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Health & Safety of Sedentary Workers

Sedentary lifestyles are commonplace among office workers, but to make matters worse, a large portion of employees don’t feel encouraged to lead an active lifestyle.

Top Tips on Managing the Health & Safety of Sedentary Workers

Sedentary working increases the risk of developing certain health problems and can have a long-term impact on employees’ psychological wellbeing.

As an employer, you are responsibility for the wellbeing of your employees. Here’s a few guidelines on how you can effectively manage the health & safety of your sedentary workers:

  1. Encourage gentle exercise and walking throughout the day to improve circulation
  2. Ensure any employees that are seated for most of the day take regular breaks
  3. Consider rotating tasks such as filing, photocopying, or even making a coffee
  4. Train key staff on how to use an AED, and how to perform CPR
  5. Get consent to share medical information with relevant managers and first aiders
  6. Encourage all staff to drink water to combat dehydration—this can exacerbate any existing medical conditions, particularly in sedentary roles

Contact us should you require assistance 

Potential Circular Saw Safety Mistakes

Potential Circular Saw Safety Mistakes

It is statistically shown that more severe, debilitating injuries occur from the table saw than any other woodworking machine or power tool. When it comes to handheld woodworking power tools, the circular saw may take that crown as the most dangerous.

Safety Equipment

While using a circular saw always remember to wear the safety equipment. Never forget things like

  • Wearing a dust mask.
  • Using hearing protection.
  • Wearing safety glasses.
  • Avoid loose-fitting clothing.
  • Don’t wear any kind of jewellery.
  • Don’t let your hair stay loose.

These common safety protections will reduce the chances of accidents. Don’t take them too lightly. They sound silly, but one of the most major facts of the circular saw safety guard.

1) You’re Placing the Saw Upright, Not on It’s Side
Oh no, I am definitely guilty of making some of these Circular Saw mistakes! Take a look to make sure you're operating your circular saw power tool safely and effectively! #HomeImprovement #DIY #PowerTools #Safety #AButterflyHouseOh no, I am definitely guilty of making some of these Circular Saw mistakes! Take a look to make sure you're operating your circular saw power tool safely and effectively! #HomeImprovement #DIY #PowerTools #Safety #AButterflyHouse

If put down incorrectly, the user could get injured. Do not put the saw down before it has stopped moving. Place the saw on its side, and you’ll avoid this problem entirely.

2) When Carrying the Saw, Your Finger Is on the Trigger

I feel like this one is obvious once you think about it, but not something we ever stop and actually think about. If your finger is on the trigger and you trip and fall, you might press the trigger and start the saw, which would probably have bad consequences. Find another way to carry your saw.

3) You’re Supporting Your Piece on Both Sides

This seems like a good idea. If your piece is supported and clamped on both sides, then nothing will fall to the floor when you’re done cutting. I suppose that logic is technically correct, but you’ll rarely be able to finish cutting without encountering kickback. The two pieces sag toward the middle as you finish the cut, pinching the blade and causing kickback.

4) You’re Standing Directly Behind Your Saw/Cut

If kickback occurs, the saw will fly right into you. Stand a little to the left or right, therefore if kickback occurs, you wont be directly hit by the saw.

5) You’re Cutting with Dull Blades

This increases the likelihood of kickback. Enough said.

6) You’re Setting the Saw Depth Too Deep
Oh no, I am definitely guilty of making some of these Circular Saw mistakes! Take a look to make sure you're operating your circular saw power tool safely and effectively! #HomeImprovement #DIY #PowerTools #Safety #AButterflyHouse

This is bad for a couple reasons: A) The more saw that needs to go through the wood, the harder the saw has to work. The harder the saw has to work, the more likely it is to kickback. Keeping the saw at the appropriate depth therefore reduces kickback. B) The deeper the saw, the more the blade will be exposed. This increases the likelihood that it will come in contact with a human appendage.

Oh no, I am definitely guilty of making some of these Circular Saw mistakes! Take a look to make sure you're operating your circular saw power tool safely and effectively! #HomeImprovement #DIY #PowerTools #Safety #AButterflyHouse

The appropriate saw depth is 1/4″ more than the piece you’re cutting. Any deeper, and you’re setting is too deep!

7) You’re Wearing Gloves

Yes, wood has splinters, and gloves seem like a good idea. But they increase the risk of your hands getting caught in the saw, so they are a big no-no when operating any power tool.

I hope there was at least one thing on this list you learned about operating a circular saw, and the circular saw safety mistakes people commonly make. If so, make sure to subscribe to my email list; I plan to do a whole sequence of posts for all sorts of power tools, so make sure you don’t miss out!

Tips

  • Always remember to wait for the circular saw blade to stop. When it stops completely, only then you can do whatever you want to do with it. 
  • Never forget to check the whole set of the circular saw you’re going to use for cutting any element. Make sure that all of its parts are working properly.
  • Don’t forget to check the material you’re going to cut. Check carefully if there’s any screws or nails already on the material. If so, remove them before starting to cut.
  • Keep the blade always safe by leaving the blade guard to pivot.
  • Don’t act over smart. Keep maintaining a perfect balance of your full body and also on the cutting board.
  • Use both hands while cutting with a circular saw so that you get more comfort and stability.
  • Always remember to consult the new manual whenever you’re going to replace the saw equipment.

Contact us if you wish to discuss this topic.

 

What Should be in a First Aid Box

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require first-aid equipment to be provided as required and state that it should be easily accessible. The minimum requirement is to provide a first-aid box, clearly marked and containing essential first-aid equipment.

There is no defined list of mandatory contents in the regulations. What you include in each box should be determined by your first-aid needs risk assessment.

Reference may be made to the national standard, BS 8599-1:2019 Workplace First-Aid Kits. Most first-aid kits for sale on the market comply with this standard but you are free to include different contents as dictated by your local needs.

Reference might also be made to the example list included in the guidance on the regulations published by the HSE. Appendix 2 of L74 First-Aid at Work states that typical first-aid box contents in a low hazard environment will include:

  • 20 individually-wrapped sterile plasters
  • two sterile eye pads
  • two individually-wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile
  • six safety pins
  • individually-wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings (two large and six medium-sized)
  • at least three pairs of disposable gloves
  • a first-aid leaflet.

It is advised that the choice of gloves is made with reference to the risks of allergies caused by some latex gloves. Latex-free or nitrile (synthetic rubber) gloves are available.

Scissors or shears, cleansing wipes and a contents list (for restocking purposes) are also commonly included in first-aid boxes. HSE’s Basic Advice on First-Aid at Work is a good example of a leaflet to include.

L74 recommends that tablets and medicines should not be kept in the first-aid container.

The size, number and placement of your first-aid boxes will also be determined by your first-aid needs assessment. Considerations will include the number of employees, remoteness from emergency medical support, and the category of hazard identified in the workplace environment.

Boxes should be placed around the premises where they will be needed most and where they can be accessed easily.

Any vehicles run by the organisation should have a first-aid travelling kit on board (see L74 for details).

First-aid boxes should be regularly checked and restocked or replaced as necessary. Many items in a first-aid kit will have a limited shelf-life and should be checked to ensure they are still in date.

If you require first aid training, email us for approved suppliers.

If you have any queries, please contact us.

 

The Importance of Health and Safety Training for Directors and Executives

The safest workplaces are those where health and safety standards are set at a high level – from the very top right down to the very bottom. You have to lead by example and encourage everyone to adopt a safe and compliant attitude across the entire organisation. Ignorance is never a defence if your find yourself in the middle of a RIDDOR investigation.

As a director you have a responsibility to educate yourself about health and safety. You need to know what your role is in ensuring a safe, as well as productive, workplace. Being an executive, getting that title of director, comes with a price – ultimately the buck stops at your desk.

The good news is that, although you need to know the broad outline of health and safety regulations, you don’t need to commit the fine detail to memory. That means you can fit a health and safety course into a single day.

Here are courses that top management could do.

CITB Directors Role for health and safety

IOSH Leading Safety

IOSH Safety for Executives and Directors

If you require advice on booking a course or finding a supplier, please contact us.

We can point you in the right direction.

 

Drug Testing in the Workplace

Laws on random drug testing in the workplace

Drug testing can be quite a difficult and time-consuming policy to establish. Remember, an organisation must have consent from its employees to test them for drugs. This consent is usually included in the individual’s contract.

The law imposes various requirements on employers who wish to undertake random drug testing in the workplace. These include:

• limiting drug testing to the specific group of employees that the organisation needs to test

• ensuring the tests are random

• not singling out an employee unless justified by the nature of their job.

If there is a policy, with procedures in place and an employer has good reasons for testing for drugs — whether it is essential to do so for certain roles or where there is reasonable cause to believe an employee is under the influence — and someone refuses to take the test, the employer may resort to disciplinary action.

Dealing with drugs in the workplace

So, once an organisation has established when testing is applicable, how does it go about the testing?

There are three different types of workplace drug and alcohol testing.

  1. Pre-employment: This tends to be the most common form but it’s also the least effective. This is because it’s based on a urine sample that an individual can easily dilute or substitute.
  2. Post-incident: As the name suggests, testing in this case follows a health and safety incident.
  3. Random: When a group of individuals consent to testing and you pick a handful of them to test at random.

To effectively test for drugs, the testing must be carried out by an individual with the correct qualifications from the UK Accreditation Service. They’ll conduct the testing.

The testing procedure must also comply with the International Standard for Laboratories. Failing to do this will mean the results are void.

Drug tests tend to work in a similar way, no matter which substance you are testing for. The most common package test is for cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepine, and opiates.

What to do if drugs are found in the workplace

If you happen to find physical evidence of employees using or storing drugs in the workplace, you still have to follow your process.

  • Refer back to your drug and alcohol policy and stick to it.
  • Document where, how, why, and who found the drugs, as well as any witnesses, previous complaints, concerns or behaviours.
  • Meet with the employee to discuss the situation — you should bring your documents with you to support this. Make sure a third party is present as a witness.
  • If the discussion with the employee is inconclusive, you may request the employee submits to a drug test.
  • If the employee refuses to take a test you may go down the disciplinary route — including terminating their employment if necessary.

The organisation should consider to what degree, if an employee is found to be using drugs, it will offer help and support. Actions might include arranging sick leave for treatment and arranging for referral to a treatment service.

How to create a drug and alcohol policy

The aim of this policy is to clearly set out the company’s position on drugs and alcohol within the workplace. You should include this in your Health and Safety Policy.

  1. The policy should define when the use of drugs or alcohol is an issue (For example within working hours or when it interferes with work capability or conduct, etc). Make sure that you have considered the effects of prescription drugs too.
  2. Then, it should define when the organisation might request a drug test or conduct an investigation.
  3. It should then give direction to employees who suspect a colleague is under the influence, ideally pointing them to a particular contact they can speak to.
  4. Finally, the policy should detail the company’s support and disciplinary procedures and how it will relate to anyone using drugs or alcohol in the workplace.

You may also want to create a separate document that specifically covers drug testing. The document needs to be specific to your organisation and work activities.

Contact us should you wish to discuss this topic or create a policy.