Health and Safety At Our Sites
29th Jul 2021
Among Blocsphere’s top priorities is health and safety. The health and safety of not only our employees and clients but visitors to our sites also, that can include contractors or even family members just visiting your flat – everyone is just as important as the next person. This guide covers the elements of health and safety that we are involved in for your building, plus what residents can do to make their environment as safe as possible.
Regular site inspections
Your property manager will visit your development no less than every 4 weeks to carry out a comprehensive health and safety inspection. What they are looking for depends on the type of building and grounds, but usually involves:
- Looking for any unreported repairs or maintenance issues to be picked up
- Checking the progress and status of reported repairs and maintenance issues
- Reviewing the condition of communal areas including slip and trip hazards, fire risks, lighting, meter cupboards
- Making sure the noticeboard and any other health and safety signage is up to date
- Checking communal fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, emergency lighting and any other equipment in place for your safety
Keeping communal areas clear
Every resident has a part to play in keeping communal areas clean and tidy, so that everyone can feel safe in their home. Communal areas should be kept clear. As well as looking untidy, they create trip hazards, create a fire risk and could block exits in the event of a fire.
- Communal areas of your development include hallways, stairs, landings, lifts, riser cupboards and meter cupboards. Our guidelines are:
- Dispose of rubbish and junk mail in the bins provided
- Keep personal items including bikes and pushchairs in your property
- No smoking in communal areas
- Use only the notice boards provided for posters and notices
Check our blog on corridor clutter and whose job is it here.
It’s a legal requirement to carry out a health and safety risk assessment on your building. We will do this for the communal areas and it will be reviewed annually. The risk assessment is usually done in the communal areas. These include; the inside of the building, the roof, the structure, and other external areas of the building.
It’s also a legal requirement to carry out a fire safety assessment on your building, which we will do for the communal areas.
Every block needs a fire safety risk assessment, this applies to communal areas (inside the building, the roof, the structure, and other external areas) not individual flats. Fire officers can enter any block of flats to inspect the building, they might also ask to see the risk assessment and issue enforcement notices to improve fire safety.
Every new development we take on and or if there are new residents at the building i.e.. Leaseholder or tenants, Blocsphere issues everyone a ‘Fire Safety Advice for Residents’ booklet which provides general guidance about fire safety in blocks of flats.
If electrical equipment is supplied by the landlord and in communal areas, it must be regularly tested. Visual and formal tests should be carried out and the equipment must be properly checked and maintained.
Legionella is a bacterium commonly found in water systems. In flats/apartments, us as managing agents have a duty to control the risk in pipes. Tanks and taps in communal areas whereas individual leaseholders are responsible for the risk in their own flats/apartments. A risk assessment is carried out by experts, if risks are identified an action plan should be put into place and reviewed annually to make sure that it is no longer present.
Control of hazardous substances
In this case hazardous substances include cleaning materials and gardening chemicals. The duty to assess the risk from these substances stored in communal areas falls on the landlord/managing agent. Most hazardous substances have labels on them that state the hazard they pose and most manufacturers also issue safety sheets on how to handle them; although it’s the landlord’s duty to decide what instructions must be given to those who handle the materials and what protective clothing is needed. If a contractor is supplying their own materials, then the landlord or managing agent must obtain a ‘control substances that are hazardous to health’ (COSHH) risk assessment.
We have an approved Contractor system, which requires completion by all contractors of a questionnaire about their business provision of relevant health & safety documentation, and relevant qualifications, to ensure that only the most suitable contractors are used at our managed properties.