Whether you’re an employer or an employee, health and safety is an important issue in the workplace. It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure the correct rules, policies and procedures are adhered to.
We’ve compiled a list of five common health and safety issues, so you can check your working environment complies with current regulations.
- Employees must wear protective equipment
In an industrial work place, nobody should perform tasks without wearing general or task-specific personal protective equipment. Ensure everyone has access to the correct PPE and be vigilant at all times – there are no exceptions when it comes to health and safety.
- The correct tools must be used, and held in a safe manner
Just as employees must always wear appropriate personal protective equipment, they must always use the right tools for the job. It’s also important that tools are held and used in the correct manner because straining can cause serious injury.
- Prevent the risk of fire
An office, a garage, a factory… wherever you work, the rules about fire are the same. The law requires that employers carry out a fire risk assessment, identify safety measures that are needed and put them in place. Regular reviews must be taken, so that the fire risk assessment is up to date. A fire safety action plan must be drawn up, which may be asked for by the local Fire Prevention Officer.
- Appoint a first aider
In every workplace, there should be one person in charge of first aid. This person will be responsible for calling an ambulance if an employee gets injured or feels ill – but they should only give first aid if they have been on a training course and have received a certificate. It’s also the job of the first aider to be in charge of the first aid box and make sure it’s always fully equipped. The person responsible for first aid must always be on site, so it’s often necessary to appoint two first aiders, to cover holidays and sick days.
- Be aware of paint fumes
It’s often overlooked that paint gives off fumes, but it’s not safe for employees to be in a building when painting work is being carried out. Paint fumes can cause headaches and nausea and it’s every employer’s responsibility to provide and maintain a safe working environment. It may cost more money to vacate the office while painting work is going on, but it’s vital for the health of all employees.
It might be up to the employer to ensure their office/industrial workplace is safe for employees, but it’s everyone’s job to comply with health and safety regulations and speak up when a health and safety rule is being violated.