Creating a Baseline for Compliance, Avoiding Complacency and the need for Regular Updates

Do your premises measure up against compliance imposed by statute?

ASAP Comply ‘Health & Safety Premises Audit’ provides;

  • a thorough baseline to work from
  • details of legal drivers imposing these requirements upon you
  • tasks required to correct the situation
  • tasks as high, medium or low risk issues
  • whether tasks completed in the short, medium or long term.

This Audit covers 36 areas (which can be added to) of compliance from Asbestos to Electrical Testing to Fire Safety. Detailed knowledge of these areas provides a baseline to move forwards from, but having created this baseline, don’t be complacent and remember regular updates are required.

In terms of complacency, consider asbestos – often considered to be well managed and up to date. However, many boiler rooms we re-survey following asbestos removals still have shocking levels of contamination.

Recently we found chrysotile asbestos heat mats in science labs.

Asbestos in your premises - have staff had an asbestos familiarisation course?

How often is asbestos being re-inspected?

Consider Fire Risk and developing your knowledge to cover the compartmentation in your building.

  • Do fire walls remain undamaged?
  • Are builders work holes properly fire stopped?
  • Has the correct fire stopping material been used?
  • Are Fire Doors in good condition?

Electrical Testing is another area for concern. In many cases Periodic Testing has been completed but repairs remain outstanding months later. Category 1 repairs are “Danger present. Risk of injury. Immediate remedial action required”. Category 2 are “Potentially dangerous – urgent remedial action required”. Repairs must be completed to demonstrate compliance.

Regarding regular updates, two elements to consider are the competence of the assessor carrying out updates and the frequency of updates required.

In terms of competence, consider qualifications, knowledge and reputation as key indicators. High professional indemnity insurance (£5-10million) maintained over a prolonged period with no claims are a good indicator. Conversely, also consider very few staff members would have the qualifications, training and knowledge required.

Accreditations of their organisation gives a good indication; asbestos surveying and re-inspections -  UKAS ISO 17020:2012 accreditation. Fire Risk Assessors - either Fire Protection Association or Institute of Fire Engineers membership. Legionella Risk Assessors - Legionella Control Association or ISO 17020:2012 accreditation.

Re: frequency of re-inspections, each report should state when it must be updated. As a minimum, we recommend annually although low risk areas may warrant a longer gap whilst high risk areas need more frequent reviews.

So with an established baseline, avoiding complacency and ensuring periodical reviews are completed, you should be well on the way to successfully managing compliance.