In our previous blog post we looked at the Health and Safety at Work Act and how a thorough understanding of regulations can help businesses to protect their employees. However, there is more to Health and Safety provisions than just understanding the rules. You also need to know how to put them into practice – which is where the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations come into play
How to manage Health and Safety in the workplace
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations were introduced in 1993 in addition to the Health and Safety at Work Act. They require that employees review and manage potential risks to their employees and anyone else that might be visiting the premises.
The key area that these regulations deal with is the importance of risk assessments. This means identifying any potential risks to employees and the general public and if a business has more than five employees, recording the findings in a report.
The first stage of a risk assessment is to identify potential hazards by looking at activities that take place in your workplace and talking to employees. Hazards can be caused by a number of different scenarios, for example by dangerous machinery or chemicals, repetitive actions or because of the layout of your workspace.
After identifying risks, you need to consider who might be harmed and how – for example, a visitor to the site who might be unaware of safety procedures around dangerous machinery.
A risk assessment should include details of any potential hazards, who they might affect, how likely it is to happen and what precautions can be taken to prevent accidents from occurring, including avoiding risk all together (by using machinery to avoid heavy lifting, or using mezzanine floor to increase working space for employees, for example). Any existing precautions should also be evaluated for their effectiveness.
The next step is to record your findings in a written report, detailing in particular the details of equipment being used, processes being assessed, potential hazards, the people who could be at risk from those hazards and the perceived level of risk of an incident occurring.
It’s important that you regularly undertake risk assessments, as an old risk assessment might not reflect changes to your business practices and the circumstances of your employees.
Health checks should also be carried out on any employees who are exposed to hazardous conditions, such as noisy machinery, unsafe chemicals or fumes and a risk assessment should help you to decide whether you need to provide employees with more protection.
Mezzanine floors can help you to increase the space available to you for safe working and they can be fitted with various safety features to help you protect your employees. For more information or to discuss your needs please visit http://www.hi-levelmezzanines.co.uk/ or call us +44 (0)1730 237 190.