As an employer, you have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of yourself and everybody in your employ. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 clearly states that every employer, so far as is reasonably practicable, must ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all his/hers employees. It also states that it’s an offence to contravene any health and safety regulations – so there’s more than people’s health at risk; your business is too.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance for employers for a wide range of industries, to help them implement effective health and safety. There are three key things to consider for all industries; below, we’ve listed them along with top tips.
Electricity can be deadly. However, it’s also easy to keep safe – you can take simple precautions to significantly reduce of the risk of injury to yourself, your workers and others.
Educate – always ensure that workers understand the hazards of electricity and know how to work with it safely;
Maintenance – always ensure the regular maintenance of all electrical outlets, appliances and machinery;
Switch off – always switch off and unplug electrical outlets when not in use, or during their maintenance;
Prevent – always ensure there are no trailing cables, uncovered overhead lines that people can get caught on.
Most fires are preventable; you can prevent fires by simply adopting the right behaviours and procedures. Here’s some general advice for minimising the risk of fire in the workplace:
Risk assesses – this applies to all safety concerns, however a fire safety risk assessment is a legal requirement;
Prevent – keep sources of ignition (heaters, lighting, etc.) and flammable substances apart;
Escape – keep fire exits clear at all times. Ensure that everybody knows how to escape in the event of a fire. Run scheduled fire safety alarm drills;
Good housekeeping – avoids rubbish building up, dust and grease – things like this could start a fire or at the very least make one worse.
Machinery, Plant and Equipment
Using machinery is a skilled job, one that requires awareness and experience. You must consider how your workers use such equipment and how to keep it safe, as well as:
Maintenance – scheduled maintenance on machines will minimise the risk of any electrical faults, fire hazards and gas faults;
Supervision – many industrial machines require two-person operation. For workers with minimal experience, consider supervision and additional training;
PPE – personal protective equipment could save a workers life. Ensure all relevant PPE is readily available and ensure that workers always wear it;
Isolation – ensure that all machinery, plant and equipment can be switched off in the event of an emergency quickly and easily.
For more information on minimising the risk of accidents in the workplace, visit the HSE website. If you have been injured in an accident in the workplace and wish to explore your options with regard to personal injury compensation,click here.