LG3 Develop procedures to control risks to health and safety


This unit has been imported from the National Occupational Standards for Health and Safety managed by ENTO (Unit C).

Why this is important

Fundamental to this Unit is an understanding of the process involved in creating clear workplace health and safety procedures for people to follow. The terms “hazard” and “risk” have been defined below and it is VERY IMPORTANT that they are understood before undertaking this Unit

Who might do this

You might do this if you are:

  • not a specialist in health and safety but are nevertheless required to prepare health and safety procedures for the workplace;
  • an employer who, in order to be sure that all reasonably practicable precautions have been taken against risks to health and safety, has to ensure health and safety procedures are available for everyone to use; or
  • responsible for preparing the procedures.

What it involves

Develop procedures for maintaining a healthy and safe workplace involves:

  • identifying hazards;
  • assessing the risks and developing procedures to control the risks; and
  • reviewing these procedures and checking whether they are effective in the workplace.

Other units that link closely with this

LG1 Choose a legal format that suits your business
LG2 Keep up to date with current legislation affecting your business
LG4 Conduct an assessment of risks in the workplace
LG5 Assess the environmental impact of your business

What you need to do

  1. set realistic objectives to ensure a healthy and safe workplace for all people in the workplace
  2. develop health and safety procedures which meet legal requirements and are appropriate to
    • the type of work carried out, and
    • the workplace
  3. identify individuals to whom people must report accidents, report health and safety risks, and obtain first aid
  4. state clear measures to check the effectiveness of the workplace health and safety procedures
  5. specify the arrangements for recording health and safety data to meet legal requirements
  6. develop plans for health and safety training which are relevant to the needs of the workplace, the people in the workplace and meet legal requirements
  7. communicate health and safety procedures to all people in the workplace in a professional and considerate manner
  8. identify any changes to legal regulations or guidance affecting current working practices
  9. identify changes in the workplace affecting current workplace health and safety procedures
  10. provide responsible persons with opportunities to give feedback about the implementation of health and safety procedures
  11. identify and obtain further information and advice from reliable and recognised sources of expertise
  12. record, accurately
    • the details of any review carried out, and
    • the plans to improve current health and safety procedures
  13. alert all people in the workplace, promptly, to the revised health and safety procedures
  14. set effective measures in place for monitoring the revised health and safety procedures

What you need to know and understand

Health and safety legislation

  1. Employers’ and employees’ legal duties for health and safety in the workplace as required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  2. Your responsibilities for health and safety as defined by any specific legislation covering your job role.

Health and safety procedures

  1. How to prepare and write effective policies and procedures.
  2. The different types of working practices present in the workplace
  3. What would constitute a breach of legal health and safety requirements.
  4. What hazards exist in your workplace.
  5. What the particular health and safety risks are which may be present in your own job role and precautions to be taken.
  6. The importance of remaining alert to the presence of hazards in the whole workplace.
  7. The importance of dealing with or promptly reporting risks.
  8. What are the appropriate measures for checking different types of health and safety procedures.

Workplace health and safety

  1. The work areas and people for whom you are responsible and covered by the health and safety procedures.
  2. The commonly used working practices.
  3. The information that may be required about health and safety within the workplace.
  4. The specific organisational health and safety procedures covering your job role

Effectiveness of health and safety procedures in your workplace

  1. Changes in the workplace in respect of:
    • working practices
    • plant, machinery or materials, and
    • personnel.
  2. Information and advice in respect of:
    • systems for assessing and recording degree of risk
    • specific legal requirements
    • specific equipment and process risks
  3. The work areas and people for whom you are responsible.
  4. Job roles of the people for whom you are responsible.
  5. What information may be available on health and safety in the workplace.
  6. Appropriate channels of communication within the workplace.

Health and safety review

  1. Ways of conducting an effective health and safety review
  2. How to check the impact of any changes that occur in the workplace on the health and safety policy.
  3. What changes are needed to improve health and safety in the workplace.
  4. What records need to be kept about health and safety data (for example, complaints, incidents, accidents, illnesses, fire evacuation drills, test certificates, training records and the results of monitoring).

Key words and phrases which you might see used frequently within the Health and Safety for People at Work units

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the body appointed to support and enforce health and safety law. They have defined two important concepts as follows:

“a hazard is something with potential to cause harm”
“a risk is the likelihood of the hazard’s potential being realised”

Almost anything may be a hazard, but may or may not become a risk, for example:

  • A trailing electric cable from a piece of equipment is a hazard. If it is trailing across a passageway there is a high risk of someone tripping over it, but if it lies along a wall out of the way, the risk is much less.
  • Toxic or flammable chemicals stored in a building are a hazard, and by their nature may present a high risk. However, if they are kept in a properly designed secure store, and handled by properly trained and equipped people, the risk is much less than if they are left about in a busy workshop for anyone to use – or misuse.
  • A failed light bulb is a hazard. If it is just one bulb out of many in a room it presents very little risk, but if it is the only light on a stairwell, it is a very high risk. Changing the bulb may be a high risk, if it high up, or if the power has been left on, or low risk if it is in a table lamp which has been unplugged
  • A box of heavy material is a hazard. It presents a higher risk to someone who lifts it manually than if a mechanical handling device is properly used.
This word is used to describe the single or multiple areas in which you carry out your work.
Working practices:
Any activities, procedures, use of materials or equipment and working techniques used in carrying out your job. In this unit it also covers any omissions in good working practices which may pose a threat to health and safety.
Workplace policies:
This covers the documentation prepared by the employer on the procedures to be followed regarding health and safety matters. It could be the employer’s safety policy statement, or general health and safety statements and written safety procedures covering aspects of the workplace that should be drawn to the employees’ (and “other person”) attention.
Other persons:
This phrase refers to everyone covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act including: visitors, members of the public, colleagues, contractors, clients, customers, patients, students, pupils.
Personal Presentation:
This includes, personal hygiene; use of personal protection equipment; clothing and accessories suitable to the particular workplace.
Responsible persons:
The person or persons at work to whom you should report any health and safety issues or hazards. This could be a supervisor, line manager or your employer.

Key points regarding Health and Safety legislation and regulations

“Health and Safety at Work Act 1974”

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the main piece of legislation under which nearly all the other regulations are made. It is for this reason that only this piece of legislation is specifically referred to in this Unit.

Employers have a legal duty under this Act to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of the people for whom they are responsible and the people who may be affected by the work they do.

Under this Act it is also important to be aware that all people at work, not just employers, have a duty to take reasonable care to avoid harming themselves or others through the work they do.

Risks should be reduced “so far as is reasonably practicable”. This term means the duty-holder (in most instances the employer) can balance the cost against the degree of risk although obviously any Health and Safety Inspectors would expect that relevant good practice is followed.

According to the Act:

Employers must safeguard so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all the people who work for them and “other persons”. This applies in particular to the provision and maintenance of safe plant and systems of work, and covers all machinery, equipment and substances used.

People at work also have a duty under the Act to take reasonable care to avoid harm to themselves or to others by their working practices, and to co-operate with employers and others in meeting statutory requirements. The Act also requires employees not to interfere with or misuse anything provided to protect their health, safety or welfare in compliance with the Act.

Other Legislation

There is an array of health and safety regulations and codes of practice which affect people at work. There are regulations for those who, for example, work with electricity, or work on construction projects, as well as regulations covering noise at work, manual handling, working with VDUs, or dealing with substances hazardous to health, etc. The specific requirements for all or any of these can be obtained from HSE local offices.

As many of the regulations are only relevant to certain workplaces or working practices no specific reference has been made in the knowledge requirements (i.e. What you need to know) to any of these regulations. The phrase “your responsibilities for health and safety as required by any specific legislation covering your job role” is intended to relate to those specific pieces of legislation important to your workplace and/or working practices which you should be able to find out about.

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