Monthly Archives: May 2017

Ensure your Machinery Safety Measures Meet the Grade

The safety devices installed by manufacturers are there for a reason – it’s therefore vitally important that all of your employees know not to remove them or adapt them.

Tips to Ensure your Machinery Safety Measures Meet the Grade:

  1. Undertake a risk assessment to identify machinery that your workers use which could give rise to harm – for example items with rotating blades, moving chains or hot components. Check that all items have the necessary guarding in place to prevent access to these dangerous parts. Provide additional safety devices – preferably of the fixed variety – if guarding is not currently in place.
  2. Do not allow employees to remove safety devices installed by the manufacturer. Provide clear information for workers on what the device looks like, how it should be fitted, and why it is in place.
  3. Train workers on how to use equipment properly, and to replace any removed safety devices immediately, for example during specified work such as maintenance or the cleaning of machines.
  4. Supervise workers undertaking machinery tasks and ensure that checks are made on the presence of safety devices before work starts.
  5. Regularly inspect machinery to look for defects, and to check that guarding and other devices are in place and that they are in a good condition. Remove machinery from use until any defects have been remedied, and all safety devices have been put back on.

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Tips for Homeworkers

Homeworking can present challenges to both employers and employees. For employers, this can include managing staff who work on their own and away from the main business base. For employees, it can include overcoming feelings of isolation and managing the boundaries between home and work life.

Employers have a duty of care for all their employees, and the requirements of the health and safety legislation apply to homeworkers. The employer is responsible for carrying out a risk assessment to check whether the proposed home workplace’s ventilation, temperature, lighting, space, chair, desk and computer, or any kind of workstation, and floor are suitable for the tasks the homeworker will be carrying out.

The employer is responsible for the equipment it supplies, but it is the employee’s responsibility to rectify any flaws in the home highlighted by the assessment. Once the home workplace has passed the assessment, it is the employee who is responsible for keeping it that way.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that you are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of your home workers, even though they are not working from your premises. You have an obligation to carry out a Health & Safety Risk Assessment on the home worker’s premises, and to ensure that any requirements of your Employers’ Liability Insurance are met.

Employers must also:

  • ensure that the equipment the home worker uses is fit for purpose
  • test, certify and maintain any electrical equipment you provide (such as a company laptop)
  • ensure that lighting levels and computer glare are at appropriate levels – and don’t forget that home workers are also entitled to an eye test paid for by their employer
  • reduce the risk of trips and falls by ensuring home workers tidy away loose cables
  • provide adequate training to allow the employee to work safely
  • create an emergency plan so that the alarm can be raised and medical attention sought without delay
  • maintain appropriate records of serious accidents, illness or injuries.

It is also important to properly assess potential home workers to ensure that they don’t have a medical condition that would make it unsafe for them to work alone, and that they aren’t assigned tasks that should not be undertaken unaccompanied.

If you require advice or assistance, please contact us.


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Falls from height – Fragile roof

Falls from height through fragile roofs are all too common. Take steps today to ensure you employ competent contractors and make sure all parties on site work together safely.

Tips for Managing Contractors and Subcontractors

  1. Always check the credentials of contractors before employing them to ensure they are experienced, qualified and competent to do the work. Verify what checks they will carry out on any companies they subcontract work to, to ensure the same applies.
  2. Ensure a risk assessment has been carried out which covers all of the work activities to be undertaken by all parties on site. Make sure the contents are agreed, and that the necessary control measures have been identified.
  3. Make sure clear lines of responsibility are written down in the work plan. Check it states who is responsible for which safety measures, and how and when they will be used, inspected and maintained.
  4. Establish clear lines of communication between all parties from the outset. Make sure the main contractor organises inductions for all workers before they start work on site, and that they intend to hold regular site meetings to discuss safety and health matters.
  5. Provide training for your staff who will deal with contractors in relation to checking their competence and asking the right questions about how the job will be carried out safely.

Contact us, should you need assistance.



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Tips to Ensure Members of the Public are Protected During Work Activities

It is vitally important that you consider how persons other than your workers are protected during your work activities. Make sure any risks are included in your risk assessments and policies.

Tips to Ensure Members of the Public are Protected During Work Activities:

  1. Include hazards that could affect members of the public and others (such as visitors) when undertaking your risk assessments. Consider what controls are needed, such as segregating dangerous machinery from the public, and using signage to warn people of the work that is being undertaken.
  2. Provide workers with a safe system of work to follow. Make sure workers know they must look out for members of the public during their activities.
  3. Inspect your workplace to ensure that members of the public cannot wander onto site by mistake. Ensure doors are locked, and that there are no gaps in fencing. Only allow access to authorised personnel.
  4. Make sure that any vehicles being used outside have the correct mirrors and reversing alarms, and that staff stick to any specified speed limits.
  5. Ensure that vehicles are segregated from pedestrians at all times by the use of barriers.

Contact us should you require assistance.


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