A detailed risk assessment

Health and Safety – Risk Assessment

This assignment will consist of a detailed risk assessment on a wet/dry heat area within a spa. It will incorporate what a risk assessment is and what it is for, also a risk assessment procedure and the possible dangers that could occur in the work place if the health and safety rules are not followed.

A basic knowledge of health and safety is required before a risk assessment can be completed. The Health and safety at work act is a set of rules which are set to protect the employees, employers, clients and the business itself from any accidents or illness. The health and safety act rules are there for both employees and employers to abide by to ensure the safety of anyone i.e. clients, delivery people, that may have anything to do with the workplace.

A risk assessment is an important element of health and safety for any business as this will help prevent accidents and serious harm to all concerned. A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people within the work place. It is used to prioritise any possible dangers, to assess how dangerous they are and how to prevent them. Huges P (2007) pg 67 states “risk assessment methods are used to decide on priorities and to set objectives for eliminating hazards and reducing risk”.

When doing a risk assessment its essential to remember that a hazard is something that can cause harm such as electrical equipment and chemicals. The risk is the chance someone could be harmed and if it’s high or low.

Businesslink.gov.uk (2008) states that “you are not expected to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far as reasonably practical”. To perform a sufficient risk assessment there are five steps to ensure a thorough test has been done. The first being to identify serious hazards from the trivial ones and then once these have been established, the second step would be to make a decision on who these may affect this will include anyone who has anything to do with the business. The third element of a risk assessment is to evaluate the level of the risks that have been found. A qualitative assessment can be done in most cases which would enable the assessor to grade them as medium, high or low depending on the potential danger it could cause. The fourth step would be to record your findings and then start to put into place methods of prevention. Lastly the risk assessment should be reviewed on a regular basis. Overall the risk assessment should consist of identifying the hazards, establishing who they may affect, evaluate the risks; record the findings and the make sure that regular checks are kept and recorded up to date. Keeping a record will help to monitor the health and safety within a business.

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This assignment is going to look at the most popular facilities within the spa environment which are: Saunas, Jacuzzis, steam rooms, showers, floatation tanks and swimming pools, as regular checks are paramount to avoid water bourn diseases.

When it comes to saunas the daily maintenance routine checks are paramount to keeping the sauna at the right temperature, chemical levels are correct not exceeding or lowering the amount needed. The removal of excess water is to avoid slipping or festering of any bacteria that may build up; this has to be monitored on a regular basis. In the case of the Jacuzzi and the plunge pool these need to be drained on a regular basis to enable them to be thoroughly cleaned out. Disinfectant may be used for the flooring and the seating areas. The sauna, Jacuzzi and plunge pool all need to have filtration systems that will need to be cleaned on a daily basis to ensure that they are in excellent working order.

Shower areas should be checked and cleaned a number of times a day with disinfectant. The shower heads should be dismantled at least once a week for a deep clean as should all soap dispensers using a light disinfectant to avoid any allergic reactions that might occur. The flooring around all these facilities is to be kept clean and dry whenever possible and clients using the facilities should be advised to wear suitable footwear at all times to avoid accidents such as slipping.

A risk assessment for a shower area may consist of the following possible hazards:-

  • Injury caused by slipping or falling is a high risk. This risk can be put to a minimal risk by regular visual checks of the area and when need, to remove the excess water.
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A risk assessment for the swimming pool, Jacuzzi and plunge pool would be comparable and consist of the following possible hazards:-

  • Injury due to slipping or a fall. This would be a medium risk and would require action to lower the risk. Life guards would be required to do regular visual checks of the areas concerned and to advise people to wear the correct foot wear.
  • Chemicals in the pool checks, this poses a medium risk and can be controlled by regular tests. If there are any chemical adjustments to be made these will be implemented and recorded to maintain the waste is kept at the right chemical levels.
  • Drowning is a hazard. This hazard can be supervised by the life guards being qualified in first aid and having rescue aids in place with easy access. Also the water facilities should be locked when not in use to avoid any accidents.

A sauna and steam room will also have some similarities and consist of these possible hazards:-

  • Becoming ill or injured due to any medical history could pose a threat and put in the medium risk category as medication can have side effects such as blurred vision and faintness. To prevent this from happening an in depth consultation for any persons who uses the facilities is needed and to be kept on record for future reference.
  • Any injuries from rough or slippery floors pose a medium risk as in this environment it is more than likely to happen. To prevent this from happening, all persons using these areas should be made aware of safety rules such as wearing the correct footwear.
  • Heat exhaustion poses a medium to high risk as some users of the facilities may not be fully aware of the time scales they should be in there. Ensuring that the users are informed of how long they should be in the sauna/steam room and to drink water at regular intervals to avoid dehydration, this hazard can be avoided.
  • The timber becoming damaged by mould or softening poses a medium risk. This can be avoided by the door to the sauna being left open at the end of sessions giving the timber time to breathe and dry out at the end of the day.
  • The possibility of being scolded in the steam room poses a medium threat. The rules for using the equipment must be followed at all times, with care in doing so.
  • The possibility of a fire breaking out in a sauna poses a medium risk. To ensure this does not happen regular checks on the temperature should be made, regular checks on the water levels should be made along with regular checks to make sure there are no towels lying around where they may catch fire.
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This assignment has given information on what a risk assessment is and why a risk assessment should be carried out within all work places. It demonstrates health and safety and how important it is within the work place for people to follow the procedures they are set for each specific task. The information has been supported by a variety of research incorporating the Health and Safety regulations

Bibliography

Websites

  • Business Link. (2008). Risk assessment-overview. [Internet]. Available from:www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?topicId=1074409568[Accessed16thDecember 2008]
  • Five steps to risk assessment. (2006). Health and safety executive. [internet] Available from:www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163.pdf[accessed16th December 2008]
  • Sauna Health and Safety. (2006). Hard facts Norwich Union Risk services. [Internet]. Available from:www.nurs.co.uk/pdf/hardfacts/safety/5072-sauna-health-safety.pdf[Accessed17th December 2008]
  • Swimming pool generic risk assessment. (2007). Swimming pool activities. [Internet]. Available from:www.kingswood.co.uk/document/risk-assessment/activities/swimming-pool-activities.pdf[Accessed17th December 2008]

Books

  • McGuinness H, (2000). Indian Head Massage. Great Britian, Hodder andStoughton

References

  • Business Link. (2008). Risk assessment-overview. [Internet]. Available from:www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?topicId=1074409568[Accessed16thDecember 2008]
  • Five steps to risk assessment. (2006). Health and safety executive. [internet] Available from:www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163.pdf[accessed16th December 2008]
  • Sauna Health and Safety. (2006). Hard facts Norwich Union Risk services. [Internet]. Available from:www.nurs.co.uk/pdf/hardfacts/safety/5072-sauna-health-safety.pdf[Accessed17th December 2008]
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