Essential Health & Safety Documents and Basics
We can help and assist you with all the required documents and safety procedures, for those taking part in our Health and Safety Development Program, this is all included.
We produce safety documentation for our clients to assist them to meet regulatory standards and aid health and safety audits and inspections, we do not provide documents simply so you can give them to your clients to help you obtain and secure work and contracts. We do not add branding to any documents other than H&S policies. Recently a few Companies have been prosecuted for having wonderful looking (but worthless) risk assessments and Policies, why were they worthless? Because whilst these Company's had all their safety documents in order, they had not been implemented in any way, the documents only saw the light of day when they were requested by a Client, they were never provided to people on the ground who really needed to follow them to be safe.
NEWS: A firm has recently been prosecuted for health and safety breaches after an employee was injured, it was revealed in Court that the firm had wonderful (but worthless) looking H&S Policies and risk assessments in place but these were proven to not be implemented. District Judge Taylor said, "You can have the most wonderful risk assessments and policies but if they are not monitored and reviewed then they are worthless". Stagesafe does not produce safety documentation for Clients so they can just use them to show to their prospective Clients to obtain work, this is not what they are intended for.
Whilst we do not believe or consider that health and safety should be all about paperwork and ticking boxes nor do we support the idea of masses of paperwork but we have to admit that a certain amount of paperwork is legally required and essential. Much of the documentation required is to demonstrate what you are going to do to improve safety, how you will do it, what you have already done and how you can prove you have safe staff, equipment and safe systems of work in place. Much of this documentation is required by law, this will include details of training, instruction, information, testing, inspection and supervision, active monitoring, your H&S Policy and safe systems of work such as risk assessments.
It is not enough to have a health and safety policy and expect everyone within the organization to understand it and to work to that policy. People must receive suitable and sufficient training in the policy and then the effectiveness of the policy must be established.
Active Monitoring of Health & Safety is important for protecting employees and organisations and is part of health and safety management. It makes good business sense to be (pro)active. It makes good sense all round to ensure that the active monitoring is recorded and that the process is easy to demonstrate, this can protect your business.
Health and Safety is not just about getting crew boots and hard hats or even testing the odd item of equipment, it is about putting in place Management System based on Policy, legal requirements, and risk assessment, you must be able to monitor, assess, and audit this system to measure performance, rather like you would with a financial management system.
It is not possible to have a functional management system based on anything other than what we advocate, this must be through the whole business and not just certain areas such as on site, it has to come from the top down, its a Boardroom responsibility and decision so anyone involved it putting in place must have the full support, cooperation, respect and assistance from management as well as access to certain information about the business.
As an employer, you have a duty of care towards your employees to ensure that their health & safety at work is respected, managed and provided for. If you do not implement the appropriate policies and procedures, then the consequences can be severe. Stagesafe can help your business to ensure that you are compliant and adhere to all the necessary obligations, requirements and standards but to do this it must be totally embedded in what your business does, it's not a bolt on extra.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, there are over 150,000 injuries in the workplace each year in the UK. If such an injury were to happen in your workplace, you could face serious consequences unless you have the correct health and safety policies and procedures in place.
In a way, Health and Safety Management is rather like insurance, you can insure against Civil claims, against damage, loss or fire but you can't insure against carrying out a criminal act and Health and Safety law is criminal law so any breach can carry high penalties so the way to protect your self is by putting a Health and Safety Management system in place. Isn't it stupid to insure against a remote risk but not insure against a very possible risk such as when as you are carrying out hazardous work operations?
Typical health and safety policy and procedures should include:
- The risks present in your workplace: are you aware of the risks? Are you monitoring them and reducing them wherever possible? Are your staff informed and updated on potential hazards and risks in the workplace?
- How you are managing any hazardous substances, equipment or machinery? Are your staff informed, educated and trained in these areas?
- The actions required to minimise these risks: are you doing the best you can to ensure all risks are managed and minimized?
- Whose responsibility it is to ensure these actions are taken? What are your reporting lines and management structure when it comes to health & safety?
- Who records and monitors incidents and tasks? Do you have clear monitoring systems in place?
- What happens in case of emergencies? What happens if the worst happens?
Health and Safety Policy
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, for every organisation employing 5 or more people (including the Proprietors, Partners, Directors and owners) there is a legal requirement to create a written Health and Safety Policy document which sets out how health and safety is managed within the business and bring this Policy to the attention of all employees.
Of course, having the right health and safety policy and procedures is all very well on paper. But what happens in real life is often a very different matter especially in high-pressure situations. Fortunately, clients can call Stagesafe for advice on anything from filling out a form to coping with the aftermath of a serious accident.
When developing your policies and procedures, it is essential to consult with all relevant stakeholders, including health and safety representatives, contractors (particularly those who work with you regularly), and of course your employees.
Consultation should ensure that every person in your workplace understands the importance of company policies and procedures and why they need to be implemented effectively.
It will also ensure that the policies and procedures are realistic and actionable on a daily basis.
Furthermore, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires every organisation employing 5 or more people to have in writing appropriate arrangements for planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of preventative and protective measures.
Your Policy needs to be in three parts:
- The Health and Policy Statement
- The Organisational Structure of the business in terms of Health and Safety
- The Arrangements for Health and Safety
One approach is to purchase a ready-made set of documents. We do not think this is a good solution and does not meet the intended spirit of the legislation.
A far better approach uses our expertise in helping you develop a straightforward policy document and guide you in putting into to place a practical approach to dealing with health and safety, enhancing your business rather than it getting in the way. Tackling the legal requirements does not need to involve a large drain on the business's resources, and once a basic framework is in place you will start to see the benefits it can bring.
Competent Persons to Advise on Legal Requirements of Health and Safety Law
Regulation 7 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to appoint 'one or more competent persons' to assist in meeting the legal requirements of safety law. These people to not have to be employees - the necessary help can be obtained through consultants.
It is important to bear in mind that the legal duty to safeguard the safety and health of workers lies with the employer and cannot be passed on to an outside consultant.
The HSE defines a person as a competent safety advisor ... where he has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him properly to assist in undertaking the measures".
More complicated situations will require the competent person to have a higher level of knowledge and experience. More complex or highly technical situations will call for specific applied knowledge and skills which can be offered by appropriately qualified specialists.
The terms Competent Person or Persons regularly occur throughout the Health and Safety at Work Act and the regulations under the act, the term competent person is generally accepted as a person who has the required experience, knowledge, training, qualifications and other qualities to undertake the required undertaking without risk to themselves others, who is willing to learn new ideas, knowledge and information and who knows their own limitations. Please bear this in mind when appointing staff and contractors who will need to be competent.
Risk Assessment is one of the main underpinning factors of health and safety, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 make it a legal requirement for employers and businesses of all sizes to make a suitable and sufficient assessment to the health and safety of employees and others that may be affected by their actions. The identification of hazards and an assessment of the likelihood of harm occurring and its consequences allows you to develop measures to reduce the risks posed by the type of work you intend to carry out.
|Would Your Risk Assessments Stand Up In Court if an Accident Occurred?
Time after time when accidents occur, the investigation will find that the company or organisation involved had failed to carry out the necessary risk assessments that could have prevented the incident.
Method Statements have no legal status and in many instances are not required or even possible to produce in advance but in certain situations, they are very useful.
We need to understand what is a Method Statement, it is simply a written Safe System of Work, its rather like following a recipe to make a meal, a set of manufactures instructions is, in fact, a Method Statement and will contain safety instructions. It is a step by step set of instructions on carrying out an operation.
Unfortunately, what often happens is that contractors are often asked for Method Statements (together with Risk Assessments, Policy and Insurance documents) from a Client when the person charged with asking for them has no idea of what they are or what they are to be used for, the supplier is often told they have a legal duty to provide them to the Client. I have often had Clients call me saying they have been told they must provide a Method Statement in order to get a job. How can a supplier such as a local crew company provide a Method Statement when they don't know what they are doing until they arrive on site? However, we would expect a staging company, for instance, to provide a Method Statement for erecting a stage. Horses for courses.
Event or Tour Safety Management Plans
These are essential for all outdoor events, tours and some large indoor events, we produce combined Safety Management Plans and Health and Safety Policies for tours. The key to a good event is a strong event management plan. This should be a detailed, accurate and comprehensive document which sets out exactly what will happen at the event, the procedures in place to manage it safely, and what will be done to deal with expected or unexpected situations and emergencies.The latter is often provided separately as Contingency or Emergency Plans.
Safety Management Plans usually have a number of Appendixes to cover Crowd Management, Communications, Traffic Management (both on and off site), Medical Plans, Fire Safety, Waste Management, Electrical Safety, Contractor documents, Risk Assessments, Site Plans etc.
We help event organisers, identify the:
- scale, type and scope of the event or tour
- type and size of the audience
- duration of the event
- the date and the time the tour or event will be held
These factors will help to determine what resources and facilities will be required.
Selecting, Assessing and Appointing Competent Contractors
We will help you select and appoint competent contractors, we will do this by helping you to consider their suitability and competence for providing a safe and reliable service by the following methods:
- ensure they have sufficient skills and knowledge to do the job safely and without risks to health and safety
- assess the risks of the work – the level of risk will depend on the nature of the job. Whatever the risk, we will need to consider the health and safety implications
- do a risk assessment – you and the contractor should be aware of its findings. You should already have a risk assessment for the work activities of your own business. The contractor must assess the risks for the contracted work and then both of you must get together to consider any risks from each other’s work that could affect the health and safety of the whole workforce or anyone else who may be affected by the work activities.
- provide information, instruction and training to your employees. You should also provide any information to contractors on the risks from your activities and the controls you have in place. It may also be beneficial to consider, with the contractor, what instruction and training contractors will need
- set up liaison arrangements for co-operation and co-ordination with all those responsible to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the workplace
- decide what you need to do to manage and supervise the work of contractors and agree on the nature of the controls before work starts
We require contractors to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of their work and the health and safety hazards involved
- provide evidence of a trained workforce and the competence of key staff for the project
- confirm that they have sufficient resource levels to do the work
- provide evidence of previous successful work that shows they can adapt and develop safe systems of working
- ensure that contractors have competent persons in place such as supervisors to monitor and manage the health, safety and welfare of the contractors on site.
There is a lot more to it than just collecting contractors safety documents!
There are two important items that by law all employers must display in a place where all staff can see them (such as a staff notice board), they are a copy of the Employers Liability Insurance Certificate and a current copy of the Health, Safety Law poster.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations require an employer to provide a thermometer in places where staff work mainly sitting down such as an office. Staff must be able to check the temperature. The law does not state a minimum or maximum temperature, but the temperature in workrooms should normally be at least:
- 16°C or
- 13°C if much of the work involves rigorous physical effort
Contact us now to see how we help you develop an efficient and effective approach to safety that is relevant to your business and the way it functions. Call 07831 437062 or click here.