At Alpha Solway, part of Globus Group, their primary goal is to keep people safe at work. Whilst they are proud that their products help achieve this, they recognise that PPE is not the only way to ensure workplace safety.
They believe that building a workplace culture that takes health and safety seriously, doesn’t just protect employees from injuries, illnesses, and accidents, it also reduces costs and addresses lost productivity, while boosting morale and increasing employee engagement and retention.
Therefore, as experts in workplace safety, they recognise the importance of conducting thorough risk assessment to identify potential hazards in the workplace and assess the risks associated with them. This will help in devising appropriate safety measures to mitigate risks.
One of their initiatives they are particularly proud of is the Alpha Solway Respiratory Protection Programme that helps companies identify adequate and suitable respiratory protection for their environment. This is a 5-step process and begins with hazard analysis and finishes with face fit testing support and team training.
They believe that staff should also receive adequate safety training and understand the risks involved in their job roles and environment. This will equip them with the knowledge and skills to identify, protect and handle safety hazards.
Keeping staff safe should be embedded in the culture of the organisation, with staff members actively encouraged to report safety hazards, incidents or near-misses promptly. Staff need to feel they are in a ‘safe’ place to report issues and have them dealt with in the appropriate manner.
The whole workforce must take health and safety seriously. The implementation of safety measures (such as installing safety guards on machinery, providing protective gear and implementing safety protocols for handling hazardous materials) they need to be viewed as more than a tick-box exercise imposed by management.
All safety policies and procedures should be reviewed regularly to ensure they are up to date and reflect any changes in the work environment or job roles.
The Hierarchy of Control
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on controlling workplace hazards and recommends a hierarchy of control options that should be put in place to protect employees. This hierarchy is a step-by-step approach that starts with the most effective control measures and works down to the least effective measures.
The options in the hierarchy are:
Elimination: This is the most effective option and involves removing the hazard altogether. For example, eliminating the use of a hazardous chemical in the workplace.
Substitution: If elimination is not possible, the next option is to substitute the hazard with a less hazardous one. For example, replacing a hazardous chemical with a less hazardous one.
Engineering controls: These are physical controls that can be put in place to prevent exposure to the hazard. Examples include ventilation systems, noise barriers, and machine guards.
Administrative controls: These are changes to work practices or procedures that can reduce exposure to the hazard. For example, job rotation, training, and warning signs.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): This is the last line of defence and involves providing workers with equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, and respirators to protect them from the hazard.
The HSE emphasizes that employers should implement the hierarchy of control options in the order listed above, starting with elimination and working down to PPE. Employers should also regularly review and update their control measures.
As part of their role as PPE experts, Alpha Solway, part of Globus Group recognises that their products can only ever be one part of the solution of keeping people safe. With this in mind, when we speak to customers, we make sure we don’t concentrate on selling products, but look at a broader more holistic solution.
Respiratory Protection Programme
The Alpha Solway Respiratory Protection Programme (ARPP) is designed to help companies that seek the assurance that their workforce has adequate and suitable respiratory protection for their environment.
Many factors are considered as part of the ARPP. Working alongside Health and Safety professionals, we will ensure that a compliant solution is specified – one that includes the correct protective masks for the individual, task and environment.
The resulting solution will be tailored precisely for your organisation.
The starting point is for an in-depth analysis to be conducted by one of our highly experienced respiratory protection specialists as part of a simple but effective five-step approach:
- Hazard analysis
- Task analysis
- Correct product section
- Face fit testing support
- Training and engagement