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Buried services are of a very high risk to contractors working around them. Before any work can start on a site a services search is sent out to utility companies to determine the approximate location of wires and pipes. These are usually plotted onto a Base Plan drawing and backed-up with the original information. Once the information is plotted the information is passed on to the contractor so digging can start.
Digging is commenced using heavy plant, like a JCB, to break the surface and take out the majority of earth around the services. Once near the services the contractors hand dig down to the exact location. The drawings help the contractors locate potential services on site. For example; a CAT or cable avoidance tool is used around electric cables.
By producing clearly marked drawings and the use of locating equipment can help significantly reduce and risks to contractors.
Injection from burst hydraulic pipe on excavator- Medium Risk
Excavation equipment has high pressure hydraulic lines running through it. Inside them is liquid which when compressed helps to move the equipment, similar to the brakes on a car. New equipment or equipment that is regularly maintained is less likely to cause any problems. Old equipment which isn't maintained is more likely to breakdown. If a pressure line breaks this liquid can spurt out and be potentially dangerous to anyone nearby. The liquid can cause sight problems if it gets into the eye and is also quite slippery.
To reduce the risk of injury to people PPE should be worn around such machinery in case of leaks or burst pipes. PPE would include gloves and goggles. To reduce breakdowns regular maintenance should be carried out and also a daily visual inspection of the vehicle before it is used. This allows equipment to be fixed without causing more damage to it or injury to a contractor.
A crushing injury from collapsed excavation - High Risk
Working in excavations is highly dangerous there are many risks when excavating land.
The sides of the excavation can collapse if they are not braced properly.
If working outside, on top of the excavation it is possible to fall into the hole causing crushing injury to hands and feet.
Scaffolding falling into the excavation from a height.
The best way to reduce risks of crushing from collapsed excavation is to work outside of the excavation itself. The digging should take place on top of the excavation. The use of PPE will also help reduce any damaged caused by the collapsing of the excavation. Steel toe boots to protect the feet, hard hats to reduce and head damage and gloves, although soft, can help reduce damage.
Fencing can be placed around the site to reduce unlawful access and injury to trespasses.
D) Road traffic accident resulting with collision - High Risk
Road works are a common site around our streets. Traffic accidents are a regular occurrence. Contractors try their best to reduce many risks by coning the area off and sometimes by closing the road altogether and placing diversions on routes.
The risks are very high for contractors working in areas that have been coned off. Although road signs are usually put into place several hundred yards from the start of the works drivers still tend to drive right up to the site before getting into the correct lane. This often results in cars having to break hard causing drivers behind to do the same. This can lead to cars hitting other cars. If a collision ends up entering the site a vehicle could end up in the excavation giving catastrophic consequences.
The safest way to reduce risks would be to divert all road traffic away from the site. If this is not possible it may be possible to reduce the flow of traffic through a particular area. A way of doing this could be to reduce the amount of locations available by passing the site and placing these locations on the diversion.
Cuts and scrapes from hand excavation - Low Risk
When working in construction and on a construction site. It is almost impossible to eradicate cuts and scrapes. By digging by hand is a necessary part of the work when excavating around services. The first part is done by machinery and when near the services contractors are required to dig by hand. Cuts and scrapes are likely to occur. Abrasions and scrapes can occur from the friction caused by the soil.
PPE is given to contractors to reduce the risk of cuts and scrapes. Heavy duty gloves are provided. This helps with gripping the tools and stops the friction caused by the soil on the hands, Steel-toe boots are worn to reduce foot injuries from uneven ground and to protect the toes from tools such as spades.
The use of PPE has become mandatory on all building sites in the UK as it has proven to reduce the risk of most types of injury.
Noise from a road saw - Low Risk
Road saws produce a lot of noise and dust. If continued exposure to the noise occurs it can damage hearing in the long term. There are a few ways to reduce the risk even further of damage caused by noise.
Firstly, the user should be wearing PPE. Ear protectors should be worn. This reduces the amount of noise dB entering the ear. This is what damages the ear organs. Secondly, the saw can be fitted with noise reduction equipment called a noise baffle. Lastly, to protect the public from the noise produced by the saw, the sawing can be done away from public areas or in an area surrounded by hoardings. This deflects the noise back into the saw area.
As with the entire above one further way to reduce a lot of risk is through training. A person should always be trained to use a particular piece of equipment. No one should be asked to do a job they have no been trained to do.
Task 2 P6
Your manager has asked you to evaluate your companies accident reporting and recording procedures. The information gathered will be used to develop a training manual for all employees' entitled "Company accident reporting procedure" and highlight what actions are to be included in this manual.
Health and Safety legislation states that all employers and employees are required to report any work related hazard that can cause or potentially cause a risk to them or members of the general public. Any accidents are required by law to be reported and recorded in an accident book, stating the nature of the incident, the time, date and place, treatment given and if the person who was injured was referred to hospital for further medical treatment if necessary, or if the person refused to be treated. Accidents can not be completely removed from the work place but foreseeing suck incidents by doing risk assessments goes a long way to keeping this number down.
Following the report of an accident or situation there must be a procedure implemented to inform the necessary person in a senior role so that steps can be taken to prevent any further harm or to deal with any negligence claims against the company. In today's society a work related accident is followed by a claim of some sort against the relevant firm, accident reporting and recording can go a long way to defending such accusations, such as negligence, as dates, names and details will be recorded and are available to all those concerned to view.
There are many different types of accident or incident that must be reported, the include;
Any injury, however minor, to yourself or a colleague (including cuts and scrapes).
An accident involving a third-party (non-employees (the public), site visitors, sub-contractors)
Incidents where no one has been hurt, but the potential for injury still existed.
Assaults to an employee or third-party on a site.
Any major concerns or incidents relating to fire, gas, electricity, leaks, asbestos and spillages or hazardous substances.
Ill-health to an employee due to work. (Industrial diseases.)
During the tender stages of a project some organisations are required to produce a 3 year history of the accidents that have been recorded. If the organisation keeps its accident reporting up-to-date and in line with regulations this can help the company successfully win the contract for a project. Regular update to accident records and keeping them in line with HSE policies for accident reporting portrays the competence of the organisation and its safety awareness thus enhancing a company's reputation for Health and Safety.
It is important that everyone in the work place understands the accident reporting policy and how to use it correctly. It should be clear and concise. The procedure is below.
Flow charts are a good way for employees to understand the actions necessary for reporting an incident. Management must exercise how imperative it is that an accident is reported immediately after it has happened so that the correct actions can be taken. If the report is carried out after a considerable time has passed then certain important details may be missed out. This can cause the person involved to come to further harm and also cause future incidents. The above procedure must be carried out for every incident or accident no matter how minor or severe the level of injury sustained. It must be stressed that the more serious the incident the more detailed a report must be.
Accident reporting forms or books will be jointly completed by the injured party and a person in a supervisory role. Legislation states that the accident investigation phase of an incident must start immediately after the incident has occurred. The personal details of any witnesses must be recorded as soon as possible after the incident along with any information pertaining to the incident whilst it is still fresh in their mind. This enables the powers that be to removed or significantly reduce further problems occurring.
Once the form has been completed it must be sent to the Health and Safety Department.
Accident reports generally contain the same content of questions.
Nature of the Incident
What treatment was given
Any referrals to hospital
An account of how it happened.
I have attached a copy of an accident reporting form from my work place, including a mapped out procedure of the reporting policy.
Task 3 M3
You have been assigned to the health and safety department of your organisation to gain further experience as a trainee H & S officer. Explain how collecting accurate data and information on accidents contributes to improvements in health, safety and welfare in the workplace.
It is imperative to collect as much detailed information as possible to enable the Health and Safety department to complete the investigation of an incident thoroughly. The H & S department