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Health and safety



Risk

Note that PRINCE2® does not cover health and safety procedures but merely refers to them within the component 'Management of Risk'.

Health and safety is a very important part of any project and the Project Manager is responsible for making sure that this area is covered.

Either a safety expert should join the team or advice should be taken from a consultant.
Industry standards will often apply.

Often when any risk assessment is carried out there will be health and safety implications.

Some areas of concern might be:

  • Where pressure and temperature are a factor
  • Energy in a variety of forms (kinetic, potential or electric)
  • Chemical (corrosive, flammable or explosive)
  • Directly from the actions of personnel
  • Acts of God (flood, storm etc)

When considering the above you may wish to think about the effects of two or more hazard combinations.

In addition, you should consider the effects on:

  • Third parties, for example, more distant parts of the site, facilities close by, for example, potential gas clouds
  • Escape and evacuation procedures

and

  • Failure of any preventative, control or mitigating systems.

Health and safety is concerned with identifying possible adverse effects and then considering the risk of their occurrence.
A method can be employed which tries to afford a relative measure of their severity.
Based upon this and experience certain procedures can be put in place to minimise any health and safety risk.
Obviously, years of experience usually leads to laws which must be adhered to.

Some ways of minimising risk may well include:

  • Existing measures
  • Physical means
  • Design input, working to a variety of standards or developing procedures

Communication

The Project Manager must be aware of the safety issues in any project and make sure all involved are committed.
This will require good communication at all levels of the project.
Personnel must be aware of the project’s position on health and safety and have knowledge of all relevant procedures.

Senior management backing

Senior management must give full support through health and safety which will have process and legal ramifications.
For PRINCE2 [see ‘The Complete Project Management plus PRINCE2’] the Project Board would provide accountability and may delegate this to the Project Manager.

Legal aspects

This area must be covered comprehensively.
As regulations and the law is continually changing you will need to get advice from experts.
You must be in a position to carry out all of your legal obligations.
As well as health and safety there may be other related areas that you should be aware of.
For example, smoking restrictions or Duty of Care in the UK.

Countries and specific industries will have their own regulations.

Human aspects

Apart from thinking about typical health and safety risk issues you should also consider human aspects.
For example, temperature, ventilation or the pressure of work.

Training

Training will play a major role in minimising health and safety risks.
If a project uses local labour then it may well be a good idea to use familiar technology as extra training with advanced equipment may well introduce additional hazards.
This may be worth considering even if the project timescale is extended because of it.

If possible carry out training using internal trainers.
They will tend to have the advantage of knowing the business and can focus the examples on relevant situations.
If there is no internal expertise you will have to use external consultants.

Recording

All health and safety issues should be recorded, together with any resulting actions, responsibilities and the potential consequences should an incident arise.

Health and safety should be the subject of regular review within the project.
This should include previous incidents with records of any actions required.
A record of all incidents should be maintained.

Records of health and safety training must be maintained.

PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.

Non - PRINCE2 information