Occupational safety covers topics relating to safety, for example the prevention of accidents.
Employers are charged with a duty to undertake a risk assessment and determine what hazards are present within their businesses and implement control measures to prevent accidents occurring.
Electricity is a familiar and necessary part of everyday life, but electricity can kill or severely injure people and cause damage to property.
There are simple precautions when working with, or near electricity that can be taken to significantly reduce the risk of electrical injury to you and others around you.
The Health and Safety Executive covers electrical safety at work.
Falls from height are the single biggest cause of workplace fatality in the UK.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 now govern all work at height.
For more information please visit the Health and Safety Executive work at heights website.
To prevent falls from heights risk assessments must be undertaken and consideration must be given to the following:
1. Reducing the amount of cleaning and maintenance at high level by altering the layout and design of the building e.g. ensuring effective dust and fume extraction, reducing the number of ledges where dust can accumulate, and ensuring adequate platforms or permanent fixtures are provided for working from
2. Use jet cleaners for high structure cleaning
3. If work is absolutely necessary at height then ensure that there is a safe system of work in place such as mobile scaffolds being constructed and used properly
4. Ensure that staff do not use fork lift trucks or a pallet mounted on forks etc for providing a quick lift up to the task in hand
5. Ensure that all equipment required for sampling or checking is located at ground level. If this is not possible then permanent access steps or platforms should be provided and adequate handrails
6. Providing good cleaning regimes
7. Appropriate slip resistant footwear to the correct British Standard
8. Ensuring stair routes do not become contaminated with debris or other obstructions
Appropriate pre-cautions must be taken to prevent people falling from the edges of roofs and other edges where there is a risk of falling and sustaining serious injury.
Where there is a risk of falling, edge protection consisting of suitable guard rails and toe boards will normally be required. Exceptionally, reliance may be placed on fall arrest equipment, for example safety harnesses. However you must undertake a thorough work at height risk assessment to justify this.
Typically edges that would require edge protection might include:
On average 14 people a year die at work falling from ladders and nearly 1200 suffer major injuries.
The Health and Safety Executive cover the use of ladders safely.
The Health and Safety Executive provide comprehensive information on Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).
The law states that all hazards with a MEWP must be properly controlled.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulation's 1998 place a number of duties on employers to ensure that The Gas installation is used and maintained safely.
To comply with this duty, as a minimum, employers will need to;
Gas Safe Register is the official list of businesses that are legally permitted to carry out gas work.
Every registered business employs an engineer(s), who is issued with a Gas Safe ID card. Not all engineers are qualified to do all types of gas work - so remember to check their ID card before any work is carried out.
In a Gas Emergency please call: 0800 111 999.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulation's 1998 are the main regulations that govern the use of equipment at work.
The Regulation's require that equipment provided for use at work is:
The Pressure System Safety Regulation's 2000 require the user of an installed pressure system to have their pressure system examined by a competent person.
An installed pressure system is defined as any system containing a relevant fluid (such as compressed air or liquefied gas) at a pressure greater than 0.5bar (about 7psi) above atmospheric.
The Health and Safety Executive provide comprehensive guidance on pressure systems.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work-related violence as:
Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.
This can include verbal abuse or threats as well as physical attacks.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulation's 1992 lay down the requirements for employers with regard to the provision, use and maintenance of person protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace.
PPE may be eye, head and foot protection, high visibility clothing or life jackets to name just a few.
PPE should only be used as a last resort, other systems of work or guards etc must be used before PPE.
Slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work. They occur in almost all workplaces, 95% of major slips result in broken bones and they can also be the initial causes for a range of other accident types such as falls from height.
Effective solutions are often simple, cheap and can form part of a system to manage preventative measures which control slip and trip risks.
The Health and Safety Executive provide slips and trips frequently asked questions.