Did you hear that school children were made to wear goggles to play conkers or that throwing snowballs has been banned due to ‘Health and Safety’? There was even a school that banned goggles during swimming lessons due to fear of them snapping.
Everyone laughs Health and Safety off when they hear stories like this. But if you’re a tradesman, it’s probably best not to dismiss it too quickly. Fatal falls, deadly gas and live wires are but a few of the dangers British tradesmen can happen upon daily.
The HSE reports that smaller building firms or sole traders are most at risk of injury on a job. 60% of fatalities among sole traders and small business’ are related to ladder, scaffolding and roofing falls. In the UK alone, 5000 workers also die every year from exposure to asbestos.
These numbers are shocking. And sadly a lot of them could be prevented if proper health and safety measures had been taken. We’re not talking conker protection outfits, but more along the lines of respiratory masks and following proper site guidelines.
1. It’s always important to make sure you are wearing appropriate protective clothing for the job that is being carried out. This might be safety boots, goggles, masks, helmets or high vis clothing.
2. Making sure to use the correct tools, equipment and machinery will also keep work going to plan. Using the wrong equipment can cause unnecessary accidents.
3. When working in a customer's home - make sure they are not entering the working area if there is open ground, hazardous substances or power tools lying around. Stay alert when working on a job for the vulnerable or near young children and pets. Keep an eye on anyone who does enter your work area.
4. When a job has been completed, make sure all waste is disposed of safely and correctly.
RS Components have kindly provided us with some goodies as part of their Health And Safety week campaign Stay Safe For Less. They have also published a series of new guides and a Health and Safety Checklist on their website, each designed to help customers.