Health & Safety Introduction
Health & Safety of workers has been an issue which as been discussed and written about as long ago as when the bible was written – Health & Safety is not a new thing!
However legislation regarding H&S was first introduced in 1802 with the Health & Morals of Apprentices act in 1802 which was designed to protect young workers and children in the woolen & cotton mills. During the following 200 years there were many changes and milestones but arguably the greatest was the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 made Health & Safety everyone’s concern, employers and employees. It allowed a single framework of legislation to cover all activities and allows regulations to be put into force concerning specific activities or implementing European directives such as the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
The HASAWA requires employers and self employed to decide what can harm employees and other people and implement precautions to prevent it. This is then amplified in the Management of Health Safety and Welfare Regulations 1999 which requires risk assessment. In addition you must explain what the risks are and what the precautions are, provide training, protective equipment, first aid and welfare facilities together with other requirements.
For a more detailed version of this introduction click on this link. (link to detailed introduction)
Working at Height
Working at height is an intrinsically hazardous activity entailing the risk of injury or death due to falling; falling from height is consistently the greatest cause of workplace injuries. Every year approximately 60 deaths result from falls, around 60% of major injuries are caused by falls and approximately 4000 workers a year suffer other serious injuries.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 apply to all industries not just construction and are based on using a system of risk assessment to allow proper planning and organisation of all work at height.
Work at Height further information: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/tripsandfalls/height.htm
Work at Height Regulations 2005:http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20050735.htm
Risk assessment forms a key part of the work at height regulations. A suitable risk assessment would include the type of work being undertaken, the time taken for the activity, the means of access and the working platform to be used. This means that the most appropriate means of access must be selected.
A method statement should be used in conjunction with the risk assessment to explain the specific nature of the job and the appropriate method of working. A very straight forward job that is carried out all the time may only require a simple method statement, the more complex jobs require greater thought and preparation. It may involve diagrams and pictures and should be briefed to everyone involved so they know what they have to do. It should detail who is responsible for supervising the work and ensuring that the job is carried out in accordance with the method statement.
Selecting the Right Equipment
When selecting equipment for work at height consideration must be given to the working conditions, the methods of access and egress and the consequences and distance of any fall. Consideration must also be given to the duration and frequency of use of the equipment, the means and ease of evacuation and rescue, and the risk created by the installation, use and removal of access equipment.
All access equipment should be used by a competent person in its erection/use/dismantling or operation. If you're still being trained, you should be supervised by someone who is competent to use the access equipment and carry out the task. The WAIT tool on the Health & Safety Executive link below gives some further very good advice and assistance in this matter.
The law says all employees (including self employed) and contractors must be trained to work safely and without risk to health. They need to be trained to know what hazards and risks they may face, how to deal with them and any emergency procedures. Health and safety training should take place during working hours and must not be paid for by employees. New recruits, people changing jobs or taking on extra responsibilities or health & safety representatives may require additional training. Young employees are particularly vulnerable to accidents and require particular care, planning and supervision. A record must be kept of all training, feedback obtained about its relevance and effectiveness and timetable prepared for future / refresher training. http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg345.pdf
Link to 10/20 faqs
Conditions of use
The information (and that contained within any links) is given for general guidance and information. It is the users responsibility to work in a safe and suitable manner.
Safety Platforms Ltd are not Health & Safety consultants or professionals, for any specific information or guidance please consult a Health & Safety professional.Safety Platforms Ltd accepts no responsibility under any circumstances for the contents or consequences of any actions in relation to this health & Safety section.