1 Health ad Safety Essetials of health ad safety at work Health ad Safety Health ad Safety Essetials of health ad safety at work This is a free-to-dowload, web-friedly versio of Essetials of health ad safety at work (Fourth editio, published 2006). This versio has bee adapted for olie use from HSE s curret prited versio. You ca buy the book at ad most good bookshops. ISBN Price This is the fourth editio of HSE s most popular guidace book. Essetials of health ad safety at work is easy to use ad will help you prevet workplace accidets ad ill health ad comply with the law. Packed with soud advice to put you o the right track, it covers the whole rage of workplace hazards. Havig the basics at your figertips could t be simpler ad if you eed more detailed iformatio, it poits you i the right directio. This ew editio has bee expaded to iclude: ew chapters o slips ad trips, work at height, cotractors ad agecy workers, ad geeral fire safety; ew sectios o stress, rehabilitatio ad sickess absece; a focus o special groups youg people, the disabled, o-eglish speakers, ew ad expectat mothers, ad loe ad mobile workers; a ew subject idex (prited versio oly). This book is great value if you re startig up or ruig a small busiess, preparig a compay safety policy or have bee appoited as a trade uio safety represetative, but whatever lie of work you re i, it will help you ru a safe ad healthy workplace ad that makes good busiess sese. Essetials of health ad safety at work oe of the most useful books you ll ever buy. Page 1 of 105
2 Health ad Safety Crow copyright 2006 First published 1988 Secod editio 1990 Third editio 1994 Fourth editio 2006 ISBN All rights reserved. No part of this publicatio may be reproduced, stored i a retrieval system, or trasmitted i ay form or by ay meas (electroic, mechaical, photocopyig, recordig or otherwise) without the prior writte permissio of the copyright ower. Applicatios for reproductio should be made i writig to: The Office of Public Sector Iformatio, Iformatio Policy Team, Kew, Richmod, Surrey TW9 4DU or This guidace is issued by the Health ad Safety. Followig the guidace is ot compulsory ad you are free to take other actio. But if you do follow the guidace you will ormally be doig eough to comply with the law. Health ad safety ispectors seek to secure compliace with the law ad may refer to this guidace as illustratig good practice. Ackowledgemets Betley Motors Ltd Greecore Group plc Kajima Costructio Europe (UK) Ltd Sciece Photo Library Uited Utilities Page 2 of 105
3 Health ad Safety Essetials of health ad safety at work Cotets Itroductio 5 1 Maagig health ad safety 7 2 The workplace 13 3 Slips ad trips 18 4 Geeral fire safety 21 5 Work at height 24 6 Buildig work 27 7 Machiery safety 31 8 Plat ad equipmet maiteace 34 9 Gas- ad oil-fired equipmet Pressurised plat ad equipmet Workplace trasport Liftig ad hadlig Noise Vibratio Electricity Radiatios Harmful substaces Flammable ad explosive substaces 70 Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 3 of 105
4 Health ad Safety 19 Maagig health Safe ways of workig Selectio ad traiig Cotractors ad agecy workers Special groups of workers Persoal protective equipmet Accidets ad emergecies 100 Useful cotacts 104 Further iformatio 105 Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 4 of 105
5 Health ad Safety Itroductio Why read this book? Health ad safety maagemet should be a straightforward part of maagig your busiess as a whole. It ivolves practical steps that protect people from harm ad at the same time protect the future success of your busiess. There are legal health ad safety requiremets that you have to meet, but accidets also cost moey ad time people off work, material costs ad damage to buildigs, plat or product. These costs are ofte ot covered by isurace. This book explais what the law requires ad helps you put it ito practice. What are the mai causes of ill health ad accidets at work? Every year over 200 people are killed at work ad several hudred thousad more are ijured ad suffer ill health. The biggest causes of days off work sick are aches ad pais such as back problems (see Chapter 12) ad stress (see Chapter 19). The most commo causes of serious accidetal ijury at work are slips ad trips (see Chapter 3). The most commo causes of death from accidets are falls from a height (see Chapter 5) ad beig struck by vehicles i the workplace (see Chapter 11). The law ad guidace There are two mai kids of health ad safety law. Some is very specific about what you must do, but some, such as the Health ad Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act), is geeral, requirig you to do what is reasoably practicable to esure health ad safety. The Health ad Safety (HSE) has produced publicatios (may available to view at to help you to decide what this meas i practice. Iformatio about useful publicatios ad websites is give i a Fid out more sectio i each chapter. Priced publicatios have a ISBN umber. HSE leaflets are free for a sigle copy, but are sold i priced packs for multiple copies. This book Chapter 1 suggests how you ca tackle the basics of health ad safety. It tells you how to idetify, assess ad cotrol the activities that might cause harm i your busiess. Chapters 2 to 25 are for ayoe who eeds to kow more about a particular Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 5 of 105
6 Health ad Safety subject. Each chapter tells you what you eed to do to work safely as well as what laws apply. Lookig at your busiess i the way this book suggests will help you stay safe. It will go a log way to satisfyig the law icludig the risk assessmet that you must do uder the Maagemet of Health ad Safety at Work Regulatios It might save you moey as well! Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 6 of 105
7 Health ad Safety 1 Maagig health ad safety The hazards A hazard is aythig that might cause harm (eg chemicals, electricity, vehicles, workig from ladders). Risk is the chace (big or small) of harm beig doe, as well as how serious that harm could be. Who do I have to cosider? You eed to cosider people who: How to maage health ad safety What you have to do to maage health ad safety effectively is: Kow about the risks i your work. Cotrol the risks that eed it. Make sure the risks stay cotrolled. Kow about the risks i your work Risk is a part of everyday life, ad eve quite straightforward busiesses ca have a rage of hazards. You are ot expected to elimiate all risk. What you must do is make sure you kow about the mai risks that affect you, ad what you eed to do to maage them resposibly. Thikig this through is called risk assessmet. All busiesses have to do this by law. It s also practical, as you ca make sure you put effort ito the right thigs, avoid wastig time o trivial risks, ad do t miss aythig importat. work for you, icludig casual workers, parttimers, traiees ad subcotractors; use workplaces you provide; are allowed to use your equipmet; visit your premises; may be affected by your work, eg your eighbours or the public; use products you make, supply or import; or use your professioal services, eg if you are a desiger. How to assess risks Look for all the hazards i your work, cosiderig what could realistically harm people. For each of these hazards thik: How serious could the harm be? Is it a cut figer or moths off work with a back ijury? Who could be harmed, ad how likely is that? Do you eed to do more to cotrol the risks? Not all risks may be easy to spot. Some may be obvious ad quite likely to happe, such as slippig i a place where floors are ofte wet. Others may be less obvious, but could have such serious cosequeces that you eed to make sure the risks are cotrolled, eg goig oto a roof for cleaig or repairs. The law Uder the Health ad Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the HSW Act), you have to esure the health ad safety of yourself ad others who may be affected by what you do or do ot do. It applies to all work activities ad premises ad everyoe at work has resposibilities uder it, icludig the self-employed. The Maagemet of Health ad Safety at Work Regulatios 1999 also apply to every workplace ad require all risks to be assessed ad cotrolled. Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 7 of 105
8 Health ad Safety Where to get help I geeral, the bigger the risk, the more iformatio ad guidace you will eed. This book may tell you much of what you eed to kow. Other sources of iformatio ad advice iclude: kowledge of good practice i the idustry; guidace ad advice from idustry bodies ad HSE; experiece of accidets ad ear miss ijuries, or illess caused by work; the experiece of employees. It helps to kow what the most commo causes of ijury, ill health ad death at work are across all busiesses i the UK see the Itroductio sectio for more details. Small busiesses may fid the web-based Health ad Safety Performace Idicator helpful (www.busiesslik.co.uk). This will help you assess how well you are maagig your health ad safety performace by takig you through most of the commo risks ad suggestig a actio pla. Competet advice Although you ca probably fid out most of what you eed to kow for yourself, you might fid that you are dealig with issues that eed techical kowledge you have ot got. I that case, you eed to have a source of competet advice. If ot already available i-house, there are may people you ca tur to for help employers orgaisatios, trade associatios, chambers of commerce, local traiig orgaisatios, local health ad safety groups, trade uios, isurace compaies, suppliers of plat, equipmet ad chemicals, ad cosultats. You ca get iformatio o specific issues by rigig HSE s Ifolie (Tel: ). Keepig a record If you employ five or more people you have to write dow the mai coclusios of your risk assessmet. For most people this does ot eed to be a big exercise just ote the mai poits dow about the sigificat risks ad what you cocluded, eg usig short bullet poits. You should write dow: the sigificat hazards, eg back ijury whe liftig packs of products ; who is at risk, eg all workers i the storeroom ; what more you eed to do ad why, eg explore bulk delivery or mechaical liftig to reduce the risk of back ijury to workers liftig heavier packs. Remember, though, that the test of a good risk assessmet is ot how good your paperwork is, it is your practical uderstadig of the mai risks i your work ad what you eed to do about them. If a risk is trivial ad could ot realistically result i ay sigificat harm you do ot eed to write aythig dow. Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 8 of 105
9 Health ad Safety Cotrol the risks that eed it Pick out the priorities for actio The aim of risk assessmet is to idetify what more you eed to do. If, like may busiesses, you fid that there are quite a lot of improvemets that you could make, big ad small, do t try to do everythig at oce. Make a pla of actio to deal with the most importat thigs first. A good pla to act o the fidigs of your risk assessmet ofte icludes a mixture of differet thigs: a few cheap or easy improvemets that ca be doe quickly, perhaps as a temporary solutio util more reliable cotrols are i place; log-term solutios to risks which are the most likely to cause accidets or ill health, eg slips ad trips or heavy liftig; log-term solutios to risks with the worst potetial cosequeces, eg falls from height or a explosio; arragemets for traiig employees o the mai risks that caot be elimiated ad how best to avoid them; clear resposibilities who will lead o what, ad by whe; realistic dates for completig ay improvemets. What do I have to do? Decide what could cause harm to people as a result of your busiess ad what precautios you are goig to take. This is your risk assessmet. Decide how you will maage health ad safety i your busiess. If you have five or more employees, you must write this dow. This is your health ad safety policy. Display a curret certificate as required by the Employers Liability (Compulsory Isurace) Act 1969, if you employ ayoe. Provide free health ad safety traiig for your employees so they kow what hazards they may face ad how to deal with them (see Chapter 21). You must have competet advice to help you meet your health ad safety duties. This ca ivolve employees from your busiess, exteral cosultats or a combiatio of both. Provide toilets, washig facilities ad drikig water for all your employees, icludig those with disabilities (see Chapters 2 ad 23). Cosult uio safety represetatives, represetatives of employee safety or employees o health ad safety matters (see Chapter 20). Display the Health ad Safety Law poster for employees, or give out the leaflet with the same iformatio. Notify certai work-related icidets, accidets ad occupatioal diseases (see Chapter 25). Do ot employ childre uder school leavig age i a idustrial udertakig, except o authorised work experiece schemes (see Chapter 23). Notify your local HSE office or Evirometal Health Departmet if you start a ew commercial or idustrial busiess or relocate oe (cotact HSE s Ifolie for details). Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 9 of 105
10 Health ad Safety Choosig solutios There ca be a umber of ways to cotrol the risks you idetify as a priority for actio. Do ot make the mistake of oly goig for optios that seem easy ad cheap but may ot work reliably, eg givig employees istructios that are difficult to follow. If you are dealig with a relatively commo risk, it is ofte easiest to idetify a suitable solutio from the guidace HSE publishes i prit ad o its website (www.hse.gov.uk) ad put it ito practice. Solutios which may appear expesive ca actually save you moey if you combie them with improvemets to your busiess, eg orderig bulk materials i big bags that ca be lifted mechaically rather tha had-liftig lots of smaller bags, freeig your employees to do somethig else. Startig with the best ad most effective, the ways to deal with risks are: Get rid of the risk altogether. For example, avoid the eed to work at heights by movig thigs to groud level, stop usig highly flammable chemicals if you do t really eed them, or chage the layout of work so vehicles like lift trucks do ot eed to go through areas where there are pedestrias. Swap for a lower risk. For example reduce the weight of thigs that eed liftig, or use pedestria-operated pallet trucks istead of lift trucks. Separate the risks from people. For example put barriers betwee pedestrias ad traffic, put guards o dagerous machiery, or use fixed pipes to pump dagerous liquids alog rather tha maual carryig ad pourig. Give people rules, procedures, traiig or persoal protective equipmet. These rely o people always beig careful ad ever makig mistakes. Make sure the risks stay cotrolled Puttig the right risk cotrols i place is importat, but makig sure they stay cotrolled is just as importat. Make sure everyoe is clear who has resposibility for what. All employers have to summarise this i a health ad safety policy. If you employ five or more people you should write this policy dow ad show it to them. Employees also have resposibilities to co-operate with their employer s efforts to improve health ad safety ad to look out for each other. Make regular, plaed checks of the workplace to look for risks that may have bee overlooked, or people who are ot workig safely. Remember that thigs chage equipmet wears out, people forget their traiig, ad do ot always follow rules, especially whe they thik they have foud a quicker or better way of gettig the job doe. Do ot forget maiteace. Be guided by maufacturers recommedatios whe workig out your ow maiteace schedules for items such as vehicles, lift trucks, vetilatio plat, ladders, portable electrical equipmet, protective clothig ad equipmet, ad machie guards. Ivestigate whe thigs go wrog. If there is a ijury or ear-miss, do t just blame someoe or look for a quick fix. Use your ivestigatio to lear more about how well you are maagig health ad safety. Follow up abseces from work. There may be a work-related illess you did ot kow about, or there could be thigs that you ca do to help people get back to work (see Chapter 19). Review where you are every year or two, to make sure you are still improvig or at least ot slidig back. Look at your health ad safety policy ad risk Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 10 of 105
11 Health ad Safety assessmet agai. Have there bee ay chages? Are there improvemets you still eed to make? Have you leart somethig from accidets or ear-misses? Make sure your risk assessmets stay up to date. Ispectors ad the law Health ad safety laws which apply to your busiess are eforced by a ispector either from HSE or from your local authority. Their job is to see how well you are dealig with your workplace hazards, especially the more serious oes which could lead to ijuries or ill health. They may wish to ivestigate a accidet or a complait. Ispectors do visit workplaces without otice but you are etitled to see their idetificatio before lettig them i. Do t forget that they are there to give help ad advice, particularly to smaller busiesses who may ot have a lot of kowledge. Whe they do fid problems they will aim to deal with you i a reasoable ad fair way. If you are ot satisfied with the way you have bee treated, take the matter up with the ispector s maager. Your complait will be ivestigated, ad you will be told what is to be doe to put thigs right if a fault is foud. Ispectors have the right of etry to your premises, the right to talk to employees ad safety represetatives ad to take photographs ad samples. They are etitled to your co-operatio ad aswers to questios. If there is a problem they have the right to issue a otice requirig improvemets to be made, or (where a risk of serious persoal ijury exists) oe which stops a process or the use of dagerous equipmet. If you receive a improvemet or prohibitio otice you have the right to appeal to a idustrial tribual. Ispectors do have the power to prosecute a busiess or, uder certai circumstaces, a idividual for breakig health ad safety law, but they will take your attitude ad safety record ito accout. Fid out more Maagemet of health ad safety at work. Maagemet of Health ad Safety at Work Regulatios Approved Code of Practice ad guidace L21 (Secod editio) ISBN Successful health ad safety maagemet HSG65 (Secod editio) ISBN Health ad safety law poster Ecapsulated ISBN Rigid PVC ISBN Employers Liability (Compulsory Isurace) Act 1969: A guide for employers Leaflet HSE40(rev1) Five steps to risk assessmet Leaflet INDG163(rev1) A itroductio to health ad safety: Health ad safety i small busiesses Leaflet INDG259(rev1) Need help o health ad safety? Guidace for employers o whe ad how to get advice o health ad safety Leaflet INDG322 Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 11 of 105
12 Health ad Safety Reduce risks cut costs: The real costs of accidets ad ill health at work Leaflet INDG355 Visit the risk maagemet pages o HSE s website at: Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 12 of 105
13 Health ad Safety 2 The workplace The hazards You must provide a safe ad healthy eviromet for all your employees. You also eed to take accout of their welfare eeds. You will eed to cosider, for example, lightig, vetilatio, temperature, toilets ad washig facilities. Assess your ow workig eviromet by usig the guidelies i this chapter. Do t forget ay people with disabilities who may eed special toilet ad washig facilities, wide doorways ad gagways. Also see Chapter 3 for iformatio o slips ad trips ad Chapter 4 for iformatio o fire safety. A safe place of work You must: make sure your buildigs are i good repair; maitai the workplace ad ay equipmet so that it is safe ad works efficietly; put right ay dagerous defects immediately, or take steps to protect ayoe at risk; take precautios to prevet people or materials fallig from ope edges, eg fecig or guard-rails; fece or cover floor opeigs, eg vehicle examiatio pits, whe ot i use; have eough space for safe movemet ad access, eg to machiery; provide safe glazig, if ecessary (eg protected, tougheed or thick) which is marked to make it easy to see; make sure floors, corridors ad stairs etc are free of obstructios, eg trailig cables; provide good draiage i wet processes; have widows that ca be opeed ad cleaed safely. They should be desiged to stop people fallig out or bumpig ito them whe ope. You may eed to fit achor poits if widow cleaers have to use haresses; provide weather protectio for outdoor workplaces, if practical; keep outdoor routes safe durig icy coditios, eg salt/sad ad sweep them. Also thik about: sitig machiery ad furiture so that sharp corers do ot stick out; ot overloadig floors; providig space for storig tools ad materials; markig the edges of opeigs like vehicle pits; fidig out the views of employees o the desig of the workplace. The law Look at the Workplace (Health, Safety ad Welfare) Regulatios 1992 for the full requiremets. The Health ad Safety (Display Scree Equipmet) Regulatios 1992 (as ameded) apply where staff habitually use computers ad other display screes as a sigificat part of their ormal work. Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 13 of 105
14 Health ad Safety Lightig You must provide: good light use atural light where possible but try to avoid glare; a good level of local lightig at workstatios where ecessary; suitable forms of lightig. Some fluorescet tubes flicker ad ca be dagerous with some rotatig machiery because the rotatig part ca appear to have stopped; special fittigs for flammable or explosive atmospheres, eg from pait sprayig; well-lit stairs ad corridors. Thik about: havig light-coloured walls to improve brightess (but darker colours to reduce arc-weldig flash). Movig aroud the premises You must have: safe passage for pedestrias ad vehicles you may eed separate routes (see Chapter 11); level, eve surfaces without holes or broke boards (see Chapter 3); had-rails o stairs ad ramps where ecessary; safe doors, eg visio paels i swig doors, sesitive edges o power doors; surfaces which are ot slippery; well-lit outside areas this will help security. Thik about: markig steps, kerbs ad fixed obstacles, eg by black ad yellow diagoal stripes. Desigig workstatios Make sure: workstatios ad seatig fit the worker ad the work; backrests support the small of the back ad you must provide footrests if ecessary; work surfaces are at a suitable height; there is easy access to cotrols o equipmet. Thik about: providig well-desiged tools to reduce had or forearm ijury from repeated awkward movemets; reducig exposure to hazardous substaces, oise, heat or cold, eg by usig local exhaust vetilatio or egieerig cotrols there is more about these i later chapters. Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 14 of 105
15 Health ad Safety Display scree equipmet (DSE) What must employers do by law? Idetify what display scree equipmet ad users i your workplace are covered. Assess workstatios ad meet the miimum requiremets for them. Pla the work so there are breaks or chages of activity. O request provide eye ad eyesight tests, ad spectacles if special oes are ecessary. Provide traiig ad iformatio. What does this mea i practice? Esure that: risks are assessed ad reduced; all workstatios meet the miimum requiremets for: equipmet such as screes ad keyboards; desks; chairs; the workig eviromet; ad software; work is plaed so that there are breaks or chages of activity; users are give traiig ad iformatio; eye tests are provided o request. Fid out more Work with display scree equipmet. Health ad Safety (Display Scree Equipmet) Regulatios 1992 as ameded by the Health ad Safety (Miscellaeous Amedmets) Regulatios Guidace o Regulatios L26 (Secod editio) ISBN The law o VDUs: A easy guide HSG90 ISBN Workig with VDUs Leaflet INDG36(rev2) Clealiess You must: provide clea floors ad stairs, which are draied ad ot slippery (see Chapter 3); provide clea premises, furiture ad fittigs (eg lights); provide cotaiers for waste materials; remove dirt, refuse ad trade waste regularly; clear up spillages promptly; elimiate traps for dirt or germs, eg by sealig joits betwee surfaces; keep iteral walls or ceiligs clea. They may eed paitig to help easy cleaig. Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 15 of 105
16 Health ad Safety Hygiee ad welfare You must provide: clea, well-vetilated toilets (separate for me ad wome uless each coveiece has its ow lockable door); wash basis with hot ad cold (or warm) ruig water; showers for dirty work or emergecies; soap ad towels (or a had dryer); ski cleasers, with ail brushes where ecessary; barrier cream ad ski-coditioig cream where ecessary; special hygiee precautios where ecessary, eg where food is hadled or prepared; dryig facilities for wet clothes; certai facilities for workers workig away from base, eg chemical toilets i some circumstaces; lockers or hagig space for clothig; chagig facilities where special clothig is wor; a clea drikig water supply (marked if ecessary to distiguish it from the o-drikable supply); rest facilities, icludig facilities for eatig food which would otherwise become cotamiated; arragemets to protect o-smokers from discomfort caused by tobacco smoke i ay separate rest areas, eg provide separate areas or rooms for smokers ad o-smokig or prohibit smokig i rest areas ad rest rooms (see Chapter 19); rest facilities for pregat wome ad ursig mothers (see Chapter 23). Comfortable coditios You must provide: a reasoable workig temperature i workrooms usually at least 16 O C, or 13 O C for streuous work; local heatig or coolig where a comfortable temperature caot be maitaied throughout each workroom (eg hot ad cold processes); thermal clothig ad rest facilities where ecessary, eg for hot work or cold stores; good vetilatio avoid draughts; heatig systems which do ot give off dagerous or offesive levels of fume ito the workplace; eough space i workrooms. Remember that oise ca be a uisace as well as damagig to health (see Chapter 13). Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 16 of 105
17 Health ad Safety Fid out more Workplace health, safety ad welfare. Workplace (Health, Safety ad Welfare) Regulatios Approved Code of Practice L24 ISBN Thermal comfort i the workplace: Guidace for employers HSG194 ISBN Lightig at work HSG38 (Secod editio) ISBN Seatig at work HSG57 (Secod editio) ISBN Workplace health, safety ad welfare: A short guide for maagers Leaflet INDG244 Welfare at work: Guidace for employers o welfare provisios Leaflet INDG293 Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 17 of 105
18 Health ad Safety 3 Slips ad trips The hazards A third of major ijuries i the workplace, such as broke boes, serious burs, ad loss of cosciousess, are caused by someoe slippig or trippig. Slips ad trips also accout for half of all the reported ijuries to members of the public i workplaces where there is public access, such as shops, restaurats ad hospitals. Slips ad trips ofte cause other types of accidets ad i some situatios the potetial for serious ijury is much greater. People workig i kitches who slip or trip are at risk of beig scalded, people workig o high platforms who slip or trip may fall from height, ad slippig while carryig a load may cause a straied back. The basic requiremets for prevetig slips ad trips Floors must ot have holes or slopes, or be ueve or slippery so that people might be put at risk. Floors i a workplace must be kept free from obstructios ad from ay article or substace that may cause a perso to slip, trip or fall. Slips: What to look for People rarely slip o clea, dry floors. If your floor gets cotamiated with water, other liquids, dirt, dust or aythig else the you may have a problem. If the floor has a smooth surface, eg viyl, polished surfaces, ceramic tiles or metal, eve a tiy amout of cotamiatio ca be a real slip problem. Floors with higher surface roughess geerally have better slip resistace. Work through each of the followig poits i tur to see what you ca do about slip risks. Stop the floor gettig wet or cotamiated i the first place Maitai equipmet to stop leaks. Clea floors to a dry fiish. Cotrol ad cotai processes to prevet spillages ad splashes. Stop cotamiatio from gettig oto the walkways Stop water gettig walked i o people s feet, eg provide good etrace mattig. Site messy activities away from walkways. Extract vetilatio ca stop steam ad grease beig deposited o floors. If floor cotamiatio does happe, deal with it Clea up spillages immediately. If floors are left wet after cleaig, stop ayoe walkig o them util they are dry. Have procedures for both routie ad spillage respose cleaig. The law Look at the Workplace (Health, Safety ad Welfare) Regulatios 1992 for full details. Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 18 of 105
19 Health ad Safety Get the best grip you ca from your existig floor A floor gets its grip from its surface roughess. Poorly cleaed floors lose that roughess ad grip. Good cleaig maitais ad ca eve restore surface grip. Check you are usig the right cleaig methods ad products for your floor. Icrease the grip of the existig floor Some floors ca be treated (o-slip pait, etchig etc) to provide more surface roughess ad more grip. Stick-o ati-slip strips ca be sometimes be useful (but be sure they do t cause a trip hazard). Ati-slip treatmets might oly work for a while. Keep a check o them over time. Replace the floor surface with oe with better grip If you have goe through the first five steps ad still have a slip problem the a ew floor surface is probably eeded. Thik about how your floor is used ad what type of cotamiat will get oto it ad the specify a floor surface that has eough grip to deal with that. Make sure that you use the right cleaig system for your ew floor or it might ot last or may lose its grip. Trips: What to look for Floors i poor coditio ad bad housekeepig are resposible for most trip ijuries at work. If you aswer yes to ay of these questios you eed to take actio. These are commo problems but there may be others. Trip ijuries are ofte caused because floor surfaces have become damaged or ueve. Do yours eed improvemet or repair? Are cables or pipes sometimes allowed to trail where people walk? May trip ijuries are caused simply by thigs beig left where they should ot be. Are there ay obstructios i your work areas or walkways? Ca ay mats slip about? Do mats or floor tiles curl up at the edges? Are there ay chages i level such as slopes or a step that might ot be plaily see? Ca deliveries sometimes clog up walkways ad workig areas? At busy times do you sometimes ru out of space to put dow goods ad materials that you are workig o or with? What else ca cause a slip or trip accidet? Look out for poor lightig, shadows ad glare, as people are more likely to be ijured if it is difficult for them to see where they are goig. Trip or slip hazards ear distractios are especially dagerous, eg sudde loud oises or displays which deliberately divert people s attetio. Are people rushig, carryig loads, pushig or pullig thigs? Might some pedestrias be less steady o their feet or more at risk such as visually impaired people, older people, mothers with youg childre? Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 19 of 105
20 Health ad Safety Are all pedestrias familiar with the layout ad walkway routes? Have employees bee istructed ad traied i how to prevet slips ad trips? Do they kow what is expected of them? What about footwear? Wearig suitable footwear ca sometimes help prevet slips ad trips. Footwear used to try to deal with slips ad trips is classed as persoal protective equipmet (PPE). Do everythig you ca to deal with cotamiatio ad floor problems first ad use PPE as a last resort (see Chapter 24). The right o-slip footwear ca help but wo t work everywhere. Some types of footwear marked as ati-slip might ot provide ay additioal protectio i some workplaces. If you ca, carry out a trial of ay footwear you choose to make sure it is suitable for your workplace ad workforce. Always iclude employees i the choosig process or they might ot wear it. Specialist footwear might ot be ecessary adoptig a sesible shoe policy for all employees might be eough. Fid out more Slips ad trips: Guidace for employers o idetifyig hazards ad cotrollig risks HSG155 ISBN Prevetig slips ad trips at work Leaflet INDG225(rev1) The assessmet of pedestria slip risk: The HSE approach web/slips01.pdf (web oly) Slips ad trips: The importace of floor cleaig slips02.pdf (web oly) Visit HSE s slips ad trips web pages: Essetials of health ad safety at work Page 20 of 105
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