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A day in the life of the CHSA Independent Inspector

An accreditation scheme is only as good as the standards it stipulates and the processes in place to make sure scheme members stick to the rules. This is why the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) invests in an auditing process that means its members guarantee their customers “what’s on the box is what’s in the box”. Our Standards, Your Guarantee.
At the heart of the CHSA’s auditing process for its Accreditation Schemes for Manufacturers of Soft Tissue, Plastic Refuse Sacks, Cotton Mops and for Distributors is its Independent Inspector. An experienced quality assurance professional, Martin Yates has worked with the British Standards Institute and the European Standards Committee. He has been auditing CHSA Accreditation Scheme members since 2014.
The auditing process begins with a submission by the member or prospective member (passing the initial audit is a condition of membership) of a full product list. A site visit is then arranged. It starts with a review of the quality assurance procedures before an inspection of the warehouse and manufacturer’s facilities as required.
The Inspector selects product as he wishes and checks label compliance. Every label must be traceable to manufacturer and batch. It must include the relevant Accreditation Scheme logo and indicate the product dimensions and count. Where required, an indicator of fitness for purpose must also be provided. For example, plastic refuse sacks must define light, medium and heavy duty according to weight. The Inspector also takes samples from the warehouse for offsite testing. In the case of manufacturing members, a few samples are also taken from the production line.
Back at his testing laboratory, the Inspector assesses each product against the specified Scheme Standard. The length and width of Soft Tissue products are measured, and the number of sheets counted. The dimensions of plastic refuse sacks are measured and the number in each carton counted. A representative sample is them put through the British Standards Drop Test. Each sack is filled with the specified weight and dropped from a defined weight and examined for tears or ruptures. The number of cotton mops in each box is counted and their weight recorded. Following the addition of System mops to Socket and Kentucky mops in the Scheme Standard, the length and / or circumference of the mop is also recorded. To maintain Accreditation, every member is audited at least annually.
Accredited Distributors must sell only CHSA Accredited product or product that conforms to the specified standard. Therefore, only non-CHSA Accredited product is taken off site for testing.
The Schemes are monitored by an elected panel of Scheme members, which reports via its Chairman to the CHSA’s governing Council. Each year the inspector audits almost 5,000 products across all four of the CHSA’s Accreditation Schemes and anyone who fails to comply is formally warned, the ultimate sanction for continued non-conformance being expulsion.
Compliance across all four schemes in 2018 was excellent. The results for the Accreditation Scheme for Distributors showed an average of 97.5% of relevant products across all Accredited Distributors were from CHSA Accredited Manufacturers.
Label compliance in 2018 for the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Plastic Refuse Sacks is 98.8%. Plastic Refuse sacks are tested to see if they are fit for purpose using the British Standards Institute Drop Test. Performance is assessed by combining the Drop Test results with the count and dimensions of the sacks. Compliance in 2018 was over 91%.
The results of the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Soft Tissue also showed high levels of conformance. Label compliance was 89% or 95.9% excluding minor infringements, and dimensional compliance is 92.4% excluding minor infringements.
Members of the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Industrial Cotton Mops achieved near perfect conformance on label and product performance.
Our Standards. Your Guarantee.


Three colleagues each win individual RoSPA awards for inspirational safety

Three colleagues working for drainage and utility specialist Lanes Group plc have each won national awards for their inspirational dedication to the health and safety of others, including saving the life of a baby.
Jack Gale, Kelly Hansford, and Andy Brierley have won RoSPA Inspiration Awards which recognise the exceptional contribution that individuals make to occupational health and safety.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is one of the UK’s leading health and safety organisations.
Lanes Group Director Andy Brierley has won a RoSPA Distinguished Service Award, which is given to safety professionals or campaigners who make a sustained and long-term contribution to health and safety.
He said: “I am humbled and honoured to receive this award. I’m super-passionate about health and safety, but it’s made real by the hundreds of people in our organisation who also live and breathe it every day.
“I’m particularly pleased for Jack and Kelly who have made a real and direct difference to the safety and wellbeing of others, and not just work colleagues, over the last year.”
All three colleagues work for Lanes Utilities, which is responsible for surveying, cleaning, unblocking and repairing drains, sewers and wet wells for Thames Water.
Jack Gale has been awarded the RoSPA Inspiration Pride Award which recognises ‘acts of heroism’ in a life-threatening situation, while campaigning for health and safety, or when selflessly helping others.
The wastewater engineer, aged 22, saved the life of a one-year-old baby boy who had stopped breathing. The lifeless child had been carried into the street by his distraught mother.
Jack, a former British Army battlefield medic, with experience in Afghanistan, took the correct emergency action needed to revive the baby, who made a full recovery.
He said: “It feels great to be recognised for helping others. With the right training, other people could have done what I did. I hope this shows the value of getting first aid skills through work. If have the chance to get first aid training, I’d say take it.”
Kelly Hansford is to receive the Influencer Inspiration Award, which recognises individuals who have made the biggest impact on health and safety in the previous 12 months.
She is both a mental health practitioner and a trauma risk practitioner who works on a pioneering Lanes initiative to support the wellbeing of colleagues.
A wellbeing app monitors employee happiness and puts Kelly in touch with individuals who want help with any problems.
At any one time she is supporting around 40 colleagues with issues that include mental illness, personal debt and family disputes. She is also helping to develop a support network of voluntary groups.
Kelly said: “It’s fantastic to be given such a wonderful award. It wouldn’t be possible if Lanes wasn’t so forward thinking. I work with lots of people who are very committed to building strong and caring teams. We all need help at different times in our lives.”
Andy Brierley is the lead director of Lanes Utilities, which employs 1,400 people, and carries out 1,400 jobs for Thames Water every day. He is also chair of water company’s health and safety leadership team.
Since Lanes started working with Thames Water in 2012, he has devised, inspired and championed a string of pioneering and award-winning health and safety initiatives.
This includes the introduction in 2018 of the world’s first 360-degree video training theatre with virtual reality capability, allowing groups to interact together during highly-immersive safety training.
Lanes Utilities’ focus on health and safety has contributed to its accident frequency rate falling to zero at the end of 2018, the illness frequency rate falling by 30% and employment churn falling by 57%.


Tamlite Lighting responds to last week’s key implementations of Hackitt Review 

Concern that Dame Judith Hackitt’s key reforms (as outlined in her review of building regulation and fire safety post-Grenfell) will not be delivered, have resulted in the government’s announcement (09/05/19) it will cover the costs of replacing the external cladding on 150 high-rise blocks.
The Hackitt Review, carried out in December 2017, proposed a range of key implementations, including the replacement of combustible external cladding across other high-rise buildings.
Tamlite Lighting’s perspective on this announcement is as follows:
Firstly, we believe the Emergency Building regulations - which are coming up to 50 years old - require a major overhaul.  By way of an example; escape levels were based on the technical capabilities of luminaires developed in the 1970’s: therefore, these regulations need to be updated and change is required across all aspects of Fire Safety.
Secondly, it is important that we make clear we welcome the further £200m bill to replace Grenfell Tower-type cladding (in private high-rise blocks). However, we are very concerned that the focus has been driven by the media spot-light on cladding – as such, we feel there has been insufficient attention on the need to address all aspects of fire safety including Auto fire detection, Emergency and Escape lighting.
Finally, we would like to see significant fines, penalties – and in the most extreme cases prison sentences – for landlords of high-rise / larger scale buildings where safety standards are not met. We regularly see examples in the media of ‘private’ landlords being fined and facing prison sentences (often these individuals own/operate small apartments and buildings). All in all, more must be done to deter any organisation or individual who fails to protect the lives of those living in its building.
Overall, the importance of emergency lighting cannot be understated; and it is crucial that those responsible for the refurbishment of high-rise tower blocks consider the wide-ranging elements of fire safety, as well as the vital external cladding on these buildings.

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