Plan of Action
In this assignment I will be discussing the following role of the employer and employee, Principles and procedures of good housekeeping which contribute to safe and health working environment, the elements and functions of the safety statement, a comprehensive hazard identification using primary sources, an evaluation of the risk associated with each hazard, control procedure and a re-evaluation of risks after implementation of control measures. I plan to do my risk assessment in a secondary school and see what is the hazards are. Before I analysis the school and if I found a hazard I would document my findings by taking photographs and using the hierarchy control to see what to do with the hazard.
I would recommend to the school that they should update the safety statement every three months. Inform staff about the changes made and all staff members should do a risk assessment if they see a hazard in the workplace.
Role of the Employer and Employee
The role of the Employer (self-employed person) is to be responsible for health and safety in the workplace under the 2005 Welfare Act. The employer is also involvedin hiringsuitable employees and they may offer wages or a salary in return for their work.
An employer’s duties include the following:
Making sure all employees are working to a high standard and is correctly following the health and safety and welfare procedures that have been put in place.
The employer must provide appropriate equipment for their employees.
Maintaining appropriate facilities for employees in the work placement.
Providing appropriate training for the employees for health and safety. This training course must include straight forward language which the employees understand.
The employer must co- operates with their employees in the workplace to ensure health and safety is a high standard.
Making sure that all accidents and dangerous occurrences are reported to the Health and Safety supervisor or authority.
This is a person who works for another person in return for pay. These people can work in various shifts such as full time, part time, and flexible time, permanent or temporary. These shifts will be arranged by the employer under a contract of employment.
An employee`s duties include the following:
The employees must follow the necessary laws related to health and safety and the employee’s acts must not affect their co-worker.
Employees must not be under the influence of an intoxicant which may cause harm to themselves or anyone in the workplace.
The employee must always co-operate with the employer in regards of health and safety.
Employees must not engage in any improper conduct.
All employees must undergo a health and safety course when offered by the employer.
Employees must always use the appropriate equipment when provided by the employer.
Report any defects in the equipment which may cause disruption in regards of health and safety.
Principles and Procedure of good housekeeping which contribute to safe and healthy working environment.
Housekeeping refers to a routine of cleaning and organizing the workplace in regards to health and safety. It is an ongoing practice, to ensure that health and safety is maintained to a high standard in the workplace.
In 2016 a survey has shown 18% of workplace visits from the HSA, have not completed a risk assessment. Action has been taken, to the employer who failed to put in all necessary precautions to prevent these hazards from rising. Many employers use the BeSMART.ie website, to manage a risk assessment in the workplace.
This is about instructions with regards to health and safety; it should not contain any text beside an obvious symbol, because a safety sign should be understood by the general public. Safety signs may contain the following:
Colour: sign boards are based on which family it is.
Shapes: can also tell what the sign means, such as disc means prohibited or instructions, triangles warning, square or rectangle means emergency or an informative sign.
Good organization skills are essential in the workplace to eliminate injuries and also overcome material storage problems. When storing stock piles it should not interfere with everyday work and you should allow one metre of space to get around the room. The stack piles should not cause an obstruction to stairs, exits, fire equipment or first aid. When storing chemicals it should be stored in appropriate containers because it may be flammable.
Maintenance is keeping buildings, equipment and machinery safe. This includes repairing broken windows or damaged doors and also maintaining walls or painting. If the workplace is left unmaintained it could lead to an accident. It is crucial to replace broken items as quickly as possible.
Dust and dirt
Dust is a health hazard which causes respiratory disease, skin condition, asthma, lung and skin cancer. It can be short term or long term. To reduce the person getting the diseases here are a few ways to reduce these illnesses in the workplace:
Use a dust Vacuum
Employee’s facilities need to be clean and maintained. The washroom needs to be cleaned once a day or even more. There need to be a supply of soap and towels in the washroom. When workers are using hazardous products, they should supply special precautions by wearing protective gear, showers and changing rooms. Smoking, eating and drinking should be prohibited when handling hazardous products.
When allowing dirt to accumulate or a slippery surface is a leading cause of incidents in the workplace. To reduce these incidents employers should replace the floor if worn, ripped or damaged which may cause a trip hazard. Paint should highlight safety equipment like railings or guards.
Maintain light fixtures
Clean light fixtures improve light levels however dirty light fixtures reduce light levels.
Stairways and aisles
Aisles should be wide enough for vehicles and people. Keeping stairways and aisles is vital important to keep clear.
To avoid incidents, it is best to clean up the spills before anything happening. However, if spills do occur it is important to clean up as quickly as you can.
Waste disposal would be good housekeeping if businesses separate materials that could be recycled rather than putting it into the waste bin. Placing waste and recycled bins in the workplace would encourage employees to dispose their rubbish rather than separating the rubbish later on.
Courtesy in the workplace is turning up on time for work, meetings, presentations or anything relevant to work. This also meanings meeting deadlines or co-workers depending on you to get the job done.
The elements and functions of the safety statement
A risk assessment is accessing the possible hazards in the workplace and how to prevent them from rising. Employers are required to do up a risk assessment to try to prevent anyonefrom getting hurt or falling ill due to a chemical leakage. The results of any risk should be written into the safety statement.
The health and safety authority
The health and safety authority is the national body of Ireland to ensure businesses have health and safety up to standard. This act came in 1989. This authority is responsible for complainants, prosecution, research on health and safety in the workplace
Carrying out a risk assessment
A safety statement is carried out to reduce the likely hood of an accident or ill health and keeping everyone up to date. When an inspector comes in from the health and safety authority into the workplace. The inspectors emphasise how important health and safety is in the workplace. The safety statement needs to be relevant at all times, whenever there is a change for example work processes, organisational structure, equipment or substance used it is necessary to view the changes and see is it a hazard in the workplace. It is important that employers view the statement periodically. You can view the statement in two different ways backwards (to see how effective the statement is on health and safety) and forwards (to ensure that you have put in all the necessary changes in the workplace on the safety statement).
When assessing the risk, you should attempt to remove the hazard if needs be. So the questions you should consider to yourself what is the likely hood of the hazard causing an obstruction, how serious would the harm be to the person, how many employers are obstructed by the hazard, can I get rid of the hazard and if so would it cause a new hazard, change the layout of the workplace to be safer and If you can’t remove the hazard what precautions should be undertaken. When you are carrying out the risk assessment you should consider everyone who may enter the building. For instance, employers, cleaners, visitors, contractors, outside maintenance personnel and the customers. When improving health and safety in the workplace it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, to address the issue.
What is covered in the safety statement
The safety statement covers the health of all employees in the workplace, hazards and risks are put in the statement and employers are responsible in the management of health and safety of the statement.
How to control the risk
The employer is responsible to put in place all the necessary measures to prevent the hazard causing an obstruction and identified the hazard and the risk related to the hazard.
How should the safety statement be reviewed?
When reviewing the safety statement, the employers should consider the following:
The issue in the safety statement was it relevant.
Were the hazards dealt with and was their appropriate safety measures taken.
Was the health and safety measures put into practice, was the plan achieved to prevent the hazard from rising again.
Were the hazards identified and was there any underlying cause of any injuries, illness or incident dealt with.
This act came into play in 2005. Thispolicy is a set of rules to ensure workers behave when in the workplace. These could be some of the rules brought in such as bullying is not tolerated, harassment and health and safety in the workplace.
Identify the hazard
A Hazard in the workplace is anything that could cause harm to anyone in the workplace. These are few things that could cause an accident dangerous chemical, poor housekeeping or electricity fault.
What precautions are needed
To improve health and safety in the workplace it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. For example placing a mirror in a dangerous blind corner it reduces the likelihood of someone having an accident.
Record your findings
All employees or employers should make a record of their findings it must be written down in the risk assessment.
Review your findings
The control is put in to prevent the hazard. An employee or employer need to review it and see is it effective or is there a new hazard.
A comprehensive hazard identification using primary sources
There are different types of hazards for example:
Biological Agent Hazard
Biological hazard may cause a virus which could lead onto an infection. Substances from plants or animals may lead into health issues in the future. These types of hazards are likely to occur in laboratories, hospitals or farms. These are the following infections that you could get:
Human factor Hazards
People in the workplace should be mentally and physical cable when doing their jobs. The workplace should avoid unnecessary stress. Workers should not put up with bullying or violence from other workers or the public. Some people in the work place are vulnerable such as:
Young workers (they are in a lot more accidents than the other colleagues)
People with a disability
Workers who do not have English as there first language
Chemical substances are nearly used in all workplaces but mainly in science labs and other science departments. To identify what the chemical is you need to label all the chemicals correctly in the workplace. Questions to consider when having chemicals in the workplace.What is the immediate problem: is it flammable or toxic. The long-term effects:would it affect people’s health. The environment: how to dispose of the chemical correctly without doing too much harm to the environment.
Hazard, Outcome and Risk
A hazard is a potential accident in the workplace that could possibly cause harm to themselves or anyone near the potential source of the accident if left unchecked or unchanged.
The outcome is what the results are because of the hazard.
A risk is the probability of a dangerous obstruction occurring and the consequences that may occur.
Eliminate the hazard
Eliminating the hazard can sometimes be difficult, however once removed it eliminates most of the risk.
The hazard with a less of a risk happening, if removed it could cause different hazards in the future.
Isolate the hazard
This can be achieved by reducing the access to the plant or workplace and equipment or locking the chemical away.
Use engineering controls
This is when you put a barrier between the person and the obstacle or removing the hazard all together, such as broken or damaged machinery.
Use administrative control
It is the changes in the work procedures such as policies, rules and training to reduce the duration of hazardous situations.
Use personal protective equipment
PPE is equipment that will protect the person against any injuries caused by hazard risks in work. Such as helmets, gloves, eye protection, safety footwear, safety harnesses etc.
Total risk assessment
This assessment identifies all the risk in the workplace. The aim of this assessment is to identify the hazard and try to make it safer or neutralise it.
When assessing the workplace, the HSE advise employers/ employees to follow these steps:
Identify the hazards.
Who would be hurt if the hazard is not dealt with?
Evaluate the hazard and take necessary action.
Record your hazard and put it in the total risk assessment.
Re- evaluates the hazard.
The risk I have examined in a school
This is a biological hazard because the cleaners use flash to clean the floors if the substance happens to come in eye contact it would lead to sore eyes.
Rating: Very low
I would recommend eliminate the hazard rather than putting flash into the mop bucket use plain water.
I have re-evaluated the hazard and I have observed that plain water is not as effective compare to flash when washing the floors, so therefore the hazard is better left alone. However I would recommend the cleaners to wear protective gear, such as wearing goggles so the chemical won`t get into their eyes.
This would be a physical hazard since it is partially blocking the fire exit.
Rating: Very low
In other to eliminate the hazard I would remove the lockers to a different location, so there is no obstacle if a fire happens to breakout.
I have re- evaluate the hazard and it is much safer for people to get out of the building in case of an emergency.
Rating: Very Low
This would be a human hazard because the mat has been worn down over the years and it is not suitable for someone who is pregnant or someone who has a serve disability. The mat is located where the fire exit door is.
Rating: Very Low
I would recommend to substitute this hazard is to remove the worn mat and replace with a new mat which is level with the floor.
I have re-evaluated the hazard and the risk has reduced significantly.
Rating: Very Low
This would be a trip hazard to whoever is occupying the building.
To reduce the risk of a trip hazard, I would recommend eliminating the bench or move to a different location.
I have re- evaluate the hazard and it is much safer for students to enter the computer room.
This picture shows a strangling hazard, if students were messing with one another.
Rating: Very low
To reduce the risk of a strangling hazard is to eliminate the cable from the scene so the risks of strangling may be reduced.
I have re-evaluated the strangling hazard and it is much safer for students when attending to their classes.
Rating: Very Low
This picture shows a trip hazard because the cables are not tidy and it is on the floor so therefore someone could trip while walking over to the desk.
Rating: Very Low
To reduce the risk of someone tripping over the cables I would recommend isolating the cables under the desk.
I re-evaluate the issue and it can`t be solved because the cables are causing a new hazard underneath the desk because it is occupied by the staff when teaching the class.
The aim of this health and safety assignment is to understand what are the rights of employers and employees, principles and procedures of good housekeeping which contributes to a safe and healthy working environment, the elements and functions of the safety statement and how to carry out a risk assessment.I felt I have achieved these aims very successfully because I used primary and secondary sources. Throughout the assignment I carried out a risk assessment in a school to see is there any hazards that may be occupying the building, by carrying out this assessment I now understand what is involvedin a risk assessment. I used the risk rating chart,which shows what is the likely hood of an incident, if there was an incident what kind of injuries would the person sustain. By carrying out a risk assessment in this assignment, I would feel more confident to carry out a risk assessment in a workplace.
In this assignment I also used secondary sources by looking over my class notes and researching on the internet to see is there any relevant websites,and these are the following websites, I have taken the information from the HSE (health and safety authority) and OSH (workplace housekeeping). By carrying out a risk assessment I personally think this will benefit me in the future in the world of work.
Health and safety authority (https://www.hsa.ie/eng/)