Essential Health & Safety Documents and Basics
We can help and assist you with all the required documents and safety matters, for those taking part in our Health and Safety Development Program this is all included.
Certain work activities have specific regulations to help ensure a minimum level of safety is in place. We keep abreast of the latest legislation to provide you with up to date advice and guidance that is relevant to your work. We are able to work with your business and assist in identifying the significant hazards and finding suitable solutions to control the risks to an acceptable level whilst still maintaining the creative and artistic aspects of your production or event. We adopt a sensible approach in helping you to manage risks thus helping you avoid the situation of being unnecessarily overcautious about everything you do.
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, your H&S Policy and safe systems of work such as risk assessments.
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 a Management System based on Policy, legal requirements, and risk assessment, you must be able 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 funtional 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.
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 operatiopns?
Health and Safety Policy
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, for every organisation employing 5 or more people (including the Propritors, Parntners, 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.
Further more, 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 from us. We do not think this is a good solution and does not meet the intended spirit of the legislation but it is a option we can offer.
A far better approach is use 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 doesn't 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 define 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 acepted as a person who has the required experience, knowledge, training, qualificications 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.
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 Safety Management Plans
These are essential for almost all outdoor events and some large indoor events. 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
- type and size of audience
- duration of the event
- time of day and year the 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 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 workforce or anyone else
- 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 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 adopt and develop safe systems of working
Its a lot more than just collecting contractor 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.