Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding health, safety and environmental subjects.
We at Ardua Safety believe that first aid is a “life skill” and every employee would benefit from this training, however we also appreciate that some businesses cannot afford this expense.
You must assess the risk of employees getting injured and put into place adequate controls should they occur. For general offices it may be adequate to train an employee to become an “appointed person” but on larger sites such as construction or manufacturing it may well be that a full “First Aider” is required.
First aid kits must be fully stocked and be adequate for the number of personnel they are to serve. They should be checked frequently to ensure their contents are sterile and within their use by dates.
Employees should also be regularly “exercised” in how to deal with emergencies so that they are able to respond in the correct way should an emergency situation develop.
1. A statement of aims, to the effect that your business will meet established health and safety standards.
2. A description of how the business is organised, and who has responsibility for different aspects of health and safety.
3. A description of the procedures and arrangements to ensure that work is conducted safely and without risk to health.
Penalties for employers include a fine, or, in some cases, imprisonment or losing the right to be a company director. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) names and shames employers guilty of criminal offences.
In 2008, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force. This Act is supposed to make it easier to prosecute companies and other large organisations when serious failures in health and safety management have caused a death.
As an example; In 2015, building firm Linley Developments was convicted of corporate manslaughter and fined £200,000, plus costs of £25,000, after it was sentenced for the corporate manslaughter of a worker who was crushed when a structurally unsound retaining wall collapsed.
Having no safety systems in place will certainly increase your risk of you or your company’s details entering the HSE prosecutions database.
Health and Safety Regulations are made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and are specifically used to regulate specific hazards such as; asbestos, lead, hazardous substances, noise, hand arm or whole body vibration, work at height, construction, design and management, electricity at work, etc.
Currently, there is no strict legal requirement for portable appliance testing (PAT) testing.
However, regulations are in place that intimates that maintenance of electrical appliances should be carried out. PAT testing though is the most effective way to ensure that these regulations are met.
The UK Health and Safety Executive and possibly your insurance company will expect you to perform PAT testing to ensure that you are compliant with certain regulations including:
- Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
- The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999
Not complying with regulations could result in fines or possible imprisonment. Even though it’s not legally required it does make sense to carry it out. But how often should it be carried out? Well, below we have added a table which can be found in HSG 107 “Maintaining portable electrical equipment” from the HSE to help you.
You are not breaking the law by not carrying out PAT testing however, employers, including the self-employed, need to ensure that all electrical equipment that they provide in their business is safe and properly maintained.
PAT testing provides the most effective way to identify defects that can come with use.
Faults in electrical equipment pose can potential hazards, particularly if they are not repaired readily. So PAT testing should be a critical part of your company’s health and safety arrangements to ensure that your electrical equipment is safe.
By law, any person, business or undertaking that employs five or more people must have a written Health and Safety Policy.
In a nutshell; as an employer, yes you may need to provide prescription safety glasses. Firstly carry out an assessment.
If it is short duration works could over glasses be supplied?
If over glasses cannot be worn then would a face shield be suitable?
What distances are the glasses required for? distance, reading etc.
If prescription glasses are required then it is the responsibility of the employer to provide them.
If you are an employer you must provide an eyesight test for a someone who uses a display screen equipment (DSE) if they request one. The employer must also pay for the test (England & Wales, Eye tests in Scotland are free)
This should be a full eye and eyesight test by an optometrist or doctor, including a vision test and an eye examination.
It’s up to the employer how they provide the test. For example, they could let users arrange the tests and reimburse them for the cost later.
Or they could send all their DSE users to one optician it’s entirely up to you how you want to carry this out.
What if glasses are required?
Employers only have to pay for glasses for DSE work. If the test shows an employee needs special glasses prescribed for the distance the screen is viewed at. If an ordinary prescription is suitable, employers do not have to pay for glasses.
Also, you are only required to pay for a basic pair of glasses. We would usually advise that if the employee wanted designer frames or other options.
Then the employer would pay the person the amount for the basic pair and the employee contributes the rest to have the upgrades.
Any employee who wears a close-fitting masks needs to undertake a face fit test. This is to ensure that the mask will give protection to the employee wearing it.
People come in all shapes and sizes and not all masks will fit every face.
There are two fit Testing methods, these are known as quantitative and qualitative tests
This test can be used to fit test all types of tight-fitting masks including disposable, half and full-face masks. They give an objective assessment of facial fit and provide a direct numerical result called a Fit Factor.
The most widely-used quantitative method for RPE fit testing is the Particle Counting Device method, This equipment measures the number of ambient particles inside and outside a facepiece and provides a numerical result which is the ratio of the two over a given test period.
These tests rely on the wearer’s subjective assessment of face seal leakage. The wearer is given a set of test exercises while wearing the mask and use the wearer’s sense of smell or taste to detect face seal leakage of a test agent.
Qualitative tests are subject to problems with sensitivity, lack of objectiveness and inability to provide a numerical result. For these reasons qualitative tests can only be employed for fit testing of filtering facepieces (disposable masks) and half masks, not full face masks.
Both tests will require the wearer to carry out a series of exercises while wearing the mask.
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