Drainage works, Hazards and risk controls

 

Drainage works, Hazards and risk controls

  1. Hazard: Excavation and trenching Risk: There is a risk of workers falling into excavations or trenches, leading to injuries or fatalities. Control measures:
  • Ensure that excavations are properly supported and shored as per UK regulations, such as the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
  • Provide trench boxes, edge protection, guardrails, and barriers around excavations to prevent falls.
  • Train workers on safe excavation practices, including the use of proper protective measures.
  • Method statements and toolbox talks.
  1. Hazard: Confined spaces Risk: There is a risk of workers entering confined spaces, such as existing manholes or sewers, and encountering hazardous atmospheres, lack of oxygen, or becoming trapped. Control measures:
  • Conduct thorough assessments to identify confined spaces and implement appropriate measures to control the risks, as required by the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997.
  • Use gas detectors to monitor the atmosphere in confined spaces and ensure adequate ventilation. Winch and harness with full BA to be used when inspecting existing drainage systems.
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers entering confined spaces, including harnesses, lifelines, and gas masks.
  • Train workers on confined space entry procedures and emergency response protocols.
  1. Hazard: Manual handling Risk: Workers may need to lift heavy objects during the installation of drainage, which can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Control measures:
  • Provide mechanical aids, such as cranes, hoists, or lifting equipment, to reduce the need for manual handling.
  • Train workers on proper lifting techniques and provide them with PPE, such as back braces or gloves.
  • Limit the weight of objects that workers are required to manually handle to comply with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.
  1. Hazard: Utility strikes Risk: There is a risk of damaging underground utilities, such as gas or water pipes, during excavation or installation of drainage, leading to gas leaks, water leaks, or other utility failures. Control measures:
  • Conduct thorough utility surveys and obtain accurate utility location plans before starting work, in compliance with the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
  • Use proper excavation techniques, such as hand digging or vacuum excavation, when working near utilities to minimize the risk of strikes.
  • Provide workers with training on recognizing utility markings, procedures for dealing with utility strikes, and emergency response protocols.
  1. Hazard: Environmental impact Risk: The installation of drainage can have potential environmental impacts, such as soil erosion, water pollution, or disruption of wildlife habitats. Control measures:
  • Follow all relevant environmental regulations, including the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016, the Water Resources Act 1991, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • Implement appropriate erosion and sediment control measures, such as silt fences or sediment basins, to prevent soil runoff and water pollution.
  • Properly manage and dispose of any hazardous materials, such as chemicals or contaminated soil, in accordance with relevant regulations.
  • Consider environmental factors, such as protected species or designated areas, and implement appropriate mitigation measures to minimize impacts.
  1. Hazard: Traffic management Risk: There may be traffic hazards and risks associated with traffic management during the installation of drainage, such as collisions, near misses, or pedestrians entering the work area. Control measures:
  • Develop a traffic management plan in compliance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016.
  • Use proper traffic control measures, such as signs, barriers, and cones, to direct and control traffic around the work area.
  • Provide high-visibility clothing and PPE for workers working near traffic.
  • Train workers on safe traffic management practices, including the use of hand signals and communication methods.
  • Regularly review and update the traffic management plan as necessary.
  1. Hazard: Weather-related risks Risk: Weather-related risks, such as slippery surfaces, flooding, or adverse weather conditions, can affect the safety of workers during the installation of drainage. Control measures:
  • Monitor weather conditions regularly and take appropriate measures to mitigate risks, such as halting work during adverse weather conditions.
  • Provide appropriate PPE, such as waterproof clothing, gloves, and footwear, to protect workers from weather-related hazards.
  • Ensure that work areas are properly drained and maintained to prevent flooding and slippery surfaces.
  • Train workers on working safely in various weather conditions and provide guidance on appropriate measures to take.
  1. Hazard: Noise and vibration Risk: Workers may be exposed to excessive noise and vibration during the installation of drainage, which can lead to hearing loss, musculoskeletal disorders, or other health issues. Control measures:
  • Monitor noise and vibration levels regularly and implement appropriate measures to control exposure, as required by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.
  • Provide workers with suitable PPE, such as earplugs or earmuffs, to protect against excessive noise.
  • Use proper tools and equipment with anti-vibration features to minimize vibration exposure.
  • Train workers on the risks of noise and vibration exposure and the proper use of PPE and equipment.
  1. Hazard: Hazardous substances Risk: The installation of drainage may involve the use of hazardous substances, such as cement, adhesives, or chemicals, which can pose health risks to workers. Control measures:
  • Follow all relevant regulations, such as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002, for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous substances.
  • Provide workers with appropriate PPE, such as gloves, goggles, and respiratory protection, when handling hazardous substances.
  • Store hazardous substances in properly labelled containers, in designated areas, and according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Train workers on the proper handling, use, and disposal of hazardous substances, including emergency response protocols.

A 3 page method statement for drainage works is available HERE

For more reading and an example Risk Assessment for excavations please see this page