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GENERAL HEALTH & SAFETY INSPECTION OF WORKSHOP

INSPECTION CARRIED OUT BY KEVIN FORBES

ON 9TH OF FEBURARY 2005


AT 11.30AM
INTRODUCTION

Inspection of workshop area to identify areas of good practice and to highlight hazards to
health and safety

The inspection was carried out using observation sheets and grouping hazards. Risks to health
and safety were prioritised as follows.

HIGH - Requires immediate attention


MEDIUM- Requires action within 1 month
LOW- Requires action within 6 months

These risks were then prioritised according to timescale required for remedial action.

IMMEDIATE- 1-3 DAYS


MEDIUM- 1-4 WEEKS
LONG TERM- 1 MONTH+

Many of the deficiencies identified have no cost implications since remedy would be within
the scope of normal supervisory responsibility. Others may be expensive to cure and in order
to give some indication of the costs involved, the following guidelines have been adopted

NO COST- Supervisory responsibility


LOW COST- Under 100
MED COST- 100-500
HIGH COST- 500+

The following abbreviations are used within the report-

COSHH- Control of substances hazardous to health regulations 2002


MWSWR- Management of health and safety at work regulations 1999
WHS&W- Work place health safety and welfare regulations 1992
H&S- Health and safety

At time of my inspection there was no one working in area so noise levels, crowding, dust and
machinery movements could not be assessed.

SUMMARY

The inspection showed that overall H&S was lacking in several key areas, some of which
require immediate attention as current H&S legislation is being contravened, with serious risk
of injury to persons.

BREACH OF STATUTORY DUTIES CAN RESULT IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTION &


FINES UPTO 20,000
MAJOR ISSUE 1

HOUSEKEEPING
Numerous examples of poor housekeeping were found & are listed on the observation sheets.
They are producing trip hazards, fire hazards and hygiene issues & therefore the risk of injury
to employees, visitors & contractors. The WHSWR require that the workplace be kept clean
and tidy, also section 2 of Health & Safety at Work etc. act 1974 requires that employers
provide a safe place of work.
It is recommended that the workplace is cleaned & all waste materials removed immediately.
Covered rubbish bins should be provided and a system of daily emptying should be
implemented within 1 month. These represent low cost actions.
In the long term it is recommended that the possibility of employing a caretaker be explored.
This would be effective in helping to maintain a safe, clean place of work, however this
would involve significant cost & would require a cost/benefit analysis to be carried out.
All employees should be trained on induction on general house keeping procedures including
the correct storage of tools. This would involve little cost as it could be carried out in house
by supervisors.

MAJOR ISSUE 2

ELECTRICITY
Evidence of poor maintenance of electrical equipment was observed together with trailing
cables, which produce a tripping hazard. The risk of electrocution, fire or burns to staff is
stressed & requires urgent action. Both to protect personnel & to comply with the electricity
regulations and PUWER 1998 It is recommended that visual checks of all electrical
equipment be carried out immediately and any equipment with frayed wires or any other
damage, be removed from workplace, marked do not use and be quarantined. In addition a
competent person (electricity at work regulations) should carry out PAT testing within 1
month. Annual testing should be carried out thereafter & a system of testing new equipment
before use in workplace should be introduced. This would involve medium cost as external
provision and training of competent person maybe required. This will result in significant risk
reduction. Cables need to be re-routed immediately as they pose a significant risk & a review
of electrical sockets should be carried out within 1 month. Any additional provision of
electrical sockets should be included in next years budget as it may involve high cost

MAJOR ISSUE 3

HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES
Examples of unlabeled & incorrectly stored substances were found as indicated on inspection
sheets. All substances should be labelled according to CHIP regulations & storage of
substances should be implemented within 1 month to comply with COSHH regulations. Any
unlabeled substances should be investigated by a competent person to establish what they are,
and then either labelled or disposed of safely. Action required within 1 week at low medium
cost depending on availability of competent personnel and disposal requirements.

MAJOR ISSUE 4
FIRE
A foam fire extinguisher was provided but its position was not clearly identified and it was
located some distance from machinery producing sparks and heat.
The only major hazard was a locked fire door that contravenes the fire precautions act 1971.
The fire door must remain unlocked when workshop is in use and instruction for there
operation should be displayed. The door must be unlocked immediately and fire extinguisher
re-located and clearly signed within 1 week. (The H&S, Safety Signs & Signals Regs 1996)
Little cost is involved in these actions but significant risk reduction can be achieved.

CONCLUSION
My inspection revealed good levels of lighting and provision of PPE. However all the
foregoing suggests that we are not even achieving the minimum standard of safety required
by legislation. This may leave the company open to action to by the HSE either by means of
an improvement or prohibition notice or even prosecution. In addition employees who are
injured may have a good case for compensation under civil law. We should move from a
position of reactive safety to proactive safety. I recommend initially a meeting with yourself
& the workshop supervisor to formulate a milestone plan to achieve full safety compliance.

The following are the main recommendations arising from this inspection

1. Review the level and quality of supervision

2. Review the general and specific training


requirements within the department

3. Create proper storage facilities

4. Identify and control hazardous substances

5. Reinforce the importance of good housekeeping

By improving H&S within the organisation you could increase staff moral creating a positive
H&S culture, ultimately leading to increased production and a happy work force.