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An Expanding Business Needs Health and Safety Reviews and Updates


Introduction

It is already well-known that a business needs to safeguard the health and safety of their employees by providing health and safety training and performing such tasks as risk assessments. Safety training will increase the knowledge of workers with regards to their awareness of risks and dangers which may adversely impact their well-being, and can reduce the likelihood of them bringing about a situation or initiating a sequence of events which causes an incident such as a fire or explosion.

A failure to provide training in health and safety matters, or to conduct reviews and risk assessments of the current state of the business, will leave it vulnerable to a situation which results in injury, ill-health or death to one or more persons which could have been avoided. Even if nobody were to die or even be adversely affected in any way, the incident could still cause harm to the environment in the form of pollutants and destruction of habitat for creatures living nearby. It may also be the precursor to a much larger incident which would in fact have a significant impact upon all forms of life that happened to be in the vicinity at the time.



Many Risk Assessments Only Look at the Current Hazards and Dangers

One of the drawbacks to many risk assessments and safety reviews is that, even if they are conducted on a regular basis, they will usually still only focus upon the current risks and hazards that have the possibility to impact health, safety and wellbeing. Although the pace will vary amongst different organisations and industries, a workplace is a changing environment where different processes, materials and numbers of people are just some of the factors which are frequently changing as the company alters output, adjusts to changing market conditions etc.

Many businesses may only perform a risk assessment at certain times such as once a year for example, no matter what major changes and alterations have taken place throughout the year. This is a mistake as significant changes can create and bring about new risks which were not otherwise an issue beforehand.



Expanding Businesses Need Frequent Risk Assessments

One particular occurrence and a prime case in point is an expanding businesses which makes substantial modifications and adjustments to the working environment throughout the year, but does not perform additional risk assessments that incorporate the additional dangers or potential situations which are brought about as a result of these changes. Just some of the innumerable risks and issues to take into consideration include:

  • A large increase in employee numbers may mean existing emergency assembly areas are too small to accommodate this larger body of people. Some workers may therefore have to assemble too close to the building, putting them in danger should a fire or explosion take place and they are not at a safe distance.
  • Training budgets will need to be raised to ensure that all of the additional employees receive appropriate health and safety training. The type of training will be a decision for the managers to make; whether workers need a NEBOSH General Certificate qualification, or specialise in a fire or construction safety course, or just undertake a short health and safety course which just lasts one day or even half a day and provides a basic overview of health and safety issues.
  • Evacuation times may be slower, and additional exits and escapes may need to be installed in order to facilitate larger numbers of people who are required to evacuate the premises in the event of an incident. Corridors may also need to be widened in order to support a larger amount of foot traffic.
  • Welfare facilities will need to be improved and additional facilities such as toilets and drinking water amenities installed. Health and safety is not just concerned with preventing accidents and injuries; it also incorporates the provision of welfare facilities to employees.
  • An increased amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will need to be bought and paid for if there are a greater number of people performing a task.
  • A large workforce that is producing a greater output and consuming more input materials and substances will mean that greater quantities of these materials and substances need to be stored on site. Typically the greater the quantity, the higher the risk level in terms of the amount of damage which can be done to the environment and to the health, safety and well-being of people (both workers and members of the public). Risk assessments and provisions need to be conducted and measures put in place to store hazardous substance safely and securely, not only preventing an incident such as an explosion or leak, but also to contain any potentially dangerous situation should such an incident take place (e.g. creating blast-proof walls around the storage area to contain any explosion which may take place).



Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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