Health and safety when handling insulation

Health and safety when handling and fitting insulation


At OJM Insulations, we take the health and safety of our team and our customers extremely seriously.  Ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and guidance is a must.  In this short article, we run through some of key considerations specific to insulation and our approach to Health and Safety (H&S).

What is Health and Safety?

Health and Safety regulations and procedures are intended to prevent accident or injury in workplaces or public environments. It is a wide subject, covering everything from manual handling, through to safe stacking of materials, working in confined spaces and much more.  The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain. It’s sometimes referred to as HSWA, the HSW Act, the 1974 Act or HASAWA. It sets out the general duties which: employers have towards employees and members of the public. But it is not the only piece of legislation – see below for more information!

At OJM Insulations every staff member receives H&S training relevant to their job on induction with annual refreshers, and specific training when circumstances change – ie. taking on a new role, or where a new product is brought in which might require revised handling techniques.  

We also deliver regular Toolbox Talks which are short briefings on specific topics to keep H&S uppermost in people’s minds. These are great as they only take 15 minutes to deliver and provide time for feedback and any questions or concerns to be raised by the team.  Topics we cover include:

  • General site health and safety
  • Accident reporting 
  • Accident prevention and control
  • Young people on site
  • First aid
  • Welfare arrangement
  • Manual handling
  • Safe materials stacking
  • Ladders
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Trestles and stepladders
  • Safe working at height
  • Mobile scaffold towers
  • Abrasive wheels
  • Cartridge operated tools
  • Portable handheld electrical tools
  • Electricity on site
  • Cnnfined space working
  • PPE
  • Control of noise
  • Eye protection
  • Skin protection
  • Hand arm vibration syndrome
  • Fire prevention and control
  • Asbestos
  • Weils disease
  • Mobile elevated work platforms
  • Welding
  • Security on site

Specific Health & Safety concerns for insulation

The main risks that face us in our work as insulation contractors are that our work requires us to work at and with mineral fibres. We control these risks by only having competent staff, who are experienced and well trained in the jobs they undertake. 

Working at height

Our staff are trained to safely work at height and hold the relevant qualifications such as PASMA and all work equipment is subject to regular inspection. PASMA is the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association and provides training for working at height through PASMA approved training centres.   

We regularly inspect our ladders, podiums, and steps to ensure that they are defect free. We repair or replace any that are found to be damaged. We also train employees on how to properly use, maintain, and inspect ladders, podiums, and steps to prevent accidents.   

Ladders, podiums and steps are generally regarded as a means of access suitable for short periods of time  and only if the use of more suitable equipment is not justified because of low risk and/or when the residual risk is adequately controlled. It is safer to use work equipment such as tower scaffolds or MEWPs (Mobile Elevating Work Platforms) than ladders.

Materials handling

In relation to the mineral fibres we issue the correct PPE (personal protective equipment) and train staff on the use of such equipment.  For example, safety goggles and gloves are particularly important when working with some insulation materials such as fibreglass and mineral wool. The fibres from these products can be an irritant. 

In summary

When contracting with OJM Insulations, you can be assured that our team will ensure that the safety of everyone on site is their overarching priority; that appropriate risk assessments are undertaken and acted upon; and that the correct equipment and PPE will be used.

UK Legislation covering Health and Safety

  • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, 2015
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
  • Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
  • Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  • The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013
  • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
  • Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005
  • OHSAS 18001: 1999 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Specification

Contact Us

We are specialists in all aspects of insulation
Contact us for free no obligation quotes and advice. We will be happy to help!

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01245 425511

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14 Cutlers Rd

South Woodham Ferrers

Chelmsford CM3 5XJ

OJM Insulations Office

14 Cutlers Rd, South Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford CM3 5XJ

01245 425511