Both manufacturing and construction are required to write a health and safety policy and develop management systems to identify and control risk. The most common risks found in the manufacturing and construction sectors differ. Further details have been supplied below:
The most common causes of accidents in this sector are slips, trips and falls. Every year, significant numbers of manufacturing employees are also injured or killed while operating machinery.
These and the other key safety concerns your manufacturing clients should consider are outlined below:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Your clients should review overall lighting, the condition of staircases, the appropriateness of floor finishes and ensure they are kept clear and clean to minimise this risk.
- Noise-induced hearing loss is a long-term insidious condition, which is untreatable and incurable. Your clients need to ensure that the risk is assessed, exposure is minimised and that appropriate Personal protective equipment (PPE) is supplied to minimise the risk their employees face.
- It's vital that guards on machinery are appropriate and regularly maintained and that eye protection is provided where appropriate. Every year, significant numbers of employees are injured or killed while operating machinery.
- Maintenance work
- The maintenance of machinery can be especially hazardous as it tends to occurs in confined spaces, on roofs or after normal safeguards have been removed. Appropriate precautions need to be taken.
- Manual handling
- Simple measures can help minimise manual handling risks such as ordering stock in smaller packages and storing heavier items at lower levels. Handling aids can also be used to remove the need for manual handling completely. Manual handling training and guidance notes should also be supplied where appropriate.
- Internal transport and materials handling
- A surprising number of employees are injured at the delivery site in industrial buildings. Ensuring that vehicles and pedestrians are kept separate wherever possible is one precaution that could help to minimise this risk.
- Hazardous and flammable substances
- The hazardous and flammable substances present should be identified and appropriate control measures put in place. Adequate and secure storage for the types of substance in use must be in place.
- Managing contractors
- When contractors are used, both parties have duties under health and safety law to ensure that the work is carried out in a safe manner. From the client's perspective, effective contractor selection, training and supervision are key.
- Your clients should ensure that finished goods and raw materials stored in the open are adequately protected.
Injuries can occur from falling objects or from people falling into excavations or from height. The substances (eg asbestos) that construction workers can come into contact with as part of their work can also cause harm. Work is often carried out on third-party premises, frequently by casual labour. Your clients should review the following key areas.
- Public liability
- Construction sites are often a prime target for thieves and, in many cases, seen as a 'playground' by children, causing public liability headaches for the industry. It's vital that sites are properly secured at the end of the working day to keep people away from danger. Signs should be prominently displayed to warn of danger.
- Construction design and management (CDM) regulations
- These apply for work that's planned to last for more than 30 working days (totalling 500 person days or more), involve more than four people on site at any one time, or include any demolition work.
- Working at height
- Falls are the most common cause of accidents in the construction industry. The risk of falls can be minimised by implementing simple measures such as using appropriate and secure platforms or ladders when working at heights
- Excavations and confined spaces
- Essential actions include preventing trench collapse, avoiding contact with electrical cables and making sure that a competent person is regularly inspecting the relevant work.
- Demolition work
- Risks involved include coming into contact with materials and substances found in buildings (such as lead or asbestos) or utility supplies (such as gas and electricity), as well as unplanned collapse of parts of a structure.
- Working adjacent to the public highway
- There is a legal requirement for adequate signing, lighting and guarding of work carried out on the highway.
- Hazardous substances
- Construction work often uncovers hazardous substances, such as asbestos which can lead to asbestos-related diseases.
- Tools and equipment
- The impact of noise and vibration should be carefully considered. Staff should be trained to use equipment safely. The appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be supplied and its use enforced.
- Mobile plant, lifting equipment and site transport
- Vehicles and plant should be properly maintained. Drivers and operators should be trained appropriately.
- Electricity on site
- Firms need to avoid contact with electrical cables during excavation work and overhead cables when using a jib or crane.
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