We all know and understand the key importance that Health and Safety plays within our business, however do we know how to protect ourselves from unexpected illnesses?
Sudden ill health can have a massive impact on our working life and can affect our home commitments to, especially if you have dependants. It’s a known fact that being a roofer comes with that added risk factor, so here at SIG Roofing we want to help protect you and maintain your good health.
Manual handling – there is no actual ‘safe’ weight; legal requirements stipulate for manual handling. Therefore, it’s important to refer to the Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) for guidelines on lifting, lowering and pushing and pulling – visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction
Noise – If possible you should remove people from a noisy area and choose quieter equipment, however where noise can’t be avoided, hearing protection and/or hearing protection zones are legally required – find out more at http://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/regulations.htm
Vibration – use of hand held vibrating tools like breakers, hammer drills and combihammers can lead to illnesses such as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome. As these tools are common place for roofers, try to select equipment that reduces exposure to vibration and have them checked/calibrated regularly and don’t forget you can try job rotation within the team to reduce impact.
Skin & Hygiene – the sun is a major cause of skin problems for us all. Keeping covered, wearing a hat with a brim or a flap, staying in the shade whenever possible and using a high factor sunscreen of SPF30 will help to protect you against the sun. And did you know that it is a legal requirement for all sites to have adequate washing facilities and all facilities must include a sink large enough to wash your hands, face and forearms?
Asbestos & Dust – Asbestos causes around 5,000 work-related deaths each year in the UK and should be handled with extreme care. If you need further information on how to safely handle asbestos, visit www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/essentials/index.htm
Silica Dust – over 500 construction workers die every year from exposure to silica dust, so it’s important to eliminate or reduce it. Wet working, avoiding high pressure spraying and wearing masks all help. For limits, view the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations at www.hse.gov.uk
Paints & coatings: Solvents or VOC’s within coatings can create a serious immediate risk as they give off vapours. Always select paints and coatings with low VOC content and carefully follow the application instructions, and ensure there’s plenty of ventilation.
Hydration: In hot weather we are all vulnerable to the impact of dehydration due to extreme temperature conditions. To stay hydrated, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends consuming around 250ml (half a pint) of water every 15 minutes.
By following these steps, you will not only help maintain tip-top health, you will ensure best roofing practice for the whole industry.
Health and Safety is front of mind to us here at SIG Roofing too. Our Zero Harm goal is to provide excellence in health and safety, as we care about the safety of everyone who comes in to contact with our business – customers, visitors and staff. Our aim is to be proactive, educational and develop a culture of mindfulness, consideration and care. Our target is zero harm every day, therefore when on our premises we ask all staff, customers and visitors to stay alert and be safe. Taking seriously our contribution to the health and safety for others, our environment and the industry.
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