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World day for safety and health at work

This year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work will be held on Thursday 28th April and workplace equipment supplier Slingsby says it is a great opportunity for employers to ensure all their health and safety obligations are up to date.

The day forms part of an international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent working conditions around the globe.  It is organised by the International Labour Organisation, which the UK is a founding member of.

To help those employers that don’t have a dedicated health and safety team, Slingsby, which supplies more than 35,000 workplace products across all industries, has produced a checklist, outlining some of the main areas that businesses need to consider when they are evaluating their health and safety procedures:-

A health and safety policy – all businesses with five or more employees need an up to date written policy.  Procedures should also be in place for consulting and informing employees about health and safety matters.
Risk assessments – these are required for specific hazards which could include COSHH, manual handling, lone working, noise and contractor procedures.
Health and safety equipment inspections – necessary for equipment where significant risks to health and safety may arise as a result of things being broken or incorrectly installed, such as fire extinguishers, lifting equipment and electrical appliances.  Records of these inspections should also be kept.
The Health and Safety law poster – employers are required to display these in a prominent position.  Staff who work remotely should be given a copy of the HSE’s health and safety law leaflet or pocket card.
Accident book – everyone in the organisation should be aware of accident reporting procedures, as well as details of fire and first aid arrangements.
Emergency exits – must be easily identifiable and there should be unobstructed access to escape routes.
Training – depending on individual risks, it may be necessary to provide specialist health and safety training.  Records of this training should also be kept.
Signage – often the easiest and most cost-effective way to warn of potential hazards.

The theme for this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work is ‘Workplace Stress: A Collective Challenge’ which aims to raise awareness of global trends surrounding work-related stress and its impact.

As a result, Slingsby has compiled a list of tips to help employers create a stress free working environment:-

Mess often equals stress so encourage people to maintain tidy work stations by providing good storage solutions and filing systems.
Playing soft music and encouraging employees to regularly leave their work stations can make a big difference to stress levels.
Providing adequate break areas, where people can relax over lunch, is a great way to help employees reenergise during their break times.
High quality, comfortable and ergonomic desks and chairs make a big difference in enabling people to focus and work productively.
Adding personal items to workstations, such as photographs or decorations, can be effective in reducing stress.
Encouraging people to exercise, either by taking a walk at lunchtime or cycling to work, is proven to reduce stress levels.

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