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Health and Safety Handbook Helping you provide safe and healthy workplaces

Health and Safety at Work Your Guide to Compliance Public Protection 1st Floor Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG Tel: 01225 396759 Email: Revised Edition – Autumn 2013

This handbook about Health and Safety can be made available in a range of community languages, large print, Braille, on tape, electronic and accessible formats from the Health and Safety Team on request.

Disclaimer While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the references listed in this publication, the future availability cannot be guaranteed. Bath & North East Somerset Council thank all the advertisers appearing in this booklet for their support. However, it must be understood that advertised products or services do not carry the endorsement of the Council. All advertising space has been purchased directly from the publishers, Priory Publications, who may be contacted on 01782 711500.


Venture Way Priorswood Taunton Somerset TA2 8DG

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St. Andrews Road, Avonmouth Bristol, BS11 9HS

Our customer base covers a number of different outlets including restaurants, pizza and kebab takeaways.


Hawkins Insulation Ltd

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Contents Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 34

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Electricity at Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

What are the aims of the booklet? . . . 6

CDM Regulations 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . 39

What to expect from a visit . . . . . . . . . 7

Substances Hazardous to Health . . . 43

Your responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Legionella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Health and Safety Policy . . . . . . . . . . 11

Radon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) . . . . . 47

Management of Health and Safety . . 14

Gas Installation and Use . . . . . . . . . . 48

Risk Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Health and Safety Information for Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Asbestos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Information, Instruction and Training .17

Noise at Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare 19

Young People at Work . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Slips, Trips and Falls . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Working from Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Ladder Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Workplace Transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Manual Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Musculoskeletal Disorders . . . . . . . . 29 Display Screen Equipment . . . . . . . . 30 Stress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Maximum Permitted Working Hours . 56 Accident Reporting (Riddor) . . . . . . . 57 Fire Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 First Aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Self Assessment Questionnaire . . . . . 61 Useful Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Work Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Lifting Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33


Preface The thought of suffering injury and ill health at work is of concern to most people yet 300 people lose their lives at work in Britain each year. A further 158,000 non-fatal injuries are reported each year and an estimated 2.2 million people suffer ill health caused or made worse at work. Accidents don’t just happen. Instead, they result from organisations doing too little to manage the risks to the health and safety of people affected by their business. Often, people are lucky and escape with a ‘near miss’. But sometimes the consequences are far worse.

Health and safety is your responsibility. But I feel it is important to work in partnership with businesses in order to provide safe and healthy workplaces in Bath & North East Somerset. I am pleased to promote this revised handbook as a valuable tool which contributes to making that partnership a reality.

Robin Wood Public Protection Team Leader Autumn 2013

J & C Bird Plant Hire Trading Standards Approved Contractor

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Introduction Accidents and ill health are costly to workers and their families. They can also hurt companies because, in addition to the costs of personal injuries, they may incur far greater costs from damage to property or equipment and lost production. Whilst insurance may cover part of the cost, for smaller companies the effect of a major accident can be disastrous.

regulations which you will need to comply with. Following them will help you to keep your staff at work and reduce the costs of injuries, illness, and property or equipment damage. By complying with the law and avoiding fines you will avoid damaging publicity and convince inspectors that your company takes the management of health and safety in its workplace seriously.

Directors, managers and owners can be held personally responsible for failures to control health and safety.

Should you require further specific advice then please contact one of our officers.

This booklet tries to help you manage health and safety at your workplace. It outlines the main

Public Protection Bath & North East Somerset Council 1st Floor Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG Tel: 01225 396759 Email:


What are the aims of this booklet? ●

To help new businesses understand their responsibilities and make it easier to comply with them To tell owners, managers and businesses what safety laws exist To provide advice to existing businesses To reduce the potential for problems or accidents by making people more aware To ensure that health, safety and welfare are seen as good management standards To provide a checklist on the main points of each duty To provide advice about where to get more information

How to use the handbook Not all the topics will apply to every business. Those that will apply to all businesses appear towards the beginning of the booklet. In general, these are covered in more detail than the more specialised topics that follow. Decide which topics are relevant to your business. Since the information can only be quite brief, you may need to refer to the legislation and specific guidance.


Where to get more help Possible useful contacts and publications are listed in the For further information sections. Much of the HSE guidance that is quoted is very clear and gives helpful guidance on compliance. Some of the leaflets are free or can be downloaded from the website See the Useful addresses section at the end of the booklet for details of the agencies that may be able to help you. In some cases we have produced additional useful handouts.

What to expect from a visit How is the law enforced? The enforcement of health and safety is divided between two separate bodies, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Local Authority. The nature of your business is the deciding factor. If the major activity of your business is retail, office, catering or storage, then the enforcement of health and safety within your business is the responsibility of Bath & North East Somerset Council. If it is construction, manufacturing or agriculture it will fall to the Health and Safety Executive.

What does Bath & North East Somerset Council do? Our Health & Safety Team regularly inspects businesses for which we have enforcement powers. We also carry out investigations into complaints or accidents. We will always: ●

Explain clearly what needs to be done, why and by when and confirm the details in writing Give you the opportunity to discuss the issues before formal action is taken, unless there is any immediate danger Explain in writing where immediate action has or must be taken

Explain any rights of appeal when formal action is taken Normally we will tell you at the time of the inspection if anything needs to be done. If you agree with our decisions and we think no immediate formal action is needed, we will write to you to let you know what must be done, how and by when. Formal action will be taken if you are putting people at risk, or have not acted on previous advice. ●

Our enforcement policy Our enforcement policy aims to ensure that employers and the selfemployed are complying with the health, safety, welfare and employment protection duties contained in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (and the relevant statutory provisions), as far as is reasonably practicable. We will use our enforcement powers to protect persons at work, the selfemployed and anyone who is affected by work activities. Where other enforcement agencies have a role, the Council will liaise with them Any enforcement action, whether verbal or written warnings, statutory notices or prosecution will be based on the assessment of:


The hazards and risks to persons that occur or may occur ● Your level of compliance with the Act and relevant statutory provisions ● The welfare requirements of persons at work due to failing to comply with health and safety law In coming to any decision officers shall consider relevant criteria, eg seriousness of the offence, the history, confidence in management, the consequences of failure to comply and the likely effectiveness of various enforcement options ●

A copy of the full enforcement policy is available on the Bath & North East Somerset Council website at

Annual Service Plan Every year we produce a service plan describing what we achieved in the year and what we intend to do in the next year. This is also available on our website.

Do inspectors call by appointment? The law states that we can call at any reasonable time to carry out an inspection. When and how often is determined by the type of business,


the hazards in it and the number of employees. In many cases we will give you advance notice in order to make sure that the right person is available and will have time to talk to us. However, we are not obliged to make an appointment and it is not always possible to do so, so we may arrive unannounced. You should co-operate with us and not be obstructive. However, if deadlines are tight or staff are absent, please tell us.

How can I prepare for an inspection? Applying the principles outlined in this booklet should help you to be well prepared. You may want to carry out your own health and safety audit. An example checklist for small businesses is provided in the booklet.

What happens at an inspection? Our job is to make sure that your business has acceptable standards of health, safety and welfare. We will show you identification, explain the purpose of the visit and aim to be polite, fair and helpful.

On a normal inspection we would expect to look at the workplace, the work carried out and your management of health and safety. We are concentrating on several priority areas, namely slips, trips and falls, falls from height, musculoskeletal disorders (including manual handling and display screen equipment use) and vehicle movements. These cause the majority of workplace accidents. We will want to see your risk assessments and control measures for these key areas and any others that are specific to your business. We may offer guidance to help you to do what you can to control risks. We may also talk to employees and take photographs and samples.

injury, we may decide to serve a Prohibition Notice. If formal action is needed, we will fully explain the procedure and options open to you.

Complaints and feedback If you are unhappy with any of the things we ask you to do in writing, you will be invited to discuss the matter with a more senior member of staff. A complaint form and leaflet is available or you may complain online on the Bath & North East Somerset Council website

During and at the end of the inspection, we will tell you about things that concern us. If applicable, we will discuss a timescale for completion of any risk assessments or improvements.

After the inspection We will confirm more serious problems by letter. In certain cases formal action such as an Improvement Notice may follow. If we think there is a risk of serious


Your responsibilities Health & Safety at Work Act The main purpose of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 is to secure the health and safety of everyone at work, whether employed or selfemployed. The Act requires you to regularly review your equipment, premises and systems of work to identify hazards and reduce the risks to clients, employees and the selfemployed. Employers and the self-employed have to ensure the: ● Health, safety and welfare of employees ● Health and safety of others at a place of work or those affected by work activities ● Provision and maintenance of safe plant and systems of work ● Arrangements for safe use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances ● Provision of health & safety information, instruction, training and supervision ● Maintenance of the workplace to ensure health and safety ● Provision of a safe, healthy working environment and suitable welfare provisions


Employees should: Take reasonable care of themselves and others ● Comply with legal health, safety and welfare requirements ● Not interfere or misuse anything provided in the interest of health, safety or welfare ● Adhere to safety training and systems of work and provide reports of any problems ●

Health and Safety Policy Although it is not always possible to eliminate accidents and work-related illness, an effective policy will set the scene for progress and improvement. The law states that any organisation employing five or more people must have a written policy for health and safety, setting down the ways in which health and safety will be managed. If you have less than five employees, you should have an approach to health and safety that all of your employees understand. Main requirements: ● The safety policy should include a commitment to health and safety, details of the company's organisation and details of safe systems of work and emergency procedures ● Make sure that the person ultimately responsible for health and safety within the company has signed and dated the policy ● Bring it to the attention of all staff ● Update the policy regularly

Brief structure of a general health and safety policy 1. Statement of intent should include: ● a clear declaration to provide safe and healthy working conditions and work activities that will not harm others ● reference to the consultation facilities that exist and where sources of expert advice can be found ● a commitment to provide relevant information and training in respect of health and safety ● reference to the support needed from all persons in the company in order to achieve the safety objectives 2. Organisation should identify: ● the person ultimately responsible for health and safety ● duties and responsibilities for health and safety at all levels ● specific responsibilities e.g. for training, competent persons etc. ● methods of consultation with employees


3. Arrangements should include: ● procedures for identifying hazards, assessing risks and precautions to be taken ● accident reporting and investigation ● fire and first aid arrangements ● procedures for introducing new machinery, substances or processes

Checklist Have you produced a policy? ● Have you kept it up to date? ● Do all the employees know about your policy and have you advised them of any changes? ●

For further information: - Writing a safety policy statement (HSC6) - An introduction to health and safety. (HSE INDG 259)

M & D KIDNER LTD Wholesale Fruit & Vegetable Merchant and Grower

FRESH PRODUCE SPECIALISTS T: 0117 977 3431/2 F: 0117 972 4087 Wholesale Fruit Centre, Albert Cres., Bristol BS2 0YP 22


Insurance If you employ anyone you must have valid employer’s liability insurance at the premises for a minimum of £5m and display the current certificate of insurance. Fines can be up to £2,500 for each day that you do not have insurance and £1,000 for failing to display or provide the certificate when asked. You are also advised to have public liability insurance to protect your business against civil action.

You should make sure all your employees know about the policy and are aware of their responsibilities. You should regularly review and update the policy to ensure that it reflects the hazards likely to occur at your business. For further Information: - Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 – A Guide for employees – HSE39 (rev1)

Poor safety standards can cost you money. Insurance policies do not cover all the costs of accidents. Costs not covered can include: ● ●

● ●

● ● ● ●

Sick pay Damage or loss of product and raw materials Repairs to plant and equipment Overtime working and temporary labour Production delays Investigation time Fines Absence from work if the courts impose custodial sentences on owners, employees or managers if the Council prosecutes them


Management of Health and Safety Management control of health and safety is an essential part of any business whether it is a large or small concern. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 aim to encourage a more systematic and betterorganised approach to dealing with health and safety. They apply to all workplaces. Some of these duties overlap with other health and safety regulations, but this does not mean that things need to be done twice. For example, a risk assessment under COSHH would not need to be repeated for these regulations. The main responsibilities of the employer are: ● to assess the health and safety risks (See Risk Assessment) ● to organise control measures, ● to monitor and review all preventative and protective measures ● to provide employees with relevant health and safety information, instructions and training ● to establish emergency procedures, covering fire, accidents etc, and ● to co-operate with other employers in shared workplaces


The main responsibilities of the employee are: ● to co-operate with the employer's health and safety measures ● to report to the employer any dangerous situation or problem that could affect themselves or others ● to help in assessing risks to health and safety, and ● to use equipment properly in accordance with instruction, information and training received The main responsibilities of the self employed are: ● to look after their own health and safety and ● make sure they do not put anyone else at risk For further information go to

Risk Assessment Whether you are an employer or self employed, you must carry out a risk assessment of your work activities. This is a careful examination of hazards in your workplace, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. It is important to understand the difference between hazard and risk. A hazard is anything that could cause harm, such as chemicals, electricity, fire or lifting activities. Risk is the likelihood or chance that someone will be harmed by the hazard. Main requirements: ● Identify hazards ● Identify the people at risk, including special groups such as young people or new or expectant mothers ● Decide whether the risks are significant ● Eliminate or reduce the risk by introducing safety measures ● Review periodically and whenever working procedures change ● For any business employing five or more people put the important

findings of the assessment in writing An example layout of a form suitable for recording a very simple risk assessment is shown on the next page. Once you have completed this overview, you will then have to do the more detailed assessments required for manual handling, working at height, fire safety, display screen equipment, COSHH, asbestos and any other hazards specific to your business. (See other sections of this handbook). Handy Hint: There are a number of example risk assessments on the HSE website that you may find very helpful to look at. For further information: - Five steps to risk assessment (HSE, INDG 163 rev2)


People at risk from hazards

(Include staff, contractors guests & the public. Give approximate numbers)


List the things that could cause an accident, e.g. working from ladders, use of slicing machine, use of chemicals

List safety measures to reduce the risk, e.g. electrical inspections/testing, training in lifting techniques, safe systems of work

Controls/safety measures

Assessment Review due: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

State what you need to do and how urgent. (Give target date).

Further action needed


✔sign date

Work done

Assessment undertaken by: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Signed: . . . . . . . . . . . . Position in Company: . . . . . . . . . . . . Date:

Company name: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Company Address: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Risk Assessment for: /

Health & Safety Information for Employees Employers must make sure all employees are given basic information about health & safety at work. You can get a special poster and leaflets from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to display in the work place. In addition, you must supply details of the enforcing authority and the nearest Employment Medical Advisory Service (EMAS) to all your employees. The Poster or leaflets is available from HSE Books (tel: 01787 881165) or other good bookshops.

Enforcing authority Bath & North East Somerset Council 1st Floor Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG Tel: 01225 396759

EMAS, Government Building Phase 1, Ty Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5SH 029 2026 3000

Information, Instruction and Training A lack of training is often a signifcant factor in the cause of accidents. Employees must be given adequate information, instruction and training to enable them to carry out their work safely. In practice: ●

Information means providing factual material which tells people about risks and health and safety measures Instruction means telling people what they should do; and Training means helping them learn how to do it, but can include giving information and instruction

The ability of people not only to do their jobs, but to do them to the required standards of safety, quality, efficiency etc. means that the need for training must be under constant review. Training must be provided on recruitment, on exposure to new or increased risks and be repeated periodically where appropriate. You should keep training records that detail what the training was, when and who gave the training.


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Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 and the accompanying Code of Practice (currently under review), set out general standards for a safe and healthy working environment for all members of the workforce, including people with disabilities. They cover the working environment, safety, facilities and housekeeping.

Main requirements Lighting ● Adequate natural or artificial ● Emergency lighting if necessary Ventilation ● Adequate natural or merchanical Heating ● Must be at a reasonable temperature. Normally at least 16°C (no maximum specified but must be comfortable) ● Provide thermometer Work space ● Enough for safe working ● 11 cubic metres per person (minimum)

Access Safe and without hazard or obstruction. ● Keep vehicles and pedestrians separate ●

Floors, traffic routes, stairs ● Sound condition, free from holes & defects ● Free from obstructions and tripping hazards ● Adequate slip resistance ● May need handrail on stairs Glass doors & partitions ● May need safety glass ● May need safety markings Falls and falling ● Guard agains falls from heights ● Protect from falling objects Drinking water ● Must be available (may be containers) Rest areas Rest area or room for breaks, eating, changing ● Smoke free area ● Facilities for pregnant women & nursing mothers (if applicable) ●


Toilets/washing facilities ● Toilets clean and well lit WC’s – One for up to five people Two for up to 25 One for each extra 25 Separate calculation for men and women

Wash hand basins clean and with hot and cold water, soap and means of drying. Same number as WC’s

Housekeeping ● Workplace and fittings/furnishings kept clean ● Waste removed regularly

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Slips, Trips and Falls According to HSE statistics, pedestrian slips and trips are the most common cause of injury in U.K. workplaces. Each year over 8500 major injuries are caused by slipping and tripping, of which 95% are broken bones. This amounts to over one third (37% actually) of all major injuries in the workplace. In addition, slips and trips are often responsible for machinery accidents, scaldings, falls from height etc. Paying more attention to the general working environment could prevent many slips and trips. This is a current priority topic of health and safety and every employer should: ●

carry out a slip and trip risk assessment design workplace to reduce hazards - e.g. avoid slopes, changes of level etc consider condition and slip resistance of floor coverings and stairs highlight unavoidable hazards such as step edges, slopes etc plan work activities to minimise spillages of liquids, powders and objects

clean up spillages and dry area thoroughly and quickly and/or restrict access make sure general cleaning methods are suitable and effective keep working areas tidy and walkways clear consider need for sensible or safety footwear consider effect of weather, temperature, lighting levels etc encourage people to take care – avoid rushing, pick up objects etc consider vulnerable groups – children, elderly etc

For further information: - Workplace health safety and welfareApproved code of practice HSE:L24 (ISBN 0-11-886333-9) - HSE Website: - Preventing Slips and trips at work, INDG 225 (rev 1)


Working from Height Falls from height at work are the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the biggest causes of major injuries each year. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 were introduced to impose minimum safety standards for anyone working at height. Note that as well as obvious situations such as ladder or scaffolding work, a place ‘at height’ may even be at ground level, if a person could be injured falling from it. For example work in a bar where there may be risk of falling into a cellar would be covered, as would work near a vehicle inspection pit.

Main requirements: Avoid work at height where possible ● Where work at height cannot be avoided, use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls or, failing that, to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, should one occur ● Assess risks from work at height under the Management regulations and take account of the findings ● Make sure all work at height is planned, organised and carried out by competent, trained ●



persons; take account of weather conditions Select appropriate work equipment for work at height; inspect and maintain it Control the risks of working on, at or near fragile surfaces Take precautions to prevent falling objects Provide barriers and notices to prevent access to any area where there is risk of falling a distance or being stuck by falling object

For further information: - The Work at Height Regulations 2005 A brief guide HSE free INDG 401 - Avoiding falls from vehicles HSE Books INDG 395 - Top tips for ladder and stepladder safety, HSE INDG 405 free


Ladder Safety Is it a suitable activity? As a guide, only use a ladder or stepladder: in one position for a maximum of 30 minutes; ● for ‘light work’ ● where a handhold is available on the ladder or stepladder ● where you can maintain three points of contact (hands and feet) at the working position On a ladder or stepladder do not:

stepladder will have to be justified by a risk assessment Is the ladder or stepladder safe to be used?


overload it - the person and anything they are taking up should not exceed the highest load stated on the ladder overreach - keep your belt buckle (navel) inside the stiles and both feet on the same rung throughout the task Impose side loading - avoid work that imposes a side loading, such as side-on drilling through solid materials (e.g. bricks or concrete) Avoid holding items when climbing (for example by using tool belts) on a ladder where you must carry something you must have one free hand to grip the ladder on a stepladder where you cannot maintain a handhold (e.g. putting a box on a shelf), the use of a

Care must be taken to select a ladder that is suitable for the weight of loads it will be subjected to, the frequency of use and the environment in which it will be used. Establish the ladder or stepladder is in a safe condition before using it. As a guide, only use ladders or stepladders that: have no visible defects. They should have a pre-use check each working day ● have a current detailed visual inspection. These should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions ● are suitable for work use. Use Class 1 (Heavy duty) or EN 131 replaced Class 2 (light trades, commercial) ladders or stepladders because domestic (Class 3) ones are not normally suitable for use at work ● have been maintained and stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions What are pre-use checks and detailed visual inspections? ●

Both are looking for obvious visual

defects, they only differ in detail. Both can be done in-house (preuse checks should be part of a user’s training). Detailed visual inspections should be recorded. Ladder and stepladder feet must be part of the pre-use check. Ladder feet are essential for preventing the base of the ladder slipping. Missing stepladder feet cause it to wobble. Do my workers know how to use ladders safely? People should only use a ladder or stepladder if: ●

they are competent - users should be trained and instructed to use the equipment safely the ladder or stepladder is long enough – for ladders: don’t use the top three rungs; ladders used for access should project at least 1 m above the landing point and be tied; alternatively a safe and secure handhold should be available for stepladders: – don’t use the top two steps of a stepladder, unless a suitable handrail is available on the stepladder – don’t use the top three steps of swing-back or double-sided

stepladders, where a step forms the very top of the stepladder the ladder or stepladder rungs or steps are level the weather is suitable - do not use them in strong or gusting winds they are wearing robust, sensible footwear (e.g. safety shoes/boots or trainers). Shoes should not have the soles hanging off, have long or dangling laces, or be thick with mud or other slippery contaminants they know how to prevent members of the public and other workers from using them they are fit - certain medical conditions or medication, alcohol or drug abuse could stop them from using ladders. If you are in any doubt, speak to an occupational health professional they know how to tie a ladder or stepladder properly

For further information: - The Work at Height Regulations 2005 A brief guide HSE, INDG401 free - Safe Use of Ladders and Stepladders An employers’ guide HSE, INDG402 free - Top tips for ladder and stepladder safety, HSE, INDG405 free


Workplace Transport Workplace transport refers to any vehicle or piece of mobile equipment used in any work setting (apart from travel on public roads). It covers cars, vans, forklift trucks, heavy goods vehicles etc. Most workplace transport accidents involve people being hit or run over by moving vehicles, falling from vehicles, being struck by objects from vehicles or being injured as a result of a vehicle overturning. The answer is safe equipment and good management controls ensuring safe systems of work. The legal requirements are set out in the Management Regulations which require employers (and the self employed) to assess risks to workers and others affected by their work activities. Main requirements: ● carry out a work transport assessment ● train, instruct and supervise drivers and others that are involved ● Keep vehicles well maintained (brakes, reversing warnings etc.) ● provide suitable routes and roadways (not uneven or pot-holed)


devise safe working practices – speed limits, routes, limit reversing etc separate vehicles and other workers as much as possible

For further information: - Workplace health safety & welfare ACOP L24 ISBN 0-7176-0413-6 - Managing vehicle safety at the workplace (includes checklist) HSE INDG 199 free single copies - Workplace transport safety (ISBN 0 7176 0935 0) - transport - Workplace transport Safety, an overview, INDG 199 (rev 1) - Reversing Vehicles INDG 148

Manual Handling One third of all work place injuries are caused by incorrect handling of loads. Repeated lifting of even light loads can cause injury, especially where twisting is involved. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 apply to any type of manual work where employees are lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying loads. Main requirements ● Wherever possible avoid any manual handling that involves risk of injury ● Carry out a manual handling assessment and update it regularly ● Try to move loads mechanically, using trolleys, trucks, hoists, conveyors etc ● Carry out manual handling without risk to employees, or reduce such risk to a minimum ● Employees must use any equipment provided and follow safe systems of work ● Regular retraining and observe staff

Manual handling assessment Look at the main tasks that employees need to carry out. Take into account the load, the individual's capabilities and the working environment. Remember LITE: Load Individual ● Task ● Environment A simple manual handling checklist is provided overleaf. The Manual handling assessment chart (MAC) is a new tool designed to help inspectors and employers to identify high risk manual handling activities that involve carrying, lifting and lowering and group handling work. It does not constitute a risk assessment, but should help in prioritising and carrying out the assessments. ● ●

For further information: - Manual Handling - Guidance on Regulations HSE:L23 ISBN 0-7176-2823-x - CIEH Principles of Manual Handling Course - Manual handling assesment chart (MAC tool) INDG 383 or


Is the Load: ● heavy, ● bulky, ● difficult to hold, ● unstable, ● unpredictable or ● harmful (e.g. sharp, hot)? Does the Individual: ● have limited strength, ● have a health problem, ● need special training, or ● need special consideration because pregnant? Does the Task involve: ● picking up or putting down ● twisting, ● stooping, ● reaching upwards, ● repetitive handling, ● pushing or pulling, ● a workrate imposed by a process, or ● wearing PPE or clothing that might hinder movement? Does the Environment have: ● poor/uneven floors, ● slipping/tripping hazards, ● variations in level (e.g. steps or slopes), ● hot, cold or humid conditions, ● strong air movements, or ● poor lighting conditions?




Level of risk


Questions to consider

Possible remedial action

Musculoskeletal Disorders Work related musculoskeletal disorders are the most common occupational illness in Great Britain affecting 1.1 million people. MSDs account for about 48% of reported ill health and a loss of 12.3 million working days per year. Nearly half of Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders are back injuries.

To reduce the risk of injury you should reduce the amount of lifting, reduce load weights, reduce repetitive activities, ensure the tasks have been designed appropriately, select appropriate work equipment and ensure that your workplace is well laid out. Use mechanical aids or mechanise your process as far as possible.


Display Screen Equipment Display screen equipment (DSE) includes computer monitors, electronic tills, and microfiche screens. DSE has been blamed often wrongly - for a wide range of health problems. In fact, only a small number of DSE users actually suffer ill health as a result of their work. Some users may get aches and pains in their hands, wrists, arms, neck, shoulders or back arising from both keyboard and mouse work, which concentrates activity on one hand and arm. Long periods of uninterrupted display screen work can also lead to tired eyes and discomfort, headaches and mental stress. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 apply to those employees who regularly use display screens as part of their normal working. Problems encountered when working with DSE can often be avoided by good workplace design, so that you can work comfortably, and by good working practices (like taking frequent short breaks from the equipment). Prevention is easiest if action is taken early, before the problem has become serious.


Scientific studies have shown that there is no link between birth defects and working with DSE. However, in order to avoid stress and anxiety, women who are pregnant should be given the chance to discuss any concerns they may have with an expert. Main requirements: Workstations must meet minimum standards with respect to display screens, keyboards, desks, chairs etc ● The work environment (lighting, space and ventilation) must be suitable ● Work plans must give scope for breaks or changes of activity ● Employees must have adequate information and training to use their DSE and workstation safely ● Users are entitled to eyesight tests, and spectacles if special ones are needed for display screen work ●

For further information: - Display screen equipment work. Guidance on Regulations (ISBN 0-11-886331) HSE:L26 - Working with VDUs HSE INDG36 (rev 2)

Stress Stress is the reaction people have to excessive demands or pressures. It arises in the work place where people experience difficulty in coping with the tasks, responsibilities and pressures connected with their jobs. Stress triggers complex changes in the body (See list below). These changes can effect the way we think, feel and behave. Ultimately it can lead to both mental and physical ill health. Health problems are more likely to arise where the pressure is intense or prolonged.

Effects of Stress ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Physiological changes aching neck and shoulders increased heart rate, perspiration Behavioural changes dry mouth becoming anxious, irritable headache, dizziness, blurred vision drink more alcohol lowered resistance to infections smoke more skin rashes reduced motivation

People experience stress in different ways and to very different degrees. A lot depends on how they cope as an individual and the level of support they are given from their employer through their immediate managers.

Occupational Stress is becoming an increasing problem. It is now a major contributor to overall illness and sickness absence in the work place. A number of high profile legal cases have awarded large sums of damages in stress related cases.

Should Employers be concerned about stress? Yes. All employers have a duty to make sure their staff are not made ill by their work. Stress can make people ill. Stress can also reduce performance and therefore, reducing stress in the work place will be cost effective.

What must Employers do about stress? As with all work place hazards Employers must assess the risk to staff: ●

● ●

Have you recognised what could give rise to unacceptable and prolonged stress? Who could be affected by stress? Have you done enough to reduce or eliminate sources of stress?

For further information - Working together to reduce stress at work – A guide for employees HSEINDG424


Work Equipment Every year the use of work equipment, including machinery, results in a number of accidents, many of which are serious and some fatal. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 cover the safety of most work equipment, old or new, owned or hired. Everything is included from office equipment, hand tools and ladders to machinery of any kind.

There are special regulations for mobile work equipment such as fork lift trucks and tractors.

For further information: - Simple Guide to PUWER HSE, free (INDG 291) - Safe use of work equipment. Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (L22. ISBN 0-7176-1626-6)

Main requirements: ● Chose equipment that is suitable for the job ● Make sure that all new equipment carries a CE mark ● Fit guards to all dangerous and moving parts of machinery and provide safe interlock devices ● Provide roll-over protection to mobile work equipment and fit restraining belts for employees to use where practicable and necessary ● Maintain equipment in good working order


Provide detailed inspection and testing by a competent person where there is the possibility of a major injury, and supply written reports where needed Give all users sufficient instructions, information and training Allow only trained and authorised users to operate machines

Lifting Equipment In addition to the requirements of PUWER, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998 covers the lifting part of any machinery such as: ● ● ●

● ●

passenger lifts in office blocks dumb waiters bath hoists for residents in care homes vehicle tail lifts and fork lift trucks

For further information: - Simple Guide to LOLER HSE, free (INDG 290) - Safe use of lifting equipment. Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (L113. ISBN 0-7176-1628-2)

Main requirements: ● Lifting equipment must be safe and risk of falling load minimised ● Mark with maximum safe working load ● Indicate whether intended for lifting people or not ● Draw up an examination scheme to determine the frequency of thorough inspection by a competent person ● Inspect lifting devices for people every 6 months; other lifting equipment every 12 months. ● Remember that non-lifting parts are covered by PUWER


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 cover all aspects of equipment designed to protect the wearer from a health and safety hazard such as extreme cold, danger of falling objects, moving vehicles etc.

PPE should be regarded as a last resort, after other methods to control hazards have been applied.

Main requirements ● Provide PPE only where physical measures and safe working methods are not enough ● Employers cannot charge for essential PPE

PPE includes: ● Cold weather gear ● Gloves

● ●

● ●

Safety shoes and boots Safety helmets High visibility waistcoats and jackets Eye and face protectors Ear protectors




● ●

Make sure PPE is effective and carries a CE mark Maintain it well to make sure it is still effective Provide proper storage for PPE Provide suitable information and training for staff in use of PPE Check that PPE is being used

For further information: - A short guide to Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regs (HSE:INDG174L) - Personal Protective Equipment at Work. Guidance on regulations L25 ISBN 0-7176-6139-3


Electricity at Work Up to 20 people are electrocuted at work each year. Poor electrical installations and faulty electrical appliances can lead to fires that cause death and injury. You can avoid most of these accidents by careful planning and simple precautions. You can control most of the possible problems by using suitable equipment, following safe procedures when carrying out electrical work and making sure that you maintain electrical equipment and installations properly. Additional precautions are needed for harsh or special conditions (i.e. wet surroundings, cramped spaces, outdoor work or work being carried out near live parts of equipment). The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 apply to all work places and the electrical equipment used in them.

Main requirements: ● Maintain all electrical equipment and installations in a safe condition ● Avoid the use of extension leads. Under no circumstances plug a second extension lead into another. If the use of an extension lead is unavoidable ensure that the lead is fully uncoiled


Employees must not interfere with anything electrical All people working with electricity must be competent to do the job (Complicated tasks such as equipment repairs, alterations, installation work and testing will need a suitably qualified electrician) Carry out routine visual inspections of electrical equipment, extension leads and plugs. This includes looking for signs of damage to the plug and cable, visible coloured wires, signs of overheating etc Portable electrical equipment must be regularly checked by a competent person - how often the checks need to be made depends on the type of equipment and how it is used Do not carry out any work on systems that are 'live'

For further information: - Electrical safety and you HSE INDG231 - Maintaining portable electrical equipment in offices and low risk environments HSE INDG236 - Maintaining portable electrical equipment in hotels and tourist accommodation HSE INDG 237

Suggested initial frequency of electrical checks for low risk environments The following table and notes are reproduced from the HSE leaflet INDG 236. Equipment/ Environment

User Checks:

Formal Visual Inspection

Combined Inspection and Testing

Battery operated (less than 20 volts)




Extra low voltage (less than 50 volts AC) eg telephone / desk light




IT eg desktop computers VDU screens


Yes, 2-4 years

No, if double insulated – otherwise up to 5 years

Photocopiers, fax machines -held, rarely


Yes, 2-4 years

No, if double NOT hand moved otherwise up to 5 years

Double insulated equipment NOT hand held, moved occasionally, eg fans, table lamps, slide projectors


Yes, 2-4 years


Double insulated equipment – HAND HELD eg some floor cleaners


Yes, 6-12 months


Earthed Equipment (class one) eg. Electric kettles


Yes, 6-12 months

Yes, 1 - 2 years

Cables (leads) and plugs connected to the above. Extension leads


Yes, 6 months-4 yrs depending on equipment connected to

Yes, 1 - 5 years depending on type of equipment connected to


Note 1: The table refers to initial intervals. Experience of operating the maintenance system over a period of time, together with information of faults found, should be used to review the frequency of inspection. It should also be used to review whether and how often equipment and associated leads and plugs should receive a combined inspection and test.

b) after any repair or modification or similar work to the equipment when its integrity needs to be established Note 3: Combined testing can be carried out at the start of a maintenance system to establish the condition of the equipment

Note 2: Combined inspection and testing should be carried out a) when there is reason to suspect the equipment may be faulty or damaged, but this cannot be confirmed by visual inspection, and

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The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 Anyone having construction or building work carried out has legal duties under the Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007), unless they are a domestic client. A domestic client is someone who lives, or will live, in the premises where the work is carried out. The premises must not relate to any trade, business or other undertaking. Although a domestic client does not have duties under CDM 2007, those who work for them on construction projects will.

What do clients need to do? As a client, you have a big influence over how the work is done. Where potential health and safety risks are low, there is little you are required to do. Where they are higher, you need to do more. CDM 2007 is not about creating unnecessary and unhelpful processes and paperwork. It is about choosing a competent team and helping them to work safely and efficiently together. Give them enough time and resource and you will get the building you want, when you want it and on budget. As a client, you need to do the following.

All constructlon projects 1. Appoint the right people ● You are more likely to get what you need if you make sure those who design and build are competent, have sufficient resources and are appointed early enough, so the work can be carried out safely ● The easiest way to find competent designers and contractors is through a reputable trade association 2. Allow adequate time ● A rushed project is likely to be unsafe and of poor quality. You need to allow enough time for the design, planning and construction work to be undertaken properly ● If in doubt, talk to those you appoint 3. Provide information to your team ● You need to pass on key information to your construction team if they are to design and construct something that is safe to build, safe to use and safe to maintain. They will need information about what you want, how you will use it, the site and existing structures or hazards,


such as asbestos. This will help your team to plan, budget and work around problems ● If in doubt, talk to those you appoint 4. Ensure you and your team communicate and co-operate ● Your project will only run efficiently if all those involved in the work communicate, co-operate and co-ordinate with each other ● During the design stage, it is particularly important that you, your designers and contractors talk early on about issues affecting buildability, useability and maintainability of the finished structure. You don’t want people injured or unexpected costs because issues weren’t properly considered when design changes could still easily be made 5. Ensure suitable management arrangements are in place ● Construction projects can be complex and involve many different trades and occupations. Frequently they also involve highrisk activities. The work is more likely to be done safely and to time if those doing the work have suitable management arrangements in place


You need to make sure that suitable arrangements are in place throughout the whole project ● The type and level of checks needed depends on the work being undertaken and the risks involved. You may need help for more complex and high-risk projects ● You are not required to take an active role in managing the work yourself 6. Ensure adequate welfare facilities on site ● You should ensure that your contractors provide adequate welfare facilities for construction workers as soon as possible, before work starts 7. Ensure workplaces are designed correctly ● If your project is for a new workplace or alterations to an existing workplace (eg a factory or office), they must meet the standards set out in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 ● You should ask anyone who is doing design work for you to confirm that these requirements have been complied with ●

Notifiable construction projects In addition, for notifiable construction work (work lasting longer than 30 days or involving 500 person days of work), you have to do the following: 8. Appoint a CDM co-ordinator Your CDM co-ordinator is there to advise and assist you with your CDM duties on notifiable jobs. They will: advise you about selecting competent designers and contractors; help identify what information will be needed by designers and contractors; co-ordinate the arrangements for health and safety during the planning phase; ensure that HSE is notified of the project; tell you if the initial construction phase plan is suitable; and prepare a health and safety file for you (this contains useful information you need to enable future cleaning, maintenance and alterations to be carried out safely). ● You should appoint the CDM coordinator as soon as possible, but ●

no later than the initial design/preparation stage ● CDM 2007 does not require the CDM co-ordinator to supervise or monitor work on site 9. Appoint a principal contractor ● A principal contractor is needed to plan, manage and co-ordinate work while construction work is being carried out on notifiable jobs ● Principal contractors are usually the main or managing contractor for the work ● You should appoint the principal contractor at the earliest opportunity. This is so they can be involved in discussions about buildability, usability and maintainability and so they can have time to plan the work properly 10. Ensure a health and safety plan is in place ●

The principal contractor has to produce a construction phase health and safety plan outlining the key arrangements to ensure that the work is carried out safely. You should not allow work to start on site until there is an adequate plan


11. Keep the health and safety file â—? At the end of the project, the CDM co-ordinator will give you the health and safety file. The file is a record of useful health and safety information and will help you manage health and safety risks during any future maintenance, repair, construction work or demolition. The file needs to be kept safe, made available to anyone who needs to alter or maintain the building and updated if circumstances change


Further Information - Managing health and safety in construction. Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. Approved Code of Practice L144 HSE Books 2007 ISBN 0 7176 6223 4 - Health and safety in construction HSG150 (Third edition) HSE Books 2006 ISBN 978 0 7176 6182 4 - Workplace health, safety and welfare. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Approved Code of Practice L24 HSE Books 1992 ISBN 978 0 7176 0413 5

Substances Hazardous to Health The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) are designed to prevent people at work being exposed to hazardous substances, such as liquids, dusts, fumes, gases or micro-organisms. Employers must carry out an assessment of all substances used, produced or stored in a workplace, considering any risks to health and deciding on any action needed to remove or reduce those risks.

What is a substance that is hazardous to health? For the majority of branded chemicals, a warning label will indicate whether or not they are covered by COSHH regulations. For example, there is no warning label on ordinary household washing up liquid, but there are warning labels on oven cleaners and bleach. COSHH would apply to the oven cleaner and bleach, but not to the washing up liquid.

Any substance, such as asbestos, for which there is specific legislation, is not covered by COSHH. Main requirements: Identify hazardous substances and assess the risks ● Decide what precautions are needed ● Prevent or control exposure to hazardous substances - ideally replace by a safer alternative ● Ensure that control measures are working properly ● Make sure that safety procedures are followed ● Monitor exposure and carry out health surveillance, if appropriate ● Inform, train and supervise staff ●

Manufacturers will provide you with a data sheet, which will help you to identify hazardous substances. However you must still carry out your own assessment and decide how to use the substances to avoid risks to your staff.


Legionella in Hot and Cold Water Systems Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. Legionella bacteria are widespread in the environment and can be present in cooling towers, hot and cold water systems, humidifiers and spa baths. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20-45°C particularly where rust, sludge algae or scale are present.

Zephyr Water Treatment Established 1984 Contact us for specialist advice on:

Providers of residential accommodation such as hotels, guest houses and care homes must consider the risks from legionella that may affect staff or members of the public and take suitable precautions.

Guidance on Compliance 1. Identify and assess source of risk: Are conditions present, which will encourage bacteria to multiply? Is water temperature between 20-45°C? Is it possible that water droplets will be produced? Is it likely that anyone particularly susceptible will come into contact with the contaminated water droplets? 2. Prepare and implement a scheme for preventing or controlling the risk.


Phone: 01225 334838 Email: Unit 23 Brassmill Enterprise Centre Brassmill Lane Bath BA1 3JN Water Management Society



Hot water system advice Water in the boiler should be kept at a minimum of 60°C and at each outlet point above 50°C within a minute of running the water. Carry out these checks monthly, at the first and last tap on the run.

Shower heads and hoses should be dismantled, cleaned, and descaled at least quarterly. Any outlets which are not regularly used must be flushed through at least weekly or immediately before use. Cold water system advice Check that the cold water is stored below 20°C, and maintains a temperature below 20°C after running the water for up to 2 minutes. Carry out these checks monthly, at the first and last tap on the run. Inspect the cold water tank annually. Ensure the tank is insulated and that there is a closed lid. Check for debris and if necessary, clean and disinfect. For further information: - Legionnaires’ disease – The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems. Approved code of practice and guidance L8 (ISBN 0-7176-17772-2) - Controlling Legionella in nursing and residential care homes, HSE Books INDG 253 - Legionnaires’ disease – Essential information for providers of residential acommodation HSE Books INDG 376 - Legionnaires’ disease –

Radon Bath and North East Somerset is an area affected by naturally occurring radon gas. Radon is a colourless odourless and tasteless gas, affecting homes and businesses, which is the second largest cause of lung cancer in the UK. High levels are typically found in basements and poorly ventilated ground floor rooms. Levels are higher in buildings during winter months.

Guidance on Compliance ●

Employers are required by the Management of Health and Safety Regulations at Work 1999 to assess the risks from radon in workplaces This can be done by using monitors placed in workrooms for a three month period The Health Protection Agency (HPA) runs a routine monitoring service for employers. This includes processing, a written report of the results and brief advice. One detector is normally needed for each basement room. Ground floor rooms may also need detectors The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 require action to protect employees if the


average radon gas concentration exceeds 400 Bq m-3 (becquerels per cubic metre of air)


For further information: - Radon in the Workplace: on.htm For radon testing: - You can contact the HPA by telephone: 01235 822622; email: web:

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) LPG consists of commercial propane and butane. The main hazards associated with its use are fire and explosion. For this reason the requirements of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) (see page 49) will apply to any premises using and/or storing LPG. e.g. warehouses with space heaters or FLTs, caterers with LPG cookers, mobile food traders and retailers such as caravan showrooms and petrol stations. LPG is heavier than air and so sinks replacing the available air. In lowlying storage areas, such as underground cellars, asphyxiation from lack of oxygen can be a danger. The safety requirements for the use and storage of LPG depends on the amount being stored at any one premises. Empty cylinders are considered to be the same as full ones, because the residual gas can form explosive mixtures.

storage arrangements and security safe systems of work and emergency procedures warning signs

For further information: - The keeping and use of LPG in vehicles: mobile catering units ( - Small scale use of LPG in cylinders HSE CHIS 5 - Use of LPG in small bulk tanks HSE CHIS4 www. - The LP Gas Association produce various codes of practice. See or contact LP Gas Association, Pavilion 16, Headlands Business Park, Salisbury Road, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 3PB Tel. 01425 4616122

The main factors that must be taken into consideration are: ●

● ●

design and maintenance of the installation ventilation control of ignition sources


Gas Installation and Use Gas leaks can form explosive mixtures at low concentrations. Existing flame sources, cigarettes, or even the sparks created by turning the light on can easily ignite these. Employers and the self-employed must ensure that their gas installations and pipework are safe. Only a Gas Safe registered contractor must carry out any work to repair, improve or install the system. A Gas Safe registered contractor must inspect gas appliances every twelve months and businesses must keep records of these inspections for at least 2 years. You must also have a system for dealing with emergencies. Checklist ●


Do you ensure that work on gas appliances and pipework is only carried out by Gas Safe contractors? Do you make sure that appliances are well maintained and keep records? Does everyone know what to do if they smell gas?

For further information: - Gas Safe – 0800 408 5500 - HSE gas safety advice line, 0800 300 363 - Gas Appliances, get them checked keep them safe (free leaflet) from HSE books. IND(G)238 rev

Dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) deal with protection against risks from fire, explosion and similar events from dangerous substances in the workplace. Although the chemical and petroleum industries will store, use and process the majority of dangerous substances, other sectors such as food and retail may also have dangerous substances present – probably in small quantities. Overall, DSEAR clarifies and expands the existing requirements to manage fire and explosion risks set out in the Management Regulations. You will probably have already considered flammable materials in your general risk assessment when considering fire safety. If not, you must do this immediately. If you have five or more employees, it must be in writing. For existing workplaces, the more specific provisions of DSEAR relating to zones where explosive mixtures may be present apply from July 2006.

What are dangerous substances and explosive mixtures? A dangerous substance is one that is explosive, oxidising, flammable, highly flammable or extremely flammable. e.g. petrol, LPG (liquefied petroleum gases such as propane and butane), paints, varnishes, solvents etc. Look for such hazard information on the label and or safety information sheets from suppliers. An explosive atmosphere is a mixture of air and one or more dangerous substance (in the form of gas, vapour, mist or dust) which, after ignition, will ignite the entire unburned mixture. The employer will need to check whether the work activity involves the creation or handling of such mixtures e.g. wood dust during machining or sanding. Note that health effects from substances are covered by COSHH. (See Substances Hazardous to Health).


Main requirements: ●


Identify any ‘dangerous substances’ as defined in DSEAR. If possible, replace with a safer substance Carry out a risk assessment of any work activities involving dangerous substances (consider the way they are used or stored, potential ignition sources, unusual circumstances such as maintenance work etc) If possible substitute a safe alternative or modify the processes to eliminate the hazard Otherwise, provide measures to reduce risk of fire or explosion as far as is reasonably practicable (e.g. a less hazardous substance, reduce the quantity of the dangerous substance, less dangerous process, etc) Provide equipment and procedures to deal with accidents and emergencies Provide information and training for employees (including names of substances, data sheets, significant findings of risk assessment) Classify places where explosive atmospheres may occur into non-

hazardous and hazardous workplaces, dividing the letter into zones marked at their entrances with signs (by July 2006 for existing workplaces unless new equipment installed before then) For further information: - Fire and explosion: How safe is your workplace? A short guide to the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations. Leaflet INDG370 HSE Books 2002 (single copies free or priced packs of 5 ISBN 0 7176 2589 3) - Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. Approved Code of Practice and guidance L138 HSE Books 2003 ISBN 0 7176 2203 7 (essential reading for any businesses significantly affected) - Fire Safety An employers’ Guide. The Stationery Office 1999 ISBN 0 11 341229 0 - Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Approved Code of Practice and guidance L21 HSE books ISBN 0 7176 2488 9

Asbestos Breathing in asbestos fibres can lead to asbestos-related lung diseases, mainly cancers. These kill more people than any other single workrelated illness. The disease can take 15 to 60 years to develop. Thousands of tonnes of asbestos were used in buildings in the past and much of it is in place today as: ●

spray coating for fire protection and insulation on steel work and concrete, insulation lagging on pipework, boilers and ducts, insulating board in wall partitions, fire doors and ceiling tiles, & asbestos cement products as sheeting for sheds, garages, walls, roofs, tiles, gutters, pipes.

Most of these products are safe, as long as they are not dismantled, as asbestos only poses a risk to health if the fibres are released into the air. They then form a very fine dust, which is often invisible to the naked eye. The more asbestos dust that is inhaled, the greater the risk to health. That is why it is important that everyone who works with asbestos, or who may be exposed to it, takes the strictest precautions. Asbestos waste is subject to waste management controls set out in

special regulations. The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2012, introduced important new requirements to manage the risk from asbestos in all non-domestic premises. Main requirements: Workplace owners, tenants or anyone else with legal responsibilities for non-domestic premises have the following duties: ●

Prepare and put into effect a plan to manage the risk of asbestos Take reasonable steps to find asbestos-containing materials in premises and check their condition Presume that materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence to suppose that they do not Keep an up-to-date written record of the location and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) or presumed ACMs Assess the risk of exposure to ACMs Provide information to every person liable to disturb it (e.g. decorators, builders, electricians, telephone engineers, emergency services etc.)


Routinely inspect and maintain the condition of any substance containing, or suspected of containing, asbestos Note that there are additional requirements for those that actually work wth asbestos products, either occasionally or more frequently. Any work, other than the most minor, needs a licence from the HSE. If you are engaging anyone to work on asbestos removal or maintenance, you must check their status and make sure that they have carried out the necessary risk assessments. You must not expose your employees to asbestos.


Disposal of asbestos Asbestos waste is subject to waste management controls set out in the Special Waste Regulations 1996. Further advice can be sought from the Environment Agency, Waste Regulation Unit (08708 506 506). For further information: - A short guide to managing asbestos in premises HSE books INDG 223 (rev3) free - The management of asbestos in nondomestic premises (2002). Approved code of practice (ISBN 0-7176-2382-3) - Work with asbestos insulation, asbestos coating and asbestos insulating board. Approved code of practice (ISBN 0-7176-2563-x) -


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Noise at Work Exposure to high levels of noise can cause incurable hearing damage. For example, if you have to shout to someone one metre away to be heard, the noise level may be causing permanent damage to your ears. As a useful guide, if a person has to shout to someone else only two metres away in order to be heard, a risk assessment is needed. It is always best to control noise at its source, rather than relying on special work arrangements or wearing ear protectors.

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 came into force for all industry sectors in Great Britain on 6 April 2006 (except for the music and entertainment sectors when they came into force on 6th April 2008). For further information: - Noise at work - advice for employers HSG INDG 363 - free - Watch out for further information on the HSE website

The Noise at Work Regulations (2005) set out a basic framework to protect people against health risks from excessive noise at work. Main Regulations: ● Reduce risk of damage to hearing to lowest level reasonably practicable ● Carry out an assessment if noise levels reach one of the 'Action Levels' (85 or 90 dB) ● Where appropriate, provide employees with information and training about use of noise control equipment ● Maintain noise control equipment and ear protectors


Young People at Work Young workers are seen as being particularly at risk because of their possible lack of awareness of existing or potential risks, immaturity and inexperience. Children under 13 years old are generally not allowed to work. Those aged between 13 and 16 years old are not allowed to work in some industrial businesses. Children on work experience are considered as employees for the purposes of health and safety, with age restrictions prohibiting them from using particular machinery or carrying out certain tasks. Employers must: ●


Assess hazards and risks to young people under 18 before they start work Take into account their possible lack of awareness of existing or potential risks, immaturity and inexperience Address specific factors in the risk assessment Provide information to the young person and their parents about the hazards, risks and control measures introduced Take account of the risk assessment in determining whether the young person should be prohibited from certain work activities

Reduce risk as far as reasonably practicable Provide necessary instruction, training and supervision

Anyone employing a young person must also ensure that the child is registered with Educational Welfare Service P.O. Box 25 Riverside, Temple Street, Keynsham, 01225 394241 Checklist ● Have you assessed the risks to young people? ● Have you reduced the risks as far as possible? ● Have you provided information, training and supervision? ● Have you registered with the Education Welfare Officer?

Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers at Work There is a duty for Employers to consider the health of pregnant workers and the unborn child. This duty also extends after the birth to include workers who have recently given birth or are breast feeding. Employers must consider any working conditions along with any physical, chemical, or biological agents which may effect the pregnant worker or unborn child. If you employ women of child bearing age you must; ●

Identify the Risks that pregnant women or nursing mothers may be exposed to Identify preventative or protective measures to remove the risk As soon as employers are made aware that a member of staff is pregnant or a nursing mother they must take the following action Where risks cannot be removed consider altering the employees working hours, offer alternative work or in the case of significant risks suspend from work on full pay

Checklist If you employ women of child bearing age you must consider the risks to the health and safety of the mother and her unborn child ● Have you decided on measures to prevent or remove the risk? ● Once you have proof of impending child birth you must ensure the risks are prevented or removed. Where this is not possible consider alternative arrangements ●


Maximum Permitted Working Hours The Working Time Regulations 1998 introduced maximum working hours. They apply to all workers, except the self-employed and those working in transport sectors. Part-timers are included and young workers (under 18) have extra rights. The regulations set fair, minimum standards for workers, while allowing flexibility for workers and employers to make arrangements that suit them. Main requirements: ● A worker should not work more than an average of 48 hours a week, unless there is a written agreement with the employer ● Employees can agree to 'opt out' of the regulations or to end an 'opt-out agreement' ● A night worker should not work more than an average 8 hour shift ● Night workers are entitled to free health assessments ● Adult workers have the right to a rest period of 11 consecutive hours between each working day and a day off each week* ● Young workers have the right to 12 hours rest in each 24 hour period and two days off each week*


Adult workers have a right to a 20 minute rest break (but not necessarily paid) if working longer than 6 hours and young workers to 30 minutes if working over four and a half hours* ● Extra breaks are needed where the work is monotonous or strenuous* ● Workers are entitled to 4 weeks paid leave* * Weekly and daily rest, rest breaks and paid annual leave are enforced through the Employment Tribunals ●

For further information: - Free booklets are available from the DTI Info line Tel: 0845 6000 925 - Employment Tribunal Service Enquiry line Tel: 0845 795775

Accident Reporting (RIDDOR) RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (2013). If you are an employer, self-employed or in control of work premises you must report certain incidents involving employees and members of the public.This includes residents in a care home or children at an activity centre. Following any accident or ‘near miss’, whether it is reportable or not, it is good management practice to ask questions about precisely why and how the accident happened and decide what you could do to prevent a recurrence. You should review the relevant risk assessment (see Risk Assesment section) as part of a full investigation. All reportable incidents should preferably be reported direct to the Incident Contact Centre in Caerphilly (ICC) by one of the following methods. ● ● ● ● ●

Phone (0845 300 9923) Fax (0845 300 9924) Internet ( E mail ( or Post (ICC, Caerphilly Business Park, Caerphilly, CF83 3GG)

The types of incidents that must be reported include: ● ●

a death specified injuries (e.g. crush injuries, amputation, loss of sight, certain burn injuries etc) a member of public being taken to hospital certain dangerous occurrences, even if no injury results, (eg. fire that results in closure of premises for more than 24 hours) an employee who is unable, as a result of an accident at work, to do normal work for more than 7 days, including non-work days (seven day injury), or if an employee suffers from a reportable work-related illness

Main requirements: ● Report any deaths, specified injuries or dangerous occurrences by the fastest method ● Report seven day injuries within 15 days ● Online reports should be made rather than on paper ● Keep a detailed record of all reportable incidents


Accident books It is a requirement under social security legislation (Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979) for businesses with ten or more employees to record all accidents in an accident book. The HSE has produced a new Accident Book, BI 510, which complies with the Data Protection Act 1988. Accident books must be readily accessible to employees. To allow this, whilst ensuring that personal information remains confidential, businesses must use the new - style reporting pad with tear off sheets, which can be removed and stored securely. It is good practice for smaller businesses to have a similar accident reporting system. (Note that RIDDOR applies to ALL businesses, irrespective of size.)


For further information: - RIDDOR REPORTING: Information about the new incident centre HSE MISC310 - The RIDDOR Incident Contact Centre Remember! Ring and Report! HSE MISC310 (rev 2) - A Guide to RIDDOR 1995 (HSE L73) - View or download F2508 on - Accident book BI 510 HSE books – ISBN 0-7176-2603-2

Fire Safety Although the Avon Fire and Rescue Service is the enforcing authority for fire legislation in this area, no booklet on health and safety would be complete without a mention of this major safety hazard. All premises where staff are employed are covered by the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997, amended 1999. These detail minimum fire safety standards. Some premises need a fire certificate.

Fire Safety (Bath) Ltd Fire Risk Assessments Fire Alarms (Wireless or Wired)

Main requirements: Assess the fire risks in the workplace and document if five or more employees ● Check that a fire can be detected in a reasonable time and that people can be warned ● Check that people who may be in the building can get out safely ● Provide reasonable fire-fighting equipment ● Check that those in the building know what to do if there is a fire ● Check and maintain your fire safety equipment Please note that the regulations are currently being revised. ●

For further information: - Fire safety and fire prevention advice is free and easily obtainable from fire prevention officer, Avon Fire and Rescue, Cleveland Bridge, Bath 0117 926 2061

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First Aid Under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 work places must make suitable provision for first aid.

The number of first aiders and the level of training and equipment needed, depends on:

Main requirements:

● ● ● ●

the number of workers the type of work and hazard whether there is shift working In low risk situations, one first aider is required for more than 50 employees. High risk activities such as businesses using forklift trucks must have a first aider present whenever such work is taking place

The minimum you will need is: ●

a suitably stocked first aid box and an appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements and emergencies

Contents of first aid box ● ● ● ●


First aid guidance card Individually wrapped plasters Sterile eye pads Individually wrapped triangular bandages Individually wrapped sterile dressings (different sizes)

Sterile water if no tap nearby First aid boxes must not contain medication

Decide what you need, according to the numbers involved and the hazards. Provide, equip and maintain first aid box(es). Nominate an appointed person to take charge of emergencies and look after first aid box. Appoint first aiders and make sure they have valid qualifications Keep a record of first aid treatment given. Put up notices telling employees where they can find first aid equipment and the names of the first-aiders.

For further information - First Aid at Work – Your questions answered – HSE INDG214 (rev1)

Self Assessment Questionnaire Your Policies Has your business produced a written company safety policy? Yes


No, there are less than five employees

Have you carried out a risk assessment at the premises? Yes


If so, have you produced a record of all the significant findings? Yes


No, there are less than five employees

Is the new Health and Safety Law “What You Should Know” Poster displayed at the premises? Yes

No See Safety Policy & Risk Assessment Section

The Workplace Are you satisfied that all workrooms are adequately ventilated? Yes


Are you satisfied that the temperature in all the workrooms is at least 16°C? Yes


Are you satisfied that there is sufficient lighting to enable people to work and move about safely? Yes


Are you satisfied that the workplace is kept clean? Yes


Are you satisfied that all waste is stored in suitable bins, which are emptied regularly? Yes


Are you satisfied that all workrooms have enough free space to allow people to move about with ease? Yes


Are you satisfied that all workstations (i.e. desks, benches, counters) and seating are suitable for the people using them and for the work? Yes



Are you satisfied that the building and its services such as mechanical ventilation systems are in a good state of repair and are regularly maintained? Yes


Are you satisfied that all the flooring is in good condition, free from holes, is even and not slippery? Yes


Are you satisfied that staircases, walkways and fire exits are always kept free of obstructions, which could cause a person to trip or fall? Yes


Are you satisfied that all staircases to the premises are well constructed with a handrail provided on at least one side? Yes


Are you satisfied that all shelving and racking units are well made and strong enough for the loads placed on them? Yes


Are you satisfied that your premises are provided with safe means of reaching heights such as a stepladder or Kick-stool? Yes


No, there are no high shelves

Does the premises have a mezzanine floor or high level storage area? Yes


If YES, are your mezzanine floor(s) or high-level storage area(s) fitted with two guardrails, with one at waist height? Yes


Are you satisfied that windows higher than the ground floor can be opened without danger? Yes


Do you have a safe system of work for window cleaning? Yes


See Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Section


Visual Display Units Do any staff regularly use a computer for at least an hour per day? Yes


If YES, have computer workstations been formally assessed? Yes


If YES, do your provide:



Suitable desks with enough room for all the equipment? Modern, fully adjustable 5-point chairs? Enough room around each desk? Monitors with adjustable controls Suitable keyboards or mouse controls? Computer equipment which is adjustable in height, tilt and layout? Free eye-tests with an optician? Regular breaks for staff away from the screen? Adequate lighting, free from glare or distracting reflections? Information to staff about the problems of poor posture and fatigue?

See Display Screen Equipment Section

Manual Handling Are there any people who must carry heavy goods or awkward items such as stationery or stock deliveries, packs of brochures, mail room packages, water bottles or items of work equipment. Yes


If YES, have these manual handling tasks been adequately assessed, taking into consideration the task, the load, the environment and the person(s) doing the work? Yes


See Manual Handling Section


Welfare Do you have sufficient toilets for male, female and disabled members of staff? Yes


Do you have sufficient hand washing facilities? Yes


Do you provide drinking water? Yes


Do you provide a staff room or rest area with seating? Yes


Is it possible for staff to make a hot drink? Yes


Are there any restrictions on smoking at work? Yes

No See Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Section

Accidents Do you know which accidents are legally required to be reported? Yes


Do you have an accident book or similar accident record system? Yes

No See Reporting of Accidents Section

Do you have a first aid kit at the premises? Yes


Is there one or more trained first-aiders? Yes


Is there one or more appointed persons trained to seek medical help in an emergency situation? Yes

No See First Aid Section


Electricity Is your portable electrical equipment (any appliance fitted with a plug) regularly maintained & tested? Yes


Has the electrical installation been inspected within the last five years? Yes

No See Electricity at Work Section

Fire Precautions Have you carried out your fire risk assessment? Yes


See Fire Section

Harmful Substances Do you use or store harmful substances such as those labelled as toxic, harmful, irritant or corrosive? Yes


If yes, have you completed a suitable and sufficient assessment? Yes

No See COSHH Section

Work Equipment Are you satisfied that all dangerous parts of work equipment are adequately guarded? Yes


Are you satisfied that people who use work equipment have received adequate safety training? Yes


Is your lift thoughly examined by a lift engineer every six months? Yes


No, there are no lifts


Gas and LPG Appliances Do you have equipment powered by bottled gas (LPG cylinders)? Yes


If YES, are the full and empty gas bottles or LPG containers stored correctly? Yes


Do you have gas appliances such as boilers at the premises? Yes


IF YES, are your gas appliances maintained and tested by a CORGI registered gas fitter at least yearly? Yes

No See Gas Safety Section

Training and Consultation Do you consult employees about matters which affect their health and safety? Yes


Do all new employees receive health and safety induction training? Yes


Do all existing staff receive refresher health and safety or job safety training? Yes


Are all staff trained in emergency evacuation procedures? Yes


Date by which action should be taken:

Date for audit reassessment:

Assessor’s name:



Useful Addresses ●

Public Protection Team, Bath & North East Somerset Council 1st Floor Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG Tel: 01225 396759 Email: Health & Safety Executive, South West, 4th Floor, The Pithay, All Saints Street, Bristol, BS1 2ND - (0117) 9 886000 Employment Medical Advisory Service, Government Building Phase 1, Ty-Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5SH - 029 2026 3000 Avon Fire Brigade, Cleveland Bridge, Bath, BA2 6PO - (0117) 926 2061) HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO1O 2WA - (01787) 881165 (HSE priced and free publications) Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1PP - (0116) 2573199 (provides a register of safety practitioners) Institute of Occupational Hygienists (IOH), Suite 2, Georgian House, Great Northern Road, Derby, ED1 1LT - (01332) 298087 (provides a directory of occupational hygienists) National Examination Board in Occupational Safety & Health (NEBOSH), The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1PP - (0116) 288858 (provides details of nationally recognised safety courses) Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), Egbaston Park, 353 Bristol Road, Birmingham, B5 7ST - (0121) 248000 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Infoline - 0845 345 0055, Minicom - 0845 408 9577 Advisory Conciliation & Arbitration Service (ACAS) Public Enquiry Point, Bristol - (0117) 974 4066




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Bath & North East Somerset - The place to live, work and visit 7

Published by Public Protection, Bath & North East Somerset Council Produced by Priory Publications, Hassell Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 1AX. Tel: 01782 711500 W03 Del/10/13

Bath and North Somerset Council Health and Safety Handbook  
Bath and North Somerset Council Health and Safety Handbook  

Directors, managers and owners can be held personally responsible for failures to control health and safety. This booklet tries to help you...