At-a-glance guide to workplace health and safety

workplaceH&S1The latest figures published by the HSE show that the number of people injured and made unwell at work has continued to fall, but there has been an increase in the number of fatalities at work.

The statistics show that in Britain between April 2010 and March 2011:

  • 24,726 major injuries were reported, such as amputations, fractures and burns, to employees – a rate of 99 injuries per 100,000 workers – compared with 26,268 in 2009/10.
  • 90,653 other injuries serious enough to keep people off work for four or more days were reported – a rate of 363.1 injuries per 100,000 workers – down from 96,427 the previous year.
  • An estimated 1.2 million people said they were suffering from an illness caused or made worse by their work, down from 1.3 million in 2009/10. Of these, 500,000 were new illnesses occurring in-year.
  • 171 workers were fatally injured – up from 147 the previous year.

workplaceH&S2Welfare Facilities
The minimum number of facilities that organisations in the UK should provide is governed by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, says Hayley O’Donovan of PHS Washrooms. This is supported by a Code of Practice that gives precise details regarding the numbers of toilets and hand basins and so on based on the numbers and sexes of employees.

The Regulations try to ensure that, where the facilities are used by women, there is greater access to more toilet facilities than where toilets are used by men only.

There is currently no maximum temperature for a workplace.

The British Parking Association (BPA), Disabled Motoring UK  (DMUK) and BCSC undertook major research in partnership with DfT in 2009, which indicated that the 6% one-size-fits-all approach to disabled parking provision leads to oversupply in some situations and undersupply in others.

It is expected that Inclusive Mobility will be superseded in 2012 with more flexibility in the guidance.

Noise Action Levels
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 require employers to carry out noise assessments. The Regulations identify action levels at which various actions need to be taken by the employer. This includes reference to daily personal noise exposure, which is defined as the personal exposure to noise at work (over an eight-hour day), taking account of the average levels of noise in working areas and the time spent in them, but not including the wearing of any ear defenders or protectors.

Working Time Limits
The Working Time Regulations 1998 came into force on 1st October 1998. The Regulations limit working hours and provide for rest breaks and minimum paid holiday rights.

Hearing Protection Signs
Provide a clear safety message around your site
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Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
The HSE defines a portable appliance as equipment that has a lead (cable) and plug and that is ‘normally moved around’ or ‘can easily be moved’ or equipment that ‘could be moved’.

Testing of portable electrical equipment should be carried out at appropriate regular intervals in order to ensure safety in use, advises Paul Caddick, PHS Compliance.

Portable Appliance Tester
For fast and simple testing of equipment
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Write-On Labels
Keep up to date with your electrical safety checks
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Disclaimer: The information provided through Legislation Watch is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. Legislation Watch is not a substitute for Health and Safety consultancy. You should seek independent advice about any legal matter.

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