Health & Safety Handbook | Aerial Services Scotland Ltd - Top Guidelines

health and safety

Health And Safety Handbook


Aerial Services Scotland Limited Health and Safety Policy

General Statement

Aerial Services Scotland Limited regards Health and Safety as a matter of foremost importance and an essential part of its responsibilities.  It regards the promotion of Health and Safety as a mutual objective of both the management and the employees.  It is therefore the Company’s policy to do all that is reasonably practicable to prevent personal injury and damage to property and to protect everyone from any foreseeable risks, including the general public.

The Company will:

  • Provide and maintain a safe and healthy working environment at each of its locations, in accordance with the relevant statutory requirements.
  • Provide sufficient information, instruction and training for all employees, as is necessary for them to carry out their work activities in a safe manner.
  • Provide and maintain machinery, equipment etc, and systems of work that are safe and without any risks to health.
  • Provide and maintain means of access to and from the workplace that are safe and without any risk to health.
  • Provide and maintain adequate facilities and arrangements for the welfare of its employees whilst at work.
  • Arrange safe and healthy systems for use, handling, storage and transport of hazardous materials.

The Managing Director is appointed as director responsible for Health and Safety; he puts in place arrangements for the effective implementation of the policy.

The Health and Safety Manager has the responsibility to ensure that the system is implemented and reports to the Director and keeps him advised through regular reports of the status and adequacy of the systems in place.  Reports are based on regular inspections and audits of all work locations.

A copy of this policy is issued to all employees and is also displayed on the notice boards at every location.

The Policy is reviewed annually and updated as often as necessary.


James Mullen







Your Responsibilities


It is the statutory duty of all employees to comply with sections 7 and 8 of the Health and Safety at Work Act:

  • To take responsible care for the safety of themselves and any other persons who may be affected by what they do or fail to do at work.
  • To co-operate with their employers or any other persons in the performance of their statutory duties.
  • Not to misuse or interfere with anything provided in the interests of Health, Safety or Welfare.

All employees must also comply with the responsibilities of their Health and Safety Policy and co-operate with the Company in its efforts to prevent accidents and ill health.

In particular you must:

  • Read and comply with the Company’s Health and Safety Rules.
  • Behave in a responsible manner at all times.
  • Develop and demonstrate a personal concern for the Health and Safety of themselves and others.
  • Report any damage of plant, tools and equipment to your immediate supervisor.
  • Use only the plant, tools and equipment for which training has been received and authorisation has been given.
  • Use and look after the protective equipment that has been provided and report to your supervisor when this becomes worn or defective.
  • Ensure that all personal injuries are reported in the Accident Book.



Safety Rules


The following rules have been implemented to ensure the safety of you and your work colleagues.  Therefore these rules must be obeyed at all times.

You Must

  • Wear Safety Footwear at all times.
  • Wear any other Personal Protective Clothing/Equipment as instructed by your supervisor.
  • Report to your supervisor and accidents or injuries, any defective equipment or any hazards in your workplace.
  • Keep your workplace tidy to avoid hazards.
  • Obey all Safety Signs and Instructions.
  • Drive safely and observe speed limits and traffic signs.
  • Maintain levels of Personal Hygiene.

You must NEVER

  • Report for work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Indulge in horseplay.
  • Use plant or equipment that you have not been trained for the use in.
  • Leave plant or equipment unattended at any time, unless it is switched off and secured.

These are basic rules and failure to adhere to them may result in disciplinary procedures.



Accidents and First Aid


If an accident occurs prompt action may well result in the saving of a life, or at least reduce the suffering of one of you colleagues.


  • Do not move the injured person unless their position could cause them more harm.
  • Call for assistance or get someone to call the emergency services, stay with the person and ensure they stay warm and can breathe freely.
  • If serious bleeding occurs apply pressure adjacent to the wound but do not touch it.
  • Do not allow the injured person to eat or drink.
  • In the case of an electric shock DO NOT touch the person until the power has been switched off.

All injuries must be reported to the supervisor immediately and recorded in the Accident Book.



Personal Hygiene


High standards of Personal Hygiene are extremely important and could prevent illnesses and the spread of industrial diseases.

You MUST ensure that you:

  • Wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating.
  • Wash thoroughly when you have finished work.
  • Use gloves when handling hazardous materials.





The most common cause of accidents when working in excavations in the collapse of the sides.  In the most shallow of trenches, i.e. less than 1.2. metres the sides of the trench must either be supported or battered.

Before entering an excavation you MUST ensure it is safe to do so.

  • You must seek authorisation from your supervisor.
  • There is safe means of entry and exit from the excavation.
  • Any materials, plant, tools and equipment are not overhanging or close to the edge of the excavation.

For work in contaminated grounds, special precautions will be required and you will be made aware of these before commencement of the work.



Buried Services


Underground works can be especially dangerous particularly because of electrical and gas pipes.  Always assume that these are LIVE and seek the appropriate clarification before commencing the work.

Before commencing work drawings will be provided where possible.  The area supervisor will have checked the calibration of the cable locator and surveyed the area using cable location equipment and marked the position of the services on the ground using the following colour code.


Electricity  –  RED

Water        –  BLUE

Gas           –  YELLOW

Telecommunications      –  WHITE




When you commence the work wherever possible hand dig near buried services.  Check that any cable embedded in concrete that has to be broken has been made dead before you start or that another safe way of working has been agreed by the owner of the cable.  Watch out for signs of services as the work progresses and repeat checks with the cable director, back fill around the services with fine materials not with flints, bricks, mass concrete or similar materials.

You must report any damage to cables, pipes or pipe coatings even if there is no immediate danger, damage could cause danger at a later date.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE YOURSELF.

You must not use hand held power tools within a 500mm radius of any marked electricity cables, nor must you use these directly over the marked line of the cables unless:

  • You have already found the cable by carefully hand digging beneath the surface and it is at a safe depth (at least 300mm) below the bottom of the surface to be broken, or
  • Physical means have been used to prevent the tool striking it.
  • Do not use a mechanical excavator within 500mm radius of a gas pipe.
  • If an excavator is being used near an electricity cable ensure everyone is clear of the bucket whilst it is digging.
  • Do not use exposed surfaces as a convenient step and do not handle or attempt to move the position of exposed service.
  • Do not install plant close to an existing service, ask your supervisors to inform you of what the separation should be.
  • Do not build existing services into a manhole or other structure or encase them in concrete.



Working at Height


Falls from heights are one of the most common causes of accidents on all construction sites and telecommunication installation locations.  Working at heights is safe provided you use the correct means of access and take all the necessary precautions to ensure the prevention of a fall.

You must NEVER:

  • Work at any location unless there is safe footing.
  • Use anything other that the correct equipment as means of access.
  • Work at any place where you could fall more that 2 metres without using the correct PPE and without having adequate safety measures in place.






Scaffolding is commonly used as a means of carrying out work at height.

Scaffolding must be stable, secure and on a firm base.  Guard Rails must also be applied at a safe height and there must also be safe access to all levels.

You MUST ensure that:

  • You do not use a scaffold whilst it is being erected or dismantled.
  • A gangway of at least three boards wide is available for access.
  • Never throw or drop materials from the scaffolding.
  • Materials are properly stacked and secure on the platforms.
  • Obstructions are not left on the platforms.
  • Any defects are reported to your supervisor.


Mobile Scaffold Towers


Mobile Scaffold Towers are useful when working at heights especially when you are required to move a lot.

You MUST always ensure that:

  • Guard Rails and Toe boards are fitted if the platform is higher than 2 mtrs.
  • The wheel breaks and outriggers are locked
  • The platform height does not exceed 3 times the minimum base width (externally) and 31 times the minimum base width (internally).
  • You must use the internal side of the fixed ladders for access and do not climb up the outside.





Before using ladders you must ensure that they are fit for use and that they are not damaged in any way.

Ladders must always be positioned on a firm level and should not placed on any loose materials, they must only be levelled using the appropriate equipment, which must be properly fixed.  Where possible the ladder should be secured to the building, where securing at the top of the ladder is impractical the ladder must be prevented from slipping outwards or sideways by using the correct equipment.

Footing a ladder should not be considered for ladders no more that 5 metres high and carried out using the correct procedure.

Any tools that need to be carried up the ladder should be done so securely by either attaching them to a holster, belt or in a tool bag.  This is to ensure that both hands are free to climb the ladder.

Ladders and footwear must be free from mud and debris to avoid the possibility of slips.

When metal ladders are being used consideration must be given to any overhead electrical cables, if the cables are too close to the work area work must be stopped and the area reassessed by your supervisor.

Ladders carried on vehicles must be done so securely using the correct equipment.


Lofts must not be entered into unless they are classed as a room. This means that there must be adequate lighting to see the full length of the room, and adequate flooring which covers the complete area which you will be walking on. Also, there must be a fixed stepladder which reaches from the very bottom to the top. The fixed stepladders must be checked for any defects before use.  They must also be placed on a secure surface and must be spread to their full extent.  Stepladders must only be used at right angles to the wall.  The top step of a stepladder must never be used for foot support unless there is an extension at the top to provide an adequate handrail.





Roof Work

When carrying our roof work you must ensure that:

  • The roof has been inspected and the correct procedures are in place for carrying the work out.
  • A method of work has been prepared for the task.
  • All ladders (access and roof) and accessories have been inspected for defects.
  • PPE has been provided.



Portable Tools

All portable tools must be properly maintained and in good working condition.  You must also be fully trained in their use.




Abrasive Wheels

When using abrasive wheels you must ensure that:

  • You hold a current certificate of use.
  • The abrasive wheel is properly mounted to the machine.
  • The guard is securely in place.
  • The abrasive wheel is the correct type and is in good condition.
  • You wear the appropriate PPE at all times.



Cartridge Operated Tools

When working with cartridge operated tools you must ensure that:

  • You have received the appropriate training and hold a current Certificate of Appointment.
  • When you have been issued with the tool you must ensure that it has not been loaded.
  • Keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction when loading and ensure that they are loaded securely.
  • Ensure the safety of others at all times.
  • Wear the appropriate PPE at all times.


Compressed Air Tools


When working with these you must ensure:

  • All equipment, hoses and coupling are in good working condition.
  • Hoses are kept as short as possible.
  • Never change a tool without turning the air supply off.
  • Ensure you take regular breaks when using vibrating equipment.
  • Always wear the appropriate PPE.


Hand Tools


When working with hand tools you must:

  • Ensure files are fitted with handles to prevent hand injuries and they must not be used for any other purpose.
  • Ensure chisels and punches with mushroom heads are ground down to prevent splinters.
  • Keep hammerheads tightly wedged on their shafts.
  • Always use the correct tool for the task in hand (DO NOT IMPROVISE).
  • Ensure all tools are in sound working order before commencing any task and discard any that are not.
  • Ensure that all tools are stored in the appropriate manner.





Electricity is potentially lethal and must be treated with caution at all times.  There is no safe voltage and there will be no warning of any dangers.  Therefore all electrical work should be considered hazardous.



Portable Electrical Tools


When using electrical tools you must ensure that:

  • They are operated with a 100V supply.
  • You have inspected them for defects before starting work.
  • Faulty equipment is discarded and reported to your Supervisor.
  • They are disconnected when not in use.
  • Trailing leads are not causing hazards or in a position where they could be damaged.
  • Always wear the appropriate PPE.



Overhead Cables


You must always:

  • Assume all overhead cables are live.
  • Ensure you have received permission from your Supervisor before using any plant or equipment near overhead power lines.



Underground Cables


You should be made aware of all underground cables before commencing any work.  Your Supervisor will let you know this.  You can only excavate near buried cables or services only when specific Health and Safety systems are in place.



Plant and Machinery


Plant and Machinery should only be operated by persons trained to do so; this means a CTA or its equivalent.

You must always:

  • Keep well clear of Mechanical Plant and look out for the driver’s signals.
  • Wear high visibility garments when working in the vicinity of plant.
  • Report any defects to your Supervisor.



Lifting Operations


Aerial Services Scotland Limited will only provide lifting equipment that has been tested, examined and inspected.  The following guidelines must be adhered to this will ensure safe working practice.

  • Lifting Appliances may only be used by trained personnel.
  • Tay lines should be used especially in windy conditions.
  • Check the lifting gear is of the correct capacity. (The safe working lead of a sling is reduced at angles of over 90°.
  • Do not indulge in horseplay.
  • Always ensure the correct PPE is used.



Workplace Transport


When using transport provided by Aerial Services Scotland Limited you must ensure that:

  • You hold a current driving license/certificate.
  • You follow the High Way Code.
  • You do not carry unauthorised passengers.
  • Only reverse when a banks man is directing.
  • Your vehicle is in good working order and maintained regularly.



Road Works


Road works can be hazardous, for your protection you must:

  • Wear high visibility garments at all times.
  • Ensure your vision is not reduced by weatherproof clothing.
  • Familiarise yourself with the traffic layout.
  • A safe buffer zone must be established and maintained in the working area.
  • Always wear the appropriate PPE.
  • Maintain a clear access route through the site for vehicle movement.


Do not:

  • Remove or alter the safety zone.



Hot Work


Hazards arise from welding and cutting operations that can seriously damage your health or the health of others.

When carrying our any hot work activities you should ensure that:

  • All equipment is in good working order.
  • The equipment is suitable for the task in hand.
  • You are fully aware of the fire precautions and extinguishers are accessible.
  • All necessary screens are in place and Flash Back Arresters are fitted to all Oxygen and Gas Canisters.
  • The correct PPE is being used.



Confined Spaces


You may only enter a confined space when the following conditions have been met:

  • You have received the appropriate training.
  • A permit has been issued giving you permission to gain entry and you are fully aware of the conditions set out in the permit.
  • You fully understand the task, which you are required to carry out.
  • The space has good ventilation and there are continuous checks to ensure this.
  • Emergency procedures have been put in place and you are aware of these.
  • The correct PPE is being used.



Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)


LPG is heavier that air and leaking gas can flow into low areas such as manholes or confined spaces and will still be capable of causing an explosion.  The unsafe storage or use of LPG may easily lead to fire.

If you are involved in the use of LPG or in the storage of LPG, you must:

  • Never smoke or allow other sources of ignition in or near canisters.
  • When in use keep canisters upright and in a well-ventilated area.
  • Store canisters in an upright condition in the compound provided.
  • Have suitable fire fighting equipment close to the compound and close to the working area.



Health Hazards


Occupational Health Hazards are different from Safety Hazards, in that their effects may be obvious in the short term.  Health Hazards can arise from many sources and may be classified in general terms.

Chemical         –           Dusts, Fumes, Gases, Mists, Vapours etc.

Biological        –           Bacterial, Fungal, Viral etc.

Ergonomic     –            Strains etc.

Physical           –          Radiation, Vibration, Temperature, Noise etc.

Listed below are some of the most common hazards.

Manual Handling

You should always try to avoid manual handling and if possible use mechanical aids.  Should you have to lift an object manually you should,

  • Make sure that the ground is firm and level and there are no obstructions in your path.
  • Bend your knees keeping your back muscles relaxed.
  • Lift using your leg muscles, keeping your back straight and your arms close to your body.
  • Avoid twisting your body while holding or handling the load.
  • If the load is too heavy or too awkward to carry DO NOT attempt to carry it on your own.


Excessive noise from plant or equipment can cause progressive and irreversible loss of hearing (Tinnitus)

If you work in areas where you have to shout to be heard then you require Ear Protection.  This can be either plugs or muffs.  Adhering to the following rules will also give good protection.

  • Wear your ear protection at all times.
  • Make sure that your earplugs are a good fit and a correctly inserted.
  • Ensure that ear muffs are working correctly.
  • Do not alter the pressure of earmuffs by bending the headband.
  • If you work with compressed air tools ensure that mufflers are fitted to the tool, air lines do not leak and that compressor covers are kept shut.



Vibration White Finger can affect those who use vibrating equipment regularly.

You can reduce the risk by:

  • Keeping warm at work, especially your hands.
  • Use the correct tool for the task.
  • Exercise your hands and fingers to improve blood flow.
  • Keep tools in good working order.
  • Try to avoid long periods of use without taking regular breaks.
  • Never ignore symptoms.


Hazardous Substances

Chemicals, dust and fumes can enter your body in many ways such as absorption, inhalation and ingestion.  The effects may be immediate or may appear after several years.  The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations are in place to ensure the protection of workers who may come into contact with any such substances.  All materials and substances that you may come into contact with must be properly risk assessed.

You must also ensure that:

  • All the necessary procedures, control measures and working practices have been full explained to you and are implemented to reduce the risks to you and others.
  • All Suppliers and Manufacturers instructions are fully complied with.
  • YOU MUST NEVER use chemicals that are in unmarked containers or transfer chemicals to other containers.
  • All Substances, Materials or Work Activities that give rise to dust, gases, vapours or fumes in addition to any materials or substances that carry the Hazard Warning symbol should be considered hazardous to health.
  • The correct PPE must be used at all times.


Leptospirosis (Weils Disease)

Leptospirosis or also known as Weils disease is usually contracted when working near rivers, canals, sewage works, culverts, agricultural environments or in old rat infested premises.  Rats are the main carriers although cows are also known to be carriers.  Weils disease is carried in urine and if the proper precautions are followed the risk of contracting the disease is minimal.  You should ensure that you always wash your hands before eating or smoking.

Symptoms of the disease are flu like tonsillitis or rheumatic fever; headaches are intense and have been described by some as excessive migraines.  There is no cure for this disease and in some cases this can kill, milder doses can be treated in hospital but are extremely unpleasant.






The majority of fires can be prevented by following these simple precautions:

  • Ensure you know the proper procedures incase of fire including the escape route.
  • Keep fire doors and extinguishers clear and free from obstructions.
  • Learn the operation of extinguishers.
  • Use the correct containers for flammable liquids.
  • Do not be careless with rubbish or clothing near heating equipment.
  • Only smoke in designated areas.
  • Check equipment before use incase of sparks.
  • Switch off all electrical equipment at the mains when not in use.



Personal Protective Equipment


Aerial Services Scotland Limited will provide all the necessary PPE for the tasks in hand.  There are many types of PPE and these must be used in accordance with the information, instruction and training given.

Ensure that you take proper care of the PPE provided and report any loss or damage to your Supervisor.



Alcohol and Drugs


Alcohol and Drugs are known to depress the functions of the brain and when working at heights or with machinery you have to be alert.

Aerial Services Scotland Limited has made it one of their conditions of employment that anyone suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted to work and will be disciplined accordingly (immediate dismissal).


If you have any health & safety related questions please contact us using the form below.


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