Monthly Archives: August 2017

Tips to Help Ensure that Workers Are Protected when Using Circular Saws

Many workers have lost fingers or hands when using circular saws that are unguarded, or when following unsafe working practices. Check today that your circular saw procedures make the grade.

Tips to Help Ensure that Workers Are Protected when Using Circular Saws

  1. Undertake a risk assessment to find out what the hazards are – this would likely include lacerations and amputations, clothing becoming caught and kickback injuries. Consider the best controls to mitigate the risk, such as the use of aids, guarding and suitable workwear.
  2. Make sure workers only use the machine for the material and purpose it was intended for.
  3. Give adequate training to workers on the safe use of circular saws, and supervise them in their activities. Ensure workers know to check before use that the blade is not dull or covered in deposits such as resin. Teach them to stop the machine and remove the blade to clean it – workers must never try to scrape a moving blade.
  4. Ensure guarding is in place – the top guard should be fitted as close as possible to the material being cut. Circular saw machines should be fitted with a braking device that brings the blade to rest within 10 seconds during run down.
  5. Keep body parts away from the dangerous moving parts of the saw at all times. Make sure that workers use push sticks or an automated feed system to keep hands away from the blade. Push sticks must be at least 450mm in length and must be able to feed the last 300mm of a cut through the machine.

Contact us should you require assistance.

 

Help Prevent Crushing Injuries in the Workplace

Unfortunately, there are many cases each year whereby workers receive crushing injuries by doors and other equipment on work premises. Take the time to review your risk assessments and procedures to ensure that you have identified and suitably controlled this risk.

Tips to Help Prevent Crushing Injuries in the Workplace

  1. Do a risk assessment to establish how workers and others could be hurt by equipment in your workplace. Consider doors, shutters, machinery, tools and other items which could potentially trap and crush people, or close on them unexpectedly.
  2. Think about the control measures you should implement to prevent crush injuries. This might include putting sensors on equipment that cause it to cut out if workers are detected in the area, or by preventing workers from entering certain places by using barriers and warning signs.
  3. Devise a safe system of work for using items that could give rise to a crush injury. This will enable you to provide detailed, step-by-step instructions to workers on how to use the item/equipment safely.
  4. Provide training for workers on how work equipment must be used safely, and what the dangers are of misusing it. Ensure that they know where to stand when using equipment controls, to avoid coming into contact with machinery.
  5. Remember that often, the power will need to be isolated from equipment to stop it moving unexpectedly, so workers will need to make sure the equipment cannot be turned on by any other means. The keys to controls, doors/hatches etc. should be kept on the person undertaking the work, unless an alternative locking-off procedure is used.

Contact us if you require assistance.

 

Legionella Obligation

There is a legal obligation to carry out a legionella risk assessment of the water services in any work place or business connected premise! If you choose not to follow the HSE’s ACOP, and you do not carry out a legionella risk assessment to cover the water services in your work place then you may be exposed to risk of litigation and potential prosecution should a situation occur in your building or office space. If you would like to book your Legionella risk assessment, contact us.

The Health and Safety Executive is the Enforcing Body, who will undertake any prosecution under the relevant legislation with regards to legionella infection.

Whether you have a rented, serviced, or managed office there is still a legal obligation upon you as the employer to protect your employees!

Legionellosis is a very old disease, but the first recognised and documented cases were in America in July 1976. It got the name Legionnaires’ Disease from the people who first contracted it – a group of American legionnaires. Doctors and scientists originally believed the illness was an outbreak of severe pneumonia. Legionellosis is a term for any disease caused by Legionella bacteria. This includes Legionnaires’ disease, which is the most serious of these illnesses and can be fatal. There are other forms of the disease which have similar symptoms but are less serious.

Legionnaires’ disease is NOT transmitted from person to person. It cannot be acquired by drinking infected water. It can only be acquired by inhaling droplets which allow the bacteria to reach the lungs directly.

The legionella’s risk assessment identifies the pipework and individual assets – such as water tanks, showers and taps – that make up the water system and evaluate the risks associated with each element. The risk assessments are reviewed at least every two years, unless there has been a change to the system or in management/responsible person.

Duties relating to the regulations below extend to cover the risk from legionella which may arise from work activities!

  • The Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations (1992)
  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations or RIDDOR (2013)
  • The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974)
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002)
  • The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations (1977)
  • The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations (1996)

There are further pieces of technical guidance and support documentation, although not all may apply to your business. These include:

  • Approved Code of Practice L8 (Fourth Edition)
  • Health Technical Memoranda 04-01 (Part A, B C & Supplement D 08)
  • Health & Safety Guidance 274 (Part 1, 2 & 3)

Legionnaires’ disease tends to affect:

  • Men more frequently than women
  • Middle-aged or the elderly more than younger people
  • People who are already ill, particularly with chest or respiratory diseases, or kidney disease
  • Smokers and heavy drinkers

For further information or to book your Legionella risk assessment, contact us.