SAFed Health and Safety Passport Scheme
Module 1 —Awareness of health and safety key legislative requirements
This document forms one of a series of modules on various health and safety subjects that comprise the examinable material considered necessary for the award of the SAFed Health and Safety Passport.
When you have studied this module you should have acquired sufficient knowledge to be able to answer the questions detailed at the end of the module. Upon satisfactory completion of all modules, you will be eligible to undertake the final assessment for the award of the SAFed Health and Safety Passport.
The SAFed Health and Safety Passport is issued to Engineer Surveyors by the Health and Safety Manager of their employing company upon satisfactory completion of the Safety Passport final assessment.
The award of the SAFed Health and Safety Passport provides evidence that the holder of the Passport has the appropriate knowledge and awareness in health and safety matters considered necessary for an Engineer Surveyor to undertake the duties for which they are authorised by their employing company.
The passport is valid for a maximum of three years.
1.2 Key Objectives
Having studied this module you should be aware of: -
· The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
· The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
· Know who has duties under the Act
· The regulatory framework and the links with European directives.
· The hierarchy of Directives, Regulations, Codes of Practice and Standards
· Environmental regulations
1.3 Legal commentary — Background
An understanding of the historic application of law to industrial plant is important. In the past the design, materials, manufacture and subsequent usage of this class of plant were not well understood and as a result accidents happened. Parliament sought to control the situation by ensuring that ‘statutory acts or regulations’ were in place which placed legal obligations on all parties and which could be enforced. The original framework for industrial legislation was both ‘sectoral’ and ‘prescriptive’. This sub-divided industrial work into major industries, supplying each with dedicated statutes, each of which had special requirements, unique to itself, which identified ‘sector’. These pieces of legislation interfaced and covered the whole of the requirements for the sector. All workplace activities were subject to ‘sectoral ‘ control.
Legislation which references
industrial equipment included:-
Construction (Lifting Operations)
Mines and Quarries Act 1954
Factories Act 1961
Docks Regulations 1988
Ship Building and Ship Repairing
Offices, Shops and Railway Premises
(Hoist and Lifts) Regulations 1968
The ‘sector’ to which each
applied was evident from its title. There
were a number of other pieces of legislation which either supplemented the main
sectoral legislation or were introduced to cater for changes in industrial
The ‘prescriptive’ aspects
of each piece of sectoral legislation was the cause of a certain amount of
confusion with respect to definition, interpretation and enforcement.
For example, lifting plant including ropes, chains and lifting tackle was
defined in each regulation but in differing ways.
This resulted in slightly different approaches depending upon industrial
sector without due regard for the risk posed by the equipment.
Other important aspects of
‘prescription’ were carried in historic legislation and included:-
Sound material to be used
Adequate strength to be provided
Patent defects to be absent
Safe working load or safe working
pressure to be marked
Plant to be maintained
These were supplemented by
‘periodic’ prescriptive requirements, the most important of which were:-
testing and certification
· thorough examination and reporting
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
This act is the current
principle piece of health, safety and welfare legislation in the UK. It provides a comprehensive framework for dealing with
workplace health, safety and welfare. The
act places obligations on all persons at work, employer, employee and the self
employed. The Health and Safety at
Work etc. Act is an ‘enabling’ act, which allows enforcement of the
requirements of sectoral legislation.
The Health and Safety at Work
etc Act is all embracing in its terms of reference, but otherwise makes no
specific reference to work equipment or items of industrial plant.
The act is in four parts with 85
sections and 10 schedules dealing with:-
The Employment Medical Advisory Service
The aim of the act is: -
To secure the Health, Safety &
Welfare of persons at work.
To protect others from risks arising
out of a work activity (i.e. protection of members of the public & others)
To control the keeping and use of
dangerous substances & generally prevent unlawful acquisition etc.
To control emissions into the
atmosphere of noxious or offensive substances, from prescribed premises.
The act imposes general duties
to provide hardware that is safe.
PLACE OF WORK
systems that enable the hardware to be used with safety.
PLANS - I.E. HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY STATEMENT
The act imposes duties to
protect non-employees e.g. members of the public, visitors & contractors.
In addition duties are placed upon suppliers to ensure that equipment
supplied for use at work is safe.
The nature of damage to persons
violent external physical contact
breathing in a toxic or asphixiant substance
oral entry into the body
entry into the body through intact skin
ENERGY ionising radiations; sound; ultra-violet and microwave
contributory factors may include
Poor attitude to safety
Lack of hazard recognition
Lack of competent supervision
Lack of ventilation
Boredom - monotony
Two strategies may be used to
Substitute non-toxic substance
Engineering controls e.g. Local exhaust
By use of personal protective equipment
— goggles, gloves, respirators, ear defenders
By personal hygiene — washing,
prohibition of smoking, eating etc. in hazardous areas
‘Elimination Strategy’ is preferred — safe place approach
The ‘Protection Strategy’ is non-preferred — safe person approach, relies heavily on rules, discipline etc
1.5 The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
These require that employers carry out suitable and
sufficient assessment of risk to health and safety. Risk assessments are covered fully in Module 3 of the Health
and Safety Passport.
General principles of prevention are identified in the
regulations, these include:-
Evaluating risks which cannot be
Combating risk at source
Adapting the work to the individual,
especially the design of workplaces, the choice of work equipment and the choice
of working and production methods, with a view, in particular, to alleviating
monotonous work and work at a predetermined work rate and to reducing their
effect on health.
Adapting to technical progress
Replacing the dangerous with the non
dangerous or the less dangerous
Developing a coherent overall
prevention policy that covers technology, organisation of work, working
conditions, social relationships and the influence of factors relating to the
Giving collective protective measures
priority over individual protective measures
Giving appropriate instructions to
Management arrangements for planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review are requirements. As are procedures for health surveillance, specialist assistance and actions to be taken in the event of serious or imminent danger
member of the European Community (EC), the UK is required to implement all laws
as promulgated by the Council of Ministers.
Community laws are called ‘Directives’ and the 2 types of Directive
that have a direct impact on the inspection activities of an Engineer Surveyor
are ‘Product’ Directives (referred to as New Approach Directives) and
The range of Product Directives that are particularly relevant to Engineer Surveyors
are as follows:
bodies exist in many industrialised countries of the world.
The UK’s standards body is the British Standards Institution (BSi).
It works along with government, but is not an arm of government.
Importantly, BSi publications are not law and therefore failure to comply
with a British Standard does not constitute a breach of law.
However, British Standards are frequently the most authoritative works
available on a given subject and are, or can be taken as, best practice in
courts, the final arbiter in the event of dispute.
British Standards always reflect the interpretation of UK law as a
range of ‘standards’ exist for industrial equipment, most of which concerns
manufacturing standards, but some of which are relevant to risk assessment.
which concern manufacture also specify design.
Therefore materials, methods and processes of manufacture, heat
treatment, conformity assessment and batch testing among other matters are
described in general terms.
which concern risk assessment highlight failure modes, failure causes and
occasionally specify life limitation and indicate rejection criteria.
Essentially therefore standards which cover a type of equipment (a mobile crane standard for example) is a ‘product standard’ and are not likely to assist risk assessment. It will contain information on ‘how to design and build’ as opposed to ‘how to use’. Product standards are usually ‘specifications’
the rapid integration of E.C. markets into a common or single market concept has
come the need for dedicated European standards. E.C. member countries are represented at CEN (Comite Europeen
de Normalisation) and the resultant standards carry an EN identity, where EN
stands for European Norm.
Harmonised Standard is one which has been mandated by the European Commission
and which has been produced by CEN. After
adoption by CEN the Standard is published in the Official Journal of the EC.
National standardisation bodies must implement a harmonised standard at
Any product that is designed and manufactured according to a Harmonised Standard is presumed to be in conformity with the relevant essential requirements of the appropriate Directive
Codes of Practice
of Practice (COP) is a document which is usually concerned with how an item
should be worked to ensure that hazards to health and safety to individuals are
addressed or that hazards to the plant itself are reduced.
These codes are often called ‘Safe Use of….’ and whilst a number
are published by BSi, there are other important sources.
The Health and Safety Executive, (HSE), trade organisations such as
British Industrial Truck Association, (BITA), and Safety Assessment Federation,
(SAFed) are among authorities who produce this type of document.
As with product standards, these publications are not ‘mandatory’ requirements for compliance with law, but courts are likely to agree that they constitute ‘best practice’. In particular Approved Codes of Practice produced by the Health and Safety Commission have special legal status. If prosecuted for breach of health and safety law, and it is proved that you did not follow the relevant provisions of the Code, you will need to show that you have complied with the law in some other way or a court will find you at fault
As the title suggests, these are documents which are intended to provide guidance to users/ owners of plant (work equipment), normally with respect to the interpretation of law in a practical sense. Most guidance notes are published by the Health and Safety Executive and are an attempt to explain the spirit of the intention of regulations by giving practical examples and laying down expectations. Guidance is not mandatory, but as with COP’s courts are likely to seek to enforce them as ‘best practice’.
|1.12 Interface of Directives and Regulations|
Environmental regulations are wide and varied. They are designed to ensure that business impact on the environment is minimised.
environmental regulation and guidance includes
Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999 (COMAH) — The aim of the COMAH
Regulations is to prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances
and limit the consequences to people and the environment of any which do
Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 — These new regulations require tank owners to provide more secure containment facilities for oil tanks to prevent oil escaping into the water environment.
End of module and next steps
By reaching this point you will have finished studying this
particular module. You should
now have sufficient knowledge to answer the questions contained at the end
of the module.
the questions should be forwarded to your Health and Safety Manager.
Provided that you have answered the questions correctly, your Health and Safety Manager will forward to you your next self study module.
|Click here to answer question on Module 1|