Category Archives: Health and Safety


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Occupational Health Support

As an employer, you are required by law to prevent physical and mental ill health in your workers that may occur as a result of your business activities. Your risk assessment will help you decide what actions you need to take to do this.

An important part of occupational health is concerned with how work and the work environment can impact on workers’ health, both physical and mental. It also includes how workers’ health can affect their ability to do their job. Put simply this means the effect of work on health and that of health on work.

In health and safety law, there are things you must do to make sure workers’ health is not adversely affected by their work and that workers are medically fit to carry out their work safely.

Contact us should you require more information.

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Get ready for the first No Falls Week

Man falling from ladder in warehouseThe only UK-based charity for the work at height sector has announced that it is launching the first ever No Falls Week, to take place from 13–17 May 2024.

The No Falls Foundation said this will be a key part of its campaign to raise awareness about the importance of safe working at height, to prevent falls and to ensure that everyone working at height comes down safely.

It is estimated that over one million businesses, and 10 million workers, carry out work involving some form of working at height every year. No Falls Week will provide the opportunity for organisations across all sectors to place a focus on work in this particular sector, which sees so many incidents.

Falls from height are consistently the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the UK, with 40 people losing their lives at work due to a fall from height in 2022/23. Latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that falls from height were responsible for a third of all workplace deaths last year, up from a quarter the year before.

There are an even greater number of nonfatal injuries resulting from a fall from height, with over 5000 people in Great Britain having been reported injured at work in 2022/23.

The No Falls Foundation believes that there is substantial under-reporting of nonfatal falls from height for all workers, particularly the self-employed, who were found to report just 12% of workplace incidents.

According to the Labour Force Survey, HSE estimates the number of workplace falls from height over the last 10 years may be as many as 425,000.

To get involved, employers can sign up on the No Falls Week website, where they can find toolkits and resources from members of the Access Industry Forum (AIF) to help plan activities during the No Falls Week. This may include hosting toolbox talks, workshops or safety demonstrations, distributing informational materials and engaging in social media campaigns.

Contact us if you wish to find out more.

 

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Finally finding safety equipment that fits

Two hard hats and hi visHaving worked in health and safety since 2004, I understand the vital role that PPE plays in keeping us safe. However, as someone who is 5 feet tall, I have encountered challenges with ill-fitting equipment and clothing that can impact both safety and productivity.

Changes are being made to accommodate people of all shapes and sizes so that they are safe and can be seen in the workplace.

Katy Robinson is a PPE campaigner, she spoke to SHP Magazine about raising awareness for inclusive PPE, click here to read her article.

I was asked to write an article for them too. My article can be read here.

If you want to find out more or need help in finding PPE that fits, please contact me.

Health and Safety Consultants | Telford, Shropshire, West Midlands (walkersafety.co.uk)

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Premises Maintenance

  • WHSS
  • External walls usually refer to the outside walls of a building. They will generally need little maintenance but should be inspected at least annually for signs of deterioration or water damage.
  • For all roofing or chimney maintenance work, it is essential to ensure that adequate safety arrangements are in place for working at height.
  • Gutters should be inspected and cleared at least twice a year, sometimes more frequently if a roof is overhung by trees.
  • Ensuring that a floor is well maintained will not only preserve the appearance of a building but will also contribute to safety by making slips and trips less likely.
  • Windows should be regularly maintained and cleaned so they can be opened easily for ventilation and allow in sufficient light.
  • There is no statutory obligation to keep an external or outside wall in a good state of repair. However, if it is in a dangerous state and falls and injures someone, the owner or occupier may be liable.
  • To maintain their grounds and outside areas, an organisation may employ their own staff or engage specialist contractors.
  • It is imperative that in-house facilities maintenance staff and maintenance contractors observe good health and safety practice at all times.
  • Suitable information and training must be provided to employees with maintenance responsibilities.

How to Maintain Ceilings

  • Wash down and repaint surfaces that have been painted.
  • Repair ceilings where lining paper or plaster is used, by re-plastering or recovering.
  • Refer to manufacturers’ instructions when redecorating: decorating may change the characteristics of a material, eg for any specifically treated fire-resistant surfaces.
  • Investigate any observations of damp stains, blistering of paint or lining paper, black mould growth, or cracking to prevent possible ceiling collapse.
  • Apply a sterilisation solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions followed by repainting, preferably with an anti-fungicidal paint, to deal with black mould or damp stains. A longer-term solution would be to improve the heating or ventilation.
  • Repair any hair cracks by lining the ceiling with a stout lining and then painting it.
  • Seek specialist advice for any larger problems such as large cracks.

How to Maintain Grounds

  • Weigh up the pros and cons of using in-house staff or contractors to maintain the grounds.
  • Consider the attractiveness of plants and trees against maintenance costs.
  • Be aware that shrubs and flower beds are a trap for litter and easy targets for vandalism.
  • Position trees so they do not damage the foundations of buildings, do not provide cover for intruders and do not block the view of any security cameras.
  • Keep records of every tree giving details of location, type, age and condition.
  • Maintain footpaths and tarmac areas to a high standard to limit the potential for accidents and improve access.
  • Implement ways of reducing the amount of litter generated on the premises.
  • Check perimeter fences are adequate to keep out litter, pests and intruders.

How to Maintain Floors

  • Check how each flooring material is best maintained. An incorrect cleaning program can change the slip properties of a floor, which can become dangerous.
  • Treat any outbreaks of wood-boring insects with disinfestation liquid for a small localised problem. Where the outbreak is more extensive seek the advice of a specialist.
  • Use jointless epoxy resin screeds or hard tiles to re-level well-worn and uneven areas of flooring.
  • Remove areas of rubber burn on thermoplastic tiled finishes caused by shoes and trolley tyres by wiping with white spirit.
  • Replace any thermoplastic tiles which are cracked.
  • Brush linseed oil onto the floor to “feed” the timber or preservative staining to help prevent excessive shrinkage in boarded or wood-blocked flooring.
  • Seek specialist advice for any larger problems such as cracking in suspended concrete floors or infection by dry rot on suspended timber floors.

Contact us if you have any queries.

 

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International Women’s Day 2024

8 March 2023 marks International Women’s Day. It’s a day that celebrates ‘the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women’ whilst also calling for equality – where men and women are treated the same. No one government, country, charity or group is responsible for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you found this of interest. Here are some useful links

IWD: About International Women’s Day (internationalwomensday.com)

International Women’s Day 2024: UK Statement to the OSCE – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

International Women’s Day | World Vision UK