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Availability of Site Plans in a Health and Safety Emergency


In the article titled "Importance of Accurate Inventories for Health and Safety" we saw how keeping accurate inventories regarding the types and quantities of hazardous substances that are stored on site is so important for the emergency services when it comes to organising the containment of the site, and preventing any further damage to the safety and health of people (both workers and members of the public) and that of the local environment.

Not only are the type and quantity of substances critically important with regards to influencing the containment and the remedial actions to be taken, but also the plans of the site are normally of vital significance too. The topography of the land can affect certain actions, for instance large volumes of water used to put out fires can end up washing harmful chemicals onto the surrounding land and watercourses. Not only this, but site plans should have marked on them the location of gas pipes and other such items which can obviously have serious consequences for the health and safety of everybody in the area as fires or ruptures to this pipe can cause a sizeable explosion. The site plan may not only contain potential hazards, but also necessary features for tackling the emergency such as clearly marked locations of fire hydrants.

Keep The Site Plan Accessible

Having a detailed site plan is of little value though if it is hidden away somewhere and possibly even lost. It needs to be easily accessible, and its location known by many different people in case one or two are away from the site on the day of the accident. This will allow it to be given to the emergency services and used by them to prevent further damage and danger, as well as helping to bring under control and put right the initial incident.

Create Copies

It is also a good idea to have a number of copies of the site plan located at various points around the site. Not only will this help for speedier locating of a plan, but will also mean there are others available should one be stored in an area which has been badly damaged by fire or other factor causing the location to be inaccessible.

Keep The Plan Current

Obviously the site plan needs to be kept constantly up-to-date, including all copies. Having a site plan which does not contain all of the elements or features which are actually present can endanger lives and make what could have started as a fairly minor incident into a catastrophic disaster for both people's health and the environment.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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