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WHAT ARE RAMS AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

May 10, 2022 by WINNS Services
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WHAT ARE RAMS?

 

RAMS are documents companies create after they conduct risk assessments. RAMS documents contain details of the hazard as well as a step-by-step safe working guide that employees, contractors, and others can follow. As a result, RAMS have more detail than risk assessments.

In summary:

  • Risk assessments identify, quantify, and then control risks
  • Method Statements describe detailed steps on how to complete the job and avoid the risk identified in the risk assessment (i.e. how to do the job safely)

As you can see, it is logical that Method Statements should follow risk assessments. After all, if there is still a risk to employees or others after you take all possible mitigation actions, the obvious next step is to decide on and communicate work processes that help keep people safe.

WINNS use RAMS to ensure the safety of its staff, clients and the public in general.

For example, prior to commencing the cleaning of internal windows, WINNS will first use a matrix to decide High, Medium or Low Risk associated with the task.

They will consider the severity and likelihood of harm and identify possible hazards associated with the task, including, but not limited to the following:

 

HAZARDS AND RISKS
CONTROL MEASURES


Lone workers.

LADDERS, STEP LADDERS OR PLATFORMS ARE NOT PERMITTED FOR USE ONSITE. 

Extension pole to be used for working at height. No Lone working to take place.

Other workers/occupant & their activities.

Keep assessing the work area and environment to spot potential unsafe conditions which might be created by the activity. Correct warning signs placed in appropriate area. Extension Pole Equipment to be used for all working at hight use.  2nd operative to stop others coming too close to work area.

Slips & Trips i.e. wet floors, poor surfaces, changing in floor levels.

Display correct warning signs, placed in appropriate area, 2nd operative to stop others coming too close to work area.

Operatives are to wear safety boots throughout the clean

Equipment to have suitable signage on display to facilitate 3rd party ensuring any trip hazards are visible. Where possible hoses to not be run across entrance ways, communal space and corridors, if this is unavoidable signage should be used to notify the hazard to 3rd parties. 

Manual Handling.

All staff receive manual handling training during induction as well as regular annual training and toolbox talks. All staff are reminded to take care when undertaking tasks and not to lift or reach beyond their capabilities. Adequate PPE/equipment is always available. Even lightweight equipment may require 2 people to carry if shape or size make it difficult to handle.

Falls from height (split levels, stairs or Falling objects.

LADDERS, STEP LADDERS OR PLATFORMS ARE NOT PERMITTED FOR USE ONSITE. 

All works at height to be completed at ground level by use of extension pole equipment. 

Weil’s disease (contact with rodent urine)

Cleaning operatives may contract related diseases by infection transmitted to humans include Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease), by contact with urine from infected rats. 


Workers in contact with ponding waters are also at risk. 

The bacteria can get into your body through cuts and scratches and through the lining of the mouth, throat and eyes after contact with infected urine or contaminated water, ponds and slow-flowing rivers. 

Disease starts with a flu-like illness with a persistent and severe headache, which can lead to vomiting, muscle pains, ultimately to jaundice, meningitis and kidney failure. Diseases can be fatal.


Face mask and safety glasses must be worn

Access/egress.

Operatives must be given full access to all areas, pass keys to be signed for by the operative or escort is to be assigned for the duration of the clean. 

Housekeeping (from our own activities or others).

All staff members have received a full induction as well as regular refresher training and toolbox talks, tools & equipment to be kept away from corridors etc & signs placed to warn others of work being done.

The tools & Equipment used for the task.

Design of equipment suitable for the task. Equipment used for its intended purpose. Equipment regular inspected and properly maintained. Safe means of isolation provided and used. Routine checks carried out

Falling or flying objects

All staff associated with the activity has received appropriate training in assess a pre inspection of the work area before and general awareness of surrounding during the task. Warning signs used and displayed ‘’ cleaning in progress’’.

 

In addition, the RAMS will identify the protective clothing necessary to ensure safe delivery of task to all.  For example in respect of our example of internal window cleaning, the PPE might include, but not be limited to:

 

Gloves – General protection EN420

Safety steel toe capped footwear – General EN345

Dust Mask/Respirator – REFER TO H&S MANAGER

Gloves – Other 

Safety Glasses EN166 (when the possibility of debris falling is assessed locally) 

High Vis (Vest or Coat)

 

The RAMS would also include details of the equipment and materials required to complete the task safely, for example, but limited to:



Safety Signs

Colour coded mop

Water Fed Pole Equipment 

Mobile Reach and Wash Trolley

Squeegee 

Scrim 

Applicators 

Extension Poles 

DragonFly Window Cleaning System

Manual Handling Aids

Safety Barriers 

Hoses 

 

        

WINNS believe that.......   

if there is a task that has a risk that cannot be completely eliminated by other actions or measures, a RAMS document should be in place. Here are some best practice tips in relation to RAMS:

  • Include the risk assessment as part of the document
  • Include supervisor details, equipment involved, and anything else relevant to the task
  • Include details of first aid provision
  • Make sure you prepare a detailed step-by-step guide on how to perform the 
  • task safely, covering every step in the process
  • Make sure everyone involved in the task, now and in the future, gets a copy of the RAMS document

The latter one is important as many companies neglect it. Preparing a RAMS document should not be a box-ticking exercise, though. The only way for it to become useful and effective at minimising risk, is for those involved in the task to know of its existence and have read and understood it.

Here is one final tip: you should put procedures in place to ensure the regular review of RAMS documents. If you don’t do this, they can end up being folders gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. They are way too important to end up like this.

If you would like more information on RAMS and their use within the cleaning industry, please do not hesitate to contact Ryan Stillwell, on 01702 713100 or look at our Website; winnsservices.co.uk.

 

 

 

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