Our expert answers to many of our customers’ questions.
01.What procedures do I need to use if I’m self-employed to make sure I’m not at risk?
If you are self-employed and your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then health and safety law will not apply to you.
If, on the other hand, your work does pose a risk you remain duty-bound to prevent harm to yourself or others.
You do not, however, need to prepare a written health and safety policy, nor do you have to keep a written record of your risk assessments.
02.How often should I take basic health and safety training?
The law does not stipulate a frequency at which basic health and safety training should be undertaken, however the Approved Code of Practice to the Control of Asbestos Regulations refers to annual health and safety update training, which suggests that this would be a good idea.
03.Can you carry out an FRA on residential flats?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order sets out the requirements for a fire risk assessment (FRA).
FRAs are not required for private dwellings, shared houses or single dwelling lets.
They are however required for common parts to blocks of flats.
04.Do I have to sign up to your services for 3 years plus like other companies?
No. Customers can sign up for one through to five yearly intervals.
05.Can you assist with Occupational Health and Safety, if not what advice can we give them?
Occupational health is “the branch of medicine dealing with the prevention and treatment of job-related injuries and illnesses”. THSP can assist employers with putting in place arrangements to prevent injury and illness.
Should an employer require health surveillance or rehabilitation THSP can assist in identifying suitable suppliers.
06.What is the best accreditation scheme to go for?
THSP cannot endorse any particular accreditation scheme. We would however recommend that any person considering accreditation visit www.ssip.org.uk for further advice on compatibility.
07.Do we get a discount on site visiting/training if we have a retained service?
08.Do we have access to a qualified consultant cv in the event that we require one for an accreditation?
09.Why do we need a policy installation?
Whilst the health and safety policy produced, following our audit with you, will be bespoke to your activities, the layout may be unfamiliar to you. For this reason, your dedicated consultant will meet with you to explain the contents and where the relevant information can be found and implemented.
10.Do we have to have a Fire Risk Assessment?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order requires that the responsible person for any non-domestic premises must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly.
THSP’s online fire risk assessment is compliant with legislation and enables you to manage your fire risk.
11.What is CHAS?
CHAS is a health and safety accreditation scheme for the construction industry, and often acts as a type of pre-qualification during the tender process. Whilst it is not a legal requirement many organisations use this scheme to determine that their supply chain have the required skills, knowledge and experience to carry out work on their behalf.
12.How do we get CHAS accredited?
The process for gaining CHAS accreditation can be found on their website https://www.chas.co.uk/chas-products-packages/
13.What is a site inspection?
A site inspection is a tour of the workplace to identify unsafe acts or conditions, areas for improvement and good practice.
A report will be produced highlighting the significant findings and copies will be forwarded to the site contact and senior management as well as uploaded to the MyTHSP portal.
14.How do we get SMAS accredited?
SMAS is a health and safety accreditation scheme for the construction industry, and often acts as a type of pre-qualification during the tender process. Whilst it is not a legal requirement many organisations use this scheme to determine that their supply chain have the required skills, knowledge and experience to carry out work on their behalf.
15.Do I have to have a health and safety policy?
Your business must have a health and safety policy, and if you have more than five employees, it must be written down.
The policy should include a general statement outlining your commitment to managing health and safety effectively and what you wish to achieve; responsibilities and; arrangements.
16.What’s the penalty if I don’t have a health and safety policy?
Failure to have a health and safety policy can have serious consequences – for both organisations and individuals. Sanctions include fines, imprisonment, and disqualification.
17.If Face Fit Testing a legal requirement?
HSG53 Respiratory Protective Equipment at Work states “If you are considering RPE with a tight-fitting facepiece, you should make sure that each wearer undergoes a fit test. Remember, people come in different shapes and sizes, so facial differences will mean that one kind of RPE is unlikely to fit all.”
18.Is PAT testing a legal requirement?
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (i.e. they don’t make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement).
19.What does a contractor need to start working on site?
The first step is to prepare a construction phase plan. This will set out how you intend to plan and organise the job, and work together with others involved to make sure that the work is carried out without risks to health and safety.
Many contractors have a start-up pack including the various forms they are likely to require for the duration of the project, and this service is available from THSP.
20.What is a CPP?
Under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) a construction phase plan is required for every construction project.
The CPP should set out how you intend to plan and organise the job, and work together with others involved to make sure that the work is carried out without risks to health and safety.
21.What information do I need for you to complete a CPP?
The CDM Regulations require clients to provide relevant information (such as an existing health and safety file, an asbestos survey, structural drawings or which is reasonable to obtain through sensible enquiry. The information must be relevant to the project, have an appropriate level of detail and be proportionate to the nature of the risks.
The CPP will also need to include health and safety arrangements for the construction phase; site rules; and where relevant, specific measures concerning high risk activities.
22.How often do I need a site inspection?
Unfortunately, there is no hard or fast answer to this. The frequency of inspections is dependent upon any number of factors, including but not limited to:
- level of risk
- number, size, and potential risk of different work operations or equipment
- number of shifts;
- introduction of new processes, equipment, or workers
- past incident/near-miss records
- client requirements
- guidelines from a safety management system e.g. ISO 4001
23.Do I need an environmental policy?
Whilst there is no legal requirement for a business to have an environmental policy, many find it a useful tool in setting out their aims and objectives.
A properly implemented environmental policy can help businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, improve recycling, reduce reliance on packaging, minimising waste, improve efficiencies on finite natural resources in all their operations.
24.What information do I need at the initial audit?
Your dedicated health and safety consultant will want to look at evidence of how the company manages health and safety. This may include risk & coshh assessments, inspection and maintenance records for plant and equipment, training records and any other safety critical documentation relevant to your activities.
25.Do we need to have a trained 1st aider at our offices?
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.
What is ‘adequate and appropriate’ will depend on the circumstances in the workplace and each employer should undertake an assessment to determine this.
Guidance on completing an assessment of this is provided in our health and safety policy.
26.Do we have to have a trained fire warden at our offices?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order states that employers must appoint one or more competent persons to assist them with undertaking preventative and protective measures.
How many fire wardens depends upon several factors and will be outlined in your fire risk assessment.
27.What is a competent person?
The HSE defines competence as “the combination of training, skills, experience and knowledge that a person has and their ability to apply them to perform a task safely. Other factors, such as attitude and physical ability, can also affect someone’s competence.”
28.How do we demonstrate competency to the CITB?
In order to attend some of the CITB courses, delegates are required to demonstrate that they have relevant experience and knowledge of the activity or topic to be learnt.
As an example, the CISRS Scaffold Inspection course requires a minimum of two years’ experience of having worked with scaffolds.
In each case the CITB will stipulate their joining requirements at www.citb.co.uk
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