What is a risk assessment?

How do I do one? What should I look at?

Are these questions you are asking yourself? Then we can help you, we can provide a simple system to enable you to manage your assessments and communicate your key safety controls to employees in a clear straightforward manner.

All of the activities listed above require you to undertake an effective risk assessment, we can simplify this process to enable you to manage you significant risks. To help you understand whether you have a significant issue look at the pointers listed below.

Working at Heights

In 2005/06 falls from height accounted for 46 fatal accidents at work and around 3350 major injuries. They remain the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury.

We can help you comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The Regulations apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury.

Noise

Do you have a noise problem at work? This will depend on how loud the noise is and how long people are exposed to it. As a simple guide you will probably need to do something about the noise if any of the following apply:

  • Is the noise intrusive – like a busy street, a vacuum cleaner or a crowded restaurant – for most of the working day?
  • Do your employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when about 2 m apart for at least part of the day?
  • Do your employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day?
  • Do you work in a noisy industry, eg construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging, pressing or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries?
  • Are there noises due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge operated tools or detonators, or guns?

We can help you with your noise assessments, measurements of noise and give advice on suitable control measures or strategies to manage the risks in a pragmatic cost effective manner.

Vibration – hand arm vibration

Do you have a hand-arm vibration problem at work? This will depend on whether your employees regularly and frequently work with vibrating tools and equipment and/or handle vibrating materials. It will also depend on how long your employees are exposed to vibration and at what level. As a simple guide you will probably need to do something about vibration exposures if any of the following apply:

  • Do your employees complain of tingling and numbness in their hands or fingers after using vibrating tools?
  • Do your employees hold work pieces, which vibrate while being processed by powered machinery such as pedestal grinders?
  • Do your employees regularly use hand-held or hand guided power tools and machines such as:
    • Concrete breakers, concrete pokers
    • Sanders, grinders, disc cutters
    • Hammer drills
    • Chipping hammers
    • Chainsaws, brush cutters, hedge trimmers
    • Powered mowers
    • Scabblers or needle guns

Do your employees regularly operate:

Hammer action tools for more than about 15 minutes per day or some rotary and other action tools for more than about one hour per day.

Do you work in an industry where exposures to vibration are particularly high, such as construction, foundries, or heavy steel fabrication/shipyards?

We can help you with your HAV assessments, measurements of HAV and give advice on suitable control measures or strategies to manage the risks in a pragmatic cost effective manner

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Employers have basic duties concerning the provision and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) at work, do you have trouble selecting the correct type, getting staff to wear it?

We can help you with your PPE selection, and give advice on suitable control measures or strategies to manage the use of PPE in a pragmatic cost effective manner.

Respiratory Protective equipment (RPE)

Employers have basic duties concerning the provision and use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) at work, do you have trouble selecting the correct type, getting staff to wear it?

We can help you with your RPE selection, and give advice on suitable control measures or strategies to manage the use of RPE in a pragmatic cost effective manner.

Electrical safety

Electrical safety at work. Electricity kills and injures people. Around 1000 electrical accidents at work are reported to HSE each year and about 25 people die of their injuries.Many deaths and injuries arise from:

  • use of poorly maintained electrical equipment
  • work near overhead power lines
  • contact with underground power cables during excavation work
  • mains electricity supplies (230 volt)
  • use of unsuitable electrical equipment in explosive areas such as car paint spraying booths
  • fires started by poor electrical installations and faulty electrical appliances cause many additional deaths and injuries.

We can help you with your electrical safety issues, and give advice on suitable control measures or strategies to manage the use of electricity in a pragmatic cost effective manner.

Pressure Systems

If pressure equipment fails in use, it can seriously injure or kill people nearby and cause serious damage to property. Each year in Great Britain, there are about 150 dangerous occurrences involving such unintentional releases. Around six of these result in fatal or serious injury.

As an employer or self-employed person, you have a duty to provide a safe workplace and safe work equipment. Designers, manufacturers, suppliers, installers, users and owners also have duties. The main regulations covering pressure equipment and pressure systems are the Pressure Equipment Regulations.

1999 and the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000. Employers have a further duty to consult any safety or employee representatives on health and safety matters. Where none are appointed, employers should consult the workforce direct. Examples of pressure systems and equipment are:

  • boilers and steam heating systems
  • pressurised process plant and piping
  • compressed air systems (fixed and portable)
  • pressure cookers, autoclaves and retorts
  • heat exchangers and refrigeration plant
  • valves, steam traps and filters
  • pipework and hoses
  • pressure gauges and level indicators.

We can advise on how to minimise the risks when working with systems or equipment which contain a liquid or gas under pressure.

Dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres (ATeX)

What is DSEAR? -DSEAR stands for the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002.

Dangerous substances can put peoples’ safety at risk from fire and explosion. DSEAR puts duties on employers and the self-employed to protect people from risks to their safety from fires, explosions and similar events in the workplace, this includes members of the public who may be put at risk by work activity.

What are dangerous substances? -Dangerous substances are any substances used or present at work that could, if not properly controlled, cause harm to people as a result of a fire or explosion. They can be found in nearly all workplaces and include such things as solvents, paints, varnishes, flammable gases, such as liquid petroleum gas (LPG), dusts from machining and sanding operations and dusts from foodstuffs.

What does DSEAR require? Employers must:

  • find out what dangerous substances are in their workplace and what the fire and explosion risks are
  • put control measures in place to either remove those risks or, where this is not possible, control them
  • put controls in place to reduce the effects of any incidents involving dangerous substances
  • prepare plans and procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies involving dangerous substances
  • make sure employees are properly informed about and trained to control or deal with the risks from the dangerous substances
  • identify and classify areas of the workplace where explosive atmospheres may occur and avoid ignition sources (from unprotected equipment, for example) in those areas.

We can advise on how to minimise the risks when working with Dangerous substances and suitable control measures or strategies to manage the use of dangerous substance in a pragmatic cost effective manner.

Safety signage

Are you confused about whether you need safety signage, what the signs should picture?

We can advise on what signage you require, whether signage is the correct option, along with advice on suitable control measures or strategies to manage the risks in a pragmatic cost effective manner.

Fire safety and risk assessments

Confused by what an fire risk assessment entails and how you do one and then what you do with them?

We can provide a simple system to enable you to manage your fire risk assessments and communicate your key safety controls to employees in a clear straightforward manner.

Display Screen Equipment

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Do your staff use display screen equipment (DSE) or a visual display unit (VDU)?

Computer workstations or equipment can be associated with neck, shoulder, back or arm pains, fatigue and eyestrain.

These aches and pains are sometimes called upper limb disorders (ULDs) or repetitive strain injuries (RSI). These problems can be avoided by following good practice. Display screen equipment (DSE) is any work equipment having a screen that displays information. Typical examples are computer screens often called monitors or VDUs.

Surveys have found that high proportions of DSE workers report aches, pains or eye discomfort. Mostly these conditions do not indicate any serious ill health, but it makes sense to avoid them as far as possible.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations aim to protect the health of people who work with DSE. That does not mean that DSE work is risky – it isn’t, if the user follows good practice like setting up their workstation well and taking breaks in intensive work.

The Regulations were introduced because DSE has become one of the commonest kinds of work equipment. So there is potential to make work more comfortable and productive for very large numbers of people by taking a few simple precautions.

We can advise on how to minimise the risks when working with DSE and suitable control measures or strategies to manage the use of DSE in a pragmatic cost effective manner.