Getting started

What HSE inspectors look for - A quick checklist

Assessing your workshop

Conditions will vary from clean workshops to those where machines are leaking fluids, emitting fumes, and swarf is allowed to accumulate on the floor. 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. Many serious accidents that occur in engineering workshops could be avoided if the wearing of gloves was prevented whilst working in close proximity to rotating machinery such as drills and lathes. In addition, when operating engineering machinery avoid wearing loose/baggy clothing, long hair ( or it should be tied back or appropriate hair net worn),  or jewellery (including rings) should be avoided when operating engineering machinery.

Supervisors and managers should ensure that safe working practices are followed and action taken if unsafe practices are observed.

Inspectors will also look at other safety issues, such as work at height and transport. There should also be good control of health risks from metalworking fluids and welding, manual handling, noise and hazardous substances.

Have the right paperwork

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

There should be evidence of maintenance and test records for any lifting equipment, pressure systems and extraction equipment and instructions for employees on how to use it properly.

There should also be information provided to employees covering:

  • Training and supervision for use of machinery
  • Information on health hazards and how to control the risks

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