Health and Safety Frequently Asked Questions
There has been an accident at work, what do I have to do?
Secure the area and ensure no one else is in danger. Your priority is the injured person. Apply First Aid or seek medical assistance or both. Secure evidence, photographs, witnesses etc. Report and record the accident.
I need a Risk Assessment for a task, what information do I need to include, and can you help me complete it?
The Risk Assessment is about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. You are probably already taking steps to protect your employees, but your Risk Assessment will help you decide whether you have covered all you need to, including:
• Identify the hazards
• Decide who might be harmed and how
• Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions.
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I am applying for an external accreditation (CHAS, Safe Contractor etc.), but I need help completing the application.
Be meticulous in your responses to the questions and compile your evidence in a consistent fashion. Much of the “evidence” requested will require endorsement by having names, dates, and signatures e.g. training records, maintenance programmes etc.
I am tendering for a work contracts, I need help completing the Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs).
PQQ’s are bit like an application form, think of them as a sort of organisational CV. They will not get you the job, but they should get you the interview. A PQQ will ask for all your organisational information, your stats! – Name, type of company, VAT number, registered addresses – all the basic stuff. It will also ask how you manage your business; do you have ISO? If not, what systems do you have in place? Do you have or have considered environmental, sustainability, employment, equal opportunities, and Health & Safety Policies?
I have been contacted directly by an inspector from an enforcement agency to arrange a visit, what will they be looking for?
The inspector will look at how you keep your workers, and anyone who may be affected by your work, healthy and safe. They may also give you advice on Health and Safety or make sure you are providing suitable welfare facilities, such as running hot and cold water and toilets. While the inspector is with you, they may:
• Ask you about your workers and what they do
• Identify at any possible health risks arising from the work you are doing
• Look at any machinery or other equipment that you have
• Ask to see records or other documents
• Take photographs.
How often do I have to review my Fire Risk Assessment, and do I need a Fire Risk Assessment?
The Order (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order) doesn’t specify how often a Risk Assessment need be performed, but does state that a review should take place at ‘regular’ intervals “any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date”.
The interpretation of ‘regularity’ is left to the discretion of the ‘responsible person’ charged with carrying out the assessment at the premises, with elements such as the size of the property and the nature of the work taking place within it playing a part in the decision.
As well as periodic updates, there are also several things that could trigger a revisit of the assessment, regardless of the length of time that had elapsed since the last one. All business premises and every block of flats must have a Fire Risk Assessment by law.
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