Health and Safety

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
Clive Durdle
Health and Safety

I used to be responsible for policies where I worked, and did a training course on Health and Safety.  Thinking about cycling and transport from a health and safety perspective I can only conclude with a certain phrase from a space ship:


"Houston, we have a problem."




Use your head. Common sense into common practice—




This document has been written to provide you with reference material about X's Health and Safety policy.


It is intended to act as a workbook for training and give guidance. It forms part of the evidence that the Association is fulfilling its responsibilities for health, safety and welfare.



It is a central part of your staff portfolio, and will help prove your competence in Health and Safety matters.



Failure to follow policies, procedures and guidance in this document may lead to disciplinary action.


It contains detail about:


  • Employers and employees responsibilities
  • The background and importance of Health and Safety 
  • Team risk assessment¬
  • Safe working practices
  • Some Health and Safety concerns





Health and Safety Law

Management of Health and Safety

Health and Safety Working Group

Key Persons 

The Safety File

The Jargon

Why bother

Risk Assessment

The process

Safe working practices

What do you know about safety?

Accidents don't happen in the Office

Rules about nasty stuff

Moving things

Use your Head

Conclusions; your action plan




Health and Safety Law


It is the duty of X to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, your health, safety and welfare at work. 


As an employee, you have legal duties too. They include:


  • Taking care for your own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by what you do or do not do
  • Cooperating with Springboard Housing Association on Health and
  • Safety
  • Not interfering with or misusing anything provided for your health, safety or welfare


This general introductory training course outlines how we, as an employer and as employees, can meet our legal responsibilities. 


You will receive further training as necessary for your specific jobs.


Management of Health and Safety


Duties under Health and Safety extend to employees, the general public, subcontractors and others. The Personnel Director is responsible for the overall policy and its implementation.


The Health and Safety Working Group


The Health and Safety Working Group works with the Personnel Director to write policy and procedures, and ensure effective training and implementation throughout the Association.


Key Persons


Certain members of staff have been trained to be competent to advise about and apply health and safety policy in each project, scheme or area of work on a day to day basis. 


The relevant line manager is always responsible for management.


The Safety File


Every scheme and area of work must keep up to date a safety file. It contains:


  • The current written risk assessment 
  • Health and safety policy and procedures
  • Guidance and local control measures
  • The annual review of Health and Safety
  • Notes of meetings and training
  • Copies of incident report forms
  • Equipment held, maintenance procedures and manuals
  • Details of location and nature of services including emergency
  • Emergency procedures
  • Procedures for temporary staff


The Jargon


No area of work is complete without specialist terms to make sure the last thing it is is common sense through common practice. Some words from the Health and Safety foreign language you may meet include:


COSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health  (rules about nasty stuff)


PPE Personal Protective Equipment (gloves, helmets and boots)


CDM Construction, Design and Maintenance (how to build and maintain things)


Weq Work Equipment (machines, tools and appliances)


RIDDOR Reporting of Incidents, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (telling someone about accidents, diseases and near misses)


DSE Display Screen Equipment (how to use computers)


Why bother?


When things go wrong with health and safety real health, moral and emotional problems occur.


Individual managers and directors are personally responsible. Judges cannot imprison companies. They can imprison individuals.


Failure often leads to the closure of companies. 



We cannot claim to be a quality company and have poor Health and Safety rules. Safe work is good work.


Habit can lead to potentially dangerous working practices becoming acceptable.  We must be willing to change the way we do things. 


Because something has always been done in a certain way does not mean it is safe or effective. If an incident occurs, the Health and Safety Executive will not only look at the incident itself but at the management systems that allowed the incident to occur.



Team Risk Assessment


Risk assessment means thinking about what could cause incidents. We want to prevent harm by stopping hazards and risks coming together. 


You will be asked by your line manager or key person to assist in the writing of the team risk assessment for your project or area of work. The team risk assessment has the following stages.


The Rough Risk Assessment 


You are best placed to know what actually happens in your job. You should be asked to briefly write or report how you see your own job and any hazards and risks in it.  This rough risk assessment is used as an important part of the fact finding exercise to help write your team's risk assessment.  


Identifying activities and key stages


The main processes and activities of a team and its members will be briefly described. This defines what your main tasks are, and therefore the related hazards. If your job does not involve applying pesticides, we don't need to train you about that!


A map or diagram might be used to show the main processes and how and why people move around in your workplace. 


Each activity should be broken down into its key stages. 


Identifying hazards and risks


Each stage of each activity should be looked at by the key person to work out what hazards are present whether the hazard presents a risk, and how much. 


Weighting hazards and risks


A simple weighting system is used.




A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm.


  • Major Hazard; death or major injury
  • Serious Hazard; 3 days or more off, 24 hours in hospital
  • Slight Hazard; up to 3 days.


Risk is the likelihood of that harm occurring and its severity.


  • High; near certain or certain
  • Medium; frequent
  • Low; where harm unlikely. 


The number of people likely to be affected should also be noted.


The key person should meet with you to discuss the results for your workplace. A checklist is used to agree priorities for action.


Safe Working Practices


Every job can be done safely. All staff are expected to work in ways that do not endanger yourself or others. A safe working practice note has been written for several types of job. You are expected to know and follow the safe working practice for your job, attend relevant training and be involved in its review. All safe working practices contain the following:


  • You should work in a manner that is not rushed, is tidy, and is done with a safety first attitude
  • You are expected to communicate what you are doing and tell others they may be affected by what you are doing
  • You are expected to report to your manager any unsafe conditions you find in your work

What do you know about safety?


"Safety is a matter of common sense?"


Strongly agree

Agree to an extent

No feelings one way or another


Disagree to an extent


Strongly disagree


How many people, do you think, will be injured at work in the next year?


What causes most accidents leading three or more days off of work?


  • Falling from a height
  • Tripping or falling on the same level
  • Electricity
  • Contact with moving machinery
  • Handling or lifting things
  • Tripping or falling on the same level
  • Being struck by a moving or falling object


Give two examples of bad practice about moving things?


Give three mistakes made in lifting?


How can accidents from falling objects be stopped?


Why would you not use a water based extinguisher to put out:

  • An electrical fire
  • Any fire where flammable liquids are present, such as spirits, toners etc.


Accidents don't happen  - they are caused.  Is this true?


Give three examples of peoples attitudes that can lead to accidents



Yes, safety is mainly a matter of common sense but you do need some more specialised knowledge.



Injuries from lifting and handling; slipping, tripping or falling on the same level and being struck by falling or moving objects.


Carrying things in awkward shapes  - difficult to grasp.

Handling loads that snag on something else.

Being unaware of other people around.

Trying to handle too much at any one time.

Wrong judgement of weight.

Not using legs to lift but your back.

Over reaching.

Establish the risk to start with, eg, as follows:

Boxes etc. stacked insecurely or piled up on the floor waiting to be put away.

Items temporarily stacked on side of desks, prone to fall off.

Wall fixture and fittings (notice boards etc).

Objects made unstable where heavy objects stored, eg, light weight at the bottom.


Adequate storage space and easy access to everything stored.

Secure stacking and for it to be kept low.


Water is a good conductor of electricity, the more you put on the bigger the fire will get.

Water must not be used on flammable liquids as it could disperse the materials over a wider area and cause more damage.


Look behind an accident, you will find that something shouldn't have been there, through carelessness in safe working practices.


"I'm in a hurry" Jobs done quickly, so short cuts are made.

"It's only temporarily".  Stacking boxes in front of fire escapes.

"It'll be alright I know what I'm doing".

"It's too much bother"



Lifting Object From The Floor

Protect your Back, Team Work, Reaching Things





The following are good starting points.



  • Report all accidents and near misses. 
  • Give Health and Safety constant attention.
  • "What is the risk here?"
  • A rough risk appraisal of your own job. 
  • Changes to create safe working practices.
  • Ask Health and Safety people for assistance.
  • Expect changes to ways of working.
Clive Durdle

For example, the HSE writes

More: Near-miss reporting

A simple, and potentially anonymous, system for reporting near-miss incidents is a very important way of identifying problem areas. This will help you highlight some of the less obvious hazards in a workplace, or identify areas where a problem is developing.

Some models suggest that for every accident there are approximately ninety near-misses.

If there is a good reporting system in place, the hazard could be dealt with before someone is injured.

It can be difficult to get staff to report near-misses or minor slip accidents, as they are often seen as funny or embarrassing occurrences (until someone is hurt). It is important to create a culture which encourages reporting of these accidents.


Log in or register to post comments