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Health and Safety Article - Stability

The stability of equipment, stock, items of furniture; in fact pretty much anything in the workplace is often overlooked but is just one vital aspect of creating a safe place of work, as unstable objects can cause serious injuries or even kill a person if they were to fall on top of them. Whilst light objects can still cause injuries, heavy items can be particularly damaging. Items which fall from above such as those stacked up high are likely to impact upon a person's head first as that is the highest point of the body when a person stands up. The resulting blow to the head can cause concussion or skull damage, and if the person is rendered unconscious, they may injure themselves further as they fall to the ground.

Health and safety risks with regards to stability are not just limited to items which are high up. Not only can machines and items which are situated on the ground topple over and crush a worker, but certain machinery needs to be stable when it is operated, otherwise it could pose a danger no the person using it. For example, circular saw benches need to be stable otherwise there is a real risk of the operator cutting into their hand and doing themselves a nasty injury. In fact, the sufficient stability of machinery and equipment is so important that it is referred to in the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 (PUWER).

Virtually every place of work will have a risk from unstable items, whether it be a workshop which has cutting machinery, a laundrette containing big heavy washing machines, or an office with boxes of stationery piled high or up on shelves. The stability and location of items is just a small part of the overall practice of good health and safety at work, and often goes hand-in-hand with other elements such as manual handling and training in office safety.

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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