Health and safety at work and at home

Guiding you through what you need to know to stay without a scratch!

Slippery When Wet!

Slippery when wet! Health and safety

In this day and age everybody knows how important it is to make sure people are aware of hazards, no I donít mean the Bon Jovi album, I am talking about the caution wet floor style signs that you see in all sorts of places. The idea is that if there is a temporary issue say after cleaning or a spill you can bring it to peoples attention so they donít step onto a wet tiled floor unaware and slip and injure themselves. Todayís blame culture has promoted their use and hopefully kept many people safe from injury but unfortunately what people donít always think about is the placing of the sign causing the sign itself to be a hazard. The signs are designed to be brightly coloured so easy to spot but in an area where it is just out of sight such as behind a door or corner means you might not see the sign until you have tripped over it, which defeats the object of placing the sign in the first place. My local swimming baths goes a bit over the top with using the signs, all around the pool they have placed the free standing signs. Now as it is a swimming pool, the surrounding area will be wet pretty much all the time people are there. The tiles surrounding the pool are the appropriate non-slip tiles so arenít any worse off when wet but if you walk around the pool you have to step over the signs which in my mind is adding trip hazards. In cases such as a swimming pool an appropriate notice on the entrance to the pool area and wall mounted notices would make much more sense. What it really comes down to is think about your problem area and choose the correct sign for the job and think about where you are placing it! Now this image is a little tongue in cheek but it amused me.


Happy New Year

A happy new year to you all, I hope everybody had a lovely time. I certainly did, seeing the grandchildren enjoying it so much always brings a smile. Christmas is a great time of year for most but as with anything there are always some people out there who spoil it for others, you can read an example in this news report. Although the figures have started to go down over previous years there is still a rise in the number of burglaries and break-ins over the Christmas period compared to the rest of the year, a quick Google search and you will see what I mean. I am pleased to see the numbers seem to be going down over previous years and that is thanks to a lot of regions running awareness campaigns and giving warnings and advice. Most obvious things that you should do are to keep doors and windows locked and valuables out of site but other things you should be doing might be less obvious. A lot of burglaries are opportunistic and as such a passing burglar will be looking for signs that suggest an easier target such as leaving your back gate unlocked and open or signs that you have a pet as a lot of people leave the alarm off so their pets donít set them off. It is also a good idea not to leave things outside in your garden that could be used to assist in entry or escape such as tools or garden furniture that can be moved and then stood on. When it comes to bigger premises like work places, you really need to make sure that there is a proper security system in place as a lot of offices are closed between Christmas and New Year. For those situations I would strongly recommend getting some security guards backed up by a keyholding service, that way you have a security presence on site and any alarm that goes off can be monitored off site and the on site guards can be directed appropriately to deal with it.


Back in my dayÖ

Since starting this blog I decided that I would like to know a bit more about what new technology and the Internet can help us do as after all, back in my day we didnít have the world wide web. Yes it existed but its true potential seems to have been overlooked throughout my career. Talking to a (younger) friend of mine the other day he mentioned how businesses nowadays can keep many processes managed electronically using a quality management system. The benefits of a quality management system have been known for a long time and I have been a firm believer in proper implementation to make sure your business structure, data, processes etc are all managed correctly, particularly if you run a business that needs to comply with strict legislation. A manageable and maintainable quality management system could be hard to implement properly and wasnít without some drawbacks but a number of drawbacks can now be managed using technology and provide scalable solutions. Just as an example, pharmaceutical manufacturing companies have to comply with some very strict legislation so it is very important they have a quality management system that is robust but also tailored to their specific requirements.


Remember Remember the 5th November...

We all love a good bonfire and fireworks display, time to get the toffee apples out and enjoy some parkin but if you are having fireworks I implore you to be careful with them. When handled improperly fireworks can be very dangerous! A lot of firework safety is common sense such as not firing them at people or approaching lit fireworks but here is a good list of safety tips.

If you are putting on a public display remember you need to adhere to a list of safety regulations so make sure you check those out and contact your local fire brigade to tell them of your plans and ask advice if necessary, some advice can be found here.

If youíre having a bonfire party this weekend, have fun; I know I will.


Watch Out for the Water!

Rain! helath and safety - make sure you watch out for all of the water!

Perhaps the title is a little melodramatic but today Iím not telling you about the rain. Most people are well aware of water can do, most of it is very useful, however fewer people are aware of the dangers that can lurk within water which appears to be clean. In my time I have seen many small companies overlook this potentially deadly issue, Legionella control.

Legionella control is probably amongst the most vital things that should be done by companies. Control measures include testing of water systems and planning management methods to cut bacterial populations. Legionella is often found in cooling towers, industrial air-conditioning systems, swimming pools, fountains, hot water systems, and whirlpool spas. I believe it is essential that you consult an expert to evaluate the risks of Legionella and to test your water supply. Industrial water sources are more commonly contaminated by Legionella but remember it is not limited to them.

The government have fortunately got advice and more information about the subject on the HSE Legionella page.


Where does the time go?

So after an initial flurry of interest in setting up my new blog and adding my first post I got sidetracked by the (albeit wet) summer. I am back now though and being retired I donít have to go out on the cold, wet days that I am sure will be coming up. Speaking of the wet weather, playing in the rain is one of the things that I loved to do as a child. At that age you are unmindful of your outfit getting wet and the colds that Ďthe grown-upsí warned you about. Well, as a grown-up who has spent a long time telling people how important it is to stay dry, I do have fun in the rain sometimes, finding the kid in me but remember, strolling down the street from your workplace or working outdoors and getting sopping wet due to a unexpected downpour is certainly not amusing!


Harry Jenkins is On the Web!!!!

Who am I?

Harry Jenkins at your service, your health and safety guru.

Before I retired, earlier this year, I used to be a health and safety trainer.

My daughter told me that I would go mad with boredom when I retired, and guess what - she was right.

"You need to keep your mind working, Dad", she said, "Why not start a blog and share what you know - you will probably really enjoy it".

Well lets see if I do :)