The Experts in Health and Safety

Ensure the health and safety of your business is up to the current standards by coming to DW Safety Management Services for your training. Our health and safety services cover a wide range of areas, including asbestos awareness, risk assessments, and more.

Asbestos

It is a legal requirement that all who may come across asbestos in their day-to-day work have been provided with asbestos awareness training. If they will intentionally work on asbestos, they must have had appropriate training specific to the tasks they will undertake. If you have no intention of removing asbestos but work on buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000, asbestos could be present. You will need awareness training so you know how to avoid the risks.


Asbestos awareness training should be given to employees whose work could disturb the fabric of a building and expose them to asbestos, or who supervise or influence the work. In particular, it should be given to those workers in the refurbishment, maintenance, and allied trades where it is foreseeable that asbestos-containing materials may become exposed during their work.


Legislation: The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

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The Aims of Asbestos Training

The asbestos awareness course aims to provide candidates with theoretical training to enable them to demonstrate a good level of asbestos awareness in order to protect themselves and those around them from the effects of exposure to asbestos. You will learn:

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  • The Properties of Asbestos and Its Effects on Health, including Its Interaction with Smoking

  • Accurately Identifying Common Asbestos Products and State Where They May Be Found in Buildings or the Workplace

  • The Types of Products and Materials Likely to Contain Asbestos

  • The Operations Which Could Result in Asbestos Exposure and the Importance of Preventative Controls to Minimise Exposure

  • Safe Work Practices, Control Measures, and Protective Equipment

  • The Purpose, Choice, Limitations, Proper Use, and Maintenance of Respiratory Protective Equipment

  • Emergency Procedures

COSHH Risk Assessments

Regulation 6 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) requires an employer to formally assess all operations and/or processes which are liable to cause exposure to hazardous substances.


In order to maintain a safe working environment and, therefore, a healthy, safe workforce, you will need to perform risk assessments. By law, regardless of the size of your organisation, every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the Health and Safety of their employees to which they are exposed while they are at work. In order to comply with the regulations, each assessment is required to be completed by a competent person. Therefore, the decision as to who should carry out that assessment will depend on the knowledge and experience required for the particular assessment and the complexity of the operation and/or process. Performing a COSHH assessment demonstrates that the company has considered all the factors relevant to the work and judgements have been made with regard to the type of hazard, monitoring exposure levels, and health surveillance of employees who may be at risk.


COSHH risk assessments will help you to identify and focus on the risks that matter most in your workplace - the ones that have the potential to cause harm or serious injury.


The employer must manage health and safety matters associated with exposure to substances. Substances can harm health, such as by causing cancer or other diseases, by getting into the body through the mouth, nose, eyes, or skin. They can also cause harm simply through contact with skin, such as dermatitis or chemical burns. Some harmful effects are caused by a single, sudden exposure, while others are caused by long-term exposure or repeated exposures.


The main regulations are the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999, (often referred to as COSHH) and the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999 (often known as COMAH). These set the minimum legal standards for controlling exposure to substances so as to avoid potentially harmful effects. Other specific rules also apply to substances, for example, in relation to dangerous substances, asbestos, radioactive substances, lead, flammable liquids and liquefied petroleum gases, hazard information, packaging, and labelling.

General Risk Assessments

The Management of Health and Safety at Work (MHSW) Regulations 1999 require all employers and the self-employed to assess the risks from their work on anyone who may be affected by their activities. The regulations require employers to carry out a systematic examination of their work activities and record the significant findings of the assessment. If an employer has five or more employees, the findings must be recorded in writing.


At DW Safety Management Services, our risk assessment is a systematic method of looking at work activities, considering what could go wrong, and deciding on suitable control measures to prevent loss, damage, or injury in the workplace. The assessment will include the controls required to eliminate, reduce, or minimise the risks.


Risk assessments are a fundamental requirement for any businesses. If you don’t know or appreciate where the risks are, you are putting yourself, your employees, your customers, and your organisation in danger.


Employers must look at all work activities that could cause harm in order to decide whether they are doing enough to meet their legal obligations. This is a minimum requirement. If it is reasonably practicable to do so, employers should consider doing more than the legal minimum. The aim should always be to reduce the risks as much as is 'reasonably practicable'. 'Reasonably practicable' is a legal term that means employers must balance the cost of steps that they could take to reduce a risk against the degree of risk presented.


When reckoning costs, the time, trouble, and effort required should be included and not just the financial cost. Our risk assessments will consider everyone who could be affected by that activity being assessed: employees, contractors, temporary workers, volunteers, and the general public. Some groups are considered more vulnerable, such as young persons under 18 and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, which we can also assess. The legislation specifically asks employers to consider the risks posed to these groups and put in place additional controls if they are required.

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Other Assessments

Here at DW Safety Management Services, we carry out a non-exhaustive list of risk assessments, including:

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  • First Aid Risk Assessments

  • Ladders and Steps Risk Assessments

  • Working at Height Risk Assessments

  • Drivers Risk Assessments

  • Stress Risk Assessments

  • Vulnerable Person Risk Assessments

  • Method Statements and Safe Systems of Work

  • Workplace Risk Assessments and Audits

Display Screen Equipment Assessments

Regulation 2 requires employers to carry out a 'suitable and sufficient analysis' of all workstations provided for use by users or operators - in other words, a risk assessment. The principal risks to be looked at for DSE work are defined as:

  • Physical (Musculoskeletal) Problems 
  • Visual Fatigue
  • Mental Stress

The assessment must be reviewed when matters change. Identified risks must be reduced to the lowest extent reasonably practicable. Where users are required by the employer to work at home on DSE, whether or not the workstation is provided in whole or in part, an assessment must be carried out.


The Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (DSE Regulations) implement the requirements of the European Directive on minimum health and safety requirements for work with display screen equipment. They were updated and amended in 2002. HSE also issued updated guidance at that time.

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Definitions of DSE

Regulation 1 contains several important definitions: 'Display Screen Equipment' means any alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process involved. Thus, the regulations do not only apply to VDU screens, but cover other methods of displaying data, such as microfiche and CCTV screens. Certain other Display Screen Equipment is specifically excluded from the regulations:

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  • Display Screen Equipment Contained in Drivers’ Cabs or Control Cabs for Vehicles or Machinery

  • Display Screen Equipment on Board a Means of Transport

  • Display Screen Equipment Intended Mainly for Public Operation

  • Portable Systems Not in Prolonged Use

  • Calculators, Cash Registers, or Equipment That Contains a Small Data or Measurement Display Required for the Direct Use of Equipment

  • Window Typewriters (Displaying Only a Few Lines of Text)

However, although excluded from the DSE Regulations, employers still have duties to assess risks from such equipment and to ensure that it is safe to use and without risk to health. With portable systems, the phrase 'not in prolonged use' is important. 'User' or 'operator' - employee or self-employed person who 'habitually uses Display Screen Equipment as a significant part of his normal work.' Only users and operators, as defined, are affected by the majority of the regulations, so it is important to ensure that the terms are understood.


DW Safety Management Services has qualified and experienced consultants who, using the most up-to-date techniques and knowledge of DSE, will ensure that you meet the standards required. We will then recommend appropriate control measures and identify where improvements can be made to fulfil legal obligations.

Manual Handling Risk Assessments

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations define it as 'any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying, or moving thereof) by hand or by bodily force'. In effect, any activity that requires an individual to lift, move, or support a load will be classified as a manual handling task.

Assessing Manual Handling Tasks

Here at DW Safety Management Services, we use the TILE system to assess manual handling activities and our consultants look at four specific areas – task, individual, load, and environment (easily remembered by the acronym TILE). As with any assessment, the workforce should be involved in the process, and use will be made of all relevant guidance available for particular industries. We also carry out manual handling training.

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Key Factors

  1. The Task: Does the activity involve twisting, stooping, bending, excessive travel, pushing, pulling, or precise positioning of the load, or sudden movement, inadequate rest, or recovery periods, team handling or seated work?
  2. The Individual: Does the individual require unusual strength or height for the activity? Are they pregnant, disabled, or suffering from a health problem? Is specialist knowledge or training required?
  3. The Load: Is the load heavy, unwieldy, difficult to grasp, sharp, hot, cold, or difficult to grip? Are the contents likely to move or shift?
  4. The Environment: Are there space constraints, uneven, slippery, or unstable floors, variations in floor levels, extremely hot, cold, or humid conditions, poor lighting, poor ventilation, gusty winds, clothing, or personal protective equipment that restricts movement?

More than a third of all reportable injuries of over three days involve manual handling, and around 10% of major injuries are linked to manual handling. It has a major impact on all workplaces, and costs the economy hundreds of millions of pounds every year. In the UK, 1.1m people reported that they suffered from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused, or made worse, by their work. It is estimated 12.3m working days are lost annually due to work-related MSDs. Anyone involved in the moving and handling of goods and people could be at risk. Injuries and suffering can be linked to any work involving handling of loads. There are risks in handling even light loads if a repetitive task is being carried out in poor conditions. Poor ergonomics and workplace layout are a factor in many hazardous Manual Handling tasks. Risks can be found in all work sectors, but healthcare, agriculture, and construction are recognised as high-risk industries due to the number and nature of the manual handling activities.

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Controlling Measures

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations state that employers should adopt a hierarchy of control measures:

  • To Avoid Hazardous Manual Handling Operations so Far as Is Reasonable Practical
  • To Assess Any Hazardous Manual Handling Operation That Cannot Be Avoided
  • To Reduce the Risk of Injury so Far as Is Reasonably Practicable

Contact us to find out more about our health and safety services.

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