Specified Risk and Your Organisation
Health and safety legislation often highlights that provision for highly-qualified suitable and sufficient emergency response specialists should be in position for any work undertaken at height, in confined space, near fire or water or any other hazardous working conditions and environments.
No employee, contractor or personnel should enter or undertake work in a confined space or at height, unless they are fully competent to undertake the work, are prepared and have the right equipment.
Considerations must also allow for the rescue of personnel as and when an emergency occurs.
What are the specific risks your organisation, premises and assets are susceptible to?
An emergency response team would be required, where specified risk exists, to respond to an emergency or incident. Specified risks can relate to an environment or location (i.e. confined space) and what could happen in that environment (i.e. lack of oxygen) and may include:
- Confined Space (High or low oxygen levels, gases, poor lighting, free-flowing solids, ingress of fluids and falls)
- Events (volume of attendees, fire safety and escape routes)
- Fire (burns, explosion and smoke inhalation)
- Hazmat and environmental (spillages, chemical leaks, pollution and chemical burns)
- Heavy movements and CDM sites (Entrapment, entanglement and crushing injuries)
- Height (falls, dropped objects, medical emergency at height, unsuitable and insufficient equipment and capability of undertaking a rescue)
- First aid and Medical (Insufficient medical provision and response as well as the absence of suitable first aid equipment)
- Natural disasters
- Water (drown, shock from cold water and broken bones)
If your business has a specified risk, consider the following:
- Nature of your business
- Legislation and how it affects your organisation
- The perceived level of risk (if you store chemicals on-site – what could be the impact of a chemical spillage)
- Level of incidents and how they impact on your workforce
- Workforce safety
- Your brand perception within the local community
- Does your organisation have a positive culture towards safety?
- Accessibility to confined space areas
- Media perception
Make sure you have adequate site-based rescue and response to risks
These proactive measures will help to create a positive approach to safety intervention as well as incident prevention. However, should an incident occur from those aforementioned specified risks, you will have a dedicated team of highly experienced and knowledgeable rescue and safety personnel, who have the expertise to effect rescues in testing conditions.