1. Policy Statement
Vision Training (North East) Limited believe the duty to assess risks and take appropriate action is fundamental and absolute in ensuring the safety and welfare of its employees, leaners and people that could be affected by our working practices.
We recognise our responsibility to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to provide and maintain working conditions that are safe healthy and compliant with all statutory requirements and codes of organisation, including the statutory duty on employers to conduct regular health and safety risk assessments.
We are committed to ensuring the health safety and welfare of employees, so far as is reasonably practicable and all other persons who may be affected by our activities including learners.
The policy is intended to set out the values, principles, and policies underpinning our approach to risk assessment and health and safety.
All employees and learners
4. Roles and Responsibilities
The Board of Directors are responsible for ensuring that
- All employees carrying out risk assessments are suitably trained and competent to carry out the task.
- Risk assessments are carried out to identify potential hazards and risks to learners and employees associated with the delivery of our services and risk control measures implemented prior to commencement of services.
- Risk assessments are reviewed at appropriate intervals
- Risk assessments and control measures are available to employees and others who could be affected by the identified hazards
Risk Assessors are responsible for
- Completing training provided by Vision Training (North East) Limited
- Reporting any significant risks identified to the Financial Director
- Carrying out risk assessments using current Vision Training (North East) Limited paperwork
- Identifying control measures for any identified risks
- Carrying out appropriately regular reviews of risk assessments and associated documentation.
Marketing and Sign Up Team
The marketing and sign up team are responsible for completing learner workplace risk assessments
Business Support Manager
The Business Support Manager is responsible for completing the premises risk assessments, office equipment risk assessments and Business Support Team processes risk assessments.
Assessor Team Leaders
Assessor Team Leaders are responsible for completing training room risk assessments, Assessor Lone Working risk assessments and Assessor working practices risk assessments.
All employees are responsible for
- Reading and following risk assessments and any control measures in place. These can be accessed from the head office.
- Reporting new risks which arise (including defective appliances equipment fixtures or security of the premises) to their Line Manager.
- Reporting pregnancy to their Line Manager and or the Operations Director to enable commencement of an individual risk assessment processes.
Potential hazards or risks include but are not limited to:
- Hazardous substances within the scope of COSHH Regulations (e.g. chemical hazards, drugs, sharps, bodily fluids, hazardous waste) and others not currently covered by COSHH (e.g. lead, asbestos and substances that are hazardous to health for reasons other than their toxicity i.e. those that are flammable, or which enhance combustion, react violently etc.)
- Manual handling of loads (e.g. portfolios)
- Use of display screen equipment (e.g. computers)
- Electrical hazards
- Work equipment and machinery
- Workplace hazards (e.g. space, clutter, lighting, ventilation, tripping hazards, safe access, inadequate sanitary facilities, (e.g. toilets, drinking water )
- Emergencies (e.g. fire, injuries requiring first aid, dangerous spillages etc.)
- Violence of threat of abuse
5. Policy Implementation – Procedures
To aid understanding of the process of risk assessment we feel it would be useful to provide definitions of key terms.
This is anything with the potential to cause injury to people or damage to property and equipment. Identifying hazards is the first step when carrying out risk assessments. Once the hazards have been identified the question should be asked – “Can any of these be eliminated?” If the hazard is eliminated the risk is also eliminated and the risk assessment process is complete e.g. using a battery operated drill eliminates the hazards of mains electricity, the associated risks of electrocution and cable trip hazards.
Where the hazard cannot be eliminated the risk must be assessed. This considers the likelihood of injury/damage actually occurring and the severity of the consequences. The risk depends on the actual circumstances prevailing and the risk control measures which are in place.
Risk Control Measures
These can be engineering control measures, i.e. guarding or procedural arrangements such as systems of work in conjunction with instruction/supervision and personal protective equipment. The hierarchy of risk control measures is:
- eliminate the hazard, if reasonably practicable to do so
- combat risks at source, using engineering controls where this is reasonably practicable
- procedures and systems of work in conjunction with instruction, supervision and, where appropriate, personal protective equipment
The purpose of risk assessments is to identify the measures needed to eliminate or adequately control the risks; they are not ends in themselves. Measures must be implemented to comply with relevant health and safety legislation. The purpose of risk assessments is to identify and implement these measures. Risk assessment is the process of arriving at suitable measures to eliminate or adequately control the risks.
In many cases risk assessments as described below are not necessary because the measures to comply with relevant health and safety legislation are simply a matter of following relevant good practices or by applying a similar level of precaution. These good practices should be incorporated into normal procedures.
Many good practices are common sense, and will have been covered in the employee and learner inductions. Other good practices are detailed in guidance and codes of practice issued by organisations such as:
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (www.hse.gov.uk/)
- British Standards Institution (BSI) (www.bsi.org.uk/)
In these situations, the risk assessment process is identifying and implementing these relevant good practices.
When considering what health and safety measures are appropriate it is legitimate to take costs into account. Where relevant good practice is not defined or where there is doubt:
- the magnitude of the risks, both in terms of the severity of foreseeable injury and the likelihood of occurrence, must be assessed (trivial risks can be ignored altogether);
- the risks should then be roughly balanced against the cost of reducing them;
- Arrangements must be made to reduce or eliminate the risks unless the cost of doing so is obviously unreasonable compared with the risk.
Common sense is often all that is necessary. But remember the human consequences: the balance must be firmly on the side of health and safety.
5.3 CARRYING OUT RISK ASSESSMENTS
Look for the hazards
Hazard identification is the first step. Look for anything, work practices, substances and equipment with the potential to cause harm. Inspecting the workplace helps, as does assessing information in the hazard data sheets from product suppliers. Guidance from the managing director, the Health and Safety Executive and other organisations may help.
In many cases, identifying hazards is simply common sense. A torn carpet or broken electrical sockets are easily spotted by people with no specialist knowledge. In practice, most people probably check their department or workplace every day. Their knowledge, experience and common sense are invaluable. But be sure that their ‘common sense’ is not based on incorrect perceptions. For example, most people are well aware of technical and chemical hazards (because they may cause serious but usually infrequent incidents) but can be heedless of ‘routine’ hazards (like poorly maintained floors or congested work areas) that cause less serious accidents more often.
Decide who might be harmed, and how
Hazards will not all result in harm. The degree of damage or harm caused by the same type of hazard will depend on the circumstances. For example, a broken floor tile in a pantry might cause someone to trip, but this would be unlikely. The same broken tile in the main kitchen would be much more likely to cause an accident. If the broken tile was on a staircase, not only would the likelihood of someone tripping be very high but the consequences of the fall could be serious, e.g. a broken hip. Deciding how much harm a hazard might cause and how often harm might arise is called ‘risk assessment’.
Evaluate the risks and implement appropriate risk control measures
The risk will depend on the control measures in place or proposed and will be a combination of the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of harm. The risk must be reduced “so far as is reasonably practicable”. To address a problem to the extent of “so far as is reasonably practicable”, usually means to ascertain and apply up-to-date good practice, where good practice is not specified or obvious it is reasonable to weigh the seriousness of the risk against the difficulty and cost of reducing it. In such cases, risk-reducing measures must legally be pursued up to the point where any further steps would be wholly disproportionate to the benefits those steps may be expected to secure.
To help prioritise actions numerical values can be attributed to the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of harm. A 1-5 scale is adopted for this purpose as shown below. The risk rating is calculated with the existing or proposed controls in place.
Numerical values can help but are not an essential part of risk assessment and need not be used.
Value Likelihood of Occurrence Value Severity of Harm
1 Rare 1 Minor
2 Unlikely 2 Moderate
3 Moderate 3 Significant
4 Likely 4 Major
5 Almost certain 5 Catastrophic
Risk Rating = Likelihood of Occurrence x Severity of harm