A Dangerous Environment

If you are working or are about to work in a workshop environment then there are legal rights and responsibilities that you must be aware of. Here is a list that will help you to adhere to organisational and legal requirements in your job.

1 Roles and responsibilities of myself and others with regard to the health and safety at work act 1974 and current legislation are to ensure that working practices do not contravene relevant legislation, that work equipment is in good condition, that manual handling is done properly that correct PPE is used and where applicable, display screens are fit for purpose.

2 Specific regulations and safe working practices and procedures that apply include the control of noise regulations 2005, the wearing of correct PPE and that the safety notes available in all workshops are consulted when in a situation of doubt.

3 Relevant health and safety information is kept in folders on the shop floor. The folders also list people who have the expertise to help when needed.

4 A hazard in the workshop is anything in the workshop, which has the potential to cause injury or damage health or the environment. They can include but are not limited to moving parts of machinery, electricity, slippery and uneven surfaces, dust and fumes etc…

5 My responsibility for dealing with hazards and reducing risks in the workplace include being vigilant to make sure the general are is safe, complying with safety inspections, using hazard checklists properly, carrying out risk assessments within my own mind for each job, not overriding recommendations of COSHH assessments, and utilising safe systems of working.

6 Risks associated with my working environment include hand tools, rotating machinery, heavy stock materials, oil spillages, coolant on floor, welding fumes, ultraviolet light, dust, people not reporting accidental breakages of equipment, people not following laid down practices and procedures.

7 First aid kits are present throughout the factory along with first aid rooms. In the event of accidents involving injury emergency services may need to be called, accident reports will need to be filled out.

8 A dangerous occurrence is an error within a particular procerdure that causes something to happen which potentially could have caused injury to a person but did not. A hazardous malfunction is a failure within a piece of equipment, which causes that equipment to function in a dangerous way (e.g. CNC machine dropping tool). These events must be reported so that they can be avoided in future.

9 The procedure for sounding emergency alarms is to break glass on designated switching units, which set the alarm off. Evacuation procedures are to leave the building using the exit closest to you. You must meet at the assembly points so that a roll call can be taken and emergency staff do not risk their lives looking for you.

10 With regard to fire fighting procedures, on discovery a person must operate the nearest “break glass” fire alarm. If that person is a member of the “fire party” they can attack the fire with a suitable fire extinguisher if somebody accompanies them.

11 Common causes of fire include rubbish left on floors (such as paper towels and plastic bags), improper storage of flammable materials, cigarettes tossed in bins without being properly extinguished, welding or grinding activitities igniting surrounding detritus…there are many more.
The only way to prevent such fires is to observe and follow safety procedures relating to the common causes. This will include sweeping the floors, making sure chemicals are stored properly, making sure surroundings are suitable for hot work (a hot permit may be required for some jobs). In general the key to avoiding fires is vigilance and knowledge of the entities within ones surroundings.

12 Protective clothing and equipment available begins with safety boots and overalls but much more is available. Gloves, masks, ear plugs, safety glasses, are all available on request. For specific tasks specialised equipment is provided. These items include respirators, welding visors, face protectors, leather gauntlets, chain mail gloves, disposable overalls etc.

13 If a load is less than 25kg then it can be lifted manually, as long as proper lifting technique is followed, which is to keep the back straight, bend knees and lift with legs only. Loads greater than 25kg need to be carried on palette trucks, palette trucks, hoists, cranes, trolleys, barrows, forklift trucks, tugs etc

14 To prepare and maintain safe working areas thought must be given to the activities that are to be undertaken in those areas. Standards and procedures to ensure good housekeeping can be found in information regarding environmental health, fire safety and by using common courtesy. Tools and equipment specific to the tasks undertaken in those areas should be close and accessible to avoid staff walking around too much thus reducing the risk of trips

15 Safe storage of tools, equipment, materials and products is important for the following reasons:
It makes these items easier to find
It stops said items from becoming hazardous
It maintains the condition of these items as safe and usable
It speeds the process of locating items
It greatly speeds auditing procedures

16 It is your responsibility to ensure that you follow and comply with statutory regulations and organisational safety requirements. In the event of problems you cannot resolve you should report to your supervisor or immediate superior.