Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Five ways to avoid the Fawlty Towers fire drill debacle


John Cleese and the Fawlty Towers team are extremely good at injecting hilarious farce into otherwise ordinary situations. I laugh out loud every time I watch any episode, including the episode where Basil Fawlty incompetently conducts a fire drill (This is the sixth episode of the first series entitled The Germans).

As the hilarity grows and the confusion increases, though, there is an important message underneath the slapstick. In between the drill and the actual fire that Manuel starts in his panic, Basil Fawlty believes the 'ordeal' to be over and says: “Well that ought to keep the fire department happy for another six months. I do not know why we bother!” When a drill is conducted the way he has done it, he is right to wonder its use, as the exercise did no good for anyone.

When you are starting and even once you are running a business, procedures such as a drill can feel superfluous to your core business practices and can be easily overlooked, but when they are done in the right way they are essential to safety in premises that hold more than a handful of people.

A fire drill is not conducted for the fire department; it is not done to keep anyone off your bac…

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Benefits of ergonomics in the workplace


Photo shows workers in an office

How much money does your company invest annually in office furniture? The chairs and desks your employees use could be costing you unnecessary money — especially if they do not promote proper posture or do not allow users to adjust the headrest, armrest and back. In a survey of 250 companies, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries found several benefits provided by ergonomics — the study of worker productivity and safety. Consider improving your office furniture as you bring these benefits to your company today.

Reduce Injuries

When you're forced to sit in an uncomfortable position all day, you could experience pain in your neck, shoulders, wrists, arms and back. Employees also complain of numbness, tingling, difficulty moving, stiff joints and muscle loss when their workstations are not ergonomic.

This pain is the first step toward a potential injury. Carpal tunnel, back disc deterioration and headache are three of several chronic injuries that can occur because of poor posture. By investing in ergonomic office furniture, you can reduce these injuries and keep your workforce safe and healthy.

Improve Productivity

Employees who sit in uncomfor…

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Health and safety in the Tattoo Parlour


Photo show a tattoo parlour

Tattoos have always been popular, but in recent years’ tattoos have become less of a taboo and moved more into the mainstream, with 1 in 5 adults in the UK having a tattoo. A study has also shown that 1 in 10 people with a tattoo experienced problems with their tattoo, including swelling, itching, infection and redness, with some people in the study’s complications from the tattoo lasting years.

Obviously, tattoos do come with quite a few risks, we have put together a list of some of the main health and safety hazards in the tattoo studio and how they should be prevented:

  1. Cross Contamination – Cross contamination is the spreading of germs, bacteria and/or disease by carrying them from an infected surface to a non-infected surface.  Cross contamination can happen in the tattoo parlour if a tattoo artist was to place their tools on a counter that isn't disinfected. Failing to sterilise the instruments before the next procedure leaves both the customer and the artist themselves vulnerable to cross-contamination. Tattooing chairs and counters in tattoo studios should be disinfected between each customer and artists should also wear the appropriate gloves and clean r…

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4 essential safety tips for operating a cherry picker


Photo shows a worker using a cherry picker to work at heightCherry pickers – also known variously as elevated work platforms, basket cranes or man lifts – are movable access platforms that can be extremely useful for working at height. Mounted onto a truck, these machines provide high level access for many commercial applications including maintenance and cleaning, roofing and guttering, construction and tree surgery, to mention a few.

When it comes to safety, it only takes a brief look at the latest health and safety statistics to see that working at height contributes hugely to injuries at work. In fact, falls from height are the biggest cause of fatal injury in workplaces in the UK.

Choosing the right equipment for elevated access work is key. In many situations, using a cherry picker is not only the quickest, cheapest and least intrusive alternative to scaffolding platforms or towers, it can also be the safest option by far.

That said, as a baseline it is highly recommended to observe these four safety tips before operating a cherry picker.

  1. Check ground conditions

Before working with a cherry picker, make sure that the ground is level and suitable to work on. You shouldn’t use a cherry picker:

  • On unstable…

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