Health and safety in maintenance

Health and safety in maintenance

Understanding Health and Safety Regulations

  • Familiarise with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the UK.
  • Understand the risk assessment process. This identifies hazards in the workplace and enables steps to be taken to remove or reduce risk.
  • Comply with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998. These ensure work equipment is suitable for its intended purpose.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for each job. This may include safety goggles, hard hats, safety boots, and high-visibility clothing.
  • Understand the purpose of different types of PPE. For example, safety goggles protect the eyes while hard hats protect against dropped objects.
  • Keep all PPE in good condition, and inspect it before each use.

Safe Practices in Maintenance

  • Always follow lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures when servicing machinery. This prevents accidental start-up of equipment during maintenance.
  • Use tools and equipment correctly and safely. Misuse of tools can cause accidents.
  • Ensure good housekeeping practices. Keep work areas tidy and free from obstructions to reduce slips, trips, and falls.

Dealing with Hazards

  • Know how to deal with hazardous substances, following guidelines in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002.
  • Be aware of fire safety regulations, know how to raise an alarm, and know the procedures in case of a fire.
  • Understand how to manage risk when dealing with electrical hazards, implementing safe isolation procedures and utilising residual current devices (RCDs) where necessary.

Post-incident Procedures

  • Understand first aid procedures and know where first aid kits are located.
  • Know how to report incidents using the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013.
  • Learn from incidents to prevent recurrence. Implement control measures to ensure similar incidents don’t happen again.