Health and safety is “common sense” right?! It is but sometimes, it can feel and look like a minefield. As an employer, you have a duty of care to your staff, contractors and anyone else who visits or attends your premises. External expert help is available, especially when you have to deal with specific health and safety issues. What are they?
Outside specialist health and safety help is something many businesses look for but the Health and Safety Executive is clear – this does not negate the employers’ legal responsibility for health and safety in the workplace.
But there are specific health and safety issues that you may struggle to resolve or minimise the risks of. This could be because you don’t have the skills nor experience to identify the solutions. What could these look like?
Ergonomics is the science of studying people’s efficiency in the workplace. As part of your health and safety manual, you may have identified that manual handling, for example, is a hazard that poses a significant risk to your staff.
The operating of machinery, for example, or office staff being sat or stood at desks or workstations would come under the umbrella term of ‘ergonomics’. Some of these issues are relatively common and well known but others are more difficult.
For example, humidity in the workplace – if that is an issue, how is that graded in terms of risk?
The recent pandemic has thrown many challenges our way, particularly in the shape of health and safety relating to managing risks and the health of workers at work.
The result is that staff will need to wear different kinds of PPE, understand how to use it safely and so on. There is also the issue of cleaning in the workplaces, including deep cleans and infection control.
For many businesses, this is a specialist knowledge that extends beyond their usual cleaning team or janitor and that means seeking specialist external health and safety advice.
Fitness for work issues
Another issue that has come to the fore recently has been the issue of fitness for work. When the SARS-CoV2 virus started to make its way into the UK, people who were considered vulnerable in terms of their health (and age) were advised to shield.
Now, several months later, businesses are being encouraged by the Government to bring their employees back to the workplace but, with COVID-19 cases still apparent in the UK, is everyone deemed fit for work?
Also, what actions or changes will you make to the workplace? Is it just about PPE? When there are specific sets of issues in terms of health and safety, an expert from outside of the organisation can be the person you turn to find the right answers for you.
Compliance with more complex areas of health and safety
It is common sense, but only to a certain degree as there are areas of health and safety in the workplace that are specific and complex. An outside expert can see not only the bigger picture but has the knowledge base to minimise risks in complex areas of concern.