Health and safety is always a topic to get people putting their opinions forward – with welcome and unwelcome comments! However, as we say to all our customers, ’it’s alright until it goes wrong’, and ’would you want to live with the consequences?’.
Emergency planning is one area that we cover with customers, which was a topic that never had very much buy in on the ill health side, UNTIL Covid!
So, what is needed in emergency planning in terms of meeting your health and safety obligations…
Fire safety emergency plans must be in place. Ensure that everyone on site is aware of the plan, including drivers, workers and visitors. This can prove especially difficult for sites that have shared occupancy. If this is the case, emergency plans will need to be agreed with all parties. Escape routes need to be clearly signposted, free from obstructions and may require emergency lighting.
Each site should have fire marshals / fire wardens who carry out day to day proactive prevention tasks like equipment checks and training people to evacuate sites.
It’s worth noting that although fire marshals may be trained to use fire extinguishers, this should only be done in order to create an escape route (& only if they are competent to do so). No one should attempt to fight a fire! Concentrate on ensuring people are out and safe and leave the firefighting to the fire brigade.
As a guideline, low risk sites should have 1 fire marshal per 50 people and higher risks sites 1 per 15 people or as many as are required for the tasks being carried out.
Due to the nature of construction sites and warehouses, there may be several vehicles on site during an emergency and not only may these vehicles be at different locations around the site, i.e. tipping off or delivering to loading bays, the workers may also be wearing ear defenders, depending on the nature of the work they are doing.
It is essential that in the event of an emergency everyone is alerted quickly, it may be necessary to consider fire alarms that have flashing lights as well as sound to alert workers to the potential risk.
Ill Health and Accidents:
New employees should receive an induction where they should be informed of what to do if they have an accident or become ill whilst at work. This should include where first aid treatments are availabe, who to report accidents to and what happens if they are taken ill. There should be a competent first aider on site to administer minor first aid, with evacuation plans for more serious accidents.
First aid boxes need to be made of suitable material, clearly labelled and accessible for workers, they should contain any equipment required for the tasks carried out on site, like eye wash where sand will be being tipped. There are some guidelines on the contents of a first aid box.
Sites should be set up so that pedestrians are safe from vehicles, provide separate routes where possible, and avoid the need for vehicles to reverse and turn around. Ensure that the vehicles being used are suitable for the purpose they are being used for and are kept in good working condition as to prevent issues arising.
Ensure that drivers are aware of how to contact the office once they have left site if they become unwell or have an accident and have plans in place for rescuing the driver and / or vehicle.
Fitting vehicles with trackers provides a location spot for the vehicle and can help to track down the driver in an emergency. Provide first aid kits for minor injuries and ensure that drivers know how to report these accidents for the accident log.
If you need any help with any health and safety, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 9001312.