Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, it is your duty to:

  • Take reasonable care for the health and safety at work of yourself and any other people who might be affected by your acts or omissions
  • Co-operate with clients and others to enable them to comply with statutory duties and requirements
  • Not intentionally or recklessly misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare


The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1992 further requires you to:

  • Use any equipment, etc. provided in the interests of safety
  • Follow health and safety instructions
  • Report anything you consider to be a serious danger
  • Report any shortcomings in the protection arrangements for health and safety


All the following must be reported to the nurse in charge/line manager and Search immediately. No action whatsoever to be taken without taking advice first.

Reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)

  • Notify the Health and Safety Executive (Enforcing Authority) immediately by telephone and on form F2508 within 10 days.

    Death as a result of accident within one year of it occurring - Enforcing Authority to be informed as soon as employer is notified.

    The listing below covers some typical “major” injuries:

    • Fractures of the skull, spine or pelvis
    • Fracture of the arm or leg (other than wrist, hand, ankle or foot)
    • Amputation or loss of a hand or a foot
    • Loss of sight of an eye
    • Any injury resulting in hospitalisation (other than for observation) for more than 24 hours
    • Injury resulting in incapacity from work for more than 3 days (including non-working days)

    Notify the Enforcing Authority by telephone and within 10 days on form F2508. Information to be supplied to DSS on request.

    Where an agency worker is injured on client premises, the client will be responsible for reporting the incident under RIDDOR provided that:

    • The agency worker is registered for work under standard terms of engagement i.e. a contract for services
    • The accident is recorded in Search’s Accident Report Book
    • Satisfactory explanations, corrective action and improvement is made by the client to ensure future risk of similar nature is minimised or eliminated
  • It would be outside the ambit of this policy and these directives to list even the main dangerous occurrences, which need to be notified to the Enforcing Authority. However, examples of such dangerous occurrences usually include:

    • Electrical short circuits or overloads attended by fire or explosion
    • Gas leaks, or other releases of dangerous or harmful substances
    • Bursting, explosion or collapse of a pipeline

    This list is by no means exhaustive and merely contains some examples of the kinds of occurrence listed as dangerous and, therefore, notifiable. Advice should be sought from Search in all instances.

  • Certain diseases also need to be reported to the Enforcing Authority. These include:

    • Certain poisonings
    • Some skin diseases
    • Hepatitis, Tuberculosis


  • C.O.S.H.H. regulations impose duties upon employers and their employees to protect the health of persons exposed to hazardous substances. In our industry, exposure to hazardous substances is minimal. The following substances have been assessed as requiring control.

    Corrective fluids and thinners - Products such as TIPP-EX contain 1,1,1 -trichloroethane. This is a harmful substance. Always close the cap tightly after use. Take care not to spill. Do not inhale the vapours. Do not swallow. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Do not use thinners under any circumstances.

    Marker pens - Some marker pens contain poisonous chemicals such as xylene. Keep all marker pens capped when not in use. Ensure adequate ventilation when in use. Keep away from mouth.

    Photocopier/fax machine toner - Most photocopiers and fax machines require toner refills in cartridge or loose powder form. These refills contain styrene acrylate copolymer, carbon and polypropylene. The dust may cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract, eyes and skin. Avoid eye and skin contact and inhalation.

    • In the event of eye contact, flush eyes with plenty of cold water and call a doctor
    • In the event of skin contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water
    • In the event of inhalation, remove person to fresh air

    Lavatory and other proprietary cleaners - In general terms, the following principles should apply:

    • Always read instructions before use
    • Never store other than in the original container
    • No warning or danger directives will be removed, covered or defaced
    • Avoid contact with skin and eyes
    • Do not mix with other chemicals
    • Ensure adequate ventilation
    • Do not swallow
    • Follow the instruction and safety precautions given

      on the container

    • Ensure cleaning staff are fully aware of the above issues


    The general policy is to ensure that, as far as reasonably practicable, any risks from hazardous substances are prevented or adequately controlled.

    Some cleaning agents are extremely poisonous and can contain toxic substances such as bleach and caustic soda. They can be corrosive as well as toxic, and can therefore burn the skin on contact.

  • Ionising radiations occurs as either electromagnetic rays (such as X-rays and gamma rays) or particles (such as alpha and beta particles). It occurs naturally (e.g. from the radioactive decay of natural radioactive substances such as radon gas and its decay products) but can also be produced artificially.

    People can be exposed externally, to radiation from a radioactive material or a generator such as an X-ray set, or internally, by inhaling or ingesting radioactive substances. Wounds that become contaminated by radioactive material can also cause radioactive exposure.

    If you are required to conduct a medical x-ray, or request an x-ray, you should receive specific training in radiation protection. This is a legal requirement and you will need to produce evidence of the appropriate certificate.

    Please check with a Trust representative is you have any question about ionising radiation. Further guidance can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.

It is a requirement that Healthcare Workers be aware of Risk Management Policies and be able to report incidents in line with the client’s Health & Safety Policy. Hazard means anything that can cause harm (e.g. chemicals, electricity and equipment).

Risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody will be harmed by the hazard:

  • Look for hazards
  • Decide who might be harmed and how
  • Evaluate the risk and decide if any steps can be safely taken to eliminate or reduce the risk of harm
  • Report the incident to your supervisor or designated health and safety officer

Follow up and check that action has been taken to eliminate or reduce the risk, if this has not taken place, report again to your supervisor or designated health and safety officer

Further guidance on Risk Management can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.