11 common hazards that could be lurking around your business

Whether you’re surrounded by heavy plant on a construction site or you’re in a single storey office space, hazards are almost everywhere.
So, to help you firstly spot them, and secondly remove or control them, here are 11 that might be lurking in your business right now.

Trailing cables
These could come from anywhere – PCs, phones, kettles, toasters, TVs and fans are just a few of the most common appliances. Trailing cables create two types of hazards: trips and falls if an employee gets their foot tangled in them, and fire hazards if they’re overloaded.

Propped fire doors
It’s not uncommon for business’ to prop open their fire doors – especially on a hot day to let in a bit of a breeze. But you absolutely shouldn’t. In the event of a fire, propped open fire doors essentially become redundant, because they enable the fire to spread uncontrollably, and at pace.

General housekeeping
That stack of empty boxes from last week’s delivery. The pile of scrap paper waiting to be taken out. Or that broken chair clogging up the hallway. They all pose slip, trip and fall hazards, and obstruct escape routes which can slow down your emergency evacuation procedures. And, things like paper and cardboard facilitate the spread of fire.

Dirty eating outlets
Mucky fridges and microwaves are a) just unhygienic, and b) allow cross contamination. We’d recommend you give your fridges, microwaves, and other food storage or preparation appliances a good clean every week.

Steam + socket = bad news
If you’ve got a hand dryer, kettle or anything that produces steam near a plug socket, you’re opening yourself up to fire and electrocution hazards. As a rule, we’d suggest ensuring these kind of appliances are at least a meter away from the closest socket.

Insufficient lighting
Quite simply, poor lighting reduces the likelihood of people being able to actually see any hazards that might lie ahead of them.

Flimsy footwear
When it comes to footwear, the types needed to ensure safety will vary from business-to-business. A few examples though, include:
• Construction workers should wear steel toe caps;
• Employees in the food industry shouldn’t wear open shoes in case hot substances spill on to them; and
• Individuals involved with manual handling should avoid wearing things like flip-flops, because they increase the likelihood of tripping up.

Hole-ridden walls
Holes in your walls or ceilings are a big no-no – and not just because they’re unsightly! As with propped open fire doors, holes facilitate the spread of fire which, needless to say, isn’t something you want to encourage.

Young workers
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, a ‘young person’ is defined as anyone who’s under 18-years-old. If you’ve got any on your books, make sure they have all the physical capabilities to carry out the same work as their adult counterparts, and that their maturity levels are sufficient for the tasks at hand.

Expectant mums
We’re by no means suggesting you should tell a pregnant employee what they are and aren’t capable of doing, but just bear in mind that as their baby grows, so will they – this’ll need to be factored more so into physically demanding activities, like manual handling, for example.

Under the influence
There are certain times of the year when this is particularly rife – like Christmas and around major sporting events. If someone’s still intoxicated from the night before – no matter how little – it can impact their concentration, reaction times, and all-round awareness – all of which can easily have a knock-on effect to the task at hand.


Need a hand eliminating hazards?

When it comes to keeping your business safe and legally sound, we’re your complete peace of mind. With everything from Fire Risk Assessments and PAT Testing to establishing safe working practices and implementing comprehensive Health & Safety policies, we’ve got your back.

To see just how much we could start supporting you and your business today, get in touch with our experts on 0345 844 1111 or contact us using the form on this page.

If you’re already a Citation client and have any questions around anything we’ve covered in this article, remember, we’re around 24/7 with our advice line.

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