These strategies are concerned with the actions necessary to prevent accidents and to reduce the objective danger that is a precondition of accidents:

Safe systems of work. A safe system of work is a prerequisite for the prevention of accidents. Safe systems of work involve people, planning the operation, the provision of information, instruction and training, and the removal of hazards at the design stage of work activities. The design and implementation of safe systems of work is a common outcome of risk assessment. In certain cases, safe systems may be formally documented as with a permit-to-work system.

Safe processes. Processes operated in workplaces include manufacturing processes, treatment processes, the conversion of raw materials to finished products, the use of machinery and plant, operation of display screen equipment, processes involving the use of hazardous substances and the use of internal transport equipment, such as lift trucks.

Safe premises. A safe workplace involves consideration of design, layout and structural features, such as floors and windows, structural stability, control of environmental factors, such as lighting, fire protection arrangements and measures for ensuring safe means of escape in the event of fire. The WHSWR and accompanying ACOP provide detailed requirements for workplaces.

Safe equipment. Work equipment includes machinery, plant, mobile equipment, such as lift trucks, and hand tools. Maintenance of this equipment is an essential requirement for ensuring safe working, together with information, instruction, training and supervision in the correct operation and use of equipment.

Safe materials. Consideration must be given to the health and safety requirements for a wide range of substances, such as acids, alkalis, flammable substances, poisons, carcinogenic substances and mutagenic substances, in terms of handling, storage and disposal of waste products. Information provided by suppliers in safety data sheets is an essential element for ensuring safe use of substances. Health risk assessments must be produced by employers for substances classified as ‘substances hazardous to health’ under the COSHH Regulations.

Safe access and egress. Access to and egress from the workplace and specific parts of the workplace, such as those at heights above floor and ground level, or confined spaces, must be safe. Access must also be considered in the case of approach roads and the segregation of pedestrians from vehicular traffic leading
to and around a workplace. More specific access, in terms of the use of ladders by people working at heights, must be safe.

Competent and trained personnel. There is an urgent need to ensure that people are competent for the tasks they are required to perform, such as the operation of machinery and plant, mobile access equipment and the use of hazardous substances. Systems for the provision of information, instruction and training should feature in the health and safety management system, with particular reference to induction training, on-the-job training and refresher training. In certain cases, the employees of contractors may need information and training in the hazards and precautions necessary whilst working on site prior to commencing contract work.

Adequate supervision. Supervision should extend through senior management to line management. Supervision requirements, including those for ensuring appropriate levels of health and safety performance by employees and others, should be incorporated in job descriptions. Procedures in the event of unsafe behaviour should be written down, including the taking of disciplinary action against offenders.

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