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Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Common office health and safety risks and how to avoid them

image shows a cluttered officeEven though the average office is a whole lot safer than say, the average construction site, there are still a fair number of health and safety risks that need to be managed. Here are some of the most common and how to avoid them.

Slips, trips, and falls

These tend to be the number one health and safety hazard in any environment and the average office is no exception. In an office environment, there are three issues which stand out as tripping hazards.

  • Cables - It’s a cliché but it’s not at all a joke. For all the world is going wireless, offices still tend to have a lot of cables in them and they need to be minimised and routed safely to stop people falling over them.
  • Liquids - Toilets and sinks need to be maintained as well as cleaned and cleaning should be undertaken with appropriate concern for wet surfaces and the potential for spillage (and ideally out of hours). There should also be easy access to materials for mopping up standard “kitchen spills” like spilt drinks.
  • Lack of flow - Many offices can grow organically rather than in a planned way and if they are planned, they can end up being planned around the needs of the IT team (i.e. where cables can…

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Asbestos 20 Years On: Still a Present Problem

images shows a crossed box next to the word bannedAsbestos may have been banned in the UK 20 years ago this month, but it continues to have a devastating effect on people’s lives today. In this post, we explore how and why asbestos is still a problem.

The UK Ban on Asbestos

Following a ban in the 1980s on blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos, the Asbestos (Prohibitions) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 came into force on 24 November that year.

Unlike the previous regulations, this amendment included a ban on white (chrysotile) asbestos – which was traditionally considered less lethal than other forms – and prohibited the importation, supply and use of ALL types of asbestos in the UK.

Is Asbestos Still an Issue in the UK Today?

Despite being prohibited for almost two decades, asbestos still remains a threat to health today – it is the greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.

Statistics published in 2019 via the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that annual asbestos deaths in the UK have been growing over the past 50 years. And, according to HSE, the estimate is that there are “over 5,000 asbestos-related disease deaths per year currently, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestos…

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Five essential health and safety tips for the Haulage industry

HGVs are big, heavy, vehicles with lots of moving parts and as such they need to be treated with great respect as they have the potential to cause serious accidents (including fatal ones).  Fortunately, paying suitable attention to health and safety can go a long way to avoiding this.

Here are five tips to keep in mind.

Ensure that both vehicles and drivers are in good condition

Vehicles need to be inspected regularly and any necessary work carried out promptly. Once a year (at least), they should be given an annual safety inspection, which should literally cover every part of the vehicle, top to bottom.

Drivers should be supported to take care of their own health and, in particular, management needs to make it very clear that the company not only supports them taking their designated rest breaks but also supports those taking additional breaks if they feel they need it.

Even though profit margins are notoriously tight in the haulage industry, safety must always come first.

Aim to keep pedestrians (and cyclists) away from the vehicle

When a vehicle is on site, then rules can be established about where people should and should not walk. When a vehicle is off si…

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