  • How to use fire equipment
  • How to evacuate the building in the event of a fire

The Responsible Person must also make sure that fire safety equipment is in good working order and that it is regularly checked and maintained.

The FSO is enforced by the fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales. If the fire and rescue authority finds that the Responsible Person has not complied with the FSO, they can take enforcement action. This could include issuing an improvement notice, a prohibition notice, or a fine.

The FSO is an important piece of legislation that helps to keep people safe from fire. By carrying out a fire risk assessment and putting in place fire safety measures, the Responsible Person can help to prevent fires and to ensure that people can safely escape in the event of a fire.

HSADD Ltd can help by attending your premises and completing a full Fire Risk Assessment and providing a full report together with recommendations for ‘Substantial other findings’, advice and guidance, together with meeting your local fire Officer at the time of an inspection.

Will 2023 be any better!

2019 to 2022 has been a horrible time for the Night Time industry as a whole, first with COVID then as the venues come out of that all of a sudden the Local Authorities seem (in some areas) to be on a seek-and-destroy mission making up for a lost time!

I have followed some of the more published issues involving serious issues at Bars and clubs, huge crush with fake ticket sales, a younger innocent pub attendee shot by accident and killed, young male stabbed – all over the Christmas period.

As soon as these happen the first thing that happens is the venue is placed on review and closed for 28 days – NO MATTER whether the venue has acted properly or not! I have always believed that the ‘punishment’ should match the crime, this process is NOT due process.

My sympathy always is with the people who, through no fault of their own, have lost their lives, the families that are devastated, the sadness tearing through family and friends, absolutely terrible, but to keep hammering a venue for say knife crime is just too easy to blame the venue!

The elected Government and the Courts HAVE to step up as these people carrying knives have little to no consequences of them getting caught carrying a knife, blade, or sharpened item, they have a very small chance of actually getting caught and even IF they arrived at Court they walk away laughing! – Just not good enough – by far.

Anyone in possession MUST receive minimum sentences starting at 5 years! Good behaviour definitely gets rewarded – they get out after 5 years!! Try bad behaviour – double the sentence!! there is a start!

People taking people’s lives, whether with a knife, crushed in a rush for the entrance with false tickets, or firing off indiscriminately into a crowded bar – are getting lesser punishment than some homeless stealing a pack of sandwiches from Tesco (other supermarkets are available)!!

Take a bar closed for 28 days, goes to review and the committee tells them to increase door staff or, and

I have been there, zero changes as the venue did all they could have reasonably done, has just cost the ‘innocent’ bar £700,00.00 in lost revenue and legal fees!! THIS IS NOT RIGHT.

DON’T WAIT FOR AN EMERGENCY

SOMETHING TO TRY FOR 2023

  • PREPARE, PREPARE PREPARE!
  • PLAN FOR THE WORST AND HOPE FOR THE BEST
  • GET YOUR PAPERWORK IN ORDER – Due diligence is often seen as a ‘none revenue stream’
  • IF YOU NEED HELP ASK EARLY – Too many leave asking until it’s too late to fix!

Last but not least the very best of wishes from all at HSADD Ltd to all of our hardworking clients and for our new clients and friends for 2023

‘THE WORST ACT OF VIOLENCE BY DOORSTAFF’

Facing an impossible situation, review, closure, altered hours, loss of premises licence

Circumstances

One of our Clients received the worst message he could have at 10.00 pm the day after a serious incident had occurred at his bar. A member of security had pulled out a gun when threatened by a person wielding a six-inch carving knife. A disturbance in the street occurred, clearly an affray and serious assault by the security guards and a member of the public (The CCTV was damming)

The incident had occurred the previous evening and had been grossly underreported by the offending security staff and only when social websites started showing footage and still images, then the Police got involved!

Our Client contacted me immediately and as a long term Client with both our Compliance Management System and ISITCHECKED in use, we reviewed his situation and offered some immediate solutions, and more importantly – a plan.

Two local licensing solicitors were spoken to, both very knowledgeable and very helpful. I was told that we had less than a 1% chance of NOT losing the licence for a minimum of 28 days at an interim review and maybe permanently such was the disaster unfolding.

The Client was soon served with an interim hearing notice and we had four days to prepare for the hearing. Meanwhile, the Police were arresting the Security staff, tracking down witnesses and preparing to ask for a closure order and full licensing review.

At the interim hearing, the Council Licensing Committee gave a fair hearing to both sides, – we gave it our best shot – ever!

The Committee’s decision was that the premises could remain open and the only condition added at the interim hearing was that an additional member of bar staff be employed to assist with the supervision of the premises.

Solution

The use of our Compliance Management system and ISITCHECKED and 30+ years experience in the nighttime economy, yet again proved a great success – BUT – Please don’t wait until you are in this situation, when all your work, investment and livelihood are hanging by a thread because quite honestly, in the words of a Licensing Chairman “Well Mr X, if you would have had this in place before we wouldn’t be here now”!

UP FOR A REVIEW? LOOKING AT CLOSURE?

I have a tendency to ‘harp’ on about keeping up with good due diligence, pushing our cloud-based services, (I do this because I know they work). One of my Clients appreciated this only too well recently.

They had a very serious and extreme incident at the venue resulting in allegations against Security staff of affray, possession of weapons, excess use of force and a customer arriving with a weapon.

The Police went for an interim hearing extremely confident that they would get full closure, I was told they had a 99% chance of getting this and my Client had a 1% of NOT getting closed!

The Client had our Compliance Management and ISITCHECKED systems in use and notified us within 3-4 hours of the incident, enabling an immediate response.

At the interim hearing, I explained what had been done since the incident, what was already in place and what we were going to do. The committee supported our Clients application and he has remained open – against all odds!

Premises licences have been suspended for far less of an incident than this one.

Take a look at our ‘Best Practices Post

What do I take away from this experience – That OUR systems and practices place any venue in a good defensive position, do it right the first time – STAY OPEN.

BEST PRACTICE FOR INCIDENTS

This is likely the longest post I have made for a while, but if you can take away my 20+ years of experience in one of the busiest nightclubs in Liverpool (capital of injury claims)! then I have helped you to save a ton of money, stress, time and insurance liability increases and excesses – then I will feel good about the post.

INCIDENTS – BEST PRACTICE

The first thing with any incident is to recognise that it is an incident that needs to be dealt with, this may seem a very obvious statement to make but lots make the first error in the chain by not recognising what it is.

I have been there and done this so this for me is not new or a surprise and almost every claim or incident can be dealt with in minutes and put to bed if you do it right.

A couple of easy examples are:

Incident 1

A customer comes to you and states she has a small cut on her foot and asks for a plaster, you look and it’s a minor thing, she admits she was at fault.   

No records made, a plaster given out.

Incident 2

A group of males are refused entry into the venue, a fight with security ensues and then two minutes later it’s over and done with, no complainant, no injuries, a quick note in the door register.

What do you do about the above?  Technically do you feel that enough has been done?  Incident 1 is a nothing incident and incident 2 has been sorted, no injuries, no Police have turned up – so sorted??

I’m afraid it isn’t because this is what happens next:

Incident 1

2 years later a claim come in stating that the claimant cut her foot due to broken glass on the floor “It was everywhere, no cleaning taking place at all” – the wound turned septic, she was admitted to hospital and couldn’t walk for 3 months.  All in all a £25,000.00 plus the same again in costs claim!

You receive a request for staff records who worked that night, cleaning records, staff training, a copy of the accident report, copies of risk assessments etc etc

Incident 2

3 months later, Licensing Police have received a complaint, a duplicate complaint has also been received by S.I.A and they want to know all the details as these people “have been violently abused and for no good reason”.

You are now subject to scrutiny from two enforcing agencies with powers to cause you no end of grief and that is not taking up the time it takes to deal with the above issues.

So what is ‘best practice’??

The first thing that I started doing was to treat even the smallest complaint, cut toe, strap on the foot rubbing to serious injuries, stabbings, spiking etc EVERYTHING is treated as an incident that is likely to cause a massive headache in the future.

Don’t get me wrong, you will spend time doing this and 90%, hopefully, will amount to nothing, BUT when you do need it then you will be hugely grateful for the footwork you put in at the start.

It is also notable that when you are getting this information together at the start it is 1000% easier than trying to do it 6 months later!

How did I do this?

Easy – (It was NOT easy) it was hard work, the major difficulty was at the start teaching my staff the ‘new’ way of doing things, some accepted it and got on with it, others kicking and squealing – but they got there in the end.

I used TWO different systems (I use these two systems still to help others) the first is a Compliance Management system, this is a real-time cloud-based system that covers the entire business operation:

  • Staff training
  • Risk assessments
  • Incident/accident reporting
  • Company records
  • Fire risk assessment
  • And lots more.

Once that was in place it meant that I could set the staff training and risk assessment training up just once, the system then generates the reminders, reschedules refresher training etc, if the staff leave we still had the records.

The staff each have a sign in and access to their own training, Management has different training and access rights so they may have access to complete maintenance tasks, like recording annual fire extinguisher services.  The service documents are also stored on the system giving instant access from anywhere.

As the owner or GM, you can see where the staff are up to if they have outstanding training etc and they get a weekly reminder/update emailed to them so you don’t have to remember to schedule the training, the majority of which can be read and signed off at home by the staff.

The whole system enabled me to produce all the training records, slip and trips etc within minutes and have the whole lot as PDF to insurers or the Police within 15 minutes.

SYSTEM 2

ISITCHECKED is a real-time cloud-based checklist system, this works by the staff having a free app on their mobile.  A QR code is placed say at the front door or a toilet or a section of the venue.

The back office enables the system to be set up, you can add any amount of codes and each code can deal with different checklists dependent upon which group of staff are scanning the code.

So a different checklist would show for security staff and another for cleaning staff and another for the Manager.

When the security staff patrol the toilets, of course, they check to see if anyone is using or dealing drugs, the floor is dry and clean etc the problem is – ‘THEY DON’T RECORD THE CHECK’ so any ‘evidence’ of a check is not there.

The same thing with glass collectors, managers, bar staff – all pass through the toilets but don’t record it.  Most ‘records’ have a fixed time and some scribble for a signature every 30 minutes (not 16 minutes or 37 minutes) which is why as ‘evidence’ they fail.

ISITCHECKED records the checklist records the time and dates and GPS location and the user’s name in clear print.

As an example, if you have 2x security patrolling, you have a glass collector and a manager, they each have to check the toilets every 30 minutes.  On a 6 hour shift, you could expect that the toilets record a check over 48 times (better than 12)  in reality they check much more frequently and the best result I got was over 200 times in a night.

Because you don’t have a visual form on the wall nobody knows when it was last checked, so they record a check every time they pass through, the bar staff using the toilets is a bonus check.

Now you have ‘real’ evidence that has not once failed to defend a venue.

EVIDENCE GATHERING

ALL incidents should be investigated as a possible claim, no matter how insignificant it seems to be.

  • Record all incidents and accidents
  • Get exact location and save CCTV
  • Take pictures of the location
  • Gather witnesses and get a brief statement signed
  • Get a signed report from the injured party (I guarantee their account will change)
  • Note things and get pictures (i.e High heel shoes if they may be contributory)
  • Place all the evidence in an envelope into a file box
  • Don’t printout checklists and staff records you can access them later from the cloud.

RESULTS

Putting in place these changes provided the following benefits:

  • Claim against us stopped
  • Existing claims failed
  • Insurance excesses reduced massiviliy
  • Insurance costs reduced by 75% over 5 years
  • Staff improved the quality of work
  • Claims that came in were dealt with in ONE Email.
  • Police complaints and a chance to go to review were stopped.

The same applies to incidents at the front door, record it properly, save CCTV and bodycam footage, log an incident report on the Compliance Management system, upload copies of any paper reports.

CCTV should be saved onto a secure medium, I used DVDs for years mainly because they all fitted into an envelope and didn’t deteriorate.

The main thing you are trying to show to your insurers or the Police is that you are a competent operator and that you have done everything ‘reasonably possible at the time.  IF you have done all this then I would be very surprised if the end result was detrimental to you or the venue, mainly because the Police wouldn’t likely do this level of due diligence.

I have been supporting venues and Clients for over 10 years and everyone that has implemented these systems has had no issues or even been to review.


REPLY FROM S.I.A INVESTIGATOR (redacted for Client confidentiality) 

Hi Dave

All good here thank you. I hope it’s the same with you.

Thank you very much for sending through all this information so quickly. I really appreciate your help in resolving this enquiry. Very impressive record keeping. I know you developed a fabulous system but I think this is the first time I have seen the results in real live action.

I have yet to open the CCTV as I will need to go through our IT Dept to be able to do that so will view in due course. The incident report is very detailed and I have no reason to doubt it will be reflective of what sounds to have been a most unpleasant incident.

As I said to ******, you know how it works here. Intel comes in from all sorts of places and is then passed out to people like me on the regions to make enquiries. I am not privy to where it came from in the first place. I always approach it with an open mind and am well aware that the reality of the situation can be very different from what the intel alleges. Quite rightly though it all has to be considered.

Once I have viewed the CCTV it would be my intention to write this one up as closed on the basis of no issues found in relation to ****** door staff.

Thanks again for your help.


That letter was great for me to see as well as the Client and justified the time and investment given to using the best practices and software available.

Just as a footnote really this complaint actually came in after 4 months following the incident, normally, by which time all footage would have been overwritten and zero CCTV support evidence would be available.

SOFTWARE LINKS

Have you been in front of the Licensing Committee yet??

I have been to a few hearings to explain why if a venue installs and operates our software the improvements will be so good that the committee should give them an opportunity to try – rather than remove their licence. Only in one case were we not successful, in that case, we came to the table far too late in the procedings.

BRIEF CIRCUMSTANCES – The venue had been badly let down by the security team and allowed drug dealers to operate, no doubt for financial gain and a couple were even selling, a substantial amount of dealing going on in the toilets.

Licensing Police had mounted an undercover operation and had recorded the transgressions in detail and used video recording, the venue as part of the defence submission argued that they were checking the toilets on a regular basis, they had sacked security staff, changed Managers, basically putting it right and moving the bad eggs out.

The Committee was standing strong, I spent over 40 minutes going into great detail that by using ISITCHECKED and our COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, the improvements and evidence of the toilet checks would be enormous and would put things not only right but a huge improvement in addition.

They were duly impressed with the systems and this was mentioned during summing up with the reasons that they rejected the application and removed the licence.

QUOTE FROM THE LICENSING COMMITTEE

“(NAME OF DPS), We have examined this case in detail and we have taken on board the management system changes that you have stated that you will introduce, we feel that this has been left far too late, in fact, had you deployed these systems before then we would not be dealing with this today”

HSADD – I think that the point to be taken here is that you should take really seriously your staff training, due diligence, toilet checks and venue checks. The biggest issue that I have come across when looking at Clients operations is that 99% of operators actually complete all the checks – BUT THEY DO NOT RECORD THEM!

Let me show you how you can create the record-keeping to the highest standard of proof so that when something happens you can at least provide the evidence that you have done the very best you can – whether that is a slip/trip or a licensing issue. Don’t get to a position where the horse has left the stable and is vanishing down the road!!

Due diligence is like a savings account

When I visit a Clients premises to explain our due diligence systems to them I often explain it as having a bank account for a rainy day, when a piece of equipment fails, you dip into the ‘savings pot’ and buy the new equipment.

Completing your daily checklists, open and closing report, staff training, accident and incident recording (even if you think it’s not going to amount to anything – RECORD EVERYTHING)!

YOU MAY NEVER USE THE ‘SAVED CHECKLISTS ETC’ – BUT ON THE DAY YOU NEED THEM YOU WILL BE REALLY HAPPY YOU HAVE THEM SAVED UP!

One of my clients recently had an investigation by both the Police and the S.I.A (Security Industry Association) arising from a complaint from a customer who alleged assault and unbadged door staff working. The female (I use that term very loosely) has actually assaulted the door staff, hit them and spat at them, she was feral!.

The security staff acted extremely professionally and adhered to our advice and systems in place.

Following the complaint, the client was able to produce numerous records, CCTV, personnel records – all within 15-20 minutes the evidence was with the Police and S.I.A.

We have now improved systems even further by incorporating a real-time door register which digitally records the security staff sign in, badge number, time, date and GPS location, reports of refusals and ejections – all available to the business owner with 0.75 seconds after submission – now you know if you have an issue that needs your attention very quickly indeed.

CHECK OUT OUR SYSTEMS OR CONTACT ME FOR MORE DETAILS

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