For the month of February, we are putting in the spotlight two key areas relating to our Hazard of the Month, Near Misses. These key areas are Managing Health & Safety and Health and Safety Site Inductions.
Managing Health & Safety
Health and Safety needs to be managed in your workplace in order to create a safe working environment that protects employees and reduces the possibility of accidents. Whatever your industry, size or nature of your organisation, the key factors involved in effectively managing health and safety are:
- Leadership and management (including appropriate processes).
- A trained/skilled workforce operating in an environment where people are trusted and involved.
- Implementation and adherence to an effective health and safety policy.
These are expanded upon in the principal legislation related to Health and Safety Management:
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
- The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995
These regulations set out a number of responsibilities for Management from providing adequate welfare facilities for staff, making ‘assessments of risk’, to ensuring the safety, suitability and maintenance of work equipment. To comply with these means regular statutory examinations, ensuring the competency of operatives and regular site inspections, just to name a few.
Whilst it may seem harmless to skip a few of these responsibilities, especially when project completion deadlines are tight or workload is high, it can have severe consequences. To give you one example of many, a manufacturing company found themselves in trouble after failing to undertake safety checks; an inspection by the HSE found that examinations were not being carried out at the required six monthly intervals. When examinations were carried out the same faults were reported, as the company were not taking action to effect the repairs. They pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 9 (3) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and were fined £30,000 plus costs of £4,906.
We know that it can be hard to keep track of everything you need to do to ensure effective Health and Safety management at work. Our Managing Health and Safety (RoSPA Accredited) online training course is the perfect resource to clearly set out key responsibilities and pieces of legislation for new managers or any manager requiring refresher training.
Health & Safety Site Inductions
- Employer and employee responsibilities in providing a safe and healthy working environment.
- Identification of common workplace hazards risks.
- Guidance on accident prevention.
- Implementing an efficient health and safety policy for the workplace.
- Best practice for reporting accidents in the workplace.
Site inductions should also be provided to those who do not regularly work on the site, but who visit it on an occasional (e.g. architects) or once-only basis (e.g. students). The inductions should be proportionate to the nature of the visit. Inductions provided to escorted visitors need not have the detail that unescorted visitors should have. Escorted visitors only need to be made aware of the main hazards they may be exposed to and the control measures.
Without this crucial introduction to the workplace, the employee will not have sufficient knowledge of its hazards. On the other hand, it also checks that the employee has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to be involved in the work, otherwise, it can put them and others at risk.
Two recent prosecutions from the HSE highlight this:
- A construction company was fined £850 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs after an employee became trapped when a dumper truck overturned on site. One of the factors that contributed to this accident was the fact that the company had failed to induct the employee on starting work at the site thus failing to identify that the employee had the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to operate the dumper.
- A hefty £300,000 fine and costs of £7,059 was dolled out to a recycling company following a worker suffering life-threatening injuries after he was struck by a ball of compressed metal weighing approximately half a tonne. The HSe investigation found that Site induction procedures and training for new starters was inadequate. There wasn’t any direct supervision for new starters to prevent access to the dangerous parts of machinery or to stop dangerous parts before access was gained.
As well as an induction to the specific workplace, it can be useful to induct staff on general Health and Safety matters in a way where their knowledge is tested. Our Health and Safety Site Induction Training Course (RoSPA Accredited) is an ideal resource to introduce users to the Health and Safety procedures in a working environment in an easy and accessible format.
Because of the truly valuable information they offer, for this month only we have a 10% discount for these two courses as we feel they are a great resource to help ensure workplace safety. Just use the code ‘nearmiss10‘ at checkout!