H&S POLICY

 

1.General statement of employers’ and employees’ duties

 

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places a statutory duty on all employers, including their managers, to provide and maintain equipment and systems of work that are safe and without risk to the health of employees, or others who may be affected by their undertaking.

Equally, employees need to take reasonable care of their own safety and that of others who may be affected by their acts or oversights. In addition, both employers and employees have a duty of care in tort (particularly negligence) towards those who may be affected by their actions or instructions.

Overall, final responsibility for Health and Safety in the company falls upon the Managing Director.  Operational issues may be delegated to other Directors, Partners or the Office Manager.

 

2. Safety of employees

 

Day Associates shall comply with the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.   In addition to this, Day Associates shall comply with the necessary employer requirements under the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

 

Under these regulations, Day Associates shall:

 

  • Provide information on health and safety (contained within this H&S Policy document)

  • Have emergency procedures

  • Carry out risk assessments (where necessary and appropriate)

  • Eliminate and control risks (as far as is practicably possible)

  • Have appropriate employers’ liability insurance

  • Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Provide for those with special needs

  • Control working hours

  • Provide regular health and safety instruction and training (where necessary & applicable)

 

As per the requirements for employers with five or more employees (such as Day Associates); the directors have provided within this policy document:

 

  • The organisation’s commitment to health and safety

  • Commitment to review H&S on a periodic basis and in conjunction with any changes to HSE legislation.

  • Detailed the organisation’s health and safety structure, with roles and responsibilities for managing health and safety

  • Ensured arrangements are in place that show the organisation’s approach to health and safety, and how the management system is planned and implemented (including hazard identification, risk assessments and control measures)

  • Measure, audit and review the organisation’s health and safety performance on a periodic basis

 

Day Associates recognised the special responsibility for its employees, particularly those in training or who are inexperienced.  For younger and new employees, Day Associates shall:

 

  • Make sure employees take the right equipment with them on visits.

  • Check they know how to use it

  • Make sure records are kept of employees’ movements and in conjunction with Lone Working policies (if not covered by joint-visits)

  • Keep available, records of hazards on particular sites, ensuring employees are fully informed prior to site attendance and/or arrange for initial inductions upon arrival.

  • Make sure all relevant people are notified

  • Ensure suitable PPE is available and in good condition.

  • Ensure the office environment and workspace are safe

 

Regarding young employees/trainees; a special duty of care is owed to young persons who have either recently commenced employment or are engaged on work experience schemes. Young workers have a higher accident rate than older workers for a number of reasons including their lack of training, experience and awareness.  Day Associates shall ensure that they are properly supervised especially when visiting a construction site.

 

In all cases, the Directors and Senior Surveyors shall ensure best practice by leading by example.

3. Workplace safety

 

The Workplace Health Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 outline what assessments should be made and the facilities to be provided (depending on the size and nature of the organisation).

 

Day Associates provide the following welfare provisions:

 

  • Personal workspace (no hot-desk arrangement)

  • Access to kitchen facilities (hot water, kettle, fridge and microwave)

  • Smoking area designated externally to the main building (maintained by the office landlord)

  • Washroom facilities (maintained by the office landlord)

  • First aid equipment (appropriate to office environment)

 

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places responsibility of the building owner and managers.  Day Associates occupies a shared office space and as such, appropriate fire risk assessments, action plans, services and equipment are maintained by 3rd parties.  Day Associates however shall ensure that all employees are aware of their responsibilities, action to be taken in the event of a fire, raising alarms and evacuation of the building.  Day Associates shall also ensure that at least one employee is nominated as a company ‘fire marshal’ with specific responsibilities under the Fire Safety Order regulations.

 

First aid – Day Associates shall ensure that an appropriate first aid kit is located within its office and hold an accident book which allows personal details to be extracted from and placed in a secure location to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) – Day Associates ensure that all office electrical equipment is tested by a qualified contractor no less than every two years.

 

Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) – the DDA and the Disability Rights Commission Act 1999 requires anyone providing a service from their building and receiving visitors, to suitably provide for people with disabilities.  The shared office space provides for reserved parking spaces immediately in front of the building as well as level access into the reception area.

 

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 apply to all work at height and need to assess whether any work activities that might place employees at risk of ‘falling a distance likely to cause personal injury’.  Employees shall be provided with safe and appropriate ladders or access equipment in which to carry out their duties.

 

Where site access is provided by a principal contractor, prior confirmation of safety compliance shall be received via a Construction Phase Plan, Risk Assessments and Method Statements submitted by the 3rd party.  Each shall ensure that access equipment has been erected, testing and certificated by competent individuals.

 

4. Identifying hazards and undertaking risk assessments

 

An underlying principle of effective management of health and safety is that of risk assessment.

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outline a risk assessment as ‘nothing more than a careful examination of what could cause harm to people so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm.’

 

Day Associates recognise that a hazard is something with the potential to cause harm to someone.  A risk is the likelihood (whether high or low) of the harm being caused.  Importantly, risk increases as both the severity or likelihood of the harm increases.

 

As such, Day Associates shall provide necessary risk assessments based on common sense and with regards to HSE guidance notes and examples.  These shall be generic due to the repetitive and limited risk associated with services offered and works undertaken.  Where specific assessments become necessary, blank templates can be provided to employees in which to complete on site.

 

Having identified a hazard and assessed the risk involved, consideration shall be given to how the risk might be reduced to a level as low as reasonably practicable by:

 

  • Removal of the hazard by re-planning the work process or activity

  • Accepting the hazard will remain but re-planning of the work process or activity to reduce the likelihood of harm happening or to reduce the severity of the consequences if it does

 

Either option will involve a consideration of the method of working and if necessary documenting a ‘Safe system of work’ or ‘Method statement’ for the activity.

 

In all cases, Day Associates shall support its employees to remove themselves from potential risk and do not require anyone to put themselves in harms way for any duties instructed.  As such, any present or potential risk and concern can be highlighted to the Directors and will be dealt with appropriately.

 

5. Before visiting premises/sites

At the point of receiving a work instruction from a client and/or prior to site attendance, employees should receive or obtain instructions regarding the site location, premises access, site contacts (where necessary), specific arrangements and prior identification of any likely or potential hazards.

If the premises or site is a ‘construction site’, the Construction Design and Management regulations (CDM) will apply.  In this case employees must liaise with the principal contractor/ site manager who is responsible for the site to ensure compliance with health and safety rules.

Surveying and technical based employees who travel out of the office for works shall be supported by Day Associates but ultimately responsible for the consideration and prior planning of each site visit.

Travelling to and from site.  Employees must plan the journey to avoid driving too fast, for too long or when tired.  They must be aware of where to park (clear, secure, easy to exit, well lit).

Lone working.  Consideration shall be given to whether lone working is a safe option and if so what provisions are made for communications in an emergency.  This shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  Day Associates maintain a record of employees’ mobile numbers.  All directors and office-based employees will have access to work mobile numbers in which to ensure availability of contact to at least one team member at any time.

All site visits are booked into a shared online diary.  Details of who is to attend, times, site contacts, addresses expected timeframes are visible.  These records can be accessed remotely to ensure full access from directors in which to support any rare, out of hours site visits.

Where a site visit is conducted at the end of a working day or out of hours, whereby an employee does not return to the office as per usual, employees are required to contact a nominated party to ‘check-in’ and confirm safe completion of works.  In the event that an employee does not contact the nominated party, they shall be contacted and ‘chased’ for response.

Emergency contact details for each member of staff are held securely by the Office Manager/Directors in which to liaise with nominated parties in the event of an emergency.  Office Manager and Director contact details are provided to employees in which to contact directly, in the event of standard procedure failure.

Day Associates shall consider specific requirements for any lone worker suffering from any medical condition which could affect personal safety, i.e. epilepsy, diabetes, etc. and as such, will assign works appropriately or organise site visits in which to meet with a representative.

Occupied premises.  In then event that a property is occupied, prior notification shall be given to all parties.  Employees are to consider, upon arrival, whether a site is safe and secure and determine whether they are happy to proceed.  It is at the employees’ own discretion whether they request that any occupant pets are removed from areas or secured elsewhere for the duration of works.  Employees are to also judge the site situation based upon those present; children, squatters, animals.  This also includes potentially aggressive persons directly or indirectly associated with the site. Day Associates shall support any employees that wish to remove themselves from what is deemed an unsafe environment.

Site activity type.  Employees must review the nature of occupation, i.e. residential, manufacturing, warehousing, etc. and what might be encountered, e.g. noise, fumes, vehicle movements, electronic equipment, manufacturing, chemical application etc.  As such, appropriate precautionary measures should be taken, and relevant PPE worn as per specific site safety rules.  In commercial settings, employees must be guided by site management or supervisory personnel.

High structures, roof inspections and access equipment.  If a scaffold exists, employees must satisfy themselves that it is safe to use.   Records or scaffold tags shall identify when it was last inspected by a competent person.  In these situations, the access and/or fall arrest equipment shall be provided by a competent contractor whom has provided relevant safety certification to the principal contractor.  Employees may request evidence of these directly from contractors should reassurance be required.  Day Associates shall support employees who refuse to use ‘unsafe’ or inappropriate access equipment provided by others.

Mobile elevated work platforms (Scissor lifts and cherry pickers) or other special access equipment shall be provided by others and operated or provided with an operator whom is suitably qualified and holds current IPAF (or suitable equivalent) certification.  This must be relevant to the size and type of equipment being used.  Employees must be aware of all safety awareness related with using the equipment and shall be guided by qualified operatives.  Day Associates shall provide necessary training where required for ongoing/specific tasks.

Dangerous substances.  Where employees attend sites whereby they are likely to encounter hazardous substances such as chemicals, asbestos, gas or other noxious atmospheric hazards, prior notification and consultation with relevant parties shall be made before site attendance.  Specific sites must hold a Register of Asbestos Containing Materials or environmental reports in which to provide awareness to visitors and operatives.  In all cases where such risks are present and known, employees shall be supported to obtain relevant information in which to determine safety and necessary control measures to be in place before access can be granted.  Where these measures are in place and controlled by site owners/occupants, employees must strictly follow site rules and wear relevant PPE.

Diseases.  Where the nature of a site or element of it is such that it could be contaminated with any form of clinical waste, foul waste (effluent), legionella bacteria etc. employees shall be required to make necessary risk assessments as to the safety of inspection, necessary control measures or whether environments require cleaning/sterilisation before attendance.

Special risks.  Where the nature of the building or site is such that it presents special hazards, e.g. railway premises, security establishments, confined spaces, plant rooms, etc.  employees may require specific training or induction briefing prior to works.  This, along with any special equipment that may be necessary shall be provided by Day Associates or a 3rd party.  These circumstances shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Day Associates shall provide the following standard equipment:

  • Safety helmet

  • Ear defenders

  • Eye protection

  • Safety Gloves

 

Environmental factors.Employees shall be required to operate with a common-sense approach, ensuring that suitable clothing and protection is worn with sun lotion etc. when required to prevent sunburn.Employees must ensure they have suitable provisions such as food and water with them when making lengthy site visits or travelling a significant distance to and from a site whereby appropriate breaks should be taken.Extreme temperatures may affect the safety of inspections and as such these must be considered by employees on a case-by-case basis.

 

6. Arrive and during visits to premises/ sites

 

However well a survey or inspection is planned in advance, employees need to be alert to matters that are unknown until arrival at the premises or site. This may arise simply through a general lack of information about the site, or because the condition of the property, its occupation or other factors have changed unexpectedly.

 

Employees must be vigilant regarding all relevant factors, including (but not limited to):

 

  • Structures

    • The chance of partial or total collapse of chimney stacks, gable walls or parapets

    • Leaning, bulged and unrestrained walls (including boundary walls)

    • Rotten or corroded beams and columns

    • Roofs and floors

 

  • Timbers and glass

    • Rotten and broken floors and staircases

    • Flimsy cellar flaps and broken pavement lights

    • Floorboards, joists and buried timbers weakened by age, decay or attack

    • Projecting nails and screws, broken glass

    • Glazing in windows and partitions may be loose, hinges and sash cords weak or broken

    • Glass panels in doors and door lights may be painted over

 

  • Roofs

    • Fragile asbestos cement and plastic coverings

    • Fragile rooflights (often obscured by dirt or temporary coverings)

    • Low parapets or unguarded roof edges, loose copings

    • Rusted, rotten or moss-covered fire escapes, access ladders and guard rails

    • Rotten roof decking and joists

    • Slippery roof coverings (slates, moss or algae covered slopes)

    • Broken access hatches

    • Mineral wool dust, mortar droppings and birds’ nesting material and excrement in roof voids. Cornered birds and vermin

    • Insects, including bee and wasps

    • Water cooling plant may harbour legionella

    • Unguarded flat roofs

    • Broken, loose, rotten and slippery crawling boards and escape ladders

    • Weak flat roofs and dust covered rooflights

    • Slippery roof surfaces

    • High winds during roof inspection

    • Ill-secured or flimsy, collapsible, sectional or fixed loft ladders

    • Concealed ceiling joists and low purlins

    • Ill-lit roof voids

 

  • Unsafe atmospheres

    • Confined spaces with insufficient oxygen including manholes, roof voids, cellars, vaults, ducts and sealed rooms

    • Rotting vegetation which may consume oxygen and give off poisonous fumes

    • Accumulation of poisonous and flammable gases in buildings on contaminated land

    • Stores containing flammable materials such as paint, adhesives, fuel and cleaning fluids

    • Hazardous substances, including toxic insecticides and fungicides

    • Gas build-up in subfloor voids

 

  • Danger from live and unsecured services

    • Electricity, gas, water and steam supplies

    • Awkward entrances into sub-stations and fuel stores

    • Temporary lighting installations: mains connections and generators

    • Buried cables and pipes

    • Overhead electrical cables

 

  • Hidden traps, ducts and openings

    • Lift and services shafts, stairwells and other unguarded openings

    • Manholes, including those obscured by flimsy coverings. Cesspools, wells and septic tanks.

 

  • Intruders and others

    • Physical dangers from squatters or guard dogs

    • Disease risks from discarded syringes and drug paraphernalia

    • Structures weakened by vandalism or arson

    • Aggressive tenants or property owners

 

  • Contamination

    • Asbestos, lead and other substances hazardous to health

    • Chemicals in storage or leaked

    • Contaminated water supplies

    • Contaminated air conditioning systems (legionella)

 

  • Rural Environments

    • Hazardous operations such as tree felling or tractor work

    • Shafts, holes, pits, ditches, etc.

    • Farm animals

    • Chemicals in storage or in use

 

  • Vermin and birds

    • Rats and mice (Weil’s and other diseases)

    • Bird droppings

    • Lice and fleas may be present in bedding, soft furniture and carpets

 

Securing the site and leaving.  Upon completion of the visit, the property/site should be left secure.  Employees must inform any occupier or staff in site offices that they are leaving and sign out within any registers provided.

 

 

7. Safety of others

All employees must, under the health and safety legislation, take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions. As well as cooperating with their employer as necessary to help their employer to comply with their statutory duties.

Employees must:

  • Make sure they are familiar with Day Associates health and safety policy and arrangements for implementing safe working procedures

  • Comply with the office safety policy and ensure that any equipment used is in good and safe condition

  • Comply with Day Associates safe systems of work, or ensure one is put in place prior to carrying out work, particularly where a risk assessment shows that a hazard exists

  • Refuse to condone unsafe working practices by themselves or others and distribute information on hazards

  • Make sure advice to clients will minimise the risk to the health and safety of others

  • Make sure they are aware of any hazards which may exist, together with any safe working instructions, which have been issued by clients prior to carrying work at their premises

  • If working alone, make sure they follow Day Associates lone working procedures.

Where employees are responsible for others, they must:

  • Make sure others take the right equipment with them on visits

  • Check that they know how to use it and that it is safe to use

  • Make sure a suitable and sufficient risk assessment has been carried out of the tasks to be performed, and a safe working method is in place that has been communicated to and understood before any field work taking place

  • Make sure everyone has suitable and sufficient information, training and instruction on health and safety matters for the task in hand

  • Check available records of hazards on particular sites and make sure that all relevant people are notified

  • Make sure, wherever necessary that precautions are put in place to safeguard anyone who may be in the vicinity of works and unaware of the possible hazards

  • Make sure the right equipment is used. Helmets, safety shoes, ear defenders, face masks, overalls, torches and batteries. Do not use any equipment that is defective – report it to Day Associates Directors or Office Manager.

 

 

8. Legal Duties

 

Criminal liability

 

The wide-ranging requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 are implemented principally through the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These must be followed to make sure there are satisfactory and safe systems in place for the carrying out of surveying activities, many of which by their very nature (particularly when working alone) must be regarded as hazardous activities.

 

The regulations require Day Associates to have a health and safety policy and to have effective management systems in place for the planning, organisation, control and review of safe working practices (identified through the risk assessment).

 

HSE publication HS(G) 65 – Successful Health and Safety Management.

Not taking the necessary actions to protect people from avoidable dangers in the workplace is in itself a criminal offence and charges may be brought against both the organisation, the directors/partners and individuals for non-compliance with any health and safety regulations.

 

Day Associates shall develop generic sets of safe working practices for each activity carried out, however, employees also have a further responsibility for making sure any generic safe working practices are either sufficient or expanded as necessary for any particular activity taking place within their area of responsibility.

 

Employees must identify to Day Associates Directors or the Office Manager, any training in hazard identification and reduction/ control techniques they feel is required (in addition to basic awareness and access to HSE guidance documents) to ensure that any non-foreseeable hazards arising during the course of their work does not give rise to otherwise avoidable accidents occurring.

 

Civil liability

 

Employers and employees owe a duty of care to anyone who may be affected by their actions, where effects of their actions are reasonably foreseeable.

 

An increasing area of liability in negligence is that of stress through work overload, particularly in cases where the result is reasonably foreseeable.Therefore, Day Associates support employees to maintain an open dialogue and to feel comfortable in identifying difficulties to its Directors in a confidential manner.Workloads and job requirements are always appropriately considered by Directors and pressures maintained at reasonable levels when busy.Where an employee feels they are suffering from workplace stress or related illness, this will be reviewed based on individual needs and circumstances.

 

9. Declaration

Day Associates have produced this company policy in which to comply with relevant legislation and to provide appropriate guidance and support to its employees.This policy, in conjunction with general safety practices strives to improve health and safety culture within the organisation and lead by example to other professionals within the surveying/construction consultancy industry.

 

This publication sets out Day Associates assessment and interpretation to health and safety legislation relating to the work of surveyors.Bearing in mind the wide-ranging nature of the profession it is not intended to specify every piece of health and safety legislation, code of practice or guidance notes published by the HSE.

 

 

10. Roles and Responsibilities

 

Directors will:

 

  • Ensure that there is an effective policy for Health and Safety, which is reviewed periodically and revised as necessary.

  • Support the Office Manager to perform duties as a designated ‘Safety Officer’.

 

The Office Manager will:

 

  •      Ensure they are familiar with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and company policy applicable to the               work on which they are engaged.

  •      Supervise the implementation of the Health and Safety Policy within the Company.

  •      Review the Health and Safety Policy at periodic intervals.

  •      Ensure Risk Assessments are in place and review as necessary.

  •      Provide a suitable company induction to all new employees, or ensure that this is carried    out by others.

  •      Review First Aid provision and training.

  •      Ensure that safety and first aid facilities/equipment is available at all times.

  •      Ensure that adequate records are maintained, and reportable accidents notified.

  •      Investigate accidents and damage to persons or property.

  •      Ensure that all employees establish Health and Safety criteria for their areas of responsibility, make employees familiar with them             and arrange necessary training.

  •      Inspect all new plant and equipment before it is commissioned, in conjunction with appropriate technical specialists.

  •      Will check that all fire equipment is regularly serviced and inspected.  (Landlord’s responsibility).

  •      Ensure PAT inspections and records are maintained at periodic intervals.

 

Employees must:

  • Be aware of the Health and Safety requirements covering their areas of responsibility

  • Take health and safety factors into consideration when new equipment is used/provided, or procedures implemented. 

  • Make themselves fully aware of the Company’s Health and Safety policy. 

  • Assist in promoting safe working practices among fellow employees. 

  • Should be conversant with and observe all Health and Safety precautions, but particularly those established in the area in which they work. 

  • Must take reasonable care for the Health and Safety of themselves and fellow employees who may be affected by irresponsible acts and omissions at work. 

  • Should report any Health and Safety hazard to the Office Manager or Directors.

 

 

11. CDM Regulations and the Principal Designer Role

 

The Principal Designers role includes the following: 

  • Informing the client of their duties under the regulations. 

  • Prepare and provide relevant information to other duty holders. 

  • Planning, managing and monitoring health and safety in the pre-construction phase, including; identifying, eliminating or controlling foreseeable risks; and ensuring designers carry out their duties. 

  • Helping compile pre-construction information and providing it to designers and contractors

  • Preparing the health and safety file and then reviewing, updating and revising it as the project progresses. 

  • Liaising with the principal contractor to help in the planning, managing, monitoring and co-ordination of the construction phase. 

  • Ensuring that all persons working in relation to the pre-construction phase cooperate with the client, the principal designer and each other. 

  • Checking that designers have sufficient skills, knowledge, experience and (if they are an organisation) the organisational capability to carry out the work.

The specific competency requirements that previously existed in the CDM Regulations for a Coordinator have been replaced by the requirement for the Principal Designer to have appropriate skills, knowledge and experience.

 

For projects containing significant risk, demolition and/or are of large values in excess of £200k, Day Associates may sub-appoint specialist H&S Consultants to independently review and oversee the PD role.

 

 

 

 

This policy document has been produced using the aid of and guidance contained within ‘Surveying safely – your guide to personal safety at work’ published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, London (RICS) in August 2006.

© 2018 Day Associates Limited - created by CB with use of Wix.com

  • LinkedIn Day Associates
  • Facebook Day Associates