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How Can a Photocopier Pose a Health and Safety Risk?

When people think of dangerous machinery which can pose a risk to health and safety they are more likely to think of a heavy piece of equipment in a factory rather than a photocopier. Whilst a photocopier may not be responsible for many workplace injuries when compared with other pieces of equipment, there are still numerous hazards and potential dangers associated with it.

For a start the photocopier will be powered by electricity, and with any piece of electrical equipment there is a risk of electrocution if it has faulty wiring or encounters water, or if an unqualified person attempts to perform maintenance on it either whilst it is still plugged into the mains socket or a build-up of static electricity is not properly discharged before contact with the parts.

Electrical machinery also has the potential to cause a fire if a spark were to ignite a nearby source of fuel in the form of flammable material, the most likely of which is probably stacks of paper which are stored next to it and intended to be used in the photocopier.

One of the most prevalent of dangers when it comes to machinery is that posed by moving parts. These can cause severe injuries if for example a person's hand was to become caught up in them or a loose item of clothing becomes entangled. Most modern photocopiers will cease to function if the access door is open, although there will still be a risk of trapping their fingers when manipulating the different parts and sections that make up a large industrial photocopier.

Large photocopiers which are run for extended periods of time in a business or academic institution are likely to get extremely hot, most especially the internal parts. Whilst protected by the access door/exterior cover, there is a risk of burns to anyone who accesses the internal parts to perform maintenance or clear a paper jam for example.

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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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