An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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An introduction to health and safety Health and safety in small businesses ADVISING SMALL BUSINESSES What you should know about – where to get more information
It’s your business but we can help you look after it! Competitive small businesses, (less than 50 employees), are vital to the Northern Ireland economy. Current statistics suggest that 98% of all businesses in Northern Ireland employ fewer than 50 people and 89% employ fewer than 10 people. One of the main risks to the success of the small business is failing to manage health and safety in the workplace. The fatal accident rate in businesses with fewer than 50 workers is around twice that of larger companies and it is estimated that work-related injuries, ill-health and non-injury accidents cost the Northern Ireland economy £250 million per year. Implementing health and safety measures doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming or complicated, in fact, safer and more efficient working practices can often save money but, more importantly, they can help to save lives. This booklet shows you the kind of things which cause the more common accidents and harm to people’s health. It lets you see what applies to your work activities, and tells you how you can get more help and information. This is especially important if you are in charge of work activities, for example you are an employer, because you have legal responsibilities.
introduction | 1 Ten questions and answers for everyone What is health and What do inspectors certificate. See the free safety all about? actually do? leaflet, Employer’s Liability (Defective Equipment and Preventing people from They visit workplaces to Compulsory Insurance) being harmed by work or check that people are (Northern Ireland) Order becoming ill by taking the sticking to the rules. They 1972 - A guide for right precautions - and investigate some accidents employers, available from providing a satisfactory and complaints but mainly HSENI, Ladas Drive, Belfast. working environment. they help you to understand what you need to do. They Do I need to display Why are there health enforce only when any posters? and safety laws? something is seriously wrong. Yes, if you employ anyone Because health and safety you need to display the at work is so important, Do I have to contact “Health and Safety Law in there are rules which an inspector to get Northern Ireland” poster. require all of us not to put Alternatively you can information? provide your employees ourselves or others in danger. The law is also with individual copies of the No. HSENI operates a same information in a there to protect the public confidential advisory from workplace dangers. leaflet called Health and service for small Safety Law: What you need businesses called Health to know. These are Do health and safety and Safety Works Northern available to buy from HSE laws apply to me? Ireland (HSWNI). You can Books. See page 3 for contact HSWNI by: more details. Yes. To all businesses, how- telephone 0300 020 0030 ever small; also to the self- (local rate), employed and to fax 028 9034 7490, Do I have to report employees. textphone 028 9054 6896, injuries at work? email firstname.lastname@example.org Who enforces health or go online at Yes, and other incidents. and safety law? www.healthandsafetywor For information on which ksni.gov.uk ones and who should Inspectors from the Health Alternatively you can write to report them, see page 20. and Safety Executive for HSWNI, Northern Ireland (HSENI) or Longbridge House, Do I need to register your local district council. 16-24 Waring Street, my business? For example: Belfast BT1 2DX. G HSENI at factories, farms The need to register your and building sites; Do I need to have business is currently being G local district council in employers’ liability revised. For more offices, shops, hotels compulsory information please see the and catering, and leisure HSWNI website, insurance? www.healthandsafetywor activities. ksni.gov.uk It’s the law if you employ anyone – and you must display a valid copy of your It’s your business – so look after it!
2 | introduction How to use this booklet– how each section works List of topics No matter where you work, this booklet summarises the key common areas of risk Managing health and safety at work and tells you how you can find out Slips, trips and falls more to ensure that work is made safe. Asbestos On each page, you will see the sections Hazardous substances headed like this: he main text gives you How and where you Falls from a height T a brief introduction to the subject. can get more help Musculoskeletal disorders This section is a selection of publications which will give Does this concern me? Display screen equipment you more detailed information This section gives you some and guidance on the subject, Noise pointers to whether the and how to order them.* subject is relevant to your At the bottom of each page Vibration business. you will find HSWNI’s Internet address, and also HSWNI’s Electricity What law applies? telephone and textphone This section gives you the numbers and e-mail address Work equipment and main rules which apply in which you can contact us at if machinery addition to the general duties you need more information. in the Health and Safety at Maintenance and building At the back of the book Work (NI) Order, 1978. work is a section on health and safety policy statements and Workplace transport a section on risk assessments. Pressure systems The words ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’ are used throughout Fire and explosion this booklet. Hazard means anything that can Radiation cause harm (eg chemicals, electricity, working Stress from ladders, etc). Risk is the chance, high or low, that someone will be harmed by the hazard. First aid and accident reporting * HSE Books will accept orders for single copies of up to 25 assorted free publications. You should allow 10 working days for delivery.
managing health and safety | 3 Have you got health and safety under control? anaging health and M safety is little different from managing any other your workplace by defining who does what; and when and how they do it. On aspect of your business. You pages 21-31 of this booklet need to do a risk assessment is an example of a health to find out about the risks in and safety policy statement your workplace, put sensible that you can fill in and keep measures in place to control at your workplace. Does this them, and make sure they stay controlled. Remember, keep it simple and actually put it into concern me? practice. A risk assessment is nothing Did you know all employers more than a careful and self-employed people examination of what, in your What law applies? have to assess risks at work? work, could cause harm to people. Risk assessment I Management of Health and Did you know employers should be a practical Safety at Work Regulations with five or more employees exercise, aimed at getting (Northern Ireland) 2000 (as should have a written health the right controls in place – amended) and safety policy? keep it simple and put the results into practice. Pages I Health and Safety 32-33 of this booklet gives (Consultation with Employees) Did you know employers you step-by-step guidance Regulations (Northern Ireland) with five or more employees on how to assess health 1996 have to record the significant and safety risks with a findings of their risk minimum of fuss. I Safety Representatives assessment? Your health and safety policy and Safety Committees clearly sets out how you Regulations (Northern Ireland) Did you know employers manage health and safety in 1979 have a duty to involve their employees or their employees’ How and where you can get more help safety representatives on health and safety matters? Risk Assessment Simplified Health and Safety Law in FREE from HSWNI Northern Ireland poster Did you know employers Standard £7.50 have to provide free health Protect your profit: health and ISBN 978 0 7176 6354 5 and safety training or safety pays Semi-rigid £12.01 protective equipment for FREE from HSWNI ISBN 978 0 7176 6355 2 employees where it is Pocket card £5.00 needed? Consulting employees on (available in packs of 25) health and safety: A guide to ISBN 978 0 7176 6356 9 the law INDG232(rev1) All available from HSE Books FREE (available in packs of 15 ISBN 978 0 7176 1615 2 £3.50) Also see “Health and safety from HSE Books policy statement” and “Your risk assessment” sections at the back of this booklet. Website | www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk
4 | slips, trips and falls What are the chances of slipping or tripping at work? he most common cause injuries is over £500 million T of injuries at work is the slip or trip. Resulting falls can a year, and insurance only covers a small part of this. be serious. They happen in Effective solutions are often all kinds of businesses, but simple, cheap and lead to sectors such as food and other benefits. catering report higher than Does this average numbers. It’s a What law applies? concern me? particularly important subject if members of the public use I Workplace (Health, Safety and Do you have floors which your premises. The estimated Welfare) Regulations are, or can become, slippery, cost to employers of all these (Northern Ireland) 1993 eg when wet? Does spillage or contamination occur and is it dealt with quickly? Do people use unlit areas such as paths or yards in the dark? Might temporary work such as maintenance or alterations take place? It could introduce slipping and tripping hazards such as trailing cables. How and where you can get more help Do you use floor cleaning Preventing slips and trips at Slips and trips: Guidance for materials anywhere? Are the work INDG225(rev1) the food processing industry right methods and materials FREE (available in packs of 15 HSG156 being used? ISBN 978 0 7176 2760 8 £3.50) ISBN 978 0 7176 0832 4 £9.75 from HSE Books from HSE Books Workplace health, safety and Slips and trips: Guidance for welfare INDG244(rev2) employers on identifying FREE (available in packs of 15 hazards and controlling risks ISBN 978 0 7176 6277 7 £3.50) HSG155 from HSE Books ISBN 978 0 7176 1145 4 £7.50 from HSE Books HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030 E-mail | email@example.com Textphone | 028 9054 6896
asbestos | 5 Do you work with, or come into contact with, asbestos? sbestos is the largest Asbestos can be found in A single cause of work- related fatal disease and ill buildings built from 1950 to 1985 in many forms. It may health in Great Britain. Almost also be found in some vehicle all asbestos-related deaths brake pads and clutch linings. and ill health are from More details about managing exposures several decades asbestos can be found at: Does this ago, but if you work with www.hseni.gov.uk/dutytomanage concern me? asbestos, or come into contact with it during repair Do you know whether there and maintenance work, you What law applies? is asbestos in your premises? are at risk. You should avoid It is often found in roofs working with asbestos if I The Control of Asbestos and exterior walls, boilers, possible, but if not you must Regulations (Northern Ireland) vessels and pipework, do it safely. 2007 (as amended) ceilings, interior walls and panels, flooring materials, air How and where you can get more help handling systems, domestic appliances, brake/clutch For guidance on matters FREE (available in priced packs of 10 relating to working with ISBN 978 0 7176 6375 0) linings, fire blankets, etc. from HSE Books asbestos contact HSENI’s Asbestos Advisory Service Work with materials containing Does your work involve asbestos L143 Phone: 0800 0320 121 maintenance and repair or e-mail: ISBN 978 0 7176 6206 7 £13.50 of premises? You might firstname.lastname@example.org from HSE Books disturb asbestos while Asbestos essentials: A task doing routine work. • Asbestos, the facts • Asbestos toolkit manual for the building, • Asbestos- Duty to manage maintenance and allied trades on Do you know what the • Are you responsible for a non-licensed asbestos work hidden killer? HSG210 rules are about removing ISBN 978 0 7176 6263 0 £12.95 asbestos? In most cases, • Protect yourself against the from HSE Books you will need to use a hidden killer-working safely if asbestos is present A comprehensive guide to contractor licensed by HSENI managing asbestos in premises FREE and available from HSWNI to work with asbestos. HSG227 The management of asbestos ISBN 978 0 7176 2381 5 £12.50 in non-domestic premises: from HSE Books Would you know how to find Regulation 4 of the Control of someone licensed to do this Asbestos Regulations 2006 Introduction to asbestos essentials: work? L127 Comprehensive guidance on ISBN 978 0 7176 6209 8 £9.50 working with asbestos in the from HSE Books building maintenance and allied Do you know whether there is asbestos in any of the A short guide to managing trades HSG213 materials you work with? asbestos in premises INDG ISBN 978 0 7176 1901 6 £12.50 223(rev4) from HSE Books Website | www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk
6 | hazardous substances Do you work with hazardous substances? housands of people are ‘safe handling and use of T exposed to all kinds of hazardous substances at work. substances’ section of the Health and Safety Policy on These can include chemicals page 26. that people make or work with directly, and also dust, fume What law applies? and bacteria which can be Does this present in the workplace. I Control of Substances concern me? Exposure can happen by Hazardous to Health breathing them in, contact with Regulations (Northern Do you use chemicals at the skin, splashing them into Ireland) 2003 (as amended) work (including cleaning the eyes or swallowing them. If I The Chemicals (Hazard materials)? exposure is not prevented or Information and Packaging properly controlled, it can cause for Supply) Regulations Do you know suppliers of serious illness, including (Northern Ireland) 2009 hazardous substances have cancer, asthma and dermatitis, to provide information to and sometimes even death. I Control of Lead at Work users, including safety data See also section on ‘Fire and Regulations (Northern sheets and proper labelling? explosion’ on page 17 and the Ireland) 2003 Is there dust and fume present in your workplace? How and where you can get more help HSWNI can help identify publications relevant to you. Do you have any water systems which could be COSHH (NI). A brief guide to asthma. Leaflet INDG95 colonised by legionella? the Regulations HSENI 02 08 (rev2) FREE from HSENI FREE (available in packs of 15 Do you work with animals or ISBN 978 0 7176 0914 7 £3.50) their products? These may COSHH essentials: Easy from HSE Books steps to control chemicals. cause skin or respiratory FREE internet version available Health risk management – a sensitisation or be infected at: www.coshh-essentials.org.uk practical guide for managers with bacteria or viruses. in small and medium sized Preventing contact dermatitis enterprises HSG137 at work INDG233 (rev 1) ISBN 978 0 7176 0905 5 £6.50 FREE (available in packs of 15 from HSE Books ISBN 978 0 7176 6183 1 £3.50) from HSE Books Respiratory sensitisers and COSHH: Breathe freely – An employers’ leaflet on preventing occupational HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030 E-mail | email@example.com Textphone | 028 9054 6896
falls from a height | 7 Do you perform work at height and if so is it done safely? alls from height at work F account for around 60 deaths and just under 4000 major injuries each year. One of the main causes is falls from ladders. To help prevent falls from height, make sure Does this you consider the risks to all concern me? your workers, the work is planned, organised and Do you carry out simple carried out by competent maintenance or cleaning people and you follow the tasks that require working hierarchy for managing risks. where you could hurt Make sure workers are yourself if you fell? properly trained and supervised, have the right Can you avoid the need to equipment and know how to work at height? For example, use it safely. could the work be done using long-handled tools or What law applies? by bringing it down to ground level? I The Work at Height Regulations (Northern Do you have the most Ireland) 2005 (as amended) appropriate equipment for I Provision and Use of Work the job? It may often be safer Equipment Regulations to use a tower scaffold or (Northern Ireland) 1999 mobile elevating work platform than a ladder. How and where you can get more help Is the equipment you have The Work at Height Top tips for ladder and well maintained and do your Regulations 2005 (as stepladder safety INDG 405 employees know how to use amended): A brief guide FREE (available in priced packs of 25 it safely? INDG401 (rev 1) ISBN 0 7176 6127 X) FREE (available in packs of 10 from HSE Books ISBN 978 0 7176 6231 9 £3.50) from HSE Books A toolbox talk on leaning ladder and stepladder safety Safe use of ladders and INDG 403 stepladders: An employers’ FREE (available in priced packs of 5 guide INDG402 ISBN 0 7176 6106 7) FREE (available in packs of 5 from HSE Books ISBN 978 0 7176 6105 3 £3.50) from HSE Books Website | www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk
8 | musculoskeletal disorders Do you suffer from sprains, strains and pains? anual handling is pains, which may initially be M transporting or supporting loads by hand temporary, but if such work is not properly managed, and or using bodily force. Many the early symptoms are not people hurt their back, arms, recognised and treated, can hands or feet lifting everyday progress to a chronic and loads, not just when the load disabling disorder. Cumulative Does this is too heavy. 22% of all injuries damage can build up over time concern me? reported to HSENI in 2008/09 causing pain and discomfort in were the result of manual people’s backs, arms, hands Does your work include handling. These can result in and legs. Most cases can be strenuous lifting, carrying, those injured taking an avoided by providing suitable pushing, pulling, reaching average of 11 working days lifting equipment that is regularly or repetitive handling? off each year. maintained, together with relevant training on both manual ‘Upper limbs’ refers to the Do you have repetitive finger, handling and using the equip- neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, hand or arm movements ment safely (see page 13 ‘Work hands and fingers. Upper which are frequent, forceful equipment and machinery’). limb disorders (sometimes or awkward? called repetitive strain injury (RSI)) can happen in almost What law applies? Does your work involve any workplace where people twisting, squeezing, I Manual Handling Operations do repetitive, or forceful hammering or pounding? Regulations (Northern Ireland) manual activities in awkward 1992 postures, for prolonged periods of time. These can I Management of Health and cause muscular aches and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (as amended) How and where you can get more help Aching arms (or RSI) in small Upper limb disorders in the businesses INDG171(rev1) workplace HSG60 FREE (available in packs of 15 ISBN 978 0 7176 1978 8 £9.50 ISBN 978 0 7176 2600 7 £3.50) from HSE Books from HSE Books Getting to grips with manual Manual handling assessment handling: A short guide charts INDG383 INDG143(rev2) FREE (available in packs of 10 FREE (available in packs of 10 ISBN 978 0 7176 2741 7 £3.50) ISBN 978 0 7176 2828 5 £3.50) from HSE Books from HSE Books HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030 E-mail | firstname.lastname@example.org Textphone | 028 9054 6896
display screen equipment | 9 Do you use computers or other display screen equipment? sing a computer or other from display screen work. U kinds of display screen equipment (visual display Work with a screen does not cause eye damage, units) can give rise to back but many users experience problems, repetitive strain temporary eye strain or injury, or other musculo- stress. This can lead to skeletal disorders. These reduced work efficiency or Does this health problems may taking time off work. concern me? become serious if no action is taken. They can be caused What law applies? Is there regular use of by poor design of work- display screens as a stations (and associated I Health and Safety (Display significant part of the work? equipment such as chairs), Screen Equipment) insufficient space, lack of Regulations (Northern Does anyone use a training or not taking breaks Ireland) 1992 keyboard, mouse or other input device? Are people complaining of discomfort, aches and pains? How and where you can get more help The law on VDUs. An easy Working with VDUs guide: Making sure your INDG36(rev3) office complies with the FREE (available in packs of 10 Health and Safety (Display ISBN 978 0 7176 6222 7 £3.50) Screen Equipment) from HSE Books Regulations 1992 (as amended in 2002) HSG90 ISBN 978 0 7176 2602 1 £8.50 from HSE Books Website | www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk
10 | noise Is your workplace noisy? igh levels of noise at group, or when the rest of H work can cause hearing damage. A little damage their family complains they have the television on too happens every time it is loud. Deafness can make noisy, gradually adding up to people feel isolated from their serious harm. Young people family, friends and colleagues. can be damaged as easily as Does this the old. Sufferers often first What law applies? concern me? start to notice hearing loss when they cannot keep up I The Control of Noise at Are there times when the with conversations in a Work Regulations (Northern workplace is so noisy that Ireland) 2006 people have to shout to each other at normal speaking distance to make themselves heard? If so, there is likely to be a danger to hearing. Are noisy powered tools or machinery in use for at least part of the day? Are there noisy bangs from hammering, explosive or impact tools, or guns? Are there areas where noise could interfere with warning How and where you can get more help and danger signals? Controlling noise at work. Sound advice. Control of The Control of Noise at Work noise at work in music and Regulations 2005 L108 entertainment HSG260 ISBN 978 0 7176 6164 0 £13.95 ISBN 978 0 7176 6307 1 £14.50 from HSE Books from HSE Books Noise at work: Guidance for Protect your hearing or lose it! employers on the Control of Pocket card INDG363(rev 1) Noise at Work Regulations FREE (available in packs of 25 2005 INDG362 (rev1) ISBN 978 0 7176 6166 4 £3.50) FREE (available in packs of 10 from HSE Books ISBN 978 0 7176 6165 7 £3.50) from HSE Books Noise toolbox talk pack ISBN 978 0 7176 2998 5 £10.00 from HSE Books HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030 E-mail | email@example.com Textphone | 028 9054 6896
vibration | 11 Are you exposed to vibration? ibration from work with passing through the seat into V powered hand-held tools, equipment or processes can the driver’s body through the buttocks – known as whole- damage the hands and arms body vibration. Whole-body of users causing ‘hand-arm vibration can also be vibration syndrome’. This is a caused by standing on the painful, irreversible condition platform of a vehicle or Does this which includes ‘vibration machine, so vibration concern me? white finger’ and the effects passes into the operator can be impaired blood through their feet. Does anyone work with circulation, damage to the hand-held and hand-guided nerves and muscles, and tools and machines such as loss of ability to grip properly. What law applies? concrete breakers and Back pain can be caused by I The Control of Vibration at vibrating compactor plates or aggravated by vibration Work Regulations (Northern and workpieces such as from a vehicle or machine Ireland) 2005 castings which are held against powered machinery such as pedestal grinders? How and where you can get more help Hand-arm vibration. The Whole-body vibration. The Does anyone doing this work Control of Vibration at Work Control of Vibration at Work get tingling or numbness in Regulations 2005. Guidance Regulations 2005. Guidance the fingers or hands? on Regulations L140 on Regulations L141 ISBN 978 0 7176 6125 1 £13.95 ISBN 978 0 7176 6126 8 £10.95 Does anyone often drive from HSE Books from HSE Books off-road machinery such as Control the risks from hand- Control back-pain risks from tractors, dumper trucks or arm vibration: Advice for whole-body vibration: Advice excavators or unsuspended employers on the Control of for employers on the Control vehicles such as fork-lift Vibration at Work Regulations of Vibration at Work trucks? 2005 INDG175(rev2) Regulations 2005 FREE (available in packs of 10 INDG242(rev1) ISBN 978 0 7176 6117 6 £3.50) FREE (available in packs of 10 from HSE Books ISBN 978 0 7176 6119 0 £3.50) from HSE Books Hand-arm vibration: Advice for employees Pocket card Drive away bad backs: Advice INDG296(rev1) for mobile machine operators FREE (available in packs of 25 and drivers Pocket card ISBN 978 0 7176 6118 3 £3.50) INDG404 from HSE Books FREE (available in packs of 25 ISBN 978 0 7176 6120 6 £3.50) from HSE Books Website | www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk
12 | electricity How safe is electricity in your workplace? lectricity can kill. Most the only ones at risk. Poor E deaths are caused by contact with overhead or electrical installations and faulty electrical appliances can lead underground power cables. to fires which can also result Even non-fatal shocks can in death or injury to others. cause severe and permanent injury. Shocks from faulty What law applies? Does this equipment may lead to falls concern me? from ladders, scaffolds or I Electricity at Work other work platforms. Those Regulations (Northern Does anyone do electrical using electricity may not be Ireland) 1991 work in your business? Only those with appropriate technical knowledge and experience should be allowed to do this. Is your electrical equipment in good working order? Do you choose equipment that is suitable for its working environment, eg waterproof or dustproof? Do you dig in the street, pavement or near buildings? Knowing the proper precautions for avoiding underground cables is How and where you can get more help essential. Avoidance of danger from ISBN 978 0 7176 2164 4 £7.95 overhead electric power lines from HSE Books Do you work near or under GS6 Avoiding danger from under- overhead powerlines? There ISBN 978 0 7176 1348 9 £5.00 ground services HSG47 are essential safety from HSE Books ISBN 978 0 7176 1744 9 £7.50 precautions to follow. from HSE Books Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at work Regulations 1989 HSR25 Electrical safety and you ISBN 978 0 7176 6228 9 £11.95 INDG231 FREE (available in packs of 15 from HSE Books ISBN 978 0 7176 1207 9 £3.50) Electricity at work. Safe from HSE Books working practices HSG85 HSWNI HSWNIPhone | 0300 | 0300 020 0030 e-mailE-mail 020 0030 | firstname.lastname@example.org HSWNI | email@example.com Textphone Web | www.hswni.gov.uk | 028 9054 6896
work Display equipment screen andequipment machinery || 13 Do you know how to select and use your work equipment? ork equipment covers an happen all the time – many W enormous range spanning process machinery, serious, some fatal. See ‘safe plant and equipment’ section machine tools, office of the Health and Safety Policy machines, lifting equipment, on page 25 of this booklet. hand tools, ladders and pressure washers. Important Does this points include: selecting the What law applies? concern me? right equipment for the job, making sure equipment is safe I Provision and Use of Work Do you use ladders or other to use and keeping it safe Equipment Regulations equipment for working at through regular maintenance, (Northern Ireland) 1999 heights? For example, it may inspection and, if appropriate, I Lifting Operations and Lifting often be safer to use an thorough examination, training Equipment Regulations access tower or mobile employees to use equipment (Northern Ireland) 1999 elevating work platform than safely and following a ladder. manufacturers’ or suppliers’ I The Supply of Machinery instructions. Accidents (Safety) Regulations 2008 Do you have machinery of involving work equipment any kind? You need to guard the parts that could cause injury; have the right controls, How and where you can get more help especially for starting and Simple guide to the Provision Buying new machinery stopping; clean, or clear and Use of Work Equipment INDG271 blockages in a safe way; and Regulations INDG291 FREE (available in packs of 15 carry out preventive checks, FREE (available in packs of 15 ISBN 978 0 7176 1559 9 £3.50) maintenance and inspection. ISBN 978 0 7176 2429 4 £3.50) from HSE Books from HSE Books Are hand tools used in your Using work equipment safely Thorough examination of workplace, eg screwdrivers, INDG229(rev1) lifting equipment INDG422 knives, hand saws, meat FREE (available in packs of 10 FREE (available in packs of 15 cleavers, hammers? ISBN 978 0 7176 2389 1 £3.50) ISBN 978 0 7176 6305 7 £3.50) from HSE Books from HSE Books Do you have lifting Safe use of ladders and equipment such as pulley Safe use of work equipment. stepladders: An employers’ blocks, cranes, and lift Provision and Use of Work guide INDG402 trucks? Most lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 FREE (available in packs of 5 equipment will require L22 ISBN 978 0 7176 6105 3 £3.50) regular thorough examination ISBN 978 0 7176 6295 1 £11.95 from HSE Books by a competent person. from HSE Books Website| |0300 HSWNI e-mail | firstname.lastname@example.org www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk 020 0030 HSWNI Web | www.hswni.gov.uk
14 | maintenance and building work What maintenance and building work takes place? What law applies? t’s easy to overlook these I activities because they happen now and again, I The Construction (Design and and it’s often a contractor Management) Regulations or service agency doing (Northern Ireland) 2007 the work. Sometimes people I Lifting Operations and Lifting are in places where no one Equipment Regulations (Northern Does this normally goes, eg the roof or Ireland) 1999 concern me? electrical switchboard. They I Provision and Use of Work may be fault finding, trying Equipment Regulations (Northern Did you know that if you are to repair something quickly – Ireland) 1999 the person responsible for often outside the routine. your business, you are also Not surprisingly there are I Confined Spaces Regulations responsible for contractors, many accidents. Falls from (Northern Ireland) 1999 service engineers, etc who heights, eg ladders, are the do work for you? most common cause of I The Work at Height Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 serious injury. (as amended) Does anyone ever have to work on the roof, at a height or on fragile materials? How and where you can get more help Managing health & safety in Managing contractors: A Does anyone have to fault construction: Construction guide for employers HSG159 find and repair machinery (Design and Management) ISBN 978 0 7176 1196 6 £8.50 or equipment when it Regulations 2007 L144 from HSE Books breaks down? ISBN 978 0 7176 6223 4 £15.00 from HSE Books Health and safety in Is there a tank, pit, silo or construction HSG150 similar confined space into The absolutely essential ISBN 978 0 7176 6317 0 £10.95 which someone might go – health and safety toolkit for the from HSE Books and would you know if they smaller construction contractor did? HSENI 02 09 The Work at Height FREE from HSENI Regulations 2005 (as Have you found out whether amended): A brief guide Health and safety in roof work there is any asbestos* in INDG401 (rev1) HSG33 your buildings or plant which FREE (available in packs of 10 ISBN 978 0 7176 6250 0 £12.95 could be disturbed during ISBN 978 0 7176 6231 9 £3.50) from HSE Books maintenance or alterations? from HSE Books * Also see page 5 on ‘Asbestos’ HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030 E-mail | email@example.com Textphone | 028 9054 6896
workplace transport | 15 What are the risks from transport in your workplace? very year about 70 people vehicles over-turning are the E are killed and about 2500 seriously injured in accidents most common causes. Vehicles operating in the involving vehicles at the workplace include cars and workplace. Being struck or vans, lift trucks, heavy goods run over by moving vehicles, vehicles, dumpers, specialised falling from vehicles, or vehicles or plant. Often there Does this is significantly more danger concern me? from vehicles in the workplace than on the public highway Do you have vehicles in since the operating operation at your workplace? conditions are different. If so, what kinds of vehicles are they? What law applies? Are pedestrians separated from vehicle movements as I Workplace (Health, Safety much as possible? and Welfare) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993 Are traffic routes suitable for I Provision and Use of Work the vehicles which have to Equipment Regulations use them? Are they clearly (Northern Ireland) 1999 marked? I Lifting Operations and Do you know who is allowed Lifting Equipment to drive or operate the Regulations (Northern vehicles? They should be Ireland) 1999 trained and competent. Are loading and unloading How and where you can get more help operations carried out safely? Workplace transport safety: Safety in working with lift Do you actively control An employers’ guide trucks HSG6 driving behaviour? HSG136 ISBN 978 0 7176 1781 4 £6.50 ISBN 978 0 7176 6154 1 £11.50 from HSE Books Are all vehicles properly from HSE Books maintained? Is your lift truck being used Workplace transport safety: safely? HSENI 02 04 An overview INDG199(rev1) FREE from HSENI FREE (available in packs of 5 ISBN 978 0 7176 2821 6 £3.50) from HSE Books Website | www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk
16 | pressure systems Do you know the risks associated with pressure systems? ressure cookers, boilers, people, and serious damage P steam heating systems, gas cylinders and air to property, if the contents are released unintentionally. There compressors are common are about 150 incidents of this examples of equipment and kind every year. They mainly systems containing a fluid happen when equipment fails under pressure. They can through poor design, incorrect Does this cause death or injury to filling or maintenance or concern me? when the method of work is unsafe, or someone makes Do you have any pressure an operating mistake. systems or equipment in your business that contain What law applies? a fluid under pressure? I Pressure Systems Do you know that most Safety Regulations pressure systems have to (Northern Ireland) 2004 be designed, installed, I The Carriage of Dangerous maintained and periodically Goods and Use of examined so as to prevent Transportable Pressure danger? Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 Are you aware that as an employer or self-employed person, it’s your job to choose a competent person to carry out examinations of the pressure systems? How and where you can get more help Pressure systems safety and ISBN 978 0 7176 1767 8 £7.50 you INDG261(rev1) from HSE Books FREE (available in packs of 15 Written schemes of ISBN 978 0 7176 1562 9 £3.50) examination INDG178(rev1) from HSE Books FREE (available in packs of 15 Safety of pressure systems, ISBN 978 0 7176 2269 6 £3.50) Pressure Systems Safety from HSE Books Regulations 2000. Approved Code of Practice L122 HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030 E-mail | firstname.lastname@example.org Textphone | 028 9054 6896
fire and explosion | 17 Do you know how to prevent fire or explosion? ach year many people start, fuel, air and a source of E suffer burns caused by the flammable materials they ignition are needed. Controlling these can prevent fires. work with. The wide variety of flammable substances found If you would like information in the workplace ranges from on fire exits, alarms, or the obvious, eg heating fuel, extinguishers, contact the petrol, paint thinners and Northern Ireland Fire & Does this welding gases to the less Rescue Service (NIFRS) at concern me? obvious, eg packaging www.nifrs.org materials, dusts from wood, Do you keep or use flour and sugar. For a fire to What law applies? flammable substances? I Dangerous Substances Do you use or store gas in and Explosive Atmospheres cylinders (eg propane)? A Regulations (Northern small amount of released gas Ireland) 2003 can fill a large area with a I Fire and Rescue Services potentially explosive mixture. (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 Do you work with flammable I Fire Safety Regulations dusts? They can explode. (Northern Ireland) 2010 Do you work with plastic How and where you can get more help foams or polyester wadding? Managing fire safety in the Safe working with flammable Some types will ignite easily, workplace substances INDG227 burn fiercely and give off FREE from HSWNI FREE (available in packs of 15 dense black smoke. ISBN 978 0 7176 1154 6 £3.50) Safe use of petrol in garages from HSE Books Do you spray flammable INDG331 paints? Vapours are heavier FREE (available in packs of 10 Dispensing petrol: Assessing than air and collect at low ISBN 978 0 7176 1836 1 £3.50) and controlling the risk of fire level. from HSE Books and explosion at sites where petrol is stored and Fire and explosion. How safe is dispensed as a fuel HSG146 Do you know the dangers of your workplace? A short guide ISBN 978 0 7176 1048 8 £7.50 putting flammable liquids on to the Dangerous Substances from HSE Books fires to make them burn and Explosive Atmospheres more intensely? Regulations INDG370 Safe use and handling of FREE (available in packs of 5 flammable liquids HSG140 Do you use oxygen, eg in ISBN 978 0 7176 2589 5 £3.50) ISBN 978 0 7176 0967 3 £8.50 cylinders, for welding? from HSE Books from HSE Books Website | www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk
18 | radiation Do you know where harmful radiation occurs? arious kinds of radiation, G medical equipment, V both ionising and non- ionising, may affect us. eg X-ray sets. Excess doses of ionising Non-ionising radiation: radiation can cause burns, G UV radiation (eg from the sickness and can have other sun) can damage the skin adverse health effects. and lead to skin cancer; Does this G lasers can cause burns concern me? and damage the eye. What law applies? Do people in your business Ionising radiation: I Ionising Radiations Regulations spend a lot of time working G naturally occurring radon (Northern Ireland) 2000 outdoors? gas from the ground; I Management of Health and G radiography or thickness Safety at Work Regulations Do you have equipment measuring gauges; (Northern Ireland) 2000 (as which gives off ultra-violet amended) radiation eg for curing plastics or inks? How and where you can get more help Do you work with lasers? Controlling the radiation safety The regulatory requirements of display laser installations for medical exposure to Is your business in an area INDG224 ionising radiation: An where levels of radon are FREE from HSE Books employers overview HSG223 higher than average? ISBN 978 0 7176 2134 7 £6.50 Keep your top on: Health risks from HSE Books Are any radioactive sources from working in the sun used in your business INDG147(rev1) Working safely with ionising brought in by a specialist FREE (available in packs of 20 radiation: Guidance for contractor, or do you ISBN 978 0 7176 1578 0 £3.50) expectant and breastfeeding transport them? from HSE Books mothers INDG334 FREE from HSE Books Sun protection: Advice for Is X-ray equipment used? employers of outdoor workers Work with ionising radiation: INDG337 Ionising Radiations Regulations FREE (available in packs of 20 1999. Approved Code of ISBN 978 0 7176 1982 5 £3.50) Practice and Guidance L121 from HSE Books ISBN 978 0 7176 1746 3 £20.00 from HSE Books HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030 E-mail | email@example.com Textphone | 028 9054 6896
stress | 19 Are you feeling stressed by your work? any people argue about lack of control over the way M the definition and some- times even the existence of you do your work, work over- load (or underload), lack of ‘stress’. However, research support from your managers, has shown that whatever you conflicting or ambiguous choose to call it, there is a roles, poor relationships with clear link between poor work colleagues (including Does this organisation and subsequent bullying), or poor management concern me? ill health. HSE has chosen to of organisational change. use the word stress and define Do you have a high staff it as ‘the adverse reaction Benefits to tackling stress in turnover, low productivity people have to excessive your organisation can include or low morale? Have you pressure or other types of increased productivity and noticed bullying, changes demand placed on them.’ efficiency, lower staff turnover in behaviour, staff working and sickness absence, and late or increased sickness Stress at work can be tackled increased morale. absence? in the same way as any other risk to health – by identifying What law applies? Do your employees seem the hazards, assessing who happy to come into work? is at risk and the level of risk, I Management of Health and deciding how to manage the Safety at Work Regulations Are you aware that there are risk and putting the plans into (Northern Ireland) 2000 (as individual differences in action. Hazards can include: amended) vulnerability to stress and that situations outside work can also affect the ability How and where you can get more help to cope with excessive Managing the causes of Working together to reduce pressure at work? work-related stress HSG218 stress at work: A guide for ISBN 978 0 7176 6273 9 £10.95 employees MISC686 from HSE Books FREE (available in packs of 15 ISBN 978 0 7176 6122 0 £3.50) Tackling stress: The from HSE Books Management Standards approach INDG406 Making the Stress Management FREE (available in packs of 10 Standards work: How to apply ISBN 978 0 7176 6140 4 £3.50) the Standards in your from HSE Books workplace MISC714 FREE (available in packs of 15 ISBN 978 0 7176 6157 2 £3.50) from HSE Books Website | www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk
20 | first aid and accident reporting What do you do if there’s an accident at work? his booklet has been all Accidents should be reported T about prevention. But sometimes things do go to your enforcing authority within ten days of the wrong. If someone has been incident. You should hurt or fallen ill at work it’s complete an NI2508 form important to take care of (available from HSENI or can them straight away, and be downloaded from make any dangerous www.hseni.gov.uk) or if you conditions safe. are reporting to HSENI you Does this can do this online at concern me? First aid means treating www.hseni.gov.uk. Fatalities or major injury accidents minor injuries at work and giving immediate attention to must be reported immediately Do you have at least the more serious casualties until (eg by telephone). minimum first-aid provision at your workplace? The medical help is available. Through this initial See ‘accidents, first aid and minimum would be a suitably management of injury or work-related ill health’ section stocked first-aid box, a illness suffered at work, lives of the Health and Safety person appointed to take can be saved and minor Policy on page 29 of this charge of first-aid injuries prevented from booklet. arrangements and provide becoming major ones. information to employees What law applies? about first-aid arrangements. Reporting accidents and ill health at work is a legal I Health and Safety (First Aid) requirement. The enforcing Regulations (Northern Do you know whether you authorities use the Ireland)1982 might need to provide more information to see the big than the minimum? picture of where injuries, ill I Reporting of Injuries, Diseases health and accidental losses and Dangerous Occurrences Do you know which are occurring, and to advise Regulations (Northern Ireland) accidents and ill health cases on preventive action. 1997 to report, including who should do it, when and how? How and where you can get more help Employers, the self- employed and people in RIDDOR (NI )97 HSENI 01 09 First aid at work – Your Questions control of work premises all FREE from HSENI answered INDG214(rev 1) have duties. FREE (available in packs of 15 First aid at work – Approved ISBN 978 0717 66372 9 £3.50) Do you know what accidents Code of Practice (Northern from HSE Books cost – and that insurance Ireland) ISBN 978 0 33 709475 0 £5.50 Further information can be policies do not cover all the available from The Stationery obtained from the Employment costs? Office, Arthur Street, Belfast Medical Advisory Service (EMAS) by following their link on the HSENI website, www.hseni.gov.uk HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030 E-mail | firstname.lastname@example.org Textphone | 028 9054 6896
policy statement | 21 Health and safety policy statement Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978 This is the Health and Safety Policy Statement of (name of company) Our statement of general policy is: G to provide adequate control of the health and safety risks arising from our work activities; G to consult with our employees on matters affecting their health and safety; G to provide and maintain safe plant and equipment; G to ensure safe handling and use of substances; G to provide information, instruction and supervision for employees; G to ensure all employees are competent to do their tasks, and to give them adequate training; G to prevent accidents and cases of work-related ill health; G to maintain safe and healthy working conditions; and G to review and revise this policy as necessary at regular intervals. Signed (Employer) Date Review date
22 | responsibilities Responsibilities 1 Overall and final responsibility for health and safety is that of 2 Day-to-day responsibility for ensuring this policy is put into practice is delegated to 1 As the employer you have overall responsibility for health and safety. 2 You can delegate 3 To ensure health and safety standards are maintained/ responsibility for day-to-day improved, the following people have responsibility in the tasks to someone else, eg a following areas manager or supervisor. Make Name Responsibility sure they keep you informed about health and safety matters: they are still your overall responsibility. 3 You can delegate specific tasks to individuals in your organisation, by workplace area or by topic. Responsibilities should be clearly set so that if there are any health and safety concerns, they can be reported to the right person 4 Employees also have 4 All employees have to: legal responsibilities to take G co-operate with supervisors and managers on health and care of the health and safety safety matters; of themselves and others, G not interfere with anything provided to safeguard their and to co-operate with you to health and safety; help you comply with the law. G take reasonable care of their own health and safety; and G report all health and safety concerns to an appropriate person (as detailed in this policy statement).
responsibilities | 23 Health and safety risks arising from our work activities G Risk assessments will be undertaken by G The findings of the risk assessments will be reported to Write down your arrange- ments for doing your risk assessment here. You can use a photocopy of the blank G Action required to remove/control risks will be approved by risk assessment template on page 36 of this booklet to record the findings of your risk assessment or download the form from the HSWNI G website. will be responsible for ensuring the action required is implemented. G will check that the implemented actions have removed/reduced the risks. G Assessments will be reviewed every or when the work activity changes, whichever is soonest.
24 | arrangements Consultation with employees G Employee representative(s) are You must consult your employees. If you recognise a union and there is a union-appointed safety representative, you must consult them on matters affecting the employees they represent. If you do not have trade unions, you must consult employees either directly or through an elected representative. G Consultation with employees is provided by
arrangements | 25 Safe plant and equipment G will be responsible for identifying all equipment/plant You will need to ensure needing maintenance. that all plant and equipment that requires maintenance G is identified, that the maintenance is done and that new or secondhand plant and equipment meets will be responsible for ensuring effective maintenance health and safety standards procedures are drawn up. before you buy it. G will be responsible for ensuring that all identified maintenance is implemented. G Any problems found with plant/equipment should be reported to G will check that new plant and equipment meets health and safety standards before it is purchased.
26 | arrangements Safe handling and use of substances G will be responsible for identifying all substances which need a COSHH assessment. You must assess the risks from all substances G hazardous to health under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (Northern will be responsible for undertaking COSHH assessments. Ireland) 2003 (as amended) (COSHH). These are your COSHH assessments. Write G down your arrangements for doing your COSHH assessments here. will be responsible for ensuring that all actions identified in the assessments are implemented. G will be responsible for ensuring that all relevant employees are informed about the COSHH assessments. G will check that new substances can be used safely before they are purchased. G Assessments will be reviewed every or when the work activity changes, whichever is soonest.
arrangements | 27 Information, instruction and supervision G The Health and Safety Law in NI poster is displayed at/ leaflets are issued by Write down where you G Health and safety advice is available from display the Health and Safety Law in NI poster, or where the leaflets are available G Supervision of young workers/trainees will be from, where people can go for health and safety advice arranged/undertaken/monitored by and what provision you make for training young workers or trainees. G is responsible for ensuring that our employees working at locations under the control of other employers, are given relevant health and safety information.
28 | arrangements Competency for tasks and training G Induction training will be provided for all employees by G Job specific training will be provided by All employees must be given health and safety induction training when they start work, G Specific jobs requiring special training are which should cover basics such as first aid and fire safety. There should also be job specific health and safety training. You also have to provide training if risks change, and refresher training when skills are not frequently used. Write down your arrangements for training here, including arrangements for record keeping. G Training records are kept at/by G Training will be identified, arranged and monitored by
arrangements | 29 Accidents, first aid and work-related ill health G Health surveillance is required for employees doing the following jobs Employees must receive specialist health surveillance for certain work. Your COSHH assessments will identify G Health surveillance will be arranged by where this specialist health surveillance is needed. You should note down your first aid arrangements here. G Health surveillance records will be kept by/at Accident books are available from The Stationery Office (TSO), 16 Arthur Street, G The first aid box(es) is/are kept at Belfast, BT1 4GD. G The appointed person(s)/first aider(s) is/are G All accidents and cases of work-related ill health are to be recorded in the accident book. The book is kept by/at G is responsible for reporting accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the enforcing authority, (HSENI or your district council depending upon where you work).
30 | arrangements Monitoring G To check our working conditions, and ensure our safe working practices are being followed, we will You must be able to show that you are monitoring health and safety. You can monitor health and safety actively, eg doing spot check visits, or reactively, eg investigating any accidents or ill health. Record your procedures here. G is responsible for investigating accidents. G is responsible for investigating work-related causes of sickness absences. G is responsible for acting on investigation findings to prevent a recurrence.
arrangements | 31 Emergency procedures – fire and evacuation G is responsible for ensuring the fire risk assessment is undertaken and implemented. Record your emergency G Escape routes are checked by/every procedures, how often they are checked and who by. G Fire extinguishers are maintained and checked by/every If you have five or more employees, or require a licence or registration, you must record the significant findings of your fire risk G Alarms are tested by/every assessment and any actions you have taken to remove or reduce the risk. G Emergency evacuation will be tested every
32 | risk assessment Your risk assessment Carrying out a risk assessment can help you protect your workers and your business, as well as help you work within the law. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter - the ones that could possibly cause real harm. A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what in your work could cause harm to people, so that you can decide whether you have taken enough precautions or if you should do more to prevent harm. The law does not expect you to get rid of all risk, but you must protect people as far as is reasonably possible. RISK ASSESSMENTS don’t have to be long and complex! When thinking about your risk assessment, remember: When you are carrying out your risk assessment, it may be G a hazard is anything that helpful to divide your business into different activities or areas may cause harm, such as and deal with each of these separately. This will be less chemicals, electricity, daunting than trying to carry out a risk assessment for the working from ladders, an whole business. Follow the five steps on the next page. open drawer; G the risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody could be harmed by these and other hazards, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be. HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030 E-mail | email@example.com Textphone | 028 9054 6896
risk assessment | 33 Step 1 b: What further action do find that there are quite a lot What are the hazards? you need to take? of improvements that you First you need to work out If you have decided that could make, don’t try to do how people could be there is more you could do to everything at once. Make a harmed. When you work in a bring yourself up to standard, plan of action to deal with the place everyday, it is easy to list the extra precautions you most important things first. overlook some hazards. The need to take. When you are risk assessment template on controlling risks, consider a: Who needs to carry out pages 34-35 includes tips on each of the following the action? how to spot the hazards that principles in order and You should make it clear who matter. introduce all that apply: in the company is G Try a less risky option. responsible for taking the Step 2 G Prevent access to the lead on each action. Decide who might be hazard. harmed and how G Organise work to reduce b: When is the action Identify groups of people who exposure to the hazard. needed by? might be harmed and how G Provide safe systems of Make sure that you set a date they might be harmed, for work and written by which the necessary work example shelf stackers may procedures. is to be finished. injure their back as they are G Provide training and repeatedly lifting boxes. supervision. c: Done G Issue personal protective As you carry out each action Step 3 equipment. tick it off as ‘done’ on the risk Evaluate the risks and assessment. decide what precautions Step 4 to take Record your findings and Step 5 Once you have spotted the take action Review your risk hazards, you then have to If you have five or more assessment and update decide what to do about employees, you are required when needed them. By law you must do by law to record the findings Very few workplaces stay the everything that is reasonable of your risk assessment. You same, so it makes sense to to protect people from harm. can use a photocopy of the review what you are doing You need to answer the blank risk assessment regularly. Every year or so, following questions: template on page 36 to do review where you are to this. You can also download make sure you are still a: What are you already a version of the template improving, or at least not doing? from the HSWNI website. sliding back. Set a date for Start by looking at what you Regardless of the size of your review and put it in your are already doing and your business, it is good diary so you don’t forget it. compare this with what is practice to record the accepted as good practice. findings of your risk On pages 34-35 there are assessment and share them more helpful tips for carrying with your employees. out a risk assessment. If, like many businesses, you Website | www.healthandsafetyworksni.gov.uk
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