Have you ever witnessed a strange message issued over a public tannoy or heard coded phrases being spoken by a security person and wondered exactly what it all meant?
In times of increased security, the use of coded announcements is nothing new. Emergency codes are inconspicuous words and phrases that are often used in public areas to alert those in charge, of possible danger. This allows staff to control an emerging situation, so they can investigate further and put emergency plans into action without causing mass panic.
Failing to do this can make matters worse, as was the case in 1913 when 73 people tragically died after a stampede at the Italian Hall in Michigan, which was caused by someone falsely shouting that the building was on fire.
Keeping people safe and carrying out controlled evacuations is a priority in an emergency. Here’s an insight into some of the secret code words used to indicate a variety of threats.
Often heard as: “Could Inspector Sands please report to the…”
Means: There is a fire
Fines issued in relation to health and safety breaches have seen a 148% increase in the past year according to law firm BLM.
The average cost of payouts has risen threefold from £69,500 in 2015 to a staggering £211,000 over the last 12 months. Its estimated that UK companies were forced to cough up a total of around £6.1m in 2016, for failing to comply with corporate safety legislation.
Industries that are the worst offenders unsurprisingly include Construction, which racked up £14m in fines, followed by Manufacturing with £12m. Utilities came in third at £8.4m, with Leisure (£7.4m), Logistics and Transport (£7.2m), Industrials (£3.9m) and finally the Public Sector which received fines totaling £2.6m.
Experts have suggested tougher guidelines introduced recently as part of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act (2007), have been a major contributor in the rise, as the number of incidents has in fact fallen from 358 in 2015 to 292 the previous year.
Under the new ruling, courts must consider a number of factors including overall culpability
Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show that many offenders convicted of stalking or harassment are escaping prison sentences for repeatedly breaking the terms of their restraining orders.
Of the 23,057 court orders issued in England and Wales during 2015, over a third of these were breached. Failure to obey the conditions set out can result in a custodial sentence of up to five-years, although the number of offenders prosecuted expose that this is often not the case. Shockingly, 60% of those who breached their restraining orders for a second time avoided being sent to prison, with the number being 49% for a third successive breach and 38% for a fourth. Experts have put the reason for such a high breach rate down to the obsessive nature of stalker behaviour.
This news has been met with concern by victim support groups who believe unless firm action is taken, many victims’ lives could be at risk. Failure to act could result in more serious offences such as assault, rape or even murder. Indeed, a recent study conducted by
Last week saw the conclusion of Emmerdale’s long running dementia storyline, with John Middleton delivering a heartbreaking final performance as his character Ashley Thomas bowed out of the soap after finally succumbing to his illness.
Viewers have watched Ashley’s story unfold since he was diagnosed with vascular dementia following a stroke. In December, an entire episode focused on seeing the world through Ashley’s eyes, showing the daily struggles he faced living with the condition.
The show’s producers worked closely with dementia charities throughout the creation of the storyline. John Middleton also took part in care home visits meeting sufferers and their families. When interviewed, John spoke of the importance of these visits in ensuring what was portrayed on screen was as accurate as possible.
“As I started researching vascular dementia, I thought we had a huge responsibility to get it right. A lot of people have first-hand experience and awareness of dementia so meeting people with dementia and their carers has been vital.”
John continued, “the way in which we have told the story is
Stepping into someone else’s property can be intimidating at times, especially if you are alone. Many lone working roles require staff to carry out home visits by themselves – for example community nurses, housing officers, carers, social workers and those doing repairs.
We have assembled some tips on how to make home visits safer for lone workers.
1. Plan your visit beforehand
Be prepared. If you are going somewhere new, check out the location prior to your visit so that you are familiar with the area. This helps you get to safety quicker if need be. If possible, it’s also a good idea to find out more about the person you are visiting. Therefore, you’ll be more prepared and aware of potential issues before you arrive.
2. Park your vehicle as nearby as possible
If travelling by car, park somewhere that enables you to make a fast exit. Choose a well-lit area, away from driveways or anywhere that you could be blocked in. Also, make sure you reverse in so it’s easier to maneuver out.