Compliance with health and safety regulations will not only help protect you, the employer, from liability concerns but will also help keep your workers safe and machines in good working order.
The Workplace Regulations 1992 cover the majority of health and safety issues that can occur in the workplace. These regulations are split up into three different sections: health, safety and welfare. Each of these sections is especially relevant to a workplace where dangerous machinery is used on a daily basis.
This section relates to ensuring that your workplace isn’t set up in a way that will give your employees health issues in the short or long term. Referring to specific key areas, here is a rundown of how the regulations apply to working with dangerous machinery:
When materials are cut noxious gases or fine dust particles are often given off. This can lead to lung problems if your workers are exposed to this without adequate ventilation. Installing mechanical ventilation will ensure that there is a supply of fresh air. Windows may provide enough ventilation, but well maintained mechanical ventilation will always be more efficient.
Ambient temperature can be affected by machinery running in the workplace. If your workplace doesn’t have air conditioning then temperatures can become too uncomfortable to work in. Temperature also refers to humidity in the workplace. Having your workplace at an uncomfortable temperature can lead to stress and loss of concentration. This is especially relevant if your employees are working with machinery as any mistakes can lead to accidents.
Your workspace should be contain adequate lighting. This is especially important for workspaces using machinery. safety precautions should also be in place incase of sudden loss of light. this means that backup systems are a must if sudden loss of light could lead to accidents.
Workspaces should be kept clear of rubbish that could pose a tripping hazard or fire risk. Provide an appropriate means of waste disposal and ensure it is removed regularly.
This second section deals with day to day measures that must be put into place in order to protect the wellbeing of employees. The headings that safety regulations deal with are:
Keeping your machinery well maintained will help prevent accidents that arise from faults and breakages. Likewise, keeping your devices such ventilation systems in good order will help prevent complications from arising further down the line.
Keeping the areas of your workplace which encounter high foot traffic clear of tripping hazards is very important. This is especially important for workers who are using machinery as a trip or fall can result in serious accidents.
When windows in the workplace are open, they shouldn’t pose as risk to anyone.
The welfare aspect of health and safety compliance in the workplace relates directly to the conditions experienced by employees and maintaining their mental and physical health. Your workplace is only as efficient as the people who are running it, and ensuring your employees are in good health will enable them to focus more and work more efficiently. This is done by providing suitable sanitation facilities, access to clean water and regular breaks.
By following these guidelines, your workplace will be a safer and more efficient place.
This piece was written by Mark Enright, a writer for http://www.yorkshireprofiles.co.uk/, Yorkshire Profiles, a laser cutting, water cutting and fabrication provider.