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Risk Assessments

In accordance with health & safety legislation and following our recent discussions I have drawn what is known as a risk assessment to minimise the possibilities of any accidents to employees or members of the public. I would ask you to read though the assessment very carefully and bring to my attention any action points you feel may be difficult to implement for any reason. As you are aware I take health & safety matters very seriously and would therefore welcome any feedback. Please be aware that this assessment is to be implemented with immediate effect.

The Van
Please ensure seatbelts are worn at all times even on the shortest of journeys. If carrying passengers it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that they are wearing seatbelts as well.

Only one person (the same person) is responsible for loading/unloading the vehicle as that person will then be aware of any potential loading/unloading hazards. The same person must be responsible for the safe operation of the tail-lift. Members of the public must not be allowed to use the tail-lift or enter the removal vehicle at any time when loading.

Loaders must make every effort to ensure the safety of their load by using webbing and or loading bars to minimise the risk of anything falling in transit or when stationary.

Drivers keep to the speed limits and take as many breaks as possible if on a long trip. Do not drive tired under any circumstances. It is not advisable to use the fast lane of the motorway if loaded. If two drivers are working then the burden of driving must be shared equally.

Drivers are also required to check tyres and tyre pressure water, oil levels, lights etc on a weekly basis and before every journey.

Use the light in the rear of the van during hours of darkness (please put security bar on vehicle as engine will need to be kept running).

All staff to be aware of height restriction in van and width restriction.

Drivers must ensure a team member sees them back when reversing on every occasion.

When loading/unloading on an incline or slope, it is all staff’s responsibility to ensure vehicle is left in gear with hand-brake firmly on. Also, place blocks under back wheels. There is a VERY SERIOUS risk of death by crushing if the handbrake fails and the vehicle moves back.

When Loading/unloading
You have been given a copy of getting to grips with manual handling but here are the main points for the purpose of the risk assessment;

The Team leader responsible for job must carry out a risk assessment before starting work and ensuring all team members are aware of any potential hazards. Such risks are described in the risk assessment and include slippery steps, dangerous traffic etc where safety jackets should be worn.

If any boxes are too heavy and have been over packed by the customer then it makes sense to share the burden by carrying the box with another team member.

Please ensure that all pathways/corridors are free of any obstacles including our equipment and the customers effects. Pick up all litter and place in a bin.

Team members must attempt to minimise the risk of slipping when working on decking (in gardens) and or slippery steps (moss gathering on them). Please avoid such areas or attempt to use a different route. Each team member must make every effort to warn his/her colleagues when working in such conditions.

Do not block up public rights of way with vehicle or equipment. Disabled, mothers with children and partially sighted need to use the pavement as well! There is also a risk that they may injure themselves by falling over what has been left behind (boxes, our equipment, customer effects etc.).

If working with ladders there must be at least one person holding the ladder and it must be webbed onto the building if possible.

Do not pack any hazardous effects that include gas bottles, flammables (petrol, white spirits, paraffin etc).

Ensure that all broken glass or ceramic is disposed of carefully by wrapping in paper or directly placing into bins.

Be aware that all sofa beds have the potential to harm (as bed mechanism can trap fingers). Best remove frame or tie up frame in bed very securely and avoid placing fingers where may get caught in mechanism. Also glass or wooden sliding doors on cabinets can trap fingers. Even if you are aware of this your team member may not be so please double check with him/her to ensure that he/she is aware of the danger.

If you smoke do not smoke in warehouse and please dispose of cigarette butts away from customers home as surprisingly leaves a bad impression and will not do your tip potential any good! Make sure that they are out and put them in bin or at least well away from customers house.

Use gloves when loading appliances such as washing machines because of sharp edges.

When placing tall items of furniture in the home such as book cases please ensure these items are left leaning on a wall as there is a risk the may fall forwards onto a child or other person.

Very often we are working in an environment with small children. Please consider the many dangers that pose a threat to children. These include boxes and furniture that can easily topple over (do not stack boxes too high) and children playing on van or with our equipment. You must carefully remind our customers that it is their responsibility to ensure that children are supervised and kept well away from the areas that we are working in.

Finally all accidents must be reported to me so that they can be recorded in the accident book.