Here at Prosafe towers we have recently finished a social media campaign outlining our A to Z of Workplace Health and Safety. This was by no means an exercise in exhausting our Health and Safety knowledge. Nor was it a fix-all list for employees to live by.
So why an A to Z of Workplace Health and Safety?
Our consultants saw the A to Z of Workplace Health and Safety as a personal challenge. Could our team come up with a phrase or word relating to workplace health and safety for each letter of the alphabet? Well, below is the result of our toil and in turn, 26 interesting facts on our favourite subject!
A is for Accidents
Incredibly, work-connected accidents killed 92 members of the public in 2018/19.
B is for Biocide
So what is a biocide? A biocidal product is one which controls harmful or unwanted organisms through chemical or biological means. Common examples of such products are disinfectants, wood preservatives and insect repellents.
C is for Competence
As an employer , you must ensure that any individual performing a task on your behalf has the competence to do so without putting the health and safety of themselves or others at risk.
D is for Display Screen Equipment
Employers must protect workers from the health risks of working with DSE such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
E is for Electrical Safety
Electricity is a familiar and necessary part of everyday life, but electricity can kill or severely injure people and cause damage to property.
There are simple precautions when working with, or near electricity that can be taken to significantly reduce the risk of electrical injury.
F is for First Aid
A low-risk workplace such as a small office should have a first-aid box. They should also have a person appointed to take charge of first-aid arrangements, such as calling the emergency services. Employers must provide information about first-aid arrangements to their employees.
G is for Gloves
When you select protective gloves, you need to consider the following five factors:
- Identify the substances handled.
- Identify all other hazards.
- Think about the type and duration of contact.
- Consider the user – size and comfort.
- Consider the task.
H is for Hazard
One of the most important aspects of your risk assessment is accurately identifying the potential hazards in your workplace.
A good starting point is to walk around your workplace and think about any hazards. In other words, what is it about the activities, processes or substances used that could injure your employees or harm their health?
I is for Investigation
The most effective method is to report and investigate near misses as no injury or damage to property has occurred. Effective investigations will identify the contributory factors leading up to the near miss or any other incident. Additional controls can be put in place before further injury or damage to property occurs.
J is for Journals
Many organisations including the HSE and RoSPA publish their own newsletters, books and journals covering specific topics should more specialist knowledge be needed for for particular organisation.
K is for Knives
Knife injuries are espcially common in the catering industry. Tips of how to prevent knife accidents include training employees in the safe use of knives and safe working practices when sharpening them, using a knife suitable for the task and for the food you are cutting, keeping knives sharp and cutting on a stable surface.
L is for Lone Workers
Working alone is not in itself against the law and it will often be safe to do so. However, the law requires employers to consider carefully, and then deal with, any health and safety risks for people working alone.
Employers are responsible for the health, safety and welfare at work of all their workers. They also have responsibility for the health and safety of any contractors or self-employed people doing work for them.
M is for Myths
So keen are the HSE to dispell Health and Safety Myths that they have set up the Myth Busters Challenge Panel. Through the panel, you can challenge advice or decisions made in the name of health and safety that you believe are disproportionate or legally inaccurate.
N is for Noise
Regulations require employers to:
- Assess the risks to your employees from noise at work;
- Take action to reduce the noise exposure
- Provide hearing protection if you cannot reduce the noise exposure enough
- Make sure the legal limits are not exceeded;
- Provide your employees with information, instruction and training;
- Carry out health surveillance.
O is for Online Systems
There are many benefits to doing your Health & Safety tasks and documentation online, including the following:
- Information can be input and accessed anywhere where there is an internet connection,
- Data is stored remotely, easy to update and amend – no paperwork ,
- Documents are easily created using tick boxes and multiple choice questions.
P is for Pesticides
As pesticides are used to kill unwanted pests, weeds and moulds, they could also harm people, wildlife and the environment if there were not strict controls in place over their sale and use. The UK has a wide range of legislation and administrative controls governing their approval and authorisation, marketing, supply, storage and use to ensure that any risks are managed appropriately.
Q is for Quarrying
Quarrying remains one of the most dangerous industries to work in, since 2000 over 3500 workers have suffered an injury reportable to HSE, 31 of those being fatal.
R is for Risk Assessment
To do a risk assessment, you need to understand what, in your business, might cause harm to people and decide whether you are doing enough to prevent that harm. Once you have decided that, you need to identify and prioritise putting in place, appropriate and sensible control measures.
S is for Slips and Trips
As an employer, to tackle slips and trips successfully in your workplace you need to put in place an effective management system, carry out regular risk assessments and make sure you are aware of the relevant laws and regulations.
T is for Textiles
For the textile industry there are extra tasks on top of the standard requirements to make sure the business is complying with the law. These are relating to subjects like:
- Hand knives
- Fire and explosion
- Dyestuffs and chemicals
- Manual handling
U is for Upper Limb Disorder
ULDs are aches, pains, tension and disorders involving any part of the arm from fingers to shoulder, or the neck. They are caused by factors like repetitive work, uncomfortable working postures, sustained or excessive force, carrying out a task for a long period of time, poor working environment.
Consider the risks when setting up new workstations, and try to make the task and workstation suitable for each worker, rather than make the worker adapt to fit the task and workstation.
V is for Vibration
Hand-arm vibration is vibration transmitted from work processes into workers’ hands and arms. It can be caused by operating hand-held power tools,hand-guided equipment or by holding materials being processed by machines, such as pedestal grinders. Frequent exposure can lead to permanent health effects.
W is for Working at Height
Working at height means any place where a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.
You are working at height if you work above ground/floor level. Other hazards include falling from an edge, through an opening or fragile surface. Accidents also occur falling from ground level into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground.
X is for ….. toolboX talks?
A toolbox talk is a short presentation to the workforce on a single aspect of workplace health and safety. They are a great safety training tool that can be an ideal way to provide timely safety reminders to employees. They also improve safety awareness and contribute to an improved safety culture.
Y is for Young People
Employers have the same responsibilities for health, safety and welfare of under 18s as they do for other employees. This is whether for work, work experience, or as an apprentice,
and finally, Z is for Zoonoses
Diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans are called Zoonoses.
There are around 40 zoonoses in the UK and approximately 300,000 people potentially exposed.
For more information or advice about ANY of the topics we’ve touched on above or any other Workplace Health and Safety questions then please contact Prosafe (UK) Ltd on 01724 712342 for a FREE no obligation chat or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can visit our website at www.prosafeuk.co.uk