Safety & Assurance Bulletin August 2022


Ready for what you might ask, and that is just the point. Incidents are, by definition, unplanned and unwanted events, so while we can look at past history to suggest what type of incidents have been most common, or we can do inspections to see where risk isn’t well controlled, we can never be certain of when or where an incident may occur.

A situation might be ‘an accident waiting to happen’, but that phrase never states when and how long the wait might be.

This doesn’t stop us doing all we can to prevent incidents and pre-planning is our best tool. Plan for the unexpected. The HSE statistics later in this Bulletin show how important it is that we all work to prevent incidents. However, we must remain ready to respond when they happen. The right response can significantly alter the outcome.

The impact of a punctured sump on a forest road, or a defective hose that bursts can be mitigated by operators trained in spill response with a suitable and adequately sized spill kit. A chainsaw operator having an appropriate personal first aid kit and training in its use can be the difference between life and death in the event of a serious wound.

When you complete your daily risk assessment check you have the means to respond to the likely emergencies you may encounter. During inspections ensure emergency response equipment is suitable, adequate, in date, serviceable and most importantly, readily available should it be needed.

Check you have the means to respond to the likely emergencies you may encounter

Check you have the following on site:

  • Emergency Response Card giving clear location details, is easily retrievable by all on site and all are familiar with its contents.
  • First aid kits contain equipment that is suitable for the injuries likely to be encountered, is in date and adequately trained first aiders are present. Minimum first aid kit contents and first aider numbers are provided in the Tilhill first aid arrangements.
  • Spill kit has adequate absorbent materials and suitable types of material to contain further pollution.
  • Fire extinguishers and onboard extinguishing systems are serviced and suitable for the type of fires likely to be encountered. Extinguisher training is required as the use of the wrong extinguisher can make a fire worse.
  • Other emergency equipment as required by the risk assessment must also be in place and ready to use.
  • Don’t leave all the emergency kit in the back of the truck for months on end and expect it to be ready to use or think “I’ll sort that next week”. Make sure it is regularly checked and always ready – you never know when you’ll need it.