risk assessment

Build a Risk Aware Workforce

As part of the HSE’s strategy plans for the future, a movement has been created. The movement is called Help Great Britain Work Well. Its aim? To create a culture of risk awareness and accountability in all firms in the UK. Instead of leaving the task of maintaining health and safety standards to one over-stretched employee, why not educate your entire workforce? With more people involved in the continued identification and mitigation of risk, your workplace ultimately becomes safer. Give your employees the chance to step up and contribute to the continued effort of keeping themselves and their co-workers safe during the working day. An initial risk assessment is just the start. You must continuously look out for hazards, which is far more effective with more hands on deck.

What is a COSHH assessment?

The law requires all firms to carry out a COSHH assessment. It stands for Control Of Substances Harmful to Health. You may think that this doesn’t apply to your firm but it does. If you are in control of a workforce of any size, you must make this risk assessment.

It involves assessing the possible exposure to any harmful substances in your workplace. It is especially pertinent in warehouses, workshops and engineering premises among others. However, it can also be relevant in a simple office set up due to factors such as indoor air quality. Printer ink is also considered to be a harmful substance. So whilst you may not think that your workplace poses any harmful substance threat, it always pays to be thorough. If you’re in any way unsure, further your learning and take a training course. Or appoint members of staff to earn the certificate then the trained staff members can pass on their knowledge and create a risk-aware workforce.

Level 2 Risk Assessment Certificate

Taking a level 2 risk assessment training course will provide you with the tools to carry out an effective risk assessment in your workplace. By understanding how risks arise, you can step to mitigate them. You’ll initially learn how to identify a hazard. Although this may seem like a common sense undertaking, some hazards are not so easily spotted.

One of the main issues in many workforces is that although a hazard has been spotted, nothing is been done about. Staff can become apathetic about it and the hazard lies dormant until it causes an accident. By then, it’s too late to safeguard your staff. Often it’s only then that something is done. A training course will coach you on the possible outcomes and the reasons why you must take immediate action.

Having staff who are aware of hazards and trained to carry out a thorough risk assessment can only benefit you as a firm. The number of days lost to occupational ill-health and workplace injuries during 2014/2015 was 27.3 million. Of this figure, 4.1 million were days lost because of an injury that happened on the job. This loss of productivity can be extremely destructive to a firm’s overall output. So, why not safeguard against it? Prevention is better than cure. Creating a culture where employees are informed and well-briefed on risks is your best weapon against costly absences. This is the ultimate aim of the Help GB Work Well movement, which you can check out on social media for more information. Let’s work together to spot hazards before they strike.

first aid procedures

Do You Know Your Legal Duties as an Employer?

As an employer, it is your job to know the legal standpoint on all things related to your business. First aid is no exception. You must be aware of legislation regarding this area and begin drafting first aid procedures accordingly. These procedures will vary depending on the risks associated with your particular workplace, so a thorough risk assessment will be necessary in order to identify these. It is then your responsibility to brief your staff on your company policy regarding first aid.

All tasks are carried out with one clear goal; that in the instance that an emergency situation occurs, employees have access to immediate medical attention. No one can predict the future and accidents can happen at any time. The best that we can do is to safeguard against risks and have appropriate first aid procedures in place.

First Aid Needs Assessment

In order to best ascertain the specific needs of your workplace, you should carry out a first-aid needs assessment. There are no specific guidelines which state when and how you should carry out this assessment. The only stipulation is that the resulting provision for first aid is fit for purpose. As an employer, you should be aware of the risks in your firm. Look at the size of your facility, hazard risk, the type of work carried out on the premises and the distribution and size of your workforce. You may also want to consider your location and how accessible it is for emergency services.

At a minimum, you must have a small first aid kit on the premises. It must be kept fully stocked and you may need more than one for premises which are larger. An appointed person must be chosen. This person will be responsible for making first aid arrangements. Any information on these arrangements should be passed onto your staff. All members of your workforce should be aware of your first aid procedures.

Training Provision

However, the factors above may dictate that you need to make further provisions. Certain sectors may even require workers to undergo specialist first aid training in order to properly follow first aid procedures. Some examples of these can be in forestry, childcare or any healthcare professionals with a duty of care to provide basic life support.

Most firms of over 5 staff will require some form of training. Many who require a first aider on the premises will look to have a member of staff complete a Level 2 Emergency First Aid at Work or Level 3 First Aid at Work course. To make it even easier for firms to properly accredit their staff, courses now exist in a blended format to minimise their impact on normal levels of workplace productivity.

As of early 2016, the HSE has begun allowing the theory portion of these courses to be undertaken using an online teaching tool. Although the overall number of contact hours remains the same, the number of hours spent in the classroom is less. This can be favourable to business who wish their employees to gain certification without sacrificing too much of their working week.

Why  First Aid Procedures is Necessary

Statistics recently released by the HSE showed that in the UK, 144 workers died as a result of a work-related injury in 2015/2016. Although lower than in previous years, this figure is still far too high. A further 67 members of the public also suffered a fatal injury in a work-related accident.  Many lives can be saved by the administering of first aid. However, as much as 60% of people in the UK still would not feel comfortable enough to step into this role. We can change this but it requires more employers to realise the importance of a proper provision for first aid.

Firms which have comprehensive first aid procedures help to safeguard their employees from harm. Empower your workforce by allowing them to learn skills which could one day save a life. As we stated above, you never know when an accident could happen. You can, however, ensure that you are well prepared in the event that the worst happens. For further information on the first aid qualifications that we offer, contact us.