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risk assessment

Build a Risk Aware Workforce

As part of the HSE’s strategy plans for the future, a movement has been created. The movement is called Help Great Britain Work Well. Its aim? To create a culture of risk awareness and accountability in all firms in the UK. Instead of leaving the task of maintaining health and safety standards to one over-stretched employee, why not educate your entire workforce? With more people involved in the continued identification and mitigation of risk, your workplace ultimately becomes safer. Give your employees the chance to step up and contribute to the continued effort of keeping themselves and their co-workers safe during the working day. An initial risk assessment is just the start. You must continuously look out for hazards, which is far more effective with more hands on deck.

What is a COSHH assessment?

The law requires all firms to carry out a COSHH assessment. It stands for Control Of Substances Harmful to Health. You may think that this doesn’t apply to your firm but it does. If you are in control of a workforce of any size, you must make this risk assessment.

It involves assessing the possible exposure to any harmful substances in your workplace. It is especially pertinent in warehouses, workshops and engineering premises among others. However, it can also be relevant in a simple office set up due to factors such as indoor air quality. Printer ink is also considered to be a harmful substance. So whilst you may not think that your workplace poses any harmful substance threat, it always pays to be thorough. If you’re in any way unsure, further your learning and take a training course. Or appoint members of staff to earn the certificate then the trained staff members can pass on their knowledge and create a risk-aware workforce.

Level 2 Risk Assessment Certificate

Taking a level 2 risk assessment training course will provide you with the tools to carry out an effective risk assessment in your workplace. By understanding how risks arise, you can step to mitigate them. You’ll initially learn how to identify a hazard. Although this may seem like a common sense undertaking, some hazards are not so easily spotted.

One of the main issues in many workforces is that although a hazard has been spotted, nothing is been done about. Staff can become apathetic about it and the hazard lies dormant until it causes an accident. By then, it’s too late to safeguard your staff. Often it’s only then that something is done. A training course will coach you on the possible outcomes and the reasons why you must take immediate action.

Having staff who are aware of hazards and trained to carry out a thorough risk assessment can only benefit you as a firm. The number of days lost to occupational ill-health and workplace injuries during 2014/2015 was 27.3 million. Of this figure, 4.1 million were days lost because of an injury that happened on the job. This loss of productivity can be extremely destructive to a firm’s overall output. So, why not safeguard against it? Prevention is better than cure. Creating a culture where employees are informed and well-briefed on risks is your best weapon against costly absences. This is the ultimate aim of the Help GB Work Well movement, which you can check out on social media for more information. Let’s work together to spot hazards before they strike.

Health and Safety for Construction

Construction Companies Affected by New Health and Safety Legislation

Construction companies have definitely had to swallow a bitter pill when it comes to changes in health and safety legislation if they have been non-compliant.  There were revisions made in February and there have been heavy consequences for companies that don’t comply.  It is said to be the largest overhaul of legislation of this nature in over 40 years for not only health and safety but for corporate manslaughter and food hygiene.

Since February the BLM Health and Safety tracker have recorded that nearly 40% of construction business have not only breached legislation but have been given fines which have totalled over a massive £8 million.

A variety of things were taken into consideration before handing out these heavy fines, the size of the corporation is one of them.  Construction companies that are larger and have a turnover of over £50 million are the ones that are hit the hardest as if their offences are serious – the fine could be over £10 million.  3 of the largest cases have accumulated fines of £5.6 million and examples have also been made of Directors who were given custodial sentences.  Of course, legal fees were also applicable and totalled over £185,000 for the 3 cases.

Helen Devery is the head of the SHE Practice and she stated that if there is a large construction company that are in serious breach of any of the new legislation, then they can expect some hard-hitting fines.  It has definitely opened some eyes and more care and attention has to be placed on ensuring that everything is to the regulated standard for the sake of the company and the employees.  If you are interested in any of our health and safety training courses – please contact us for a free consultation.

What does Brexit mean for Health and Safety

What Does Brexit Mean for Health and Safety?

The whole of the UK is still reeling from the result of the EU referendum, and although many questions have been asked, one of them is “Could this mean changes to legislation?”

The concern with health and safety legislation is that although held by the UK, the policies are a mix of that implemented by the UK and the EU.  It is probable that if there was a complete exit from the EU a 2 year notice period would need to be given and during this time legislation that has been derived from the EU would still remain in place.

One of the main concerns for employees is that much of the legislation that has been derived from the EU are based on workers’ rights, so it’s natural that there has been a growing concern among UK workers.  The Framework Directive was implemented in the UK as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 is just one example of legislation that could be affected. This was put in place for companies to ensure that health and safety risks in the workplace are identified and evaluated.

Although there are growing concerns amongst UK citizens, realistically we wouldn’t expect that too much would change.  It makes sense for the UK to continue to work with the European Trade Organisation in some form which means that there would still be cooperation needed by the laws that have been enforced by the European Free Trade.

There has also been a discussion about another Scottish independence referendum since Scotland voiced their preference to remain part of the EU and further complications that could arise there.  Although there may not be a complete overhaul of laws it is likely that there will be some changes to legislation including health and safety.