Legislation, Health and Safety and Regulations

Introduction

Health and Safety procedures apply to all work places and employers. They are control measures and risk reduction processes that rely on the effectiveness and knowledge of risks and the willingness to take actions in order to reduce them. Thus, most companies form their own framework of health and safety laws, backed by an enforcement system that seeks to protect the citizens from any form of risk. In addition, employees injured on their line of duty, have the right to sue their employers for negligence in civil courts (Brooks & Atkin, 2009). In every organization, it is important that Health and Risk mitigation procedures follow a recursive procedure as shown in the figure below as this will ensure that necessary actions are taken to prevent and control the occurrence of accidents in the workplace.

Figure 1: Health and safety in the workplace

Source: http://www.snh.org.uk/uplandpathmanagement/img/imagex11.gif

Telecom data centre has had the same H&S procedures for the last 10 years. As the new H&S manager, I intend come up with new procedures that will be beneficial to both the company and the workforce. This report will be passed on to the managing director for consideration. It will consider proposed alteration in two areas; Risk assessment and health and safety policies, which will be both beneficial to the company and the work force.

First aid, accidents and ill health risk assessment, in addition to, health and safety policies,  are two of the main areas that need to be reviewed, which will be both beneficial to the company and the work force. Policies never been renewed for the last ten years and therefore they have become obsolete. Their renewal will help shed some light to the board of directors on personal protective equipment, staff training and consultation, in terms of health and safety policies for both employees and the company. The company will also ensure that it cares for its staff genuinely.

The UK Health and Safety legislation, requires that all employers provide a reasonable, safe and practicable workplace. Additionally, the act requires the employers to take care of their employees as well as other people visiting the work place. The company should take full responsibility of ensuring that the work place is free from toxic substances as well as general environment. Therefore, the employers should make sure that their products are safe as well as provides information on safety precautions to be adhered to while using the products. However, the employees should take precautions for their safety. Telecom data centre has not renewed its first aid, accidents and ill health risk assessment, and health and safety policies for the last ten years and therefore, as the new manager of the company, I would recommend some of new procedures and indicate why and how the new procedures are more beneficial to the company and the workforce.

Risk assessment

The UK Health and Safety legislation clearly sets out duties of employers and other members of public as well as employees to themselves and each other. In other words, an employee is required to take precautions in order to reduce or avoid risks in the workplace. All employees should take look at the risks and take sensible measures on them. Risk assessment should therefore, be straightforward in workplace. The Telecom data centre risk assessment policies are complicated and only deals with serious hazards. Both the employers and employees in the company have a tendency of not recording their significant findings on any risk assessments.

Telecom data centre should therefore, assess all the risk in their work place and provide training to their employees. This is because, recently, the company has neglected this issue and no training programs are available for employees to learn about risks as well as prevent themselves. The UK law requires that employers should carry out a risk assessment in order to set up any emergency procedures as well as provide clear training and information to their employees. It should also implement controls on how to reduce work place risks and ensure that they are effective. By providing personal protection on their employees will also help in reducing such risks as well as put up other measures. For example, they can decide to monitor the environment or put up surveillances to exposed workers. In addition, the risk assessment criteria chosen should fit in the risk management cycle as shown in the figure below.

Figure 2: Risk Management Cycle

Source: http://mikebeckett.wordpress.com/tag/business-process/

Regulations under the act require that the manual handling procedures and other policies to be implemented. For example, in respect to noise in the work place, the employers should come up with ways to control the level of noise by using sound proofing equipment and less noisy machinery in order to provide ear protection to exposed workers. The company should be wise enough if it regularly controlled noise, which is a requirement under (Noise at Work regulation), in addition to, providing audiometric screening at the work place. This will help reduce any risks that are associated with noise such as induced noise hearing loss (Brooks & Atkin, 2009).

Telecom data centre risk assessment policies are not effective and therefore, should be reviewed and renewed in order to comply with UK Health and Safety legislation. There are no regulations that are specific to certainr dangerous substances in the construction company. There should be safety and health regulations in the company incase hazards and physical injuries arise during construction. Any employee who is involved with safety and health regulation in this organization must be familiar with relevant regulations of the company, which gives guidance on control of such hazards.

Workplace, health, safety, and welfare regulations 1992 act comprises of regulations that should be available in the work place. Additionally, they give a duty to employers to make sure that their workplace is safe and suitable for tasks that are carried out in any company. For example, since Telecom data centre is an engineering and construction company, its regulations should cover working environment aspects like; maintenance of equipment, workplace, systems and devices, escalators and moving walkways, room dimensions and space, doors and gates, falling objects and falls, condition of traffic routes and walkways. The employers should make arrangements to ensure that health and safety in the construction area, including availing adequate information and arrangements for emergencies and health surveillance where appropriate (Brooks & Atkin, 2009).

Proposed Risk Assessment Template

Hazards

 

Who might be harmed, Company’s  Policy How to manage the risk Action by whom Action by when
Trips and slips Both the staff and visitors may slip over construction objects The company ensures that the construction and workplace is free from harm and well lit. For examples, no materials are left in the walkways and staff areas kept clear. Better risk equipment is needed. All staff and supervisors to monitor Immediately the staff or employee is harmed

Health and Safety policies

Telecom data centre should have better health and safety policies based on day-to-day responsibility for health and safety in order to ensure that the policy is put into practice as well as delegated. In reference to UK Health and Safety legislation, it requires that, safe maintenance and operation of the working environments, systems and plants. Safe egress and access to the work place is also maintained. The staff should also be trained in order to ensure that their safety and health is well looked at. To add to this, there should be adequate provision of welfare for employees at work place, in addition to, safe use of storage and handling of dangerous substances. The company should keep and revise a well written safety and health policy, as well as consult its representatives and employees on such policies.

It should come up with a new guideline that is not complicated and specific, and deals with safety and health problems of the company. For example, it should interpret and help the employees understand what Health and Safety Work Act says, as well as help them comply with the law, in terms of giving them technical advice. The Telecom Centre policy does not state clearly who is responsible for health and safety responsibilities at all levels. For example, it does not indicate who is responsible for matters like training programs, First aid, safety inspections, legal requirements, and evaluation procedures. Engineering and construction workplace requires an audit in order to detect any harmful substances in use. Therefore, the employers or representatives of this company should review the use of any potential substances and decide whether to constitute any significant risks. If there are possible risks, then one should come up with appropriate steps to reduce the risk and changes done. In general, this regulation is to control any harmful substances at the workplace, in spite of any precautions taken (Brooks & Atkin, 2009).

It is the responsibility of the employers to provide health and safety to their employees in the work place. Additionally, they are responsible for any visitors to their premises such as suppliers, customers, and general public. In reference to the Health and Safety at work 1974, which is the general piece of legislation that covers all work-related safety and health in U.K, it requires a lot from the employers in term of health and safety at any work place. In order, for health and procedure to be useful to both the company and the work force, the employers should make sure that all construction and engineering materials are stored, used, and handled safely. Adequate first aid facilities should also be put into place, in addition to setting up emergency plans. Additionally, protective equipment and clothing should be given to all exposed employees free of charge. However, if they cannot be avoided, precautions should be taken in order to reduce the risks of injuries. Health precautions like prevention and control of exposure substances, which may damage the health of employees (Brooks & Atkin, 2009).

Proposed health and safety policies template

Statement of general policy Responsibility Action/arrangements
Provide adequate training to ensure employees are competent with their work
Implement emergency procedures

 

Prevent cases and accidents of work related
Maintain health and safe conditions
Consult and engage with employees on day-day safety and health conditions
Provide supervision and advice on health risks
Health and safety posters displayed, First aid box and accident box
Signed (Employer) and reviewed after everyone year.

 

Conclusion

The above new procedures will be both beneficial to workforce and the company in general. Telecom data centre has had the same Health &Safety procedures for the last 10 years. However, some of them are not effective and never followed at all. Risk assessment and health and safety procedures are two of the main aresa, which will be beneficial to the company as well as the employees. Some of the procedures report that need to be passed onto the Managing Director for consideration is taking full responsibility of ensuring that the work place is free from toxic substances as well as general environment. It should assess all risks in the work place as well provide training to employees. The company has neglected this issue and no training programs are available for employees to learn about risks and how to protect themselves. The UK law requires that employers should carry out a risk assessment in order to set up any emergency procedures as well as provide clear training and information to their employees.

References

Brooks.A & Atkin.B (2009), Total Facility Management. Chichester,U.K : Wiley – Blackwell.

Let's make that grade!