Free insurance cover for all new clients from 1st January 2014

Protectus Consulting will provide insurance cover which will cover Fee For Intervention Invoices up a limit of £10,000 each occurrence and to a maximum of £25,000 in any policy year. This insurance cover is underwritten at Lloyd’s of London.

This is available to all new retained clients. Both low risk and higher risk industries are covered. Higher risk is generally construction type work, manufacturing, farms etc

What is Fee For Intervention?
From the 1st October 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been able to recover costs for carrying out some of its activities from those found to be in material breach of health and safety law.

This cost recovery approach is known as Fee for Intervention (FFI) and is intended to shift enforcement costs from the public purse to those organisations that break the law. For those employers who remain compliant, or where a breach is not material, they will not be charged.

What is meant by the term ‘material breach’?
A ‘material breach’ is when in the opinion of an HSE inspector there has been a contravention of health and safety law that is serious enough to require them to notify the person of that opinion in writing.

Breaches may be identified when the HSE carries out a routine inspection of a site, investigates an accident or follows up on a complaint. If they then have to issue say an improvement or prohibition notice or simply notify you in writing of a material breach then, this would trigger the charges to be applied.

To decide if the breach is ‘material’, inspectors will apply the decision frameworks established under the HSE’s Enforcement Management Model (EMM) and Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS). Typical areas where material breaches might arise relate to:

  • controlling health risks – including exposure to hazardous substances (e.g. dusts, fumes and chemicals); noise, vibration, asbestos, confined spaces etc. where the effects are acute or chronic
  • controlling safety risks – particularly where these could result in immediate, traumatic injury e.g.
  • contact with moving machinery, falls from height, the use of lifting equipment, being struck by vehicles and so on
  • providing adequate welfare facilities – e.g. toilets, washing facilities, drinking water, facilities to eat meals
  • systems for managing health and safety where significant risks are not adequately controlled – e.g. inadequate risk assessments; ineffective arrangements/emergency procedures; inadequate access to competent assistance etc.

Other, more specific examples for the construction sector might relate to the safe movement of mobile plant on site; safe access and egress to places of work; demolition activities; steel erection; safety during excavation work; the management of asbestos removal contractors and work or training for managers and others (e.g. crane drivers, site managers; scaffolders, steel erectors etc).

The FFI hourly rate for 2012/13 is £124, but the total amount charged will depend on the particular circumstances. The more complex the issue and the more time required of the inspector to take the correct enforcement action (i.e. identifying the material breach, helping businesses to put it right, investigating and taking enforcement action (including any associated office work), the more expensive the bills will be.

Where the inspector requires input from another inspector, other third party assistance or the support of the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), the cost of their work will be recovered also.

To avail of this free insurance contact Protectus Consulting today…

In the UK there are approximately 10 million people of working age who are disabled. This is a huge number and therefore regulations are necessary to ensure fair health and safety entitlement to all. According to the Equality Act 2010, a person with a disability is someone who has a mental or physical impairment which limits or restricts them from carrying out normal every day duties in the long term. Some disabilities are not easily recognized, such as asthma, chronic back pain, migraines or dyslexia. All these can impair a person’s ability. Employers have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 not to treat persons’ with disabilities in an unfair way. This means adjustments in the workplace must be made. This includes physical amendments, for example, installing wheelchair ramps to supplying an orthopedic chair for a person with chronic lower back pain.  ‘Attitude’ adjustments must also be made, for example, allowing extra time for a person on crutches to carry out tasks, i.e they may not be as mobile as employees who are not disabled. ‘Attitude’ means no discrimination under any circumstances connected with a person’s disability. Discrimination may not be intentional, so diversity and equality training should be part of every organizations’ commitment to ensuring a risk free and happy workplace for all.

Risk assessments should be carried out to cater for employing people who are disabled; to ensure they are not at risk of injury or harm at work. This should involve employers making reasonable and practicable adjustments to protect workers. Risk assessment must be carried out to eliminate risks both from vulnerable workers and those around them. Physical provisions may include installing accessible passageways, stairways, lavatories and work stations. The work equipment or work roles must be adjustmented so it is not dangerous to be operated or used by a person with a disability. For example, if there is a risk to a person with a disability, part of the role may be given to a temporary worker who can carry it out without any health and safety risk. A risk assessment will involve identifying the hazards present, evaluating the risks and then taking preventative measures. For example, asthma suffers may be more sensitive to chemicals at work and so therefore a change in job location may have to be improvised. Training or specialized equipment, if necessary, should be accessible to disabled workers. Health and safety and anti-discrimination regulations must be adhered to that risks and discrimination are removed or at least are negligible.

Health and Safety should not be used as an excuse not to employ or continue employing people who are disabled, for example, claiming that a person with hearing difficulties cannot respond to a fire alarm. Flashing lights can be used to alert a person with a hearing impairment of a fire or other emergency. There may be extreme cases, where there is a genuine problem that cannot be over come to accommodate a disabled person. In this case competent advice and a specialist disabilities organization may need to be  involved to support risk assessments. As a last resort, an employee with a disability may need to be transferred to another job, but this should only be used as a last resort.

Sources      hse     osha

There are many chemicals and chemical preparations used in the workplace that have the potential to cause harm to one’s health. If any of these hazardous substances are inhaled into the lungs, absorbed through the skin or ingested in some other format they may cause illness. Employers have a duty under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) to regulate and manage the use of hazardous materials. These materials can be present in many formats, such as dust particles, micro-organisms, fumes, gases, liquids and emissions from waste materials. Employees, contractors and visitors on site must be protected under COSHH. Occasional workers and visiting contractors to a site must be informed about the hazards, have detailed information about the work and be part of the risk control process.

If a new operation, a new production process or job role is introduced; a COSHH risk assessment must be carried out. This will make aware the risk to employee’s health. The risks must be controlled and mitigated against under the regulations. The assessment should consider risk from all angles, i.e as a result of processing, maintenance, by products, waste products or the activities of other employees. Personal protective equipment (PPE) may need to be part of the work environment.

There are workplace exposure limits (WEL) that provide guidance on how to help protect the health of workers. This is a concentration of a substance within the air that is averaged over a period of time. Long term exposure limits are for 8 hours and short term limits are for 15 minutes. An example of short term limits is that which is set to prevent eye irritation from a hazardous substance. However, the effects of exposure to substances depends on the nature of the substance and the pattern of exposure. Biological monitoring is useful where there is likely to be skin absorption or lung inhalation. Some WEL’s may be mixed compounds, such as rubber fume. Mixed substances require careful risk assessments, ie they may have the potential to cause harm to different body parts. Further control may be required to mitigate against these substances, as opposed to dealing with these substances individually. The risk control measures must consider how one is working with the material, for example, there may be small exposure within the production line but potential for large inhalation of this same substance when disposing of it.

Other legislation pertaining to the use of controlled substances at work include the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2007, the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority for Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems) Regulations 2006, the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009, Registration and the Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals (REACH) Enforcement Regulations 2008. There are many other regulations (as listed at the Health and Safety Executive) that also apply to the use and transport of chemicals within the workplace in the UK.

Sources   hse

Working in a quarry is one of the most dangerous industries to work in. It has a higher fatality and incident rate than the construction and manufacturing industries. Accidents and fatalities in quarries are due to maintenance work, the use of vehicles, fixed machinery and falls from height. Many incidents occur during the cleaning and adjustment of machinery while it is running or during an unexpected start up of equipment while it is being worked on. Occupational diseases and accidents can occur as a result of large moving vehicles, dusty atmospheres and the use of explosives. Noise and vibrations and hazardous materials may pose many hazards for workers on site. There is also the social drawback; many workers may have to do shift work and work under time pressures which may escalate the risk of hazards.

Legislations which apply to working in quarries include The Quarries Regulations 1999. This is to protect the health and safety of workers at a quarry and includes the self employed and passers-by or those living near a quarry that may be susceptible to hazards. There are many other regulations that apply to quarry work; these include The Work at Height Regulations 2005, Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, Confined Spaces Regulations 1997 and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, among others.

One of the main risks when working in a quarry involve the faces. A ‘quarry face’ is a slope in the quarry where the mineral is being excavated or it may be still un-extracted. Risks may come from falling lose rocks, materials and vehicles driving over the edges of the faces. Risks involving vehicles may be the result of driver misjudgment and faulty machines and may result in crashing into other vehicles and incorrect reversing. Much machinery related accidents in quarries can occur as a result of workers being trapped or entangled in machinery. Falling objects such as rocks is another common form of injury in quarries. Pollution nose, which may include that coming from stone crushers, explosions and heavy vehicles, is another common occupational hazard experienced at quarries. Workers may also experience distress from hand held vibrating machines and whole body vibrations from some fixed plant machinery. Dust will be present at all times because of the milling, cutting and crushing of stones.

Quarries need to be regularly inspected. An inspection may be visual or may involve testing or dismantling. The extent of the inspection scheme depends on the work activities, the nature of the materials, weather conditions, tips and quarry faces. Faces should be inspected so that they do not have lose rock or ground that may pose a risk to workers. They may have to be inspected at the beginning of every shift. The inspection scheme should include safety devices such as reversing aids, electrical equipment, pedestrian routes, evacuations and tips, pressure systems and any barriers around the quarry. Defects should be noted. Records should be kept on all inspections and the work that was done to mitigate against and control the risks.

Sources   osha   hse

The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) provides practical advice on how to comply with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). These regulations are used to reduce risk or eliminate risk of fire and explosion in businesses that manufacture, store, process or use dangerous substances. There have been some recent changes to the ACOP to make things simpler and restructured to help the reader. The regulations themselves have been unchanged; however, it’s been reproduced to provide more practical up to date guidance.

DSEAR places responsibilities on employers to protect their employees from fire and explosions in the workplace. Risks can come from dangerous substances used in the workplace and/or explosive atmospheres. As well as assessing the risks under DSEAR, assessment would include the regulations under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Assessing the risks include identifying possible sources of ignition. This will be where dangerous substances are used or where a dangerous substance or potentially explosive atmosphere may be formed during  work processes. For each dangerous substance, the manufacturer’s guidance should include safe methods for its storage, use and handling. The workers at risk from explosive hazards should be identified. This includes members of the public that may be put at risk due to the work being carried out. Precautions should be taken against the risks posed. This may include substituting a non-threatening substance for the dangerous one and/or changing the work processes. This is called ‘Substitution’ in the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations. An example here could be replacing a low flash point liquid with one of a higher flash point. Where substitution processes are not practical, tight control measures should be in place. There would need to be control and mitigating measures in place to prevent a fire or explosion. One should keep a record of the risk assessment and this information should be used when training and  information is given to employees. However, if changes are implemented in the workplace and ways of working changed, the risk assessment would need to be updated to accommodate this. Non routine maintenance and update work should also be part of the risk assessment control measures as these may pose a hazard.

Control measures should include non necessary use of dangerous substances, avoidance of ignition sources, safe storage of any released dangerous substances, the prevention of the formation of an explosive atmosphere and the non-mixing of incompatible substances. Only equipment that meets the requirements of the Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996 should be used. People who check and verify the equipment should be competent to do so. Warning signs should be placed in hazardous areas and staff should use appropriate personal protective equipment. In case of an incident there should be safety drills, emergency evacuation plans and first aid equipment at hand. The emergency services should be notified of this in case they need to change their plans in the event of an incident.

Sources   hse

Achilles helps buyers of goods and services to reduce cost and risk by qualifying potential suppliers. Achilles assesses a broad range of industries including construction, finance, mining, cement, oil and gas, public sector, service industries, transport and utilities. Assessment includes desktop assessments and on-site audits of suppliers’ premises. Buyers frequently have the heavy task of qualifying and evaluating suppliers in terms of legal and financial risk. Suppliers need to be able to establish themselves through qualifications, compliance and experience. Achilles is a scheme that assesses suppliers in terms of environment, legal, financial, information on products and services, health and safety, capability, corporate social responsibility (CSR), reliability and quality. Achilles collects and validates information in these areas; that which procurement professionals need. Each industry is looked at differently and may include accident records, turnover and geographical area. All service providers in the supply chain are welcome. Assessment includes on-site audits, desktop assessments and monitoring of contractor and sub-contractor documentation and permits. Achilles can offer the buyer a complete view of a suppliers’ supply chain risk.

How Achilles helps suppliers
Achilles matches over 77,00 suppliers with 800 of the world’s largest buying organizations. As a supplier, having the Achilles accreditation ISO9001 has enormous weight in attracting buyers and initiating real opportunities. With this stamp of approval, the buyers knows that the supplier has gone through a rigorous evaluation and audit process to achieve this universal standard.

How Achilles helps buyers
Buyers can be confident that Achilles will provide validated supplier information. Buyers are supported through the key stages of the procurement process, which includes finding suppliers, pre-qualifying them, evaluating, monitoring and auditing. Achilles looks beyond procurement for the buyer, i.e at health and safety, finance, CSR/carbon reduction. Achilles has accurate and up to date information on suppliers. There is a centralized community model where data is shared. Achilles ensures that suppliers  are compliant in terms of legal and corporate responsibility.

Achilles helps businesses identify and manage risks in their supply chain. As of 2013, Achilles has a database of over 790+ of the largest buyer organizations and over 93,000 suppliers in eleven different industry sectors. Achilles operates globally in different markets. Achilles increases the business opportunities for both buyers and sellers. It reduces risk and increases the visibility of the whole supply chain. Achilles is one of the major schemes representing the SSIP-C Forum  (Safety  Schemes in Procurement- Competence Forum (SSIP-C Forum)).

Protectus Consulting supports suppliers wishing to gain the Achilles accreditation ISO9001. Protectus Consulting have extensive experience in helping companies be prepared for the Achilles in-house audits and online assessments. Contact one of the team today here for an informal no obligation discussion.

Sources   hse    achilles    youtube
Image source    achilles

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. This bacterium causes an acute infectious respiratory process which can potentially be fatal for some. Sometimes a lesser non-fatal infection can occur called Pontiac fever or Lochgoilhead fever that resemble acute influenza. Legionellosis is the collective name given to the pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria. Legionella pneumophila  is normally found in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, but in low numbers. However, the bacterium can also be found in purpose-built water systems such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot water systems and whirlpool spas used in domestic and commercial premises. The bacterium doesn’t live very well below 20°C and will not survive above 60°C. In addition, these organisms favour nutrients (that may be found in non-maintained water systems) e.g. presence of sludge, scale or fouling.  Stored and/or re-circulated water and aerosols created by a cooling tower may also favour its’ growth. The risk of legionellosis arises when the bacterium grows in increasing amounts in domestic and commercial contained water systems. Anybody can catch legionnaires’ disease, simply by inhaling small droplets of water which may be suspended in the air which can be spread through humidifiers, water misting systems, high pressure water cleaning machines and, by contact with soil contaminated with the bacteria. As well as affecting the general public, it can also affect workers, especially maintenance technicians of air-conditioning or water supply systems. Work professionals affected can also include those that might be involved in using suspended water systems,  such as vehicle washers, healthcare workers, dental workers, workers in industrial wastewater treatment plants, among others. The bacterium is not known to be transmitted person to person.

During infection, the bacterium invades lung epithelial cells and replicates intracellularly. Some people can be infected and show only mild or no symptoms at all. Others develop flu – like systems which include high temperature, changes in temperature, coughs, muscle pains and headache. In severe cases there may be pneumonia which can be fatal. Everybody is susceptible to infection, however the elderly, heavy smokers, heavy drinkers, those with an impaired immune system and those suffering from chronic respiratory diseases are particularly at risk. Treatment includes antibiotics such as levofloxacin and azithromycin.

Duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 (COSHH) and the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 concern the risk from exposure to legionella bacteria in the workplace. Employers are responsible under these acts and other regulations to maintain a safe working environment for workers. Specifically, the COSHH Regulations provide a way of controlling  the risk from a range of hazardous substances including biological agents. Employers who have cooling towers and evaporative condensers on their premises are required, under the Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992, to notify their local authority.

 

  • If, after carrying out a risk assessment in the workplace, there is reasonably foreseeable risk, the water systems or parts of them need to be avoided where it is practicable. If working with the water systems cannot be avoided, then there should be a written provision for controlling the risk from exposure, which, should be properly managed. This plan should have a remedial action plan in the event that the scheme is not effective. The plan should also contain instructions for the safe working of the water systems.
  • A system would be set in place where there is reduced exposure to water droplets, avoidance of water temperatures that favour the growth of the bacterium, avoidance of water stagnation and of materials that might inadvertently provide nutrients to the bacteriums’ growth. There should also be use of safe water treatment techniques and safe working of the water system.
  • Risk of exposure may be reduced by using a dry cooling plant, and risks reduced by  changes to engineering protocols and cleaning protocols.
  • The plan should include details on the physical treatment program, for example, the use of temperature to control the system and on the chemical treatment programme. Also, the health and safety information for storage, handling, use and disposal of chemicals, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, information on shutdown procedures and operating cycles needs to be included.
  • Routine testing of water quality and bacterial numbers should be part of the scheme.
  • Records should be kept of any accidents, results and exposures.

 

Sources   wikipedia    hse   osha

From October 1st, the Scottish government will make it compulsory for carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when new or replacement boilers, heaters or stoves are fitted. This will be a change to current building regulations. Building firms will be required to put alarms in new builds. An audible alarm is the only way to protect people from this tasteless, odourless and invisible gas that is known as the “silent killer”. It has been reported that in the UK, at least 50 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year and many more are treated in hospital. This “silent killer” can have devastating effects on peoples’ lives every year; it can kill quickly without warning because it is undetectable. Carbon monoxide (CO) can be generated from fires, furnaces, hot water heaters, cooking equipment, generators etc. CO poisons the body by bonding to the hemoglobin and is 250 times stronger than oxygen, that is why it is so potent.

The HSE strongly recommends the use of CO alarms to give people advance warning of CO in the property. However, alarms should not be regarded as a replacement for proper maintenance and safety checkups by a qualified gas engineer. Carbon monoxide alarms are currently not a legal requirement. However, there are regulations that need to be adhered to i.e the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 Approved Code of Practice and guidance. This Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) relates to regulations in the use of gas systems and appliances in commercial and domestic settings. The code has been approved by the HSE and gives practical advice on how to comply with the law. The code has a legal status and to prevent  prosecution, the relevant sections of the Code must be complied with. The regulations place responsibilities on those working in the gas industry, including those installing, servicing, maintaining and doing regular checks on appliances and fittings.

Indications of carbon monoxide presence

  •         Yellow or orange rather than blue flames (accept fuel effect fires that display this flame)
  •         Soot or yellow brown staining around appliances
  •         Increased condensation on windows
  •         Pilot lights that blow out frequently

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Breathlessness, headaches, nausea, loss of consciousness
  • Pains in chest or stomach
  • Eratic behavior
  • Visual problems

What to do

  • Call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 and switch off appliance
  • Try to ventilate the area and seek medical assistance

Prevention of CO poisoning

  • All fuel burning including oil and gas appliances must be checked regularily by a trained professional. Flues and chimneys must be in good condition, clean and not blocked.
  • It is best to choose appliances that vent their fumes to the outside if possible
  • One should not use a gas oven to heat the home, even for a short time
  • One should try not to use a unvented gas or kerosene space heater, and if necessary, they should be used in a very ventilated area
  • Charcoal grills should never be used in doors, even in a fireplace
  • Battery operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery backup should be installed in the home
  • A knowledge of the symptoms of CO poisoning should be familiar to all. Symptom severity is related on the amount of CO in the air and the length of exposure

 

Sources    bbc   hse   itv   epa

Every year in the UK there are between 15 and 20 dust explosions which occur in the food, beverage and animal feed industry. Powdered food products such as flour, cake mix powder, dried milk, sugar, coffee, tea, starch, powdered potato, soya beans, maize, barley, grain and many more can explode if they form a dust cloud at certain concentrations. Dust explosions arise from solid particulates that become suspended in air, together with an adequate source of ignition. These particulates can be quite harmless as they occur naturally, but when reduced to fine powders through grinding, sanding or milling, they can become highly explosive. The finer the particles, the greater the surface area per unit of mass and the more explosive the dust is likely to be. The moisture content of the dust also affects the explosive risk. Dry dusts of very small particle size are easily ignited and can cause the most violent explosions. There are many processes used in the food industry that can produce explosible dust, these include milling, grinding, spraying, drying, conveyance and storage of finely ground food stuffs. Ignition sources include electrostatic discharges, friction, mechanical and electrical sparks, spontaneous heading and welding. Even an electrical spark that may occur when pulling a plug out of a socket can cause an explosion.

Legislation concerned with dust explosions in the UK include the 1992 Management of Health and Safety at Work Act, the 1974 Health and Safety Act, the 1961 Factories Act and DSEAR (the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002).

Safety measures from food dust cloud explosions

  • An explosible dust cloud should never be allowed to occur
  • To prevent combustion, oxygen in the air should be depleted or kept to a minimum for working levels
  • Ignition sources should be removed where possible, electrical installations and sockets should be protected to be explosion proof. Electrical equipment which is dust protected to IP5X or IP6X should be installed. Surface temperatures should be no higher than 200 degrees celcius
  • Cleaning of equipment should be done regularily so there is no thick dust layers forming that could cause an explosion risk
  • There should be a permit system to control hot work areas
  • Any leakage points around powder handling systems should be sealed to prevent dust escape and accumulation into surrounding plant items
  • There should be a centralised pipe vacuum cleaning system
  • Silos or bins should be fitted with an explosion relief system and vented to an unoccupied place of safety.  Explosion relief panels need to be ATEX certified

Explosions due to dust fires can have very serious consequences on human life and buildings. When maintaining and designing premises priority should be given to venting, explosion suppression, sprinkler systems and plant design. All powdered food processing plants need to carry out assessments on the risks and hazards in the production, handling and storage methods of powdered food stuffs. Laboratory test data results are generally essential in order to mitigate against risks. These tests can establish at what concentration there may be ignition and then precautions can established to prevent this.

Sources   chilworth   osha   iosh  manufacturing.net   hse

Competency is defined as the ability of an individual to do a job properly. A competent person is someone who is able to interpret the situation in the context of which it is occurring. And, then take appropriate action, which will have been learned through training and experience. Regardless of training, competency grows through experience and the ability of the individual to adapt to change and their cognitive ability. Other factors, such as physical ability and attitude may affect a person’s competence. The use of the word “competency” varies widely in workplaces which can lead to confusion. It can have different meanings, for example, competency behaviours of a manager might include the ability to negotiate, influence and possess a high level of social intelligence. This may be different from that expected of, for example, a junior employee in a IT related role, where competency will most likely involve  analytical skills, paying attention to detail and execution of tasks.

Health and safety competency in the workplace cannot be undervalued. It is an important component which should be integral to the work duties and not an ad-on or extra entity to be adhered to. All employers and managers have a duty to ensure their employees (and contractors) are fully trained, experienced and suitable for their roles, both from a health and safety and task based perspective. Particular industries or work environments require the individual to have a certain set of skills and training, according to law, for them to carry out their duties. The Health and Safety Act 1974 requires employers to provide whatever information, training, instruction and supervision as is necessary, to ensure, in so far as is practicable, the health and safety of their employees. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, further necessitates where, health and safety training is particularily relevant, i.e when people start work and working with hazards. A Health and Safety trainer or employee representative may be required to train employees in their areas of work in regard to health and safety. According to the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996, all employees must be consulted in relation to health and safety matters. Self employed people in the work environment are entitled to the same health and safety training as their permanent employed colleagues. In most cases, businesses can manage health and safety themselves, but some will need specialist help for more detailed or more technical issues. Specialist help should be from someone with the relevant training and experience, being a member of the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) is a good sign.

Stages to making a competent workplace

    • Employees and their representatives should be consulted on the training to be introduced, their views considered and how the training will be organized
    • The skills and knowledge should be identified for employees to do their tasks in a safe way. This should be compared with current skills and knowledge and any gaps identified
    • Injuries, near-misses or ill health should be looked at
    • Risk assessments should be done in all areas of the work, and risks mitigated against through relevant training
    • A general awareness for health and safety should be encouraged in the workplace, for example, who is responsible for what, hazards encountered and how they are controlled
    • With conjunction with the law, priorities should be given to  situations like new equipment being used, new recruits, people changing jobs
    • The most appropriate way of training should be considered i.e by classroom, instruction, giving information, computer based or interactive learning
    • Much information, materials and training courses can be sourced from trade unions, colleges, private training organizations, National Occupational Standards (www.ukstandards.co.uk) etcOnce training has been done, areas to be monitored could include –  are the workers now working in a safe way? has their been an improvement in the  organisation’s health and safety performance? has the most suitable method of training been used and is further training needed?

These guiding principles will create for a safe working environment where the welfare of all the priority in the execution of daily duties.

Sources   hse   wikipedia