Monthly Archives: April 2018

Accident Reporting: Quick Facts

Incident/accident reporting is an important aspect of monitoring or measuring safety performance and allows an organisation, through investigations, to learn from mistakes and improve health and safety.

It is essential that employers introduce a reporting system in the workplace for all accidents and incidents, dangerous occurrences, diseases and near misses, for all employees, contractors and visitors. An accident report may also prompt an investigation by the enforcing authority depending on the severity of injury that has either occurred or had the potential to occur.

This topic outlines what an accident report should contain, what should be reported on in relation to RIDDOR and who is responsible for making reports.

  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) require the “responsible person” to report the following instances to the relevant enforcing authority:
    • deaths
    • certain specified injuries
    • injuries that cause absence for more than seven consecutive days (including days that are not normally worked, such as weekends, but does not include the day of the accident)
    • injuries to members of the public or people not at work where they are taken to hospital for treatment
    • certain diseases and dangerous occurrences. What should be reported?
  • Reports under RIDDOR must be submitted online. Fatal and specified injuries can also be reported to HSE’s Incident Contact Centre by telephone.
  • All employees must give notice to employers of any personal injury caused by an accident at work. This is usually done by entry of the details into an accident book.
  • An accident reporting policy should be in place to ensure that all procedures are followed correctly.
  • Employees and managers should receive training to raise their awareness of the need to report all incidents and the procedures to follow.

If you require advice, please contact us.

 

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Protect Workers that are Working In or Near Excavations

Tips to Protect Workers that are Working In or Near Excavations

  1. Undertake a thorough risk assessment to determine how anyone could be hurt when working with excavations. Consider how and when a collapse could occur, or how someone could fall in, for example. Think about the underground cables (such as electricity) that could be in the area.
  2. Support the sides of the excavation properly, and install barriers and covers when work finishes for the day or halts so that no one can fall in. Ensure good levels of lighting around the excavation, especially at night and in the winter months.
  3. Develop and implement a safe system of work for workers to follow, which includes ensuring the excavation is properly boarded, and that it is dug to the correct depth. Ensure workers know the location of any underground cables before starting work.
  4. Train workers on the dangers of working in or near excavations.
  5. Supervise all work activities and ensure that you have a means of providing an emergency evacuation if someone should become injured in an excavation.

Contact us if you require further information.

 

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L24 R12 Condition of floors and traffic routes

When we have bad weather we need to ensure that there is a safe access and egress to the work environment. We would also use the neighbourhood experience.

Neighbourhood principle is a principle of English law which says that a person should take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions that s/he can reasonably foresee as likely to cause injury to the neighbour.

It is beneficial to purchase some grit to keep in case the weather changes – which id does quite frequently.

From the L24 document I have attached regulation 12 condition of floors and traffic routes.

(1) Every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be of a construction such that the floor or surface of the traffic route is suitable for the purpose for which it is used.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), the requirements in that paragraph shall include requirements that –

(a) the floor, or surface of the traffic route, shall have no hole or slope, or be uneven or slippery so as, in each case, to expose any person to a risk to his health or safety; and

(b) every such floor shall have effective means of drainage where necessary.

(3) So far as is reasonably practicable, every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be kept free from obstructions and from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.

(4) In considering whether for the purposes of paragraph (2)(a) a hole or slope exposes any person to a risk to his health or safety –

(a) no account shall be taken of a hole where adequate measures have been taken to prevent a person falling; and

(b) account shall be taken of any handrail provided in connection with any slope.

(5) Suitable and sufficient handrails and, if appropriate, guards shall be provided on all traffic routes which are staircases except in circumstances in which a handrail cannot be provided without obstructing the traffic route.

108 Floor and traffic routes should be of sound construction and should have adequate strength and stability, taking account of the loads placed on them and the traffic passing over them. Floors should not be overloaded.

109 The surfaces of floors and traffic routes should be free from any hole, slope, or uneven or slippery surface which is likely to cause:

  • a person to slip, trip or fall;
  • a person to drop or lose control of anything being lifted or carried;
  • instability or loss of control of vehicles and/or their loads.

110 Damaged surfaces that may cause a person to trip or fall should be made good and conspicuously marked or protected until this can be done. Temporary holes should be adequately guarded. Take account of people with disabilities. Surfaces with small holes (for example metal gratings) are acceptable provided they are not likely to be a hazard. For deep holes where there is a risk of a fall, you should refer to regulation 13 and associated ACOP text, and the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

111 Slopes should not be steeper than necessary. Moderate and steep slopes, and ramps used by people with disabilities, should have a secure handrail where necessary.

112 Surfaces of floors and traffic routes likely to get wet, or to be subject to spillages, should be of a type which does not become unduly slippery. Floors near hazards that could cause injury if anyone were to fall against them (for example a woodworking or grinding machine) should be slip-resistant and be kept free from slippery substances or loose materials.

113 Where a leak, spillage or other type of contamination occurs and is likely to be a slipping hazard, take immediate steps to fence it off, clean it up, or cover it with something to stop it being slippery (eg absorbent granules).

114 Where a floor is liable to be made wet through work activity, drains and channels should be provided and positioned to minimise the area of wet floor, and the floor should slope slightly towards the drain. Where necessary to prevent tripping hazards, ensure drains and channels have covers which should be as near flush as possible with the floor surface.

115 Where reasonably practicable, processes and plant that may discharge or leak liquids should be enclosed (for example by bunding), and leaks from taps or discharge points on pipes, drums and tanks should be caught or drained away. Stop valves should be fitted to filling points on tank-filling lines. Where work involves carrying or handling liquids or slippery substances, as in food processing and preparation, the workplace and work surfaces should be arranged to minimise the likelihood of spillages.

116 Arrangements should be made to minimise risks from snow and ice. This may involve gritting, snow clearing and closure of some routes, particularly outside stairs, ladders and walkways on roofs.

117 Floors and traffic routes should be kept free of obstructions that may present a hazard or impede access. This is particularly important in any place where an obstruction is likely to cause an accident, for example near emergency routes, stairs, corners or junctions.

118 Where a temporary obstruction is unavoidable and is likely to be a hazard, prevent access or take steps to warn people (including drivers) by, for example, the use of hazard cones. Vehicles should not be parked where they are likely to be a hazard. Materials that fall onto traffic routes should be cleared as soon as possible.

119 Every open side of a staircase should be securely fenced. As a minimum, the fencing should consist of an upper rail at 900 mm or higher, and a lower rail.

120 A secure and substantial handrail should be provided and maintained on at least one side of every staircase, except at points where a handrail would obstruct entry or exit, such as steps in a theatre aisle. Handrails should be provided on both sides if there is a particular risk of falling, for example where stairs are heavily used, or are wide, have narrow treads, or where there are liable to be spillages on them. Additional handrails should be provided down the centre of particularly wide staircases where necessary.

121 A traffic route means a route for pedestrian traffic, vehicles or both and includes any stairs, staircase, fixed ladder, doorway, gateway, loading bay or ramp.

122 Slips and trips are the most common cause of injury at work. Most slips occur when floors become wet or contaminated and many trips are due to poor housekeeping.

123 To prevent slips and trips:

  • stop floors getting wet or contaminated in the first place;
  • have effective arrangements for both routine cleaning and dealing with spills;
  • remove spillages promptly;
  • leave smooth floors dry after cleaning or exclude pedestrians until the floor is dry;
  • use the right cleaning methods for your floor;
  • look out for trip hazards (eg uneven floors, trailing cables);
  • keep walkways and work areas clear of obstructions;
  • encourage your workers to keep the workplace tidy;
  • consider the use of slip-resistant flooring material.

124 Consider providing slip-resistant footwear where slipping hazards arise despite the precautions set out in paragraph 123. Further guidance is available from HSE on slips, trips and falls and also on flooring types.

125 Building Regulations have requirements on floors, stairs and ramps.1,2 Advice is available from local authorities.

126 Steep stairways are classed as fixed ladders and are dealt with under the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Contact us if you require advice.

 

 

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Tips to Manage the Risks from Hand/Arm Vibration

The risks from hand/arm vibration can often be easily managed, but it is vital that the correct measures are put into place. Check today that your workers are protected when using power tools and other similar equipment.

  1. Do a risk assessment to help identify the hazards associated with vibration in relation to the tools your workers use, and the jobs they are required to do. Look at both individuals and groups of workers who may be at risk.
  2. Work out which of your tools emit vibration and each of the tasks they are used for. See what control measures are needed to either remove or reduce the vibration risk, such as introducing maximum time limits for the use of each tool. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and guidance for information about this.
  3. Train workers to use hand-held tools in the correct way. Make sure they do not apply excessive force but instead allow the tool to do the work.
  4. Introduce health surveillance for those potentially at risk of ill-health from vibration. Teach staff about the symptoms to look out for, such as finger numbness, pain and loss of grip.
  5. Regularly inspect tools to check that they are in a good condition. Make sure that tools are not blunt, and that where feasible, dampeners are in place.

Contact us if you require advice.

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Protect Workers from Falling into Pits and Similar Areas

A fall from height is one of the most common reasons for a workplace fatality – be sure to take the time today to check that everyone on your site is protected from falling into pits and other work spaces.

  1. Do a risk assessment to determine where your fall from height hazards exist. Think about steps, pits, holes and other open areas, and how people could fall into them when working on or near them. Install guard rails and barriers, and hand-holds on stairs.
  2. Mark the edges of all pits and level changes with bright paint. Cover all open pits with boards that are secured down to prevent them moving. Check that coverings can take the weight of anything intended to be put on it.
  3. Ensure good levels of lighting at all times, both inside and outside buildings. Highlight areas where people could fall with signage and prevent unauthorised access. Escort visitors at all times to prevent them wandering into dangerous areas.
  4. Discuss falls from height with workers on induction, and at regular intervals such as during toolbox talks. Supervise worker activities and undertake regular inspections of work areas to ensure that the controls identified in risk assessments relating to falls are being implemented and used correctly.
  5. Look at ways of preventing workers from walking backwards – for example, when guiding vehicles or plant into inspection areas – by avoiding the need for vehicles to reverse. Use designated one-way routes where possible.

Contact Walker Health and Safety Services Limited should you require assistance.

 

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