The 1986 Regulations are known as the ‘principal Regulations’ (with amendments in 1997) and require that all pesticide products must be approved and that they can only be sold, supplied, stored, advertised or used in line with the regulations.These Regulations therefore affect anyone who advertises, sells, stores, supplies or uses a pesticide, for either commercial or domestic use.
The most relevant part of the regulations to the grounds care industry is Schedule 3 which covers conditions relating to consent to the use of pesticides.The key responsibilities to users include:
Ensuring all users and those instructing others on their use must be competent, have received the appropriate training and guidance and have gained a certificate of competence.
- Taking all reasonable precautions to protect the health of human beings, creatures and plants, safeguard the environment and in particular avoid the pollution of water.
A certificate of competence is only required if the person is born after 31 December 1964.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 require risks to people’s health and safety, from equipment that they use at work, to be prevented or controlled.
Work equipment means any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation for use at work (whether exclusively or not), which might be used by an employee at work.
Use in relation to work equipment means any activity involving work equipment and includes starting, stopping, programming, setting, transporting, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing and cleaning.
Work equipment must be suitable for the task in respect of its affect on the health and safety of the user by considering the type, size, speed, weight and the conditions of use.The correct equipment should always be used so, for example, do not substitute a knife for a screwdriver or a screwdriver for a chisel.
All maintenance procedures (planned, preventative and breakdown) should be recorded for mechanical and high-risk equipment.A simple and effective approach to this task is to devise a tick sheet or information sheet for each type of equipment to aid the operative and assist in providing a uniform maintenance procedure.Regular inspections, ideally on a monthly basis, must also be carried out and recorded by a competent person. 4
We asked renowned industry trainer, Tony Leach, for his take on the results of our survey; “It’s an interesting situation to find ourselves in and while a part of me is surprised by the results, I also know that until there are more inspectors out there on the ground then there will continue to be groundsmen tucked away in their sheds turning a blind eye hoping they never get a knock on the door.
“As the lead body for the industry, the IOG has a responsibility to get the message across to every person and it is every groundsman’s responsibly to ensure they are aware of, and understand, the legislation. Health & Safety legislation has been around since 1974 and is with us every day of our working lives. Pleading ignorance just isn’t acceptable and is no defence in the eyes of the law.
“As a H & S trainer I come across the two extremes – those who don’t want to know anything about Health & Safety and see it as their employer’s responsibility. Then there are those who are afraid of Health & Safety because their manager tries to pass on the responsibility to them, but of course this is illegal.
As far as Risk Assessments are concerned, only the task of carrying out a risk assessment can be delegated, not the responsibility and can only be done when the individual is deemed adequately trained and sufficiently competent to undertake risk assessment duties. There is also a degree of apathy out there and we need to re-ignite the interest in health and safety and keep groundsmen aware of developments.”