As we move in to a new year I feel we should address one of the key safety issues which is commonly missed or underused yet is of paramount importance. Risk Assessments in any line of work are absolutely essential and as we have seen highlighted in the recent prosecution of Muller the lack of which can cause serious injury or even death.
I know from personal experience how essential it is to carry out a Risk Assessment prior to starting any works and also in ensuring it is accurate and suitable for to the job in hand. Inadequate Risk Assessments can in some cases be more dangerous than no Risk Assessment at all.
Work areas are not always as they seem or as they are described prior to arrival on site, often additional tools or safety methods are required to ensure work is carried out safely. The HSE provide guidelines in this area which are simple to follow and must be adhered to without exception.
At Spectrum we routinely carry out Risk Assessments prior to performing Site Surveys and in actionning any work generated by these surveys. In many cases a comprehensive Risk Assessment may highlight a variety of issues which require further investigation.
We encourage our customers to take advantage of our Site Survey service to highlight and advise of any potential issues with the aim being to reduce the number of accidents in the workplace. These measures may be as simple as providing the correct signage in the appropriate place through to the implementation of a comprehensive Lockout Tagout system.
The HSE stress how important it is for safety to remain at the forefront of our priority lists. In regards to Muller’s case after the hearing HSE inspector Jane Carroll said: “This case highlights how important it is that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is undertaken for all work at height and work within roof voids, to identify the potential for fragile panels to be present. Falls from height through fragile roofs remain a common cause of life changing or fatal injuries for individuals at work”.
We must work together in this to encourage our colleagues and fellow businesses to be responsible for their actions and to carry out suitable Risk Assessments wherever they are required, without excuses.
Let’s start the New Year as we mean to go on – safely!