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Health and Safety Pocket Book

Features of a planned preventive maintenance system

A formally written system should incorporate the following
the structural item, area, system e.g. floor surface, ventilation system, device such as a safety device on a machine,
or item of machinery to be maintained;
the maintenance procedure to be followed;
the frequency of maintenance;
individual management responsibility for ensuring the
maintenance procedure is implemented; and
specific precautions necessary, e.g. operation of a permitto-work system, isolation of the area, display of signs and
notices, and restriction of certain work to designated
employees who have been trained in the maintenance
A planned preventive maintenance system should be produced
in tabular form incorporating the above elements. Management
should be able to assess, at any point in time, progress is otherwise in the implementation of the system.
1(c) Principal regulations
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
1(d) Approved codes of practice
Safe use of work equipment
Safe use of power presses
Safe use of woodworking machinery

Quality systems audit (QSA)

This formal audit system follows the principles of the International Standards Organisation for Quality Systems Auditing
(ISO 19011). Evidence of compliance is gained by way of examination of documentation, the questioning of employees at all
levels, and observation of physical conditions at the workplace.
QSA is divided into five main sections and eleven sub-sections,
corresponding to the structure of the HSE Guidance Note

Health and safety management in practice


HS(G)65 Successful health and safety management. QSA takes

a structured approach to examining an organisations health
and safety management system and includes all the elements
of OHSAS 18001 (see above). Guidance for auditors is incorporated in the audit workbook for the system.

QSA uses an all or nothing approach, that is, all the points
can be awarded in respect of a particular question or none at
all, in the later case being directed at encouraging improvement in performance. Non-applicable question scores can be
deducted from the total potential.

Award system
There is an award system based on evaluation of all subsections of the audit in all cases, consisting of five possible levels based on the minimum sub-section percentage score. The
lower number of audit sections and sub-sections under QSA
allows the use of the radar chart, a powerful mapping tool
for demonstrating at a glance the strengths and weaknesses
of the organisations health and safety management system.

Formal training is necessary for people using the system, providing the options for internal audits using the organisations
own personnel or external audits using the owners of the
audit system. In the case of QSA, the system is owned by the
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Risk assessment
Risk assessment is the principal feature of all modern protective legislation health and safety, food safety and environmental protection.


Health and Safety Pocket Book

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations

place an absolute duty on every employer to make a suitable
and sufficient assessment of:
(a) the risks to the health and safety of employees to which
they are exposed whilst at work; and
(b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in their
employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking;
for the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to
comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon
him by or under the relevant statutory provisions.
A suitable and sufficient risk assessment should:
(a) identify the significant risks arising out of the work;
(b) enable the employer to identify and prioritise the measures that need to be taken to comply with the relevant
statutory provisions; and
(c) be appropriate to the nature of the work and such that
it remains in force for a reasonable period of time.
Further information on risk assessment is incorporated in
Regulation 3 of the regulations and the ACOP to same.
1(c) Principal regulations
Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002
Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002
Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002
Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations
Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
Work at Height Regulations 2005
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Health and safety management in practice


1(d) Approved codes of practice

Control of asbestos at work
Control of lead at work
The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises
Control of substances hazardous to health
Dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres
Work with ionising radiation
Management of health and safety at work
1(e) HSE guidance notes
Assessing and managing risks at work from skin exposure to
chemical agents
A step-by-step guide to COSHH assessment
Five steps to risk assessment

Risk management
Risk management is variously defined as:
the minimisation of the adverse effects of pure and speculative risks within a business;
the identification, measurement and economic control of
the risks that threaten the assets and earnings of a business or other enterprise;
the identification and evaluation of risk and the determination of the best financial solution for coping with the
major and minor threats to a companys earnings and
a technique for coping with the effects of change.
Risk management techniques have the principal objective of
producing savings in insurance premiums by first defining and
then minimising areas of industrial and other risk. It seeks not
to discredit insurance arrangements but to promote the concept of insuring only what is necessary in terms of risk. On this
basis the manageable risks are identified, measured and either
eliminated or controlled, and the financing of the remaining or
residual risks, normally through insurance, takes place at a later


Health and Safety Pocket Book

Categories of risk
There are two main areas of risk, namely catastrophic risk, which
demands insurance, and risks associated with wastage of the
organisations assets. The latter is where the scope of selfinsurance and diminution of risk is most evident, and is why
organisations appoint risk managers, in some cases establishing
risk management subsidiaries.
Risks may be of a pure or speculative nature. Pure risks can only
result in loss to the organisation. Speculative risks, on the other
hand, may result in either gain or loss. Within the context of
a risk management programme, risk may be defined as the
chance of loss, and the programme is therefore geared to safeguarding the organisations assets, namely manpower, materials, machinery, methods, manufactured goods and money.

The risk management process

This takes place in a series of stages:
(a) identification of the exposure to risk, such as that arising
from fire, storm and flood, accidents, human error, theft
or fraud, breach of legislation, etc.;
(b) analysis and evaluation of the identified exposures to risk;
(c) risk control, using a range of protective measures; and
(d) financing of the risk at the lowest cost.

Risk control strategies

Risk avoidance

Risk retention

Risk transfer

This strategy involves

a conscious decision
on the part of the
organisation to
avoid completely a
risk by discontinuing
the operation or
circumstances that
produces the risk.

In this case, the risk

is retained within the
organisation where
any consequent loss
is financed by that

This is the legal

assignment of the costs
of certain potential
losses from one party
to another, e.g. from
a company to an
insurance company.

Health and safety management in practice


Safe systems of work

This may be defined as the integration of people, machinery
and materials in a safe and healthy environment and workplace
to produce and maintain an acceptable standard of safety.
Requirements for a safe system of work include:
a safe workplace layout with adequate space;
a safe means of access to and egress from the working
a correct sequence of operations;
analysis of jobs, using techniques such as job analysis and
job safety analysis;
identification of safe procedures, both routine and
a safe and healthy working environment in terms of temperature, lighting, ventilation and humidity, noise and
vibration control, and hazardous airborne contaminants;
the provision of information, instruction, training and
supervision for employees operating the system of work.
1(b) Statutes
Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

Safety monitoring systems

Active monitoring of the workplace and work activities should
be undertaken through a range of techniques. These include
the following.

Safety inspections
A scheduled or unscheduled inspection of a workplace to examine current levels of safety performance, working practices and
compliance with legal requirements at a particular point in time.
One of the principal objectives is the identification of hazards


Health and Safety Pocket Book

and the making of recommendations, short, medium and longterm, to prevent or control exposure to these hazards.
Safety audits
The systematic measurement and validation of an organisations management of its health and safety programme against
a series of specific and attainable standards (Royal Society for
the Prevention of Accidents).
A safety audit subjects each area of an organisations activities
to a systematic critical examination with the principal objective
of minimising loss. It is an on-going process aimed at ensuring
effective health and safety management.
Safety surveys
A detailed examination of a number of critical areas of operation
or an in-depth study of the whole health and safety operation of
Safety sampling exercises
An organised system of regular random sampling, the purpose
of which is to obtain a measure of safety attitudes and possible
sources of accidents by the systematic recording of hazard situations observed during inspections made along a predetermined route in a workplace.
Hazard and operability studies (HAZOPS)
These studies incorporate the application of formal critical
examination to the process and engineering intentions for new
facilities, such as production processes. The aim of HAZOPS is
to assess the hazard potential arising from incorrect operation
of each item of equipment and the consequential effects on
the facility as a whole. Remedial action is then usually possible
at a very early stage of the project with maximum effectiveness
and minimum cost.

Health and safety management in practice


1(e) HSE guidance notes

Successful health and safety management

Safety signs
A safety sign is defined as a sign that gives a message about
health and safety by a combination of geometric form, safety
colour and symbol or text, or both. The Safety Signs Regulations
require that any sign displayed in a workplace must comply with
the specification of signs contained in BS 5378: Part 1: 1980
Safety Signs and Colours: Specifications for Colour and Design.
There are four basic categories of safety sign.
These signs indicate that certain behaviour is prohibited or must
stop immediately, for example, smoking in a non-smoking area.
These signs are recognised by a red circle with a cross running
from top left to bottom right on a white background. Any symbol is reproduced in black within the circle.
These are signs which give warning or notice of a hazard. The
signs are black outlined triangles filled in by the safety colour,
yellow. The symbol or text is in black. The combination of black
and yellow identifies the need for caution.
These signs indicate that a specific course of action is required,
for example, ear protection must be worn. The safety colour is
blue with the symbol or text in white. The sign is circular in
Safe condition
The signs provide information about safe conditions. The signs
are rectangular or square in shape, coloured green with white
text or symbol.


Health and Safety Pocket Book

Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals)

Regulations 1996
These regulations cover various means of communicating
health and safety information, including the use of illuminated
signs, hand and acoustic signals (e.g. fire alarms), spoken communication and the marking of pipework containing dangerous substances.
Employers must use a safety sign where a risk cannot be
adequately avoided or controlled by other means. The regulations require, where necessary, the use of road traffic signs
within workplaces to regulate road traffic. Employers are
required, firstly, to maintain the safety signs which are provided by them and, secondly, explain unfamiliar signs to their
employees and tell them what they need to do when they see
a safety sign.
The regulations also deal with fire safety signs including the
need for exit signs to incorporate the Running Man symbol.
1(d) HSE guidance notes
Safety signs and signals: Health and Safety (Safety Signs and
Signals) Regulations 1996

Health and safety management in practice


Statements of health and safety policy

As stated in Part 1: Legal Background, a Statement of Health
and Safety Policy incorporates three main elements.
Part 1: General
statement of intent
This part outlines
the organisations
philosophy and
objectives with
respect to health
and safety and
should incorporate
the duties of
employers specified
in Section 2 of the
Health and Safety
at Work etc. Act

Part 2: Organisation

Part 3: Arrangements

It is useful to incorporate an organisational

chart, or description of
the chain of command,
from the chief executive,
managing director,
senior partner, etc.
downwards. This part
should indicate clearly
individual levels of
responsibility and how
accountability is fixed,
the system for monitoring implementation
of the policy and the
relationship of the safety
adviser with senior

Part 3 deals with the

management systems
and procedures which
assist in overall policy
implementation. It
covers a wide range of
matters including:

the arrangements for risk assessment

the arrangements for safe systems of work, including
permit-to-work systems
safety monitoring
accident reporting, recording and investigation
provision of information, instruction, training and supervision
consultation with safety representatives and employees
control of exposure to substances hazardous to health,
noise, radiation, etc
emergency procedures
occupational health procedures
fire safety arrangements, etc.