As a Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) professional, it is your responsibility to guard the safety of your workers in their day to day jobs. Naturally you want them to feel safe and confident. Next to that, your company also has rules and regulations to comply with in regards to the protection of your workers, which your company cannot afford to neglect. When it comes to the safety of your workers there are many elements in a work environment that need to be taken into consideration, such as rules to operate machines and safety signs in pathways. Protective clothing is one of them! In this blog we explain what an HSE risk assessment is, where you can find directives to examine possible risks in your work environment, and how this will help you provide your workers with the protective clothing they truly need.
First of all: think of collective protection systems
The groundwork of a safe work environment is a good collective protection system. Collective protection systems consist - for example - of automated machine system solutions or safety signs that instruct people to stay out of potentially dangerous areas. These standard solutions should eliminate a lot of dangerous situations that employees can encounter in their everyday jobs. In some cases, you can not eliminate all risks by implementing collective protection systems, where protective clothing can be a solution and/or is demanded by law.
There are many types of protective fabrics that are able to offer protection to - for example - heat, flames, arc flash, molten iron, and so on. In order to determine which protective clothing you need, we strongly recommend you to conduct an HSE risk assessment and look at your protective clothing requirements.
The definition and purpose of a risk assessment
Your company has a general duty to ensure the safety and health of workers in every aspect related to work. By carrying out a risk assessment, the employer is able to take effective measures to do so. A risk assessment is a systematic examination of all aspects of the work undertaken to consider what could cause injury or harm, whether the hazards can be eliminated, and if not, what preventive or protective measures can be made to control the risks. Needless to say, protective clothing plays a crucial role here.
Conducting the risk assessment: utilize the 89/391/eec directive
A proper HSE risk assessment is key to know which risks your workers encounter on a daily basis in their respective work environments. But how can you determine the right approach?
To truly ensure the quality and have a solid grip on outcomes of an HSE risk assessment, you should, first of all be aware of the different work environments your employees work in. You should also be an expert in the fields of safety and safety regulations. Last but not least, practical experience in conducting risk assessments is also beneficial as it will help you to efficiently surface possible risks and focus on the right details.
We strongly advise you to read The Directive 89/391/EEC, which provides guidance on risk assessments. It will help and advice safety experts who want to conduct a risk assessment, and it will help companies to fulfil their duties as laid down in the Framework Directive 89/391/EEC.
The risk assessment will not only help you to identify possible risks, but will also form guidance on how to take further actions towards your protective clothing and how to prioritize them.
Talk to TenCate Protective Fabrics about your protective clothing needs
At TenCate Protective Fabrics we know, based on many years of experience, which risks live in work environments like yours. We are also aware of the protective workwear norms that you should comply with, looking at your unique situation. If you conduct a risk assessment following the directive, you can always reach out to us to discuss your current situation. Hopefully, the risk assessment will give you the insights you need, from where you can look into norms in protective clothing that your company needs to comply with.
Also, we are able to connect you with the right parties. Ask us for advice: Schedule here an appointment with one of our advisors to get an objective and customized advice on your HSE risk assessment.