Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

What you need to know about portable appliance testing (PAT)


Image shows the plug of a portable appliance near an electrical socketUnder the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, dutyholders (employers and self-employed people) are legally required to ensure that electronics with the potential to cause injury are maintained in a safe condition, so far as is reasonably practicable. Dutyholders are jointly responsible for equipment that is leased or provided by a contractor, unless it is solely used by the contractor.

The way in which equipment should be maintained, how often, and by whom is not dictated by law. Nevertheless, most businesses use portable appliance testing (PAT) to ensure compliance with the aforementioned regulations, to keep their customers and employees safe, and to help protect themselves from liability in the event of an electrical accident.

PAT is the process of testing and visually inspecting movable appliances such as lamps, heaters and computers to ensure that they are safe for use. The electrical test requires specialist equipment, which checks non-visual features such as polarity, earth continuity and insulation resistance.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that businesses perform a risk assessment to determine the frequency of PAT. The type of equipment, what it is…

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Workplace fitness


Photo shows office workers using the stairsFor many modern professionals, there’s a frustrating irony to their hard work--their fast- paced, high energy jobs actually prevent them from being active and healthy. While one might think high stress would equal high energy output--and thus, a fine-tuned physique--the World Health Organization says that modern, urban lifestyles are leading to a problematic increase in sedentary living.

For many other professionals, another counter-intuitive dynamic is at play--physically demanding jobs frequently lead to physical injury. In Texas alone, say Tate Law Offices, “thousands of...workers suffer work injuries” every year. Hard work, it seems, breaks bodies as often as it strengthens them.

Whether you’re in an office or on the docks, the grass over yonder often looks greener. So what’s the modern worker to do? Here are a few tips you can use to keep fit and safe, no matter where you work.

Get active at the office

If you work in an office, you’re already aware of how much time you spend sitting at chair, neglecting your health. With these small stops, you can get your blood pumping and your body moving.

  • Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Bike or wa…

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Is your business doing its bit to protect the environment?


Photo shows lots of paper around a waste paper binThe role, and education of, environmental protection is something that shouldn’t be limited to schools, science labs, or left solely down to the general public. According to the UN, the world's 3,000 biggest firms cause around $2.2 trillion worth of environmental damage - when you consider that there are around 5.2 million SMEs in the UK alone, it is very easy to see how a little more money, time, care and attention devoted to environmental protection could go a long way towards looking after our one and only planet.

There are literally countless factors that all add up to create environmental problems. There’s 5 in particular that not only contribute the most, but also are some of the easiest for businesses to adjust, and help bring down their carbon footprint whilst spending a little less in the process. They are:

Heating and insulation

Heating the World’s homes, offices, cars and more all takes vast amount of, often non-renewable, resources. Sadly, many businesses aren’t quite as cautious with their heating arrangements at work as they are in their homes - poorly managed heating schedules and timings, crossed with uninsulated offices cost. The upfront cost of workin…

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