7 things you can do to make your workplace safer
When it comes to workplace safety you can’t be too careful – if an accident occurs you may not get a second chance. It’s important to take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of injuries and keep your workforce safe.
Here are some simple tips to help you ensure your workplace is as safe as it can possibly be.
Let’s start with the basics - keep your workplace tidy. A little housekeeping can go a long way! Don’t let cardboard boxes or other combustible items accumulate, especially not in cupboards or rooms where the fuseboard is located. Keep walkways and emergency exits clear, paying particular attention to areas under the stairs. Ensure that all electrical equipment is turned off at the end of the day. These things may seem obvious but sometimes the simple things are overlooked.
Call in the experts
Always use qualified, skilled engineers for work on an electrical or gas system. Not only is this the sensible thing to do, when it comes to gas it is a legal requirement! Choose a suitable electrical contractor registered with either NICEIC or ECA. For gas, both the company and the engineers must be Gas Safe registered.
Keep appliances maintained
Regular testing of your electrical appliances is a must as it ensures the ongoing safety of your employees. The frequency of testing depends on the appliance and its environment. Sometimes you may not know the correct frequency, so hire an expert and they will offer advice to make sure your business is compliant.
Never overload extension outlets
You have a lot of office appliances, but not enough sockets. Don’t allow yourself to be enticed by extension cables and adapters. They may solve a short-term problem, however when you overload an electrical socket you also create a fire hazard. The safest way to deal with this issue is to install additional sockets. Alternatively, follow these basic steps:
- When using an extension reel always unravel the entire cable length
- Daisy chaining is dangerous - Never plug an extension lead into another!
- If you notice that a lead has become scorched or burned, stop using it immediately
Conduct a weekly fire alarm test
If your building has a fire alarm installed, then you may not be aware that you are required to test it weekly. It’s a simple process - all you need to do is activate one of the call points (a different one each week) to ensure the alarm sounds. Make sure the alarm can be heard in all areas of the building. A special key is used to activate a call point, so you don’t need to break the glass! Finally, a record of these weekly tests must be kept in a fire logbook.
Simply having a fire extinguisher on-site isn’t enough. Your workplace’s emergency plan should include the provision of fire-fighting apparatus suitable to your environment and building. Ensure that the number and type of extinguisher present on site is sufficient to alleviate the fire risks. Extinguishers should be obviously visible and easily accessible and any employees likely to use them should be given the relevant training.
Keep boilers and flues clear
It’s important to ensure that the area around your boiler and the external flue is kept clear at all times. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm is essential, but should never be used as an alternative to having your gas appliances serviced. This is a legal requirement and must be done annually.
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