Monday, 25 March 2013

Health and Safety

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 , also referred to as HSWA, HSW Act or HASAWA, is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain. The Health and Safety Executive with local authorities (and other enforcing authorities) is responsible for enforcing the Act and a number of other Acts and Statutory Instruments relevant to the working environment.

When in the workplace there are steps you should take to avoid injury to yourself and others.
There are laws governing this, that are there to protect you and anyone with access to your work area.

Below are some examples of good practice.


COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances hazardous to health.  Substances can take many forms and include chemical, products containing chemicals, fumes, dust, vapours, mists, nanotechnology, gases and asphyxiating gases and biological agents (germs)

When using harmful products in the darkroom we must make sure we take certain steps to protect ourselves and others from injury, this includes

  • Provide good general ventilation of the workroom.
  • Enclose the process as far as possible and when necessary extract harmful vapours and mists.
  • Avoid contact with harmful substances and minimise leaks and spills.
  • You may also need to provide personal protective equipment like respirators, gloves and eye protection.
  • Practise good hand care – remove contamination promptly, wash hands properly, dry thoroughly and use skin creams regularly

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
These Regulations, often abbreviated to PUWER, place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over work equipment. PUWER also places responsibilities on businesses and organisations whose employees use work equipment, whether owned by them or not.
PUWER requires that equipment provided for use at work is:

  • suitable for the intended use
  • safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and inspected to ensure it is correctly installed and does not subsequently deteriorate
  • used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training
  • accompanied by suitable health and safety measures, such as protective devices and controls. These will normally include emergency stop devices, adequate means of isolation from sources of energy, clearly visible markings and warning devices
  • used in accordance with specific requirements, for mobile work equipment and power presses
Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) is a device or equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process involved; it includes both conventional display screens and those used in emerging technologies such as laptops, touch-screens and other similar devices.  

Computer workstations or equipment can be associated with neck, shoulder, back or arm pain, as well as with fatigue and eyestrain.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 aim to protect the health of people who work with DSE. The Regulations were introduced because DSE has become one of the most common kinds of work equipment.

Risk Assessments

How to assess the risks in your workplace

  • Identify the hazards i.e. walk around, note any possible risks, check manufacturers instructions.
  • Decide who might be harmed and how i.e. people with disbilites, passers by, young people
  • Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution.  Can I get rid of the hazard altogether? If not, how can I control the risks so that harm is unlikely?
  • Record your findings and implement them i.e. proof that a proper check has been made of all of the above.
  • Review your assessment and update if necessary
All above information was taken from 
and employers should check for updates.

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