Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Health And Safety is Your Business
Posted by David Cant on April 11, 2012
1 Comment

Too many business owners, particularly owners of smaller businesses, unfortunately assign too little interest or concern to health and safety. Considering and acting upon issues of workplace health and safety is the wisest investment of your time that you can assign to your business and your people who work for you. In the 21st Century there are actually fewer risks thanks to high levels of workplace risk assessments being conducted as well as the way in which our industries have moved away from the traditional manufacturing sector towards more service sector work. Risks do still remain though, and be under no illusion: if those risks can be exploited they will be.

The best place to start is by assessing the workplace environment as a whole. High risk industries as mentioned are certainly less common in the UK business sectors these days; with the increase in service sector office based environments, for example payday loans companies, and the decline of manual labour businesses such as manufacturing. However high risk areas do clearly remain, building sites and restaurant kitchens for example and other such manual environments involving high risk equipment are subject to high scrutiny.

Workplace Risk assessment

Assessing risk can be a challenging role, but using HSE paperwork to review the workplace practices will give you steer and you can note any issues of concern. Specific job assessment allows you to review the jobs that are carried out and assigned likelihood risk factors. For example a chef may have a higher risk factor than the meeter and greeter on the door at a restaurant.

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Other areas to be aware of and for which a specific risk assessment should be conducted is in relation to expectant and nursing mothers and older workers beyond the age of retirement. Your duty of care towards these groups of individuals is high and you must be able to demonstrate that you have given their roles due consideration in light of their health.

Health & Safety at Work Poster.

You are required by law to display the Health and Safety Executive’s poster in an accessible area. This displays information such as who the trained first aider is and who the appointed health and safety representative is. Ideally this person should be capable of conversing on the subject matter of health and safety and have expressed some form of interest or concern. In all honesty it is not the type of topic a lot of people give a lot of interest to unless they have a sudden axe to grind, so having a representative who does have an interest can help you in maintaining good health and safety practices from the outset.

First Aid

The minimum requirement in relation to a first aider is to appoint a person to take responsibility for first aid arrangements. This could mean them being responsible for first aid equipment and calling the emergency services as required. They do not need to be first aid trained if the risk assessment does not require a trained first aider. Where it does require a trained first aider an appropriate number of trained people should be appointed according to the perceived needs. Training courses are easily accessible and could even be run on your premises if there was sufficient trainees involved.

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Liability Insurance

Additionally you are required to display a copy of your liability insurance at all times. Ensure measures are in place so that when the insurance cover expires you update the displayed certification.

Accidents at work

Any accidents which happen at work no matter how minor must be noted in the Accident Book which should be accessible at all times and kept fully up to date.

In addition any death at work, any cases of a diagnosed industrial disease or near miss dangerous occurrences must be reported under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). The law has also changed to require that any accident which involves incapacitation for a period of more than seven days (as from 6th April 2012 or three days incapacitation before that date) must also be reported under RIDDOR.

Training

Whatever the findings of your risk assessments and whatever changes you implement to address them, the most crucial way in which you can reduce the risk to your business is by training your employees. Armed with the knowledge of how to conduct their work and what risks to be aware of they will be educated to identify, avoid and eliminate risk to both themselves and their colleagues. Annual health and safety training with any additional updates as and when is recommended.

More than two hundred people are killed at their place of work through preventable workplace accidents. Don’t let any of those statistics be one of your employees.

About 

David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Guest Blogger, Health and Safety Policy, Health and Safety Regulations, Health and Safety Services, Health and Safety Training, Workplace Safety

One Comment

  1. May 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Risk assessments are needed to help provide a safe environment for employees. This includes assessing for any fire danger and what to do in the event of a fire occurring.

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