Chapter 31 RECORDS


This is now coming to be appreciated as one of the most ignored areas of Health & Safety.

I have been an auditor in several Quality Management Schemes and have also been involved in many court cases to do with Health & Safety. In each case it was obvious that there was a weakness in the records being kept by almost every case.

In keeping records, many people find it difficult to know what to record. Rudyard Kipling gave us a little verse in which he described what every newspaper report should contain:

I keep six honest serving-men

( They taught me all I knew);

Their names are


and HOW and WHERE and WHO.

If we start with Pesticide Application Records:

What - Name of Product & Amount Used

Why - Crop & Pest

When - Date & Time

How - Equipment Used & Settings of equipment

Where - Location & Area covered in S.M. or Ha

Who - Operators Name & Operators Address

As well as this we are now being expected to record · wind speed & wind direction · confirmation warning signs were erected - these days the minimum on any Golf Course is a sign on 1st & 10th Tees to the effect that chemicals have been applied and thus golfers should not suck their fingers or lick their golf balls.

Signs should be removed immediately the risk is past - permanent signs will not be acceptable as golfers will learn to ignore them.

STOCK LIST should be kept away from the store ( a copy should also be kept in the store for immediate use.).

The minimum this should detail is:

Basically if a fire occurred in the store, can you provide a stocklist by the time the Fire Brigade arrives - otherwise they may decide to contain the fire rather than fight it.

If other buildings are affected the insurance may regard that damage as self-inflicted and refuse to pay out!!!

Under COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) you are required to keep RECORDS OF THE USAGE OF CERTAIN TYPES OF PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). The principal one of these is probably the cartridge of a respirator )

The minimum this should detail is:



Training is an area which most companies are only now being to take seriously - If an accident occurs can you prove that the operator was adequately instructed and trained and that this competence was upgraded with an appropriate frequency. Minimum Update interval is thought to be about 3-5 years.

The records normally kept are

ACCIDENT RECORDS - these are useful to identify particular problems - if an accident happens once it could be thought of as chance - occurring twice would begin to indicate failure of some sort.

PREMISES STORAGE OF FUELS The minimum this should detail is:

STORAGE OF FERTILISERS - similar to Fuels but additionally application records should be kept


CHECKING OF COMPRESSORS - usually carried out by Insurance Company

CHECKING OF LIFTS & HOISTS - usually carried out by Insurance Company



Let us consider an accident - an operator, driving a tractor, is involved in an overturning incident on your course

1. can you prove that the operator had been adequately instructed and knew of the risks involved? When was the last time he attended a course?

2. can you prove that you have examined the area with reasonable frequency to allow the course to be safe - e.g. if a rabbit burrow undermines a path and that was the cause of the accident slip or if there was a change in layout which diverted the tractor to an unsafe area?

3. Can you prove that the equipment was fit for the purpose and maintained - can you show that the tractor would be stable on the slope involved say 15º ?

4. Have you a written Safe Working Practice?

5. Is there a history of similar accidents occurring?

6. And even after you have proved the above, can you prove that you have managed the situation by adequate supervision and checks on the work of your operators?

The keeping of a good diary and good records is the only way to be assured you have the ammunition to prove your innocence!!!!