35 HPM 0813

HPM August 2013

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com TRAINING/TECHNICAL Safeguarding your business Mark Krull, of Logic4training, highlights the potential dangers of everyday work in the heating and plumbing sector, and how raising awareness through quality training can go some way to eliminating risks... Trading as a heating and plumbing engineer is not just about heating and plumbing. General health and safety is an area that must also be addressed, and rightly so given that last year nearly one in five construction sites visited across Britain failed to meet the standard of safety checks and were subsequently subject to enforcement action. Unannounced visits by inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed poor practices that could have put workers at risk from potential hazards; ranging from unsafe storage of flammable materials to lack of edge protection on scaffolding - all real risks found in the day-to-day life a heating and plumbing engineer. In the period 2010/11, the HSE reported that 50 workers were killed while working in construction, with a further 2,298 major injuries logged. Trips, falling debris and accidents at height remain some of the most common causes of fatalities and major injuries. Heights are a particular safety concern for contractors tasked with fitting solar thermal or photovoltaic panels, for example. SUFFICIENT PLANNING Most risks can be eliminated by sufficient planning, giving employees the knowledge to understand hazards in their environment and the confidence to report an incident without reproach. The HSE states that “all workers are entitled to work in environments where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled”. Employers are responsible for health and safety, but employment law also requires operatives to take some responsibility in the workplace, such as: • Following the training you have received when using any work items your employer has given you • Taking reasonable care of your own and other people’s health and safety • Co-operating with your employer on health and safety • Telling someone (your employer, supervisor, or health and safety representative) if you think the work or inadequate precautions are putting anyone’s health and safety at serious risk. The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive and the Green Deal will hopefully see an increase in uptake of solar thermal. It is, therefore, vital that employers and employees establish a safe working environment, ensuring that risks are minimised, the appropriate training has been undertaken - or a suitably qualified operatives are used to carry out specific tasks - and that all work complies with the current regulations. The Working at Height (2005) regulation was introduced to safeguard the physical safety and legal protection of employees, employers and contractors. The regulations apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. Duty holders must ensure: • All work at height is properly planned and organised • Those involved in work at height are competent • The risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used • The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled • Equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained. In addition to working at height, heating and plumbing engineers face other hazards such as exposure to lead or asbestos, biohazards, electrics, noise, hot water, working in confined spaces and so on. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and how to appropriately manage potentially dangerous situations. Health and safety legislation lays a great amount of responsibility on managers/employers to ensure that the working environment is as safe as it can possibly be, and that it complies with all current regulations. In order to ensure your business fulfils the criteria and has best practice in place, training in this area is essential for all staff. Raising awareness of your health and safety responsibilities and keeping your knowledge up-to-date will stand you in good stead, making sure you and your employees are not put in any unnecessary dangers. Logic4training offers a range of courses for all levels of staff on site or in the workplace. They include the following: IOSH Working Safely Course provides an introduction to health and safety in the workplace, raising awareness of the following: • Identifying hazards and evaluating risks in the workplace • Appropriate workplace precautions for specific risks • Assisting in preparing risk assessments • Co-operating and communicating health and safety matters • Carrying out work activities without risk to themselves or others • Reporting accidents and incidents. Manual Handling, a one-day course which is useful for anyone who deals with heavy equipment - boilers, solar thermal panels - essential for helping to prevent injury at work. WORKING AT HEIGHTS Working at Heights is designed for anyone whose work could involve a fall from height, whether in construction, maintenance, cleaning or access. The course also focuses on recognising and eliminating the dangers of incorrect use of steps or ladders If you have, or are about to acquire, supervisory responsibilities, then the Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme will provide an introduction to health and safety, welfare and environmental issues for those requiring an understanding of their legal responsibilities relevant to their work activities. Asbestos Awareness: training is also available for those undertaking building, maintenance and installation in buildings that could potentially contain asbestos. The consequences of ignoring your health and safety responsibilities could be hugely detrimental to your business, incurring fines and prosecution. If you are a sole trader, putting your well-being at risk might result in lost earnings through time off as a result of an incident, which could prove very costly. WWW.HPMMAG.COM HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY AUGUST 2013 35 enquiry number 146 Logic4training offers a course for anyone whose work could involve a fall from height


HPM August 2013
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