Health and Safety in the Workplace – the Basics

Posted by admin on August 20, 2013 at 10:03 am. Filed under: Medical Emergency

In any kind of working environment there’s one thing that needs to be at the top of the agenda – health and safety. It isn’t just a moral choice but a legal one, and as you’re essentially responsible for the health of everyone in your workplace it’s important you understand the basics so you’re staying within the law at all times. Here’s a basic overview to help ensure full compliance.

The law

According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, an employer is required to protect the health and safety of employees as far as is reasonably practicable. Various policies and measures can be implemented to reduce risk as much as possible, and it’s only by enforcing these policies that you can prove compliance and avoid claims of negligence should the worst happen.

Meeting your responsibilities

There are several things you can do to meet your responsibilities, but the most vital will be conducting regular risk assessments. In a nutshell, these assessments allow you to identify and analyse the potential risks of a workplace, recognise the individuals most at risk and implement appropriate safety measures accordingly, and if you’ve got five or more employees you’ll need to record the results to prove compliance.

You’ll need to use the findings of a risk assessment to devise a health and safety policy to suit. This might include the need for specific training, the appointment of a competent person (or persons) who can help implement procedures, the setting up of emergency protocols or simply the requirement for a first aid kit, and in many cases it’s down to the employer’s discretion to decide how to appropriately manage risk. But, the specifics of any health and safety policy and the responsibilities of an employer will depend on the individual workplace and the industry in which they operate, with the construction sector (for example) having much more complex requirements than an office for the simple reason that it’s a high-risk environment.

But, despite industry variations and employer discretion, they still need to abide by relevant Approved Codes of Practice. They’ll often have other pieces of legislation that need to be complied with too, such as Manual Handling Regulations or Display Screen Equipment Regulations, a lot of which will state what needs to be achieved rather than how to do it. Again, it’s often down to the employer to decide how they can meet their responsibilities, and that’s why it’s important to become fully conversant in the specifics of your industry so you can avoid risk and stay compliant.

Get the equipment you need

No matter what industry you operate in, chances are the risk assessment will identify the need for training as well as specific types of equipment, with basic first aid kits needing to be a core part of any workplace. Employees will need to undergo suitable health and safety training whilst competent personnel might need more in-depth first aid equipment training, and there might be a requirement for more comprehensive medical supplies depending on your industry. Here at Bound Tree Medical we’ll be able to provide all the equipment you could need, so make sure to identify the risks of your workplace and get in touch to see how we could help minimise them.

 

What Should be in a Survival Kit?

Posted by admin on August 15, 2013 at 9:50 am. Filed under: Medical Emergency

A first aid kit is a vital investment for just about everyone, but sometimes you need a bit more than the basics. That’s when a survival kit comes in. Whether you’re a Bear Grylls wannabe, a lover of the great outdoors or simply want to make sure you’ve got a survival kit in your car should you be stranded somewhere in the wilderness, getting the right equipment should be at the top of the agenda. So just what should be in your survival kit? Here are a few items that you can’t do without:

• Torch. A torch should be a core part of any survival kit, and ideally you’ll want a headlamp as well for when you need to use your hands.
• Batteries. Partly for the torch, partly for any other electronic equipment you might have with you, batteries are essential. There’ll be nothing worse than trying to turn on a torch only to find it’s a dud, so always have plenty of backups should you need them.
• Pocket knife or multitool. A pocket knife can come in incredibly handy during emergency situations, or for something even more practical you might want to consider the likes of Gerber or Leatherman multitools. The updated version of a Swiss army knife, these handy tools include the likes of scissors, pliers, screwdrivers, files and serrated knives, being invaluable should you find yourself in an emergency.
• Bottled water and dried food. Bottled water should be kept in the car at all times, as should energy bars/dried fruit/some other form of non-perishable foodstuffs that can keep you going should you need them.
• Water purification tablets. If you run out of drinking water dehydration can quickly set in, so make sure you’ve got water purification tablets so you can still drink no matter where you are.
• Spare clothes and blankets. If you’re driving for long distances or in rural areas you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a blanket and/or some spare clothes, and hats and gloves won’t go amiss either.
• Phone charger. Having a mobile phone will be useless unless it’s charged enough to make an emergency phone call. That means you always need to have a car charger to hand or, if you’re camping, you can find various independent/key ring chargers for when the juice runs out.
• Car/emergency first aid kit. A car first aid kit should always be on board, or if you’re hiking or camping you’ll want to bring an additional version in your backpack. These kits should include all the usual first aid supplies such as dressings, bandages, plasters and creams, but you might like to be ultra-prepared with the likes of wound seal powders should a cut be more severe.

These are just a few things that should be in any survival kit. As long as you’re prepared for a long journey or camping trip it can make the whole experience far more enjoyable, so don’t risk being caught without the necessary supplies – have a fully-stocked kit and you can be sure you’re ready for anything.

 

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