Risk Services

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Buisness Club 2017


  1. When do I need a written health and safety policy?

    The health and safety at work Act requires a written policy for 5 or more employees however with the ever increasing demands on principal contractors, even individuals may be asked for a variety of documentation which often includes copies of health and safety policies or the company's arrangements for dealing with emergencies or safety of their personnel.

  2. Am I obliged to wear personal protective equipment and make my employees wear it?

    Yes, The personal protective equipment regulations state: 1) Every employer shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that any personal protective equipment provided to his employees by virtue of regulation 4(1) is properly used. (2) Every employee shall use any personal protective equipment provided to him by virtue of these Regulations in accordance both with any training in the use of the personal protective equipment concerned which has been received by him and the instructions respecting that use which have been provided to him by virtue of regulation 9.

  3. What are the general duties of employees at work?

    The Health & safety Work Act states: "It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with."

  4. What are the maximum and minimum temperatures acceptable in the workplace?

    The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 lay down particular requirements for most aspects of the working environment. Regulation 7 of these Regulations deals specifically with the temperature in indoor workplaces and states that: During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable. However, the application of the regulation depends on the nature of the workplace i.e. a bakery, a cold store, an office, a warehouse. The associated ACOP goes on to explain: ‘The temperature in workrooms should provide reasonable comfort without the need for special clothing. Where such a temperature is impractical because of hot or cold processes, all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a temperature which is as close as possible to comfortable. 'Workroom' means a room where people normally work for more than short periods. The temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius unless much of the work involves severe physical effort in which case the temperature should be at least 13 degrees Celsius. These temperatures may not, however, ensure reasonable comfort, depending on other factors such as air movement and relative humidity.’ Where the temperature in a workroom would otherwise be uncomfortably high, for example because of hot processes or the design of the building, all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a reasonably comfortable temperature.

  5. Can a person be left alone at their place of work?

    There are no absolute restrictions on working alone; it will depend on the findings of a risk assessment. There are two main pieces of legislation that will apply: The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974: Section 2 sets out a duty of care on employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees whilst they are at work. The Management of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1999: Regulation 3 states that every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of - * the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and * the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking.

  6. Is there a maximum weight a person can lift during their work?

    The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) set no specific requirements such as weight limits. The ergonomic approach shows clearly that such requirements are based on too simple a view of the problem and may lead to incorrect conclusions. Instead, an ergonomic assessment based on a range of relevant factors is used to determine the risk of injury and point the way to remedial action. The Regulations establish the following clear hierarchy of control measures: Avoid hazardous manual handling operations so far as is reasonably practicable, for example by redesigning the task to avoid moving the load or by automating or mechanising the process. Make a suitable and sufficient assessment of any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided. Reduce the risk of injury from those operations so far as is reasonably practicable. Where possible, you should provide mechanical assistance, for example a sack trolley or hoist. Where this is not reasonably practicable, look at ways of changing the task, the load and working environment.

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