I work at home, part time but I also work with the public and also in an office. I am an employer, for the small charity I run, as part of my day job, and health and safety and all the responsibility for that, around the people who work for and with me, falls to me.
The team at Sheilds.org place came up with a helpful way of sharing some of the basic accidents that can happen and how easily they can be prevented. It’s something we should all take seriously.
Accidents can and do happen, even when you are trying your best not to have them happen, in the work place. Often because someone isn’t necessarily using common sense or trying to take a short cut. I have had to deal with all manner of incidents in my time, from hot drink spills, people not using kitchen equipment correctly, to slips and trips, moving heavy objects but not being careful about how they go about it or using correct manual handling and lifting procedures, and once even a laptop deciding to have a meltdown, literally, because the cable being used to charge it, was plugged into a faulty extension cable that was overloaded with other plugs. A smoking, melting laptop may seem funny, after the fact, but at the time it was no joke and thankfully was dealt with quickly before it escalated into a full blow fire… I can laugh about it now but at the time it was not funny and we had to make sure all plugs and cables were in good working order and extension cables were not overloaded. Because we work with families and children we also have to have things in place to make sure we are following all the rules in place to keep things safe for them and the volunteers working with them. I know a lot of people think that Health & Safety is a pain and put in place to make life complicated, but the reality is, that in the workplace, or when you are working with people, you do need to have things in place to protect yourself, the people you are working with, and the people you are working for. If you have rules in place and you stick to them, then you are keeping everyone safe and hopefully preventing accidents from happening. It’s essential to make sure any staff you work with, have the training they need, and that you regularly update your health & safety documentation and enforce policies. Any accident in the workplace could potentially be very serious, and have legal and criminal implications if a place of work is not adhering to the rules set in place to protect people. A slip or a trip could lead to a stint in hospital and time off work, and what seems like a simple incident could have serious consequences. It simply isn’t worth skimping or skipping the things we need to put in place to protect our employees or ourselves.
As an employer and a worker in a work place, both when working at home, in the office and with people, health and safety is a big concern for me, and preventing accidents or incidents is part of my job, and whilst it’s not always “fun”, as my gran used to say, “better safe, than sorry”. Health & Safety at work is everyone’s responsibility to act on and enforce, and not just a set of files gathering dust in a cupboard…
*this is a collaborative post*