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Why a Chair is a Crucial Health and Safety Component

With so many different types and styles of chairs in existence, they can often get overlooked as simply pieces of furniture which do not play much of a part in health and safety. When employers think about health and safety in the workplace, in addition to health and safety training courses they are likely to think of safety features which prevent horrific injuries and deaths from machinery or hazardous substances. The humble chair is likely to come quite far down the list in terms of issues, but nevertheless it is still a factor which needs consideration.

A chair will be a health and safety issue for those who spend most of their working day sat down. Those particularly at risk therefore include office workers and those at assembly lines who sit down to perform their particular task. The significant amount of time spent sitting in the same position means that it is vitally important for the chair to be comfortable and support the individual in a suitable posture.

Without providing this suitable support, over time a person will begin to develop certain troubles such as back problems. This can be extremely painful and debilitating, not to mention causing a serious amount of disruption and inconvenience to the company when the employee has to take time off work and they need to either suffer from a drop in overall output or spend time and money in finding a temporary replacement.

The serious consequences of an inadequate chair have meant that it is now a legal requirement in a lot of countries for employers to conduct ergonomic assessments of the workplace and provide workers with equipment such as a suitable chair, foot rests, wrist rests and back supports.

The early years of health and safety focused upon preventing deaths and serious injuries which, although commendable, did not extend very much towards less dramatic injuries such as those caused by inadequate manual handling techniques or poor sitting posture. As the years went by though, more and more attention was given to worker well-being and their welfare, as evidenced by the syllabus of the NEBOSH General Certificate course which contains a number of elements on topics including manual handling, psychological issues, employee welfare facilities etc, and not just focusing solely on accident prevention.

Employee welfare and well-being is an important part of modern-day health and safety provisions, and is something which all health and safety managers need to be aware of and implement within their organisation.

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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