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Functional Safety Assessments

A safety statement is an employer commitment, in writing, towards the safety, health and welfare at work of their employees.

To construct a safety statement takes time and serious consideration on behalf of the employer, for it is a legal document that will demonstrate to the world what lengths the employer has gone in search for an accident free workplace.

Safety statements are not paper dreams, they are built on a solid foundation of comprehensive risk assessments of all aspects of the workplace, which can vary from the small office tearoom to a fully automatic robotic assembly line, i.e. duty of the employer is the same.

It is not possible to construct a proactive safety statement without having completed some important preliminary work, namely, method statements, risk assessments, control implementation, information, training and supervision. If one was to consider a safety statement to be a type of ‘Bailey Bridge’ that allowed an employer employees to cross a river (workplace) safely, we can clearly see that without the basic floatation components, the users of the bridge are being exposed to unnecessary dangers.

The route map to a successful construction of a safety statement could follow, but not be limited to: –

  1. Identification of the methodology used in the completion of tasks within the work place, e.g. do we have to carry it out in that fashion, do we have to do it at all?
  2. Risk assess the methodology used so that objective criticism may be made of the hazards, including the severity, the frequency and the number of people exposed. Other factors will also have to be taken into account such as the maximum possible loss, the probability of the occurrence, each of these inputs building up a picture of the hazard and suggesting a control from a hierarchy of controls, i.e.
    1. Eliminate – do we have to do this?
    2. Substitute – a less dangerous substance or route
    3. Enclose – house the hazard totally
    4. Segregate – limit the numbers of exposed people
    5. Guard – encapsulate moving components
    6. Information – is the workforce award of the danger?
    7. Training – are there specific measures required?
    8. Supervise – monitor that controls are being used
    9. Communication – two way dialogue until ground trooper
    10. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – important but the last line
  3. Apply controls from 1-10 above
  4. Construct a draft of the safety statement
  5. Carry out validation of the controls
  6. Issue a safety statement to all employees and employers of the other employees where necessary

Our offices can address all aspects of safety statements, be it from the small to medium manufacturer to the largest pharmaceutical/industrial processor. It is worth noting that the higher the risk of the workplace, the more input must be made in relation to the various Directives, e.g. ATEX, Pressure Equipment, EMC etc.