Are you Carbon Monoxide aware – It’s not just a Domestic Boiler Problem?

Every week there seems to be a new article in the media with the two words we all fear – carbon monoxide…Very effective campaigns driven by The HSE, Gas Safe and other industry bodies have raised awareness of the danger, but to a degree this has been quite rightly focused on the Domestic Sector which is often unregulated, hence targeting owner occupiers with a campaign highlighting the dangers.

What is Carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a sneaky silent killer – it’s colourless, you can’t smell it and you can’t taste it – making it nigh on impossible to detect without the use of a Carbon monoxide detection systems. CO can kill quickly without warning, and according to recent HSE statistics on average 12 people die from CO poisoning every year, with non-fatalities (hospitalization) averaging 300 per year. (Source Below: RIDDOR: Table RIDGAS 2008/9-2012/13)

RIDDOR Table RIDGAS

Incidents reported in Great Britain relating to the supply and use of flammable gas (a) 2008/09- 2012/13p

Type of incident (b) Year
2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13p
Total number of incidents 203 223 278 173 219
Carbon monoxide poisoning 172 196 229 142 187
Other exposure e.g. to unburnt gas 4 6 13 7 6
Explosion/fire 27 21 36 24 26
Total number of fatalities 18 10 17 4 10
Carbon monoxide poisoning 15 9 13 3 9
Other exposure e.g. to unburnt gas 1 1 .-
Explosion/fire 2 1 3 1 1
Total number of non-fatalities 324 330 428 266 343
Carbon monoxide poisoning 289 292 368 226 302
Other exposure e.g. to unburnt gas 5 11 12 8 6
Explosion/fire 30 27 48 32 35

Below are a few notes on the above Continue reading

Keeping residents warm this winter

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With colder weather setting in and the chance of freezing temperatures this winter, one thing every Managing Agent needs to get right is heating. The demand on boiler plant and district heating rises as outside temperatures drop. Small faults can become big problems and older plant can struggle to cope. Yet residents in apartment blocks need reliable heating and hot water. So how can expectations be achieved?

The most important step is to put in place a regular maintenance schedule, tailored to the building. This planned maintenance helps prevent problems arising and prolong the life of assets such as boiler plant. By identifying and resolving issues before they happen, fewer call-outs are required which in turn cuts down costs, reducing residents’ bills.

Much of the older blocks have their original distribution systems. These are infrastructure items that need careful monitoring but are often forgotten.

Companies like DMG Delta, which specialise in block maintenance, work 24/7 to ensure that there are no surprises when it comes to winter heating. When problems are identified the company’s engineers are fully qualified and equipped to fix them first time in the majority of cases. This saves Managing Agents the time, hassle and cost of second and third visits.

As well as ensuring effective heating, buildings must comply with increasingly complex regulations. It’s critical that sites are serviced by fully compliant gas engineers, authorised to complete the necessary checks and issue the all important paperwork that shows that Managing Agents have met their legal obligations. With this kind of back-up, you have the reassurance that your engineers will know the latest rules, no matter how often they change. Engineers at DMG Delta are qualified to provide this service. Employees, quality and health & safety are fundamental so that the service residents and Managing Agents experience is what they’d expect and more.

Whilst technical excellence is a vital aspect of a high-performing maintenance service, of equal importance is the provision of a friendly help desk. Does your help desk really know you and your building and provide a maintenance service that exactly matches your needs?

Even with the best preventative work, problems can arise with heating and boiler plant. We advocate that 24 hour emergency support is a feature of all maintenance contracts. For our clients, an engineer is generally on site within a 2-hour time frame. This is a rapid response because when it comes to heating, we believe Managing Agents and their residents shouldn’t have to wait a moment longer. But not every maintenance company can react as quickly. So check your maintenance company’s approach and key performance indicators to see if they can get close to matching up.

Electricity – Friend or Foe?

In today’s age everyone has a house full of electrical gadgets, equipment and tools. We might hear folk moaning about the gadgets, especially when they plug2 stop working, but all in all we really are reliant on electricity – life without it would be hard!

There is no doubt that in the home electrical faults are the top cause of fires, which is the opposite of fires at work (this is because at work equipment and circuits get tested – at home they generally are not).

During 2011/12 there were 37,601 accidental fires of electrical origin and 244 deaths! Of this 11,954 were cooking appliances, 2,899 electrical supply, 1,083 washing machines and tumble driers, 767 lighting and 475 dishwashers!

What is not available is the number of fires caused by chargers overheating, there is certainly records of these being the cause of some fires.

I hope we all know the dangers of electricity and no-one has any of these culprits in their home – if you have then get rid today!

Faulty PlugEven extension boards are unsafe – quote I heard the other day – they are supposed to be a temporary solution not a permanent one! If you are going to have an extension board in situ for a length of time then make sure it is fused, and perhaps even surge protected into an RCD socket.

If you find a fault at home, but more especially at work then unless you are employed as a qualified electrician then you must not attempt to repair it! Either call an electrician or take it to the dump.

If you do see someone experiencing an electrical shock then you need to know what to do. The electricity will have found a route through the body to ground – don’t add yourself into this circuit!

DO NOT touch the person until you are sure the electricity is off, otherwise there will be two casualties.

Use something that is not conductive (a wooden broom would be good), to move the electrical items away from the person.

If they are conscious take them to hospital (even when they say they don’t need to), as electricity will track through the body until it finds ground. This could mean going through the heart – there may not be any pain or other symptoms but the organs could still be burnt.

If they are not conscious call 999 or 112 as this will be an emergency!

Overloaded Plug

Home safety is as important as office safety! 
Don’t get paranoid about electricity,
But do make sure you have control measures in place,
And know what to do to make your family safe!

Gas Safety Week: Fighting for a Gas Safe nation

GasSafetyWeek_Black-Logo_RGBWe are proud to be supporting Gas Safety Week 2014, taking place 15th – 21st September.

Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.

All our engineers are Gas Safe approved

DMG Delta – Site Surveys

survey-clipart-1

When an opportunity is received at DMG Delta we offer you a free site survey, carried out by one of our highly qualified and knowledgeable members of staff.

The site survey is part of our opportunity process that we feel is beneficial not only to us, but also to you!

When attending site our member of staff will record down full details of all assets on site, they take a full overview of the plant room and note any causes for concern.

A standard site survey will take between 1-2 hours dependent on the size of the building and the complexity of the plant on site, this also gives us the perfect opportunity to meet with the client direct and any on site staff e.g. Porters.

Once we have undertaken the site survey we can then compile an accurate and detailed proposed maintenance program for that site. If we feel that there are any projects works required, for example – boiler replacements then we can also issue you with a quote for these works.

Our aim at DMG Delta is to prolong the life of your assets on site, and we believe that providing you with a bespoke planned maintenance program is the first step in achieving this goal.

For further details, or to arrange your free site survey then please contact us on the following telephone number – 01279 810100.

Asbestos – surely this won’t affect me or mine!

asbestosWe find it amazing that although it has been used for centuries, and during the industrial revolution to a far greater extent – it was finally diagnosed as responsible for deaths by the early 1900’s – yet it took the better part of a century for it to be banned totally in the UK!

Over 4,000 deaths a year in the UK are asbestos related, worldwide it is predicted that 2 million will die in the next 20 years. Not all of these are the employees that you would imagine to be more exposed. Some are wives of these workers who have been unlucky enough to breathe in the fibres from their husband’s work clothes.

Sadly it does not take a huge amount of asbestos to cause the harm – sometimes even a little bit is enough. Because of the Two Towers horror, there is a potential for 410,000 people, who were exposed to the dust cloud following the collapse, to have inhaled asbestos and may suffer in the next few years to the cancerous dangers of asbestos. There are already deaths attributed to this and although it usually takes 20 to 50 years for the effects to become deadly, it is thought because of the extreme amount of breathable asbestos dust, the disease has been sped up. Over 40 tons was used in the building of these towers – the UK is much the same in its use of asbestos.

There are three main types of asbestos, some are worse than others but none of them are nice once they have been damaged.

Asbestos has been useful for its insulation properties (heat and noise in particular) but it has been at a much higher cost than anyone thought possible. Don’t get us wrong, it is safe and does a brilliant job, but once it has been damaged it is a killer.

Schools and hospitals built before 1985 are prime areas for asbestos to have been incorporated into the building structure. Was your house built before 2000 and particularly before 1985? Then it is likely that you have had or still have asbestos lurking in some parts of your home!

Construction

Builders & Occupiers
(Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Joinery, Carpentry, Surveying, Architects)

Education

Employees, Children & Visitors
(Commonly used in old school buildings)

Health

Employees, Patients & Visitors
(Commonly used in old hospitals)

Fire & Rescue

Firemen, other Emergency Services, Injured People, General Public
(Inhalation of fibres in building & fire retardant product broken down & released by fire)

Demolition & Explosions

Employees & General Public

(Disturbance of Asbestos when demolishing old buildings)

The table above shows how many establishments, and the people who are most at risk.

A recent survey of 153 schools by the HSE revealed that 44 schools neeed intervention as a minimum reaction by the HSE. This is why the number of school caretakers who now have asbestosis or related diseases are on the increase.

asbestos 2

Team DMG ‘Race for Life’

race for life

On Sunday 18th May hundreds of women, and children dressed in pink turned up at Harlow Town Park in the beautiful sunshine to take part in the ‘Race for Life’. Among them were 5 of our very own DMG ladies.

At 11.00 once the warm-up had finished the 10k race began, with the 5k starting shortly after at 11.30.

The atmosphere on the way round was incredible, with volunteers and spectators dotted around the course giving the runners/walkers plenty of support to help them on their journey.

All members of our team completed the race and were back at the Finish line within 2 hours. A fantastic achievement, on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year!!

To date ‘Team DMG’ have raised a magnificent £235.00 for Cancer Research, with donations still trickling in. If you would like to sponsor our team then it’s not too late, you can do so by clicking on the following link: www.justgiving.com/teams/teamdmg

We would like to say a HUGE congratulations to Zoe, Leah, Vicky, Julie and Kim who all took part in this memorable event. We hope to see them taking part again next year (maybe with a few additions to the team) and raising more money for a wonderful charity.

DMG Delta believes in sensible Health and Safety

DMG Delta firmly believes in sensible Health and Safety which is practical, efficient and most importantly protects everyone who comes into our working areas. Whether they are employees or members of the public.

All too often Health and Safety bends over backwards to tie the work into knots and everyone wonders if the world has gone mad. DMG Delta’s risk assessment process has now moved forward to ensure that all risks are correctly controlled without the knots.

H&S Clipart

All sites are reviewed by the Business Development team with advice where necessary from our SHEQ Manager before a contract is signed off. This allows for suitable risk assessments (RA) to be in place before work commences.

As much as each site is different, the basic nature of a plant room and its equipment remain the same, and the risks associated with this are covered using Generic RA’s. These are carried by all of our Engineers in their Engineers Manual, along with a separate easy guide pictorial A5 card providing the same information. Where a site has specific risks that are not covered by the set of generic RA’s, a site specific RA is raised and distributed for the Log Book within the plant room. This ensures that the Engineers have easy access to the information as and when required.

HazardsEach Engineer then takes responsibility for the final part of this process. When the Engineer first enters the site, he confirms that the risks and its equipment are suitably covered by the existing RA’s. Where there are additional risks that are not properly controlled then he raises a Dynamic RA, with any additional controls that can be put in place. Where this is not possible the Engineer contacts our Technical Support Team, and our SHEQ Manager for further advice.

Although there are a fair few stages to this process, it is simple, easy to implement and gives the Engineer the final responsibility to ensure the site is safe, and to assist in making it safe!

If you would like a copy of the procedure and appropriate risk assessments for your property please call Jane on 01279 810125 or email janep@dmgdelta.co.uk with your full details, including properties. We can then provide you with a soft copy for your records.

Health and Safety Poster – Important Information

Old PosterIn four days’ time the old brown and cream Health and Safety poster will become null and void – make sure you have the new red and cream poster with pictures up and displayed. If the local authority inspector comes visiting and sees the old version then least that you can expect is for this to be documented and highlighted as an issue, however they can take this further if they feel the need.

These posters are available in A3 or A2 versions, either from the HSE website or from other sources such as sign suppliers.

There is also a leaflet (trifold A4) or an A6 pocket card which are both available as FREE downloads from the HSE, but be aware it is expected that the employee has either of these to hand when asked about them.  This could work if kept on a lanyard with an employee ID card (ideal for any mobile workers) or displayed on your desk.

Water Hygiene News (Change in Guidance for Legislation)

Legionnaires Disease DMG Delta works closely with multiple agencies when it comes to periodic water testing and sampling in buildings with communal hot, and/or cold water supplies. Ensuring the water storage and distribution is safe is a fundamental requirement of building management, and for the health of the people using it.

Our bible for the design and compliance of our maintenance solutions has for recent years been the HSE ACOP (L8) Legionnaires’ Disease, first issued in 1991.

In the constant battle to increase awareness and safety, the HSE has decided to change the way they issue guidance. They have split this into two main documents:

ACOP (L8) Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems.

  • This was issued on 25th November 2013.

HSG 274. HSG 274 is also further divided into three parts:

  • Part 1: The control of Legionella bacteria in evaporative cooling systems – issued 25th November 2013.
  • Part 2: The control of Legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems – due for issue 31st March 2014.
  • Part 3: The control of Legionella bacteria in other risk systems – issued 25th November 2013.

You will see from the above that HSG 274 has yet to be released, and is likely to be the document that most effects the way we work on your behalf.

We will be keeping a close eye on this for you, and will let you know as soon as more details are released.

If you would like more information on the Water Hygiene Services that DMG Delta provide then please give us a call on 01279 810100.

Legionnaires' Disease