Health and safety: Council case highlights five common problems

Common health and safety issues

NOT keeping up to date with the latest health and safety regulations can cause issues as a local council has recently found.

In August, Great Yarmouth Borough Council referred itself to the Government’s Regulator for Social Housing (RSH), after identifying a potential failure to meet health and safety regulations in some of its homes.

A review found checks for water hygiene were not always fully completed or marked as completed in records. Asbestos surveys for some properties were incomplete and around 180 properties had not had electrical inspections within the target date of every five years. The fire safety policy was not comprehensive enough and fire risk assessments were not always compliant with the most recent regulations.

In a statement, the council said: “We take the maintenance of our housing stock and the safety of our tenants and leaseholders extremely seriously. We also always aim to be upfront and transparent about any problems we discover. That’s why we voluntarily reported these issues – and our action plan to fix them – to the RSH in August.”

Work to rectify the issues should be completed by Summer 2023.

Health and safety – where do you start?

Unfortunately, for the team of experts at Acorn Safety Services, situations like this one are very common.

It highlights just how easy it can be to fall foul of the law when it comes to your health and safety responsibilities and how important it is to understand your legal obligations, work out a plan and monitor it regularly.

So where do you start?

If you’re new to facilities management or health and safety, our book, Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety will help you to understand the basics. Written by Acorn Safety Service’s directors, Ian Stone and Neil Munro, you’ll find plenty of useful information which will help you to take those first important steps towards compliance.

And if you want to learn more about the devastating effects of asbestos, our podcast, Asbestos: Knowledge Empire, will help to put you on the right track.

If time is not on your side, book in for one of 30-minute virtual surgeries where our health and safety manager, John Crockett will learn more about your business and guide you through his recommendations. You’ll find more information about this service and how to book on our website.

Bring in the experts

Getting advice from the experts is also vital and Acorn Safety Services is perfectly placed to support yourself and your business.

With decades of experience between us, our experts travel across the UK to support a wide range of private businesses and organisations, working as a trusted partner to help them with all their health and safety needs.

We recommend that fire risk assessments are carried our annually and always when there is change to your business, for example if you move the office around or if you take on new staff.

Regular water monitoring is vital, particularly if your business has spas or whirlpools which could cause customers to become infected in with Legionnaires’ Disease.

And when it comes to asbestos, it’s important never to be complacent.

If your premises were built before 2000 and you have never checked for the presence of asbestos, get a survey booked in today.

Asbestos can be hidden in all kinds of nooks and crannies and can cause a serious risk to health if it is damaged, releasing deadly asbestos fibres into the air. Prolonged exposure to these microscopic fibres can cause mesothelioma, a deadly cancer which affects the lungs and the stomach.

We are also experts in The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015), offering support to clients across the construction industry.

However we can help, get in touch today.

For all your health and safety needs visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ today or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.


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