Monthly Archives: May 2016

Encouraging positivity and productivity at work

It’s said that happy and healthy employees tend to be more motivated at work, but with little sunlight and credit card bills few of us feel cheerful and motivated!

So, how can you encourage positivity and productivity at work?

A healthy working environment

Start with your working environment. We’re not talking about group Yoga classes during your lunch break, just small changes to energise the team and help you all make healthier choices.

  1. Forget the lift and take the stairs. We all know we need to move more, and this is an easy way to stretch your legs and improve circulation
  2. Sitting comfortably? Sort out those desk assessments you’ve been putting off for months; repetitive strain injury and bad posture are no joke
  3. Don’t be S.A.D, get your vitamin D by holding short meetings out in the sunshine or have a meeting on the move. Better still, encourage your team to take breaks outdoors when we’re blessed with sunshine
  4. Add a fruit bowl to your breakout area. Fruit is so much better than a snack from the vending machine, which will only lead to a sugar crash and dip in energy. Folks, we’ve all been there! It’s much easier to opt for fruit when there’s plenty to hand
  5. Treat staff to new re-fillable water bottles. Hydration helps you focus and is a great incentive to ditch fizzy drinks.

Engaging your team

Engaging your team is essential to bringing out the best in them. Convince them that there are opportunities to progress at work, and you’ll motivate them to work hard for you.

  • Share your ideas for the business and get them on board by explaining how their support and knowledge will help achieve those goals
  • Tell them you rely on their input and trust their judgement. People who are invested in a company, are committed to its success
  • Give your team regular feedback and offer training if that’s what they need to get the job done
  • Take an interest in their personal lives, so you’re not just a boss cracking the whip!

Reward hard work

Everyone needs to feel valued. Remember to thank the staff who go the extra mile to get the job done well. After all, if an employee doesn’t feel appreciated they’ll find employment elsewhere – and you don’t want to lose your best team members.

On the other hand, employees who are happy at work will recommend the company to friends and family. Don’t underestimate their power to influence potential future recruits! Your reputation as an employer is hugely important to your company’s success.

Occasionally treating your team to lunch or a fun evening out is another great way of reminding them that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. And this brings us to our next, and final point…

The team that socialises together, stays together!

Spending time out of the office/off-site as a team is a great way to improve relationships and get to know each other’s true personalities.

To encourage this, create a social calendar of activities which appeals to everyone. It doesn’t need to be expensive. Bowling, mini golf or team-building games are all great options, but going to the pub after work doesn’t count!

We hope you feel inspired to make some positive changes. Remember your team are your most valuable asset. Taking care of their wellbeing will mean you’ll reap the rewards further down the line.

Contact us for further advice on wellbeing.



The Difference Between Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and COSHH Assessments

Do you know the difference between a safety data sheet and a COSSH assessment, and why both are necessary to assessing the risks involved when working with a hazardous substance.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and COSHH Assessments

The COSHH Regulations provide a framework to protect people at work against health risks that may arise from work activities that expose them to hazardous substances. The control measures requisite to prevent harm are documented in the form of a COSHH assessment. It’s a common misconception that risk assessment is the identification of the hazardous properties of a substance; the hazardous properties of a substance constitute its potential to cause harm, while the risk is the likelihood that it will cause harm in the actual circumstances of use.

An assessor must appreciate the difference between these two concepts. The purpose of a chemical risk assessment (the COSHH assessment) is to ensure that a valid decision is made about the control measures which should to be taken to prevent or control exposure to substances hazardous to health. In practical terms, a risk assessment will demonstrate that suitable and sufficient judgement has been taken to reach these.

A pragmatic, common sense approach should be adopted with regard to writing assessments. The principle behind a risk assessment is that it should enable a person undertaking an activity (whatever their expertise) to:

  • Understand the hazards and subsequent risks of substances used in the activity,
  • Appreciate the necessity to implement appropriate control measures to minimise the risk to health.
  • Identify such control measures and know how to implement them (such as using engineering controls or personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Know what to do when something goes wrong (first aid procedures, spillage requirements, etc.)

Safety data sheets alone do not constitute a risk assessment, but are merely the starting reference point for such an assessment, as the SDS only gives you information about the substance itself – you must assess the risk from use of the substance in the actual work activity, including amounts, concentrations etc. They contain important information as to the health and safety hazards posed by chemicals/substances, required exposure control measures, first aid requirements, spillage containment, safe disposal requirements and so forth. The COSHH assessor uses this information so that they have the facts necessary to prevent and control exposure to these hazards.

Contact us should you require assistance.


Keeping people safe at a public event!

Many of our client companies are involved in running outdoor events, so in case you are hosting a barbecue, sports day or village fair, we thought we would share our top ten tips for keeping your events safe.

Start health and safety planning early

Make sure that you carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for your event. This will allow you to identify the control measures and safety plans that need to be implemented.

Visit the site beforehand

Even if you are familiar with your event site, a visit is essential in order to be able to compile a comprehensive risk assessment. Look at factors such as ground conditions, availability of services, traffic and pedestrian routes, access points, proximity of site to emergency services and don’t forget to find out who the neighbours are!

Know what you are going to do in the event of an emergency

An emergency plan should be in place. This should deal with the procedures that will be put into action should there be a fire, explosion, extreme weather conditions, flood, crowd problems and accidents.

Make sure that your staff know who to report to and how

All staff and volunteers involved in organising the event should be aware of the contents of the risk assessment and emergency plans. Everyone should receive a pre-event induction.

Keep vehicles away from people

The easiest way to avoid accidents with vehicles is to segregate them from pedestrians. Make sure that vehicle movements are limited once the event is underway. If you are providing car parking, then think about having car park attendants to manage car movements.

Decide what to do with the kids

Even if your event is not directly aimed at children, unless it is strictly over eighteens only, chances are, some parents will bring kids along. Consider all age ranges from babies up to teenagers, so everything from managing safety in play areas, reuniting lost children with parents to how to prevent teenagers from being served alcohol must be accounted for.

Ensure that food and drink complies with food safety legislation

The food safety rules are the same whether you are running an outdoor event or a normal kitchen. When an Environmental Health Officer inspects your site, they would expect to see all the normal controls in place, which you would have documented in your Food Safety Management System. You need to pay particular attention to hand washing facilities, waste, pest control, temperature control, covered storage and cleaning facilities.

Don’t let your event drown in rubbish

All waste producers have a duty of care under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to ensure that waste is disposed of responsibly to a site with a waste management license. Produce a waste management plan as part of your event planning.

Make sure the conveniences are not inconvenient!

Follow HSE guidelines for the number of conveniences required. Don’t forget to provide amenities for people with special needs and depending upon the demographic of your crowd, baby changing facilities may also be required. Consider how facilities are going to be emptied and cleaned if your event is over a number of days.

Consider the requirements of people with special needs

You want everyone to enjoy your event, so think how you can accommodate people with mobility problems, impaired hearing or sight and those who have difficulty walking. Brief the event stewards to provide assistance where necessary, including during possible evacuation scenarios.

Now we are all safely prepared for summer, it’s time to break out the shorts and sunglasses!

Contact us for further advice!