For many organisations, use of a computer is the biggest risk they face at work. Our assessments help you ensure that you meeting your legal obligations for each individual user – i.e. that the person can adopt a suitable posture by making any necessary adjustments to suit themselves and that the general working environment is conducive. We not only do the assessments (on-line or face-to-face), but can also provide the required training at the same time.
For those of you who would rather “go it alone” we can train your staff to be assessors then provide a suitable format for records to be kept internally. For those with existing medical conditions, a visit to complete a thorough assessment should be undertaken. Practical recommendations are always made, most recommendations are simple adjustments to the workstation rather than suggestions to buy snazzy kit.
Neglect in this area can lead to some pretty nasty consequence for staff, from general aches and pains through to some of the more serious complaints which can really stop someone in their tracks.
Benefits of getting this right include, reduction of niggling complaints, increase of productivity and sickness absence and ensure you can defend any claims!
What is stress?
The HSE defines stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”.
Stress accounts for over a third of all new incidences of ill health in the general working population. The health effects caused by stress can be difficult to detect in the early stages as they can build up over a long period of time, and may be easy to mistake for something else.
Stress is often overlooked as a health and safety issue, but employers have a legal duty to ensure employees are not made ill by their work and should manage stress. To help, the HSE has established stress management standards which companies are expect to reach in order to reduce workplace stress.
We can undertake an assessment that will help you to measure your organisation against these standards, and therefore identify what needs to be done.
Steps should be taken to prevent physical and mental illness brought about by stress, often the key to this is good organisational design and provision of sufficient management systems.
We can help with any aspect of this including training of managers so that they understand what is expected of them.
Now, everybody can breath slowly…..
Risk assessments for tasks undertaken (including driving, manual handling, working in a warehouse, working at height, lone working, parties on roofs, stress, grooming pampered pooches (yes, really!) shoeing horses, running a b&b or hotel, golf (right next to the England football team training ground – very high risk!) driving fork lift trucks, zorbing, making cheese, managing residential buildings, lap dancing, installing art installations, dragon boating, student accommodation, building walls, running care homes, taking 30- kids to the zoo.…if your guys and girls do it, we can assess it!)
If you employ more than 5 persons you must record the results of your risk assessments even if they are duller than some we’ve done.
The risk assessments must be “suitable and sufficient”. This means that they must cover every activity/place where the risk to staff and any other person who may be affected by what you do is anything other than trivial!
That’s quite an undertaking and many organisation’s struggle to understand just how far they need to go to meet this requirement. We are experts in understanding when you need “war and peace,” and when “back of fag packet” is enough. Strangely enough – we can produce war and peace and/or back of fag packet for you – but to be honest most assessments end up somewhere in the middle which is just where they need to be.
An effective risk assessment system will form part of your organisation’s decision process allowing you to take decisions on control measures which are cost effective and appropriate. Risk assessments should not be produced for paper’s sake, if that is the case – the document is useless and was not worth producing in the first place!
As always, if you need help implementing control measures – from training to provision of PPE – we can provide that help.
Tasks, people, machinery and premises all pose risks.
Remember, if something were to go wrong – the risk assessment is the first document that would need to be produced, we go the extra mile to get it right.
In organisations with frequently changing environments, it may be appropriate to provide risk assessment training for key members of staff to enable them to undertake monitor review your risk assessments.
At times, it may be more appropriate to undertake a premises assessment rather than task risk assessments to assess specific risks in area such as kitchens, common areas, public spaces, plant rooms etc.
Remember your risk assessments need to be reviewed regularly, certainly following any accidents and also if something changes within your organisation such as new machinery or personnel, or occurrence of an accident or near-miss.
Any process undertaken that involves or creates any substances that is toxic, harmful, irritant or corrosive.
Such substances can take many forms – it’s not just about the stuff in the cleaners cupboard…they include
chemicals, products containing chemicals, fumes, dusts, vapours, mists, nanotechnology, gases and asphyxiating gases, biological agents and don’t forget germs that cause diseases such as leptospirosis or legionnaires disease.
As a rule of thumb, if packaging has any of the hazard symbols on it then it is classed as a hazardous substance.
We can easily identify which processes need assessing and help you implement or monitor the full range of controls that may be required. If you have already completed COSHH assessments, our review can provide you with peace in mind by identifying if you need to make amendments to your existing control measures and work processes. For example, we can identify if workplace exposure limits (WELs) are reached, or if occupational health testing, local exhaust ventilation (LEV) or personal protective equipment (PPE) is required.
Where technical controls are required we can naturally specify and source as required.
Where many types or frequent changing of substances takes place, it may be more appropriate to provide COSHH assessment training. This, like all our courses will be designed to fit your needs and delivered at your premises.