Even a low hazard environment has risks which could injure your staff and visitors – maybe resulting in a fine or a compensation claim. Recently I visited two “low-haz” businesses, both office environments with less than 50 staff. The risk assessments I produced for them included the ubiquitous slips, trips and falls of course. But other risks to consider included:
- VDU use – assessing staff at their workstations to make sure they don’t develop repetitive strain injuries.
- Electrical equipment – is everything PAT tested appropriately? Are there daisy-chained extension cables or overloaded sockets?
- Cleaning chemicals – CoSHH assessments to prevent damage to eyes, skin, lungs, etc. such as dermatitis or occupational asthma.
- Mains infrastructure – gas, electricity and water can all be serious hazards.
- Contractors and visitors unfamiliar with the premises – often hazards seen every day can be overlooked.
- Pregnant members of staff – these staff need to be particularly protected from hazards that wouldn’t affect most.
- Lone working – whether working on the premises alone or when driving off site.
- Manual handling – yes even carrying a box of printer paper can cause an injury, you’d be surprised.
Also, increasingly in today’s high pressure times, employers need to consider occupational stress. According to the HSE, in 2015/16 there were 11.7million working days lost due to stress, depression and anxiety; this was 45% of all days lost due to ill health.
Here’s a testimonial from the Operations Director of a business in Tamworth: