Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

What is a 'Competent Person' and does my business need one?

Photo shows two workers looking at blueprintsEven the smallest businesses have the legal responsibility to manage health and safety at work and are mandated to appoint a competent person to take ownership of fulfilling this obligation.

The definition of a competent person

A competent person does not have to be a qualified and dedicated health and safety professional, but they do need to demonstrate sufficient competence in this area to be able to perform their duties effectively. If you have a small number of employees and operate in a low-risk environment (e.g. an office) then it may be feasible for you to appoint a competent person from within your business, however, even in this situation, there are advantages to using external competent advisors and those with more than a very small number of staff and/or those who work in a higher-risk environment, could benefit greatly from employing the services of external professionals.

Dedicated expertise at your disposal

As the old saying goes - Jack of all trades, master of none. In other words, the more roles someone has to fulfill, the less time they can give to each of them and, as a result, the less proficient they will be at any of them. Translating this into prac…

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Infographic: One Festive Tipple Too Many – The Sober Truth of Drink Driving During December

An estimated 10 million British motorists drink and drive. In December, when alcohol consumption rises by 40% in the UK, nearly 8% more people are arrested on drink driving charges than any other month of the year. 

These surprising figures show just how many people are risking their lives – and personal record – by choosing to drive, following one too many drinks during the festive season. Driving over the legal limit has severe – and expensive - repercussions; however, it appears in the haze of Christmas merriment, many motorists are chancing it all to get home. 

For more stats check out the infographic below. It features some of the most hard-hitting facts and figures on drink driving over the festive period, as well as handy tips for motorists on how to avoid being tempted to drive after one too many tipples. 

With the Christmas party season upon us, now is the time to hit home just how dangerous drunk driving can be – not only for the perpetrators themselves, but for other road users. After all, there’s nothing more sobering than a 6-month prison sentence, a hefty fine, a criminal record and a year-long driving ban – all of which can result from getting caugh…

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Health and Safety Hazards in the Office

Image shows an office areaOffices may not seem like dangerous places to work, but they can pose serious health and safety risks. An estimated 609,000 non-fatal injuries were sustained by workers in 2016/17, according to the Labour Force Survey - and that’s just those that were officially reported.

Given the size of the problem and the fact that employers have a legal responsibility to protect their staff’s health, safety and welfare, it’s in everyone’s interests - employers and staff alike - to recognise the risks and take steps to protect themselves and their colleagues.

What to look out for in the office

In an effort to ensure employers and employees are aware of accident risks in office environments and that relevant systems are in place to protect them, we have identified common health and safety hazards in the office that everyone should look out for.

Misuse of office furniture

Workers are often injured when they use their desks or chairs on wheels as substitute stepladders. Employers and workers should always use an appropriate stepladder safely when they need to reach for something.

Uneven floors

Poor floor surfaces are among the most common causes of slips, trips and fal…

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