What should I do first in this Health & Safety Minefield?

What should I do first in Health & Safety Minefield?

So you have a business or you are the responsible manager and things are expanding rapidly! Now the subject of Health and Safety is becoming more prevalent day by day, so where do you start?

What should I do first in Health & Safety

What should I do first in Health & Safety

What should I do first in Health & Safety

List priority and significant risks

So obviously there are more important and/or dangerous risks in different areas from one industry to another. For example if you are in warehousing with a forklift, transport, stacking of materials and movement of workers (pedestrians) you would be advised that this area is of high risk and should be addressed before Display Screen Equipment Assessments if time and resources are limited.

Questions to ask

Q: Is anyone using Display Screen Equipment in imminent danger?

A: Not really however we do need to address this issue ASAP however there may be more pressing issues at the moment that may take priority?

Q: Could anyone in the Warehouse be severely injured or worse?

A: Yes this is a high risk area so we should concentrate on this first!

So now we have a short example of a priority list what should be the next steps?

Risk Assess the area and activity!

For more information on Risk Assessments and access to our exclusive assessment software feel free to click here https://www.safe2use.com/help/risk_assessment_software_web_apps_tools/

What should I do first in Health & Safety

The page above will explain how to create your risk assessments however to quickly give an idea of the process we need to

Identify any hazards. A hazard is defined as anything with the potential to cause harm such as falling from height, getting hit by a vehicle, fire, electrocution and so on.

Evaluation of the risk is then required. Risk should be evaluated as how likely the hazard is to occur and if it did what would be the consequences? For example if it is very likely to happen and could cause death then you need to be eliminating this hazard or reducing significantly until it is safe to proceed.

Any and all persons who could be affected by this should then be identified and involved in the assessment process if relevant.

As described above any significant hazards and risks should have control measures put in place to eliminate or reduced to an acceptable level.

Record significant findings, communicate to all relevant persons and review periodically and if there are any changes to the activity or process.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have information located here http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/controlling-risks.htm


So what are some types and examples of hazard, risk and control measures that may be identified? Please note these are taken from a building site and are just examples not necessarily relevant to any of the above.

H:= Hazard

R:= Risk

C:= Control Mearsure


H: Falls from height

R: Danger of personnel falling, Danger of objects falling onto personnel below

C: Suitable access will be provided to the working area, and shall be inspected at regular intervals. All operatives working on site shall wear safety helmets at all times. Edge protection will be provided as necessary. Signs and barriers will be positioned directly below the works to warn and prevent access to the working area. All current legislation and codes of practice concerned with working at heights will be strictly complied with. Training and instruction will be given to staff on the usage of lines and harnesses. Chutes will be used to dispose of debris.

H: Manual handling

R: Staff could suffer from back pain if regularly lifting/carrying heavy or awkward objects.

C: All equipment will be assessed and carried using the correct procedure. Manual handling, training and regular toolbox talks given. Training to be kept up to date. Manual handling risk assessment to be carried out where necessary,


H: Slips, Trips and Falls

R: Staff may suffer sprains or fractures if tripping over debris or slipping on spillages.

C: Work area to be kept clean and clear from debris. Correct ppe to be worn. Safety boots with non-slip soles to be worn.



H:Traffic movements (deliveries etc.)

R: Personnel injuries in accident Property damage in accident

C: Only licensed drivers will be allowed to drive on site or public highways. All vehicles will be licensed for use on site or public highways. All vehicles will be suitable for the tasks they perform. All drivers will adhere to site instructions.

H: Fire on Site

R: Asphyxiation Burns Injury in evacuation

C: Designated emergency exit routes will be kept free of obstruction at all times. Staff to be given training on site fire and evacuation procedures those involved in using highly flammable materials or carrying out hot work will give additional training in fire prevention measures. Hot work and the use of naked flame appliances will be controlled by a permit to work system. The electrical contractor’s staff will comply with the site fire safety procedures.


And so on

From the above you should have a feel for what the first steps should be so just to recap if in doubt look for the most hazardous activities in your operation and try to tackle those first by means of a Suitable and Sufficient Risk Assessment using the tips and tools above.

You should also look at industry standards to see what similar companies and organisations recommend as the best control measures etc.

As you will see once you start the risk assessment process it will highlight further requirements such as staff training, safety equipment and required Health & Safety arrangements etc. so we feel this is a great place to start if you are unsure.

If you would like assistance or advice please feel free to speak to a friendly professional here at Safe 2 Use


What should I do first in Health & Safety