A Surface Engineering Company had a new operations manager who needed help to develop and install a Health and Safety system. TSE Solutions Ltd were engaged to act as their Health and Safety consultancy.
The company carries out Chrome Plating; this is the dipping of a required product in a Chromic acid bath and running an electric current through it. Chemicals used on site include Chromium and Cyanide. Due to the chemicals involved and the equipment needed to carry out the processes it is deemed as a high risk activity.
On the initial visit it was clear that the company had a lot of Health and Safety issues and unsafe work practices were the norm. Problems found included:
- Unguarded drops to tanks containing Chromic acid.
- Not using personal protective equipment (an employee was seen putting his had in a cyanide bath with no gloves on).
- No health surveillance testing on employees (regular samples need to be tested from employees as there are risks of cancer, etc.).
- Local exhaust ventilation systems not working which caused employees to inhale a lot of fumes from the chemicals being used.
At the time of the initial visit by TSE Solutions Ltd, if the HSE had carried out an inspection, there was a high potential for prohibition notices and fines to be issued, as the working practices were so poor.
TSE Solutions Ltd devised a Health and Safety system and plan which prioritised the problems and made it easy for the company to implement changes.
By following the action plan and advice in subsequent meetings the company has made a massive change to its culture and has vastly improved its Health and Safety levels. This has reduced accident rates, improved the working environment and reduced the risk to health.
The company was visited by a HSE inspector who was pleased with the levels of Health and Safety implemented by the company and did not recommend any improvements. Without the work carried out by TSE Solutions Ltd the outcome may have been very different.