ALAN Price, managing director of Peninsula Scotland – the employment law and health & safety consultancy – has urged Scottish employers to conduct regular risk assessments if they wish to provide a safe working environment for their workforce.
Alan Price, managing director of Peninsula Scotland, said today: “Trips slips and falls are potentially a problem for many employers however with a common sense approach they can easily be reduced or indeed eliminated completely.
“We use something called a ‘risk assessment’, this is a preventive measure, a thorough check of the risks associated and how, as an employer, you can look at providing a solution to any potential threat of an accident.
“Sadly, not all employers conduct regular risk assessments, they think of them as a chore more than something that could safeguard their employees and visitors.”
Alan continued: “The first thing is do is to designate someone to look after your health & safety obligations, this person should be trained and know what they are doing.
“They should look at conducting a risk assessment, a thorough check of the safety risks associated to your workplace, from chairs to desks through to wiring and the potential risk of slips and falls.”
Price adds: “There should be no compromise when it comes to health & safety you should take no shortcuts. Many businesses are put off by the cost of health & safety; however, you have to remember that the costs will significantly increase should an accident occur or, even worse, a fatality.
“So, conducting a risk assessment will significantly help reduce the chance of this occurring however you also need to remember that any safety issues raised from such an assessment are actioned.
“There is little use in you conducting a risk assessment if you have no intention of acting upon the findings, so it’s important that you take the exercise seriously.”
Alan explained: “Depending on the nature of your business, the type of health & safety risks and the severity of these issues will differ greatly.
“In the traditional office environment, slips, trips or falls will generally be the main concern; however, in situations where machinery is operated the potential dangers are far more severe.
“It is utterly essential that all machinery is regularly tested to ensure it is working correctly, as well as making sure that all staff that operate such machines are fully-trained and competent.
“It is also wise take a review of workplace stress, no matter what kind of business you run or the industry you work in, handling workplace stress for your staff is a vital responsibility for an employer.
“Fail to treat it as a priority may result in you being taken to employment tribunal.”
Alan Price concludes: “So, finally when conducting a risk assessment make sure you have all the basics covered, a competent person is there to undertake the assessments and that they are conducted on a regular basis, at least annually or when there has been a significant workplace change.
“Follow these steps and you significantly reduce the chance of a workplace accident; however, remember you cannot entirely eliminate the risk of an accident but at least you can prove that you have taken every step possible to minimise the chances.”
Notes to editor:
Alan Price is managing director of Peninsula Scotland.
Peninsula Scotland is an employment law consultancy and health & safety consultancy based at Skypark, Glasgow. It is also a subsidiary of Peninsula Business Services.
For further clarification, please contact Sammual – James McLoughlin on 0161 827 8511.
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