Health and Safety News

October 17, 2011

Manual handling of loads means any transporting or supporting of a load by one or more employees and includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving a load, which by reason of its characteristics or of unfavourable ergonomic conditions involves risk, particularly of back injury to employees.

Work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are a common health problem throughout the industrialised world and one of the major cause of work-related accidents. WMSDs are conditions of the nerves, tendons, muscles and supporting structures of the musculoskeletal system that can result in fatigue, discomfort, pain, local swelling, or numbness and tingling. WMSDs usually develop from cumulative damage resulting from months or years of exposure to excessive levels of physical and psychosocial stressors at work.

The major risk factors for WMSDs in the workplace include:

  1. Heavy manual handling;
  2. Repetitive and forceful actions;
  3. Vibration;
  4. Awkward static postures that arise from badly designed workstations, tools, equipment, working methods;
  5. Poor work organisation.

Employer has a duty to carry out manual handling risk assessment and take appropriate organisational measures, or use appropriate means, in particular mechanical equipment, to avoid the need for the manual handling of loads by the employer`s employees.

Where the need for the manual handling of loads cannot be avoided, appropriate organisational measures must be taken and appropriate means provided in order to reduce the risk involved in the manual handling of such loads, having regard to the risk factors specified in Schedule 3 of 2007 safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations – Appendix 1.

The QEC (Quick Exposure Check) is one of many tools that we use for manual handling risk assessment. QEC was developed to enable health and safety practitioners to undertake assessments of the exposure of workers to musculoskeletal risk factors. QEC focuses on exposure assessment and change in exposure, thus allowing the benefits of workplace interventions to be assessed rapidly.

QEC allows physical work activities to be assessed in collaboration with the worker.

QEC assessment sheets are completed  for each tasks performed by a worker, including both observers` and workers` assessment and exposure scores calculated to determine risk level .

You might also be interested in:

Manual Handling Training

VDU/DSE Assessments

Safety Statement

March 1, 2011

Risk Assessment is a legal requirement under 2005 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act. 

Risk assessment is based on hazard identification (e.g. chemical, noise, working at heights) and assessing risk level (the likelihood of hazard occurring and causing harm). 

All employers are legally required to conduct risk assessment of all activities within their workplace and keep written records. 

A risk assessment is a careful examination of work activity, work equipment or process and involves the following basic steps: 

  • Hazards identification (this step involves understanding of work activity and collection of all relevant information)
  • Identification of risk level (always consult with workers doing the work)
  • Identification of control measures (in consultation with employees)
  • Implementation of controls (put a clear action plan in place with deadlines and responsible personnel)
  • Monitoring and review. This is a crucial step to ensure that control measures are effective.

The main aim of any risk assessment is to ensure that employees are adequately protected from workplace hazards. 

Click HERE for more information on risk assessment process or Contact Us if you require further advice or any of the following risk assessments: 

February 10, 2011

Every employer has a duty of care to their staff, contractors and visitors. Completing fire risk assessment of your premises will bring you one step closer to compliance with 2005 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act and Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003. 

One of the main benefits of fire risk assessment is reduction of risk of fire and its consequences. 

Fire risk assessment is a complicated process completed by qualified and experienced fire safety experts and includes: 

-         Identification of potential ignition, fuel and oxygen sources;

-         Review of existing fire detection and fire protection systems;

-         Review of fire fighting equipment (extinguishers, hose reels, etc);

-         Survey of escape routes;

-         Review of fire safety signage;

-         Review of fire register/fire log book;

-         Writing or reviewing and testing of emergency evacuation plan;

-         Review of fire safety training requirements (e.g. fire warden/fire marshal training, use of fire extinguishers, etc). 

Contact us today for a free quote for fire risk assessment of your workplace and your fire safety training requirements.