At Southern Ductwork Services, Health and Safety is key in all of our tasks from the initial visit to the full size installation. Health and safety law states that organisations must:
- provide a written health and safety policy (if they employ five or more people);
- assess risks to employees, customers, partners and any other people who could be affected by their activities;
- arrange for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of preventative and protective measures;
- ensure they have access to competent health and safety advice;
- consult employees about their risks at work and current preventive and protective measures.
Failure to comply with these requirements can have serious consequences – for both organisations and individuals. Sanctions include fines, imprisonment and disqualification.
Whilst there is much legislation that must be complied with, the following is a brief summary;
Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 places a ‘common duty of care’ on employers and persons concerned with premises in relation to employees and others who may use or visit the premises and requires employers to “provide and maintain a working environment that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health”.
The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 requires that equipment, devices and systems “shall be maintained (including cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”. The Approved Code of Practice states that “Mechanical ventilation systems (including air conditioning systems) should be regularly and properly cleaned, tested and maintained to ensure that they are kept clean and free from anything which may contaminate the air.” The regulations mean that the owners and managers of buildings used for workplaces must ensure all enclosed areas are ventilated with fresh air. More importantly it requires that wherever this fresh air is supplied via any ductwork system (such as air conditioning) that the entire system is cleaned regularly.
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 places a specific duty on every employer to make a “suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work and the risk to the health and safety of persons not in his employment”.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 (COSHH) states that employers carrying out industrial processes are responsible for carrying out risk assessments to ensure adequate indoor air quality.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires people responsible for workplaces to carry out a fire risk assessment of their premises. This includes grease extraction systems, and taking action to eliminate – or at least to minimise – risks to the safety of the building’s occupants.
At Southern Ductwork Services, our services are designed to assist those responsible to meet their legal obligations and exercise their ‘duty of care’. As a first step, we carry out a survey of your system and provide a detailed assessment of risk, highlighting issues or defects that impact on the overall cleanliness of the system and benchmarking any accumulated soiling within the system against current industry standards.
New practices for the management of healthcare ventilation systems have been introduced by The Department of Health Technical Memorandum 03-01: Specialised ventilation for healthcare premises Part B: Operational management and performance verification. Critical care systems are now to be inspected on a quarterly basis and all other systems are to be inspected on an annual basis. The findings of the inspections should be recorded and areas with visible dirt or deposits should be cleaned.
Grease contaminated kitchen extract ducts represent an increased fire hazard to properties. According to statistics provided by the Association of British Insurers, annual insurance losses resulting from fires that are caused by dirty extract ducts have risen in the past two years from £25M to £65M and insurance companies are now frequently refusing cover unless clients meet standard ductwork cleaning procedures.
The HVCA Guide to Good Practice TR19: Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems 2005 provides the benchmark to maintaining the cleanliness of the kitchen extraction system and suggests the following typical intervals;
|HEAVY USE (12-16 hours per day)||3 monthly|
|MODERATE USE (6-12 hours per day)||6 monthly|
|LIGHT USE (2-6 hours per day)||annually|
Southern Ductwork Services will determine the actual need for cleaning by the initial inspection and risk assessments and the frequency of cleaning will be determined by the on-going inspections.
We all have a duty to safeguard life, property and the environment.
Southern Ductwork Services – Health and Safety Policy
It is the intention of Southern Ductwork Services LLP that their works are executed at all times in such a manner as to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all persons likely to be affected by their operations, including subcontractors, clients’ staff and members of the public where appropriate.
The management of Southern Ductwork Services regards the promotion of health, safety and welfare as one of the key elements in operating a successful business. In order that this policy can be effective, the maintenance of high standards in health and safety is a mutual objective for all. Our objectives and commitment towards fulfilling this policy are to concentrate on the elimination of risks to persons, as a first priority, then on risk reduction, prevention of injury and loss due to damage.
Health and safety hazards will be identified and managed so that the risks are effectively controlled in accordance with this policy. We will ensure that safety standards generated throughout the partnership comply with or exceed the national standards of all our clients and customers, including all major construction companies. We are also committed to consulting with subcontractors on health, safety and welfare issues thereby ensuring that they are trained to understand and carry out their job responsibilities in a competent manner. This will involve, but not be limited to selection, training and re-training.
This policy will be continually monitored by auditing and reviewing its effectiveness in the workplace.