Top tips for the safe planning of work activities
£140,000 fine after worker suffers flash burns (15th August 2017)
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident and found that various changes needed to be made in relation to the planning of this work activity.The company subsequently made these changes, including adding batteries to the PCBs after the dipping process and introducing measures to control static. The HSE Inspector commented after the hearing that the incident could have been prevented – if the company had implemented the correct control measures and safe working practices before the accident.
Tips for the safe planning of work activities
- 1. Complete a suitable risk assessment for the work activity to identify risks and to define the necessary controls needed. Make sure the assessment is completed by workers who are trained to understand the job and the potential hazards.
- 2. Consider the resources that are needed in order for the job to be carried out safely. This might include: competent personnel, personal protective equipment (PPE), and the level of supervision needed to make sure procedures are followed correctly.
- 3. Determine the correct method of work for the activity and ensure these are documented, easy to follow and communicated to workers. Follow a modern method of risk control like PDCA.
- 4. Involve workers in the ongoing planning process and ask for feedback on the effectiveness of the controls used. Discuss how improvements could be made during health and safety meetings. Utilise your Safety Representatives.
Keep workers on their risk awareness toes by tackling confirmation bias with a birch and broomstick approach if required. Train workers in the safe working procedures before they start work.
Check that they are both competent to undertake the work and that they understand the instructions given. Revise your training if areas of misunderstanding are found.
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