Health and Safety Audits and Site Safety Audits
You must regularly examine the quality and effectiveness of your health and safety management systems. It is notable that when the HSE conduct their investigations into major accidents, it usually highlights health and safety management failures as being the root of the cause. Site safety audits also evidence a legal requirement to supervise employees.
Health and Safety Policy Documents
A documented health and safety policy is a legal requirement if you employ five or more people. If you have fewer than five employees you do not have to write anything down, though it is considered useful to do so if, for example, something changes and your numbers expand.
if you employ contractors or sub-contractors in the course of your business you should have a policy to manage them, it is also advisable to have policies on such things as fire and emergency, first aid and accident reporting and investigation to name just a few.
Near Miss and Incident Reporting
Employers should encourage the reporting of near misses and gain an opportunity to look at why they happened and put preventative measures in place to prevent future near misses or actual incidents from happening. Collecting near-miss reports helps create a culture that seeks to identify and control hazards, which will reduce risks and the potential for harm.
There is a legal requirement to record accidents and records must be kept of all of ‘over-three-day injuries’, which are those where a person who is injured at work is incapacitated for more than three consecutive days. Information on accidents, incidents and ill health can be used as an aid to risk assessment, helping to develop solutions to potential risks. Records also help to prevent injuries and ill health, and control costs from accidental loss. As well as this the RIDDOR regulations require the reporting of some illnesses, injuries and occurrences directly to the HSE which will need to be backed up by the incident report and records.
Permits To Work
The Permit should contain all relevant information, be correct, and presented in a suitable format e.g. not overly complex or ambiguous. The permit should communicate all relevant information (including hazards and controls) to all personnel involved and ensure that other people are aware of what maintenance staff are doing and vice versa. The health and Safety Hub has templates for hot works permit (with instructions on use) and permit to dig (breaking ground) which are probably the two most important but can put together any other permit you would like upon request.
Once a permit has been written and signed on to by all those involved a copy should be kept by those controlling the works and a copy should be displayed at the work face so that all in the area understand what is going on. Once the work has been finished the permit must be signed off by the person controlling the area (appointed person).
Training in Health and Safety
If you have Risk Assessments, Rams and Toolbox Talks for all the tasks your employees undertake you are well on your way to managing Health and Safety. Regular Audits will ensure the correct procedures are being followed and Training of Supervisors and Managers at all.
The Health and Safety Hub can offer a full comprehensive training package for managers and supervisors on all aspects of Health and Safety within an organisation from Risk Assessments to Accident Investigations. Separate individual training courses are available on subjects that range from on how to manage Hand Arm Vibration to giving Toolbox Talks with confidence. We also offer a comprehensive CDM package for both clients and Contractors that includes all the documentation you will need to assist you in complying with the regulations.