Principles of health and safety

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For some, the many acts and regulations pertaining to health and safety are simple bureaucratic ‘red tape’ that puts too great a burden on small and medium-sized enterprises, and hinders them in their efforts to get on with the business of doing business. This chapter explains the importance of a health and safety policy, assigning responsibilities, risk assessments, lone working, accident recording and investigation, first aid facilities and procedures, electrical appliances and gas appliances.

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22.3 Employees should understand that it is their responsibility to give due thought to the safe way to do their job. This may include, for example, ensuring that upper cage doors are not left open as shown in this photograph. Everyone should be alert at all times to anything in the workplace that might increase risk to themselves or others.
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22.4 Routine maintenance can often involve working at height, even if ladders are not needed. A quick repair job such as shown here (tightening a screw in a door mechanism) can represent significant risks in a busy area, particularly when animals are being moved. Risk assessments should be completed and appropriate control measures in place to minimize risk during these procedures. There are several possible hazards in this picture to consider.
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22.5 ‘Dangerous substances’ – common health hazards.
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22.6 An electrically operated lifting table will help reduce risks associated with manual handling of large patients.
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22.7 A variety of safety signs, showing the approved colour coding. A wet floor sign deters people from entering a risky environment (i.e. an area/room with a wet floor), or alerts them to the additional slip risk if crossing the floor is unavoidable.
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22.11 Making clear to clients the practice out-of-hours safety arrangements will reduce frustration and help lone workers to feel safe.
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22.12 Health and safety poster on display.
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22.14 Practices are recommended to use the HSE-approved Accident Book B1 510, which allows employers to comply with legal requirements to record work-related accidents and the requirement to keep personal details in confidence, whilst enabling information to be available for accident investigation and prevention purposes.
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22.15 Bird’s triangle (Bird and Germain, 1986), showing the relative frequency of different categories of accident.
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22.16 Cat bites can be serious and any staff bitten should seek medical attention, ensuring that the wound is washed and dressed and that appropriate antibiotics are prescribed if required. The Accident Book should be completed.
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22.17 An example of an accident records review form.
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22.18 A First Aid box, in this case affixed to a wall, should be identified by a white cross on a green background.
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22.19 Eyewash bottles should be readily available for immediate emergency flushing of eyes.


Examples of Health and safety Policy documents

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