Advice Sheet 1: Health & Safety Policy 6 8




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Guide to Managing

Health and Safety








Health and Safety BUSINESS ADVICE PACK


Contents Page


  • About this pack 4 - 5




  • Advice Sheet 1: Health & Safety Policy 6 - 8

  • Advice Sheet 2: Risk Assessments 9 - 11

  • Advice Sheet 3: Accident Reporting 12 - 13

  • Advice Sheet 4: Slips and Trips 14




  • Advice Sheet 5: Falls From Height 15 - 16

  • Advice Sheet 6: Manual Handling 17-18




  • Advice Sheet 7: Asbestos 19 - 20

  • Advice Sheet 8: Contractors 21




  • Advice Sheet 9: Display Screen Equipment 22 - 24

  • Advice Sheet 10: Electricity 25 - 27




  • Advice Sheet 11: Fire Safety 28 - 31

  • Advice Sheet 12: First Aid 32 - 33




  • Advice Sheet 13: Gas Safety 34 - 35




  • Advice Sheet 14: Hazardous Substances 36 - 38




  • Advice Sheet 15: Lifts 39 - 40




  • Advice Sheet 16: Noise 41 - 42



  • Advice Sheet 17: Pressure Systems 43 - 44



  • Advice Sheet 18: Smoking 45 - 46




  • Advice Sheet 19: Stress 47 - 48

  • Advice Sheet 20: Violence 49

  • Advice Sheet 21: Welfare Facilities 50 - 51




  • Advice Sheet 22: Work Equipment 52 - 53




  • Advice Sheet 23: Workplace Environment 54






ABOUT THIS PACK


Introduction


At Wrexham, we try to maintain a balance when enforcing health and safety legislation. As well as insisting that the laws are observed, we endeavour to provide as much help as we are able.


In our experience, many small and medium-sized businesses are having difficulty in coming to grips with the significant amount of essential, but often daunting legal requirements placed upon them.


This document has been designed to summarise the most common areas of risk at work within businesses. However, this document is unlikely to cover every hazard within your premises, so the legal responsibility is still with you as the employer to assess your premises effectively.


How to use the pack


Guidance is given in a series of self-contained Advice Sheets. The idea is to retain the pack ready to hand and refer to the individual sheets from time to time as the need arises. The first couple of paragraphs will indicate whether the guidance is relevant to you.


Advice is presented as a simple step-by-step guide with key tasks as bullet points. Together, the advice sheets will help you get started and plan your approach to health and safety. Details on where to find more information are given at the bottom of each sheet and at the end of the pack.


In order to keep the guidance easy to use and understand, we have not included all areas of health and safety interest. Therefore, you must ensure that your approach to health and safety does not end with this pack – it is only the starting point and you may need to tackle additional areas to the ones listed. This will depend on the type of work you carry out and where it is carried out, for example, you may need to address the specific risks associated with fork lift trucks, violence to staff, or legionella.


Getting more help

After working through the Advice Sheets, you may decide that more assistance is needed in a particular area. The first thing to do is to contact your Enforcing Authority. For businesses in Wrexham, this will either be:


Wrexham County Borough Council

Public Protection Department

Crown Buildings

Chester Street

Wrexham

LL13 8ZE

Telephone 01978 292040


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Ellice Way

Wrexham Technology Park

Wrexham

LL13 7YT

Telephone 01978 316000


The Health and Safety Executive mainly cover the manufacturing, processing and construction industries.


This document is not an authoritative interpretation of the statutory duties that apply to your specific undertaking. It should be used in conjunction with the relevant Acts, Regulations and Codes of Practices.


Health and Safety Advice Sheet 1:

health and safety policy


background

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires you to ensure, so far as is “reasonably practicable” the health, safety and welfare of your employees and anyone else who may be affected by your operations (including contractors and members of the public for example).


the law

    • The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended)


WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO COMPLY?


If you employ 5 or more employees, you must produce a written Health and Safety Policy, which sets out how you propose to manage health and safety within your organisation.


How to structure the policy


The basic structure of the Safety Policy is laid down in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It consists of 3 main parts:

  • General Statement of Intent

  • Organisation

  • Arrangements


1. General Statement of Intent

  • This is where an employer makes his broad commitment to health and safety.

  • The person(s) in overall charge of the company should accept ultimate responsibility for health and safety matters.

  • The statement should be signed and dated by the person accepting responsibility for the company.

  • Wording of the general statement is up to you, since it’s your commitment and your company.


2. Organisation

  • Essentially, this amounts to a list of health and safety responsibilities held by people in the company (i.e. people and their duties).

  • This section contains details of who is responsible to whom and for what.

  • Most health and safety responsibilities will be assigned when the next part of the Policy (Arrangements) is written.

  • Where appropriate, provide instructions on how to meet specific responsibilities. These instructions could be detailed in the Arrangements section of the policy.


3. Arrangements

This part details the systems and procedures in place, which will enable the company to meet its stated aims and objectives. In other words, what the company needs to do on an operational basis to comply with the law and stop people being injured by the Company’s activities.

In short, they will tend to revolve around three main areas:

  • Legal Requirements: The specific health and safety laws and regulations that apply to your premises and line of work.

  • Hazards and Risks: Details of the hazards associated with your business activity and the risks of injury connected with those hazards.

  • Control Methods: In practical terms, how you go about eliminating or reducing those risks to acceptable levels. This is where you state what steps are being taken to achieve day-today control over health and safety.


SOME KEY POINTS

The most important thing is that the Safety Policy is an operational document. In particular:

  • It should set out what practical steps the company is taking to effectively control health and safety.

  • Managers and Staff should be able to refer to the Safety Policy and find out what health and safety responsibilities they hold and exactly how they are expected to meet those responsibilities.

  • If other documents contain specific details on any relevant area of the Safety Policy, they should be accurately referred to and readily available.

  • Relevant sections of Safety Policy (or documents specifically referred to) should be used as part of staff training so that the right information is being told to the right people. DO NOT just give the Safety Policy to employees and expect them to read and understand it.

  • Use the advice sheets in this pack as a starting point and record the actual steps you are taking to tackle these issues.


further guidance


  • An introduction to health and safety - Health and Safety in Small Businesses (INDG259(rev1)) HSE

  • Managing health and safety – five steps to success (INDG275) HSE

  • Starting your business – Guidance on preparing a health and safety policy for small firms (INDG275) HSE

  • Free HSE leaflets: www.hse.gov.uk


Health and Safety Advice Sheet 2:

risk assessments


background

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended) (Regulation 3), all businesses must carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments. This involves a detailed look at your workplace and work activities, so that you can identify all the known hazards associated with them.


The five main hazards in any workplace will include the following broad areas:

  • Physical – machinery, structures etc.

  • Chemical – hazardous substances, dusts, fumes etc.

  • Biological – bacteria, moulds etc.

  • Ergonomic – work equipment, display screen equipment etc.

  • Psychological – stress etc.


the law

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended)


WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO COMPLY?

Why carry out an assessment:

  • To identify what you need to do in order to satisfactorily control the risks in your workplace.

  • It will enable you to target your resources on the most important risks.

  • It will help you to comply with the law.


What you must do

1. Identify the hazards present

  • A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm e.g. substances, machines, or work methods.

  • Be systematic in looking at hazards e.g. look at them in groups such as machinery, or transport or slips and trips.

  • Ensure all aspects of your work are covered including non-routine operations and interruptions to work activity.

  • Specific Acts or Regulations may help to identify hazards e.g. lifts and pressure vessels.

  • If there are no hazards then there are no risks.


2. Evaluate the risks

  • Risk is the likelihood that the harm will occur. The extent of the risk relates to the number of people who might be exposed and the consequences for them.

  • Identify the significant risks i.e. ignore trivial and everyday life risks, and focus on those arising from your work activity.

  • It may be necessary to obtain specialist advice for unfamiliar risks e.g. complex processes or ergonomic design (this means designing the work to fit the person).

  • Look at what actually happens in the workplace.

  • Remember to take account of existing control measures.


3. Identify preventive and precautionary measures

  • Use your assessment to decide how to control the risk e.g. avoid a risk by not using a dangerous article if it is not essential; tackle root causes of risks rather than treating the symptoms; examine the ergonomics of a work activity; use the latest technical advances to improve work processes.

  • Ensure you comply with any relevant legal requirements.

  • Give priority to measures that protect the whole workplace.

  • Ensure that all workers understand what they need to do i.e. give instruction and training in precautions, control measures, etc.


4. Record the significant findings

  • Significant hazards identified.

  • The existing control measures, and the extent of control.

  • The people who may be affected

  • Details of how the assessment was made in order to demonstrate its suitability and allow for informed review.


5. Review and revise

  • When the nature of the work changes.

  • When your experience suggests that the assessment is insufficient or no longer valid.

  • On a regular basis depending on the nature of the risks and the degree of change.


Generic Risk Assessments

Employers who control a number of similar workplaces containing similar activities may produce a model or generic risk assessment reflecting the core hazards and risks associated with these activities. Trade associations, employers’ bodies may also develop model assessments, or other organisations concerned with a particular activity. Model assessments may be applied by employers at each workplace, but only if they:

  • Satisfy themselves that the model assessment is appropriate to their type of work; and

  • Adapt the model to the detail of their own work situations, including any extension necessary to cover hazards and risk not referred to in the model. This is referred to as a site specific risk assessment. Enforcers will not accept generic assessments where a site specific risk assessment is needed and legal action may be taken against your company – particularly where a serious accident / incident has occurred.


Site Specific Risk Assessments

These concern the specific hazards that are unique to your premises and workplace, and so are the most accurate way in determining whether you are doing everything you can to eliminate or subsequently, control the remaining risks. Therefore, it is usually common to come across both generic and site specific risk assessments within a business – as long as they are accurate and apply to your workplace!

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