Health and Safety FAQ

Health and Safety Questions

Here you will find answer to some frequently asked health and safety and occupational health questions.

Q?

What is a Retained Health and Safety Adviser?

A.

A retained health and safety adviser is a person or company that provides ongoing health and safety support to your business over a period of time. Retained health and safety advice can also be called Competent health and safety advice. The support could simply be health and safety advice in person or over the telephone, but may also include other elements of health and safety work including risk assessments, health and safety policies and procedures, health and safety training, coaching, mentoring, safety inspections to name a few. A good Retained health and safety adviser will get to know your business and the risks and hazards your employees are exposed too – then provide advice matched to your specific risks and hazards.

Find out more about the Safewell Retained Health & Safety Adviser service.

Q?

What are Health Safety and Supervisory Courses?

A.

Anyone with supervisory or management responsibilities has responsibilities implied by health and safety legislation. A health and safety supervisory course will teach them what these responsibilities are and how to fulfil them on a day to day basis. Safewell offer health and safety supervisor courses which can be run at your place of work.

Q?

What is a Forklift Truck Health Assessment?

A.

Like all drivers at work fork lift truck drivers must be medically fit to drive a forklift truck. At Safewell we adopt the DVLA standards given by their Drivers' Medical Unit, which is recommended by the HSE. At Safewell we can provide forklift truck medicals (also known as forklift truck health assessments) and advise on the frequency. Typically a forklift truck medical includes a forklift truck health questionnaire, Height, Weight, Blood Pressure, Lung function, urinalysis and Vision checks. At Safewell we can offer forklift truck health assessments at your site or at our offices in Royal Wootton Bassett.

Q?

What are Night Worker Health Assessments?

A.

Shift workers, particularly those who work at night, may be at risk of ill health because shift work can disrupt our body clock (by interfering with the production of hormones by the body), disturb sleep and cause fatigue. In recognition of the particular risks to night workers, the Working Time Regulations include a right for these workers to receive free health assessments from their employer. Safewell offer Night Worker Health Assessment as part of our Occupational Health Service.

Q?

RIDDOR Definition

A.

RIDDOR is the acronym for Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. The RIDDOR definition or an incident that is classed as ‘RIDDOR reportable’ is ‘A work related death, a work related major injury, a work related over-7-day injuries, a work related disease or work related dangerous occurrence’. See How to Report an Accident at Work. A full list of RIDDOR Reportable Accidents, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences see http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/what-must-i-report.htm.

Q?

RIDDOR Reportable Accidents

A.

RIDDOR Reportable accidents include work related deaths, work related major injuries and work related over 7 day injuries. For non-accident categories see RIDDOR Definition and see also How to Report an Accident at Work.

Q?

How to Report an Accident at Work

A.

All injuries and incidents falling under the RIDDOR definition must be reported to the HSE’s Incident Contact Centre (ICC) either by telephone or online. The ICC will send the Incident Report details to the appropriate enforcing authority i.e. Local Authority or the HSE (Health and Safety Executive).

Work Related Deaths (F2508 form) – report immediately via telephone or online
Work Related Major Injuries (F2508 form) – report immediately via telephone or online
Work Related Over-7-day Injuries (F2508 form) – report within 15 days online
Where an employee has an accident and the person is away from work or unable to work normally for more than 7 days.
Work Related Diseases (if notified by a Doctor) (F2508A form) – report online once notified
Work Related Dangerous Occurrences (F2508 form) – report within 10 days online
where something happens that does not result in a reportable injury but is serious enough that if people had been in the area at the time there would have which could have done

Reports Online can be made here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report.htm
Report by Telephone can be made on: 0845 300 9923

All reportable accidents should be investigated. If you require help knowing how to report an accident at work, when to report an accident at work or need help investigating accidents Safewell’s Retained Health and Safety Advisor service may be just what you need to give you peace of mind.

Q?

What is an Occupational Health Assessment?

A.

An occupational health assessment is when an employer refers an employee to an occupational health advisor. The occupational health assessment can be face to face between the employee and advisor or over the telephone. The occupational health assessment is confidential and the outcome for the employer will be a medical opinion on the employee’s fitness to work. Usually this results in guidance for the employee and employer on a rehabilitation program to bring the employee back to work. An Occupational health assessment can also be called a management referral. They are often a vital part of sickness absence management, following a workplace accident, after an employee presents a fit note to their employer or in situations where an employee’s health is affecting their work, such as stress, long term illnesses or difficult medical conditions. At Safewell we can offer occupational health assessments  where we visit you or we can offer them at our offices in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire.

Q?

What is Health and Safety in ICT

A.

Health and Safety in ICT (Information and Communications Technology) is mostly about understanding how to work safely with computers and environments with lots of technology equipment. This can be relevant to industry and also schools. Common hazards are poor postures, incorrect chairs, glare or poor lighting, trip hazards and installation hazards. Further hazards can include cyber bullying and identity theft, which can lead to stress and ill health in some cases. As with most other health and safety, risk assessment is always the starting point.

Q?

What are Offsite Occupational Health Services?

A.

Safewell offers offsite occupational health services delivered at our head office in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, which is in addition to occupational health services we provide on customer sites. This means we can carry out health screening medicals, audiometry, face fit testing management referrals, occupational health assessments, and sickness absence management referrals and fitness to work assessments (was pre-employment medicals) from our offices in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire – hence offsite occupational health services! This is ideal if you don’t have a quiet space at your own work place for a Safewell occupational health advisor to visit, for a sensitive employment issue requiring an occupational health assessment or for a one off employee health screen.

Q?

What is Health and Safety?

A.

Health and Safety is knowing what hazards can affect a person’s health (i.e. breathing chemicals) or their safety (i.e. getting a hand caught in an unguarded machine) and then what needs to be done to prevent this happening. This is relevant to everyone and could be at home or at work. In the UK health and safety legislation is only relevant to people whilst they are working. See What is Health and Safety at Work.

Q?

What is Health and Safety at Work

A.

Health and safety at work is a general term taken from UK health and safety legislation. Employers are legally responsible for safeguarding their employees whilst they are at work; this mean protecting them from hazards in the workplace by risk assessing their work activities. By conducting a risk assessment this gives employers the opportunity to balance protective measures against the level of risk. In the world of regulations this is called doing things ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’. Health and safety at work could cover a multitude of topics such as occupational health, occupational health assessments, hazards in the workplace, health and safety training, competent health and safety advice… the list goes. As with all health and safety at work, it starts with a risk assessment.

Q?

What is a risk Assessment?

A.

A risk assessment is a logical approach to deciding the likelihood of what hazards in the work place could lead to injury or ill health through normal and foreseeable work practices. This could be to employees or non-employees, both at their workplace or when they are out and about. Risk assessment is also a legal requirement; if you employ more than 5 people risk assessments should be documented.

Q?

What are Hazards in a workplace?

A.

Hazards are things that have the potential to cause injury or harm to people, or damage to the work place. Some typical work place hazards are trailing cables, unguarded machinery, hazardous chemicals and poor postures when lifting and carrying. Understanding what your hazards in the workplace are and how to protect people from them is fundamental to sensible health and safety. The way to do this is through risk assessment.