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Safety First: Tips for Tradesmen
Whatever your trade, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of accidents and injury to yourself, your team, customers and members of the public
Slips, trips, burns, breathing problems (the list goes on...) are all too common in the workplace. But, whatever your trade, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of accidents and injury to yourself, your team, customers and members of the public.
Before you start work
Before starting work it's important that you get to know the working environment and the nature of the work, and think of ways in which you can reduce danger and maximise the health and safety of those working on or affected by the project. The following points should help you to do this.
- Carry out a risk assessment.
- Adopt a safe working policy, inform everyone affected by it and keep a written record of it which everyone can get to.
- Make sure you've got the skills for the job. Are you trained, qualified and accredited for the work you are going to do? If you don't have the skills and experience then get someone else to do it.
- Buy appropriate tradesman insurance in the following areas:
Public Liability insurance.
Employers' Liability insurance.
- Vehicle insurance or van insurance.
- Decide how you're going to communicate with each other and be clear on meanings (especially if you use gestures).
- Learn basic first aid.
Once work gets going there are number of things you can do to make sure exposure to risk is kept to a minimum.
- Ensure everyone involved in the project has got and is wearing appropriate protective clothing for the job in hand.
- Shoes and boots.
- Ear protection.
- Protective outerwear.
- Make sure tools, equipment and machinery are in working order and use the correct item for the job.
- Watch out for hazards in the working environment including hazardous substances, open ground, power tools and electrical supplies.
- Keep customers and members of the public away from the working area. Be extra alert when it comes to the vulnerable such as the elderly or the disabled, young children and pets.
- Get rid of all waste appropriately.
Once work is finished
Once the job's done, do the following things.
- Ensure all exposed areas are re-covered.
- Remove all tools, equipment and machinery.
- Go to the site and check that it's safe.
- Review your working practices and procedures, and change if necessary.
- Inform customers and members of the public that it is safe to return.
Whatever the size of the job you're going to do, if you use safe working methods and practices before, during and after the project you could reduce the likelihood of harm occurring to yourself and others.
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