Health & safety

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How to Manage Health & Safety at Work

Many business owners want to learn about how to manage health & safety at work. They need to do some important things before they can create safe and healthy environment for their business. There are some useful tips that people can follow, so they can make their employees feel comfortable in their workplace. These tips are very suitable for all owners, leaders, managers, and many other responsible persons. Managing the overall organisation’s health and safety system is very useful to improve the overall business performance significantly. When these tips are followed properly, they can be used to increase the work productivity.

a. Prepare all important tools and facilities

This is the most important thing that people have to do, so they can create healthy and safe environment in their companies. They have to prepare all important facilities and tools for supporting this health and safety management. It is a good idea to install some health facilities, such as health care clinics, emergency box, and many other health facilities. Don’t forget to add some additional safety features, such as fire extinguisher, gas safety system, electrical box, and many other safety tools. Those tools are very useful for the management of health and safety at work.

b. Have some training sessions

This is another recommended tip for all business owners. They should have regular training sessions for their employees. These training sessions may include some useful tips on how to maintain the safety system in the company. These sessions should be delivered by professional experts. These experts should have a lot of experience in managing the health and safety management system in many companies. Regular training sessions can help all employees concern about the importance of safety and health management system at workplace.

c. Create good management system

Don’t forget to create good management system in the company. There are some steps that people should include in their management systems. They are able to work on this system through plan, do, check, and act methods. Those methods are very useful to maintain the overall management system easily. When all systems are done properly, they are able to improve the overall health and safety management system effectively. It is recommended for all business owners to follow their management plans, so they can avoid getting any troubles in the future. Following the management plan is very useful to help all business owners create healthy workplace easily.

d. Analyze all possible risks and hazards

It is also important to do risk and hazard management system properly. This management is very useful to help all business owners create comfortable workplace easily. They need to analyze all risks and hazards that may occur in their companies, for example fire, flood, water damage, chemical contamination, microbial contamination, and many other risks. Analyzing all available risks can improve the overall safety and health management system. All business owners should have proper tool for recording their risk and hazard assessment procedures. Some countries require their business owners to have legal risk and hazard management system.

e. Consult with government agencies

There are some agencies that come from the government. They are ready to help all small, medium, and large enterprises implement good management system in their companies. It is important to consult with them about how to maintain health & safety at work. They will be very happy to give some ideas or insights to most business owners, so they can implement all tips easily. They can also help all business owners with any legal procedures for their companies. There are some legal procedures that can be related with the safety and health management system.

They are some useful tips for most business owners who want to create safe workplace easily. It is not difficult to follow some of those tips above. When they are followed properly, they can be used to improve the overall work productivity effectively. It is a great idea to make special department that can handle this management system. Health and safety are two most important elements in any types of businesses. Therefore, most business owners should take a look at those factors when they want to improve their business performance significantly. They need to use all available resources for creating good health and safety management system for their own companies.

How to Undertake a Fire Risk Assessment

Anyone who is responsible for the business premises must undertake a fire safety risk assessment to be compliant with the Fire Safety Order 2005. The fire risk assessment should be carried out for all kinds of business premises that include shops, offices, restaurants, bars, schools, factories, warehouses, care homes and for every kind of structure, building and open space. It is said by the order that a person who controls or owns any businesses premises must manage any risk caused by the fire. The person is deemed responsible for complying with the legislation by managing the fire safety procedures and practices properly which also include carrying out the fire risk assessment of the premises and business.

 

Through fire risk assessment, the likelihood of a fire occurring in the workplace is been determined. This is done by examining the factors in your work areas and work activities that could cause harm. Through the fire assessment, precautions are determined to ensure that the fire hazards are been reduced to prevent the fire from occurring. Here, are few steps on how to undertake a fire risk assessment.

 

Step 1 – Identifying Fire Hazards

 

The fire hazards can be spotted by thinking what would be required to start a fire. A fire usually needs three things to start. There are the source of ignition, oxygen and a supply of fuel. You should check all the areas of your building to find all the possible hazards. The sources of ignition such as anything which involve a spark or naked flames should be checked. You should always check any type of heater, light bulbs and portable electrical appliances which might lead to fires if these malfunction.

Anything that has a nature to burn is the potential fuel for the fire. You should look out for card, paper, fabrics, furnishings, foam cushions, plastics and any potential materials that are flammable like gas canisters. Fire cannot burn if there is an absence of oxygen. At the time of fire risk assessment, you should look at each area and you should consider the extent to which a fire can get a supply of air and how it can spread. You should look at the windows and doors and the ducting, like your ventilation system.

 

Step 2 – Identify the People Who Are at Risk

 

If you a notice that a fire has started then you should first look at the people and things that could be on risk. You should give particular attention to those people who are working alone or is in the isolated part of the building or premises. You should also consider those people who have a greater difficulty in understanding you or people around him/her, such as, foreign workers. You should also pay attention to disabled people and children around you. You should not forget to include the members of the public or visitors or any contract workers who are not familiar with your procedures and workplace.

 

Step 3 – Evaluate the Risks

 

This stage is considered to be very important stage in the process of fire risk assessment. After you have got to know what the hazards are and who all are at risk, the next step which you should do is to assess the likelihood of the hazards which has resulted in fire and the risks that the fire has posed to the people in your premises. After doing this, you should now put in place the measures to eliminate or manage those hazards and to eliminate or manage these risks to people.

 

Step 4 – Record your Findings

 

If you employ five or more people then you are legally obliged to do this. The easiest way of doing so is by completing the fire risk assessment form as you go through the process. The form of fire risk assessment can be downloaded from online for free.

 

Step 5 – Review Regularly

 

The circumstances changes and the hazards changes with them, so you should review your assessment on a regular basis. A good starting point to do it is annually. If anything changes in your workplace, like machinery, new equipment, systems or materials then you should review your fire risk assessment at that time to see whether there is an impact due to the changes.

 

If you do not have enough time or if you feel that your workplace is a little complicated to undertake your own risk assessment then you should hire a fire safety consultants.

The importance of carrying out a fire safety risk assessmen

Carrying out a fire safety risk assessment involves applying basic knowledge to identify things which would cause harm from a fire in your home or business premises. The exercise is inclined at determining whether you have taken sufficient precautions to protect life and property in case of a fire. From the conclusions made in the assessment, you will either be content with the measures which are currently in place or you will be needed to do more so that the risk of fire in your premises is minimized. Most people assume that they are good until fate befalls them; if you are skeptical of an assessment, the few paragraphs below will awaken you to its significance.

Health and safety risk assessment are carried out by fire safety specialists. The main aim will be to determine the chances of a fire occurring and the dangers it could bring forth to the inhabitants of a building. Safety involves several aspects including how fast people can be evacuated from the building, the possibility of extinguishing the fire before it is too big to be managed and the placement of safety equipment. Like stated before, a good assessment should bear plausible conclusions. A homeowner, a landlord or the management of a business complex will afterwards be advised accordingly on where to place fire extinguisher equipment and the applicability of their fire exits.

You might not be aware but some building materials are discouraged since they catch fire easily. After the assessment, you will be forced to answer such questions as what material is used for your ceiling or can your walls contain a fire in one room so that it will not ruin the property you have in adjoining rooms? Some contractors and especially in recent times use fire retardant materials like gypsum boards, asbestos cement and treated lumber plywood to minimize the risk. If the materials used for a building make it susceptible for hazardous fire, the matter will be brought to light after an assessment has been carried out.

Evacuation is another of the things which attracts attention during a fire safety risk assessment. For instance, consider the situation of people living in a storey building. If a fire starts on the ground floor and the people living upstairs have no alternative means of getting out apart from the elevator and interior stairs, the fire could be a calamity. Most storey buildings and especially apartments have stairs built outside the wall as an escape route just in case a fire starts. Conclusions from an assessment will advise you accordingly on how to make evacuations easier in case a fire is started.

Another of the questions a fire safety specialist helps you answer is whether your alarm system is functional and up to date. Modern systems are wired to relay an SOS message to the nearest fire station without obliging the inhabitants of a blazing premise to make calls. When an alarm is mentioned, most people visualize a socket placed somewhere and designed to be triggered using a button. Although these are important, a good idea would be installing smoke sensors which will not only trigger automatic extinguishers but also ring the alarm. If such safety measures are in place, a building can be saved irrespective of whether it was deserted.

An assessment will also be important where one intends to come up with a budget for safety equipment. From the conclusions, a specialist will highlight what you need to install so that the risk of a complete burn out is minimized. Some of them will even recommend brands and where to source the equipment at fair prices.

Below is a five step summary of how a fire safety risk assessment is carried out

– Identifying the people at risk

– Identify potential fire hazards

– Evaluate the risk and in addition, determine if existing fire measures are adequate

– Record the assessment information

– Review the conclusions

An assessment can be carried out even without professional help but this depends on the complexity of a building. If you do not have prior knowledge in fire safety, the task will be daunting and to avoid costly mistakes, get yourself help from a specialist. In some jurisdictions, such activities like assessing risks are legal requirements.