Similar to other countries in the UK there is a duty of care on employers to ensure that any substances they are using which are classified as hazardous to health are adequately controlled. This means that a risk assessment is needed and, although this may feel like an overwhelming task to do it is necessary both from a moral and legal perspective. Furthermore, the results of an appropriately conducted workplace risk assessment will help protect workers from harm; and nothing is more important than that.
Extended safety data sheets are coming your way…
In addition as extended Safety Data Sheets are being received by companies it is also useful to have a good grasp of the current situation in the workplace for a given activity (where a hazardous substance is used) in respect of control measures being used, the frequency and duration, etc as this makes the comparison to any relevant exposure scenario much easier to do.
How I can help
Workplace risk assessments need to be done by someone who has a good knowledge of the activities within the workplace where hazardous substances are used. In other words, by an employee rather than someone from outside of the organisation. However as I mentioned earlier the thought of undertaking a workplace risk assessment can be overwhelming for those with limited or no experience of such work; and this is where I can be of help.
I do not undertake the risk assessments on behalf of the company per se but instead I work together with the person who has been tasked to undertake the risk assessments on site as a mentor thereby building their confidence and understanding of the risk assessment process to the point where they are able to complete subsequent risk assessments on their own.
What is the benefit of this approach?
The benefit of working in such a manner is that the risk assessments get completed within the required time scale and the mentoring styled approach means that the individual(s) responsible for the work receive one to one training at the same time thereby building up their confidence in doing this kind of work.
My industrial experience together with qualifications in occupational hygiene, chemistry and toxicology mean that I have a thorough understanding of the ways in which chemicals can cause harm and the influence of exposure. Furthermore I am also familiar with the common approaches which can be used to minimise exposure (i.e. control measures) and thereby reduce the likelihood of harm.
If you need help with your workplace risk assessments then please call or email me