An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses

An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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
An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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
An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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?
Who enforces health             or go online at                  Yes, and other incidents.
and safety law?                 www.healthandsafetywor           For information on which
                                            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
                                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!
An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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
                                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
                                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.
An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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 |
An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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 |      Textphone | 028 9054 6896
An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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
 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              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 |
An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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:     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 |      Textphone | 028 9054 6896
An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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 |
An introduction to health and safety - Health and safety in small businesses
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
                                     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 |     Textphone | 028 9054 6896
display screen equipment | 9

                                Do you use computers
                                or other display screen
                                      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 |
10 | noise

                                       Is your workplace

                                             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 |    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 |
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
                                                                        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
             | 0300
                  | 0300
                     020 0030   e-mailE-mail
                         020 0030      |     HSWNI
                                             |  Textphone
                                                                       Web |
                                                                              | 028 9054 6896
                                                                                          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 |
                  020 0030                                          HSWNI Web |
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)
    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 |          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
                                                                    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 |
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
                                                                         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 |   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   
                                 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 |
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
    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 |     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 |
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        or if you
                                        conditions safe.                   are reporting to HSENI you
      Does this                                                            can do this online at
      concern me?                       First aid means treating  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
                                        Office, Arthur Street, Belfast     Medical Advisory Service (EMAS)
                                                                           by following their link on the HSENI

       HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030          E-mail |   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
  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



  Date                               Review date
22 | 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

                                   will be responsible for ensuring the action required
                                   is implemented.


                                   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

                                    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

                                    G Consultation with employees is provided by
arrangements | 25

                               Safe plant
                               and equipment


                                   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.

                                   will be responsible for ensuring that all identified
                                   maintenance is implemented.

                               G Any problems found with plant/equipment should be
                                   reported to


                                   will check that new plant and equipment meets health
                                   and safety standards before it is purchased.
26 | arrangements

                                Safe handling
                                and use of substances


                                    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.


                                    will be responsible for ensuring that all relevant employees
                                    are informed about the COSHH assessments.


                                    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.


                                    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


                                     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


                                   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.


                                       is responsible for investigating accidents.


                                       is responsible for investigating work-related causes of
                                       sickness absences.


                                       is responsible for acting on investigation findings to prevent
                                       a recurrence.
arrangements | 31

                               Emergency procedures –
                               fire and evacuation


                                   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

      HSWNI Phone | 0300 020 0030        E-mail |      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

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