Occupational Health and Safety

CHE Proximity is committed to ensuring our employees have a safe and healthy work environment. Employees are expected to share this commitment and to take responsibility for their own health and safety while at work as well as ensuring their actions or omissions do not harm anyone else.

Occupational Health and Safety

Our Objectives

Policy in Detail

CHE Proximity will adhere to the following points to ensure all employees, contractors and visitors to our workplaces are safe.

  • A safe and healthy workplace, safe equipment and safe materials
  • Ensure health and safety considerations are part of all business decisions
  • Strive for continual improvement in its health and safety performance
  • Identify, assess and control workplace hazards
  • Establish and communicate safe work practices and methods
  • Comply with all health and safety related legislation
  • Ensure managers understand the health and safety responsibilities of their role
  • Consult and encourage participation from employees on issues that have the potential to affect their           health and safety

Our Responsibilities

Che Proximity abides by and enforces the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004  and its regulations, Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 to ensure a safe working environment for all staff. 

Managers are responsible for ensuring:

  • All workplace hazards are systematically identified and appropriately controlled
  • All employees are involved in the development of health and safety programmes and practices
  • All employees and contractors are given sufficient information and supervision for them to work                   safely
  • Where necessary, all employees are provided with appropriate protective equipment and clothing               for their health and safety and the health and safety of others
  • Contractors and visitors to the workplace understand safety procedures and where necessary are                 trained in safe work practices
  • There is a prompt response to any health and safety issue which comes to their attention
  • All accidents or safety incidents are reported promptly to a member of the management team
  • They display a high standard of behaviour regarding health and safety matters

 

All employees must:

  • Work in a safe manner at all times,
  • Comply with the Company’s Health and Safety Policy and all health and safety related legislation,
  • Comply with any instruction relating to a health and safety issue given by a manager or other                         authorised person,
  • Ensure that nothing they do, or don’t do, causes an avoidable hazard for themselves or anybody else           in the workplace,
  • Only do things for which they are adequately trained,
  • Wear protective clothing or use protective equipment when it is required for a particular activity, and
  • Report any accidents, health issues or safety incidents immediately regardless of whether anyone has         been injured or property damaged.

Application of the Policy

This policy is applicable to CHE Proximity in all its operations and functions, including those situations where employees are required to work off site.

Consultation

The organisation is committed to consultation and cooperation between management and employees.  The organisation will consult with elected employee health and safety representatives and employees in any workplace change that will affect the health and safety of any of its employees.


Identifying Hazards


Identifying Hazards:

There are 4 main types of hazard to be aware of within the workplace:

  • Mechanical
    • Machines have moving parts. The action of moving parts may have sufficient force in motion to cause injury to people.
  • Physical
    • A physical hazard is defined as "A factor within the environment that can harm the body without necessarily touching it. Vibration and noise are examples of physical hazards". 

      Physical hazards include but aren't limited to electricity, radiation, pressure, noise, heights and vibration amongst many others.

  • Chemical
    • Workplace hazardous chemicals are substances, mixtures and articles used in the workplace that can be classified according to their health, physical and chemical (physicochemical) hazards.
  • Psychological
    • Psychosocial hazards include but aren’t limited to stress, violence and other workplace stressors.


Assessing and Controlling Risk


What to consider when assessing risk:

  • The likelihood of the exposure leasing to injury or disease
  • The frequency and duration of the exposure
  • Who it may affect?

What to consider when controlling risk:

  • Elimination - can the risk be eliminated entirely?
  • Substitution -can the risk be reduced by implementing a different process or using different equipment?
  • Isolation -can the risk be isolated to reduce the risk?
  • Engineering -could engineering alter the way a machine works to reduce risk?
  • Administration -could a different policy or procedure reduce risk?
  • Personal protective equipment -would equipment for staff reduce the risk of injury?


Mark the following statements as true or false.

  • Only injuries which occur physically are covered under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Every effort should be made by all management and staff to reduce risk throughout the workplace

Mark the following statements as true or false.

  • Chemical hazards are not an issue within an office environment.
  • A physical hazard can cause damage to a person without touching them.

Risks at CHE Proximity

Whilst risk of mechanical injury may be lower in an office environment, compared to a factory or manufacturing one, precautions should still be taken around any machinery with moving parts to avoid the following:

  • Entanglement
  • Crushing
  • Severing
  • Cutting or puncturing
  • Slips, trips and falls

 


Risks at CHE Proximity


The most common Physical Factors for CHE Proximity employees to consider are:

Injuries which occur from things such as:

  • Lifting and carrying boxes
  • Forceful exertion in a bent or twisted posture
  • Static postures
  • Repetitive work

A common source of workplace injury is occupational overuse syndrome (OOS). This is a particularly debilitating disease which the Company wishes to eliminate from its workplace.

Factors that cause OOS are repetitive movements, exerting force during movements (such as hitting the keyboard too hard, or stapling or using the hole punch too vigorously or for too long), sustaining a poor posture or carrying out movements in unnatural movements.

Our aim is to prevent OOS from even starting.

As such, we will undertake health and safety in employment and OOS audits from time to time and will train all of our staff in the appropriate keyboard techniques and postures.

You also have a degree of responsibility for your own health and safety in the workplace. As part of this we require you to report any symptoms you may have of OOS to your manager. You are also required to use your workstation and any equipment provided safely and, in particular, you will be responsible for ensuring that you take breaks of at least 10 minutes every hour away from repetitive computer operation.

Safety hints and tips:

  • Ensure the lid is down when photocopying.
  • Ensure your workstation is set up to be comfortable and supportive. Take regular breaks from repetitive tasks.
  • Ensure you know where the correct office equipment is for doing various tasks is stored and make                 sure you use it e.g. a footstool to search for things on high shelves.

Safety while working offsite:

  •  As part of your role you may be required to work offsite. You must make yourself and those with you  aware of all possible hazards. You must work with external suppliers to ensure safety is not                              compromised.
  • On a television or photography shoot a Health and Safety Officer may be employed to ensure                         everyone involved is working in a safe environment. You must follow to their instructions.
  • If you are going to the site of another company make yourself aware of any possible hazards. You                   must comply with that organisation’s Health and Safety Policy.








Risks at CHE Proximity

Chemical Hazards should be low within an office environment but they still exist, for example in the form of cleaning chemicals. SDS is the labelling system which should be present on all chemicals.

The SDS contains information on the identity of the product and any hazardous ingredients,potential health effects, toxicological properties, physical hazards, safe use, handling and storage, emergency procedures, and disposal requirements specific to the chemical. 

If the SDS for a hazardous chemical is not supplied, you must contact either the manufacturer, importer or supplier to obtain one before the chemical is used at the workplace.

Important hazard information to note from the SDS includes:

Hazard Classification

This information will be present on the SDS in the form of hazard statements, for example “may cause cancer” or “flammable liquid”.

The Route of Entry

This information is important as it lets you assess the health risks to your workers. Routes of entry can include inhalation(breathing it in), skin contact, ingestion (swallowing it), eye contact and injection through high pressure equipment.Depending on the substance, the severity of the harm could range from minor to major, for example, from minor skin irritation to chronic respiratory disease. Some chemicals may not be hazardous by all routes of entry. For example, silica is hazardous only by inhalation so the risk assessment needs to consider how inhalation could occur in the workplace.Advice or warnings for at risk-workers. The SDS may also include summaries of toxicological data, or advice or warnings for people that might be at risk, such as„ people who are sensitised to particular chemicals„ warnings for pregnant women„ people with existing medical conditions such as asthma.

Instructions on storage

This may include advice on not to store with certain incompatible materials, or advice on potential hazardous degradation products.Examples include – storage of acids and bases, or storage instructions to avoid formation of explosive peroxides in ether during extended storage

Safety Hints and Tips:

  • Any chemicals associated with the photocopier should be labelled and securely stored.
  • Any chemicals associated with cleaning or the dishwasher should be labelled and securely stored.
  • Cleaning products should not be mixed together unless specifically stated this is acceptable on the SDS.




Risks at CHE Proximity


Workers’ psychological and physical health can be adversely affected by exposure to a poorly designed or managed work environment, a traumatic event, workplace violence, fatigue, bullying or harassment and excessive or prolonged work pressures. Any of these factors can increase the likelihood of workers experiencing a stress response.

Stress responses describe the physical, mental and emotional reactions which arise when workers perceive that their work demands exceed their ability to cope. Job stress is not in itself a disorder, illness or psychological injury. If job stress is excessive or prolonged it may lead to psychological or physical injury.

Increased frequency or duration of stress responses have been linked with high levels of unplanned absences including sick leave, staff turnover, withdrawal and presenteeism and more task errors. It can be a significant cause of injury or illness which may lead to depression and anxiety in the long term.


There are also several other factors that contribute to a person’s satisfaction at work and psychological health. These include:

  • Variety
  • Autonomy
  • Identity
  • Feedback
  • Social contact
  • Achievement
  • Opportunities for learning and development
  • Job Demand

Too much or too little of these can lead to stress. Stress then being an imbalance between the individual and their environment. Some stress is natural and can be productive. It is only when it is too strong, continuous or repeated that it becomes negative.

Stress can then be managed on two levels:

  • Organisational
  • Individual

If you feel like you need help managing your mental health or stress levels, speak to your manager or somebody in the Talent team who can best advise you on the options available to you.


Mark the following statements as true or false.

  • Only accidents in the workplace can injure a person.
  • Chemical labels are only there as a guideline.
  • Only I am responsible for controlling and minimising risks in the workplace.

Mark the following statements as true or false.

  • Chemicals can cause serious injury, even within an office environment.
  • Stress can only improve your performance within work.
  • Mechanical risks are not present within an office environment.

Worker Obligations


As an employee of the CHE Proximity you are expected to:

  • identify both actual and potential hazards and ensure that your Manager is aware of these hazards so that other staff can be made aware of them and they can be are recorded in the hazard register,
  • ensure you are not creating potential hazards,
  • become involved in developing procedures for hazard management,
  • take responsibility for your own actions (don’t run on the stairs, or on wet floors, for example), and
  • undergo training on hazard awareness when requested to do so.

If an accident does occur you must advise management so that it can be recorded in the accident register. In the case of a serious accident your manager or a staff member delegated with the responsibility must contact your Manager for guidance. All practicable steps must be taken to investigate accidents to determine whether they were caused by or arose from a significant hazard and if so what can be done about the hazard.

Systematic identification of all existing, new and potential hazards at work must be made.

All practicable steps to eliminate, isolate or minimise the hazard must be taken.


Workers Compensation and Return to Work

Workers’ Compensation

All employees, including part-time, temporary, and probationary employees, may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an injury arising from, or in the course and scope of, their employment.

The process to be followed if an injury occurs is as follows:

  • the first priority in the event of an injury at work is medical attention,
  • the injured worker or nearest colleague should initially contact one of CHE Proximity Limited’s registered first-aid attendants,
  • in the event of serious injury, an ambulance should be called, and
  • an employee who sustains an on-the-job injury, experiences a safety incident or near miss must report the incident to their manager who should then complete a report containing the employee’s details, the time and location of the injury, detail of the actual injury and the treatment, and any further investigations.

 Return to Work Policy

CHE Proximity recognises and accepts its obligation to assist employees to stay at work or return to work if injured or ill because of their work.

Specifically, the Return to Work Policy is that:

  • all the actions to assist employees to stay at or return to work are commenced as soon as possible in a manner consistent with medical advice, and
  • any employee injured or made ill because of their work is returned to work in the shortest possible time, provided it is safe and practicable to do so.

Or, if this is not possible:

  • we will endeavour to return the employee to an alternative role if it is appropriate to do so and does not create a risk to the health and safety of the employee.

All our employees are expected to assist and co-operate in ensuring this policy is followed.

Our commitment to this policy means:

  • Return to work will commence as soon as possible after illness or injury and a return to work plan will be established for any employee who is unable to work for 20 or more days. This plan will be established as soon as it is indicated that an absence of 20 or more days is likely.
  • There must be early reporting and early intervention at the workplace to enable the employee to stay at work, if appropriate.
  • That remaining at or returning to work, as soon as is safely possible after injury is a normal workplace practice and expectation.
  • Suitable duties, which do not jeopardise the wellbeing of the employee, will be provided, where possible, as part of the return to work program.
  • There will be full involvement of employees in their own return to work.
  • The confidentiality of employees’ information during return to work and any occupational rehabilitation will be maintained.
  • Return to work activities will be reviewed weekly in consultation with the employee to ensure that progress is continuing towards a complete recovery.


Mark the following statements as true or false.

  • You should report all known or observed hazards to their supervisor or manager
  • You should leave spillages for somebody in charge of Health and Safety to clean up

Ergonomics


STEP 1: Your Chair

  • Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair.
  • Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than, your hips.
  • Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle. Make sure your upper and lower back are supported. Use inflatable cushions or small pillows if necessary. If you have an active back mechanism on your chair, use it to make frequent position changes.
  • Adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders are relaxed. If your armrests are in the way, remove them.

STEP 2: Your Keyboard

An articulating keyboard tray can provide optimal positioning of input devices. However, it should accommodate the mouse, enable leg clearance, and have an adjustable height and tilt mechanism. The tray should not push you too far away from other work materials, such as your telephone.

  • Pull up close to your keyboard.
  • Position the keyboard directly in front of your body.
  • Determine what section of the keyboard you use most frequently, and readjust the keyboard so that section is centred with your body.
  • Adjust the keyboard height so that your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are in a slightly open position (100° to 110°), and your wrists and hands are straight.
  • The tilt of your keyboard is dependent upon your sitting position. Use the keyboard tray mechanism, or keyboard feet, to adjust the tilt. If you sit in a forward or upright position, try tilting your keyboard away from you at a negative angle. If you are reclined, a slight positive tilt will help maintain a straight wrist position.
  • Wristrests can help to maintain neutral postures and pad hard surfaces. However, the wristrest should only be used to rest the palms of the hands between keystrokes. Resting on the wristrest while typing is not recommended. Avoid using excessively wide wristrests, or wristrests that are higher than the space bar of your keyboard.
  • Place the pointer as close as possible to the keyboard. Placing it on a slightly inclined surface, or using it on a mousebridge placed over the 10-keypad, can help to bring it closer.

If you do not have a fully adjustable keyboard tray, you may need to adjust your workstation height, the height of your chair, or use a seat cushion to get into a comfortable position. Remember to use a footrest if your feet dangle.

STEP 3: Screen, Document, and Telephone

Incorrect positioning of the screen and source documents can result in awkward postures. Adjust the screen and source documents so that your neck is in a neutral, relaxed position.

  • Centre the screen directly in front of you, above your keyboard.
  • Position the top of the screen approximately 2-3” above seated eye level. (If you wear bifocals, lower the screen to a comfortable reading level.)
  • Sit at least an arm’s length away from the screenand then adjust the distance for your vision.
  • Reduce glare by careful positioning of the screen.Position source documents directly in front of you, between the screen and the keyboard, using an in-line copy stand. If there is insufficient space, place source documents on a document holder positioned adjacent to the screen.
    • Place screen at right angles to windows
    • Adjust curtains or blinds as needed
    • Adjust the vertical screen angle and screen controls to minimize glare from overhead lights
    • Other techniques to reduce glare include use of optical glass glare filters, light filters, or secondary task lights
  • Place your telephone within easy reach. Telephone stands or arms can help.
  • Use headsets and speaker phone to eliminate cradling the handset.

STEP 4: Pauses and Breaks

Once you have correctly set up your computer workstation use good work habits. No matter how perfect the environment, prolonged, static postures will inhibit blood circulation and take a toll on your body.

  • Take short 1-2 minute stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes. After each hour of work, take a break or change tasks for at least 5-10 minutes. Always try to get away from your computer during lunch breaks.
  • Avoid eye fatigue by resting and refocusing your eyes periodically. Look away from the monitor and focus on something in the distance.
  • Rest your eyes by covering them with your palms for 10-15 seconds.
  • Use correct posture when working. Keep moving as much as possible.

Mark the following statements as true or false.

  • Adjusting your workstation and improving your posture can reduce the risk of injury at work.
  • Taking regular breaks will be frowned upon and discouraged.

Conclusion


CHE Proximity is committed to working with all employees to provide a safe and happy working environment. If you would like to know more about this policy , or you wish to make any comments on this policy, please contact any Director of CHE Proximity.