Safety in the workplace

Hi All, Compliments of the season and I hope that you had a safe and joyful festive season.

The start of 2013 has been an interesting one. I have found that businesses are keen to become compliant and minimize hazards in the workplace.

If any business owners or managers are interested in following the correct safety process to becoming compliant please follow the steps given below:

A safety audit and risk assessment needs to be carried out. the Safety audit will check the building structure such as evacuation routes, lighting and fire safety equipment. The audit will reveal if the structure and sites equipment are sufficient or if upgrading is necessary. A safety audit should be performed once a year and this can be done internally by a competent person.

The risk assessment looks at all of the activities in the work place and the risks associated with them. The risk assessment shall look at what safety measures should be in place to sufficiently protect the workforce.

Once the Safety audit and risk assessment is completed a safety file shall be created. The safety file will form the base of your safety system and will hold all of your written safety information. The safety file will consist of your safety appointments, the appontments would consist of your fire marshals, safety representatives etc. All of the relevent safety regulations and company SHE plans are to be kept in the file and access to this information shall be granted to anyone who is interested.

Evacuation plans and procedures are to be draw up and kept in the safety file. All of the safety checks, incident reports and master documents are to be kept in the safety file for when you need ot. Once the forms are used and filled out they shall be placed in the safety file as evidence of checks actually being done and of all findings.

Once the safety file is complete training shall be provided to the appointed safety staff. Training shall be provided in fire safety, evacuation procedures, safety representative duties and responsibilities, identifying safety hazards and first aid. Along with the training all of the findings of the risk assessment and the evacuation procedures shall be communicated to all staff.

Once all of the above is completed you and your staff are expected to carry out the following monthly and yearly practices in order to keep compliant. Your safety equipmen shall be checked monthly to ensure that it is still there and that it is unobstructed and compliant.

There should be area and safety checks done to ensure that the evacuations routes are clear, the housekeeping has been done correctrly and lighting and ventilation is still as it should be. A monthly safety meeting shall be held to discuss all findings, concerns and corrective measures.

The fire safety equipment shall be serviced every 12 months. there should be a service sticker on the equipment stating when the last servicee was carred out and when the next service shall be conducted.

A fire drill shall be done a minimum of once a year but in some industries it is recommended to be carried out every six months.

By following all of the above steps you are ensuring that your company is compliant, the risks in your workplace will be reduced and staff will be trained and prepared for the event of an emergency situation.

For any questions or further assistence please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact details supplied on our website.

All the best

Thinks safety

Guy

Safety files

Hi Everyone,

A few of my customers have had a lot more hazard prevention material in place than they had realised but did not have it formally together. Therfore they were not able to utilize the information correctly.

As an example quite a few customers have safe work procedures in place if they are working with machinery and chemicals. The information will be there on site but as a result of not having a safety file you are unable to locate the information and inturn educate the staff on the hazards.

So I am talking about creating a safety file, I have already gone through above why a safety file is necessary and helps you to locate safety procedures and other safety documents. Now I am going to breakdown how you could go about starting a safety file and what you should look to put in the safety file. Please be aware that some of the documents will need to be drawn up specifically for the site and what the requirements are while other documents may be standard for any work environment.

When creating a safety file I like to put in in the order below:

1) I usually have an index breaking down the sections and a list of what could be found in this section. This is important as the law states that the system shall be easy to follow and find information that is required by yourselves, staff and the authorities.

2) In the first section I normally have the necessary acts OSH act and COID act along with the labour laws. This is done as it is necessary for you to have the laws displayed or kept somewhere accessible to anyone entering the premises.

3) The companies Safety objectives and policies need to be drawn up and filed. This is important as it shows thout into what you require and actions you are looking to take to safeguard your employees and the company assets.

4) I generally put the roles and responsibilities next. This shall stipulate who does what in different situations as well as giving each individual the correct knowledge of their responsibility.

5) The risk assessments and safety audits should generally follow. This is the basis to all the information that follows. The safety audit shall give you answers as to how many extinguishers you need and safety signage, where should the equipment go and what are the hazards created by the work environment and structure. The risk assessment shall answer what risks and hazards are associated with the activities in the office and will offer safeguarding options for each. An initial external assessment of each is necessary and you may be ably to continue developement within the company.

6) From the findings of the risk assessment you shall have written work procedures and safe work instructions. the purpose of these is to ensure once staff are trained that they carry out dangerous tasks following the same steps and as a result limiting incidents.

7) Emergency procedures are drawn up after doing the safety audit. This looks at effective evacuation routes to follow and procedures to follow to allow a safe and effective evacuation. This will also include procedures of investigationa dna mitigating a fire.

8) Master appointment letters. In any safety system certain safety appointments need to be done. be sure to keep a master copy of all appointment you may need on site.

9) Master documents of inspection sheets and checklists. This is to be copied and used monthly to maintain your compliance.

10) Masters of the incident investigation, assessment and action forms. These shall be filled out for any incident even the incidents that do not end up causing an injury.

11) Compliance certificates and service level agreements. By keeping these on record and filed it is easier to keep ontop of maintenance and servicing. This also can be used and forcing a contractor to stick to their agreements.

12) All of the appointment letters and training records are to be kept. Each one of these forms shall have an end date to the appointment or validity of the training.

13) The final section will have all of the filled in monthly safety forms and checklists along with the minutes of any meetings. I generally like to split the final section into JAN-DEC. This makes it easy to track something by date as well as track an incident or process fro, start to finish.

Thank you for reading and once again I hope that you have found the article most helpful. Please feel free to give me feedback on any of the topics I have addressed as I am looking to benifit you as the reader and your imput can assist in making that possible.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information or assistance.

Thank Safely

All the best

Guy