Health & Safety Policy

Health & Safety Policy

General Statement of Policy

Swindon Gutter Clearing will adhere to the following Health and Safety Policy as far as is reasonably practicable, in accordance with the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. This applies equally to everybody whether they be employees, contractors or visitors.

1. To provide and maintain a safe place of work without risk to health.

2. To provide systems and procedures for work that are safe and without risk to health.

3. To provide and maintain plant and equipment for work that are safe and without risk to health.

4. To make arrangements to ensure safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the use, transport, storage and handling of articles and substances that are inherently or potentially dangerous.

5. To maintain any workplace under Swindon Gutter Clearing control in a safe and risk free condition and ensure that all entrances and exits from the workplace are safe and risk free.

6. To communicate to staff the Swindon Gutter Clearing commitment to safety and to provide comprehensive information, instruction, training and supervision, with the object of ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of everyone.

7. To provide and maintain a working environment for employees, visitors and contractors which is safe and without risk to health and which is adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.

8. Swindon Gutter Clearing will endeavor to provide a working environment free of undue stress or excessive working hours.

The policy will be reviewed annually to reflect changes to responsibilities and operating procedures. Risk Assessments and Operational Guidelines for specific areas and/or operations supplement this general policy and should be read in conjunction with the policy document. A set of these is held by the Personnel Manager.

Method Statement

The purpose of a method statement is to ensure, where safety critical, work is carried out in a particular sequence. The general principle of ensuring a safe system of work applies to all work activities and as such a method statement is an ideal way to prove that the risks associated with a particular activity has been carefully considered and appropriate controls implemented. However for lower risk activities it may be sufficient to rely on a combination of operator competence and comprehensive risk assessment in achieving a safe system of work.

The actual format is dependent on the work being undertaken and the organisational arrangements in place but generally the following headings should be present:

1. Organisation/company in control of the operation
2. Named individual responsible for the activity and its safety
3. Name of method statement originator and authorisation date
4. Arrangements for changing/deviating from method statement
5. General description of activity
6. Location of activity including access and restrictions
7. General working environment considerations, e.g. temperature and wind speed
8. Protection of others, e.g. members of the public
9. Emergency procedures, including location of emergency equipment
10. Identity of operatives (and any specific training or certification required)
11. Requirements for Personal Protective Equipment
12. Plant and equipment used, including safety precautions and restrictions
13. Materials information e.g. hazard information and storage/transport requirements
14. Work sequence, including associated risks and required control measures for each stage.
15. Safety checks/clearances at specific stages
16. Final clearance that activity is completed to specification
17. Any other additional information that may be relevant

The list above is not exhaustive and a method statement may or may not include each and every item. However as a minimum it must achieve the following objectives:-

It should be up to date, identifiable and its source accountable
It should contain the sequence of works
It should identify the associated risks and control measures
It should state actions/authorisation required to deviate from method statement

Swindon Gutter Clearing carry out Site Specific Safety Method Statements for all activities undertaken.

Risk Assesment

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, require that employers, and the self-employed, must undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

A risk assessment is simply an examination of the work we are going to carry out and the working environment. The purpose of a risk assessment is to identify anything with the potential to cause accidents and ill health to either our employees or to members of the public/visitors.

If this assessment identifies a significant a risk to health and safety, we must implement measures to either eliminate or control the risk to a reasonable level. The law does have an appreciation for the fact that it is not possible to eliminate all risk, however, it does require all risks to be controlled. Swindon Gutter Clearing has a legal duty to record the significant findings of the assessment.

We review the risk assessment on a regular basis as and when there are any changes in the environment, personnel, equipment used etc and this carried out at least annually irrespective of change in the aforementioned.

Although Swindon Gutter Clearing has the responsibility to ensure that the risk assessment is carried out, we must also ensure that whoever undertakes the risk assessment is competent to do so. This may be via formal training or simply by virtue of time served in that particular discipline.

When considering the risks associated with our activities we need to first look at the hazards.

A HAZARD is defined as “anything, which has the potential to cause harm”

Examples of typical hazards are as follows: –
Working at height with no edge protection

Working in the presence of asbestos containing materials
Working with chemicals.

In order to differentiate between the severities of the identified risks, we give them a risk rating, i.e. Low, medium or high.

Our Risk assessments are not overcomplicated, it is essential that we only judge whether the hazards are significant and whether or not the precautions in place are satisfactory.


Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002

Under The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), employers have a legal obligation to control the exposure of employees and others, to substances hazardous to health. Hazardous substances can take many forms including;
substances used at work for example cleaning substances paints, solvents, adhesives etc

substances generated during work activities; fumes or dust produces through your work
naturally occurring substances; flour, grain dust, anthrax etc
biological agents such as bacteria

Any substance classified as hazardous to health under the Chemicals (Hazard Information and packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002 will require a COSHH assessment. To make it easier any substance displaying one of the following symbols will require an assessment.

These symbols are only relevant to specific substances for example cleaning fluids, further advice is required for substances generated during a work process, naturally occurring substances and biological agents.

Any person supplying a hazardous substance for use at work has a legal obligation to supply upon request a Safety Data Sheet. This document will provide all the necessary information for you to carry out a suitable assessment of the risk associated with the product.

Swindon Gutter Clearing provide full COSHH Assessments for all substances hazardous to health