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CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work

Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work Learning outcome The learner will: 2. Know how to handle hazardous situations

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 2.1

Identify common hazardous situations found on site

2.2

Describe safe systems at work

Range Hazardous situations: Trailing leads, slippery or uneven surfaces, presence of dust and fumes, handling and transporting equipment or materials, contaminants and irritants, fire, working at heights, malfunctioning equipment, improper use and storage of tools and equipment, potential presence of asbestos. Safe systems at work: Method statements, Permit to work systems, Risk assessments, safety signs and notices.

Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work Hazardous Situations When working in the Building Services industry you will encounter many potentially hazardous situations, all of which can cause you (or others) harm if not dealt with appropriately. These hazardous situations include the following: Trailing leads slippery or uneven surfaces presence of dust and fumes handling and transporting equipment or materials contaminants and irritants fire working at heights malfunctioning equipment improper use and storage of tools and equipment potential presence of asbestos. Trailing leads: In most environments portable electrical equipment will be used extensively and the leads for this equipment will generally trail across the floor. These trailing leads are obviously a trip hazard and care must be taken when moving about in areas where there are trailing leads. Furthermore, you must ensure that any trailing leads that you use do not, as far as reasonably practicable, present a trip hazard to others.

Colchester Institute

Unit 02 Page 1

September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work Additionally, trailing leads, if damaged, can result in a risk of electric shock so care must be taken to ensure that leads are not subject to damage. Slippery or uneven surfaces: Falls are a common safety hazard at work, often due to uneven flooring, torn carpet, spills on uncarpeted surfaces and waxed floors. Fall are one of the largest reasons for employee compensation filings. In order to prevent falls in your workplace, make sure that all flooring is kept in good repair. Mop up spills immediately, and place signs on freshly washed or waxed floors. Presence of dust and fumes: In many work environments there may be dust or fumes present in the atmosphere as a result of the processes being carried out. For example, working in a flour or saw mill there is the potential for airborne dust. This airborne dust can at best be annoying causing coughing and throat irritation. Some airborne particles however can have much more serious consequences if breathed in. MDF (Medium-density fibreboard) uses resins to bond the wood fibres together and it is thought that these resins could be carcinogenic (cancer causing) and so the hazards of breathing in MDF dust when it is being cut is obvious. Also, the risks from asbestos are now widely advertised and will be dealt with separately in this course. Something not known to many people is that fine dust in suspension in the air can be extremely explosive if ignited. Flour mills are classified as explosive atmospheres and as electricians we must ensure that the electrical equipment we install is ‘intrinsically safe’, that is, no spark or ignition, whether caused during normal use or under fault conditions, can ignite the explosive atmosphere outside the enclosure. Fumes from processes can be extremely hazardous particularly when materials are heated and burnt. The age-old practice of burning off PVC insulation from cables to increase the return on scrap cable should be avoided as burning PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) produces dioxins that have been considered highly toxic and able to cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. Handling and transporting equipment or materials: Many injuries result when handling or transporting equipment or materials on site. These items are quite often heavy and/or awkwardly shaped. Do not try to lift items that are beyond your capability. Even if the item is within your lifting capability, consider its location or situation. If you have to stretch to lift the item you could cause serious injury that could be life-changing. For example, if you sustain a back injury you are likely to suffer with that problem for the rest of your life. Ensure you always use recognised lifting techniques getting help when necessary and using lifting aids where possible. Also be mindful of injuries that could result from the items dropping on, for example, your feet and also that some items may have sharp edges that could damage your hands. Contaminants and irritants: These are a type of atmospheric hazard that causes inflammation or irritation to the eyes, skin, or respiratory system. Chemical gases are a type of irritant. There are many forms too numerous to include here. You should be aware from appropriate signage and risk assessments if they occur in an area you are going to work in and take the appropriate steps. Fire: For fire to occur there must be a source of ignition, fuel and oxygen. If all three are present and in close proximity, then the fire risk could increase as a result.

Colchester Institute

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September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work Potential sources of ignition could include: Naked flames: smokers materials, matches, pilot lights, gas/oil heaters, gas welding, cookers etc. Hot surfaces: heaters, engines, boilers, machinery, lighting (for example, halogen lamps), electrical equipment etc. Hot work: welding, grinding, flame cutting. Friction: drive belts, worn bearings etc. Sparks: static electricity, metal impact, grinding, electrical contacts/switches etc. Arson, for example, deliberate ignition. Potential sources of fuel: anything that burns is a potential fuel, examples include: Solids: textiles, wood, paper, card, plastics, rubber, PU foam, furniture, fixtures/fittings, packaging, waste materials etc. Liquids: solvents (petrol, white spirit, methylated spirits, paraffin, thinners etc), paints, varnish, adhesives etc. Gases: LPG, acetylene. Your risk assessment should list the potential sources of ignition and fuels that are present in your premises. Working at heights: The greatest proportion of accidents occurring on construction sites are as a result of from falls from height. This includes the obvious of falling from ladders, towers and from buildings but serious injuries can also be sustained falling from much lower heights including falls from hop-ups and step ladders. The ‘Work at Height Regulations 2005’ was introduced to reduce the risk of injury from falls. Malfunctioning equipment: Malfunctioning equipment is a source of workplace safety hazards that can cause massive amounts of harm in a short period of time. From simple shredders to forklifts and poorly constructed scaffolding, all employees should be properly trained on how to operate the equipment they use, as well as request repairs as soon as they are needed. Improper use and storage of tools and equipment: This can lead to injuries to those using the tools or those nearby. The following simple rules will avoid this: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Use tools for their intended purpose acutely. Clean the tools immediately after using them. Keep tools in their proper places. Always cover sharp pointed tools with cork or similar. Be sure are in good working condition before using them. Handle and use tools property.

Potential presence of asbestos: Asbestos is responsible for over 4500 deaths every year. Asbestos was a widely used material within commercial buildings, homes and machinery until 1999, when it was banned. This means that asbestos is common in the general environment and you are likely to encounter it on a regular basis during your work in the Building Services industry. This topic will be dealt with in much greater detail later in the course.

Colchester Institute

Unit 02 Page 3

September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work

Safe Systems at Work Method statements The purpose of a method statement is to ensure that safety critical work is carried out in a particular sequence. There are few examples where their definitive requirements are laid down by statute or other regulatory standard. Where they do exist they are predominantly for high-risk activities such as licensed asbestos removal, demolition and steel erection. In these cases, not only is a method statement a legal requirement, but also its structure and format are clearly defined. The general principle is to ensure that a safe system of work applies to all work activities and as such a method statement is an ideal way to prove that the risks associated with a particular activity has been carefully considered and appropriate controls implemented. Format The actual format is dependent on the work being undertaken and the organisational arrangements in place but generally the following headings should be present: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Organisation/company in control of the operation Named individual responsible for the activity and its safety Name of method statement originator and authorisation date Arrangements for changing/deviating from method statement General description of activity Location of activity including access and restrictions General working environment considerations, e.g. temperature and wind speed Protection of others, e.g. members of the public Emergency procedures, including location of emergency equipment Identity of operatives (and any specific training or certification required) Requirements for Personal Protective Equipment Plant and equipment used, including safety precautions and restrictions Materials information e.g. hazard information and storage/transport requirements Work sequence, including associated risks and required control measures for each stage. 15. Safety checks/clearances at specific stages 16. Final clearance that activity is completed to specification 17. Any other additional information that may be relevant. The list above is not exhaustive and a method statement may or may not include each and every item. However as a minimum it must achieve the following objectives: It should be up to date, identifiable and its source accountable It should contain the sequence of works It should identify the associated risks and control measures It should state actions/authorisation required to deviate from method statement Below is an example method statement for relatively low risk activities. It can be as simple or as detailed as the job/risk requires, so long as it meets the four main objectives.

Colchester Institute

Unit 02 Page 4

September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work Method Statement Originator: Mr D Jones Position: Contracts Director Date: 15/08/2012 This method statement is critical to the health and safety of the activity(ies) it relates to. It is to be strictly adhered to. Any deviation must first be authorised by the Site Supervisor. Planned Task/Activity Description:

Modifying/Extending/Relocating Existing Lighting Circuits and Points (Single Core Cables in Trunking and Conduit Location and Access: (attached plan as appropriate)

Main Office Area Working Environment & Restrictions:

Open Plan Office. Only Electrical Contractors allowed to be present during operation. Existing sections of ceiling will be removed by others. Protection of others:

Work undertaken out of hours. Only contractors and client representative present. Emergency Procedures: Normal site emergency procedures followed Operatives/Competence: C&G Qualified Electricians Personal Protective Equipment:

Safety Footwear, Gloves, Goggles Plant & Equipment: Steps, Cordless Drill Materials Handling/Storage & Safety Information:

All material in manageable individual lengths Critical Stages: (must be undertaken in correct sequence)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.

On arrival site contact made and site induction undertaken Work area cleared for safe access Final circuit arrangements will be determined as indicated on the installation drawings Obtain Permit to work Circuits to be modified will be identified, isolated from the electrical supply by the turning off the relevant circuit protective devices and fuses removed, danger label fitted and circuit verified dead. Existing luminaires will be unplugged and removed to allow access to ceiling roses as required Ceiling roses will be disconnected and removed All wiring contained within the conduits will be pulled back to the nearest convenient point and left neatly coiled The existing conduit/trunking installation will be amended to suit the new layout as indicated on the installation drawings When the amended conduit installation is complete the cables will be drawn back in Circuits will be rewired/amended as necessary to suit the new layout The complete circuit will be tested in accordance with B.S.7671 17th Edition I.E.T. Wiring Regulations prior to connection. Accessories/equipment will be second fixed. Luminaires will be replaced and repositioned/new luminaires will be installed. When all accessories are fitted and it is safe to do so the circuits will be re-energised and danger label removed Final live tests will be carried out Site will be cleared and equipment replaced. Site contact notified of work finished. Cancel permit to work

18. Final Clearance: (Work/Activity completed to satisfaction). Name:

Position:

Date:

Colchester Institute

Unit 02 Page 5

September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work Permit to work systems Instructions or procedures are adequate for most work activities, but some require extra care. A ‘permit to work’ is a more formal system stating exactly what work is to be done and when, and which parts are safe. A responsible person should assess the work and check safety at each stage. The people doing the job sign the permit to show that they understand the risks and precautions necessary. Permits are effectively a means of communication between site management, plant supervisors and operators, and those who carry out the work. Examples of high-risk jobs where a written ‘permit to work’ procedure may need to be used include hot work such as welding, vessel entry, cutting into pipe work carrying hazardous substances, and work that requires electrical or mechanical isolation. It is also a means of coordinating different work activities to avoid conflicts. It should be emphasised, however, that a ‘permit to work’ is not a replacement for robust risk assessment, but can help bring the risk assessment 'to life', at the sharp end, where it matters. A sample electrical permit to work can be found on the Moodle site at the following link http://moodle.ccacolchester.com/course/view.php?id=3024#section-3. Risk assessments As already mentioned earlier, all workplaces will have hazards that have the potential to cause harm. Some of the hazards will have a high risk of causing harm whilst others will have a low risk. We need to carry risk assessments to determine the hazards and their likelihood to cause harm. We can then implement steps to control the risk. To control the risk of an accident we usually: eliminate the cause; substitute a procedure or product with less risk; enclose the dangerous situation; put guards around the hazard; use safe systems of work; supervise, train and give information to staff; if the hazard cannot be removed or minimized then provide PPE. Hazard and Risk A hazard is something with the ‘potential’ to cause harm, for example, chemicals, electricity or working above ground. A risk is the 'likelihood' of harm actually being done. Competent persons are often referred to in the Health and Safety at Work Regulations, but who is ‘competent'? For the purposes of the Act, a competent person is anyone who has the necessary technical skills, training and expertise to safely carry out the particular activity. Therefore, a competent person dealing with a hazardous situation reduces the risk.

Colchester Institute

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September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work Think about your workplace and at each stage of what you do, think about what might go wrong. Some simple activities may be hazardous. Here are some typical activities where accidents might happen. Typical activity Receiving materials Stacking and storing Movement of people Building maintenance Movement of vehicles

Potential hazard Lifting and carrying Falling materials Slips, trips and falls Working at heights in confined spaces Collisions

How high are the risks? Think about what might be the worst result; is it a broken finger or someone suffering permanent lung damage or being killed? How likely is it to happen? How often is that type of work carried out and how close do people get to the hazard? How likely is it that something will go wrong? How many people might be injured if things go wrong? Might this also include people who do not work for your company? Employers of more than five people must document the risks at work and the process is known as Hazard Risk Assessment. Hazard Risk Assessment - the Process The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 tells us that employers must systematically examine the workplace, the work activity and the management of safety in the establishment through a process of risk assessments. A record of all significant risk assessment findings must be kept in a safe place and be made available to an HSE Inspector if required. Information based on the risk assessment findings must be communicated to relevant staff and if changes in work behaviour patterns are recommended in the interests of safety, then they must be put in place. So risk assessment must form a part of any employer's robust policy of health and safety. However, an employer only needs to ‘formally' assess the significant risks. He is not expected to assess the trivial and minor types of household risks. Staff are expected to read and to act upon these formal risk assessments and they are unlikely to do so enthusiastically if the file is full of trivia. An assessment of risk is nothing more than a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people. It is a record that shows whether sufficient precautions have been taken to prevent harm. The HSE recommends five steps to any risk assessment. Step 1 Look at what might reasonably be expected to cause harm. Ignore the trivial and concentrate only on significant hazards that could result in serious harm or injury. Manufacturers’ data sheets or instructions can also help you spot hazards and put risks in their true perspective.

Colchester Institute

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September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work Step 2 Decide who might be harmed and how. Think about people who might not be in the workplace all the time - cleaners, visitors, contractors or maintenance personnel. Include members of the public or people who share the workplace. Is there a chance that they could be injured by activities taking place in the workplace? Step 3 Evaluate what is the risk arising from an identified hazard. Is it adequately controlled or should more be done? Even after precautions have been put in place, some risk may remain. What you have to decide, for each significant hazard, is whether this remaining risk is low, medium or high. First of all, ask yourself if you have done all the things that the law says you have got to do. For example, there are legal requirements on the prevention of access to dangerous machinery. Then ask yourself whether generally accepted industry standards are in place, but do not stop there - think for yourself, because the law also says that you must do what is reasonably practicable to keep the workplace safe. Your real aim is to make all risks small by adding precautions, if necessary. If you find that something needs to be done, ask yourself, a)

Can I get rid of this hazard altogether?

b)

If not, how can I control the risk so that harm is unlikely?

Only use personal protective equipment (PPE) when there is nothing else that you can reasonably do. If the work that you do varies a lot, or if there is movement between one site and another, select those hazards which you can reasonably foresee, the ones that apply to most jobs and assess the risks for them. .After that, if you spot any unusual hazards when you get on site, take what action seems necessary. Step 4 Record your findings and say what you are going to do about risks that are not adequately controlled. It there are fewer than five employees you do not need to write anything down but if there are five or more employees, the significant findings of the risk assessment must be recorded. This means writing down the more significant hazards and assessing if they are adequately controlled and recording your most important conclusions. Most employers have a standard risk assessment form which they use such as that shown below but any format is suitable. The important thing is to make a record.

Colchester Institute

Unit 02 Page 8

September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work

HAZARD RISK ASSESSMENT

FLASH-BANG ELECTRICAL CO.

For Company name or site: ……………………... Address: ………………………………………. ………………………………………………...

Assessment undertaken by: …...…………... Signed: ……...………………………………... Date: …………………………………………..

STEP 5 Assessment review date: ………………….. STEP 1 List the hazards here ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... STEP 3 Evaluate (what is) the risk – is it adequately controlled? State risk level is low, medium or high ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………...

Colchester Institute

STEP 2 Decide who might be harmed …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... …………………………………………………... STEP 4 Further action – what else is required to control any risk identified as medium or high ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………... ………………………………………………...

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September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work There is no need to show how the assessment was made, providing you can show that: 1.

a proper check was made,

2.

you asked those who might be affected,

3.

you dealt with all obvious and significant hazards,

4.

the precautions are reasonable and the remaining risk is low,

5.

you informed your employees about your findings.

Risk assessments need to be suitable and sufficient, not perfect. The two main points are: 1.

Are the precautions reasonable?

2.

Is there a record to show that a proper check was made?

File away the written Assessment in a dedicated file for future reference or use. It can help if an HSE Inspector questions the company's precautions or it the company becomes involved in any legal action. It shows that the company has done what the law requires. Step 5 Review the assessments from time to time and revise them if necessary. Safety signs and notices Safety signs and notices will be dealt with in great detail in the next Unit (Unit 3).

Colchester Institute

Unit 02 Page 10

September 2012

2365 201 U02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work - Complete  

IT1 U02 - Hazardous Situations and Safe Systems at Work - Complete

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