Health and Safety is taken very seriously at our company. All employees have a responsibility for ensuring the safety of themselves, their colleagues and anybody else who may be in the vicinity where our work is to take place.
Managing health and safety at work – or anywhere, for that matter – doesn’t have to be complicated, costly or time-consuming. It is important that all reasonable steps have been, and are taken, to prevent accidents or harm to our employees and others who may be working in, or who may venture in to the work areas.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 applies to all businesses. Health and safety laws are there to protect the employed, their employees and others from workplace dangers.
Surveying the risk
This begins before our Operatives or Plasterers arrive at your property. When our Surveyors attend to carry out the initial survey, they will be expected to carry out a general assessment of the property and especially, the work areas in order to create a Risk Assessment. Most people will be aware of the phrase “Risk Assessment” these days, as it applies to just about everywhere, where any work or non-work-related activity is carried out. Indeed, most of us are carrying out sub-conscious risk assessments all the time, such as when driving, using public transport, cycling, walking etc.
When our Operatives arrive on site, it is not simply okay to rely on the Risk Assessment produced as a result of the initial survey. Conditions may have changed between the time of the survey and the start date for the work to commence. This is where a “dynamic” risk assessment is carried out, which is visual upon arrival.
It is important they are aware of the risks evaluated on their risk assessment, but! even more important that they spend time doing their own visual Risk Assessment just to check all is safe. If it isn’t, then they must report back to our office; we never expect our Operatives, Plasterers, or our Surveyors to work in an unsafe manner, or in an unsafe environment, or compromise the health and safety of others within, or who may enter the work areas.
As part of managing the health and safety of our employees, it is important to control the risks in the workplace. Essentially, a hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm and the risk assessment is an evaluation of the likelihood an accident or incident may occur and the possible consequence.
A risk assessment should not be about creating huge amounts of paperwork. It should focus on identifying sensible measures to control the risks in the workplace.
There is something referred to as the Hierarchy of Risk, which is the basis of a Risk Assessment:
- Elimination – physically remove the hazard.
- Substitution – replace the hazard.
- Engineering controls – isolate people from the hazard.
- Administrative controls – if possible, change the way people work.
- PPE – personal protective equipment, which should be seen as the last resort.
We know that it is not going to be possible to remove all risks. The objective is to protect people by putting in place measures to control those risks, so far as reasonably practicable. A risk assessment will realistically only include what we could reasonably be expected to know. We are not expected to anticipate unforeseeable risks.
It is always important to consider how accidents could happen and who might be harmed. This is why it is so important for our Operatives and Plasterers to carry out their own “visual” risk assessment before they start work. They will also carry out a visual / dynamic risk assessment during the course of their work and on some sites, whenever they enter or exit their work area or other areas.
Our risk record
All-in-all, we are proud of our record in respect of accidents and incidents which is very low. This is largely down to our approach to health and safety and the regular training and refresher sessions, in relation to Health and Safety, which our Operatives, Plasterers, Surveyors and office staff attend. There is, of course, no room for complacency!
If you have any questions you would like to ask in relation to health and safety – either before we arrive at your property, or while we are working there, please do not hesitate to contact us or speak to one of our Operatives when work is being carried out.
Tel: 01276 66466