Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

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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Why health and safety are essentials in the workplace


The phrase ‘health and safety’ often brings to mind the image of a school inspector examining corridors meticulously for trip hazards. But there’s more to it than that; health and safety is there to protect workers from unsafe environments, such as the Sport’s Direct centre which required more than fifty ambulance visits in just two years.

What is health and safety exactly?

All workers, be they full-time, part-time or volunteer, have the right to work in an environment free from risks and hazards. Health and safety laws are the legal parameters which define what is and isn’t a risk or a hazard in a workplace environment. Legally, it’s the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the work environment is up to these legal requirements.

By ensuring that your employees are working in a safe environment, which is taking any and all precautions necessary to ensure their wellbeing, you’re giving your employees an environment in which they can flourish. If your employees don’t feel safe, or are not able to be healthy in their working environment, it’s highly likely that their quality of life will deteriorate, which will ultimately negatively affect business.

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7 industrial safety practices no company can afford to ignore


Photo shows two workers wearing head protectionWorkplace safety has become a hot-button issue in every industry. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 3 million non-life threatening injuries occurred in the workplace in 2014. The good news is, that figure is 54,000 less than it was in 2013.

We can quote statistics until the cows come home, but the bottom line is, companies still have to work very hard to minimize the risk of injuries to their employees. Three million represents only a small segment of the population, but it is still a large enough number to draw attention to safety issues that are often ignored in many workplaces.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does its part to ensure that safety information is available to every employer in every sector of the American economy, but very often, a few posters and pamphlets in break rooms is not enough to keep everyone safe. Today’s employers have to go above and beyond to ensure employees are safe no matter what type of job they perform. Safety is no longer an issue just in warehouses, construction sites, and other locations where physical labor is performed. Today, employees sitting at desks …

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The wind industry: Five vital considerations for rescue and descent systems


Photo shows a row of wind turbinesOne of the most worrying statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive in recent years shows that of all fatalities occurring in a work environment between 2013 and 2014, almost 3 out of every 10 were due to falls from height. While the HSE do not provide figures for specific industries in this context, one industry in which the potential risk of this occurring is higher than most is the wind energy industry, where working at extreme heights is an everyday necessity.

Professionals working in the wind energy industry are well aware of the risks that they face every day, but just being aware of the risks isn’t enough to reduce the chances of an incident occurring to an acceptable level. Health and safety managers must also provide construction and maintenance workers with the right equipment to stay safe.

Providing the correct equipment to lessen these risks ultimately helps to reduce the likelihood of injury or death happening in these environments. But another aspect, just as important as trying to prevent a fall from occurring, is the rescue procedure once a fall has been arrested. With the elevated risk of falls in the wind energy sector, rescue is evidently a v…

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