Frequently asked questions

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If you are an employer or an employee, then Health and Safety law applies to you.

If you are an employer you are legally required to ensure a safe and healthy workplace and working environment for your employees and others who may attend your workplace such as visitors, contractors etc. You should develop a positive Health and Safety culture, where safe and healthy working practice becomes second nature to everyone.

The law requires that you provide whatever information, instruction, supervision and training that is needed to ensure the well-being of your employees.

Employees are responsible for their own safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions and they also have a duty to co-operate with the employer's policies and procedures that may affect health and safety.

A Health and Safety Policy is required where 5 or more staff are employed in a workplace.

A Risk Assessment is simply a careful examination of what in your working environment could cause harm to people, e.g. staff, contractors, visitors. This enables you to decide, on balance, whether the precautions you take to remove or reduce risk are sufficient or whether you need to take further precautions.

Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to provide reasonable control measures.

Accidents and ill health can ruin lives and affect your business if output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase or you have to go to court. You are legally required to assess the risks in your workplace so you should put in place a plan to control the risks.

A Method Statement is a document detailing how a particular process will be carried out. Such a statement is used to describe how construction, installation, removal and demolition works can be carried out safely. It should include background details of the company, site address, copies of the company's insurance details and an overview of the project. It should also detail the possible dangers associated with your particular part of the project and the methods of control to be established, to show how the work will be managed safely.

Every new job or activity in the workplace must be assessed for risk of harm. A 'Suitable and Sufficient' risk assessment needs to be produced to cover employees and non-employees who could be affected by the employers undertakings.

This is a legal requirement as set out in the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999.

There are several other regulations that require specific Risk Assessments to be carried out before commencing a new job. These include:

  • Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999
  • Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002
  • Noise at Work Regulations 1989
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  • Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
  • Work at Height Regulations 2005
  • Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
  • Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2015

You should prepare a unique safety Method Statement relating specifically to each new job where there is the potential for harm. It should include a clear description of the precautions and systems of work involved which were identified in the Risk Assessment. Everyone involved in the work needs to know what the Method Statement says and confirm that it has been understood. If they cannot understand the precautions or systems of work they should not be permitted to carry out the work.

Make sure that arrangements are noted on the Method Statement for supervision to be carried out to check that the correct procedures are being followed.

Explorer Associates are a flexible and responsive Company. We have responded and project managed from a number of different countries throughout Europe; we operate an Emergency call-out scheme for our clients and we can attend any incident, within 12 hours in the UK and within the European Community and within 24 hours worldwide.

You should record all accidents that occur in an Accident Book or similar record such as the HSE Book which is produced in conjunction with the Department of Work and Pensions. We also strongly advise that you contact us immediately and we can advise what else needs to be done. After making sure that the injured person receives proper medical attention it is wise to take photos of the scene in case they are needed in any subsequent enquiry.

RIDDOR, is the short version of the regulations called The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. These Regulations require an employer to report certain specific work – related accident, diseases and dangerous occurrences to either the HSE or Local Authority depending on your nature of work.

Very serious incidents involving death or serious injury must be reported immediately so make sure you tell us straight away so we can help you make sure that you comply with the law. The following injuries are reportable under RIDDOR when they result from a work-related accident:

  • The death of any person (Regulation 6)
  • Specified Injuries to workers (Regulation 4)
  • Injuries to workers which result in their incapacitation for more than 7 days (Regulation 4)
  • Injuries to non-workers which result in them being taken directly to hospital for treatment, or specified injuries to non-workers which occur on hospital premises. (Regulation 5)

COSHH stands for The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2016 (as amended).

Using chemicals or other hazardous substances at work can put people's health at risk, so the law requires employers to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health. 'Control' includes correct storage and using safety COSHH sheets giving the user details of dangers, first aid treatment and correct usage.

If you as an employer, fail to adequately control hazardous substances, your employees or other general members of the public, may be affected. This could be anything from a mild eye or skin irritation through to, in some major cases, death. Such cases could potentially involve Criminal or Civil charges being brought against you. The result could be high compensation payments or where death has resulted, possibly large fines or even imprisonment for you, the employer.

The F10 form is used to notify HSE of a project covered by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, which last longer than 30 days or 500 person days.

A project would require an F10 form for any project that is likely to last longer than 30 days or involve more that 500 person days on construction work.

Any day on which construction work is carried out (including holidays and weekends) should be counted, even if the work on that day is of short duration.

A person day is one individual, including supervisors and specialists, carrying out construction work for one normal working shift.

CDM – Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 is aimed at improving the overall management and co-ordination of Health, Safety and Welfare throughout construction projects to reduce the large numbers of serious and fatal accident and cases of ill health which occur every year in the construction industry.

Your project will be classed as a CDM project if it lasts longer than 30 days or 500 person days to complete.

The CDM Regulations2015 place duties on all those who can contribute to the Health and Safety of a construction project. Duties are placed upon clients, designers and contractors and workers. The Regulations require the production of certain documents including a Health and Safety File and plans of the work.

The client has to appoint a Principal Contractor to co-ordinate and manage the Health and Safety during the stages or preparation and whilst the work is being carried out.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, require you to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to enable First Aid to be given to your employees if they are injured or become ill at work.

What is adequate will depend on the circumstances in the workplace. This includes whether trained first aiders are needed, what should be included in a first aid box and if a first aid room is needed. Employers should carry out an assessment of first aid needs to determine this.

An appointed person is someone you choose to take charge if someone is injured or falls ill. Including calling an ambulance if required.

Remember that appointed person should be available at all time people are at work on site, this may mean appointing more than one person.

Explorer Associates believe that they are unique and offer their clients a service very much in the real world. Combining expertise as required by the client to give a tailored service that meets the needs of your project and is seen always as excellent value for money, for you the client.

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is the enforcing authority who works with the support of the Health and Safety Commission. They are responsible for overseeing Health and Safety Regulations in Great Britain.

Their mission is to protect peoples Health and Safety by ensuring risks in the changing workplace are properly controlled. They do this through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, inspection, investigation and enforcement. Enforcement includes unannounced visits at anytime and the power to close you down if they feel Health and Safety laws are not complied with.

Explorer Associates will deal directly with the HSE as your Health and Safety Consultants, assisting you with your responsibilities for dealing with whatever incident that has taken place which has led to the HSE to become involved.

If your company is inspected by HSE and for whatever reason you are issued with a legal notice, Explorer Associates will, as your Health and Safety Consultants assist you to make any necessary improvements to ensure legal compliance.

We will assess the areas within Health and Safety legislation that affect you and your company. From this, we will identify policies and procedures that you need and where appropriate produce or revise your Health and Safety policy, generic Risk Assessments and oversee your Company Health and Safety Manual.

A 'Principal Contractor' has to be appointed for projects which last more than 30 days or involve 500 person days of construction work. The principal contractor's role is to plan, manage and co-ordinate health and safety while construction work is being undertaken. The principal contractor is usually the main or managing contractor for the work and has a duty to liaise with the Designer on all matters concerning safety and safe practise.

The duties of the Principal Contractor include:

  • Plan, manage and monitor construction phase in liaison with Designer and sub-contractors
  • Prepare, develop and implement a written safety plan and site rules (initial plan completed before the construction phase begins)
  • Give contractors relevant parts of the safety plan
  • Make sure suitable welfare facilities are provided from the start and maintained throughout the construction phase
  • Check competence of all appointees
  • Ensure all workers have site inductions and any further information and training needed for the work proposed
  • Consult with the workers
  • Ensure safe working throughout the project
  • Secure the site

This is something we have carried out very successfully for over 16 years. We are competent to carry out the duties of Principal Contractor and we pride ourselves with having the experience and knowledge necessary to fulfil these duties on projects of any size and duration.