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Generic Risk Assessments - again

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Generic Risk Assessments - again

Post by stephen1974 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:28 pm

So we spoke about this previously and pretty much everyone is against them.

This popped up the other day.
Generic risk assessments not suitable for task
A Hitchin-based construction company has been sentenced after a carpenter sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back after a fall from height.

On 2 May 2017, the employee was working for and under the control of MP Building Limited. He climbed up to remove a nail from a brace holding trusses, one of which started to fall causing the employee to fall with it. According to the HSE, raised safety decking that was used as fall mitigation within the building did not cover the whole area and left significant gaps.

The 36-year-old carpenter sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back, whiplash to his neck and his little finger was ripped open.

The HSE found that the risk assessments of MP Building Limited were generic. They identified falls from height, but control measures focused on scaffolding and did not mention internal falls and decking. It was also found that operatives on the site were not trained to install the safety decking.

MP Building Limited of Bilton Road, Hitchin pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 13(1) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay £6,298.82 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Jenny Morris said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by planning work at height to ensure that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls.”

Annoyingly the HSE inspector doesnt say anything specificaly about generic risk assessments and its just the articles headline that raises the issue.

My company issues generic risk assessments to clients and I am not comfortable with it.
I am ok with the idea of providing a generic risk assessment that they can modify, and they have that ability, but I doubt even 1% of clients bother.
Also, I would say that in 100% of cases, we dont provide a risk assessment for every risk in a clients workplace, but that they assume we do.

Again, not comfortable with this but don't know how to address it without honking other people off. Normally that doesnt bother me, but I like this job.

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Re: Generic Risk Assessments - again

Post by Andyblue » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:43 pm

Sometimes the HSE present diametric opposite views. They say to consider the ‘big risks’ and then seem to criticise even for a small one that has not been assessed.

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Re: Generic Risk Assessments - again

Post by dave247 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:26 am

It does not say that generic assessments were wrong it says it wasn’t suitable so although generics are worthy of discussion it’s difficult to discus for this incident. It was working at height so it may not have covered something such as permit to work and that permit as the permit could have supported the RA with the actual specifics reference the the controls in place for the task.
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Re: Generic Risk Assessments - again

Post by Blackstone » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:54 pm

Ok Generic RAs

Service engineers work on variously sites around the world for big multinational companies in hazardous areas. They will work at height, near water, on pressure systems and in potential explosive areas.
Generic RAs were issued prior to the engineers landing on site. Some clients would comment and we would revise, many would not comment but just place on file.
If it is a site we know, the generic RA may be tailored to the known issue on site.
The service engineer would be issued with a copy of the generic RA and would attend site with it. They would have a Pre-start toolbox talk when the permit is issued and may/may not go through RA. When at the work area they should then perform a dynamic RA using the generic as a start and amend it as necessary. When this comes back to the office we can use it to improve for the next visit.

The generic RA covers 95% of expected risks and the engineer reviews and amends when on site.

Hope that makes sense?
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Re: Generic Risk Assessments - again

Post by bod212 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:26 am

I never have and never will be comfortable with the term `generic`. The very mention of it makes me bristle. Would we say (and be satisfied) that one of our people has `generic` risk assessing skills? I hope not. The use of the term to me suggests that suitability and sufficiency will very much be generic. And that`s not a good starting point, is it?
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Re: Generic Risk Assessments - again

Post by Keith1983 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:00 pm

I think it is one of those terms that people have an aversion to. We have a 'standard' risk assessment. The business I work for do repairs of a certain type across a wide range of different sites. Our standard risk assessment and method statement applies unless there are any circumstances which fall outside of the conditions considered by the risk assessment. This leads more often than not to the risk assessment covering hazards which may not be present at some of the jobs we attend. I have no issues with this. The biggest challenge I see form this is to make sure that our engineers read and understand our RAMS prior to every job. The risk being they take the 'its the same old document' approach and when it isn't they could miss something. This is a culture thing and we have to make sure we stay on the ball in terms of our engineers vigilance.
So when the whole world is safe..............what are we going to do then?

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Re: Generic Risk Assessments - again

Post by WillPool » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:50 pm

When I was with an M&E Company that did maintenance/repairs on clients buildings/property we had a system that had a generic document which included the Risk Assessment, Method Statement and in some instances Permits as well.

What he then had was a triplicate pad which a point of work risk assessment was completed on, this allowed a copy to go to the client (if required) one with the worker and another left in the pad to show it hadnt been amended.

Inside the front page of the pad there was a list of hazards/risks and in the back page a list of possible control measures.

This ensured that there was fresh approach to each task/job rather than the 'same old document'

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Re: Generic Risk Assessments - again

Post by ddlh » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:29 pm

Generic risj assessments are fine in my view - if they take in the routines - enter building, climb stairs etc, Get tool kit to work site. But depending on the trade - electrical, work at height etc. - before work the dynamic risk assessment must be completed and signed off by a supervisor before work starts

If you think safety is a pain, try a leg fracture.

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