Managing and operating a workplace is complex. It requires a range of skills and disciplines and the production, interpretation and reporting of diverse sets of information for a host of different stakeholders. It is also one of the only areas of an organisation’s activities where errors can lead to significant health and environmental damage.
Formed over 30 years ago, and focused solely on operational buildings, our services have been designed to provide those people with the responsibility for premises and estates peace of mind for their workplace health, safety and environmental risk management.
We do this through offering a comprehensive suite of independent solutions at a strategic, tactical and operational level, such as:
- Management or policy reviews;
- Risk assessments;
- Indoor environment quality programmes;
- Support and management time; and
- Specialist system or service audits.
Each of our solutions is tailored to you and your needs and delivered by a trained and qualified specialist. So, whether it is:
Assurity Plus 2.0
Closed Water System Management
Computer Room Management
COVID-19 Risk Management
Fire Safety Management
Food Safety Management
Health and Safety Management
Indoor Air Quality Management
Occupancy Comfort (temperature, relative humidity, airflow, light)
Water Quality and Hygiene Management
Safe School Assessment
Workplace Environmental Assessments
As an expert, independent consultancy, we deliver the information you need together with (and as required) realistic recommendations you can act upon, to help you to manage the:
- Level of your compliance with legislation;
- Cost-effectiveness of your systems;
- Comfort of your employees; and
- Confidence of your management team.
With over 98% of customers (who responded to our 2019 customer satisfaction survey) saying they would recommend us; how could we be helping you? Please look through our services for more information, or contact us today for a detailed, confidential and without-obligation discussion of your requirements.
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18th August 2021
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Roffey Park Institute - Providing a safe learning environment for staff and visitors with Assurity Consulting
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Frequently asked questions
- What to do when a fire is discovered
- How to raise the alarm
- What to do if you hear the fire alarm
- Where the assembly points are located
- Who contacts the emergency services
- Firefighting policy
- How to know it is safe to re-enter the building
Effectiveness of measure
Cost (availability of financial or other aid)
The extent of disruption
The extent of the company resources and considering other resources available
It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that their staff have had adequate training in order to ensure they know what they need to do in the event of a fire. Training should be provided on the first day of the induction stage with further training given throughout the length of employment to ensure that knowledge is refreshed and the information is correct. This is outlined in the British Standard BS9999:2017 Annex Q. Refresher training should be at least annually but if there is a higher turnover of staff or the risk of fire is more significant this frequency should be increased.
The level of training required should be dependant on the occupant's roles and responsibility. For example, a fire safety officer and fire warden would require more training than general office staff as they have greater fire responsibilities in the event of an evacuation. Fire evacuation drill’s training may potentially be considered sufficient refresher training for general office staff and fire wardens depending on the risk profile.
Things to include in fire awareness training should include the following:
Related services: Fire Safety
Reasonable adjustments must be made for workers with disabilities under The Equality Act 2010 to remove any potential barriers or provide auxiliary aids to assist them in their job role. Reasonableness is determined by the following;
These factors will vary dependent on the nature of the business, location and for each disabled person. Our access auditor experts are able to offer advice on what would be considered reasonable in your situation.
There is no requirement to have an asbestos survey carried out. Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 states the duty is to manage asbestos not a duty to survey. However, in order to manage asbestos that may be within your building, you need to know where it is, what type of asbestos it is and importantly, what condition it is in.
If your building was built before 1999, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, there is a good chance that some materials used within construction or fit-out contain asbestos. The only way that you can be totally certain of this is by carrying out a management survey which will help you assess, prioritise and manage these materials and allow you to carry out regular assessments to ensure that they remain in good condition.
You can assume that all unknown or suspect items contain asbestos, but in a larger building, this can quickly become unmanageable.
A management survey should be carried out by an independent organisation that is not linked to any removal or remediation company so that you can be sure that any recommendations given are made to help you with effective management.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Section 2(3)) states “It shall be the duty of every employer to prepare and as often as may be appropriate revise a written statement of his general policy with respect to the health and safety at work of his employees and the organisation and arrangements for the time being in force for carrying out that policy, and to bring the statement and any revision of it to the notice of all of his employees.”
However, if you have fewer than five employees, you do not need to have your health and safety policy written down.
There is no formal requirement to sign a policy, but as the purpose of the document is to demonstrate management from the top, most organisations do. The example policies on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also have boxes for signature.
It is far more important that the policy and arrangements are shared and implemented (for which top drive is usually needed). You can have a beautifully documented and signed policy, however, if it isn’t shared and implemented it, means little legally or organisationally.
Frequently asked questions
As with all electrical equipment, it is important to make sure that regular maintenance and servicing is carried out in line with the manufacturer’s/ installer’s recommendations. In most cases it is recommended that at least annual maintenance and servicing is carried out by a competent contractor. If the electrical vehicle charging unit/s are being used frequently, then increased maintenance and servicing regimes may need to be adopted.
In addition to regular maintenance and servicing, PAS 79-1:2020states that electrical vehicle charging units should be subject to periodic inspection and testing, like all other fixed electrical installations. This should take place on your electrical vehicle charging unit/s every 5 years.
As the electrical vehicle charging unit is likely to have parts that are regularly moved around, this piece of equipment should receive regular portable appliance testing (PAT) in line with your organisations policy for managing electrical equipment. It is suggested that annual PAT is suitable for this type of equipment.
Most electrical vehicle charging units have an RCD button fitted. This should be tested every 6 months, it is similar to an emergency light flick test.
It is good practice to carry out regular visual inspections (daily/weekly – dependent on usage, number of units and potential likelihood of damage) of your electrical vehicle charging unit/s. This will make sure that the unit is in good condition and that it is working correctly and allow you to identify any potential faults and proactively manage them, before they become an issue.
All maintenance tasks, tests and visual inspections should be formally documented.
Workplace comfort and indoor air quality are important issues for today’s employees, and there is an increasing amount of legislation in these areas that are open to misinterpretation. This has led to much confusion over what needs to be done in order to comply with legislation whilst making sure that safe air and a healthy environment are provided for staff.
There is currently no legal requirement to have an air quality monitoring regime in place within your workplace. However, there are legal stipulations as to office environment provided to your staff and occupants. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations state that ‘Effective and suitable provision shall be made to ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air’. Section 6 details that ‘Enclosed workplaces should be sufficiently well ventilated so that stale air, and air which is hot or humid because of the processes or equipment in the workplace, is replaced at a reasonable rate.’ Additionally, ‘The air which is introduced should, as far as possible, be free of any impurity which is likely to be offensive or cause ill health.’
Section 7 of the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations states that the ‘temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable’.The HSE have guidelines as to the recommended lower temperature parameters. Conversely, no meaningful figure is given to the upper indoor temperature parameter, only that employers have an obligation to ensure that it is ‘reasonable’.
The document EH40 contains the list of workplace exposure limits for use with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. These are the legal limits set by the HSE at which individuals should be exposed to at work, ranging from dust to carbon dioxide.
So although there is no legal requirement to have an air quality monitoring regime in place, it will provide you with the key evidence needed to demonstrate that you are complying with legislation and making sure that a healthy environment is provided to staff.
If you are the person, or employer, in overall control of a building or a project, then yes, you are responsible for making sure that the noise risks are assessed and that the information on noise is made available to all affected employers.
You have a responsibility to work with your contractor, or any other employer who is affected by the noise, to make sure that any identified noise control measures are carried out. This includes identifying areas where hearing protection must be worn, and ensuring appropriate signage and information is in place. You also have a responsibility to provide instruction and training to your contractors in relation to the specific work they are doing for you. However, health surveillance (hearing tests) need only be provided by the direct employer of the workers affected.
Similarly, if you have mobile workers that may be exposed to noise at premises outside of your control, you do still have a responsibility to assess the risks and put any necessary control measures in place.
Employers need to communicate with each other to ensure that they are all meeting their obligations to protect workers’ hearing. You should never assume that someone else has already assessed the risks.
Related services: Noise Risk Assessments
Legionnaires' disease The control of legionella bacteria in water systems, Approved Code of Practice and guidance on regulations (L8) 2013 sets the current requirements for Legionella management including risk assessment.
L8 applies “to the control of Legionella bacteria, in any undertaking involving a work activity managed by you or on your behalf. It applies to premises controlled in connection with a trade, business or other undertakings where water is used or stored; and where there is a means of creating and transmitting water droplets (aerosols) which may be inhaled”.
We offer Legionella risk assessments, accredited through UKAS, together with award-winning management systems, written schemes, training and support. Our own in-house laboratory, our sampling and testing are also UKAS accredited, providing you with complete peace of mind.
A fire strategy is a document that sets the basis for fire safety control measures from the design of a building. It demonstrates compliance with Building Regulations, covering means of fire detection, warning and escape, the internal fire spread (linings and structure), the external fire spread as well as accessibility and facilities provided for the fire service. Typically, a fire strategy will be produced at the design stage in conjunction with architectural plans and is required as part of a building control submission. The document will also provide details of occupancy levels permitted within the building against the provision of horizontal and vertical means of escape and levels of compartmentation.
The requirement for a fire strategy is not only applicable to new-builds, but they can also be produced for existing buildings. These are often known as ‘retrospective fire strategies’. Fire strategies of this kind are often carried out in accordance with PAS 911. This document provides guidance on the recommended process to follow and provides guidance on property protection, environmental factors, the safety of life and business continuity.
A fire strategy document forms an essential basis on which to conduct the Fire Risk Assessment. This will allow the ‘responsible person’ to plan, manage and co-ordinate the appropriate fire safety precautions to minimise the risk of fire and ensure the safety of occupants.
Fire strategies can only be produced by qualified and competent fire engineers. Further detail can be found on The Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) website under ‘find a UK fire engineer’ directory.
Related services: Fire Safety
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