1.1. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (WHSWR) 1992 are in place to protect the health and safety of everyone in the workplace, and to ensure that adequate welfare facilities are provided for people at work.
1.2. NHS Fife recognises its duty to comply with these Regulations and to provide a safe and healthy workplace.
This procedure supports the NHS Fife Risk Register and Risk Assessment Policy and reference must be made to that policy document to identify general responsibilities.
This procedure is applicable to all staff and, by agreement, independent contractors working within NHS Fife. Persons responsible for developing local procedures dealing with the various issues of health, safety and welfare in the workplace must ensure they comply with this procedure.
3.1. Senior and line managers are responsible for:
· Ensuring risk assessments of the work environment are carried out. For new and refurbished premises, or when the nature of the work in a particular environment changes, then a risk assessment must be carried out at the project planning stage. Risk control measures must be in place before staff begin work;
· Applying interim risk control measures for moderate or major risks that cannot be resolved immediately. Action plans to tackle the outstanding risks to health, safety and welfare must be developed and communicated to relevant employees;
· Ensuring that staff are consulted with, through partnership arrangements, on matters relating to their Health and Safety;
· Ensuring that all staff are aware of this procedure, understand its content and those of local and associated procedures;
· Ensuring that risk assessments of the work environment are reviewed regularly and in response to changes in procedures, equipment, location, type of personnel, legislation or other external requirements. Reviews must also be carried out as a consequence of incidents or near misses;
· Ensuring that staff groups and individuals identified as being at risk are given appropriate information, instruction and training;
· Monitoring the effectiveness of risk control measures relating to the work environment through an effective system of reporting, investigating and recording incidents.
3.2. All employees are responsible for:
· taking reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions;
· co-operating by following guidelines for safe workspace layout and working in a manner which controls risk to as low a level as is reasonably practicable;
· reporting all incidents (including near misses) arising out of the work environment that did or may result in loss, injury or damage;
· taking part in, and implementing, training and education designed to meet the requirements of the procedure; and
· informing their managers of any unsafe conditions in the workplace, including the general work environment (e.g. corridors, stairwells) and means of access and egress into and out of the workplace (e.g. external paths, steps, etc)
4. OPERATIONAL SYSTEM
4.1. It is a legal requirement that work environments are risk assessed to identify potential hazards and the likelihood of risk to employees or others who may be affected by our actions. Risks to the health, safety and welfare must be reduced ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’.
4.2. The three broad areas to be considered are:
· Working environment
Maintenance of workplace, and of equipment, devices and systems; Ventilation ; Temperature (see appendix 2); Lighting (inc. emergency lighting); Room dimensions and space; Suitability of workstations and seating; and Cleanliness and waste materials
Condition of floors and traffic routes (their construction, obstruction, slipping and tripping hazards); Falls or falling objects; Windows and transparent or translucent doors; Organisation, etc. of traffic routes ; Doors and gates; Escalators and moving walkways.
Sanitary conveniences; Washing facilities; Drinking water; Clothing storage; Facilities for changing clothing; Facilities for rest and to eat meals
Further information is contained within Appendix 1.
5. RISK MANAGEMENT
5.1. This procedure is part of NHS Fife’s system for managing risk as described in the
NHS Fife Risk Register and Risk Assessment Policy.
5.2. Information, Instruction and Training
The contents of this procedure must be brought to the attention of employees at local induction.
Employees undergoing Risk Assessors training will be informed of the Work Environment procedure and encouraged to carry out risk assessments of work environments to ensure they comply with the standards laid down in the procedure.
5.3. Reporting Arrangements
All incidents or near misses relating to failures in, or resulting from aspects of, the work environment must be reported on an Incident Reporting Form in line with NHS Fife’s Adverse Events Policy
5.4. Monitoring and Review
The procedure will be reviewed and revised on a regular basis and as a result of any changes in legislation, healthcare facilities guidance or technological improvements.
6. RELATED DOCUMENTS
Appendix 1 Working Environment Guidance Sheet
Appendix 2 Thermal comfort in the workplace
NHS Fife Display Screen Equipment Policy
NHS Fife Adverse Events Policy
NHS Fife Personal Protective Equipment Policy .
NHS Fife Risk Register & Risk Assessment Policy
NHS Fife Window Management Policy
NHS Fife Work at Height Policy
NHS Fife Slips, Trips and Falls Prevention Policy
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l24.htm
Seating at Work. HSE website resource www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg57.htm
Lighting at Work. HSE website resource www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg38.htm
Thermal Comfort HSE website resource www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/thermal/