Frequently Asked Questions

What should a work equipment inspection contain?

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) regulation 6 specifies the circumstances where inspection is required to ensure healthy and safe conditions are maintained.

More information about the content of the work equipment inspection is available here.

What is a first aid needs assessment?

To decide what first aid provision you need to make, you should carry out a first-aid needs assessment.

The assessment should consider the circumstances of your workplace, (what type of work you do) the workforce and any hazards and risks that may be present. Once completed the findings will help you decide what first-aid arrangements you need to put in place.

The health and safety executive (HSE) has published further guidance on all the factors that will help you carry out your first-aid needs assessment.

More information is available here.


Do I have to have a trained first aider?

Small low-risk workplaces will only need to have a first-aid box and an appointed person, to take charge of first-aid arrangements such as calling the emergency services and stocking the first-aid box.

The appointed person does not need specific first-aid training.

If your workplace has more significant health and safety risks, for example, you use machinery, or hazardous materials, then you are more likely to need a trained first-aider.

More information on first aider training requirements is available here.

What do I need to consider, when completing a risk assessment?

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Decide who may be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on the controls
  4. Record the finding on a risk assessment and implement them
  5. Review the risk assessment and update as and when necessary

The HSE provides further information, risk assessment and policy templates and examples here.


What are health and safety policy arrangements?

A health and safety policy sets out your general approach and commitment together with the arrangements you have put in place for the management of health and safety in your business.

The arrangements section gives details of the specific systems and procedures you have in place.

This part of your policy must describe in detail how you control the risks associated with your business activities. For example, there is no point describing your safety rules for dealing with chemicals if you do not use them in your business.

Some examples of health and safety policy arrangements include:

Safe handling & Use of substances, Information, Instruction & Supervision, Competency, Accident investigation and reporting (RIDDOR), Monitoring, Emergency Procedures, Fire & Evacuation, Housekeeping, First Aid, Risk assessment, Dermatitis.               

Should I wear gloves when using a pipe-threading machine?

It is common practice to advise not to wear gloves when using a pipe-threading machine. Most manufacturer guidelines for pipe threading machines stipulate the gloves and loose clothing should not be worn with running machines due to the entanglement risk.

Gloves or loose clothing may be entangled by the rotating pipe or machine parts leading to personal injury. If required gloves should be worn once machine has been stopped and locked off. Alternatively, tight fitting gloves can be provided, but there must be no residual risk of entanglement when using the machine.

BESA members have access to a free dedicated health and safety helpline. For all of your health and safety questions contact one of our BESA representatives on 01768 860452.