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Health and Safety Dangers When Performing Maintenance

The normal operation of machinery in a place of work can be a danger to health at any time if they are used in the wrong way or a person gets closer to them than they should. However, if the right precautions and safety measures are not put in place and rigorously enforced, performing maintenance on equipment can be even more dangerous.

Whilst health and safety training courses and safety briefings can inform workers about what to do and what not to do, it needs to be supplemented with control measures to prevent an accident happening.

The causes of this danger to those performing maintenance on equipment usually takes one of two forms; either from the equipment itself or from the actions of other people.

As far as the actions of other people are concerned, this is likely to involve maintenance on extremely large pieces of equipment where it is prematurely restarted or the supply of electricity is turned on whilst work is still being performed. Suitable precautions must be taken to prevent this such as switching off the isolator and using a padlock to lock it in place. The person doing the work should have the only key so that only they can turn the power back on once they are clear of the machinery. If multiple people are working on it, they should each have their own unique padlock.

With regards to the equipment itself, the risks are extremely varied and will depend largely upon the type of machinery being maintained. These dangers include the accidental starting of the equipment, not disconnecting from mains electricity before starting work, static electricity which causes a fire or explosion, burns from unexpected hot gas release or leaking of corrosive chemicals, damage from substances which are hazardous to health, falling from height if the machinery or access area involves a person having to go high up, extreme temperature, noise, cuts from sharp edges and many, many more.

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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