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Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Infographic: How to treat and dispose of bed bug infested furniture safely

11-04-2017

There aren’t many things worse than having a bed bug infestation in your home or business premises, but if you do, you need to know how to deal with it in the safest way possible. Not just for your own household, but for the local community. One of the main points to consider when it comes to safely treating bed bugs, and to avoid spreading them in the community, is how to dispose of infected furniture. Disposal needs to be the last resort when it comes to infected mattresses and soft furnishings, and it is mainly not necessary.

There are a lot of treatment options and techniques you can use to eradicate these pests before you have to throw away your furniture. Put all removable fabrics in the laundry, and use the hottest heat setting to destroy bed bugs, which are extremely sensitive to heat. Vigilant vacuuming of the mattress is also a must, and always empty the cylinder into a sealed bag to prevent any of them from escaping.

Chemical treatments can be used, but apart from the obvious health and safety risks to people, animals and the environment, they are not so effective. Pests build up resistance to insecticides, and in any case, they do not kill their eggs.

Profess…

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On the lookout for occupational asthma

11-04-2017

Photo shows an inhaler

People who develop asthma because of the type of work they do have what's known as occupational asthma. It's actually referred to as adult-onset asthma and accounts for up to 15% of asthma cases in adults. What's more, it's believed that in certain industries, as many as 10% of workers develop occupational asthma.

That's a lot of people being struck down by a condition that can be distressing and debilitating for them, and costly for their employers. Already, the UK has one of the worst instances of worker absence in the world due to illness. A study by accountancy firm PwC found that employees in the UK take as much as four times more absence annually because of sickness, compared to other countries. That’s an average absence of 9.1 days and it costs companies £29 billion a year.

Clearly, employers are not only legally and duty bound to provide a safe working environment for their personnel, but they also want to reduce the possibility of any kind of illness that may lead to days off and loss of productivity. With occupational asthma, some sectors are inherently more hazardous than others, such as the chemical and paint industries, where workers are exposed to dangero…

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11 ways to boost your health and safety culture

08-03-2017

Photo shows happy people talking in an office 

Promoting a strong health and safety (H&S) culture is not rocket science, but it takes time, effort and resources!

The overall culture in a company has a tremendous effect on the health and safety performance of employees. Culture is a notoriously tricky concept to pin down and fully understand. In slightly vague terms, the H&S culture of an organisation is the summation of groups values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies and behavioural patterns (Health and Safety Executive). These together determine the commitment to, and the style of, H&S management.

Here are some warning signs you need to be careful off, some signs that you’re on the right track, and some solid advice for boosting your health and safety culture.

Warning signs of a poor health and safety culture

  • There is little demonstrated commitment to H&S from senior management.
  • There’s a natural tendency to rationalise shortcuts when under pressure, especially when nothing bad happens.
  • The risk assessment was just another ‘job to be done’ and therefore lacks proper risk conceptualisation.
  • Employees are not aware of, or don’t understand, the organisation's safety policy.
  • Accidents are…

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