Health and safety policy
It is the policy of the Company to take all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees, and it will, so far as is reasonably practicable, establish procedures and systems necessary to implement such a policy. The Company will also ensure that all relevant statutory duties and obligations are satisfied, including those duties set out in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The Company will provide and maintain a healthy and safe working environment with the objective of minimising the number of instances of occupational accidents and illnesses and ultimately achieving an accident-free workplace.
All employees will be provided with such equipment, information, instructions, training and supervision as is necessary to implement the policy and achieve the stated objective.
The Company also recognises its duty to protect the health and safety of all visitors to the Company, including contractors and temporary workers, as well as any members of the public who might be affected by the Company’s work operations.
While the Company will take all reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of its employees, health and safety at work is also the responsibility of the employees. It is the duty of each employee to take reasonable care of their own and other people's welfare and to report any situation which may pose a threat to the well being of themselves or of any other person. If an employee is unsure how to perform a certain task or feels it would be dangerous to perform a specific job, then it is the employee's duty to report this to their line manager or to their delegated health and safety representative or to the Director of Safety. An effective health and safety programme requires continuous communication between workers at all levels.
All injuries, however small or slight, sustained by a person at work must be reported to their line manager or to their health and safety representative or to the Director of Safety. Accident records are crucial to the effective monitoring and revision of the policy and must therefore be accurate and comprehensive. Accident books are located at the following points: (details). A review of the accident books will be undertaken every quarter.
The specific arrangements for the implementation of the policy are detailed below.
The Board of the Company has overall responsibility for health and safety in the Company. The Company has appointed a designated safety officer to have day-to-day responsibility for overseeing, implementing and monitoring the policy. This is (name). In this policy, they will be referred to as the Director of Safety. (Name), will be responsible as their deputy in case of absence.
The following personnel have been delegated as health and safety representatives in the Company: (names and departments).
Health and safety committee
The Company sees communication between workers at all levels as an essential part of effective health and safety management. Consultation will be facilitated by means of health and safety committee meetings as often as is deemed necessary. The purpose of health and safety committee meetings is to provide a forum in which information may be conveyed and employees’ questions on health and safety issues answered. In addition, these meetings will provide an opportunity to assess the continuing effectiveness of the policy.
Communication and co-operation
The Company will endeavour to communicate to employees their commitment to safety and to ensure that employees are familiar with the contents of this policy.
If the Company is to build and maintain a healthy and safe working environment, co-operation between workers at all levels is essential. All employees are expected to co-operate with line managers, health and safety representatives and the Director of Safety and to accept their duties under this policy. Employees have a duty to take all reasonable steps to preserve and protect the health and safety of themselves and of all other people affected by the operations of the Company. Disciplinary action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure may be taken against any employee who violates safety rules and procedures or who fails to perform his or her duties under this policy.
Safety training is an indispensable part of an effective health and safety programme. It is essential that every employee is trained to perform his or her job effectively and safely. All employees will be trained in safe working practices and procedures prior to being allocated any new role. Training will include advice on the use and maintenance of personal protective equipment appropriate to the task concerned and the formulation of emergency contingency plans.
Training sessions will be held as often as is deemed necessary and will provide another opportunity for employees to express any fears or concerns they might have about their jobs.
The Company believes that regular systematic inspections of the workplace are an important instrument in ensuring that it demonstrates compliance with the law. Regular inspections of the workplace will be conducted by the Director of Safety. In addition, inspections will be conducted in the relevant areas whenever there are significant changes in the nature and/or scale of the Company’s operations. Health and safety representatives will be encouraged to participate in conducting such workplace inspections. Workplace inspections will also provide an opportunity to review the continuing effectiveness of the policy and to identify areas where revision of the policy may be necessary.
The Company will take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of all employees using work equipment provided by the Company, as well as to ensure the safety of others who may be affected by the equipment. The Company will seek to liaise with suppliers to ensure that any new machinery is designed and supplied to work in a safe manner, and will seek to inform and train employees to use the equipment in a safe and efficient manner.
Should employees have any problems relating to the operation of equipment, or the safety of that equipment, they should immediately inform their line manager or their health and safety representative or the Director of Safety, so that steps can be taken to remedy the situation promptly.
All work equipment procured, hired or used by the Company will comply with statutory requirements and is to be maintained in good working order and repair. The Company will endeavour to ensure, in liaison with equipment suppliers and manufacturers, that all equipment used in the workplace is safe and suitable for the purpose for which it is used.
All workers will be provided with such protection as is adequate to protect them from dangers occasioned by the use of work equipment. All work equipment will be clearly marked with health and safety warnings where appropriate. The use of any work equipment which could pose a risk to the well being of persons in or around the workplace will be restricted to authorised persons. Equipment should only be used by personnel properly trained and authorised. Disciplinary action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure may result from improper or unauthorised use of work equipment.
Personal protective equipment
The Company recognises the duties and obligations established by legislation. The Company will provide personal protective equipment (PPE) where risk assessment identifies the requirement for worker protection where the risk presented by a work activity cannot be adequately controlled by other means. All reasonable steps will be taken to secure the health and safety of employees who work with PPE. All workers who may be exposed to a risk to their health and safety while at work will be provided with suitable, properly fitting and effective PPE. All personnel required to use PPE will be provided with adequate information and training to enable a fuller understanding of the issues associated with its use. The Company will:
- Carry out an assessment of proposed PPE to determine whether it is suitable
- Take appropriate action following assessment of risk
- Ensure that where two or more items of PPE are used together, these are compatible and are as effective used together as they are separately
- Provide accommodation for correct storage of PPE
- Arrange for the maintenance, cleaning and repair of PPE (this includes training individuals to undertake before use and after use checks)
- Train staff in the safe use of PPE
- Replace any PPE as necessary and at no cost to the employee
- Provide adequate information to every employee in respect of any risks which may exist
- Re-assess as necessary if substances used or work processes or equipment change.
Manual handling operations
The Company’s objective is to minimise any risk to employees of accident or injury resulting from manual handling operations. The Company will endeavour to avoid the need for manual handling activities, so far as is reasonably practicable. Where it is not possible to avoid manual handling operations, an assessment of the operation will be made taking into account the task, the load, the workplace and the capability of the individual concerned. The Company will then introduce controls to reduce the risk of accident or injury to the lowest extent reasonably practicable.
Assessments will be reviewed when there is a significant change in:
- The activity or process
- The working environment
- The numbers or abilities of personnel
- The nature of the loads to be handled.
Re-assessment may also be required where accident/absence statistics show that the original control measures were not sufficiently effective.
Display screen equipment
Many employees are required to routinely use Display Screen Equipment (DSE) as part of their daily work. All reasonable steps will be taken by the Company to secure the health and safety of employees who work with DSE. The Company will conduct health and safety assessments of all workstations staffed by employees who use DSE as part of their usual work and will ensure that all workstations comply with statutory requirements, thus reducing risks to DSE users to the lowest extent reasonably practicable.
DSE users will be allowed periodic breaks in their work. Breaks in work may take the form of other work activities or tea breaks.
Employees are entitled to eye tests to ensure their visual acuity is compatible with the requirements of DSE work. If the examination reveals the need for corrective lenses, then the cost of providing lenses and frames, for display screen activity only, will be the responsibility of the Company.
All DSE users will be given appropriate and adequate training on the health and safety aspects of this type of work and will be given further training and information whenever the organisation of the workstation is substantially modified.
Control of substances hazardous to health
Within the working environment, many substances are routinely used that could potentially be injurious to health if not properly stored, handled or used correctly. The Company is required by law to assess the risks from the use of substances at work. A risk assessment will be conducted of all work involving exposure to hazardous substances. The assessment will be based on manufacturers' and suppliers' health and safety guidance and the Company’s own knowledge of the work process and utilising relevant information and guidance made available by the Health and Safety Executive.
The Company will ensure that exposure of workers to hazardous substances is minimised and adequately controlled in all cases. All employees who will come into contact with hazardous substances will receive comprehensive and adequate training and information on the health and safety issues relating to that type of work. Assessments will be reviewed periodically whenever there is a substantial modification to the work process.
Employees at special risk
The Company recognises that some workers may from time to time be at increased risk of injury or ill-health resulting from work activities. The Company therefore requires that all employees advise their line manager if they become aware of any change in their personal circumstances which could result in their being at increased risk. This could include medical conditions, permanent or temporary disability, taking medication and pregnancy. Where personnel at special risk are identified, a further assessment of risk in addition to the general risk assessment will be undertaken.
Fire safety precautions
Fire is a significant risk within the workplace. The Company's fire safety policy and procedures take account of special fire hazards in specific areas of the workplace.
All employees are under a duty to report immediately any fire, smoke or potential fire hazards to the fire service.
The Director of Safety is responsible for the maintenance and testing of fire alarms and fire fighting, prevention and detection equipment.
All employees have a duty to conduct their operations in such a way as to minimise the risk of fire. This involves keeping combustible materials separate from sources of ignition and avoiding unnecessary accumulation of combustible materials. Employees must use electric fires and other heaters with caution and keep flammable materials away from sources of heat. Employees must report any faulty electric cable or loose connection immediately to their line manager, health and safety representative or to the Director of Safety. All electrical equipment which does not require continuous operation should be switched off when not in use and plugs removed from socket outlets. Employees should never attempt to repair or interfere with electrical equipment or wiring themselves, and should not use dual or other socket outlets unless these have been properly authorised by the Director of Safety.
Line managers are responsible for keeping their operating areas safe from fire, ensuring that their staff are trained in proper fire prevention practices and emergency procedures.
Smoke detectors and manually operated fire alarms are located at strategic points throughout the workplace. If a smoke detector sounds, it is the responsibility of any employee present to activate the alarm and evacuate the building. Fire extinguishers are also located at strategic points throughout the workplace. In some areas, automatic sprinkler systems activated by automatic detection systems have been installed. Employees are expected to tackle a fire themselves only if it would pose no threat to their personal safety to do so. If the situation is dangerous or potentially dangerous, the employee should activate the alarm and evacuate the building immediately.
Fire doors designed to slow the spread of fire and smoke throughout the workplace have been installed at strategic points. Fire doors are designed to close automatically after opening and must never be blocked, jammed or tied open. Fire exits are located at strategic points throughout the workplace. Exit doors and corridors must never be locked, blocked or used as storage space. Emergency lighting has been installed in exit corridors, above emergency exit doors and throughout the workplace in case of power failure. Lifts should not be used in the case of an emergency evacuation. Employees should ensure that they are familiar with the position of the nearest fire fighting equipment, alarms and emergency exits.
In the event of the fire alarm being activated, or in any other emergency situation (such as a bomb scare), all employees must leave the building by the nearest available exit in an orderly fashion and assemble at the designated assembly point. The designated assembly points for each department are: (details).
Practice fire drills will be conducted on a regular basis to ensure employee familiarity with emergency evacuation procedures.
Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the workplace at all times.
Reporting of accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences
Legislation requires that certain prescribed events, injuries and diseases be formally reported. Notwithstanding our legal obligations, the Company views accident investigation as a valuable tool in the prevention of future incidents. In the event of an accident resulting in injury, a report will be drawn up by the line manager detailing:
- The circumstances of the accident including photographs and diagrams wherever possible
- The nature and severity of the injury sustained
- The identity of any eye witnesses
- The time, date and location of the incident
- The date of the report.
All eyewitness accounts will be collected as near to the time of the accident as is reasonably practicable. The completed report will then be submitted to the Director of Safety who will attempt to discover why the accident occurred and what action should be taken to avoid a recurrence of the problem. A follow up report will be completed after a reasonable period of time examining the effectiveness of any new measures adopted.
Line managers are responsible for reporting all cases of accident and disease to the Director of Safety. The Director of Safety is responsible for reporting cases of accident and disease to the relevant enforcing authority.
First aid stations are located in areas where personnel are concentrated around the workplace. All first aid stations are clearly marked and are easily accessible by all employees during all working hours. One person holding a current first aid certificate is responsible for the proper use and maintenance of each first aid station. The first aid stations are located at (details of locations).
A list of emergency telephone numbers of doctors and hospitals is posted next to each first aid station. In an emergency, if speed is considered essential, an ambulance should be called. Qualified first aid personnel are: (names and departments).
Company safety rules
- All employees should be aware of, respect and adhere to the rules and procedures contained in this policy
- All employees must immediately report any unsafe practices or conditions to their line manager, their health and safety representative or to the Director of Safety
- Horseplay, practical joking, misuse of equipment or any other acts which might jeopardise the health and safety of any other person are forbidden
- Any person whose levels of alertness and/or ability are reduced due to illness or fatigue will not be allowed to work if this might jeopardise the health and safety of that person or any other person
- Employees must not adjust, move or otherwise tamper with any electrical equipment, machinery or air or water lines in a manner not within the scope of their duties, unless instructed to do so by their line manager
- All waste materials must be disposed of carefully and in such a way that they do not constitute a hazard to other workers
- No employee should undertake a job which appears to be unsafe
- No employee should undertake a job until he or she has received adequate safety instruction and is authorised to carry out the task
- All injuries must be reported to a line manager, a health and safety representative or to the Director of Safety
- Employees should take care to ensure that all protective guards and other safety devices are properly fitted and in good working order and shall immediately report any deficiencies to their line manager or to the Director of Safety
- Work shall be well-planned and supervised to avoid injuries in the handling of heavy materials and while using equipment
- No employees should use chemicals without the knowledge required to work with those chemicals safely
- Suitable clothing and footwear will be worn at all times. Personal protective equipment must be worn wherever appropriate
- Work sites must be kept clean and tidy
- Any spillage must be cleaned up immediately
- Waste materials and rubbish must be placed in the receptacles provided and removed routinely
- All combustible waste materials must be discarded in sealed metal containers
- All holes must be covered when not in use and clearly marked with warning signs when in use
- All materials must be properly and safely used and when not in use properly and safely secured.
Access and egress
- Walkways and passageways must be kept clear from obstructions at all times
- If a walkway or passageway becomes wet it should be clearly marked with warning signs and/or covered with non-slip material. Any liquid spilt on the floor should be wiped up immediately
- Trailing cables are a trip hazard and should not be left in any passageway
- Any change in the floor elevation of any walkway or passageway must be clearly marked
- Where objects are stored in or around a passageway, care must be taken to ensure that no long or sharp edges jut out into the passageway in such a way as to constitute a safety hazard
- Where a passageway is being used by any vehicles or other moving machinery, an alternative route should be used by pedestrians wherever possible. If no alternative route is possible, the area should be clearly marked with warning signs.
Tools and equipment
- Company machinery and tools are only to be used by qualified and authorised personnel. It is the responsibility of the line manager to determine who is authorised to use specific tools and equipment
- It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that any tools or equipment they use are in a good and safe condition. Any tools or equipment which are defective must be reported to a line manager or to the Director of Safety so they can be repaired or replaced
- All tools must be properly and safely stored when not in use
- No tool should be used without the manufacturer’s recommended shields, guards or attachments
- Approved personal protective equipment must be properly used where appropriate
- Persons using machine tools must not wear clothing, jewellery or long hair in such a way as might pose a risk to their own or anyone else’s safety
- Employees are prohibited from using any tool or piece of equipment for any purpose other than its intended purpose.
Employees must use all personal protective equipment provided to them in accordance with the training and instruction given to them regarding its use. Employees who have been provided with personal protective equipment must immediately report any loss of or obvious defect in any equipment provided to their line manager or to the Director of Safety.
- Lifting and moving of objects should always be done by mechanical devices rather than manual handling wherever reasonably practicable. The equipment used should be appropriate for the task at hand
- The load to be lifted or moved must be inspected for sharp edges and wet or greasy patches
- When lifting or moving a load with sharp or splintered edges, gloves must be worn. Gloves should be free from oil, grease or other agents which might impair grip
- The route over which the load is to be lifted or moved should be inspected to ensure that it is free of obstructions or spillage which could cause tripping
- Employees should not attempt to lift or move a load which is too heavy to manage comfortably. Employees should ask for assistance if there is any danger of strain
- Where team lifting or moving is necessary one person should act as co-ordinator
- When lifting an object off the ground, employees should assume a squatting position, keeping the back straight. The load should be lifted by straightening the knees, not the back. These steps should be reversed for lowering an object to the ground.