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What HSE inspectors look for - A quick checklist

Assessing your workshop

Conditions will vary from clean workshops to those where machines are buried under dust and off-cuts. General tidiness is often a good indication of how well other issues are being managed.

Machinery should all be well maintained and have the correct safeguards. It should also only be used by those trained and competent to do so and you should be able to provide evidence to prove this.

Inspectors will also look at braking and tooling as well as any other safety issues, such as work at height and transport.

There should also be good control of health risks from wood dust (that can cause asthma or dermatitis), manual handling, noise and hazardous substances.

Have the right paperwork

Inspectors will ask to see copies of COSHH assessments and risk assessments if you have more than five employees, and health surveillance records (or summaries).

Only low-level health surveillance (questionnaire-based) is needed for general wood dust. But high-level health surveillance must be in place where there is exposure to high-risk woods like Western Red Cedar.

There should be evidence of maintenance and test records for any extraction equipment and instructions for employees on how to use it properly (see extraction section in wood dust).

There should also be written instructions provided to employees covering:

Updated 2012-12-31