Identifying Hazards In The Workplace Construction Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Historically, health and safety laws in the United Kingdom (UK), for example, The Factories Act 1961, and The Offices, Shops and Railways Premises Act 1963, were applied to definite operations, and were planned prescriptively to correct acknowledged wrongs. (Ridley and Channing, 2008: 42)  Health and safety legislation usually developed a section at a time, and each section covered an exacting class of person and was not of a reliable manner.  (Ridley and Channing, 2008: 42) Legislation only useful to those workers who were on site, thus if the job required working away from their designated area, as a contractor, there was no legislation in place to cover these employees. Separate legislation with variations and methods of enforcement would apply to a factory, an office, a mine, or a quarry. There was certainly a need for change within the legislation in order to offer safety to employees.

In May 1970, Labour Secretary of State for Employment and efficiency, Barbara Castle, appointed a Committee of Inquiry to undertake a wide-ranging review of health and safety within the UK. Lord Robens chaired the committee and its remit was to examine critically 'the provision made for the health and safety of persons in the course of their employment,' furthermore to consider whether changes were needed and, if so, of what type. Three main factors prompted this enquiry:

There had not been a comprehensive review of health and safety as a whole.  (Hutter, 2004: 21)

There were disturbing levels of accident and disease at work, which were felt to be in need of scrutiny. (Hutter, 2004: 21)

The 'traditional regulatory approach' that is, an approach based on an extensive system of detailed statutory provisions administered and enforced by government departments and local authorities, was considered to be in need of examination. (Hutter, 2004: 22)


The main criticism levelled by the committee was that administrative jurisdictions were fragmented; there were too many incongruent agencies responsible to government departments, enforcing excessive legislation. It was proposed that a more integrated system needed to be created 'to increase the effectiveness of the state's contribution to safety and health at work'. Moreover, it was argued that '[r]eform should be aimed at creating the conditions for more effective self regulation by employers and employees jointly' (Hutter, 2004: 22). The intentions being to make those involved understand that health and safety matters are their own concerns and not just the remit of external agencies. In essence, Health and Safety was moving forward from a regulatory process to a self-regulating process.


The recommendations of the Robens Committee subsequently led to the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASWA) 1974, which is the principal enabling legislation for the UK; it imposes duties on employers, employees, and manufactures. Training is specifically mentioned within section 2 (2) HASWA 1974 and states that

' In addition to other requirements it is the employers duty to ensure the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.' (Tolley's, 2009: 1467)  This does not place a duty on an employer to provide training, however, it recognises that having carried out generic and specific risk assessments of the working area; an employer may well believe that training would be an effective measure of control of skills, knowledge, and competency.


capability is not specially recognized within HASWA 1974 with exemption to an suggestion in section 19 (1) which refers to the appointment of inspectors of health and safety. This relates to 'such person having appropriate qualifications as it thinks necessary for carrying into effect the relevant statutory necessities within its field of responsibility' (Tolley's, 2009: 1466).


In this assignment researcher have explained health and safety acts and also have explained the safe working environment in the work place. Researcher have explained the electrical hazards, fire hazards, emergency evacuation plan, working smoking policy, hygiene facilities, first aid and manual handling

Electrical hazards

 Electricity is a very useful source of energy but it is very dangerous.

Circuit Overload Protection

Overloading electrical circuits are very risky and should not be legal at any time. All systems shall be installed as designed by the manufacturer and in order with the National Electrical Code and restrained electrical codes.


Each electrical circuit breaker or fuse should be clearly evident with the name of the electrical application served by that circuit. Breaker or fuse categorization allows for interval of the electrical current to the circuit in the event of a disaster due to electrical shock or defective appliances, and assists in classification of circuit overloading. Breaker boxes should be accessible at all times.

Use of Extension Cords

Conservatory cords used with moveable tools should be of the three-wire type with three spike plugs, excluding when using double insulated tools. Plugs should be nonconductive. The user should make sure that the wire sizes of addition cords are competent of treatment the load without heating and this should be checked upon before starting the job.  Numerous plug-on attachments on addition cords shall not be used.  Make sure that all addition cords are useful and free of uncovered wiring and spillages, unravelled area.  Extension cords must only be used for temporary purposes, not for permanent installation. Where there is a undying need for an electrical vent, one should be installed. While in use, the addition cord must not be located in such a manner as to present a nimble hazard or under rugs, carpets or chair mats.  Addition cords must not be placed where they may be injured by foot or traffic.  Addition cords must not be run through holes in walls or ceilings or through doorways or windows.


Electrical Grounding

All electrically operated appliances shall be powerfully stranded. Electrically operated appliances may be stranded in the subsequent ways:  

       By an accepted grounding type accessory plug, provided the ground wire is attached to the metal inclusion of the electrical conductors and to the plug associated to the tools cord. The ground wire must be attached at all times while the tools are associated to the power supply.  

         By means of training instrumentalist run with the power conductors in the stretchy cord linked to the piece of equipment. The ground association must always make contact with the electrical vent ground while the piece of equipment is linked to the power supply conductors.


Fire hazards

Fire safety becomes everyone's job at a worksite. Employers should educate workers about fire hazards in the workplace and about what to do in a fire crisis. This plan should sketch the coursework of key items in the event of a fire and supply an evacuation plan for workers on the site and wee to locate in a safe a secure place away from the building. In the assembly industry, a "fire plan" should be set up at the beforehand to start any destruction job.

Building Fire Exits

Every workplace building must have at least two means of flee distant from each other to be used in a fire emergency.

Fire doors must not be blocked or locked to stop emergency use when employees are within the buildings. Postponed opening of fire doors is legal when an agreed alarm system is incorporated into the fire door design.

Exit routes from buildings must be clear and free of obstructions and appropriately marked with signs designating exits from the building.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Each workplace building must have a full balance of the proper type of fire extinguisher for the fire hazards present.

Employees expected or predictable to use fire extinguishers must be instructed on the hazards of fighting fire, how to appropriately manage the fire extinguishers available, and what actions to follow in alerting others to the fire emergency.

Only permitted fire extinguishers are allowed to be used in workplaces, and they must be kept in good functional situation. Appropriate protection and assessment of this equipment is compulsory of each employer.

Where the employer wishes to abandon employees instead of having them fight small fires there must be written emergency plans and employee training for appropriate migration.

Emergency Evacuation Planning

Each employer needs to have a written emergency action plan for evacuation of employees which describes the routes to use and procedures to be followed by employees. Also procedures for accounting for all evacuated employees must be part of the plan. The written plan must be available for employee review.

Where needed, special actions for helping actually impaired employees must be addressed in the plan; also, the plan must include events for those employees who must remain behind for the time being to shut down crucial plant equipment before they evacuate.

Fire Prevention Plan

Employers need to execute a written fire avoidance plan to complement the fire evacuation plan to minimize the frequency of evacuation. Stopping unnecessary fires from happening is the most resourceful way to grip them. The written plan shall be available for employee review.

Workplace smoking policy

An employer in discussion with the employees lays down rules and actions that govern some or all of the following:

Functioning ethics that guide the smoking policy - such as the rights of non-smokers and obedience with any legislation that relates to smoking in the work place.

The places and times that smoking is allowed, if it is allowed at all.  The aim should be to certify the abolition or minimisation of smoke disclosure to employees where they work.  Employees should also have the option of smoke free rest areas, and it is up to the employer to decide on condition for smokers, such as smoking rooms.

The schedule for visitors or members of the public that enter a workplace.

Contractual obligations or conditions - such as time allowed for smoking breaks, consequences of collapse to abide by with the policy.

Support for smokers that wish to quit such as smoking termination services.

Technical improvements such as improved ventilation where smoking is approved.

The approach to be adopted for employees with higher health risk - such as people with asthma or pregnant women.

Working practices, such as roistering, that reduces employee's exposure to smoke.

Details of how the smoking policy may change over time - it could become more uncertain after an early adjustment period.

Procedures for reviewing the policy, ensuring obedience and resolving disputes.

Hygiene facilities  

Providing hygienic washroom facilities in the workplace are not only enviable, it's a legal requirement for all UK commercial grounds.

ABC Hygiene is an experienced hygiene services company that understands your business' legal desires in this area - as well as the need to current a concerned and specialized image to both staff and consumers.

The Company provides all the tools and services your business needs to sustain clean and fresh washroom facilities; ensuring that you can prudently manage everything from sanitary waste, soap dispensers, air fresheners, hand-drying and sanitising, right through to vending machines.

This breadth of service is superior by the company's genuine promise to deliver a high-quality, trustworthy service, duly provided through its team of friendly, yet specialized persons.

First aid

People at work can go through injury or sudden illness. It is most important that employers have made schedule to ensure their employees receive abrupt concentration if they are injured or taken ill at work. This site provides information on all aspects of first aid at work and will be of interest to employers, employees, first aiders and training organizations transversely all industry sectors.

The Health and Safety First-Aid Regulations 1981 require employers to provide tools, services and personnel to enable first aid to be given to employees if they are injured or become ill at work. These Regulations concern to all workplaces including those with five or fewer employees and to the self-employed. Detailed information can be found in the Approved Code of training and Guidance:  The Health and Safety First-Aid Regulations 1981 L74.

What will be depended on the conditions in the workplace, this includes whether skilled first aiders are needed, what should be integrated in a first aid box and if a first aid room is needed. Employers should carry out an judgment of first aid needs to conclude this.

The Regulations do not place a legal responsibility on employers to make first aid stipulation for non-employees such as the public or children in schools. However, HSE strongly recommends that non-employees are integrated in a first aid needs evaluation and that condition is made for them.

Risk assessment consists of a detailed risk assessment on a wet/dry heat area within a spa. It will incorporate what a risk assessment is and what it is for, also a risk assessment procedure and the possible dangers that could occur in the work place if the health and safety rules are not followed.

A essential knowledge of health and safety is required before a risk assessment can be completed. The Health and safety at work act is a set of rules which are set to care for the employees, employers, clients and the business itself from any accidents or illness.  The health and safety act rules are there for both employees and employers to abide by to make sure the safety of anyone i.e. clients, delivery people, that may have anything to do with the workplace.

A risk assessment is a major part of health and safety for any business as this will help stop accidents and serious harm to all worried.  A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people within the work place.  It is used to prioritise any possible dangers, to assess how dangerous they are and how to stop them. Huges P (2007) pg 67 states "risk assessment methods are used to make a decision on priorities and to set objectives for eliminating hazards and falling risk". (2008) states that "you are not expected to reduce all risk, but you are compulsory to defend people as far as sensibly practical".  To perform a enough risk assessment there are five steps to make sure a thorough test has been done.  The first being to be familiar with serious hazards from the minor ones and then once these have been recognized, the second step would be to make a decision on who these may influence this will include anyone who has anything to do with the business.  The third element of a risk assessment is to appraise the level of the risks that have been found. A qualitative appraisal can be done in most cases which would enable the evaluator to grade them as medium, high or low depending on the potential danger it could cause.  The fourth step would be to record your findings and then start to put into place methods of avoidance. Lastly the risk assessment should be reviewed on a regular basis. Overall the risk assessment should consist of identifying the hazards, establishing who they may influence, assess the risks; record the result and the make sure that regular checks are kept and recorded up to date.  Keeping a record will help to observe the health and safety within a business.