New HSE handbook to help keep field service engineers safe

10/08/2018

​Field service engineers and technicians (FSEs) carrying out repairs, investigations or installations at a customer’s site are at higher risk of injury than employees working in one of IMI Critical’s manufacturing facilities. 

This is because FSEs often encounter restricted access for tools and equipment, have to rely on third parties for part of the safety process, or are using unfamiliar equipment provided by a customer. 

To minimise these risks and raise awareness of the increased hazards of field service work, IMI Critical has produced a new health and safety handbook for FSEs. 

The handbook outlines a safety framework for anyone deployed on field service, which includes a compulsory pre-deployment risk assessment, as well as comprehensive guidance on a wide range of possible risks. 

The compulsory pre-deployment risk assessment analyses and documents all known risks, including hazards arising from travel (fatigue, and security in high risk countries), the on-site hazards  identified by the customer, and IMI Critical’s own risk assessment from previous site visits. Everyone deployed to the site must be briefed on the findings before they leave, and equipped with a plan to mitigate all risks identified. 

The handbook includes safety guidance on a wide range of hazards including chemicals, asbestos, electrics, noise, manual handling, lone or remote working, hot work and rigging and lifting. 

It also includes a set of 10 cardinal rules to help keep field service employees safe: 

  1. Never start work without a risk assessment in place
  2. Never work on live equipments
  3. Never accept verbal confirmation of equipment isolation
  4. Always visually check and confirm isolations
  5. Always visually check lock outs / tag outs
  6. Always complete a Point of Work Risk Assessment before every subsequent shift
  7. Always report near misses
  8. Always know your limitations – too tired to work safely!
  9. When at work be ‘Fit to Work’
  10. Do not tolerate unsafe conditions or poor housekeeping

If they have any doubts about any aspect of the safety of their work, engineers have a duty to Stop – Call – Wait  until they are completely confident that they can continue to work safely. 

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