Thursday 24 June 2010

Case study - "CE Marking" for Global Cutting Technologies machine

As an agent for a company making die cutting machines in Taiwan, Global Cutting Technologies of Wellingborough needed to follow the "CE Marking" requirements of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.
For such equipment, the "CE Marking" process is one of self certification by the supplier (or manufacturer) where the machine is designed and built to comply with Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) specified in the regulations, plus applicable Harmonised Europeans Standards (HESs).
Global Cutting Technologies came to Strategic Safety Systems who provide support for this. An additional requirement that they had was that they wanted to be in a position where they could carry out this process themselves for future machines.
The approach taken by SSS was to provide a list of the standards, listed clause by clause stating whether or not the clause was applicable. Where it was applicable, SSS described how the requirements were met.
As this was at the design stage, SSS were able to offer advice on the features that needed to be incorporated to meet the standards.
The new standard EN 13849 requires calculations to be done to enable the appropriate protection level to be done, and SSS performed this service. We also assessed the risks, working with key Global Cutting Technologies personnel.
Global Cutting Technologies now have:
  • A set of documentation for the machine that was studied. This forms the basis for the technical file, required by the regulations.
  • A list of clauses for each standard, with statements of how the clause is met, if applicable, as an editable MS Word document
  • Risk assessment methodologies and forms
  • A spreadsheet for EN 13849 calculations.
  • A declaration of conformity certificate with the appropriate standards listed, as an MS Word document.
Global Cutting Technologies Managing Director, Bob Cosford said, “ Although we were already fairly up to speed with CE, a particular project called for us to re-assess what we were doing and we saw this as an opportunity rather than an imposition. In engaging SSS to help and guide us, we found a highly proficient partner who evidently knew the requirements inside out. The project was completed on time and on budget and we now feel even more confident with CE going forward to new projects and existing ones. “

Monday 21 June 2010

PCS gain certification to ISO 9001

Congratulations to Press Computer Systems (PCS) of Wolverhampton, who have just gained certification to ISO 9001:2008 with the help of Strategic Safety Systems Ltd. This is the second company within the Claverley Group we have helped with certification, the other being Precission Colour Printing of Telford who gained certification to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
The external auditor stated that the PCS systems were "one of the smoothest he'd every seen in an IT company."
See more about SSS support for 9001 and other system certification.

Monday 7 June 2010

Government body found guilty of fire safety breaches.

The London headquarters of Communities and Local Government – the government department that steers fire safety policy in England and Wales – has been served with an enforcement notice under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

An inspector from the enforcing authority, the Crown Premises Inspection Group, stated: “The concepts of ‘responsible’ and ‘competent’ persons, and the duties placed upon those persons under the Order, appear not to be understood within CLG premises”.

The notice, served on 16 February on the then secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, John Denham, details numerous shortcomings in fire safety measures and management at CLG’s Eland House premises in Victoria. It lists alleged breaches of 13 of the 15 Articles of the Fire Safety Order that impose duties on the CLG, as the responsible person, including:
  • Introducing a fire load in the atrium which was not considered in the building’s fire engineered design, by installing a cafeteria which, it is said, may lead to “uncontrolled fire spread throughout the building”
  • An unsuitable and insufficient fire risk assessment
  • Failing to nominate competent persons to help the responsible person discharge his duties
  • Failure to adequately maintain the fire alarm system, interconnections between fire safety systems, and smoke vents throughout the building
  • Lack of evidence of adequate training and provision of essential fire safety information to staff
Other deficiencies found include an “unacceptable” policy that no one should use portable fire extinguishers in the building; the inability of the building to support the phased evacuation strategy; no adequate arrangements to ensure visitors and contractors are accounted for in an evacuation; and shortcomings in the means of escape for the number of people likely to occupy the building.

Although Eland House is categorised as Crown premises, it is still subject to safety legislation including the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, and enforcement procedures are similar to those of other premises. However, Crown Immunity means the responsible person cannot actually be prosecuted for offences.

The enforcement notice also reveals that the contracted facilities company, having some control of the premises, was sent a copy of the notice. However, it makes it clear that although the company is considered a ‘nominated competent person’, they had not been provided with sufficient means to undertake this role.

Responding to the revelation of the enforcment notice, a CLG spokesman said:

"Following the remodelling of parts of the interior of Eland House, the Department requested that the Crown Premises Inspection Group (CPIG) audit the facility to review the impact that the changes had on the fire safety of the building. The CPIG made a number of recommendations in the form of a Crown Enforcement Notice which was issued on 16 February 2010. The Department has accepted these recommendations which are now in the process of being fully implemented."

The enforcement notice is dated 16 February 2010 and relates to a fire safety audit which was carried out on 26 November 2009. Ironically, the Crown Premises Inspection Group comes under the remit of the government’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, whose unit is itself based at Eland House.

In January, it was revealed that the Fire Service College – an executive agency of CLG – had not carried out a valid fire risk assessment at the time of the fire which destroyed an appliance bay at its Moreton in Marsh premises.

Source: Info4Fire