Education Services. Risk Assessment Procedures (August 2002) MSF 34J

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1 Education Services Risk Assessment Procedures (August 2002) MSF 34J EDUCATION SERVICES Issued by Head of Service Maureen McKenna Executive Director Education Services Date: August 2011

2 Executive Director of Education: Maureen McKenna Education Services Glasgow City Council Wheatley House 25 Cochrane Street Glasgow G1 1HL Executive Director of Education: Maureen McKenna Date August 2011 MSF 34 J Our Ref: EDH&S/TM/MM Phone If phoning please ask for Health and Safety To all Heads of Establishments, Heads of Service, Principal Officers and Managers Dear Colleague Subject: Risk Assessment Procedures This Master Safety File outlines Education Services intentions regarding risk assessment, in particular taking into account the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the associated approved code of practice and guidance. The Head of Establishment or Premise Manager must ensure that risk assessments are conducted on a regular basis and any significant risk are recorded and brought to the attention of all building users. Yours sincerely Maureen McKenna Executive Director of Education Central Switchboard

3 GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL: EDUCATION SERVICES HEALTH & SAFETY PROCEDURES RISK ASSESSMENT

4 Glasgow City Council Education Services Health, Safety and Welfare RISK ASSESSMENT Issued by:- Ken Corsar Signature:- Director of Education Revised:- September 2002 Objective: To describe the Risk Assessment procedure Persons responsible: The Director of Education by arrangement with Depute Directors, Principal Officers and Heads of Establishment Legal Requirements: The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999) CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION 2. EDUCATION SERVICES HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY 3. THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS 4. RISK ASSESSMENT IN EDUCATION SERVICES 5. RISK ASSESSMENT PROFORMA (APPENDIX 1)

5 1. INTRODUCTION Risk assessment is a cornerstone of Education Services health and safety management system. Since the introduction of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations in 1988, risk assessment has been an explicit requirement of health and safety law. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 (now 1999) introduced a general duty under Regulation 3 to assess workplace risks. Other, more specific legislation introduced at the same time required employers to conduct specific risk assessments in relation to risks from display screen equipment and manual handling operations. Risk assessments carried out to comply with specific legislation such as the above, fulfil the requirements of the general duty under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations In recent years, many more pieces of new and updated health and safety legislation have incorporated risk assessment into their requirements. This strategy is expected to continue into subsequent health and safety legislation The process of risk assessment is both logical and sequential. It should be seen as integral to the effective health and safety management within Education Services and not as an additional task separate from other health and safety issues. The benefits of this strategy are many. The entire process of risk assessment becomes more widely understood and is considered at the planning stage of work activities. Too often risk assessments are carried out after a work activity or process has begun. As the principle becomes more widely understood, health and safety considerations can be incorporated into task design ensuring adequate control measures are present before a task function begins. As the principles of risk assessment are adopted it becomes more apparent that those best placed to carry them out are those who are most actively involved in the process or task being assessed. In terms of effectiveness only, it is unreasonable to expect Education Services Health and Safety personnel to carry out risk assessments as a matter course. In the report by the Roben s Committee which led to the creation of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 it was identified that the primary responsibility for doing something about the present levels of occupational accidents and diseases lies with those who create the risks and those who work with the risks. 2.0 Education Services Health and Safety Policy The object of health and safety risk assessment is the identification of the extent of risk and the implementation of measures for its control. Education Services Health and Safety Group has developed this standardised risk assessment procedure to be applied across the Service. The methodology for conducting risk assessments is communicated through a Risk Assessment Course. Education Services recognises that a progressive reduction of risk will produce benefits in terms of the management of health and safety and the control of unnecessary losses

6 3.0 The Risk Assessment Process 3.1 The Health and Safety Executive propose a 5 stage risk assessment process which outlines the essential components of a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. The first stage recommended by the HSE is to identify the hazards. A hazard means anything that can cause harm (e.g. chemicals, electricity, falls from height, etc). The best approach to this involves looking at hazards within; groups e.g. machinery, transport, substances/materials, electrical etc. processes e.g. looking at each process such as experiments in Science, manufacturing an item in Technical or Home Economics or performing a routine in PE. locations e.g. examining each location such as a classroom, laboratory, gymnasium, swimming pool, outdoors. By combining these three approaches, most workplace hazards can be identified. Prior to undertaking new work activities, moving to new premises or introducing new machinery, risk assessments should be conducted. The general risk assessment may identify hazards which require a more specific assessment of risk e.g. chemicals, manual handling, noise and vibration etc. The second stage in the process is to decide who might be harmed and how. This in itself may seem a straightforward task. However those who are particularly at risk for a variety of reasons must be considered. Young people (any person under the age of eighteen), who have in the main a poor perception of risk, are a group who have been identified as being particularly at risk. Risk assessments appropriate to this group will generally specify additional or closer supervision than for a more mature group of individuals. Risk assessments must identify risks to new and expectant mothers. Upon notification that an individual is pregnant, the risk assessment should be reviewed to ensure all appropriate preventative and protective measures are taken. Other groups for whom special consideration should be given within risk assessments include; trainees, visitors, contractors, and members of the public. This list is indicative and not exhaustive. The third stage is to evaluate the risk. In order to evaluate the risk accurately a fuller understanding of what risk is, is necessary. Risk is sometimes described as the likelihood that the harm from a particular hazard is realised. In addition the extent of the risk covers the population which might be affected by a risk; i.e. the number of people who might be exposed and the consequences for them. The level of risk therefore reflects both the likelihood that harm will occur and its severity. Put mathematically; RISK = LIKELIHOOD X SEVERITY

7 When evaluating the risk, the current preventative measures in place should be considered. If gloves are used to prevent injury from hot metal, or goggles are provided to avoid eye contact with chemicals, this should be recognised within the risk evaluation. Education Services has adopted the risk calculator from BS 8800, which operates on a qualitative scale based on a combination of severity and likelihood. It is important to understand that the result of this combination does not in itself constitute a risk assessment but merely provides the means by which to prioritise action. When implementing preventative and protective measures, these should follow the principles of prevention outlined in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Approved Code of Practice and Guidance. The fourth stage in the risk assessment process is to record your findings. Education Services has produced a standard pro forma (appendix 1) for recording risk assessment information. The fifth and final stage in the risk assessment process is to monitor and review. Heads of Establishment are responsible for ensuring compliance with this stage of the assessment process. Monitoring the effectiveness of control measures is not a passive task. Control measures which are not implemented effectively and consistently, will not significantly reduce the level of risk associated with the activity or process. Only by actively monitoring work activities and work environment, can the effectiveness of control measures be evaluated. In addition to evaluating the effectiveness of control measures, active monitoring can help to identify redundant control measures. These represent a drain on resources while having no effect on risk reduction. Reactive strategies that monitor accidents, incidents and work related ill health can all be utilised to keep the risk assessment process dynamic. Where an accident has occurred, the risk assessment for the process or activity should be reviewed as part of the investigation process Where the monitoring processes indicate that the existing controls are inadequate or redundant the risk assessment should be reviewed. The aim of the review is to return the level of risk to at least that of the original assessment. A programmed review of risk assessments should take place on an annual basis.

8 4.0 RISK ASSESSMENT IN EDUCATION SERVICES. 4.1 The ultimate responsibility for ensuring risk assessments are carried out rests with the Director of Education Services. However the actual process of risk assessment is carried out by those within the Service who have the necessary skills and expertise to ensure risks are identified and adequately controlled. Suitable candidates include members of staff experienced in the areas being assessed, trade union safety representatives experienced in the areas being assessed and Education Services Health and Safety personnel. 4.2 Education Services approach is to form risk assessment teams, each focussing on a particular area of service provision. Responsibility for the formation of teams and ensuring that they apply appropriate effort to the risk assessment process lies with the Principal Officer (Personnel). Risk assessment teams have been formed in the areas of Home Economics, Science, Technical, Art, Physical Education and Outdoor Activities. Appropriate staff have been selected and trained to ensure competence with the process and paperwork. Each team is chaired by the subject advisor and is facilitated by a member of Education Services Health and Safety group. Safety representatives are advised of the risk assessment strategy and risk assessors/risk assessment teams. On completion of the initial risk assessments in these areas further teams will be formed to address more general assessments in Pre-5, Primary, SEN etc. and in the Office environment at Nye Bevan House. The risks associated with school outings at home and abroad will also be addressed. 4.3 The generic risk assessments produced by the teams are documented on the risk assessment pro forma (appendix 1). This documentation comprises: A Completion Sheet, which summarises the proposed actions and target dates for identified activities; Part 1, which lists subjects assessed. These can be listed as activities, processes or by location. Part 2, is the actual record of risk assessment and this allows for sub-division of risks associated with those subjects listed in Part 1. Part 2 records the identified hazard, the potential injury or damage which may result, the people at risk, the current preventative measures in place, the risk rating and finally any further action thought necessary to reduce the risk. Part 3, which records details of training when this is provided as a control measure. Part 4, which records detail on personal protective equipment when this is provided as a control measure.

9 4.4 When the risk assessment findings have been recorded, arrangements are made to ensure the content is brought to the attention of trade union safety representatives. 4.5 Once complete, the risk assessment requires to be authorised. This is a two-stage process with Part 2, the actual record of risk assessment, being signed by the assessor team chairman and where present, a member of Education Services Health and Safety team. At this stage all paperwork is submitted to the Council s Health and Safety Manager for verification. On agreement, the Council s Health and Safety Manager signs the Completion Sheet before returning all paperwork to Education Services. At this stage, the Completion Sheet is countersigned by the Director of Education Services or nominated Senior Officer. 4.6 With the authorisation procedure complete, the risk assessment paperwork is then issued and distributed to the appropriate establishments. 4.7 The generic risk assessment process is continuous with appropriate teams being formed as required. 4.8 The generic assessments may have to be customised to satisfy local procedures or environments.

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