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Engineering Health and Safety

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Health and Safe Legislation and Regulation You are required to research two different engineering environments that you have come knowledge of. It may be best if one is an electrical environment and one a mechanical environment. For each of these environments:

  • Identify a minimum of four different sets of regulations that would be relevant
  • Describe a minimum of three key features of each of the sets of regulations you have chosen.

The provision and use of work equipment regulations defines work equipment as any machinery appliances, hand tool, power tool or assembly of components.

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To protect everybody who uses equipment at work, the regulations require employers to ensure that:

  • Work equipment is maintained
  • All machinery is suitable and fit for purpose
  • Controls on machines are clearly marked
  • Work equipment is inspected on a regular basis
  • Dangerous parts of work equipment are guarded as far as reasonably practical
  • Training and instruction is given to anyone who needs to use the equipment
  • Warning signs are fixed either on or close to machinery

Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHO) 1992 A third of all injuries at work are the results of people using incorrect manual handling methods.

Employers should ensure that their staff avoid manual handling any items in such a way that could cause them injury. If manually handling cannot be avoided then a risk assessment must be carried out. This includes:

  • The load to be moved
  • The capacity of the individual doing the work
  • The task or activity that needs to be carried out
  • The working environment Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COHH) regulations 2002

COHH regulations are designed to ensure the safe use and handling of hazardous chemicals in engineering. Some chemicals such as petrol and oils can be absorbed into the body through your skin and eyes. Others can enter your body through cuts and grazes. Appreciate that some chemicals are more hazardous than others. Understand that some will harm faster than others. Always wash your hands before eating or drinking. Always use the correct type of personal protection equipment (PPE) Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995

All accidents, incidents, (near misses) and dangerous occurrences in the workplace must be reported. The reporting procedure should be explained to new employees in their first few days at work. An employer has a legal duty to report certain types of injuries, diseases, dangerous occurrences and gas releases. The reports are used by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to analyse health and safety trends and to compile statistics on the numbers of different types of accidents. A responsible person, usually a manager or a supervisor, has to report serious accidents and incidents as soon as possible to the HSE, either by telephone or online.

This same person has to complete RIDDOR form F2508, and send it to the HSE within 10 days. An accident must be notified when a person dies or suffers a serious injury at work. Serious injuries include:

  • Any injury requiring a stay in hospital of more than 24 hours.
  • The fracture of any bone, except a finger or spine.
  • A dislocation of a shoulder, hip, knee or spine
  • Permanent temporary loss of sight

They ensure that you can enter and exit from any park of the workplace in a safe manner. The regulations also require that:

  • All fixtures and fittings are maintained and kept clean
  • Temperatures are maintained at a minimum of 16 degrees
  • Fresh drinking water is provided where required
  • Traffic management systems in work areas segregate vehicles from pedestrians

Electrical at Work Regulations (EAWR) 1989 Electricity is used to power machinery, lighting and work equipment in engineering. Electricity can cause a hazard; fires can be started by sparking or arching through faulty or overloaded electricity equipment. Direct contact with electrical conductors can result in electrical shock. It is important to ensure that no employee ever touches a bare wire. Electricity cannot be seen or smelt so it is vital to isolate any electrical equipment before working with it. Inspections must be carried out regularly to look for hazards, broken sockets, loose connections, crushed cables and wires etc. Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be supplied by an employer to protect workers. The equipment must fit the person it is supplied to and it should be comfortable to wear.

For example a welder must be issued with a flame proof boiler suit that is neither too big nor too small, and is made from breathable material. All PPE must be supplied free of charge and must be cleaned, repaired, or replaced when not fit for use. As an employee you have the right under the regulations to have a say on the choice of the PPE and be trained in its correct use. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) 2005 This order imposes a duty on employers to carry out fire risk assessments. This order also places responsibility’s on employees.

Briefly describe the circumstances of these cases and the implications of the decisions for employers, employees and subcontractors in terms of the general duties imposed on them under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and associated regulations. R vs. Swan Hunter 1981 In 1981, an oxygen valve had been left open in a badly ventilated part of HMS Glasgow. The result of the oxygen valve left open was that the room had been filled up with a lot of oxygen. Swan Hunter was affected by it the most even though others were as well. An employee of Telemeter Installations was preparing to do some arc welding, as he struck the electric arc between elding rod and work piece, immediately, a huge fire broke out due to the room filled with oxygen. As a result of that fire 8 men were killed. Swan Hunter’s safety officer knew of the fire risk connected with oxygen and he provided their employees with all the information, but he did not send the information about the risks to the Telemeter Installations and their employees. Telemeter Installations employee not having the information is what led to this accident. Swan Hunter was prosecuted and fined ? 3000. Swan Hunter had a duty to ensure the health and safety of its own employees by provision of information.

By ignoring another company’s employees they placed its own employees in danger. For the protection of its own employees Swan Hunter needed to inform the employees of other company’s of any special risks within its knowledge. R vs. Associated Octel Co Ltd (1996) Associated Octel operates a large chemical plant at Ellesmere Port. On 25th of June, 1990, there was an accident at the chorine works that affected a person called Mr Cuthbert. The plant was shut down for its yearly maintenance and a small firm of specialist contractors called Resin Glass Products Ltd (RGP) were engaged in repairing the lining of a tank.

Mr Cuthbert who is an employee of RGP was working in the tank by the light of an electric light bulb attached to a lead. After grinding the damaged area of the lining, he had to clean it down with acetone before applying a fibreglass matting patch with resin. He had a supply of acetone in an old paint bucket which he had found in a refuse bin. While he was applying the acetone with a brush, light bulb broke. Some of the liquid had probably dripped onto it. Acetone is volatile and gives off a vapour which is highly flammable. As Mr Cuthbert was using an open bucket, there was a good deal of vapour in the tank.

The broken bulb caused a flash fire in which Mr Cuthbert was severely burned. RGP Ltd was convicted of an offence under section 2 of the 1974 Act, and Octel Ltd of an offence under section 3. Octel Ltd appealed to the Court of Appeal. It was argued on their behalf that section 3 did not involve liability for the actions of independent contractors. The appeal failed. The court ruled that it was a question of fact in each case whether an activity which caused a risk to the health and safety of persons amounted to the conduct of an undertaking.

The term “undertaking” was taken as meaning “enterprise” or “business” and the cleaning, maintenance or repair of plant of plant, machinery or buildings necessary for carrying on the business was part of the undertaking. Therefore Octel Ltd was liable under section 3(1). Task 3 Identify the relevant regulations made under health and safety and explain the possible consequences of management not abiding by the requirements of the appropriate legislation. Include within your answer a description of some typical breaches that may have been committed in this engineering company.

The company had an obligation to effectively control and store safely substances in a container that presented a risk. The employee was not made aware that he is under threat of chemical substances, nor the consequences of them. These incidents both breach the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations (COSHH). Even though the management knew that the hoist was faulty, they failed to act upon advice to fix it. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) requires the management to report the incident in order to prevent accidents from occurring.

Nobody took action to inform the workforce that the hoist was unsuitable to use and had the potential to endanger someone. (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) The employees were given a day off on the day the training was provided on how to use the hoist. Untrained employees should not have been allowed to use the equipment until they get the training that is needed (PUWER). The organization could have been taken to court and fined heavily because of the lack of action taken by the management to report this serious problem.

The employer has a duty to ensure that first aid could be provided in the workplace in case of an accident. At that moment, there was nobody on the site who could carry out first aid which was in breach of the Health and Safety Regulations 1981. The organization may be fined because of its lack of resources in dealing with this issue. Also, the employer had a responsibility to ensure that the shower and eye wash facilities were in working order. This would be in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Under the law of Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPE) the employer had a duty to provide the sub-contractor with proper safety gear that fits the person and it’s comfortable to wear. The sub-contractor was provided with the safety gear but he did not wear it and as result of that he got burns on his feat and having a breathing problem. The employee resulted in having breathing problems for inhaling dangerous fumes from corrosive chemicals and getting burnt, this breached the COSHH Regulations. Additionally, the employer was also in breach of the RIDDOR for not reporting the incident that had occurred.

Cite this Engineering Health and Safety

Engineering Health and Safety. (2016, Sep 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/engineering-health-and-safety/

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