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Topic: Construction

cutting holes in concrete and brickwork
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Cutting holes in concrete and brickwork

Cutting holes in concrete and brickwork

Cutting holes in concrete and brickwork is a high-risk activity if not managed properly. Not only does the equipment used have the potential to cause injury, the dusts produced can cause ill-health.

To reduce the likelihood of a problem, you should complete a risk assessment for cutting such holes which identifies all “significant” hazards and appropriate “reasonable” ways of reducing risks to an acceptable level.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with cutting such holes and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Cutting Holes in Concrete and Brickwork. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level. You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could, and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow are decided upon the principle of “so far as is reasonably practicable”.

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found when carrying out these operations at each particular worksite.


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