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Danger, men at work (and women too)

By April 29, 2014News

One of an employer’s main duties to their employees is to provide a safe working environment. Of course this means ensuring that equipment is safe to use and falls from height, slips and trips are minimised. But what about the air they breathe and the water they drink? Well, you need to safeguard that too….

A few years ago, businesses in the USA started listing the air quality in their properties as a selling point in real estate deals. And with good reason too. Not only is providing a safe indoor air quality part of your legal duty as an employer, it’s in your own interests too. We often see ventilation ductwork which is clogged and laden with impurities and wonder how the building occupants ever get any work done. Dirty, uncleaned ventilation systems mean poor air quality; and that’s not good for productivity, creativity or clear thinking. Poorly maintained ventilation can also help to spread illnesses and that’s not good for business either.

Employees need clean water, both to drink and to wash their hands. Cleaners need clean water for cleaning too. That may sound obvious but what many people don’t realise is it’s often the cleaning teams who get infected first in a legionella outbreak. Legionella develops and multiplies in static, tepid bodies of water – during a shutdown, for instance. And, as what you want on returning to work is clean premises, the cleaning teams are at the greatest risk. Their symptons won’t show for a week or two of course – plenty of time for your core teams to be affected before the alarm is raised and the outbreak discovered. Not reassuring is it?

If you have any form of catering establishment onsite, you could also be harbouring a significant fire risk. In otherwise spotless kitchens, fire safety extract cleaning is often overlooked, allowing highly flammable grease deposits to accumulate in the ductwork. This kind of fire spreads rapidly, causing loss of business continuity as well as posing a real risk to life and limb.

What all these hazards are really good for is higher absence rates; and for ending up in court if you don’t comply with the law in respect to maintaining your property in these areas. We’re guessing you’d rather be reducing your risks and achieving compliance. We’re ready to talk; are you? Please call us on 0800 243 471 and we can start to set your mind at rest.