Health and Safety Policy

1. Policy Statement

Health and Safety shouldn’t take over our working lives but, with a little safety knowledge and the application of common sense, many work place injuries are preventable, so please take the time to read this policy and apply this information to your working practices.
The Apprentice Academy acknowledges its responsibility in line with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to provide a safe and healthy workplace for its staff, clients, suppliers and visitors. This is a brief guide which outlines the key points of which all staff must be aware.

2. Employer Responsibility

Every employer has certain responsibilities towards their staff. The company must provide adequate facilities such as toilets, heating, first aid, safe machinery and equipment, information, training and supervision.

  • All plant, equipment, machinery, premises and facilities provided must be safe in accordance with current legislation and maintained in good condition.
  • Maintenance checks are carried out by qualified personnel only. In this way, the machinery and equipment are looked after by experts who are specially trained to do their various jobs.
  • You will be properly trained and receive instruction and supervision appropriate to the level of skill and the nature of the task.
  • If any dangers are involved, correct and safe methods of work will be properly explained to you. No person will be required to perform any task unless this has been done

To recap: wherever someone works in the UK and whatever equipment or machinery they use, there must be no risk to the employees’ health and safety.

3. Employee Responsibility

By law it is also the responsibility of every employee to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. This is done by:

  • Following any safety or health procedure introduced by the company or the building management.
  • By taking personal responsibility to ensure that actions do not adversely affect the health or safety of others, and
  • Alerting your line manager to any problems or hazards that you encounter.

Employees MUST NEVER:

  • Abuse the company equipment or property
  • Interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of Health, Safety and Welfare.

Employees MUST:

  • Report to their line manager as soon as possible anything which is, or could become a safety hazard
    Report to their line manager as soon as possible, any incident or near accident (near miss)
  • Ensure that all accidents are recorded, correctly and precisely in the accident book provided.

The Apprentice Academy’s accident book is kept with the First Aid box in the kitchen cupboard.

4. Fire/Evacuation Procedures

It is the policy of the company that a nominated fire officer is designated to the company premises and that all staff receives adequate fire training. The fire officer for The Apprentice Academy is Georgia Smyth. In her absence Lucy Read will take responsibility. The procedure for dealing with fire and evacuating the building is displayed in your office and you will be made aware of this during your induction. The key things to remember are:

  • Leave promptly by the stairs (under no circumstances should you use the lifts even during a drill)
  • Do not stop to collect any of your belongings
  • Exit the building in an orderly fashion (Do not run)
  • Gather in the designated meeting point located across the road in front of St James’s Building and do not leave or return to the building until you are given the all clear by your fire officer.

Fire evacuation drills are carried out twice yearly and without warning. Tests of the alarm occur weekly on Thursday mornings at 09.15am and will be advised via signs in the entrances to St. James’s Building.

Please remember that visitors to the company are the responsibility of their host so if someone is visiting you when an emergency arises you must ensure that he/she is escorted from the building and accounted for. All guests must sign in using the visitors book located at the entrance.

To accommodate the needs of a disabled visitor, please make sure that you inform a line manager who will then contact St James Building reception team for a Fire Marshall to be allocated to that person.

5. Terrorist Activity

You should be aware of the need for vigilance, especially regarding explosives or incendiary devices. In the event of a suspicious object, letter or parcel etc. you should immediately notify your nearest manager.

6. Identifying Hazards

Our business has been identified as low risk. As such, risk of accidents is low. However, the company requires Managers to approach health and safety and welfare in a systematic way, by identifying hazards and problems, planning improvements and taking action. If you notice any hazards, you should inform your Line Manager immediately. The main potential hazards within the company relate to electrical equipment, lifting objects, slips, trips and falls and your workstation. As such please follow the guideline given below.

Electrical Equipment

  • All electrical equipment in the office is checked regularly. Do not use your own electrical appliances in the office.
  • Do not obstruct any sockets providing power or unnecessarily overload them with extension leads.
  • Pay special attention when moving any equipment to ensure that any wiring will not create a tripping hazard
  • If you accidentally spill any liquids near computer equipment, mop it up straight away and let your line manager know. The equipment will be checked to ensure it is not damaged or dangerous.
  • You should visually check equipment before use for signs of damage (casing, mains plug and sockets etc) and inform your line manager immediately if any damage is discovered.

Lifting and manual handling

There is no legal maximum limit to the weight a person is expected to handle. Therefore, it must be left to each individual to decide. Please approach on the side of caution and if you think the load is too heavy, get help. The following pointers can help you avoid injury:

  • Grip with the full palms of both hands and keep the arms straight and close to the body.
  • Keep your back straight and bend your knees as you descend to the ground
  • Position your feet slightly apart with one foot a little ahead of the other.
  • Avoid twisting while carrying a load.
  • Store heavy objects on the lower shelves.
  • When carrying long objects, keep the front end above head height when approaching corners or doorways.
  • If you are uncertain just ask someone for help or training. (See the notice board)
  • If two or more people are lifting, be clear as to who is in charge of the operation.

For a visual aid on the appropriate way to lift things see the staff notice board located in the kitchen area.

Your Workstation

The use of computer equipment / visual display units (VDUs) is not in itself hazardous or likely to cause health problems. However, problems can occur if you do not follow a few sensible guidelines.

Your chair should have a height adjustment and your computer screen may also be altered to improve comfort. Your Line Manager will give you a Display Screen Self Assessment Form, which you should complete, detailing any areas that you find problematic. If you ever experience any discomfort please inform your Line Manger immediately so that an assessment can be carried out and corrective measures taken. If we do not know you have a problem, we cannot help.

Chair Desk and Posture

  • Make sure your back is properly supported by adjusting the height and tilt of the back of the chair.
  • Tilt chair forward and allow to rock if possible.
  • Have knees at roughly 90.
  • Seat depth should support hip to knees with no uncomfortable pressure.
  • Try to avoid leaning on elbows or forearms while typing.
  • Make sure you have got enough space to work in.
  • Make sure you have got enough room under your desk for your feet.
  • Make sure any cables and so on are out of the way.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor or a foot stool.
  • Keep wrists in a relaxed, neutral position and back straight.

For a visual aid on the correct positioning of your chair see the staff notice board located in the kitchen area

Screen positioning

  • Adjust the screen height so that it is directly in front of you. It should roughly be an arm length away.
  • Adjust the contrast or brightness depending on the lighting of the room.

Keyboard

  • Try to keep your elbows at 90 degrees when at a keyboard
  • The keyboard itself should be directly in front of you. Approximately 10cm away from the edge of the desk, and away from the screen.
  • You might find having the keyboard flat (rather than on its legs reduces the wrist strain.

Mouse

  • Because mouse work is a concentrated activity on one or two fingers and one arm, it is important to limit the time you spend using the mouse to avoid a repetitive strain injury.
  • Place your mouse close so it can be used with a relaxed arm and straight wrist.
  • It can help to support your arm on the desk surface or the arm of the chair.

Breaks

Ensure you take regular breaks from your computer screen to reduce eye strain and help prevent headaches and aches and pains. It is recommended that for every hour you are on a computer you should take a 5 minute break. This is not a cigarette break or similar but for you to work on something different.

Laptops

The same guidance that applies to other VDUs applies to laptop use. Because of the small keyboard, you should avoid using a portable on its own when full-sized equipment is or can made available.

Eye tests

Although extensive research has found no evidence to suggest that VDUs can cause damage to your eyes, the law allows you to ask your Company to provide and pay for an eye test annually. To request this please contact your line manager or Managing Director.

Accidents

Our current first aider is Emma Brewer, The Building Management (Bruntwood) has first aiders on site at all times. Our Company First Aid Box and materials are kept in the kitchen cupboard above the sink

At present any accidents or injuries should be reported to Emma Brewer. They will then record the incident in the accident book. A written report must be completed for all accidents, which must include the following:

  • Date and time of incident
  • Full name of the person affected and the nature of the injury
  • The place where the accident happened
  • A brief description of the circumstances and action taken

Stress

Stress can affect anyone and being incapacitated by stress is not a sign of weakness nor is it permanent. If you are experiencing any difficulties we have an open door policy so please speak to either your line manager or Managing Director.

7. Lone Working

If your job role or circumstances require you to work alone (i.e. after hour, home working and visiting clients) there will be security arrangements for your office building with which you should make yourself familiar. You can request a risk assessment if you have any safety concerns about working alone. If you work alone when visiting clients or other sites, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Ensure your appointment/whereabouts are known to your line manager/colleagues and are recorded before leaving the office. Ensure that your shared dairy is up to date and all appointments are recorded
  • Always carry necessary vehicle recovery documentation and some form of identification
  • Carry a mobile phone, ensuring it is fully functional and that the batteries are charged before departure.
  • If driving, ensure your vehicle is road-worthy, regularly serviced and complies with current road legislation.
  • You should carry a portable first aid container in vehicles used for business purposes
  • When arriving at your destination try to park the vehicle close to the property, preferably in a busy, well –lit area. Reverse the vehicle in if necessary to enable a fast departure to be made if needed.
  • After leaving the appointment at the property, quickly check your vehicle before entering.
  • If for any reason you are to be delayed, inform your line manager. Always inform your line manager/colleague of your return, or if you are going directly home, phone to confirm everything is okay.
  • If your line manager has not heard from you by 9pm they will call to check that you are okay.

8. Good Housekeeping

By keeping ‘our house in order’ with regards to health and safety, we are minimising the risk of personal injury to anyone on, or in the vicinity of the workplace. Good housekeeping is essential in minimising this risk.

  • Good housekeeping basically means keeping the workplace clean and tidy.
  • Make sure that all equipment is put away in its correct place when it is not in use
  • Ensure that rubbish is not left lying around and make sure that spillages are attended to immediately.
  • Keep stairways clear of obstructions and do not store goods on the stairs
  • Avoid trailing cables along the floor
  • Store rubbish in the bins – not on the floor

Remember every employee can be personally liable to prosecution by failing to follow or by breaking Health and Safety Rules and Regulations.

9. Smoking Policy

Both The Apprentice Academy and Bruntwood Estates operate a no smoking policy both in and around the premises. Under no circumstances must any employer, employee or guest smoke within the premises or near entrances and exits.