Health and safety practices in engineering
Health and Safety Legislation
- Understand that health and safety are governed by laws like the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974 which protects employees in the workplace.
- Familiarise yourself with control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) regulations; these manage exposure to harmful substances.
- Seek to comprehend the key provisions of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992 which covers clothing and equipment designed to protect against health and safety risks.
- Recognise the importance of conducting regular risk assessments to identify potential hazards.
- Understand the 5-step process of risk assessment: identifying hazards, considering who could be harmed, evaluating risks and deciding precautions, implementing changes, and recording and reviewing results.
- Awaken to the difference between hazards and risks; a hazard is something which has the potential to cause harm, whereas risk denotes the likelihood of that harm happening.
Safe Use of Machinery
- Be aware of the potential dangers when operating machinery; safety guards and emergency stop buttons can provide essential protection.
- Remember that regular maintenance and inspections are crucial to prevent inevitable wear and tear from becoming more severe hazards.
- Recognise the role of training in maintaining safety; improper use of machinery can lead to serious accidents.
Handling Materials and Substances
- Understand the importance of following safe handling procedures when dealing with materials, especially those that are hazardous or heavy.
- Be aware of manual handling techniques to avoid personal injury; this includes correct lifting and carrying procedures.
- Learn the requirement for documentation, like Safety Data Sheets (SDS), when using hazardous substances; this provides key information such as hazard classification, first-aid measures and personal precautions.
Personal Health and Well-being
- Recognise the impact of physical and mental well-being on safety in the workplace; stress or fatigue can lead to accidents.
- Understand the importance of regular breaks to reduce fatigue, particularly during long or repetitive tasks.
- Note the role of ergonomics in reducing work-related musculoskeletal disorders; workspace should be arranged to suit the worker.
- Understand fire classifications and the appropriate extinguishing methods for each class of fire.
- Recognise the importance of clear fire escape routes and regularly rehearsed evacuation procedures.
- Be aware of flammable and combustible materials in the workplace; ensure they are stored properly.
Protective Clothing and Equipment
- Understand how Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) helps reduce exposure to hazards.
- Recall the obligation to wear the appropriate PPE for each task, examples include safety glasses, hard hats, gloves, and high visibility clothing.
- Familiarise with the necessary maintenance and storage of PPE to ensure they remain effective and safe to use.