West Lancs Training Group Chairman Mark Hudson_ Bickerstaffe Hall

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West Lancs Training Group Chairman Mark Hudson_ Bickerstaffe Hall Powered By Docstoc
					                                 West Lancs Training Group
                            Chairman: Mark Hudson, Bickerstaffe Hall, Bickerstaffe, Nr Ormskirk,
                                           Lancs L39 0EH Tel: 01695 722023

                                Newsletter No 10 November/December, 2009.

Message from the Chairman

       I am saddened by the reports of numerous accidents which have taken place in the past few
       months in our area, some of them quite serious. Accidents can be avoided by ensuring that
       you and your staff are properly trained. Better training, leads to improved safety and a
       reduced number of accidents. I hope that in 2010, the WLTG can make a real difference
       by all members spreading the word and encouraging friends and colleagues to sign up for a
       course which could save a life.

Annual Meeting
The management Committee together with the help of One Ash Training have fixed the date and details for the
Training Group Annual Meeting.

It will take place on Monday 25th January, at Agriculture House, Skelmersdale. Please make a note of the date.
The speaker following the meeting will be Rob Tyson of Web Services, based at Brooklet Farm, Brimstage on the

Rob will talk to us about the advantages of setting up a good website and the potential pit falls of getting it wrong.
Rob is the son of Lorna and Don Tyson who farm, have a livery yard, a cleaning business, sell semen and cleaning
products online, and run a luxury guest house; quite a range of businesses which all benefit from promotion via the
internet. The family have the benefit of knowing all about farmers and rural businesses and also knowing the
technical side of websites – a success story on its own.

Put the date in your diary now, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Annual subscriptions
With this newsletter, members will be receiving their invoices for annual subscription. Our treasurer John Travis
looks forward to your cheques thundering through his letter box.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a drier New Year!
See you at the AGM


Newsletter compiled on behalf of WLTG by OAT 0151 420 4522
News from the Health & Safety Executive
Asbestos - the hidden killer - What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that has been a popular building material since the 1950s. It is used as
an insulator (to keep in heat and keep out cold), has good fire protection properties and protects against corrosion.
Because asbestos is often mixed with another material, it’s hard to know if you’re working with it or not. But, if you work in
a building built before the year 2000, it’s likely that some parts of the building will contain asbestos.
Asbestos is found in many products used in buildings, including ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, boilers and sprayed coatings.

The HSE has launched a campaign aimed at those who carry out maintenance or refurbishment work on old buildings and
who might came into contact with asbestos. To demonstrate the importance of this problem, they have created a new
website which contains a wealth of information. It includes details of where the substance might be found, what the risks
are and how to handle it. Visitors to the website are even able to use the 'asbestovision' tool to assess likely areas of
contamination within buildings.

While aimed at the building trade, farmers, growers, landscapers and many rural businesses are reminded that they too
have duties under the regulations to clearly identify and inspect areas where there is, or could be, asbestos and to ensure
there is no risk of fibres becoming liberated.
Property owners are also obliged to inform anyone who could be exposed to the substance as a result of work being
carried out. To find out more, go to the website at

One Ash Training are currently planning some training on the recognition of and dealing with asbestos. If you are
interested please give them a ring.

LADDER EXCHANGE: Avoid falls from height
Don't chance it with a dodgy ladder; change it with a new and safer one!
Find out about HSE's Ladder Exchange Initiative and how you can exchange your dodgy ladder and get up to 55% off a
new one.

In addition, One Ash Training is arranging some training on Working at Heights in 2010. Ring them to register
your interest to get the full picture of this major problem and one in which HSE are getting very interested!

FARMWISE: Be Farmwise
This is a great publication which has been updated and it’s FREE!
This is a 'must have' for everyone working on farms, whether employer, employee or self-employed, to help you identify the
causes of injuries and ill health, eliminate hazards and control risks. It is now available online.
Printed copies of this book can also be ordered from HSE Books:

If you don’t feel like ordering or downloading it yourself, give Dorothy a ring at One Ash Training and she will do a
bulk order.

Following a safety competition at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland, HSE have issued a reminder to farmers and farm
workers on the dangers of farm machinery, specifically power take-off (PTO) shafts which drive machinery at the rear of

Editor: It is almost unbelievable that in 2009 this is still happening. Obviously there is still a need for training!!!

TRACTOR TRAILER BRAKING: Are your brakes working?
Any of you who attended the recent LADS evening with Mike Braithwaite will be well aware of this, but it is important to
Do you really know if your trailer brakes are working properly? Poor trailer brakes are not only unsafe but could be costly to
your business by seriously damaging the tractor braking system. A study recently carried out examines this issue in detail
and explores ways of making cost effective improvements to trailers.
Newsletter compiled on behalf of WLTG by OAT 0151 420 4522
You are advised to make a copy of this guidance and make a note of your local emergency contact numbers NOW and
save it on all drivers' mobile phones, etc. Ensure all members of staff have read the guidance and why not keep a copy in
the cabs of tractors, loader, combines, lorries etc., you never know when it might be needed.... It could save yours or their

Other news and Information
TREEWORK: Do you work with trees?
Working with trees can be dangerous. Most injuries happen when using a chainsaw to fell trees, but there are other causes
for serious injuries in the arboricultural and forestry industries. The risk is potentially greater when less experienced,
irregular users of chain saws are carrying out work, e.g. on farms, estate maintenance, fencing, landscaping and
construction. This new website from the Health and Safety Executive tells you what the hazards are and how to avoid
them. The site provides lots of practical advice, videos and case studies for workers and employers. If you work with trees
then this is the website for you.

Do you have overhead power lines crossing your land or workplace?
Contacts with overhead power lines are a major cause fatalities and serious injuries every year. Vehicles and equipment
also get damaged or destroyed, which in turn causes disruption to rural operations, be it farmers, growers, golf courses
and the like. Guidance on what to do in the event of a machine or load contacting live cables together with emergency
telephone numbers for all of the UK electricity operators are now available on the Energy Network Association (ENA)

Money matters
Tax credits – do you qualify?
If your income has dropped in the current tax year, perhaps because your business has made a loss, or your company
can’t afford to pay you a salary, you could be eligible to claim tax credits or other state benefits. The Tax Office is actively
encouraging people to check whether they would be eligible to claim working or child tax credits, and has included an
interactive questionnaire on its website to help you decide, see:
The questionnaire does not cover complex claims such as where a member of the family has a severe disability, but it will
cover most situations. Remember a claim for tax credits is based on your family's total income, so you need details of your
partner's or spouse's income as well as your own.
If you are aged 60 or over, you may be eligible to claim pension credit from the Department of Work and Pensions (not
the Tax Office). You don't have to be retired to claim pension credit, just aged 60 or more. Like tax credits your claim is
based on your income as a couple, not just your income alone. If you have savings of over £10,000 these are also taken
into account. This savings threshold was £6,000 until 2 November 2009, which excluded a lot of people from qualifying for
this benefit.
If you find you are eligible for pension credit or tax credits, you should check whether you could receive help to pay
council tax or housing benefit. Claims for both of these benefits now ignore any income received by the family as child
(Information courtesy of The Melia Partnership – a firm of accountants based in Preston)

HMRC advice - VAT goes up from 1 Jan 2010
If you are a business registered for VAT you are reminded that from 1 January 2010, you should revert to the 17.5% rate
of tax. The reduced rate of 15% ends on 31 December.

Newsletter compiled on behalf of WLTG by OAT 0151 420 4522

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