Workplace safety procedure 

Issue 4 – April 2018

This procedure replaces all previous corporate policies and procedures relating to workplace safety.

Purpose

This procedure sets the consistent way Hampshire County Council manages the workplaces used by its employees, service users, contractors, volunteers, members of the public or any other person using its sites. This procedure does not cover those parts of workplaces which are, or might temporarily be classed as, confined spaces, which are dealt with in a separate procedure.

The Council is committed to providing safe and healthy workplaces for all of its staff and others to use. It sets a Council-wide method for identifying, assessing and controlling workplace health, safety and welfare issues as defined by the Workplace (Health, safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 as amended (the Workplace Regulations).

Scope

This procedure is intended to ensure HCC’s compliance with the Workplace (Health, safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 as amended (the Workplace Regulations) and its Approved Code of Practice L24.

This procedure applies to all permanent workplaces as defined by the Workplace Regulations. Those parts dealing with toilets, drinking water and washing facilities will also apply to temporary or outdoor workplaces. Other parts of this procedure should only be applied to temporary and outdoor workplaces where it is reasonable to do so.

Terminology

The following terms should be used when interpreting and applying this procedure and the Workplace Regulations:

  • Workplace: any premises or part of premises which are made available to any person as a place of work (including by volunteers or other persons working under the control of the Council). This includes any part of the premises to which the person has access to whilst at work; any means of access to and from that place of work; or where facilities are provided for use in connection with that place of work (other than on a public highway)
  • Temporary or outdoor workplace: workplaces which by their nature are non-permanent or only occupied for short periods of time, such as at public events, or are part of outdoor activities, such as those associated with agricultural or forestry work, country parks, etc.
  • Disabled person: any person with a disability as defined by Section 6 and Schedule 1 of the Equality Act 2010
  • New & Expectant Mothers: employees (including volunteers or other persons working under the control of the Council) who are pregnant, or have given birth in the last 6 months, or who are breastfeeding. Any individual workplace related risks or needs should be addressed in a risk assessment carried out in accordance with the Council’s procedure for Pregnancy risk assessments
Associated records

The following records must be kept and maintained to comply with this procedure. Where available, HCC forms must be used for this purpose.

  • Risk assessment forms
  • Records of cleaning and maintenance for each workplace
  • Records for water temperature to be obtained and kept in accordance with the Council’s Procedure on Legionella in Water Systems and each site’s Legionella management plan

These records should be kept, reviewed and disposed of in line with the Council’s document retention policy.

Procedure

This procedure applies to all permanent and temporary workplaces used by Council employees, contractors, volunteers, service users, members of the public or any other persons having access to those premises. The responsibility to comply with this procedure is placed on any and all staff responsible for managing those premises, or access to and from them, including; facilities managers; line managers, Property Services staff; and the contractors used to carry out this work on behalf of the Council. Where separate standards exists for schools (The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999) and construction sites (CDM Regulations 2015), then these standards should be adopted to comply with this procedure.

Ensuring compliance with this procedure should also be considered by Council personnel and contractors carrying out maintenance and construction work in premises subject to the Corporate Health & Safety Procedure for Construction (e.g. ensuring that designs and subsequent installations will achieve compliance with this procedure).

You should identify all hazards in the workplace arising from the built environment and its surroundings; the services and facilities provided; the means of access to and from the workplace, and within it. These hazards should then be subject to a risk assessment using the Corporate Health & Safety Procedure for risk assessment and recorded on the relevant risk assessment form. In accordance with that Procedure, you should seek to eliminate any risks identified, or reduce them appropriately by providing physical or software controls. Where the risks cannot be reduced to an acceptable level, then you should consider safety signs, warnings and personal protective equipment (PPE). Whatever controls you provide, they and the workplace should be maintained (including cleaning as appropriate) in efficient working order and good repair. In addition, the risk assessments should be reviewed at least annually, or when there is any change to the premises, facilities, the work being carried out, etc. You should also carry out regular workplace inspections to ensure that the controls are in place and are being used appropriately.

Specific Workplace issues

Managers should ensure that the following issues are covered in your workplace risk assessments:

  • Ventilation – there must be adequate ventilation in all enclosed workplaces
  • Temperature – all workplaces should have a reasonable temperature
  • Lighting – all workplaces should have a reasonable level of lighting
  • Floors and traffic route – all floors and traffic routes within the workplace should be kept clean and clear of obstruction and organised to give persons clear and easy access to the facilities.
  • Working space and workstations – every workplace should include sufficient unoccupied space for each person working there and should also have workstations and seating appropriate to the work being carried out there
  • Work at height – other than in very specific circumstances (work near tanks or pits containing dangerous substances) work at height and the risks from objects falling from height are now covered by the Corporate Health & Safety Procedure for Working at Height
  • Windows and glazing –windows and transparent doors, gates and walls should be designed and installed to prevent persons falling through them. Where this cannot be avoided, they should be made of a safety material and appropriately marked
  • Doors and gates – must be suitably constructed in accordance building and fire safety legislation. They should also be fitted with any necessary safety devices, such as self-closers for fire doors; trip devices or safety bars for powered sliding doors and gates
    • There have been a number of serious accidents involving powered gates and industrial doors, so if your workplace has these fitted you should seek advice from the Health and Safety Department to ensure that they comply with current industry standards
  • Welfare facilities and drinking water – all workplaces should have adequate numbers of toilets and washing facilities, and access to drinking water
  • Changing facilities and storing clothing – every workplace should have some provision for the accommodation of workers’ outdoor clothing. This might range from the provision of simple coat hooks through to proper changing facilities and individual lockers. Where persons are changing out of clothing into a uniform or PPE, or where they are using showers, then the workplace must include some proper facilities for changing and for storing clothing securely
  • Rest facilities – every workplace must also include the provision of facilities to rest and eat meals, if this cannot be done at a person’s normal workstation. There is no legal requirement to provide a full canteen/restaurant, but as a minimum every workplace should have somewhere where persons can heat and consume food, make drinks, store their own meals in a fridge, etc. New and expectant mothers should also be provided with somewhere where they can rest. Where possible this should be close to toilets and washing facilities, and include somewhere where they can lay down
  • Disabled persons – where a disabled person might use the workplace, that workplace, the traffic routes, facilities, etc. within it including the workstation and seating must take account of that person's disability. Whilst this is a requirement of the Workplace Regulations, you should also make any reasonable adjustments required by the Equality Act 2010
  • Guides

    HSE’s general advice on providing a safe place of work

    Workplace (Health, safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (as amended) ACoP L24

    Lighting at Work HSG38

    Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) L22

    Full procedure

    The full procedure is available as a pintable document.

    Corporate health & safety procedure - Workplace safety - Issue 4 - 2018-06