As the Summer season has wrapped up, the CMSE Recruitment team have been working with a lot of new graduates looking to kick start their career in the health and safety industry. While being a new graduate can be an exciting time, landing that first role after graduation can be a job in itself!
Below, I’ve outlined a few of my top tips for any new grad or junior EHS candidate to consider.
Update your CV and include any work experience obtained as part of your degree
Tailor your CV to your preferred industry and job roles. Read through the job description you are interested in applying for and identify the skills and experience you have that match what the employer is looking for, and make sure you provide evidence that you meet their requirements. Make sure to include any work experience obtained as part of your degree!
Utilise your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is an easy-to-use platform to engage and grow your connections and network with others in the health and safety industry, gain information on any companies you are interested in working for and also check what skills other Health & Safety professionals have who work in the roles you would like and discover their career path.
Take advantage of additional training
If possible, any additional qualifications/credentials obtained will set you apart from other junior candidates. At Chris Mee Group, we offer a wide variety of courses that will further grow your knowledge and skills from NEBOSH, IOSH, SAFEPASS, and many more.
Practise makes perfect
Like everything, the more time you do something the more confident you become. If you are new to interviews/online interviews and find them daunting, record yourself answering some interview questions. Think about how to sell yourself – create a list of potential interview questions to use as main speaking points. As a recruiter, I regularly offer my candidates a practice interview beforehand.
If you would like to discuss your career options further or discuss our open junior roles at present, please feel free to contact me [email protected] or call me on 0874436629
Material Manual Handling (MMH) is present in just about every business sector, some industries are more intensive than others but eliminating all MMH activities is often not possible or practical. Chapter 4: Manual Handling of Loads of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application Regulations) 2007 places a duty on employers to manage ergonomic risks in relation to work activities that involve manual handling.
Where manual handling cannot be avoided take appropriate organisational measures, or use the appropriate means, in particular mechanical equipment, to avoid the need for the manual handling of loads by the employer’s employees. Manual handling risk assessments need to be specific to the tasks and should not follow a general ‘catch all’ risk assessment that is often too vague and can place too much reliance on the training of manual handling.
Fortunately, they are many mechanical aid solutions on the market today, the challenge can sometimes be which is the most appropriate. This is where a specific MMH assessments can inform practical and cost-effective options relevant to the risk level of such tasks. When considering the risk rating, frequency of use, improved efficiency and employee well-being, investment in such measures offer a reliable return in many aspects of the business.
While lifting/lower activities are often the main concern and create the higher risks for MMH. Push/Pull activities is still a manual handling activity as the worker is using their bodily force to complete the work and appropriate measures should be in place to mitigate the force and frequency where applicable.
Some items to consider for mechanical aids:
The HSE (UK) MAC (Manual Handling assessment chart) and RAPP tools (Risk Assessment for Pushing and Pulling tasks) can be a usefully tool to identify if certain activities fall into generally acceptable parameters for most of the working population and where potential areas need practising and could be a good place to start to screen various workplace activities. This can guide a more detailed assessment or ergonomic programme following best practice and standards.
For a detailed ergonomic workplace and organisation assessment including material manual handling activities don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Other services that may be of interest to you:
By Alan O’Donovan and Jake Bumpus, Safety Engineering Consultants at CMSE Consultancy
Entry into confined spaces continues to be a cause of death and serious injury worldwide today. As an example, according to a recent Irish government press release, there have been nine deaths in confined spaces on Irish farms in the last five years.
A confined space can be described as “Any place, vessel, tank, container, vat, silo, hopper, pit, bund, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well, chamber, compartment, cellar, or other similar space which, by virtue of its enclosed nature creates conditions which gives rise to a likelihood of accident, harm or injury of such nature as to require emergency action”.
In Ireland, the following legislation refers to the entry into confined spaces:
These regulations are supported by various Codes of Practice published by the Health and Safety Authority:
One of the main risks associated with confined space entry is hazardous atmospheres. The main hazardous atmospheres include:
Before entry into a confined space a detailed written entry permit and work procedure must be completed. This is followed by initial monitoring of the atmosphere of the confined space, which must continue at regular intervals throughout the work. A safety zone must also be set up around the point of entry to ensure there is no restricted access throughout the duration of the work.
A person may not enter a confined space unless there is a suitable and sufficient emergency rescue plan in place. An interesting fact to consider is that three out of every five people killed in confined space accidents are the rescuers. Factors that directly correlate to deaths involved in confined spaces include inadequate training, inexperience, ignored permit conditions, inadequate rescue techniques and that the person didn’t follow procedures. Areas where confined space fatalities have occurred are shown in the pie chart below where tanks, utilities, and sewers make up the vast majority of hazardous areas.
CMSE Consultancy specialists provide practical solutions and advice to all our clients in all areas of Confined Spaces. Our team work to legislative requirements and benchmark against industry best practice.
Read more about our Confined space entry services on our website. If you require further information or assistance please contact us via email at [email protected], by phone at 021 497 8100 or start an instant chat with us via the chat box in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
One question that pops up a lot when talking to candidates about contracting roles is “How and Why would I consider becoming a Contractor?”
Contracting is a fantastic opportunity for you to take control of your career. We’ve been placing Contractors in roles since 2004. Since then, there are a number of benefits that our Contractors have shared with our team. These include;
These benefits sound good to you? But unsure of the process? It is actually a very simple process and comes with many benefits.
The process can differ depending on a number of variable factors, but in general it would follow the following route;
While you can complete the process alone, for ease, we recommend using a reputable contracting agency. Your chosen agency can assist you with initial set up and paperwork, as well as looking after your monthly invoices.
If you have any questions or queries about this process please feel free to contact me at [email protected] and to see what contracting roles we currently have open that might suit your preferences and career progression plan.
Melissa joined the Chris Mee Group in June 2022 and will assist the CMSE Recruitment team based in Little Island, Cork. Melissa has over 15 years work experience. She graduated with a master’s degree in marketing practices and has acquired a bachelors degree in business, management and marketing. She’s a highly personable individual with a passion for delivering the very best to clients.
Tel: +353 21 497 8100
Email: [email protected]
Chris Mee Group
Euro Business Park, Little Island, Cork
021 497 8100
In Ireland and the UK, employers have a legal duty to ensure that any equipment or machinery provided for use in the workplace is safe to use. In Ireland, the relevant regulations are Chapter 2 Part 2 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007; the UK equivalent regulations being the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).
The first priority of these regulations is to ensure that those having to use machinery at work can do so safely and without harm. When machinery incidents do occur, not only can people suffer serious and life-changing injuries, but there can also be serious reputational and financial impacts for the companies involved.
Examples of cases where these employer duties were not adhered to and therefore led to catastrophic events are discussed below.
On 20th March 2018, an employee of Truro Sawmills severed his index finger on his left hand when it got caught in moving parts to the rear of the machine he was operating. The employee wished to gain access to the rear of this machine to see if he could find an explanation as to why the saw had been cutting inaccurately. As he carried out this check the machine remained operational and his glove got caught in moving parts leading to the severing of his finger.
An investigation completed by the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the operator had not received adequate training to operate the machine safely and that access to the saw’s dangerous moving parts was not prevented by the use of a guard. The company was found guilty and fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,594.
While working at a premise on School Lane, Seaforth, Liverpool, on the 9th January 2017, a worker suffered irreversible injuries when he plummeted from the third floor to ground floor after the hoist platform he was working in became undone from its attachments. It was found following an investigation from the HSE that the hoist had not been adequately inspected and maintained prior to the commencement of the job. A similar accident occurred at the buildings premise a year earlier on 25 January 2016 when a hoist carrying a worker plummeted to the ground floor once again, this time resulting in a broken heel bone for the worker.
The building owner pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. The building owner had failed to provide proper maintenance for their work material, and they had issued equipment that was not fit for purpose as this particular hoist was not suitable for use with a platform to serve different levels without significant modification.
An employee of Bateman Ltd had their arm crushed in a conveyor belt while attempting to repair a conveyor belt at their site. The employee was attempting to realign the belt when his arm was drawn into the mechanism. The employee had received inadequate training for dealing with breakdowns and maintenance, and there were insufficient safeguards surrounding the conveyor belt.
Bateman Skips Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 in the UK and was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,205.
An important conclusion from the above case studies is the severe repercussions which can arise, both for the affected employee in terms of serious and life-changing injuries, but also for the employer if they do not ensure their work equipment is safe to use by all. Penalties such as jail time and fines can greatly damage an employer’s business and reputation.
The risk of machinery safety incidents occurring can be drastically reduced if all machinery is subject to a robust machinery safety risk assessment by a competent person, and any risk reduction measures identified are promptly implemented.
CMSE Consultancy is a leading provider of Machinery Safety Support to many clients nationally and internationally. Our specialists provide practical advice, training, and machinery solutions to support your particular needs. Our team work to legislative requirements and benchmark against industry best practice.