The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 require all employers to identify and assess the risks in their work environments. This enables them to put in place appropriate control measures to protect their staff and visitors. Why is this the subject of technical topics? Well, within the regulations is a clause that states “Any assessment….shall be reviewed…if there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates”.
The installation of a pallet racking system will certainly require a reassessment of the risks at a site. The hazards that exist while we are building a scheme will be different to those that exist during normal operation. The purpose of this column is to look at this process. Risk assessment is all about identifying hazards, the people in danger and removing the risk so that they avoid injuries. Within a normal warehouse the hazards that exist include those relating to the use of handling equipment, lorry movements and the movement of goods. The site would have been surveyed, the hazards identified and risks recorded. All employees will then be made aware of the methods used to reduce these risks.
Installing a new or updated storage system will introduce different and unique hazards to a site. To comply with the legislation Redirack has carried out assessments of the processes and equipment used during build and these form part of the contract documentation.
Our Risk Assessment Process
Prior to arriving on site to start installation we will survey the site and identify the hazards present. We will give you our hazard and risk assessment sheets covering the equipment that we will be bringing to site and the working practices we will use. Note that these vary according to the height and type of rack installation.
From our experience the best way of working is for us to have a single contact at your company to deal with all the safety issues. This may be your safety officer or warehouse manager. Our contract controller will handle all safety issues from our side. Things we will look out for include the unusual, such as fire doors being blocked by incorrectly stored steelwork and constructing a mezzanine floor that gives access to a first floor doorway before its external stairway is in place!
As our customer you will be actively involved in this process as our presence on your site will expose your staff to new hazards.
Your responsibilities include:
- Employing a competent contractor.
- Being aware of what we, your contractor will be doing while on your site.
- Making us aware of any special hazards that exist on your site.
- With our help, assessing the risks of having us on your site.
- Developing a method statement detailing how you will continue to work while we are on your site.
- Analysing the safety implications of having a major construction happening on your site.
- Distributing all this information to your staff.
Having followed this process we will control and minimise the risks associated with the construction of your new Redirack storage system. However, this is not the end of the process. Once the scheme is finished and operational the hazard and risk assessment must be reviewed to cover your new facility. For further information refer to the Health and Safety Executive publications “Health and Safety in Retail and Wholesale Warehouses” and “Management of Health and Safety at Work -1992”.