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Factors Which Affect Health And Safety In The Workplace

June 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 326

As a business owner you have responsibility to ensure your workplace meets the minimum standards as laid out in The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The Regulations also overlap with specific regulations that deal with Workplace Equipment, Working at Height, Manual Handling, Fire Safety Order and many others. This article discusses the factors which affect health and safety in the workplace.

Temperature and Ventilation

Workspaces that are enclosed need to be sufficiently ventilated. Most shops & offices have air conditioning so ventilation is not usually a problem - although air conditioning introduces other issues. Everyone is different and, as such, some people are warm whilst others are cold. Specifying a standard temperature where everyone would be comfortable is impractical although it is expected that office environments should be at least 16 degrees centigrade and warehouses, or areas requiring physical activity, are 13 degrees or more. Although not often a problem in the UK, there are no maximum temperatures that need to be adhered to although most business owners will want their staff to be as comfortable as possible and productive so will take measures to reduce any high temperatures.

Lighting

Lighting levels must be suitable for the work activity taking place. Where general lighting can fail, backup /emergency lighting must be provided. Overall lighting levels, known as Lux Levels, vary from activity to activity and can range from 50 lux to 800+ for close detailed precision work. The HSE advise that local controllable lighting can lead to a reduction in stress levels and an increase in job satisfaction.

Workspace

All staff need their own personal space with sufficient area to work effectively and have freedom of movement. The HSE advise that sufficient space is 11 cubic metres when the floor, area behind and area above the worker is taken into consideration.

Workstation Design and Arrangements

If work is completed whilst sitting down, seating needs to be provided that is suitable and gives support to the lower back and legs. Reasonable adjustments should be made if the user is too short or too tall eg providing footrests or raising desks.

Floors and Staircases

Floors should be in good order with even, non-slippery surfaces. Staircases should be fitted with handrails and in many offices using handrails is now mandatory due to the number of slips, trips and falls that occur.

Cleanliness and Housekeeping

Workplaces should be kept clean and tidy with waste materials not allowed to build up and regularly removed. It should be possible to clean workplace environments including walls and ceilings and this takes place on a regular basis.

Doors and Gates

Doors and gates must be suitably constructed with appropriate safety devices and any glass meets the required BSI standards. Fire doors are to be kept closed when not in use and not propped open.

As a Business Owner you need to consider all the factors which affect health and safety in the workplace so can you confirm that all areas in your workplace are safe to use and in good working order?

Nigel J Welford is a qualified Health & Safety professional and believes in making the process of health and safety in the workplace as simple as possible whilst still being effective and meeting all the regulations. Get a copy of his free report "The Secret To How Health & Safety Can Improve Your Business And Profits: 7 Everyday Pitfalls To Avoid" from http://www.healthandsafetyintheworkplace.com

Source: EzineArticles
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