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Guide to Workplace Safety and First Aid Header Image

Your Guide to Workplace Safety and First Aid

Ensuring your workplace is safe for staff, clients and the public is not just a legal requirement – it’s good business sense!  While the number of injuries (as well as fatalities) taking place at work and resultant time off has been steadily falling for the last 20 years, this is partly due to increased vigilance in health and safety practices, as well as better provisions for the response to injuries at work.  Sustaining this vigilance and level of care at work will help to protect your workforce and maintain your output.  A safe working environment will not only benefit staff morale and productivity, but reflect well on your corporate and public image, inspiring confidence in your business practices among employees and clients alike.

Signing up for effective warning of risks

The best way to ensure safety at work is through the avoidance and minimising of risks at source through safe systems of work or engineering control measures.  However, there will always be instances where risk cannot be avoided or cannot be mitigated enough to avoid significant residual risk.  Under the Health and Safety at Work (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996, signs to help to reduce these residual risks by making staff and the public aware of them and advising on any action or precautions to be taken must be provided.  These could take the form of warnings, prohibitions, mandatory requirements, fire safety or information about safe conditions.

Putting out the Fires/ Burning Questions

Despite falling fatalities and casualties, workplace fires remain a reality across the UK with 22,500 fires occurring in buildings that were not dwellings in 2012-2013.  Fire safety measures are a legal requirement for workplaces in the UK and all should have suitable and relevant procedures, equipment and signage in place to prevent, contain and react to the risk of a fire happening.  The extent of preventive and containment equipment and emergency procedures in place will depend on the amount of risk involved in the workplace and a suitable assessment should be made.

Your First Line of Defence

While you may take every precaution against accidents and hazards, accidents can and will happen in the workplace.  The important point is to be prepared for these happening.  The provision of first aid equipment and facilities and the appointment of someone responsible for these can make all the difference to the handling of workplace injuries and as such are a requirement under The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. There are a variety of first aid kits and equipment to choose from and the ones you require will depend on the nature of your workplace and the type of injuries that are likely to occur.  Your first-aid procedure and relevant training among employees should also reflect the size, nature and environment of your business.