Why Health & Safety Doesn't Have To Cost The Earth

Peninsula Team

October 07 2009

With many businesses believing health and safety to be an unnecessary cost, they can become lax in the protection of their employees. However, with the Corporate Manslaughter Act threatening criminal punishment for lapses in health and safety, employers need to ensure they are covered. The Advice Service is on hand to help manage the health and safety policies in your workplace. If you are a client, just call through now on 0844 892 2785 and we will be happy to help.

There is generally a perceived idea that health and safety is an unnecessary cost to businesses and that employees should know how to do their job safely. However, as an employer, you are legally obliged to ensure you have appropriate measures in place to ensure your workplace is a safe environment. Last year, more than 200 people were killed at work and over 30 million days were lost due to work related illness. Health and safety is of vital importance and ensuring some key areas are in good working order will help protect your employees and not cost you a lot to implement.

Keeping stairs maintained may not jump out as a necessary activity yet there are many things to consider. Slips and trips down stairs are quite common and so you should always ensure that repairs are made to worn treads, worn carpets are replaced, ensure that there is good lighting and handrails are provided and are secure. Access ramps need to be clearly identified and they should be a different colour to the adjacent floors. If they are located in an area that can become wet, make sure they drain easily and also that handrails are provided where needed.

If you are planning to buy any new flooring and floor covering, ensure you check their slip resistance when both wet and dry and also ensure that slip patches cannot be created next to any entrances and exits by providing a doormat of sufficient size in the direction that people come into the building. Keep the floors clear and tidy where possible and if you need to use any trailing wires or cabling, try to cover them over with mats to avoid trips. Any damaged cables, plugs or sockets that you notice must be replaced as a priority.

Any glass partitions on pedestrian routes need to have manifestation and any solid doors should have vision panels on them to ensure that people are aware of their presence and any visual stimulus should be between waist and shoulder height.

You need to ensure that any electrical equipment is turned off at night, unless designed for 24 hour use and action should be taken when anything seems out of place or has the potential to cause an accident. It is worth promoting any feedback that employees may have to their perceived health and safety risks, this will ensure you can tackle any problems you have missed or dispel any worries your employees may have.

If you want advice about the health and safety standards in your business, call the Advice Service on 0844 892 2785 and one of our trained consultants will be happy to help.

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