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Topic: Workplace

holes in floors and excavations
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Holes in floors and excavations

Holes in floors and excavations

Working adjacent to holes in floors or excavations could present risks to staff and others which, left unmanaged, could cause accidents resulting in serious personal injury.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with this type of activity and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment  - Holes in Floors and Excavations. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level. You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could, and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

With this type of activity the main hazard will be falling from height. The law does not define “height”, as a slip, trip and fall from any height, regardless of how small, may lead to injuries being sustained.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow are decided upon the principle of “so far as is reasonably practicable”.  

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards associated with working near holes or excavations. 

 

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