• Working with Contractors - How should I manage them on site?National Services Scotland

    You need to control who enters your premises, for example by asking contractors to sign in on their arrival. You need to ensure that contractors are aware of

     - site safety rules

     - any hazards and risks

     - emergency procedures

     - first aid facilities

     - alarm procedures

     - a site contact.

    You may require a permit to work for certain tasks. These include working with electricity, hot work and confined spaces and so on. In this case you will need to make the contractor aware of the process. For more information about a work permit you can visit our page.

    Monitor the contractors' performance

     - they are doing a good job as planned

     - following procedures as specified on their risk assessments and/or method statement.

    The amount of monitoring will depend on the level of risk. Higher risk will require closer monitoring. It’s important to ensure that the contractor stays in touch with you and reports any incidents, accidents or near misses to you to be recorded accordingly.

    Review the work

     - that the job was completed as planned

     - if there were any incidents

     - whether they followed safety rules and procedures.

    It’s important that you feedback to the contractor and you encourage them to do the same about your organisation. After this you need to decide if the contractor will stay in your approved list of contractors.

    You also need to check if your procedures worked. For example if you planned the work well or if the selection process was effective. You should learn from the experience and review your procedures to amend them accordingly.

  • Driving - Whats included in a Driving Risk Assessment?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Many different types of vehicle are used across the organisation and it is important that staff and Line Mangers are aware of the risks they cause and take steps to manage these.  The best way to find out about the risks in your organisation, and how to address these, is by discussing issues with your staff and carrying out a risk assessment and ensuring that this information is added to the Organisational Risk Profile document.

    Your risk assessment for vehicles at work should consider

     - the driver

     - the vehicle

     - the journey, route or the job the vehicle is used for.

    The risk assessment process will help identify how best to control these and other identified risks on our sites.

  • Driving - What information will I find in the NSS Work Related Driving Risk Procedure?National Services Scotland

    The NSS Work Related Driving Risk Procedure clearly states how you will ensure safe operations at all times, this may include clarifying

     - how NSS organisation uses vehicles onsite and on the public road

     - the risk of driving activities

     - responsibilities to maintain vehicles in a roadworthy condition (including responsibilities of workers using their own vehicles)

     - that vehicles over three years old must have a valid MOT certificate

     - that staff must inform their line manager of anything that may affect their ability to drive safely such as penalty points, or changes in personal circumstances such as use of prescription medication or health issues

     - that drivers must report any vehicle defects, and never drive defective vehicles

     - what actions to take in an emergency situation

     - that workers should check with a doctor or pharmacist if their prescription drugs will adversely affect their ability to drive

     - the need for regular eye tests, and any necessary corrective eyewear is worn

     - what qualifies as safe driving times between breaks

     - that fatigue is more of a problem at certain times of day and when nearing the end of a long journey, there is an increased likelihood of falling asleep in the afternoon and in the early hours of the morning

     - that drivers should plan ahead and consider potential hazards on their intended route such as schools

     - the NSS position is on use of mobile phones.

  • Driving - What does the Scottish Government recommend for safe winter driving?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Please refer to the Scottish Government Winter Maintenance guide for more information.

  • Driving - What does the Highways Agency recommend for winter driving?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Advice from the Highways Agency can be accessed through the Highways Agency Guide.

  • Driving - ROSPA Winter Driving FactsheetNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Rospa - Road Safety Factsheet

    Winter Driving Tips

    Driving in the winter is very different than in other times of the year. Adverse weather and longer periods of darkness (especially after the clocks go back at the end of October) makes driving more hazardous. Sometimes conditions can be extreme, as we have found out over recent winters, with prolonged periods of heavy snow and floods.

    In very bad conditions, avoid driving completely, unless you absolutely have to make the journey and driving is the only option.

    Different weather conditions create different hazards throughout the winter and in different areas of the country at different times. A single journey may take us into very different weather, road and traffic conditions, so we need to be prepared for each one. This means that we need to adapt the way we drive to the conditions.

    Prepare your vehicle

    It’s a good idea to have your vehicle fully serviced before winter starts and have the anti-freeze tested. If you can’t have it serviced, then do your own checks. In particular, check:

    • Lights are clean and working
    • Battery is fully charged
    • Windscreen, wiper blades and other windows are clean and the washer bottle filled with screen wash
    • Tyre condition, tread depth and pressure (of all the tyres, including the spare)
    • Brakes are working well
    • Fluids are kept topped up, especially windscreen wash (to the correct concentration to prevent it freezing), anti-freeze and oil

    It’s also a good idea to stock up on de-icer, windscreen wash, oil and anti-freeze at the start of winter.

    Emergency Kit

    When extreme weather is possible, keep an emergency kit in your car, especially if you’re going on a long journey. If this seems unnecessary, take a moment to imagine yourself stranded in your car overnight, due to a snow storm or floods. How would you stay warm? What would you eat and drink? If you must drive in these conditions, we recommend that you carry:

    • Tow rope
    • A shovel
    • Wellington boots
    • A hazard warning triangle
    • De-icing equipment
    • First aid kit (in good order)
    • A working torch
    • A car blanket
    • Warm clothes
    • Emergency Rations (including hot drink in a flask – non-alcoholic, of course)
    • Mobile Phone (fully charged)

    Prepare your journey

    Listen to local/national weather broadcasts and travel bulletins – especially for the areas you will be driving through. As conditions can change rapidly, check them regularly and be prepared to change your plans if conditions on your route worsen. 

    If conditions are very bad, and the emergency services are recommending that people don’t travel, then avoid making your journey unless it is absolutely necessary.

    Can you postpone your trip? Can you travel by other means, or avoid the need for the journey completely by using the phone or email?

    Of course, what’s ‘essential’ to one person may not be to another; we each have to make our own decisions according to our circumstances.

    But, try to be realistic about which journeys are essential and which ones could be postponed.

    If you decide you really must travel:

    • Let someone know where you are going and what time you hope to arrive, so that they can raise the alarm if you get into difficulties.
    • Plan alternative routes in case your main choice(s) becomes impassable.
    • Keep your fuel tank near to full to ensure that you do not run out.
    • Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone, so you can call for help or alert someone if you’re delayed – it could be a long walk to a phone, if you don’t have a mobile phone.
    • If you don’t have an emergency kit in your vehicle, at least take extra warm clothes, boots and a torch. Consider keeping a couple of long-life energy bars in the glove box.
    • Clear your windows and mirrors completely of snow and ice before you set off (make sure the heater is blowing warm air before setting off – it will keep your windscreen clear.)

    Prepare yourself

    Most of us have very little experience of driving in extreme conditions, such as snow, so take some time to consider how it affects your driving. Don’t just drive as normal. A lot of us will catch colds or other illnesses during the winter. If you’re feeling so ill that you’re driving might be affected, don’t take the chance of driving.

    Driving in snow or ice

    If you find yourself driving in snow or on icy or snow covered roads, adapt your driving to these conditions:

    • Reduce your speed. The chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively.
    • Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Speed limits are the maximum in ideal conditions; in difficult conditions, they can often be too fast.
    • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering.
    • Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces.
    • Slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners.
    • Braking on an icy or snow covered bend is extremely dangerous. The centrifugal force will continue to pull you outwards and the wheels will not grip very well. This could cause your vehicle to spin.
    • To slow down on ice and snow, lift the gas early to allow the speed to drop sufficiently to select a lower gear. If you need to use the brakes, use very gentle pressure depressing the clutch early to avoid stalling the engine.
    • Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking.
    • Keep your vehicle well-ventilated. The car heater turned up full can quickly make you drowsy.
    • In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
    • Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights.
    • During wintry weather, road surfaces are often wet and/or covered in frost and ice or snow. But this does not occur uniformly. A road will often have isolated patches of frost or ice after most of the road has thawed – this commonly occurs under bridges.

    If you get stuck in snow:

    • If you get stuck in snow, revving your engine to try to power out of the rut will just make the rut worse. Instead, move your vehicle slowly backwards and forwards out of the rut using the highest gear you can.
    • If this doesn’t work, you may have to ask a friendly passer-by for a push or get your shovel out.

    If you get caught in a snow drift:

    • Don't leave your vehicle.
    • Call your breakdown service or the emergency services and let help come to you.
    • Don't run the engine to keep warm.

    Rain

    Rain reduces your ability to see and greatly increases the distance required to slow down and stop. Remember that you will need about TWICE your normal braking distance. Use windscreen wipers, washers and dipped headlights; drive smoothly and plan your manoeuvres in plenty of time.

     Aquaplaning

    Aquaplaning is caused by driving too fast into surface water. When the tyre tread cannot channel away enough water, the tyre(s) lose contact with the road and your car will float on a wedge of water. Aquaplaning can be avoided by reducing speed in wet conditions. Having the correct tyre pressure and tyre tread depth will maximise your tyres’ ability to maintain their road grip. If it happens, ease off the accelerator and brakes until your speed drops sufficiently for the car tyres to make contact with the road again.

     Flooded Roads

    • Avoid the deepest water – which is usually near the kerb.
    • Don’t attempt to cross if the water seems too deep.
    • If you are not sure of the water’s depth, look for an alternative route.
    • If you decide to risk it, drive slowly in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch – this will stop you from stalling.
    • Be aware of the bow wave from approaching vehicles – operate an informal ‘give way’ with approaching vehicles.
    • Remember to test your brakes when you are through the flood.

    Fog

    Avoid driving in fog unless your journey is absolutely necessary.

    Fog is one of the most dangerous weather conditions. An accident involving one vehicle can quickly involve many others, especially if they are driving too close to one another.

    If you must drive:

    • Follow weather forecasts and general advice to drivers in the local and national media.
    • Allow plenty of extra time for your journey.
    • Check your car before you set off. Make sure everything is in good working order, especially the lights.
    • Reduce your speed and keep it down
    • Switch on headlights and fog lamps if visibility is reduced.
    • If you can see the vehicles to your rear, the drivers behind can see you – switch off your rear fog lamps to avoid dazzling them.
    • Use the demister and windscreen wipers.
    • Do not ‘hang on’ to the rear lights of the car in front as you will be too close to be able to brake safely.
    • Switch off distracting noises and open the window slightly so that you can listen for other traffic, especially at crossroads and junctions.
    • Beware of speeding up immediately when visibility improves slightly. In patchy fog you could find yourself ‘driving blind’ again only moments later.
    • If you break down, inform the police and get the vehicle off the road as soon as possible. Never park on the road in fog and never leave it without warning lights of some kind if it is on the wrong side of the road.

    Strong winds

    • Hold on tight
    • Avoid bridges
    • If driving a high sided vehicle ... don’t.

    Low sunshine

    Ironically, having talked about all these poor winter weather conditions, winter suns can also cause difficulties. In winter, the angle of the sun in the sky will frequently be too low for your visor to help. If blinded by glare:

    • Reduce your speed
    • Reduce the effect of glare by keeping both the inside and outside of your windscreen clean and grease free.
    • If you wear sunglasses (with prescription lenses if necessary) take them off whenever the sun goes in. They should not be worn in duller weather or at night as they seriously reduce the ability to see.

    If the worst does happen...

    If you get stranded, don’t panic.

    Stay with your vehicle and call the emergency services on your mobile phone.

  • Driving - Can I use my mobile phone while driving?National Services Scotland

    It is a criminal offence to drive, or to "cause or permit" someone else to drive, while using a hand-held mobile phone or similar device. NSS and Line Managers should consider this when they provide mobile phones and expect staff to answer when driving. Driving includes times when stopped at traffic lights or during other hold-ups that may occur during a journey when a vehicle can be expected to move off after a short while.

    Many drivers use hands-free phones but they could still risk prosecution. For example, in an accident, a prosecution for careless or dangerous driving may be justified if a phone was in use at the time of the crash.

    Information within the NSS Work Related Driving Risk Procedure states that does not allow the use of hand held (and ideally hands free) phones whilst driving and makes it clear that calls received

  • Driving - Are there limits to how many hours I can drive?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Driving hours of goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and some passenger vehicles are regulated by European Community rules. These set limits on driver's hours

     - daily driving limit: 9 hours*

     - maximum driving limit: 4 ½ hours

     - daily rest period: 11 hours

     - weekly driving limit: 56 hours

     - fortnightly driving limit: 90 hours

     - weekly rest period: 45 consecutive hours.*

    *The rules on drivers' hours and tachographs for passenger carrying vehicles and goods vehicles differ. The Department for Transport provides advice for drivers and operators of passenger vehicles on all aspects of drivers' hours rules in the UK and Europe.

  • Health Surveillance - What needs to be included in a record of health surveillance?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    What needs to be included in a record of health surveillance?

    Record:

    • The persons name and National Insurance number
    • The substance they are exposed to, and when (start date, frequency of use)
    • The surveillance test that is done on them, and the tester
    • The outcome e.g. passed / retest / failed (but not the test data).

    Remember that a Health Surveillance record is different to a medical record.

    Medical records are generated by a health professional, namely a Dr or Nurse, who is competent as regards the hazard, risks and likely health effects. The information contained in a Medical Record depends on the nature of the medical carried out. ALSO the Medical Record is medical-in-confidence material and it is the responsibility of the health professional that has created it to ensure that nobody else gets access without informed consent from the individual whose medical record it is.

    Further information on health surveillance overview is available.

  • COSHH - What learning and development is available?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Learning and Development

    You will be able to find details on learning and development opportunities across NSS within the HR Connect Page - Learning and Development and Organisational Development

    For specific COSHH learning log onto Learnpro

    • Mandatory for Role - NSS: COSHH
    • Mandatory for All - Health and Safety Induction
    • Mandatory for Role - NSS Workplace Safety
  • COSHH - What is a substance hazardous to health?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    What is a substance hazardous to health?

    A substance hazardous to health is a substance or mixture with the potential to cause harm if they are inhaled, ingested, or come into contact, or are absorbed through the skin

    The COSHH Regulations apply to any substance:

    a) which is listed in Table 3.2 of part 3 Annex VI of the CLP Regulation and for which an indication of danger specified for the substance is very toxic, toxic, harmful, corrosive or irritant;

    b) for which the Health and Safety Executive has approved a Workplace Exposure Limit

    c) Which is a biological agent

    d) Which is dust of any kind, except dust which is a substance within paragraph (a) or (b) above, when present at a concentration in air equal to or greater than

    10 mg/m3 as a time weighted average over an 8 hour period of inhalable dust or 4mg/m3 as a time weighted average over an 8 hour period of respirable dust

    e) Which, not being a substance falling within sub-paragraphs (a) to (d), because of its chemical or toxicological properties and the way it is used or is present at the workplace creates a risk to health

  • COSHH - We have safety data sheets do we need risk assessments?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    We have safety data sheets for all our hazardous substances: do we still need to carry out COSHH risk assessments?

    YES. A good safety data sheet (SDS) does not substitute for carrying out and recording a COSHH risk assessment.  Gathering SDSs is only the first stage in the assessment process. The SDS will provide information on the hazardous properties of the substances you are using, any health effects associated with its use, how likely it is to get into the air or onto the skin, and what risk reduction measures you should use to control exposure to an acceptable level. However, it will not be specific to your workplace and cannot take into account the particular environment you work in. Working with substances hazardous to health provides more information

  • COSHH - Ventilation requirementsNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    What are the ventilation requirements when working with hazardous substances, what do the regulations require?

    Ventilation of the building – you need good general ventilation, which normally means five to 10 air-changes per hour - talk to a heating and ventilation engineer.

    Ventilation of a process, usually called local exhaust ventilation (LEV) means extracting any gas, vapour, fume, mist or gas from a source of airborne contaminant. The rate of extraction depends on the size of the source. The shape of the hood that collects the contaminant cloud depends on the speed and direction of the contaminant cloud. You need to talk to a competent person. See:

    See HSE's local exhaust ventilation website

    Don't forget that ventilation has little effect on exposure of, or through, the skin

  • COSHH - Information Websites and Video'sNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland
  • COSHH - I work with chemicals but there is no procedureNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    I work with chemicals but there is no procedure in place to control the exposure to them - What can I do?

    Report this to your Line Manager, Local COSHH Risk Assessor or the NSS Health & Safety Advisor

  • COSHH - I work with Chemicals - what should I know?Public Health Scotland, National Services Scotland

    I work with Chemicals - what should I know?

    You don't need any particular qualifications but you must be competent. This means you must have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to do the job properly. You should:

    • understand hazard and risk
    • know how the work can expose people to substances hazardous to health
    • have the ability (and authority) to collect all the necessary information
    • have the knowledge, skills and experience to make the right decisions about how to control exposure.

     

  • COSHH - How often should I complete a COSHH risk assessment reviewNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    COSHH - How often should I complete a COSHH risk assessment review

     

    An assessment should be revisited to ensure that it is kept up to date and an employer should do this regularly. The date of the first review and the length of time between successive reviews will depend on type of risk, the work, and the employers judgement on the likelihood of changes occurring.

    The assessment should be reviewed immediately if:

    There is any reason to suppose that the original assessment is no longer valid, eg evidence from the results of examining and testing engineering controls, reports from supervisors about defects in control systems; or

    Any of the circumstances of the work should change significantly and especially one which may have affected employees exposure to a hazardous substance

    The requirement is for a review of the assessment. This does not mean that the whole assessment process will have to be repeated at each review. The first purpose of review is to see if the existing assessment is still suitable and sufficient.  If it is, then you do not need to do any more.

    If it appears that the assessment is no longer valid, it does not mean that the whole assessment has to be revised.  Only those parts that do not reflect the new situation need amending.

    Whether or not there is any real change in the situation, there is an absolute requirement to review the situation on a regular basis. Without this, there is a danger that gradual change over a period of time goes unnoticed and the assessment becomes unsuitable and insufficient by default.

  • COSHH - How do I get safety data sheets and how do I use them?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    How do I get safety data sheets and how do I use them?

    If a substance is dangerous for supply, the supplier must send you a data sheet when the product is first ordered, if the formulation changes, or if you ask for a sheet. If it is not dangerous for supply the supplier should include instructions for safe use with the package. Report suppliers who refuse to provide safety information to HSE.
    The parts of a safety data sheet you may find most useful are:

    Further information on Safety data sheets is available.

  • COSHH - How do I do a COSHH assessment but I have no safety data sheetNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    How do I carry out a COSHH assessment for a substance that does not have a Safety Data Sheet, eg Dust?

    Some substances are process generated, for example wood dust released from sawing wood. Employers should regard a substance as hazardous to health if it is hazardous in the form in which it occurs in the work activity. You should find out if there are any health effects associated with working with the hazardous materials identified and look at how workers could be exposed, for example do you use a dry brush to sweep up dust? Use this information to evaluate risks to health and minimise exposure by taking sensible measures, such as using a vacuum cleaner instead of a brush, or keeping lids on containers. How do I carry out a COSHH risk assessment? provides more information.

  • COSHH - How do I carry out a COSHH Risk Assessment?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    How do I carry out a COSHH Risk Assessment?

    You should:

    Contact your Line Manager and ask for a COSHH Risk assessment to be carried out by a Nominated COSHH Risk Assessor and together

    • Gather information about the hazardous properties of the substances, the work, and the working practices (or find out what the problems are)
    • Evaluate the risks to health
    • Decide on the necessary measures to comply with Regulations 7-13 of COSHH
    • Record the assessment 
    • Decide when the assessment needs to be reviewed

    You can find more information on carrying out a COSHH risk assessment in the HSE publication A step by step guide to COSHH assessment.

  • COSHH - Does my employer have to provide me with a copy of the COSHH assessment?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Does my employer have to provide me with a copy of the COSHH assessment?

    Employers must provide information about the hazards, risks and control measures, and instruction and training to use the control measures. All employers must carry out a risk assessment and those employing five or more employees must also record significant findings. This record needs to be accessible so that safety representatives, inspectors, etc. can examine it.

    You can find further information on working with hazardous substances in the HSE publication Working with substances hazardous to health.

  • COSHH - Do cleaning chemicals have to be kept ion a locked cupboard?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Do cleaning chemicals have to be kept ion a locked cupboard?

    Locking up cleaning chemicals is sensible if vulnerable people such as children or learning-impaired persons are able to gain access to them.

  • Confined Spaces - LegislationNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Confined Spaces Regulations 1997

    These regulations provide guidance on how to carry out work in confined spaces safely.  They also provide information on the likely hazards and suitable precautions.  The regulations and associated guidance are available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

    Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

    This regulation covers all parts of the workplace.

    Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

    This states your Board must assess the risks to employees.  Line Managers need to make arrangements for their and their employees health and safety by effective:

    • - planning
    • - organising
    • - control
    • - monitoring
    • - review

    Personal protective and work equipment Regulation 1998

    This regulation requires your Board to consider the impacts of personal protection on work activities.  You need to ensure suitable equipment is provided and used, and also requires Managers to consider the impact on work in confined spaces.

    Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

    The Act places the general duty on you to ensure the health, safety at work of all your employees.  To achieve this, you need to provide adequate:

    • - training
    • - instruction
    • - information
    • - supervision

    It also places duties on employees to take reasonable care of their own safety and that of others.  They must cooperate with their employer to help them meet their legal obligations.

  • Confined Space - Working Safety PrecautionsNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Where possible, avoid entry to confined spaces. Establish if the work is really necessary or if it can be done in another way that avoids the need to enter.

    If entry to a confined space is unavoidable then you must follow a safe system of work. Have emergency procedures in place before work starts.​  The results of your risk assessment will help you identify the risks and necessary precautions.

    Safe systems of work

    Make sure you have all the relevant information, knowledge and experience to carry out the work. There needs to be a site specific method statement​ in place for all employees to adhere to before the work is carried out. You may need to have a permit to work system in place.

    Ventilation

    You will need to ensure there is suitable ventilation within the workplace. You may have to introduce temporary ventilation before you start. 

    If the area has restricted or no natural air supply you may have to use breathing apparatus to provide an air supply to the user.

    Isolation

    You may need to isolate local utilities to allow your employees to work safely such as

    - gas

    - water

    - electricity

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    Ensure all your employees have suitable PPE​ to undertake the work.

    Care should be taken to ensure that the PPE used does not introduce other hazards. These can include overheating or restricting communication or movement.

    Ensure your employees have proper 

    - head, hand and foot protection

    - eye and hearing protection

    - waterproof and thermal clothing

    - respirators and breathing apparatus

    - appropriate safety harnesses ​

    Emergency procedures

    Put emergency arrangements in place before any work starts. You must put suitable and sufficient measures in place to make sure employees can be rescued safely if required. You should also consider

    - first aid procedures

    - the safety of rescuers

    - liaison with emergency services

    They must be appropriate to the hazard presented by the activity.

    - There must be an effective means of communication for raising the alarm both from the confined space and by someone outside.

    - Work in confined spaces is often carried out at night, weekends and times when the premises are closed, for example holidays. Consider how the alarm can be raised.

    - Provide rescue and resuscitation equipment. This will depend on the likely emergencies identified.

    - It may be necessary to shut down any adjacent plant before attempting emergency rescue. Ensure access and a means to safely shut down is available.

    - Consider how the local emergency services would be made aware of an incident. Plan what their route of access is. Also consider what information about the dangers need to be given to them on their arrival.

    Rescuers

    Those who are identified as rescuers need to be: -

    - ready at hand

    - properly trained

    - fit to carry out their task

    - protected against the cause of the emergency

    - capable of using any equipment provided for rescue, for example breathing apparatus, lifelines and fire-fighting equipment.

    Training

    Training is critical in all work with confined spaces. Ensure that all employees are given suitable and appropriate training to carry out the workplace task. This will include emergency procedures and if required training in the use of brea​​​thing apparatus.

  • Confined Space - What it means?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Work in confined spaces can create a risk of death or serious injury, this could be from exposure to hazardous substances or dangerous conditions such as lack of oxygen or a build up of water. 

     Examples of confirmed spaces include: -

    - pits and trenches

    - sewers and drains

    - vats, silos and tanks

    - chambers and ducting

    - some enclosed pieces of medical equipment

    - unventilated or poorly ventilated rooms

  • Confined Space - What do I need to do?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Before you conduct any work

    Before conducting any work in potentially confined spaces, you should read and understand the NSS Confined Space Procedure, seek advice form Facilities Team and Health and Safety Executive's regulations and guidance.

    Depending on the risks identified there may need to appoint competent people to help manage the risks and ensure that employees are adequately trained and instructed. ​

    Carry out a risk assessment

    Where entry to a confined space is unavoidable, a thorough risk assessment should be carried out to devise a safe system of work. The Line Manager and Employee should consider the:

    - duration of the task

    - task being performed

    - training requirements

    - physical effort required

    - suitability of those carrying out the task including their health

    - number of those involved, inside and outside the confined space, and rescue teams

    They should also consider the working environment, including

    - access

    - lighting

    - lack of oxygen

    - by-products of the task being undertaken, for example welding fumes

    - communication methods for raising an alarm and any evacuation difficulties

    Working materials also need to be considered. This includes: -

    - fire or spark risk

    - waste removal

    - fume ventilation

    - tools needed and their access ​

    Method statement

    Where the work being carried out is considered to be complex, Line Managers and Employees should provide more detail to those involved in the form of a method statement. This includes how the job is to be carried out and the how the risks are managed. ​

    Whilst not a legal requirement, a method statement describes, in a logical way, exactly how a job is to be carried out to ensure safety for all involved. You should also consider the application of a permit to work system.​​

  • Confined Space - What are the risks?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    People are killed and seriously injured working in confined spaces, this includes people trying to conduct rescues without the proper training or equipment. Wherever possible, avoid the need to work in confined spaces by using remote access methods.

    There are various hazards to be considered when working in confined spaces include: -

     - lack of oxygen

     - lack of natural light

     - dusts in high concentrations such as flour

     - liquids and solids suddenly filling the space

     - hot working conditions increasing body heat

    There is a risk with gas, fumes or vapours filling the space as these can be flammable or poisonous.

  • Confined Space - Common HazardsNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Work in confined spaces can create a risk of death or serious injury, this could be from exposure to hazardous substances or dangerous conditions such as lack of oxygen or a build up of water. 

     Examples of confirmed spaces include

    • pits and trenches
    • sewers and drains
    • vats, silos and tanks
    • chambers and ducting
    • some enclosed pieces of medical equipment
    • unventilated or poorly ventilated rooms.

    People are killed and seriously injured working in confined spaces, this includes people trying to conduct rescues without the proper training or equipment. Wherever possible, avoid the need to work in confined spaces by using remote access methods.

    There are various hazards to be considered when working in confined spaces include:

    • lack of oxygen
    • lack of natural light
    • dusts in high concentrations such as flour
    • liquids and solids suddenly filling the space
    • hot working conditions increasing body heat.

    There is a risk with gas, fumes or vapours filling the space as these can be flammable or poisonous.

    Before you conduct any work

    Before conducting any work in potentially confined spaces, you should read and understand the NSS Confined Space Procedure, seek advice form Facilities Team and Health and Safety Executive's regulations and guidance.

    Depending on the risks identified there may need to appoint competent people to help manage the risks and ensure that employees are adequately trained and instructed. ​

    Carry out a risk assessment

    Where entry to a confined space is unavoidable, a thorough risk assessment should be carried out to devise a safe system of work. The Line Manager and Employee should consider the:

    • duration of the task
    • task being performed
    • training requirements
    • physical effort required
    • suitability of those carrying out the task including their health
    • number of those involved, inside and outside the confined space, and rescue teams.

    They should also consider the working environment, including

    • access
    • lighting
    • lack of oxygen
    • by-products of the task being undertaken, for example welding fumes
    • communication methods for raising an alarm and any evacuation difficulties.

    Working materials also need to be considered. This includes

    • fire or spark risk
    • waste removal
    • fume ventilation
    • tools needed and their access.​

    Method statement

    Where the work being carried out is considered to be complex, Line Managers and Employees should provide more detail to those involved in the form of a method statement. This includes how the job is to be carried out and the how the risks are managed.​

    Whilst not a legal requirement, a method statement describes, in a logical way, exactly how a job is to be carried out to ensure safety for all involved. You should also consider the application of a permit to work system.​​

  • Asbestos - When is an asbestos licence required?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Work with particular asbestos-containing materials can only be carried out by somebody who holds a licence issued by HSE. Licences are granted for a limited period of time (usually one or three years), enabling HSE to review licences and the performance of licence holders at regular intervals.

    Not all work with asbestos materials requires a licence. However, all work with sprayed asbestos coatings, asbestos insulation or asbestos lagging and most work with asbestos insulating board (AIB) requires a licence because of the hazardous nature of these higher risk materials.

    For those doing licensed work, the current Regulations require that employers must keep a health record for employees and they must also be kept under regular medical surveillance. The health record must be kept for 40 years after the date of the last entry in it. If an employee has been exposed to asbestos, the health record must note the following:

    • The date, time and how long the exposure to asbestos was for
    • The type of asbestos (if known)
    • The levels of asbestos exposed to (if known)

    For further information, please review your Business Risk Profile to understand if any of the buildings that we have staff in have a potential to have asbestos in them and/or your Facilities Asbestos Specialist.

  • Asbestos - When does inadvertent exposure to asbestos constitute a reportable incident under RIDDOR?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) places duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the responsible person) to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).

    Exposure to asbestos is reportable under RIDDOR when a work activity causes the accidental release or escape of asbestos fibres into the air in a quantity sufficient to cause damage to the health of any person. Such situations are likely to arise when work is carried out without suitable controls, or where those controls fail – they often involve:

    • Use of power tools (to drill, cut etc) on most ACMs
    • Work that leads to physical disturbance (knocking, breaking, smashing) of an ACM that should only be handled by a licensed contractor eg sprayed coating, lagging, asbestos insulating board (AIB)
    • Manually cutting or drilling AIB
    • Work involving aggressive physical disturbance of asbestos cement eg breaking or smashing

    If these activities are carried out without suitable controls, or the precautions fail to control exposure, these would be classed as a 'dangerous occurrence' under RIDDOR and should be reported.

    Remember, if you need to report a dangerous occurrence relating to asbestos, you should review your asbestos management plan or your working practices.

  • Asbestos - What is an asbestos survey register?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The asbestos risk register is a key component of the required plan on how you will manage any asbestos found, or presumed to be, in your buildings. This management plan must contain current information about the presence and condition of any asbestos in the building. The asbestos risk register will therefore need to be updated on a regular basis (at least once a year). To do this you should make:

    • Regular inspections to check the current condition of asbestos materials
    • Deletions to the register when any asbestos is removed
    • Additions to the register when new areas are surveyed and asbestos is located
    • Changes to the register (at any time asbestos-containing materials are found to have deteriorated)

    The risk register can be kept as a paper or electronic record and it is very important that this is kept up to date and easily accessible. Paper copies may be easier to pass on to visiting maintenance workers, who will need them to know the location and condition of any asbestos before they start work. Electronic copies are easier to update and are probably better suited for people responsible for large numbers of properties or bigger premises

    For further information, please review your Business Risk Profile to understand if any of the buildings that we have staff in have a potential to have asbestos in them and/or your Facilities Asbestos Specialist.

  • Asbestos - What is an asbestos survey and do I need one?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    An asbestos survey is an effective way to help you manage asbestos in your premises by providing accurate information about the location, amount and type of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).  The person responsible for maintenance of non -domestic premises must either arrange a survey if it is suspected there could be ACMs in your premises or, the duty-holder may instead choose to presume the worst case of widespread asbestos in the premises and would then need to take all appropriate full stringent precautions for any work that takes place. However, it is often less troublesome and more proportionate to have an asbestos survey carried out so it is absolutely clear whether asbestos is present or not and what its condition is. You need to find out if you are responsible for maintenance and are the duty holder for the asbestos.

    The asbestos survey can help to provide enough information so that an asbestos register, a risk assessment and a management plan can then be prepared. The survey will usually involve sampling and analysis to determine the presence of asbestos so asbestos surveys should only be carried out by competent surveyors who can clearly demonstrate they have the necessary skills, experience and qualifications.

    An asbestos survey will identify:

    • the location of any asbestos-containing materials in the building
    • the type of asbestos they contain
    • the condition these materials are in

    For further information, please review your Business Risk Profile to understand if any of the buildings that we have staff in have a potential to have asbestos in them and/or your Facilities Asbestos Specialist.

  • Asbestos - What do I do if I unexpectedly come across potential asbestos during my work?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    What do I do if I unexpectedly come across potential asbestos during my work? 

    You should:

    • Stop work immediately,
    • Make the area secure so that no one can access
    • Contact your Manager and your Board Facilities Asbestos Specialist
    • Confirm what it is or assume it is asbestos
    • Request that your Board Facilities Asbestos Specialist carry out a risk assessment

    If it is asbestos contact Occupational Health to identify if there is any urgent treatment required.

    This will help determine if the work requires a licensed contractor. You should only carry out non-licensed work on asbestos if you have had the appropriate information, instruction and training

  • Asbestos - What are the health risks of asbestos?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Asbestos is responsible for over 5000 deaths every year. Younger people, if routinely exposed to asbestos fibres over time, are at greater risk of developing asbestos-related disease than older workers. This is due to the time it takes for the body to develop symptoms after exposure to asbestos (latency). Exposure to asbestos can cause four main diseases:

    • Mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the lungs; it is always fatal and is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos)
    • Asbestos-related lung cancer (which is almost always fatal)
    • Asbestosis (a scarring of the lungs which is not always fatal but can be a very debilitating disease, greatly affecting quality of life)
    • Diffuse pleural thickening (a thickening of the membrane surrounding the lungs which can restrict lung expansion leading to breathlessness.)

    It can take anywhere between 15-60 years for any symptoms to develop after exposure, so these diseases will not affect you immediately but may do later in life. You need to start protecting yourself against any exposure to asbestos now because the effect is cumulative.

    Asbestos was a widely used material within commercial buildings, homes and machinery until 1999, when it was banned. This means that asbestos is common in the general environment. However, working directly with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) can give personal exposures to airborne asbestos that are much higher than normal environmental levels. Repeated occupational exposures can give rise to a substantial cumulative exposure over time. This will increase the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease in the future.

    The majority of the current fatal cases from asbestos exposure (approximately 4000 deaths per year) are associated with very high exposures from past industrial processes and installation of asbestos products.

  • Asbestos - I may have been inadvertently exposed to asbestos - what should I do?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    People who believe they may have been exposed to asbestos are understandably anxious and concerned about the possible effects on their health. Many cases of inadvertent, short-term exposure to asbestos will most likely have led to minimal exposure to fibres, with little likelihood of any long-term ill health effects.

    Although the type of asbestos involved and duration of exposure may be known, there may be little reliable information about the level of exposure. These are all important factors in determining the level of risk - the more fibres that are released by an asbestos-containing material, and the longer the work activity lasts, the greater the cumulative exposure to asbestos fibres and, therefore, an increased risk of ill health effects.

    Some work activities are more likely to create a significant concentration of asbestos fibres in the air, and therefore, add to the risk if suitable precautions are not in place; for example:

    • Use of power tools (to drill, cut etc) on most ACMs
    • Work that leads to physical disturbance (knocking, breaking, smashing) of an ACM that should only be handled by a licensed contractor eg sprayed coating, lagging, asbestos insulating board (AIB)
    • Manually cutting or drilling AIB
    • Work involving aggressive physical disturbance of asbestos cement eg breaking or smashing

    Some asbestos-containing materials release fibres more easily than others. If you are concerned about possible exposure to asbestos from work activities, you are advised to consult your GP and ask for a note to be made in your personal record about possible exposure, including date(s), duration, type of asbestos and likely exposure levels (if known). In some circumstances, your GP may refer you to a specialist in respiratory medicine. HSE does not advocate routine X-rays for people who have had an inadvertent exposure to asbestos. Asbestos-related damage to the lungs takes years to develop and become visible on chest X-rays. X-ray examinations cannot indicate whether or not asbestos fibres have been inhaled.

  • Asbestos - How should I dispose of asbestos waste?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Asbestos waste describes any asbestos products or materials that are ready to be disposed. This includes any contaminated building materials, dust, rubble, used tools that cannot be decontaminated, disposable PPE (personal protective equipment) and damp rags that have been used for cleaning. Asbestos waste must be placed in suitable packaging to prevent any fibres being released. This should be double wrapped and appropriately labelled. Standard practice is to use a red inner bag – marked up with asbestos warning labels – and a clear outer bag with appropriate hazard markings. Intact asbestos cement sheets and textured coatings that are firmly attached to a board should not be broken up into smaller pieces. These should instead be carefully double wrapped in suitable polythene sheeting (1000 gauge) and labelled.

    Asbestos waste should only be handled by a licensed disposal site. Your local authority can provide details of these for you . It also needs to be transported to these sites in suitable containers that prevent the release of any asbestos fibres while in transit.

  • Asbestos - How is asbestos removed?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The removal of higher risk asbestos-containing materials (sprayed asbestos coatings, asbestos insulation, asbestos lagging and most work involving asbestos insulating board (AIB) should only be carried out by a licensed contractor.

    Licensed asbestos removal work is a significantly hazardous job because it involves higher risk asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). These materials are more likely to release larger quantities of asbestos fibres when being removed than lower risk materials (such as asbestos cement). As a result, workers who are employed in removing higher risk ACMs require specific training and should follow specific working practices. Workers should also use sophisticated respiratory protective equipment (RPE) and are legally required to be under regular medical surveillance. It is because of the hazardous nature of this work that a licence to do it is required from HSE.

    There are some asbestos removal tasks, involving lower risk asbestos-containing materials that do not require a licence. This is because any exposure to asbestos fibres from this type of work is not expected to present a significant risk, provided that the correct precautions are taken. However, under the asbestos regulations that came into force in April 2012, there are now two categories of 'non-licensed' work, one of which, 'notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW)', has additional requirements for employers.

    For further information, please review your Business Risk Profile to understand if any of the buildings that you are working in has a potential to have asbestos in them and/or the Facilities Asbestos Specialist.

  • Accident/Incident - I'm a Line Manager what do I need to know?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Accident/Incident Management - Information for Line Managers

    The Healthy Working Lives Team have developed a range of materials to support you in the investigation and closing of any accident and incidents that have been escalated to you. Please click on the information below and this will take you to the relevant information

     Note: The AIR system identifies Line Managers as Responsible & Senior Managers as Accountable Managers

     

  • Acc/Incident - Who is my Responsible Manager?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Who is my Responsible manager?

    Your responsible manager will be your line manager, with this information being updated directly from eEEs

  • Acc/Incident - Who are my local Accident Investigators?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Who are my local Accident Investigators?

    All the accident investigators within your organisation are noted on your risk profile and have been populated into the system.

    When you select set investor group you will be able to select an accident investigator from your organisation from the drop-down list

     

  • Acc/Incident - Where / How do I access the AIR FormNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Where/ How do I access the electronic form?

    The form can be accessed via this LINK.

    You can add the link as a favourite  locations within your web browser

  • Acc/Incident - What or Who is the Accountable Manager?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    What or who is the accountable manager?

    The accountable managers are those identified through your organisations risk profile.

    Accountable Managers are required to formally review and confirm all accidents have been appropriately managed

  • Acc/Incident - What Learning and Development is available?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Accident / Incident – Learning and Development

    You will be able to find details on learning and development opportunities across NSS within the HR Connect Page - Learning and Development and Organisational Development

    For specific learning that's highlighted below, please log into Learnpro via the Quick system link page:

    • Mandatory for All - NSS Health and Safety Induction 
    • Health & Safety - NSS Introduction to Health & Safety Audits
    • Health & Safety - NSS Health and Wellbeing
    • Mandatory for Role - NSS Risk Assessment
    • Mandatory for Role - NSS Workplace Safety
    • NES - Investigation Skills
  • Acc/Incident - What is the difference between formal and manager investigation?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    What is the difference between formal and manager investigation?

    Many accidents and incidents require different approach for investigation.

    - Most accidents/incidents require a low level investigation which can be completed by the responsible manager. This is a manager investigation.

    - However if the accident involved significant injury, absence from work, or be considered a high potential near miss a formal investigation should be completed.

      This would be completed by a trained accident investigator who would then record actions to prevent any potential recurrence of a similar accident

  • Acc/Incident - What is an improvement plan?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    What is an improvement plan?

    An improvement plan is one or more actions that requires to be completed to prevent any potential recurrence of a similar incident / accident

  • Acc/Incident - What are the user profiles within the system?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    What are the user profiles within the system?

    All staff - access to record any accident incident

    Responsible manager - responsible for initial stage of accident incident management and determines the level of investigation required

    Accident investigator - Completes formal investigations into accident/incidents

    First Aider - provides information on first aid treatment provided

    Accountable manager - formally review all accidents/incidents to ensure that have been appropriately managed

    Healthy working lives - Supporting the appropriate management of accidents and incidents

  • Acc/Incident - System How to Guides and Video'sNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Accident and Incident System Video's and Guidance

     Please find below a selection of video's that have developed on how you use and access they AIR system

  • Acc/Incident - Information WebsitesPublic Health Scotland, National Services Scotland

    Accident / Incident – Websites

    You will be able to find useful websites to support you in dealing with any incident and/or accident. Click on any of the links below to access.

    Health and Safety Executive

  • Acc/Incident - I have had an accident while working at home - should I report it?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    I have had an accident while working from home,  Should I report this?

    If the accident or incident occurred in connection with your work and when you were at work for example, you tripped over a cable plugged into your laptop, you are suffering headaches when using your laptop, then you must complete an AIR

     

     

  • Acc/Incident - How do I know my report has been submitted?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    How do I know my report has been submitted?

    On submission you will get a notification that will include a unique identifier for your report. You can use this number to track your report through the investigation and review stages of the process

  • Acc/Incident - Can I assign an improvement plan to others who are not part of my Directorate?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Can I assign an improvement plan to others who are not part of my Directorate?

    No the improvement plans associated with the accident can only be assigned to those within your Directorate

  • Acc/Incident - Can I add photographs?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Can I add photographs to my accident incident report?

    We would encourage staff to include as much information as possible and this would include photographs.

    Any picture or document can be attached using the paperclip icon on the bottom right hand side of the screen

  • Acc/Incident - Can I access the system if I am not on the Network?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Can I access an AIR Form if I am not on the Network?

    Yes, to improve accessibility and support immediate reporting we have made the form web facing as such you can access it via any smart device including personal devices.

    If accessing from outwith the system you will have to log into your Microsoft365 account

     

  • Acc/Incident - Can an accident be closed with an open improvement plan?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Can an accident be closed with an open improvement plan

    No - all improvement plans (actions) required to be completed and prior to an accident being passed to the accountable manager

  • Acc/Incident - Where does my report go once submitted?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Where does my report go once submitted?

    Once submitted your incident will be automatically notified to your line manager.

    Your line manager will then determine the level of investigation required into the incident and assign/progress the incident accordingly

  • Acc/Incident - What do I do if I have any problems with the AIR system?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    If the problem is connected with how to use the system, there are guides on the Accident Incident Reporting HR Connect page.

    - If you need more help then please raise an HR Enquiry through Contact Us.

    - If the problem is system related e.g. can’t access an AIR, can’t enter any information as the box is greyed out, please make a request through the DaS helpdesk 

  • Acc/Incident - A member of my team has had an accident. How do I access the information?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    A member of my team has had an accident. How do I access the information?

    On submission of the accident through the system you will get a notification advising you that a member of your team has been involved in an accident.

    This notification will include a hyperlink which will take you directly to the record involved.

  • Legionella - What are NSS duties in regards to Legionella?National Services Scotland

    Under general health and safety law, as an employer or person in control of a premises (eg a landlord), you have health and safety duties and need to take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella.

    Carrying out a risk assessment is your responsibility and will help you to establish any potential risks and implement measures to either eliminate or control risks. You may be competent to carry out the assessment yourself but, if not, you should ask someone with the necessary skills to conduct a risk assessment. This can be done by someone from within your own organisation or from someone outside, eg an external consultant.

    For further details, contact NSS Facilities Management.

  • Working at Height - What working at height safety precautions do I need to be aware of?National Services Scotland

    Where possible, when working at height​ Managers and employees should make sure the area below is cordoned off. ​In all cases of working at height​, ensure that

    - the equipment used is suitable for the job and is maintained and in good condition

    - workers are competent and trained to use the equipment and carry out the job safely

    - all workers understand the job and the control measures in place to ensure their safety.

    More complex jobs may be accompanied by a detailed method statement for the activity. A permit to work system can be used to govern the duration of the work at height.

    Ladders

    Ladders are acceptable only for access or work of short duration, and should be

    - erected at the correct angle (4 up to 1 out)

    - secured, preferably at the top, or footed

    - positioned close to the work to avoid over-reaching

    - ​protected at the base to stop vehicles or pedestrians bumping into them.

    Stepladders

    Stepladders should

    - be spread to their full extent and locked off

    - only have one person on the ladder at any one time

    - be appropriate and of the correct grade for the intended use

    - not have the top tread, tool shelf or rear of the steps used as a foot support.

    Mobile elevated platforms

    When using mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPS) employees should

    - wear a safety harnesses

    - only use the platform on level, firm ground

    - work with a trained operator at ground level

    - only use the equipment with outriggers and stabilisers

    - keep the platform within safe working limits and radius, taking account of wind speeds, beams, hanging obstructions and power cables.

    Scaffolding

    Tower scaffolds should be erected and periodically inspected by a competent person.

    Where a person might fall 2 metres or more, the scaffolding must be inspected by a competent person, a record maintained and further inspection at least weekly thereafter.

    A tagging system is a useful way to inform workers that these inspections are taking place. A risk assessment ​may find the need for more frequent inspections. They may also be required after bad weather and always after any modification.

    Additionally, tower scaffolds should

    - have ladder access to the working platform

    - use outriggers or stabilisers if above 2.5 m high

    - have stabilisers deployed to meet the correct height to base ratio

    - have a height to base dimension ratio not exceeding 3 to 1 indoors, or 2.5 to 1 outdoors

    - have all casters firmly locked before use and never be moved while the tower is occupied.

    Additional safety equipment

    Additional equipment should only be considered as a last resort when no other means are reasonably practicable. These include

    - nets

    - airbags

    - ​harnesses

    - safety lines

    - other fall restraint and arrest equipment.

    They should only be used and erected by trained personnel and be tested and inspected regularly.

  • PPE - What about self employed people?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    If you are bringing in self-employed persons or contractors you need to take the same action to protect them as The Board protects its own employees, and they should use the same protective equipment on the same basis. As an Employer we also need to take action to protect those who are employed by them to work at home.

  • Lone Working - What are the hierarchy of controls?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The level of controls necessary would be dependent on the level of risk to which employees are exposed. Adopting a hierarchy of controls method can prove a useful tool when determining what needs to be done to minimise the risk. These are:

    Eliminate – does the task/activity need to be carried out in a lone working situation? e.g. Can the task be carried out during normal working hours or in an area where others are present or implement a buddy system;

    Reduce – if we can’t eliminate the risk, can we reduce the amount of occasions or period an individual will spend in a lone working situation? e.g. reduce the amount of journeys someone who drives for a living has to make by using teleconference facilities etc;

    Improve – restrict the type of work activities undertaken in a lone working situation to low risk activities only and provide adequate supervision where possible, e.g. implementing engineering controls to restrict access to higher risk areas or equipment, e.g. isolating machinery or limiting swipe card access;

    Control - develop documented safe systems of work for lone working activities including providing the necessary equipment required to maintain regular communication with others when in a lone working situation e.g. implementing Permit to Work systems, monitoring procedures, CCTV or providing mobile phones, personal alarms and motion sensor alarms.

  • Slip, trip and Falls - What are the common hazards?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Most slips and trips are caused by

     - poor lighting

     - trailing cables

     - unsuitable floor coverings

     - uneven or damaged floor surfaces

     - contaminated floor surfaces, for example liquid or grease​

     - poor housekeeping, for example tripping or falling over something left in a walk way.

    When considering areas in your workplace that could cause a hazard remember to​ take into account

     - any outdoor areas

     - differing weather conditions

     - working activities carried out off your premises. 

    The best way to get to find out what the risks are with your strategic business unit and what you can do to address these is by discussing the issues with staff and by performing a risk assessment. 

    The risk assessment process is to: -

     - Identify the hazards

     - Decide who might be harmed and how

     - Evaluate the risks

     - Decide on whether existing control measures are adequate or more should be done

     - Implement and communicate to employees

    Along with this depending on the severity of the issues, Line Managers may want to use the HSE Slips Assessment Tool (SAT) which helps assess the slip potential of pedestrian walkway surfaces.

  • Working at Height - What are the common risks?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    There are certain activities involving working at height that present an obvious hazard. These include work from ladders, scaffolds and platforms.

    Other examples can include work

    - on roofs

    - on elevated structures

    - over tanks, pits or water

    - on cliffs and steep ground

    - on top of vehicles or trailers

    If a worker falls from a height of two or more meters, they are likely to sustain a serious injury, permanent disability or die.

    Injury and damage from people or items falling can occur as a result of:

    - poor edge protection

    - unguarded openings

    - items being poorly stored or secured

    - work in areas without guardrails or covers

    Hazards can also arise due to changes in weather, inside and out.

  • Electrical - What are the common causes of electrical injuries?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The most common electrical injuries are:

     - Electric Shock

     - Electrical Burns

     - Loss of muscle control

     - Thermal Burns

    The most common electrical injuries are caused by:

     - faulty wiring

     - poor training

     - incorrectly replaced fuses

     - mixing water and electricity

     - use of overloaded or damaged plugs, sockets or cables

     - misuse of equipment or using equipment which is known to be faulty.

    Other potential sources can be

     - work in or on excavations

     - working in wet, harsh or confined conditions

     - working on or near overhead lines, for example tipping loads

     - working on or near equipment that's thought to be dead but has a live current.

    Electricity can also ignite flammable or explosive atmospheres, for example in spray paint booths or around refuelling areas.

  • Legionella - What are the symptoms of Legionnaires disease?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The symptoms of Legionnaires' disease are similar to the symptoms of the flu:

     - high temperature, feverishness and chills;

     - cough;

     - muscle pains;

     - headache; and leading on to

     - pneumonia, very occasionally

     - diarrhoea and signs of mental confusion

    Legionnaires’ disease is not known to spread from person to person.

  • Safety Signs - What do the different colours mean on safety signage?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Red signs are for prohibition, danger or for alarm. They are round shaped with a black pictogram on a white background and the red edging should be at least 35% of the surface area of the sign.

    Yellow or Amber are warning signs used for caution or for taking precautions. They will be triangular in shape with a black pictogram on a yellow background with black edges. The yellow part should be at least 50% of the area of the sign.

    Blue signs are for instruction or for information, for example, wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They are a round shape with a white pictogram on a blue background. The blue part of the sign should be at least 50% of the area of the sign.

    Green signs are for emergency escape routes or first aid. They are rectangular in shape with a white pictogram on a green background. The green part of the sign should be at least 50% of the sign.

    Red (fire-fighting signs) give instructions for and the location of firefighting equipment. They are rectangular in shape with a white pictogram on a red background. The red part of the sign should be at least 50% of the sign.

     - Safety signs should be in place to warn of hazards and to prevent dangerous practices. They should also indicate safe exit routes and practices.

     - Road traffic signs must be used when necessary to control traffic within the workplace, such as trucks, vans and forklift trucks. Clear access and exit areas should be in place for both traffic and pedestrians.

     - Specific hazard signs should be in place in dangerous locations where there is a risk of slipping or falling from a height or if there is low headroom.

     - Always ensure employees use standard hand signals when directing vehicles and also when the vehicles are carrying out difficult manoeuvres. It is good practice to use a banksman when carrying out workplace manoeuvers.

  • Working at Height - What is a working at height method statement?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Where the work being carried out is considered to be complex, Line Managers should provide or should be provided with if an external company is being used a more detailed indication of the work to be carried out to those involved in the form of a method statement, this will also include how the risks are managed.

  • Noise - What happens if an employee refuses to wear hearing protection?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Line Managers / Supervisors need to ensure that employees use hearing protection when required to do so. Line Managers / Supervisors may want to include the need to wear hearing protection into local Standard Operating procedures and identify a Line Manager who will be in overall charge of issuing it and making sure replacement hearing protection is readily available. Line Managers / Supervisors should also carry out spot checks to see that the rules are being followed and that hearing protection is being used properly.

    If employees persistently fail to use protectors properly then Line Managers / Supervisors should follow the Board disciplinary procedures.

    All managers and supervisors set a good example and wear hearing protection at all times when in hearing protection zones.

  • Legionella - What are PHS duties in regards to Legionella?Public Health Scotland

    Under general health and safety law, as an employer or person in control of a premises (eg a landlord), you have health and safety duties and need to take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella.  

    Carrying out a risk assessment is your responsibility and will help you to establish any potential risks and implement measures to either eliminate or control risks. You may be competent to carry out the assessment yourself but, if not, you should ask someone with the necessary skills to conduct a risk assessment. This can be done by someone from within your own organisation or from someone outside, eg an external consultant.  

     

    For further details, contact NSS Facilities Management.

  • Working with Contractors - What is a Permit to Work?National Services Scotland

    A permit to work is a formal process used to manage special hazardous, complex or non-routine tasks, with the aim of completing them without risks to the safety and health of employees and others, or to the environment. 

    The process is used to authorise work within the terms explained in the permit. It will also help all different parties involved, to communicate and agree on

    1) the responsibilities of the different people involved

    2) what will be done, how and when the task will be performed

    3) the hazards associated with the tasks

    4) what needs to be done to make sure the area is safe on completion and before other activities resume

    5) different measures needed to carry out the task safely, such as

     - how to check that these measures are in place before starting the activity

     - how to check them while the task is taking place

  • Legionella - What is Legionnaires Disease?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by legionella bacteria including the most serious Legionnaires’ disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. The risk increases with age but some people are at higher risk including:

     - people over 45 years of age

     - smokers and heavy drinkers

     - people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease

     - diabetes, lung and heart disease

     - anyone with an impaired immune system

    The bacterium Legionella pneumophila and related bacteria are common in natural water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, but usually in low numbers. They may also be found in purpose-built water systems such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools.

    If conditions are favourable, the bacteria may grow increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease and it is therefore important to control the risks by introducing appropriate measures

  • Working at Height - What is does a risk assessment?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    When work at height cannot be avoided, you will need to carry out a risk assessment. Line Managers will need to consider how employees are required to:

     - work at height

     - access a work location

     - evacuate quickly and safely in an emergency.

  • Making a Referral - What is Occupational Health?National Services Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland, Public Health Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service

    Occupational Health is an advisory service aimed at supporting people in the workplace, looking at both physical and mental aspects of employee health.  It is designed to keep employees healthy and safe whilst in the workplace and advise employers about possible risks that could have the potential to increase work related ill health.

  • PPE - What kind of head protection is availableNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    There are three widely used types of head protection.

    • Industrial safety helmets (hard hats) which are designed to protect against materials falling from a height or swinging objects.
    • Industrial scalp protectors (bump caps) which are designed to protect from knocking against stationary objects.
    • Caps/hair nets which protect against entanglement.

    Tasks where head protection may be required include

    • construction
    • building repair
    • work in excavations or tunnels
    • work with bolt driving tools
    • driving motorcycles.

    Turban-wearing Sikhs are exempt from wearing head protection on construction sites by virtue of The Employment Act 1989 as amended by section 6 of the Deregulation act 2015

    If you feel that you work within an area which you feel requires additional PPE, please discuss this within your Line Manger and refer to your Business Unit Risk profile to see if this has been identified and what controls have been put in place for you.

  • Working with Contractors - What should a Permit to Work include?National Services Scotland

    The permit to work should reflect the complexity of the job that it is created for. It should include, as a minimum the following details.

    - Job location – explain where the job will take place and any areas that will be affected.

    - Plant identification – clarify what plant and equipment will be affected and used during the job.

    - Description of work to be done – give a clear explanation of what the job entitles

    - Hazard identification – detail all the hazards related to the job.

    - Precautions necessary – list all the precautions required to carry out the task, including isolation and checks required prior to the task starting.

    - Emergency procedures – explain the procedures to follow if something goes wrong and first aid arrangements.

    - Protective equipment – list items required to carry out the task safely and without risk to health. 

  • Noise - What are the causes of hearing loss?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Deafness is caused by damage to the structures within the cochlea, this damage results in loss of both frequency sensitivity and increase in hearing threshold i.e. noises need to be louder to be able to hear them.

    Sometimes after being subjected to loud noises people experience deafness that goes away after a while, and this is called temporary threshold shift.

    After sudden, extremely loud explosive noises, or more usually prolonged lower level exposures to noise over a number of years, permanent hearing loss can occur. It may be that the damage caused is only noticeable when it becomes severe enough to interfere with daily life. This incurable hearing loss may mean that the individual's family complains about the television being too loud, the individual cannot keep up with conversations in a group, or they have trouble using the telephone. Eventually everything becomes muffled and people find it difficult to catch sounds like 't', 'd' and 's', so they confuse similar words. Social situations can become very difficult.

    Age and general fitness are no protection from hearing loss - young people can be damaged as easily as the old. Someone in their mid-twenties can have the hearing that would be expected in a 65 year old. Once ears have been damaged by noise there is no cure.

    Hearing loss is not the only problem; tinnitus or ringing in the ears may be caused as well. Most people suffer temporary tinnitus from time to time, often after a spell in a noisy place, but with noise-damaged ears it can become permanent. Some people find it more distressing than the hearing loss.

  • PPE - What kind of eye protection is availableNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    There are several types of eye protection.

    • Safety spectacles: these are similar to regular glasses but have a tougher lens, they can include side shields for additional protection.
    • Eye shield: a frame-less one piece molded lens often worn over prescription glasses.
    • Safety goggles: these are made of flexible plastic frames and an elastic headband.
    • Face shields: heavier and bulkier than other types of eye protection, face shields protect the face, but do not fully enclose the eye so do not protect against dust, gases, fumes and mists.

    Tasks where eye protection may be used include

    • handling hazardous substances where there is a risk of splashes
    • working with power driven tools where materials are likely to be propelled
    • welding operations
    • working with lasers
    • using gas or vapour under pressure.

    If you feel that you work within an area which you feel requires additional PPE, please discuss this within your Line Manger and refer to your Business Unit Risk profile to see if this has been identified and what controls have been put in place for you.

     

  • PPE - What types of body protection is available?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Types of body protection include 

    • overalls, aprons and coveralls (protection against hazardous substances) 
    • clothing for hot, cold or bad weather 
    • clothing to protect against machinery 
    • high visibility (jackets, trousers and vests) 
    • harnesses 
    • life jackets. 

    Tasks where body protection may be required include 

    • working with hazardous substances 
    • working next to the highway or areas with moving transport and vehicles (e.g. construction sites) 
    • outdoor, forestry and ground maintenance work. 

    If you feel that you work within an area which you feel requires additional PPE, please discuss this within your Line Manger and refer to your Business Unit Risk profile to see if this has been identified and what controls have been put in place for you. 

     

  • Radiation - What training is available for radiation protection?National Services Scotland

    There are no e-learning modules available for radiation protection.  The Radiation Protection Adviser can provide training appropriate to the needs of the staff and based on the radiation risk assessment.

    For further information please contact the NSS Radiation Protection Adviser - anne.mccurrach@nhs.scot.

  • Noise - What types of hearing protection is available?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    There are three types of hearing protection. 

    • Earmuffs/defenders that completely cover the ear. 
    • Ear plugs that are inserted into the ear canal. 
    • Semi inserts (also called canal caps) which cover the entrance of the ear canal. 

    Hearing protection must be worn by anyone who is likely to be exposed to noise at or above the Exposure Action Level set by the control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 

    If you feel that you work within an area which you feel requires additional PPE, please discuss this within your Line Manger and refer to your Business Unit Risk profile to see if this has been identified and what controls have been put in place for you. 

     

  • PPE - What types of hand and arm protection is available?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Hand and arm protection comes in a variety of forms. 

    • Gloves or gauntlets (leather, latex, nitrile, plastic coated, chain mail, etc). 
    • Wrist cuff armlets (e.g. used in glass cutting and handling). 

    Tasks where hand and arm protection may be required include 

    • manual handling of abrasive, sharp or pointed objects 
    • working with vibrating equipment such as pneumatic drills and chainsaws 
    • construction and outdoor work 
    • working with chemicals and hazardous substances such as body fluids 
    • working in hot or cold materials or temperatures. 

    In order to eliminate the risk of ill health through exposure to latex a number of organisations have phased out the use of latex gloves and replaced them with nitrile. 

    If you feel that you work within an area which you feel requires additional PPE, please discuss this within your Line Manger and refer to your Business Unit Risk profile to see if this has been identified and what controls have been put in place for you. 

  • PPE - What types of foot protection is available?Public Health Scotland, National Services Scotland

    There are a number of types of safety footwear. 

    • Safety boots or shoes, normally have steel toe caps but can have other safety features (e.g. steel mid soles, slip resistant soles, insulation against the heat and cold. 
    • Wellington boot can also have steel toe caps. 
    • Anti-static and conductive footwear, these protect against static electricity. 

    Tasks where foot protection may be required include 

    • construction 
    • demolition 
    • building repair 
    • manual handling where the risk of heavy objects falling on the feet 
    • working in extremely hot or cold environments 
    • working with chemicals and forestry. 

    Where there is a risk of slipping that cannot be avoided or controlled by other measures, attention must be given to slip resistant soles and replaced before the tread pattern is worn. 

    If you feel that you work within an area which you feel requires additional PPE, please discuss this within your Line Manger and refer to your Business Unit Risk profile to see if this has been identified and what controls have been put in place for you. 

     

  • Lone Working - What things do I need to think about when undertaking a Lone Working Risk Assessment?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The following points should be considered when undertaking a lone working risk assessment:

    • Does the specific work environment present a special risk to the lone worker?
    • Can one person adequately control the risks of the job?
    • Is the person medically fit to work alone?
    • What training is required to make sure the staff member is competent in safety matters?
    • Have staff received the training which is necessary to allow them to work alone?
    • How will the staff member be supervised?
    • Is there a risk of violence?
    • Are people of a particular gender especially at risk if they work alone?
    • Are new or inexperienced staff especially at risk if they work alone?
    • What happens if a lone worker becomes ill, has an accident or if there’s an emergency?
    • Are there safe systems in place for contacting and tracing those who work alone?
    • Are staff empowered to make informed decisions as to whether it is safe to continue when the circumstances, situation or conditions have significantly changed e.g. decision to drive in poor weather particularly during police warnings.
  • PPE - What are the Boards duties in relation to PPE?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 place duties on employees to take reasonable steps to ensure that the PPE provided is properly used. 

    The Regulations also place the following duties on employees. 

    • PPE must be worn and used in accordance with the instructions provided to them 
    • Employees must make sure that PPE is returned to the provided accommodation after use (unless the employee takes the PPE away from the workplace e.g. footwear or clothing). 
    • PPE should be returned to the appropriate storage unit (if applicable) after use, unless the employee takes their PPE home, for example footwear or clothing. 
    • PPE must be visually examined before use. 
    • Any loss or obvious defect must be immediately reported to their line manager. 
    • Employees must take reasonable care of any PPE provided to them and not carry out any maintenance unless trained and authorized. 

    If you feel that you work within an area which you feel requires additional PPE, please discuss this within your Line Manger and refer to your Business Unit Risk profile to see if this has been identified and what controls have been put in place for you. 

  • Noise - What are NSS duties when it comes to Noise?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Our duties include:

    General duty to reduce risk to lowest level reasonably practicable;

    • Assess the levels of exposure;
    • Record assessments;
    • Control noise to reduce the risk of damage to employee’s hearing;
    • Provide suitable ear protection
      • upon request at 1st action level;
      • to all who are exposed at 2nd action level;
    • Mark any 'Ear Protection Zones';
    • Ensure the exposure limit values are not exceeded (any attenuation provided by hearing protection may be taken into account)
    • Ensure equipment provided is maintained and used;
    • Provide adequate information, instruction and training.

     

  • RPE - Why should I wear RPE?National Services Scotland

    RPE can protect your health and even save your life. Many workers have died because they have entered confined spaces without RPE, used incorrect RPE and/or worn RPE incorrectly. 

    Many of the gases, vapours and dusts that cause serious damage to lungs and other parts of the body can be invisible to the naked eye. RPE can help to protect you from these hazardous substances that can cause serious diseases. 

    Employees have a legal duty to cooperate with their employers and use control measures (justified by risk assessment) provided in accordance with the instruction, information and training provided. 

    Employees should: 

    • Use RPE properly whenever it is required to be used.
    • Report any defects in, or damage to, the RPE immediately.
    • Participate in any training or instruction provided on RPE.
    • Inform their employer of any medical conditions they have that might be affected by the use of the RPE provided to them.
  • RPE - Why is Face piece fit important?National Services Scotland

    People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It is unlikely that one particular type, or size of RPE face piece, will fit everyone. For this reason, manufacturers offer different size and shape face pieces such as masks, visors and hoods. 

    The performance of tight-fitting face pieces depends on achieving a good contact between the wearer’s skin and the face seal of the face piece. A poor fit will significantly reduce the protection the RPE can provide you. Any reduction in protection can put your life in danger or may lead to immediate or long-term ill health.  

    It is useful to check that you can put on your RPE correctly. Correct fitting of the face piece at all times is vital to prevent exposure. 

  • RPE - When should my employer provide RPE?National Services Scotland

    The law requires employers to prevent or control the exposure of employees and others (e.g. subcontractors) to hazardous substances at work.

    Before using RPE, exposure should be controlled by other measures (such as local exhaust ventilation), which are reasonably practicable. In other words, RPE should only be used as a last choice of protection when working with hazardous substances such as gases, solvents, powered chemicals, mists and sprays or entering a confined space.

    You could need RPE:

    • While you are arranging to install other control measures.
    • For clearing up a spill.
    • For maintenance.
    • During temporary failure of a control measure at source, e.g. sudden failure of LEV.
    • For cleaning, e.g. low pressure washing of a dusty shed.
    • For short, one-off procedures.
    • When needed in addition to other control measures for safe working.

     

  • RPE - What should I do to effectively maintain RPE?National Services Scotland

    An effective system of maintenance for RPE is essential to make sure the equipment continues to provide the degree of protection for which it is designed. Therefore, the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule (including recommended replacement periods and shelf lives) should always be followed. 

    Maintenance may include cleaning, examination, replacement, repair and testing. The wearer may be able carry out simple maintenance (e.g. cleaning), but more intricate repairs should be carried out by a competent person. 

  • RPE - What should I do before deciding to use RPE?National Services Scotland

    Use other measures for controlling exposure. Priorities for control options are: 

    • Eliminate the hazardous substance. 
    • Substitute to a safer alternative substance.
    • Use a safer form of the substance.
    • Enclose the task to prevent the substance escaping into the workplace air.
    • Modify the process so less substance is given off.
    • Extract emission (E.g. vapour, gases, dust) from substances. 
    • Minimise the number of workers exposed.
    • Minimise the length of time each worker is exposed.
  • RPE - What should I do after providing RPE to employees?National Services Scotland

    For RPE to remain effective during use it should be integrated into operational procedures. You must ensure that control measures, including RPE, are properly used and not made ineffective by incorrect work practices or incorrect use. You should ensure that employees use the control measures, including RPE, the way they are intended to be used and as trained and instructed by you. It is often best to give a choice of several correctly specified types of RPE to wearers so they can choose the one they like. 

  • RPE - What are the requirements for Facepiece Fit testing?National Services Scotland

    Where RPE is used, it must be able to provide adequate protection for individual wears.RPE can’t protect the wearer if it leaks. A major cause of leaks is poor fit – tight-fitting face pieces need to fit the wearer’s face to be effective. 

    As people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes it is unlikely that one particular type or size of RPE face piece will fit everyone. Fit testing will help ensure that the equipment selected is suitable for the wearer. 

    RPE fit testing should be conducted by a competent person - you should take steps to ensure that any person you engage as a fit tester is appropriately trained, qualified and experienced, and is provided with appropriate information to undertake each particular task. The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has introduced a scheme for fit testers, which may provide evidence to help you decide whether a fit tester is competent. 

  • RPE - How do I wear a mask?National Services Scotland

    In accordance with the manufacturer’s information and instructions, and as instructed by your employer. You will be trained by your employer to make this easy for you.  

    Your responsibilities will include: 
    Putting the RPE on correctly 

    • Fit checking the RPE before entering the hazardous area
    • Correctly taking it off when outside the hazardous area
    • Storing it as instructed
    • Carrying out any simple maintenance as instructed
    • Disposing of used RPE as instructed
    • Where necessary, logging maintenance records or defects noted during use
  • Lone Working - What activities are not suitable for Lone Working?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Working alone is not itself illegal and in most situations it will be quite safe to do so, however there are some work situations where risk assessment will determine that it is not safe to carry out the work in a lone working environment.  Examples include:

     - Working in a high risk confined space, where a supervisor may need to be present, along with someone dedicated to the rescue role;

     - People working at or near live electricity conductors;

     - Other electrical work where at least two people are required;

     - High risk working at height activities;

     - Working in a walk in -40 freezer;

     - Where Occupational Health have deemed an individual unsuitable for lone working activities for health reasons.

    The above list is not exclusive and Line Managers and Employees need to decide based on the individual risk assessments whether lone working is appropriate for the particular activities.

  • RPE - Why is RPE the last resort or last line of protection?National Services Scotland

    Why is REP the last resort or last line of protection? 

    There are many reasons: 

    • RPE is an intrusive equipment. 
    • Not many people would willingly want to wear RPE for any length of time, it can be uncomfortable to wear. 
    • RPE can cause disturbance to make-up, jewellery and hair style. 
    • RPE may interfere with communication and vision. 
    • RPE can interfere with the wearer’s personal freedom such as wanting to have a goatee, beard or to come to work with stubble. 
    • RPE can give a sense of false protection, especially when not worn in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruction. 
    • RPE can be expensive in the long run when compared to simple, common sense control measures. 
    • RPE can only protect the wearer. Control measures at source (at the point where hazardous substances are released into workplace air), such as local exhaust ventilation or enclosures, protect all those working in the area.

    So, only use or provide RPE as a last line of choice for respiratory protection. Consider other control measures before deciding upon RPE. 

  • First Aid - I’m a first aider, what information do I need to record and where?National Services Scotland

    NSS nominated first-aiders and appointed persons are required to complete a First Aid Treatment Log to record incidents they attend. This information can help identify accident trends and possible areas for improvement in the control of health and safety risks. It can be used for reference in future first-aid needs assessments.

    Useful information to record includes:

     - the date, time and place of the incident;

     - the name and job of the injured or ill person;

     - details of the injury/illness and what first aid was given;

     - details about what happened to the person immediately afterwards (eg went back to work, went home, went to hospital); and

     - the name and signature of the first-aider or person dealing with the incident.

    When a NSS Nominated first aider or appointed person attends an event, then the treatment log should be sent to the Healthy Working Lives Team for collation. NSS have overall responsibility for these records.

  • Maintenance of work equipment - How often should we be completed?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The equipment risk assessment will help Line Managers decide how often they need to ensure that the equipment needs to be maintained. This will depend on different elements such as the nature of the equipment, the environment where it’s used or how often. Manufacturers will also advise on how often their equipment needs to be used.

    Health and safety legislation and guidance will also determine how often equipment needs to be inspected. Regulations dealing with lifting equipment, local exhaust ventilation and pressure systems give explicit detail about their inspection regime.

    Lifting equipment 

    Thorough examinations and inspections of lifting equipment are explained in the Lifting operations and Lifting equipment regulations 1998. 

    Inspections should be carried out by a competent person with experience of the equipment, who is usually independent and is often an employee of an insurer. The risks associated with the failure of the equipment will determine the extent of the examination. The competent person who draws up the inspection schedule usually recommends how often it should be carried out.

    Equipment should receive an initial thorough examination, which is usually carried out by the manufacturer or supplier prior to supply. Subsequent thorough examinations should be carried out annually, except for equipment used to lift persons, which must be examined every six months.

    In addition, it is important that the person receiving inspection and maintenance reports from lift inspectors understands their contents and importance and that a clear procedure is in place to take equipment out of use immediately if this is required.

    Local exhaust ventilation 

    The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 explains that if you have introduced a local exhaust ventilation system to reduce the risks to exposure to hazardous substances. 

    The Board need to ensure that it’s maintained in good working order, in order to achieve this Line Managers, need to provide thorough examinations of the equipment. 

    Examination of the equipment should be carried out by a competent person at least every 14 months.

    Pressure systems 

    The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (external site) explains that a competent person needs to decide on the frequency and extent of the examinations of pressure systems. The written scheme of examination needs to be in place before the system is used.

    Record keeping 

    Line Managers / NSS Facilities Management should keep a record of the maintenance and inspections that have been carried out. This is very important and it will help you ensure that our Board are complying with legislation. 

  • Lone Working - I’m a Lone Worker what do I need to do?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    All employees must:

    • Take care of the health and safety of themselves and others;
    • As your Line manager / NSS Facilities Management Team what the requirements are for signing in and out of each Building in regards to working alone;
    • Comply with this procedure and follow safe systems of work developed from lone working risk assessments;
    • Co-operate with management to assist us in meeting their statutory obligations in relation to health and safety;
    • Follow any instructions and training provided;
    • Not knowingly put themselves or others in a situation which exposes them to additional risk by working alone;
    • Report and identify work to their Line Manager at the earliest opportunity if they anticipate a lone working situation

    Report any risks or hazardous or work situations that present serious and imminent risk to their line manager, which may require a lone working risk assessment to be carried out.

  • First Aid - I have employees who travel regularly or work elsewhere, what should NSS do about first-aid provision for them?National Services Scotland

    NSS are responsible for meeting the first-aid needs of their employees working away from the main site. The first-aid risk assessment should determine whether:

    • those who travel long distances or are continuously mobile should carry a personal first-aid box; and
    • employees should be issued with personal communicators/mobile phones.
  • OHS Perf Mgt - How does NSS consult with employees on H&S Matters?National Services Scotland

    NSS has to consult with all your employees on health and safety. This does not need to be complicated and can be done by listening and talking to them about:

    • health and safety and the work they do
    • how risks are controlled
    • the best ways of providing information and training 

    In a very small business, you might choose to consult your workers directly.  Alternatively, you might consult through a health and safety representative, chosen by your employees or selected by a trade union.  As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be.

    Consultation is a two-way process, allowing staff to raise concerns and influence decisions on the management of health and safety.  Your employees are often the best people to understand risks in the workplace and involving them in making decisions shows them that you take their health and safety seriously.

  • Lone Working - I’m a Lone Worker what e-learning should I be completeing?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Interactive e-learning - Lone Working for Employees

    This eLearning module will support the delegate to gain an insight into the risks associated with working alone and will point out control measures that can minimise them

     

    This e-learning module will support Lone Workers to:

    • Understand what ‘lone working’ means and identify the occupations that involve working alone;
    • Identify the hazards related to lone working and home workers;
    • Recognise the control measures that can minimise the risks of lone working, and list some practical tips for staying safe when working alone.

      

    This e-learning module will support the managers to:

    • Understand who is a lone worker, and what are their responsibilities are
    • Identify how safe your lone worker is and how to identify and evaluate a job for potential risk associated with it;
    • Identify the potential hazards that come with a home working job.
  • First Aid - I’m a NSS Nominated First Aider and my certificate is about to expire. What do I need to do?National Services Scotland

    NSS Nominated First Aiders are responsible for keeping their knowledge and skills up to date, and ensures that they complete their refresher training before their certificate expires. 

    First Aid Refresher Course (2 days)

    The process for booking a refresher first aid certificate is as follows:

     - NSS Nominated First Aider to complete the NSS Appointed First Aider, Authority for Certificate Renewal Form (2 day)

     - This requires to be sent for agreement and authorisation by the Site H&S Chair or BUG Chair. They are responsible for reviewing the First Aid Risk assessment and local numbers / needs and authorise.

     - This form and authorisation should be emailed to the NSS.healthyworkinglives@nhs.scot - this course can only be booked via the central HWL team.

     - If the training request is successful you are required to add this training to your PDP

     - Once you have successfully completed the approved first aid course, your certificate will be received via the HWL Team, this will be forwarded to you, along with a NSS Appointed First Aider Role Specification and a First Aid Payment Form

     - Once you receive your certificate you will be responsible for ensuring that your Site BUG Chair adds your name to the Building NSS Approved First Aid database and telephone call pickup,

     - Once you have received your certificate, you are responsible for your first aid payment form to be signed off by your Line Manager, Director/ H&S nominated person and BUG/H&S Chair. Once this authorisation has been agreed, you are responsible for forwarding this form to payroll.

     - If you decide that you no longer wish to be a NSS Nominated First aider you are responsible for contacting the H&S/BUG Chair and payroll.

    For further information and guidance please see the NSS First Aid Procedure

  • MH&Wellbeing - Mental Health Awareness Training Dates 2022/23National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland
    NSS - Mental Health Awareness training dates
    HWL are pleased to announce new training dates for Mental Health Awareness available now on HR Connect Learning & Development Events page Events (scot.nhs.uk) Dates are available as follows for these 2 day courses are:

    28 June and 5 July

    16 August and 23 August

    20 September and  27 September

    18 October and 25 October

    17 November and 24 November

    6 December and 13 December

    24 January and 31 January 2023

    23 February and 2 March 2023

    This is just one of many many quotes received about this training opportunity.

    “I completed the Mental Health Awareness Training for Managers yesterday and found it very beneficial. The content was very interesting and relevant especially when we are living though a pandemic. Many of us have been living and working in stressful situations and I feel much more able to look for the signs, support individuals and look after my own mental and physical health. The trainer, Mark Fleming, was great to listen to, to learn from and to talk to. He was easy to understand and inspirational with his stories. I would recommend this course to all managers”.

     

  • Lone Working - How will I be supervised when carrying out lone working activities?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The extent of supervision required depends on the risks involved and the ability of the lone worker to identify and handle health and safety issues. The level of supervision needed is a management decision, which should be based on the findings of a risk assessment, i.e. the higher the risk, the greater the level of supervision required. It should not be left to individuals to decide whether they need assistance.

    Where a worker is new to a job, undergoing training, doing a job that presents specific risks, or dealing with new situations, it may be advisable for them to be accompanied when they first take up the post.

    There may be some high-risk activities where at least one other person may need to be present, e.g.

     - Working in a confined space, where a supervisor may need to be present, along with someone dedicated to the rescue role;

     - Working at or near exposed electricity conductors;

     - Working in the health and social care sector dealing with unpredictable client behaviours and situations.

  • Lone Working - I’m a Line Manager/Supervisor what’s my role if I have a Lone Worker?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Line Manager / Supervisor you are responsible for the day to day implementation of NSS health and safety policies, procedures, process maps and safe systems of work.

    Your specific requirements and duties under this procedure are to:

    • Ensure where possible, to avoid the need for lone working in the work activities for which they have line management responsibility;
    • To be responsible for ensuring that all recommendations from an assessment are implemented as soon as is reasonable practicable;
    • Are released and provided with adequate time and resources to undertake risk assessments as and when required;
    • and staff are provided with adequate health and safety information, instruction, training and supervision in their roles, including effectively communicating this procedure and risk assessment findings across all staff areas;
    • and staff effectively and efficiently carry out their health and safety roles and responsibilities.
    • Ensure that employees who undertake lone working activities are provided with adequate time, resources, and where a risk assessment deems necessary, the appropriate equipment to either maintain contact with their colleague(s) or raise the alarm in an emergency situation;  
    • Sign off, own and review of the lone working risk assessment(s);
    • Appoint a Nominated Competent Risk assessor for the task and effective implementation and enforcement of subsequent safe systems of work and any resulting corrective action;
    • Ensure any changes to work as a result of lone working risk assessment findings are also reflected in the relevant safe system of work documentation such as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and that equally any changes to SOPs should trigger a review of the related lone working risk assessments to assess how these may be affected;
    • Regularly attend Health and Safety committee meetings to ensure awareness of health and safety issues and to ensure all aspects of health and safety are suitably managed
    • Ensure Nominated Competent Risk Assessors:
  • Electrical - How often should my electrical equipment be tested?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Electrical equipment should be visually checked to spot early signs of damage or deterioration.  Equipment should be more thoroughly tested by a competent person often enough that there is little chance the equipment will become dangerous between tests.  Equipment used in a harsh environment should be tested more frequently than equipment that is less likely to become damaged or unsafe.

    It is good practice to make a decision on how often each piece of equipment should be checked, write this down, make sure checks are carried out accordingly and write down the results.  You should change how often you carry out checks, according to the number and severity of faults found

  • Legionella - How is Legionnaires disease treated and what do I need to do?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    How is it treated?

    The illness is treated with an antibiotic called erythromycin or a similar antibiotic.

    What to do

    If you develop the above symptoms and you are worried that it might be Legionnaires' disease, see your general practitioner.

    It is not always easy to diagnose because it is similar to the flu. A urine or blood test will be helpful in deciding whether an illness is Legionnaires' disease or not. When doctors are aware that the illness is present in the local community, they have a much better chance of diagnosing it earlier.

    If you suspect that your illness is as a consequence of your work then you should report this to your manager, as well as your health and safety representative and occupational health department, if you have one. There is a legal requirement for employers to report cases of Legionnaires' disease that may be acquired at their premises to the Health and Safety Executive.

  • Radiation - How do I undertake a radiation risk assessment?National Services Scotland

    A Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) can advise on a radiation risk assessment.  The approved code of practice for IRR2017 details those questions that should be answered to ensure a suitable and sufficient radiation risk assessment.

    For further information please contact the NSS Radiation Protection Adviser - anne.mccurrach@nhs.scot.

  • Electricity - How do I know if my electrical equipment is safe?National Services Scotland

    You can find out if your electrical equipment is safe by carrying out suitable checks, such as inspection and / or testing. The level of inspection and / or testing should depend upon the risks. A simple visual inspection is likely to be sufficient for equipment used in a clean, dry environment. In addition, equipment that is more likely to become damaged, or is operated in a harsh environment, is likely to require more demanding electrical tests.

    Checks should be carried out often enough to ensure there is little chance the equipment will become unsafe between checks. It is good practice to make a decision on how often each piece of equipment should be checked, write this down, make sure checks are carried out accordingly and write down the results. You should change how often you carry out checks, according to the number and severity of faults found.

    The best way to find out if specialised equipment is safe is to have it inspected and tested by a person with specific competence on that type of equipment. This may be the original manufacturer or their authorised service and repair agent. A reputable servicing company that deals with that type of equipment should also be competent to check its safety.

  • Legionella - How do people get Legionnaires disease?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    People contract Legionnaires’ disease by inhaling small droplets of water (aerosols), suspended in the air, containing the bacteria. Certain conditions increase the risk from legionella if:

     - the water temperature in all or some parts of the system may be between 20-45 °C, which is suitable for growth

     - it is possible for breathable water droplets to be created and dispersed e.g. aerosol created by a cooling tower, or water outlets

     - water is stored and/or re-circulated

     - there are deposits that can support bacterial growth providing a source of nutrients for the organism e.g. rust, sludge, scale, organic matter and biofilms

  • Maintenance of work equipment- How do I plan?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Maintenance tasks should be planned and risk assessed. These tasks can be outside of routine tasks and may expose employees and others to hazardous situations.

    Line Managers and/or NSS Nominated Risk Assessors should carry out a risk assessment before carrying out the task and this should involve the employees who complete this process.

    Creating a list of premises, plant and equipment that need to be maintained (and how often) will help with the planning and risk assessing the work.

    There are many hazards associated with maintenance work. It’s important that you identify risks through the risk assessment process. These are some of the hazards that you might identify.

     - Working at height - the risk of falls or falling tools and equipment.

     - Gaining access to the equipment – such as work in confined spaces or harsh environments.

     - Electrical hazards – shocks and burns if not isolated.

     - Equipment – such as possible injuries from moving parts if not isolated.

     - Musculoskeletal disorders – due to exerting force or working in a cramped space.

     - Asbestos fibres, dust – as sometimes this is not identified and marked.

     - Hazardous substances - used in the machine being maintained or they are part of the maintenance process.

     - Noise - working on or using noisy equipment.

    Once the hazards have been identified, evaluate and estimate the risks, then decide if you are doing enough to manage risks to your employee's health and safety.

    Training to carry out maintenance safely

    Who is at risk

    Those who carry out maintenance work are especially at risk, but others can also be affected if they are working near the item or the area that is being maintained.

    Contractors brought in to carry out maintenance work can be particularly at risk as they may be unfamiliar with the workplace and procedures in place.

    When using contractors, you need to ensure that they have also completed a risk assessment of their tasks. Be sure that you communicate and coordinate with them to ensure that the maintenance tasks can be completed without risks.

    Training

    It is important that all employees involved in carrying out maintenance work and those who will be working around them are competent and have received. Line Managers need to ensure that those carrying out maintenance have the skills and experience to carry out the tasks.

    This includes NSS own employees and any contractors or specialists that are used to carry out the maintenance. It’s very important that they have been informed of any safe systems of work or safety procedure that needs to be followed.

    Safe systems of work

    You should use method statements and permit to work to ensure that high risk activities are planned and carried out following procedures.

    This will help identify

    - key roles and responsibilities

    - ways of communicating

    - key steps to follow

    - regular checks

    - monitoring procedures

    - emergency procedures.

    While carrying out the work the area needs to be secured by preventing unauthorised access, it’s important that you consider how to restrict access to the equipment and are being maintained.

    Line Managers / employees can attach warning cards to the machinery so people don’t use them, however, it’s very important that any machinery undergoing maintenance is isolated and locked off if there is a risk of the item being restarted before maintenance is complete.

  • Working with Contractors - What risks need to be assessed?National Services Scotland

    It’s very important that you plan the work that the contractor is going to carry out for you. You need to provide projects’ specifications and requirements to contractors before they tender for the job.

    If you are aware of any hazards that the work could create or are present in your workplace that will effect workers, you should include this in the pre-tender paperwork.

    This will help the contractor decide

     - what equipment and materials are required

     - if they are able to carry out the task

     - what precautions are essential to carry out the task without risks to health.

    Through the planning stage you need to identify hazards and assess risks related to the work. The contractor will need to carry out their risk assessment, but their assessment should fit into your own. 

    It’s also important that the contractor makes you aware of any hazards and risks specific to the task that they are about to carry out.

  • Working with Contractors - How to select an appropriate ContractorNational Services Scotland

    When selecting a potential contractor you will need to ask questions and look for evidence about their

     - health and safety arrangements

     - past performance

     - qualifications

     - experience

     - insurance details.

    It’s important that you ask for details about how they are planning to carry out the task at your premises. Based on the information provided you need to decide whether the contractor is suitable to carry out the work or not.

    You may request that they provide

     - evidence of experience in the same type of work

     - references from previous clients which are checkable

     - accident/ill health statistics/prosecutions  

     - evidence of qualifications, skills and ongoing training

     - evidence of health and safety training

     - risk assessments and method statements for the work to be carried out

     - health and safety policy and procedures

     - their criteria for selecting sub-contractors.

    You should create an approved list of contractors. This list should include details of those contractors that you have accepted as suitable to work for you.

    You can then ask them to update their documents regularly. This is with the exception of risk assessments or method statements which will need to be specific to the task.

  • RPE - What types of respiratory protective equipment are available?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    RPE is designed to protect the individual wearer from various hazardous substances in their workplace. There are two types of respiratory equipment. 

    1. Filters contaminated air or cleans it before it is breathed in. 
    1. Supplies clean air from an independent source. 

    RPE may be required for working with large amounts of 

    • gases, vapours 
    • dusts, powders 
    • welding 
    • grinders, cutter and saw use. 

    Face masks rely on a good seal against the face, if there are gaps in the face mask then contaminated air, dust, gases and vapours may be breathed into the lungs. For this reason it is very important your mask fits properly and is used correctly every time you use it. 

    Facial hair, stubble and beards make it impossible to get a good seal on the face. 

    For this reason you need to be clean shaven to allow a good seal around the face and prevent any leaks of contaminated air into the lungs. 

    There are reasons that employees may have a beard for example, religious reasons. If that is the case there are alternative options that could be introduced, such as a full hood covering the head and the face. 

    Face fit testing of RPE 

    The RPE should have a tight-fitting face piece, you need to ensure the user has the correct device. For this reason the initial selection of RPE should include fit-testing. A competent face fit tester should carry out these assessments. 

    You will need to repeat the face fit testing if there are changes. For example if the model or size of the face piece changes or if there are significant changes to the user’s facial characteristics. There are two forms of face fit testing. 

    • Qualitative fit testing is suitable for disposable filter face pieces and half masks. This can be done as a simple pass/fail based on the user’s subjective assessment of the fit and leakage and this method is not suitable for full face masks.  
    • Quantitative fit testing provides a numerical measure of the fit known as a fit factor. This test requires special equipment and it is more complicated to carry out. This method is recommended for full face masks. Quantitative risk assessment is a more in-depth assessment of the risk. 
  • Radiation - Who do the radiation regulations apply to?National Services Scotland

    The Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR2017) apply to staff working in areas where ionising radiation is used. This may be for NSS staff working with x-ray equipment, irradiators or radioactive sources.  Staff who enter radiation areas in other health boards e.g. x-ray rooms, cardiac cath theatres, must also comply with the IRR2017 regulations.

    The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017 (IRMER17) relate to the safety of patients undergoing a medical exposure involving radiation e.g. x-ray, CT scan, nuclear medicine scan, radiotherapy.  It covers all aspects of the patient journey from referral to making the exposure to reporting the image.  The regulations ensure all staff are appropriately trained.  For NSS this includes staff involved with the Quality Assurance of x-ray equipment and staff who report on x-ray images. 

  • Working at Height - Who is at risk?National Services Scotland

    Workers in a variety of jobs could be at risk when working at height.  These include worker’s in: -

    - SNBTS workers – Drivers, Donor Team Members etc

    - agriculture

    - maintenance personnel

    - construction

    - window cleaning

    - painting and decorating

    - the road transport industry

    Those who do one-off jobs working at height without proper training, planning or equipment are also at risk.  So are members of the public who could be harmed by the activities of those working at height

     

  • Legionella - How do I prevent or control the risk of Legionella?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    You should consider whether you can prevent the risk of legionella in the first place by considering the type of water system you need, eg consider whether it is possible to replace a wet cooling tower with a dry air-cooled system. The key point is to design, maintain and operate your water services under conditions that prevent or adequately control the growth of legionella bacteria.

    You should, as appropriate:

     - ensure that the release of water spray is properly controlled;

     - avoid water temperatures and conditions that favour the growth of legionella and other micro-organisms;

     - ensure water cannot stagnate anywhere in the system by keeping pipe lengths as short as possible or by removing redundant pipework;

     - avoid materials that encourage the growth of legionella.

     - keep the system and the water in it clean; and

     - treat water to either kill legionella (and other microorganisms) or limit their ability to grow.

    If you identify a risk that you are unable to prevent, you must introduce appropriate controls. You should introduce a course of action that will help you to control any risks from legionella by identifying:

     - your system, eg developing a written schematic;

     - who is responsible for carrying out the assessment and managing its implementation;

     - the safe and correct operation of your system;

     - what control methods and other precautions you will be using; and

     - what checks will be carried out to ensure risks are being managed and how often.

    If you require additional information, please review your Business Unit Risk profile and / or NSS Facilities Management

  • RPE - How do I store my mask?National Services Scotland

    RPE should be stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is extremely important to protect your health. RPE left lying around in dirty areas increases the risk of you being exposed due to contamination on the inside of the facepiece, and parts deteriorating from exposure to dirt, solvents, vapours, oil, UV light and sunlight. 

  • RPE - Can I rely on the CE—mark for selecting RPE for my task?National Services Scotland

    No, RPE used at work must be “CE” marked to confirm that they have been designed and tested to meet at least the minimum requirements laid out in law. CE marking on RPE does not make it automatically suitable for a task. Employers are legally responsible for selecting the right RPE for the task, substance, work environment and the wearer. 

  • PPE - How do I assess the suitability of PPE?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The following factors should be considered when assessing the suitability of PPE. 

    • Is the PPE appropriate for the risk involved and conditions at the place where exposure may occur? E.g., goggles are not suitable when full face protection is required. 
    • Does the PPE prevent or adequately control the risks involved without increasing the overall risk? E.g., gloves should not be worn when using a pillar drill due to the increased risk of entanglement. 
    • Can the PPE be adjusted to fit the user correctly? E.g., if an employee wears glasses then ear defenders may not provide a proper seal to protect against noise hazards. 
    • What are the needs of the job and the demands it places on the user? 
    • How long will the PPE be worn? 
    • What are the requirements for visibility and communication? E.g., PPE might not allow the user to hear a fire alarm. 
    • If more than one item of PPE is being worn are they compatible? E.g., some respirators make it difficult for eye protection to fit properly. 
    • Has the state of health been taken into account of those using the PPE? E.g., a health surveillance survey could be carried out to make sure the PPE is suitable for those users and doing the job it is supposed to do. 
  • Slips, trips and falls - How can we prevent them?National Services Scotland

    Measures to deal with the risk of slips, trips and falls are often very straight forward to implement. For example, make sure floor coverings are suitable and adequate cleaning and maintenance systems are in place.

    Basic housekeeping is often the simplest way to reduce the risk.

    There are actions that everyone can take to make the workplace safer:

     - Make repairs or replace the floor surface if required.

     - Ensure personnel wear suitable and appropriate footwear, this includes visitors.

     - Assess the cause of slippery surfaces and treat accordingly, for example treat chemically and use appropriate cleaning methods.

     - Warn of risks at any change in surface, for example dry to wet, even to uneven, traffic routes, by using signs, mats or markings.

     - Where there is a change in surface level, ensure good visibility and lighting, provide hand rails and add tread markers or other floor markings as required.

     - Clean up all spillages immediately. If the floor is wet, use appropriate signs to tell people that extra care is needed or use another route until the spillage or wetness is gone.

    Other actions you can take include:

     - make sure rugs or mats are securely fixed and that edges do not present a trip hazard

     - avoid cables crossing pedestrian routes and use cable guards to cover where required

     - implement a defect reporting system to ensure the hazards are identified and addressed as soon as possible.

  • Electricity - How can I prevent electrical risks?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    You may be able to remove some electrical risks by using tools powered by air, hand or hydraulics.  However, be aware that these tools could introduce other hazards for the user.

    Lower voltages can reduce or remove the risks of shocks and burns.  Battery powered tools are safest. Use lower voltage portable tools at 110 volts.  Temporary lighting can also run at lower voltages.

    You should use a residual current device or lower voltage tools in harsh environments.​

  • Legionella - How do I manage the risk of Legionella?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    As an employer or person in control of premises, you must appoint someone competent to help you comply with your health and safety duties, eg take responsibility for managing the risks. A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety, including the control measures. You could appoint one, or a combination of:

     - yourself;

     - one or more workers; and/or

     - someone from outside your business

     - If there are several people responsible for managing your risks, eg because of shift-work patterns, you need to make sure that everyone knows what they are responsible for and how they fit into the overall risk management programme.

    If you decide to employ contractors to carry out water treatment or other work, it is still the responsibility of the competent person to ensure that the treatment is carried out to the required standards. Remember, before you employ a contractor, you should be satisfied that they can do the work you want to the standard that you require.

    If you require additional information, please review your Business Unit Risk profile and / or NSS Facilities Management

  • PPE - How do I store my PPE?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    You need to ensure that adequate storage facilities are provided when PPE is not in use unless the employee can take the PPE away from the workplace (e.g. footwear or clothing). 

    The storage should be adequate to protect the PPE from contamination, loss, damage, or sunlight. Where PPE may become contaminated during use you will need to provide storage that is separated from any other storage provided for ordinary clothing. 

  • Legionella - Where does Legionella come from?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Legionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems, e.g. rivers and ponds. However, the conditions are rarely right for people to catch the disease from these sources. Outbreaks of the illness occur from exposure to legionella growing in purpose-built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth, e.g. cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools used in all sorts of premises (work and domestic).

  • Noise - Why does NSS have to reduce noise at source when workers can wear hearing protection?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The various types of hearing protection (earmuffs, ear plugs, semi-inserts) are not the best forms of protection because they rely on individual employees using the equipment correctly. They can also fail or be inefficient without this being visibly obvious. The effectiveness of hearing protection is reliant on its condition and whether it fits correctly.

    The main requirements apply where employee' noise exposure is likely to be at or above any of the action levels.  In these cases, you must, so far as reasonably practicable, reduce their exposure to noise in ways other then by providing hearing protection. 

  • Legionella - Do I need to keep a record of employees with Legionnaires?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    If you have five or more employees, you have to record any significant findings, including any groups of employees identified by it as being particularly at risk and the steps taken to prevent or control risks.

    If you have less than five employees, you do not need to write anything down, although it is useful to keep a written record of what you have done.

    Records should include details about:

     - the person or people responsible for conducting the risk assessment, managing, and implementing the written scheme;

     - any significant findings of the risk assessment;

     - the written control scheme and its implementation; and

     - the results of any inspection, test or check carried out, and the dates.

    This should include details about the state of operation of the system, ie in use/not in use.

    These records should be retained throughout the period for which they remain current and for at least two years after that period. Records kept in accordance with the last bullet point above should be retained for at least five years.

    If you require additional information, please review your Business Unit Risk profile and / or NSS Facilities Management

  • Legionella - How do I identify and assess sources or risk of Legionella?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    To identify the risks in your water system you, or a competent person who understands your water systems and any associated equipment, should establish any possible exposure to legionella risks, as listed above, as part of a risk assessment.

    Your risk assessment should include:

     - management responsibilities, including the name of the competent person and a description of your system;

     - any potential risk sources;

     - any controls currently in place to control risks;

     - monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures;

     - records of the monitoring results, inspection and checks carried out; and a review date.

    If you decide that the risks are insignificant and are being properly managed to comply with the law, your assessment is complete. You will not need to take any further action, but it is important to review your assessment periodically in case anything changes in your system.

    If you require additional information, please review your Business Unit Risk profile and / or NSS Facilities Management

  • PPE - How do I assess and choose PPE?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    The need for PPE must be identified through Risk Assessment, it should not be a one size fits all approach. The protective equipment should be personal to the individual user and be suitable and fit for purpose.  

    All personal protective equipment must be 'C E' Marked (external site). The C E mark signifies that the PPE satisfies certain basic/minimum safety requirements. 

    To establish if your employees need to wear PPE you can carry out a risk assessment. During the assessment you will identify workplace hazards, evaluate and estimate risks to decide if you are doing enough to manage risks in the workplace. You will also decide what PPE needs to be used. 

  • PPE - How do I maintain my PPE?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    An effective system of maintenance of PPE is essential to make sure the equipment continues to provide the degree of protection for which it is designed for. Therefore the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule (including recommended replacement periods and shelve life) must always be followed. 

    Maintenance may include, cleaning, examination, replacement, repair and testing. The user may be able to carry out simple maintenance but more intricate repairs must be carried out by a competent person. 

  • DSE - What do I need to do to collect any DSE equipment from a NSS building?National Services Scotland

    Once your line manager acknowledges your request, you can visit the appropriate NSS site to collect the item(s)

    you need – you should report to reception to advise that you are in the building to collect agreed items, and inform

    reception when you leave. We also ask that you are mindful of your own health and safety responsibilities and the

    requirements you need to follow when removing items, in particular the removal of heavy or bulky items. When

    travelling to and from work, please ensure you have your work pass with you at all times. 

     

    You should only retrieve items from workstations that are part of designated areas for you and your Strategic

    Business Unit. Items should be returned when you resume working from your usual base.

     

    Guidance for when you are onsite

    When onsite, please remember to follow social distancing measures staying at least two metres (approx.6 feet)

    away from other people at all times. Ensure you follow hand hygiene procedures in our buildings and when you get

    home – additional ‘arriving home safely’ information is available on HR Connect.

     

    As fewer staff are now working in Gyle Square, Meridian Court and the National Distribution Centre (NDC) we have

    closed some areas in the buildings to allow Facilities Management to consolidate and direct their services to help us

    all. Colleagues should not use these areas (including toilets, meeting rooms and teapoints) other than to retrieve

    equipment.

     

    Please refer to the Gyle Square floor plans on HR Connect for details of the areas that are now closed to staff

    (areas highlighted in black are closed). In Meridian Court the third, fifth and sixth floors, are closed to staff. The

    ground, first, second and fourth floors remain open.

  • DSE - How to request equipment to support me at home?National Services Scotland

    If you are currently working from home and require office equipment to support your working arrangements,

    you can raise a ServiceNow request to temporarily borrow equipment you used in the office for home

    use during the coronavirus outbreak.

     

    To submit a request, visit ServiceNow ‘Request to take assets home’ complete the form, stating the

    reason for your request, selecting the item(s) you require (for example monitor, keyboard, chair, mouse

    and desktop riser) and the NSS location. Once submitted, an email notification will be sent to your line

    manager with a link for them to click on and confirm acknowledgement of the assets being taken home.

    If for any reason a replacement asset is required at some point, this would need to be ordered and purchased

    following the business as usual process.

     

    If you need a piece of equipment that you don’t currently use when working on site, please speak with your

    line manager in the first instance.

  • DSE - What learning and development is availableNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Learning and Development

    You will be able to find details on learning and development opportunities across NSS within the HR Connect Page - Learning and Development and Organisational Development

    For specific DSE learning log onto Learnpro - NSS: Display Screen Equipment

    In addition to the published NSS information, the following guidance may also be of use.

  • DSE - Working in the office and DSE EquipmentNational Services Scotland

     DSE - Working in a NSS Building

     More information on how to set your desk up please review the following guide:

  • DSE - Working at home and DSE EquipmentNational Services Scotland

    DSE - Working At Home

    This guidance has been developed specifically looking at how you can set up your workstation within your home environment, using everyday items. Please use this guide to ensure that you are staying safe and if you feel that there is additional equipment or support that you need please chat to your Line Manager or one of your Local Business Unit DSE Assessors.

    Whilst it may seem easier to simply open the laptop and start working without making any adjustments, this can lead to poor posture, which can cause pain and discomfort over time. It is well worth taking a couple of minutes to set up your work area / workstation correctly each time you sit down to work.

  • DSE - What if I have already taken DSE equipment home?National Services Scotland

    If you have already borrowed equipment from the workplace, please let DaS know by submitting a request through

    ServiceNow following the instructions above. In the ‘reason for your request’ section please state ‘already taken’.

     

    Remember, if you are working from home, please review the guidance and resources on HR Connect regarding

    safe set up of display screen equipment.

     

  • DSE - Can I claim money back for my VDU glassess?National Services Scotland

    VDU Glasses Reimbursement

     

    NSS will reimburse the cost up to the value of £65.00 for spectacles for VDU use, bifocal or varifocal, incorporating a special prescription for VDU use.

    To access the VDU Perscription request from in ServiceNow please click on this link - Finance and Procurement portal

  • DSE - Best Practice Websites and Video'sNational Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland
  • Lone Working - Who is classed as a Lone Worker?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

    Lone Workers are defined by the Health and Safety Executive as those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. This doesn’t mean that the worker is physically alone, it means they are in a separate location to the rest of their team or Line Manager. Some workers may be alone such as fixed location workers, however, many work with the general public.

    Examples of potential lone working situations could be –

     - Employees, particularly those who mainly work outwith normal working hours;

     - Laboratory staff undertaking duties in a separate lab isolated from the main lab;

     - Maintenance staff, including contractors who have to access and work in plant room areas & roof spaces etc;

     - Shift workers and on-call staff, staff travelling to other sites on public transport;

     - Home workers or those staff who are required to make home visits to the public;

     - Warehouse/Stores staff who may on occasion find themselves isolated from others;

     - Apheresis/Donor staff who may on occasion find themselves isolated from others;

     - Dental Officers and Nurses in some cases;

     - Investigating Officers out in the field;

     - Professional drivers and those other staff who drive for work e.g. lease car users etc;

    The list above is not exclusive and Line Managers need to identify locally any particular lone working issues associated with the activities within their area of responsibility and decide on the appropriate level of controls required.

    Please note that a person ‘driving for work’ is someone who is either travelling between sites or when their journey involves them leaving straight from home to visit a site at which they are not based, including that of the return journey. Subsequently an individual travelling from home to their normal place of work and that of the return journey is not deemed to be ‘driving for work’ and is therefore not considered under the conditions of this procedure.

  • RA - I want to become a NSS Nominated Risk Assessor – what training do I need?National Services Scotland

    Risk Assessor Training

    Aim

    This course is aimed at providing all NSS nominated Risk Assessors with a basic understanding of the principles of Health and Safety Risk Assessment Management.

    This course has been tailored to provide individuals with appropriate training in line with legislation and has been specifically designed to reflect the NSS business operations.

    Objectives

    This Course will provide an introduction to legislation, key health and safety systems and best practice. By the end of this session delegates will be able to:

    • understand the legal requirements for risk assessment
    • use techniques for hazard identification and analysis
    • identify the factors involved in risk assessments
    • understand and select the best principles of risk control
    • carry out a practical risk assessment.

    Content

    • The risk assessment process in relation to health and safety legislation.
    • The principles of risk assessment.
    • Practical examples and case studies which will enable attendees to identify hazards and risks and determine appropriate control measures to remove these hazards and reduce risks.
    • NSS specific Risk Assessment procedures and training.

    Duration:  One day

    Audience: This course is aimed at managers, Health and Safety Representatives or anyone who is involved in carrying out health and safety risk assessments.

    Delivery method: Face to face

    Dates and how to enrol can be found on the NSS Learning and Development pages

     

  • RA - Risk Assessment LegislationNational Services Scotland

    Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974,

    Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Part 1, Section 2(2)c requires employers to provide:

    • Information
    • Instruction
    • Training
    • Supervision

    Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999,

    Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Regulation 13(2) and (3) requires employers to provide health and safety training:

    • On recruitment
    • When risk changes
    • To be repeated periodically as appropriate
    • To take place during working hours

    Employers are required to provide information, training and instruction for employees who work with substances hazardous to health. This includes cleaning and maintenance staff.

    Employees are required to understand the outcome of your risk assessment and what this means for them, this should include:

    • what the hazards and risks are;
    • guidance and information concerning any risk assessment outcome / actions;
    • the results of any monitoring;
    • the general results of health surveillance;
    • what to do if there is an accident or emergency;
    • access to any additional supporting information;
    • information about any planned future changes e.g. in processes, equipment or working environments etc

    Contractors are required to be provided the following information when they come on site:

    • what the risks are and
    • how the organisation controls them;
    • provide information, safety data sheets and risk assessments for any hazardous substances that they will be brining on to and using on the organisations premises, and how they will prevent harm to your employees.

     Further details and requirements of these legal requirements can be found within NSS Policies.

    • NSS Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy
    • NSS Risk Assessment Procedure
    • NSS Control of Contractors Policy
  • RA - What are common hazards?National Services Scotland

    Some common hazards that could be found in your organisation include

    • adverse weather
    • biological agents
    • electricity
    • lone working
    • machinery
    • slips, trips and falls
    • stress
    • vehicles and workplace transport
    • violence and aggression
    • working at height
    • working in confined spaces.
  • RA - What are specialist risk assessments?National Services Scotland

    Specific risk assessments

    The risk assessment process should be used to identify hazards in your work activity and to evaluate the control measures that you have in place to manage these risks.

    The aim is to ensure that your activities are carried out without risks to the health and safety of your employees and others. There may identify some risks that require NSS to take a slightly different approach when evaluating the risk they pose to health and safety.

    These risks need a different approach because of their complexity or specific legal requirements. For example, if you identify noise as a hazard during a risk assessment, then you should read the specific guidance about noise and carry out a noise risk assessment.

    Guidance and resources to help Line Managers and Risk Assessors with specific risk assessments include

    • fire
    • noise
    • vibration
    • manual handling
    • hazardous substances
    • display screen equipment.
  • RA - Where do I find my Business Unit risk assessments?National Services Scotland

    All Business Units have developed a Business Unit Risk Profile document, this is held by your Business Unit Director and Health and Safety Committee Chair.

    Within this document will identify all the risks and control measures that have been identified within your Business area and the tasks / roles that employees undertake on behalf of NSS

  • RA - What is the role of the NSS Nominated Risk Assessor?National Services Scotland

    NSS Risk Assessment Nominated Personnel Role Specifications

    There is a requirement to ensure that those advising and educating others in Risk Assessment practice have the appropriate skills and knowledge and adequate time to perform their duties, protected time to provide training and adequate recognition and support.

    NSS have created and implemented the role specifications to help support, NSS Nominated Risk Assessment personnel and management.

    EXPERIENCE, QUALIFICATIONS & TRAINING

    Delegates must have completed the NSS Risk Assessment Course

    Course Aim

    This course is aimed at providing all NSS nominated Risk Assessors with a basic understanding of the principles of Health and Safety Risk Assessment Management. These courses have been tailored to provide delegates with appropriate training in line with legislation and have been specifically designed to reflect the NSS business operations.

    Content Part 1 - Interactive eLearning

    This eLearning module will support the delegate to identify that risk assessments don’t need to be daunting and time consuming tasks, and why risk assessment are required in the workplace.

    At the end of the course delegates will be able to:

    • Understand the importance of a risk assessment
    • Identify what a hazard is, and how to remove and reduce the risk of a hazard
    • Understand how to identify a risk
    • Identify the hazards, understand who’s at risk and evaluate that risk
    • Understand the importance of monitoring and reviewing the risk

    Course Content Part 2 – Practical application training

    This practical face to face training is delivered corporately and should be achieved within three months of completing the eLearning interactive module. This half day session focuses on:

    • A number of practical examples and case studies which will enable attendees to apply the principles of risk assessment in their particular workplace/area to identify hazards and risks and determine appropriate control measures to remove these hazards and reduce risks;
    • Specific training on the organisation’s Risk Assessment Procedure.

     Training will be provided to ensure that employees are confident to perform their duties safely. Where there are higher risk activities, regular monitoring of activities is required

    PERSONAL QUALITIES

    • Good Organisational and communication skills.
    • An influencer and relationship builder

    ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES

    • Support less experienced Risk Assessors when required
    • To advise/seek specialist advice where required.
    • Facilitate staff to adapt their own work practices, enabling them to undertake the risk assessment tasks required in their area of work.
    • Adhere and promote NSS policies, procedures and support NSS in meeting their requirements.
    • Obtain Line Manager approval to support and carry out risk assessments across your local site/division as and when required.
    • Have an understanding of relevant risk assessment and health and safety legislation, in order to facilitate safe systems of work and reduce the risk of injury.
    • Undertake complex general risk assessments and provide advice and guidance to managers and individuals of appropriate risk reduction measures.
    • Appreciate the wider practical and commercial issues which must be taken into account when making recommendations to reduce risk.
    • Liaise with the HWL Team for support and advice when required.

     Further information and guidance can be found within the:

    • NSS Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy,
    • NSS COSHH Procedure

     

     

  • RA - How do I record and review a risk assessment?National Services Scotland

    Once you have evaluated the risks and decided on precautions you should

    • record your key findings on a template
    • prioritise your actions
    • set deadlines to achieve them by
    • share this information with employees.

    Risk assessments will be among the first pieces of evidence requested by the enforcement authority in the event of investigation following and adverse event such as an accident or breach. NSS within the Document Storage Document states that NSS will keep all risk assessments for at least 3 years. Any records relating to health should be kept for at least 40 years.​

     

    ​​Review risk assessment regularly

    ​Line Managers and Risk Assessors must regularly review the risk assessments to make sure that they are still valid. It is recommended that they are reviewed at least once a year. You should also review them if changes to the following take place:

    • equipment,
    • materials,
    • people,
    • premises,
    • processes.

    It is important to review the risk assessment after an accident or near miss, this can help prevent them happening again.​

  • RA - How do I identify who can be harmed?National Services Scotland

    Once Line Managers / Risk Assessors have identified potential hazards, then need to establish who might be harmed and how.

    You don't need to list everyone by name. Identifying groups of people is enough, such as

    • employees
    • customers
    • visitors
    • contractors
    • any other person that could be affected by your activities.

    Remember that special consideration should be given to people who could be vulnerable, and for this reason more at risk of injury or ill health. This includes

    • new and expectant mothers
    • agency and temporary workers
    • new workers and young people
    • migrant workers
    • lone workers
    • people with disabilities and long term health conditions.​​
  • RA - How do I evaluate and decide on the precautions of risk in a task?National Services Scotland

    Evaluate and decide on precautions in risk assessment

    When looking at each hazard you should assess

    • the likelihood of it occurring
    • how severe its consequences might be.

    This will allow you to prioritise your actions and ensure that your resources are being used where they are most needed.

    When considering precautions Line Managers / Risk assessors  should do so in the following order, without jumping to the easiest solution. Personal protective equipment should be your last choice and priority should be given to measures that will protect more than just one person.

    1. Elimination - for example, redesign the job to eliminate the need of manual handling or working at height.
    2. Substitution - such as changing a hazardous substances for a less hazardous one.
    3. Engineering controls – you could use guarding on equipment or machinery to separate the employee from the hazard.
    4. Administrative controls – such as rotating your employees around tasks to reduce the time they work in that environment.
    5. Personal protective equipment - if all the above methods are ineffective then you should consider the use of personal protective equipment.

     Line Managers should consult with their employees to see if they can suggest any control measures you may not have considered. It is also a good idea to check with them that any the risk assessment are suggesting will not introduce new hazards.

  • RA - How do I carry out a risk assessment?National Services Scotland

    The first thing to do when carrying out a risk assessment is identify potential hazards in your workplace. Think of what could go wrong and how people could get hurt or made ill.

    Line Managers and Risk Assessors should

    • speak to employees - they may be aware of hazards that aren't so obvious to you
    • observe the tasks carried out by your employees
    • check your accident, near miss and ill-health records
    • read instructions for tools and equipment - they will inform you of hazards
    • check the information contained within safety data sheets for hazardous substances
    • consider other situations - such as problems with equipment, machinery, maintenance or cleaning.
  • Where can I find wither safety advice?NHS Education for Scotland