When considering approaches to remove or lessen a found risk, the hierarchy of control is a pyramid of stages that should be examined in order. Each step of the pyramid should be evaluated, but control measures higher up the hierarchal structure should be prioritised above those at the bottom. Implementing a number of levels from the hierarchy at the same time will frequently result in the most effective risk control.

Eliminating the Risk (Level One)

The greatest level in the hierarchy is risk elimination. When possible, eliminating a risk fully is the preferred approach because it eliminates the possibility of a future event. While it may not always be possible to totally eliminate the risk, it should always be the first control action considered. Providing extending poles operated from the ground to access a high window latch rather than ascending a ladder, which poses a risk of falling, is an example of risk elimination.

Substituting the Risk (Level Two)

Risk substitution is the next step in the hierarchy. Risk substitution is the practise of substituting one risk with another that is either less likely to occur or has less severe potential consequences. Substitution is less desirable than totally eliminating the risk because it still remains a risk, although in a reduced form. Replace noisy equipment with quieter equipment, or replace a highly hazardous substance with a less dangerous one as an example of risk substitution. After the substitution has been completed, a new risk assessment should be conducted to identify any additional hazards introduced by the substitute procedure.

Isolate the risk (level three)

Risk isolation is the third level of the hierarchy. To give protection, risk isolation is accomplished by erecting a barrier between the employee and the risk factor. The main difference between this level and risk elimination (level one) is that the risk remains, and the employee is simply protected from it by the barrier. The risk would revert to being uncontrollable if the barrier failed or required bypass. Risk isolation could be achieved by separating harmful apparatus from the operation area and implementing remote control systems.

Engineering Controls (Level Four)

The process of designing and adding additional safety features to workplace equipment is known as engineering risk control. Placing more strict ventilation systems in noxious surroundings or installing guardrails on a raised walkway are examples of safety features.

Administrative Controls (Level Five)

Administrative controls are at level five of the hierarchy. These are measures that management and the chain of command can take to lessen the danger of an incident. Dedicated training tailored to the risk might be provided, or work schedules could be set up to reduce exposure time in hazardous locations.

Personal Protective Equipment (Level Six)

The use of personal protective equipment is the ultimate step in the risk control hierarchy (PPE). This level is likely to be utilised regardless of what other levels are used to control a risk; yet, it stays at the bottom of the hierarchy because it does not eliminate or minimise the risk. Instead, this level is built around the assumption that an incident will occur and safeguarding the employee in the event that it occurs. Hard helmets, noise-reducing ear protection, and cut-resistant gloves are examples of personal protective equipment.

Safe working practices for ladders

The greatest cause of death in and around the home is falls. According to the National Safety Council, over 6,000 people die each year from falls in and around the home, and more than 30,000 people are injured each year by ladder falls. The majority of these mishaps occur because the victims disobey simple ladder safety regulations.

There would be no need for awareness efforts like National Ladder Safety Month if everyone utilised ladders correctly. However, 500 workers visit the emergency department every day as a result of a ladder-related mishap, and some of these workers die as a result of their injuries. Ladders are also consistently in OSHA’s top ten violations. Ladder safety starts with proper training and adhering to ladder safety laws and best practises.

Ladders should only be used for short-term labour and should be erected at the proper angle, fastened, and placed close to the task to avoid overreaching. The “belt buckle” guideline is a good one to remember when using ladders: stay centred and don’t let your belt buckle go past either side rail.Ladders should also be protected at the base to prevent pedestrians or vehicles bumping into them. When climbing to significant heights, a fixed ladder is advised.

The following is a summary of OSHA’s general industry ladder requirements:

  • Make use of one! When attempting to reach or do chores from above, a step stool or ladder is required. Step away from chairs, crates, bins, and other items.

  • Select the appropriate style, height, material, and performance (duty) rating for the task.

  • Before using ladders for the first time and before each work shift, inspect them and replace any that are damaged.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up and using your ladder.

  • Climb and balance in a safe manner.

  • Avoid dangers and abuse, such as climbing a closed ladder.

  • Hazards associated with ladders, such as damaged or malfunctioning equipment, should be communicated.

  • All staff should be educated on the above requirements

Review of Health and safety Policy

When you should examine your company’s health and safety policy, there is no specific time frame. While the Health and Safety Executive recommends doing so at least once a year, this is not a requirement. In actuality, you are required by law to examine your health and safety policy on a regular basis. To put it another way, you should update your policy as often as necessary to keep it current with the evolving health and safety risks and challenges that your industry and organization face.

Indications to Update Your Policy

Both internally and outside, a multitude of things might have an impact on your company. While you must continue to protect your employees with either offline or online health and safety courses, and keep your safety policies updated for your employees and anyone else affected by your business as it evolves as a result of these impacts, it isn’t always obvious when your plans have fallen behind. Many organisations fail to update their policies as frequently as they should due to the grey area.

Legal Changes

It’s critical to stay on top of any regulatory developments that may affect your company. At least twice a year, legislation affecting health and safety is updated. A current policy must be in place in any company with five or more employees. Planning updates for when law changes take effect is a smart idea.

New Premises

Additional premises are frequently added to the company as it grows, necessitating the inclusion of new premises in the safety policy. If your company has grown into new offices or warehouses, you must guarantee that all of the increased hazards that your employees may confront are addressed. Your HEALTH AND SAFETY policy should include new hazards and controls.

New Equipment or Processes

Previous safety concerns can typically be addressed by updating equipment and adopting new methods. At the same time, these developments will present new hazards or necessitate new safety practices. Specific safety standards may be required by new equipment, which should be incorporated in your HEALTH AND SAFETY Policy document.

More than a year has passed since the last review

As previously stated, you should examine your HEALTH AND SAFETY policy at least once a year. Perhaps there hasn’t been much of a shift in personnel or internal processes. However, it is critical to follow the regulatory recommendations. An accident on its own is bad enough for a business, but an accident combined with an out-of-date policy is far worse.

New staff

Whether you’re hiring permanent or temporary employees, make sure your HEALTH AND SAFETY policy is reviewed and updated. Employers are required by law to provide all employees with the necessary equipment and training, as well as notify them of any changes in the workplace.

An accident or a near miss occurred

Despite the fact that your policy may set an accident threshold, you should check it after each incidence. You must ensure that your policy is current and comprehensive. In addition, you should examine the present controls in place to determine how the incident occurred and what you can do to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Concerns from your staff

When it comes to determining if your policy is working well, information from individuals who are on the front lines is vital. When safety issues, concerns, or questions are presented, it is critical to see them for what they are: opportunities. Is your policy in place to handle the risks that your employees have identified? Do they agree that it satisfies their requirements?

Health and Safety Policy Must Adapt

Changes in your organization’s workforce, workspace, working techniques, or sector will all have an impact on the risks and hazards it faces. Monitoring and reviewing your policy can not only help you avoid the worst-case scenario, but it will also help you avoid hefty fines in the aftermath of an incident. Your policy must be viewed as a living document that can adapt to the needs of your company.

How to develop safe system of work for any type of workplace activity?

A work system is a collection of procedures that must be followed when performing work. Where dangers cannot be eradicated and some risk remains, safe work systems are essential. Consider how the task is done and any challenges that may arise that could put you or your workers at danger when creating your safe systems of work. Then, to minimize or lessen the chance of an accident or harm, design a set of procedures outlining how the work must be done.Work systems must be communicated to and understood by the appropriate individuals. The level of risk and the complexity of the task will determine the specifics of the work system, such as whether it is oral or written.

There are five basic steps to developing safe systems of work.

Step 1: Task assessment

Assessing your organization’s operations should be the first step in determining where safe work methods need to be developed. A safe system of work should be based on a thorough assessment of the task that the system will cover, thus it’s critical to review and document all parts of a specific task/job to ensure that no areas of the activity are ignored. Following steps should be covered:

  • What is used (plant and equipment, substances, machinery, electrical sources);

  • Potential error sources (possible human error, short cuts, equipment failure);

  • Where the task is carried out (the working environment and its protection needs); and

  • How the task is carried out (procedures, task frequency, training needs).

Supervisory staff should conduct this assessment, with feedback from workers who have a thorough understanding of the activity. As a result, the work system created is both effective and practical, as well as safe, and any expectations supervisors may have about work methods do not diverge from reality. Not only that, but it is also a legal responsibility to speak with workers who are exposed to risks (directly or indirectly). Workers may also be in the greatest position to assist in the development of a safe work system.

Step 2: Hazard identification and risk assessment

The law requires employers to conduct a ‘suitable and sufficient’ assessment of all risks that employees and others may be exposed to, so once you have produced a detailed overview of the task, the next step is to conduct a risk assessment. This involves listing the task’s elements, and for each element:

  • Identifying possible causes of harm;

  • Evaluating the likelihood of that harm occurring given the safeguards you have in place; and

  • Putting in place further safeguarding measures where necessary to reduce the risk to as low a level as reasonably practicable.

Step 3: Defining safe methods

If dangers cannot be eliminated and risks remain, measures for ensuring a safe method of work must be devised. Supervisors or managers must issue instructions; allowing people to devise their own work methods is not a safe system of work.Depending on the level of risk involved, different tasks will necessitate different sorts of safe solutions. A very low-risk profession, for example, might only require personnel to observe a simple set of safety regulations or a previously agreed-upon guide (which may or may not be in writing). A job with a high level of danger, on the other hand, might necessitate a formal written permit to work system.The chosen method can be explained verbally and/or in writing. The following is a general guide to risk level and the safe system type required:

  • Very high – Permit to work

  • High – Written safe system or permit

  • Moderate – Written safe system

  • Low – Written safe system

  • Very low – Verbal instruction (with written backup such as brief written safety rules)

Step 4: Implementing the system

In order to ensure safe systems of work are followed every time, your employees must be:

  • Adequately trained in how to carry out the process correctly

  • Competent to carry out the work safely; and

  • Aware of the systems and hazards which the safe methods aim to remove/reduce.

It is vital that everyone appreciates the need for the system and its role in preventing accidents. Particular training might therefore include:

  • Why the safe system is needed

  • What is involved in the work

  • The identified hazards; and

  • The precautions that have been decided.

Step 5: Monitoring the system

Every time your system is used, it must be followed. This necessitates good monitoring, which is verifying on a regular basis to ensure that the system remains appropriate for the task and that it is being followed to the letter. It is insufficient to check systems solely after an accident.

Simple questions to ask may include:

  • Do workers still find the system workable?

  • Are laid-down procedures being carried out?

  • Are these procedures still effective?

  • Have there been any changes that require the system to be revised?

Difference between workplace accidents and incidents

An incident is something that occurs unexpectedly in the workplace, does not result in bodily injury, but may or may not result in property damage, and requires reporting. This may be something like a spill or something falling that did not injure anyone but did (or did not) cause property damage.

Workplace Incidents

A workplace event can be classified as follows:

  • A near miss – an internal incident that should be documented and examined by the workplace.

  • A dangerous incident that must be reported within 10 days under the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). This is when something happens that may have resulted in serious injury, incapacity, or death.

It is advised that a workplace have someone who understands the health and safety laws, as well as someone who is responsible for investigating the occurrence, in order to ensure that an incident is appropriately investigated and reported. You can not only take preventative measures by reporting and investigating an occurrence, but you can also help to lessen the likelihood of it happening again.

An accident occurs when something unexpected occurs in the workplace, resulting in physical harm, death or ill-health of an employee or a member of the public, or property damage.This might be anything from someone slipping or stumbling over something, to something falling on their head, to someone burning themself, or a portion of a building collapsing.

These are two very different situations and should be dealt with in different ways.

Workplace Accidents:

There is a legal responsibility to report a workplace accident to an employer (typically via an accident book) and ensure that they are aware of it. According to the RIDDOR standards, employers or other people in charge of a workspace must report:

  • Any diagnosed cases of industrial diseases

  • Work-related accidents that result in significant injuries or death

  • Dangerous occurrences or incidents that have the potential to cause harm

This permits local authorities to conduct an investigation if necessary to confirm that no one was harmed and that suitable procedures are in place to ensure that this does not happen again. The majority of businesses want to have someone in charge of the company’s health and safety. They should also be able to thoroughly investigate occurrences and provide reports and plans that are critical to keeping all employees safe in their respective workplaces. One of the most important responsibilities of the person in charge of health and safety is to ensure that all employees follow all codes of practice and regulations, as well as spotting potential health and safety risks, overseeing incident reporting, and developing ideas to reduce the risk of accidents.

The difference between an ‘incident’ and an ‘accident’ is an important difference to distinguish. It is also important that any occurrence is dealt with in the appropriate way, so being able to define these two words is very useful. When it comes to workplace health and safety the most important this is to ensure that potential risks are eliminated as far as possible.

Join to newsletter.

Curabitur ac leo nunc vestibulum.

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.

Continue Reading

Get a personal consultation.

Call us today at 0332-5028926

Request a Quote