Establishments in the current era
focus on the development of employees and they believed in the ideology of
benefiting employees through different approaches. Safety at the work force or
laboratories is an important aspect that many organizations of today’s world
disregard. Many people face mishaps and accidents in various situations
especially due to negligence, recklessness, and carelessness. Many accidents
and serious injuries are avoidable and preventable by taking effective safety
measures and reducing hazards. For example, drivers and passengers can avoid
serious injuries and death by wearing seatbelts while traveling in cars.
However, many people fail to realize the importance of seatbelts and face a
variety of consequences in the event of an accident. Mishaps and accidents are
unforeseen occurrences that can lead to several adverse consequences in the
absence of effective safety measures and precautions. Accidents, disasters, and
mishaps can also occur in the laboratories and affect several staff and
students in the absence of precautions and safety procedures. Certain
organizations do not regard this aspect as important and they do not focus on
safety at the workplace. The owners and management of the organization need to
implement rules, regulations, procedures, and systems relevant to safety and
health. The management also needs to ensure that all workers have ample
knowledge and information regarding safety procedures, prevention of accidents,
and safe working practices.
Risk Assessment for a Laboratory on a daily basis we
encounter all forms of harms or things that are unfavourable to our health and
well-being, for example when crossing the street, you are open to being injured
by a passing car or even when you’re riding a bike you are open to falling down
and hurting yourself. Some of the harms we face can be avoided more particular
the ones that occur in work places and laboratories. COSHH which stands for
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health is the law that was implemented in
2002, it requires employers to control substances which are hazardous to the
health of employees as well as others that may come in contact with the work
place. The ideology behind COSHH was to ensure that it was safe for employees
to work around substances or in environments that did not particularly favour
good health; and in situations where by hazardous substances where unavoidable,
good practices and controls were implemented to minimize the effects of coming
in contact with them. Statistics have shown that since the implementation of
COSHH work related deaths have decreased over time.
What is a risk
This assessment will consist of a detailed risk assessment
about the risks of working a laboratory. It will incorporate what a risk
assessment is and what it is for, also a risk assessment procedure and the
possible dangers that could occur in the work place if the health and safety
rules are not followed.
The purpose of risk
A fundamental information of health and safety is required
before a risk assessment can be finished. The Health and safety at work act is
an arrangement of guidelines which are set to secure the students, Visitors, Maintenance
staff and the technicians themselves from any accidents or sickness. The health
and safety act rules are there to guarantee the safety of anybody working in
laboratory. A risk assessment is a vital component of health and safety for any
laboratory as this will help foresee accidents and genuine damage to all
concerned. A risk assessment is an attentive
examination of what could make harm to individuals inside the workspace. It is
utilized to organize any possible dangers, to evaluate how hazardous they are
and how to counteract them.
HSE is an public body in the United Kingdom. HSE give its
employees great and safe states of work, this implies having successful
administration game plans that guarantee the prosperity of staff, which limits
the effects to people and business frame ill health and health damage.
Specialists have the privilege to work in a place where dangers to their health
and safety are legitimately controlled.
How to undertake a
HSE regulations are:
• All works are entitled to work in
an environment where risk to their health and safety are properly controlled.
• This responsibility is down to the
employers (health and safety law)
• The works duty is to take care of
their own health and safety, and of others that may be affected by the actions.
• It is an employer’s duty to
protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees.
The duties are to assist and encourage persons
concerned with matter relevant to the health and safety at work act 1974. To
make arrangements for and encourage research, training and information that is
in connection with the work.
In this case study we have found a research of an Unnamed 49-year-old
who had a tragic incident at his workshop at a company known as Sellafield nuclear
plant, he worked in this particular company with a special vibrating tool since
1992 until 2003, it had led to him being diagnosed with a condition by the name
of carpal Tunnel syndrome, the side effect of this condition is muscle weakness
and numbness to the hands.
The 49 year old man was left with a severe restricted grip,
where he had to undergo a number of four operations. Once he was diagnosed with
this condition, the company allocated him to a different department in the
power plant, and was restricted to simplistic duties. Because of his condition
the employee was unable to fully use his hands efficiently in the work place
and still suffers from pain. Mostly in the night and during bad weather.
This case brought a personal injury claim against his
employer, which put through a claim that the employer has been informed or
warned of the severe danger of the continued use of the vibrating hand tool. The
cooperation did not admit liability for his injuries, but agreed to him
compensation of £35,000.
Who is to blame?
According to the report the employer noted the
company known as Sellafield nuclear Plant did not warn the employer that future
handling of the vibrating hand tool will cause a severe condition which will
lead to his hands being incapacitate. But according to a report the company
argued that they did place safety precautions which clearly state that future
handling of the vibrating tool will cause weak muscle symptoms hence why they
argued that they were not reliable for this man’s injury but would pay a compensation
of £35,000 for the unexpected injury which occurred. They also promised that future of this
particular case would be severely be reviewed and will take extra precautions
when handling the vibrating tool and any other tools.
The company which provides the vibrating tools
have come under investigation of the tool due to the safety of the many
symptoms that their product can do the employees of the Sellafield nuclear.
However, the company did make a statement about this situation which they said that
they are not responsible because they highlighted the safety precautions which
need to be undertaken to safely handle the equipment. The employer has the duties to monitor the
safety of his employees which means that before his workers proceed to use the
equipment, he gives a clear notice of the health and safety precautions to use
on every equipment that will be available in the workspace. It’s important for the employee also to
completely understand the types of equipment’s he will be using in the workspace
it’s his responsibility to identify any changes in his health conditions. He
should’ve also reported what he was experiencing from the start so that actions
can be taken for further investigation about the equipment and also help the
company acknowledge what type of equipment they have and if they should change
for a better working environment.
While performing in any work
environment the company ‘sellafield nuclear plant” must follow rules strictly
and adopt good laboratory practices. Some of the instructions that everyone
should follow are discussed below. To manage and maintain safe laboratory
practices, management should carry out quality checks and audits against these
standard operating procedures. Safety checks should be carried out to eliminate
the risk of putting the safety of employees attending a laboratory.
A work environment could carry out
safety checks in a number of areas, prior to a match, to ensure its health and
safety procedures are in place. A checklist should be provided and should link
directly to standard operating procedures/safe systems of laboratory.
In this image above it highlights the potential severity of
harm and likelihood of harm occurring in a laboratory or any other workspace
hazards. The image above has a grade a system which instructs the potential
user of the equipment the types of risks they could be handling, the grade
system of the hazard is done by accessing the likelihood of the harm occurring
graded from 1-3, and multiplying it by the potential severity of harm also
graded from 1-3. This grading system instructs the potential user of the
hazards he will be encountering ranging from 1 being the lowest and 9 being the
The Table Below will analyse the type of equipment’s we’ve
have been introduced to by the risk assessment technicians in the laboratory
room RVMB036. As shown in the table below it analyse the types of hazards which
occurs for example, abrasives, noise, cables, airborne dust particles, ventilation,
manual handling etc. Protections in place for these hazards were emergency stop
buttons for encase of a fire, demonstrations and supervision by the technicians,
fully displayed regulation of equipment, cables were tucked out of the way.
These are very simple insurances that the individual’s cooperation is obliged
in order to avoid the hazards from occurring. Majority of the equipments in the
laboratory is graded as level of risk of 1, these hazards are well controlled
and contained which is why supervision isn’t needed, its mostly trivial and
incase of it happening simple precautions made to prevent it from leading to a
From the examples above which is most likely to occur in a
laboratory when can take the example of noise from a particular equipment,
which could lead to severe hearing damages which has been graded of outcome of
2 which is tolerable, in the laboratory it has been evaluated that this
particular cases won’t be an issue because it’s high unlikely to occur because
of the preparations that has been used to prevent this risk to develop all the
equipment’s are highly experimented on and passed the health and safety
regulations to fully reduces future risks. But even though the laboratory takes
extra precautions to allow the individual to
comprehend the unlikely risks they’ll be
encountering in using this particular equipment. It also advised
to even further reduce the risk the individual should cover their ears with special
type of head equipment.
Another example of hazards which could most likely occur in
the laboratory which is graded to be 3 which is moderate is the use of the
equipment such as abrasives, cables, fire. The use of these needs special attention and supervision which why
its grade to be 3. In the case of a fire there’s many safety precautions which
is undertaken to fully reduce a serious risk such as different labelled fire
extinguishers depending on the type of fire, also other precautions such as quickly
and safely exiting the laboratory is encouraged to stop further risks, left
around cables is also encouraged to be safely removed because it could cause injury
to an individual.
In the laboratory the most dangerous type of hazard to occur
is graded to be 4 which is also moderate The table shows some hazards that have
a risk level of 4, including machinery and water. These hazards have a higher
rating than those with a level 3 rating because they are more likely to occur
than those above, but could also be harmful if they were to occur. There are
existing precautions for these hazards including signage, emergency stop
buttons and protective clothing, and also designated areas for certain
activities such as hand washing. Further precautions that can be taken in the
future can include supervision to make sure machinery is being used correctly
and that all machines and taps are turned off after use.
Persons at risk
stop button and supervision.
action is not necessarily needed due to the risk free of the equipment.
the risk of it being trivial it’s not
needed for future risks
put away to safe place which won’t get in the way.
maintenance checks for any faulty wires.
shoes is highly recommended
future action that can be done is all objects are placed back in their
appropriate place, carefully handle the object when being used.
procedures, fire extinguishers and fire exits, signs and labels.
should be aware of all fire safety
symbols, distinct cupboards for diverse types of chemicals and barrier cream,
gritty soap, protective clothing and chemical waste disposal for safety
and demonstrations for everyone who is to use the chemicals.
ensure safety regulations are meant when manual handling what to do and how
to lift safely.
sheets of the equipment and safety practices such as protective clothing, steal toe shoes,
machine guards, emergency stop button.
and demonstrations for the use of the machinery. Ensure all machines are
turned off after use.
to make sure everyone is wearing their protective headphones
or nonslip floor.
floor signs to allow everyone to know there’s a spillage.
To conclude, from what we discussed from the case study of
the Sellafield incident. Sellafield Nuclear plant showed no importance to the
health and safety of their workers. They should have checked regularly with
their employees if they were fit to work. Vibrating machines are a known risk
first documented just over 30 years ago so they should have taken more care
into regularly checking up with everyone who is working there. By watching the
workers and looking at sickness absence records of everyone who is working
there can help reduce any future accidents. Creating and posting leaflets
everywhere around the work place of known effects from vibration could make the
workers more aware and report it before anything irreversible happens.
Also regularly employers can give out questionnaires to
their workers and ask them if they feel numbness or any tingling sensation in
their hands to prevent any accidents. This as a group we think would be the
best safety precaution every company should take regularly, if they do that
they will know before any permanent damages is caused to their employees.
As a group in the risk assessment we found a few potential
accidents that could have happened in the lab room RVMB036, on one account
highest level being 4. These can be prevented in the future as noted from the
This has broadened our knowledge in the safety precautions
that’s needed to prevent such things happening as explained. We had very good
teamwork which was the most important to accomplish this assessment in due time
and to produce the best quality of work. Regular meetings took place in the
Learning resource centre which was key. We worked as a group and had a part to
do, if anyone was struggling we would help each other out. A few of us couldn’t
do the risk assessment before the Christmas holidays so we had to do it after
we came back from holiday, this was done swiftly as the university was
repeating the risk assessment for a week so the people who missed it could do
it again and not miss out. During the Christmas holidays a few of us fell
behind due to the celebrations so after we got back from the break we met up
and helped each other part doing the sketches and diagrams. This was great
because we all made time to meet up on the day we came back and proceeded with
the assessment and to a good standard.
Persons at Risk
Likelihood of Risk
Consequences of Risk
Level of Risk (1-9)
Comments for Future Action