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For so long now, the burden of providing a safe working environment has lain on the shoulders of a company and its management. Health and safety standards are becoming stricter and more steps are being taken to prevent workplace accidents from happening.

In recent years, however, employees – the workers who are actually interacting with the work environment – have become more involved in maintaining sufficient levels of safety. Studies compiled by the Health and Safety Executive show better training and higher employee engagement in health and safety programs. There are a few reasons why this shift is a great thing.

Better Employee Participation = Fewer Accidents

Employees have always been the leading edge of health and safety implementation. In the old days, employees were given internal training on HSE policies and how to follow those policies to the letter. While this worked to a certain degree, employees weren’t really involved in the process of maintaining these health and safety standards.

Today, the process is reversed. Instead of asking employees to follow a certain set of rules, companies are beginning to get employees involved earlier in the process. Key employees with deep knowledge of the working environment can now influence workplace HSE policies.

The impact of this shift is tremendous. Accidents in companies whose employees are actively engaged in maintaining health and safety standards are up to 90% lower compared to companies that enforce their HSE policies on to workers. It really shows how a simple shift in paradigm can really influence the entire working environment for the better.

More Training for Employees

It is also important to note that health and safety training is no longer only about the policies. Sure, employees need to know the right procedures and the steps to take when faced with certain challenges. However, it is also better to equip employees with real skills related to health and safety.

More employees are voluntarily signing up for first aid training courses than ever before. Companies only need to provide the training and employees can choose to participate in courses. Engaged employees also suggest the kind of training that will be useful in their workplace and beyond.

The latter part is also important. Health and safety training for employees is no longer designed solely to protect them at work. Skills like first aid are useful in everyday situations too. This is part of the reasons why employees are more willing to take the training courses they find useful.

A Step in the Right Direction

All stakeholders must be involved for a truly safe working environment to be created and maintained. The increase in employee engagement when it comes to health and safety in the workplace is a definite step towards the right direction.

It is now up to the big corporations to further stimulate employee involvement and gain support from other stakeholders. More changes are coming and getting employees involved in shaping those changes is the best way to ensure maximum safety in the workplace. After all, a safe workplace is a productive workplace.

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On World Oceans Day 2018, Waterlogic is uncovering the water pollution and its devastating effect on our marine environment across America, Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe. It is time the world recognised the need for change – but is it too late? Or, do we have one more chance to put years of wrongs, to rights? Find out more with Waterlogic.

Water pollution

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Exercise, dreaded by many, appreciated by all. It can often be difficult to build up the motivation in order to throw yourself into a workout – however most find that once they have got over that no-motivation hurdle they have more stamina than they realised.

If motivation doesn’t come easily to you, then there are some things that you can do to get yourself and your body in the mood for exercise…

  1. Setting Goals
    One of the simplest ways to motivate yourself is by setting yourself realistic goals.
    By setting goals you then have something to work towards, which will drive your commitment to working out. Your goals can be as simple as increasing your general fitness levels, increasing strength in specific areas such as arms and legs, losing fat or toning/sculpting your abs – whatever it may be, once you have something you want to get from working out, you are more likely to want to work out on a regular basis.
  2. Find yourself a ‘gym buddy’
    Working out alone can often be a little bit daunting, so why not find a friend to come with you? Having a gym buddy isn’t only good for the company, but you can help each other out by sharing tips and exercises, supporting each other when working with weights and encouraging each other to reach your goals.
  3. Eat good food
    The food you put into your body has a huge impact on your motivation and making a few tweaks to your diet could be the difference between sitting on the sofa watching the soaps and getting a high intensity gym session. Fast food and takeaways tend to make you feel sluggish, whereas if you fuel yourself with fruit, vegetables and carbohydrate rich foods, you will have much more energy to put into a workout.
  4. Work with a personal trainer
    Booking in a session with a personal trainer puts you accountable for someone else’s time, and knowing you have somewhere to be at a specific time is likely to get you out of the house. Working with a personal trainer can be really helpful, they can help you pick out the right exercises to meet your goals and correct any mistakes you may be making during your workout. If the idea of paying for someone to help you work out doesn’t appeal to you, then you could even take up an online training course and become your own personal trainer!
  5. Have a plan
    We are all guilty of turning up to the gym not knowing what we want to work on that day, which more often than not results in standing around looking clueless and desperately typing ‘leg exercises’ into Google. Putting together a workout plan will solve all of your problems. Before you go to the gym, think about which muscle group you want to work on and put together a workout routine that focuses on that particular muscle group. Going into the gym with a plan will not only improve your motivation, it will also rid you of any of that pre-workout anxiety!
  6. Tailor your workout around your mood
    If you’ve had a long day at work which has left you feeling tired and quite demotivated, the last you want to do is an intense, high energy workout and there is nothing wrong with that, but instead of skipping a workout and regretting it the next day, you can easily plan your session around how you are feeling. If you are feeling tired, you can focus on stretching, foam rolling and some flexibility moves, or if you are feeling a bit more energetic, you can focus on cardio and weight training. No matter the intensity of your workout, doing something is always better than nothing.
  1. Listen to music
    Listening to music can help you to zone out and forget about your surroundings, encouraging you to focus on only yourself and stop looking out for what other people are doing. Listening to upbeat music will help you keep rhythm and make that tiresome workout a little more bearable.
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In a world that’s quickly becoming nature-deprived, the benefits of actually getting out into our gardens and taking care of the little patch of land we have is a hotter topic than ever. Whether your garden is vast and filled with greenery, or smaller and kitted out with charming teak garden benches, there is so much that we can do to improve not only the space we have, but it has also been argued that gardening can improve our health too – but is this true? Here, we’re looking into the world of gardening, and just what benefits it can have in regards to our health and wellbeing.

Stress Relief

Trading in your mobiles, computers and TV for the bushes, flowers and general greenery in your garden can do you a world of good. We’re only human, and as humans we have a limited capacity of concentration and directed attention per day, and most of this is used up on our devices. Hours spent on a computer at your desk at work, or an entire commute spent answering emails on your phone can be stressful not only on our attention spans, but on our mood in general.  Putting down the electronics and getting out into the dirt can work wonders for relieving stress.

Mental Health

Our mental wellbeing is just as important as our physical, and this is often something that we tend to forget. While gardening does come with its physical health benefits too, the mental health benefits are certainly worth more than just a mention. The calm, repetitive nature of some gardening can not only relieve stress, but studies have also shown that it can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety too. It gives us the opportunity to step away from our day job and just focus on something much simpler for a time, and this relaxation can do our minds wonders.

Exercise

Sunshine, fresh air and just getting out there are all great for our physical health, and when you add gardening into the mix, it can even be classed as a form of exercise! Gardening can often involve a lot of action which is great for getting your blood pumping, and your muscles moving. While it’s hardly quite the level of a rowing machine or going for a run, gardening is still a great low-impact exercise, which is especially useful for those who may be unable to partake in the more strenuous of exercises.

Nutrition

This point mostly applies to those looking to grow and eat their own fruit and vegetables from their gardens. Food grown yourself is not only some of the most nutritious and freshest you can find, but it’s also the most satisfactory. Knowing that you’ve nurtured your vegetables from being seeds, to fully-grown, edible goods is more than a good enough reason to get out there and get planting. If you have children, get them involved too! Not only will it help you get them outside and active too, but by letting them get involved in growing food, they’re more likely to eat it at the end of it. The curiosity and wonder behind growing plants is encouragement enough, so if your children are tricky about eating their greens, try and grow some!

All in all, there’s no denying that gardening has its health benefits. Whether it’s simply the ideal stress relief, or you’re in need of a little low-impact exercise, getting out into our gardens and trying our hands at a bit or pruning and preening can be beneficial in all kinds of ways. So, what are you waiting for?

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40% of cancer patients said they felt discriminated against when they returned to work.

After suffering from a serious illness it’s a natural to want to get back into your normal working routine, if your body has been compromised physically your confidence has probably been knocked, nothing can ever prepare you for the shock and strain on both your body and your mind.

Randstad have put together a new campaign all about returning to work after various circumstances, from serious illness to retirement, mental illness to maternity. In this series Randstad spoke to workers to describe the challenges and emotions of returning to work after a prolonged absence.

Heading back to work after an extended absence will undoubtedly mean a change in your daily routine. For most it won’t be as easy as picking up where you left of and it is important to listen to your mind and body when making the first steps to retuning to work. There’s plenty to think about but here are four crucial things to consider when the time comes.

Ask your GP

It’s a good idea to consult with your GP or your healthcare professional about whether you are physically ready to go back to work. You might feel like you are ready, but recovering from a serious illness really does take time. If they also agree that you are ready to return to the working world, ask them to create you a ‘fit note’ which explains your illness and that the GP has given you the go ahead to start working again.

GP - Returning to work

Don’t rush

It can be tempting to rush back into work as quickly as possible, you may even see it as the end of your recovery and the boost you need for kicking a serious illness. However, it pays to be patient, there is nothing more disheartening then attempting to re-join your workforce and having to leave again because you rushed back when you weren’t quite ready. It may be boring and feel like you are wasting valuable time, but it will be worth it in the long run.

It can also be a good idea to start slowly, with shorter days or coming in a few days away for the first couple of weeks to ease yourself back into it.

Think of number 1

In an ideal world everyone would have a supportive network of colleagues and management, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. It is important not to let others dictate the terms and speed of your return to the workplace, as this can hinder your efficiently and productivity. If you find either management or colleagues putting pressure on your to either get back to work too soon, or commit to arrangements which are currently not working for you, don’t be afraid to push back and say so, only you know your capabilities and what is right for you.

Be honest

It is important regardless of whether you are returning to work at an old job or starting a new one, to be honest with your employer about your condition, any special requirements you may have or anything that will ensure a smooth return to work. Not only will this ensure you are respected within the workplace, your employer will see you as a trusted individual who can manage their own circumstances and commitments carefully. It is important to be honest from the beginning, as this will help not only yourself but also your boss to set realistic performance targets and timelines.

Ensuring you surround yourself with supportive family, friends and most importantly colleagues, without setting too high expectations of yourself will ensure a smooth and healthy return to work.

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There can be no doubt that swimming does wonders for your body. Whether you are looking to lose weight, build muscle, improve your fitness, tone up, or all of these things, a few hours in the pool every week will make it easy to achieve your goals.

Swimming

Additionally, Alex Kemsley, managing director of Compass Pools and president of the Swimming Teacher’s Association recommends it not only for its huge range of advantages for physical health listed above but also for its relaxation and mental health benefits. So let’s take a look at seven of the key ways that it can completely revolutionise your health.

  1. Weight loss

Of course one of the most common reasons for exercise is to keep fit and to lose weight – and it can’t be denied that this is a fantastic way to do this. Some people assume that swimming is more for fun than it is for burning calories, but this couldn’t be further from the case. Half an hour of light recreational swimming could burn as many as 220 calories. If you take it a little more seriously, this could be increased to as many as 550 calories through a high intensity 30 minutes of swimming.

  1. A full-body workout

Another common misconception of swimming is that it only works certain muscle groups – in fact, spending time in the pool constitutes a true full-body workout. Of course it is clearly working out your arms and your legs, but it also strengths your core. And it’s worth pointing out that you can switch between a range of swimming strokes to develop different muscles. While breaststroke is a great way to work on your pectoral and latissimus dorsi muscles, you can change to backstroke for your core abdominals and obliques.

  1. Virtually no injuries

Unlike many high intensity sports, swimming is a low-impact sport that is non weight-bearing so it is quite difficult to injure yourself while you swim. Excessive swimming training and poor technique can lead to shoulder or knee issues but injuries that are extremely common in other sports such as muscle strains and twisted ankles are almost impossible.

  1. A boost to your mental health

It is well known that doing any kind of cardiovascular exercise is good for your brain and your mental health. Any form of exercise triggers the brain to release endorphins, the chemicals produced by our bodies that are often referred to as the ‘happy hormones’. But swimming is especially good for us, as it promotes something known as hippocampal neurogenesis which is the growth of new brain cells in the same area of the brain that atrophies under stress. Not to mention the fact that this gives us time with our own thoughts to relax and let go of stress.

  1. Cardiovascular fitness

One of the key reasons that people take up swimming is because it is one of the most effective forms of exercise to improve your cardiovascular fitness. Even just a couple of hours of swimming a week will make you much fitter. It is a sustained aerobic form of endurance exercise that raises your heart rate while causing minimal stress to your body.

Swimming regularly halves your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, so this is really is a sport that is excellent for you on the inside.

  1. It can help you sleep

There is even some research to suggest that swimming regularly can help you sleep better at night. One study that looked into adults with insomnia revealed that those participants that engaged in forms of aerobic exercise, such as swimming, reported a boost in the quality of their sleep. If you are interested in getting a better night’s sleep, give swimming a try.

  1. It’s good for asthmatics

It’s also worth pointing out that this is one of the best forms of exercise for asthmatics. The symptoms of asthma can be highly debilitating and make it difficult for sufferers to play sports regularly but swimming actually provides excellent conditions for asthmatics to exercise. Pools typically have warm, humid air which is easier for sufferers to breathe, and the fact that it is an indoor sport means that they are fewer allergens in the air which can trigger attacks.

Swimming

 

 

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The latest sales figures show that Public Health England’s new harm reduction approach to decreasing smoking rates across the UK has not only been widely accepted, but capitalised upon this Stoptober. For the first time, vaping has featured prominently within the NHS Stoptober campaign, with the official website included in the Stoptober TV advertisement.

Vape Club – the UK’s largest online retailer of vaping products and e-cigarettes – saw e-cigarette starter kit sales increase by 29% year on year following the launch of the 2017 campaign.
man vaping
Through the adoption of this harm reduction strategy, the UK has seen record high rates of smoking cessation and is fast becoming a European leader in this respect.

This comes at a time when New York’s latest law will see vaping banned indoors in public places come into effect next month.

Director of Vape Club Dan Marchant says that the medical acceptance in the UK has provided a watershed moment for public health:

It’s fantastic to see the NHS finally backing vaping as a pathway to quit smoking. The industry has been backing this alternative for a long time, but with the evidence provided by Public Health England, endorsements from the likes of Cancer Research UK and the figures which are produced by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), there can be no doubt that vaping is the most effective method to give up tobacco.

The NHS advocating vaping as an alternative to tobacco is an enormous breakthrough and will do an outstanding amount of good for public health and tobacco control in the UK.’

Believed to be 95% less harmful than traditional tobacco, e-cigarettes feature within the NHS’ Stoptober campaign as a way of phasing out tobacco rather than advocating – as seen in previous campaigns – the ‘cold turkey’ approach.  You can smoke Guru E-Cigs.

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When a loved one or you is elderly, various old age problems can appear. It is quite common to see a highly increased reliance on other people and mobility is often reduced. Various day to day struggles appear and independence aids are not going to be enough in so many cases. You can always get personal loans now but there are also other options to take into account. The great news is there are different available grants. The bad news is that most people are not aware of them. This is why you need to learn about the following accessibility grants that are available for the elderly and the disabled.

Government Grants

Disabled Facilities Grants are aimed to help many more than those that have lifelong disabilities. It is also available when health problems appear because of old age. If you qualify for the payout, the scheme is going to offer the money needed to modify the home, thus increasing accessibility and increasing life quality. As an example, you can install grab bars and hand rails in your home or add simple to use electrical equipment. In England you can receive a maximum of £30,000.

Age Concern Elderly Grants

Age Concern (now known as Age UK) is a respectable national charity offering support and help for older citizens. Various grant schemes are available, offering services and funding at local levels. The main aim is for those that are in twilight years. The grants will not be available for groups of people or individuals through Age Concern. They are offered through local partners. When you need support, the best thing you can do is contact the local partner to see what help is provided where you live. Emailing Age Concern is also a possibility.

British Red Cross

When there is a need for support or homecare through mobility aids, British Red Cross should be considered. It is a charity that will not offer monetary support but free services are available so that day to day challenges become lower. This includes:

  • Home support – Possible through an UK volunteer program offering physical aid and emotional aid to those coming out of the hospital or that need extra care with the goal to avoid hospital admission.
  • Mobility aids – British Red Cross gives you access to mobility aids short term loans like ramps, commodes, bath seats and wheelchairs. This obviously helps you to improve your life and avoid being stuck in your home. Even simple tasks can be tough to complete when affected by disability problems.
  • Transportation support – You can receive transport support, making it a lot easier to go to the hospital for appointments. Trained escorts are available when needed and you can avoid costly taxi fares, making transportation much more affordable.

The UK gives you access to numerous help options when you struggle with independence and cannot afford the costly equipment to perform day to day operations. The government accessibility grants should be your first considered option but the other opportunities highlighted are also great.

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LIMS or Laboratory Information Management System is a program that helps labs to run more efficiently by integrating the various tasks relating to labs like inventory, quality control and testing into a centrally established database. Most of the labs have some type of LIMS systems customized to accomplish their individual tasks. The small and medium scale enterprises still have a dilemma in deciding whether it would be beneficial to implement such a system in their lab. For those in confusion, should know the various benefits and the possible drawbacks that such s system can provide to enable them in making a selection.

Though implementing and maintaining comprehensive LIMS software can be a largely time-consuming and expensive process, but once implemented it can save a substantial amount of time for the user as all the tasks are integrated into a central location. Before making an approach to various vendors for quotations the set of user requirements should be clearly defined. The user requirements can be estimated from the features available and while the most basic and inexpensive LIMS possess the basic features certain customization is necessary to fit the requirements of the laboratory.

The potential benefits

The benefits obtained from the use of LIMS are inclusive and not exhaustive depending on the laboratory requirements. The first and foremost benefits provided through this system is the electronic capturing and transmission of data which not only saves time and compliance related work but also eliminates the requirement of any storage space. Another benefit is the automatic calculation of data which is performed through this mechanically developed software. This reduces both time and possibility of error or crosscheck for the viability of data. Since the necessary are stored electronically analysis of information or preparation of necessary reports can be done with just the click of a few buttons.

Sample testing can also be efficiently scheduled through LIMS and minimizing the occurrence of errors, thereby showing the most appropriate results. The benefits of tracking the status of reagents and chemicals or linking an instrument to each test can be availed by incorporating such software in the laboratory. It can be configured to work with any kind of lab, be it medical, geological or fertility lab. Since the software is sold it modules the user needs to pay only for the services availed and not for the entire package as a whole.

Making the right selection

There are several versions of the software available in the market with each one quoting a different price. The cost of the LIMS software depends on the number of modules required in the lab and whether hosted web-based service if availed or self-installation is opted for. While the web-based service requires some high initial expenses in addition to a regular monthly fee, the self-installation options cost relatively cheaper. Before deciding on which software to choose it is advised to consult with the concerned IT department or similar section of the lab and choose any online service only after conducting proper research and analysis work.

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Government austerity measures since 2010 have impacted healthcare across the UK.

Holyrood is the administrator for NHS funds in Scotland but the Scottish Government has struggled to mitigate the impact of Westminster cuts.

In the short-term they’ve had limited successes in keeping various healthcare plates spinning in the air — but with no clear end to cuts in sight, they might soon come crashing down.

So here are three ways austerity is impacting health in Scotland and an overview of the stakeholders combating cuts.

Economy

Prior to Scottish GDP figures being released in early July, the mainstream media was awash with warnings that the economy was on the brink of recession.

Yet organs like the BBC were forced to flip their doomsday scripts overnight when it was revealed that GDP had grown by 0.8 per cent — outperforming the UK as a whole.

But national statistics don’t reflect the challenges faced by those struggling regions where the economic picture isn’t so rosy.

The downturn in the oil and gas industry has led to a 50 per cent rise in unemployment in North-East Scotland — with a serious knock-on effect on mental health.

The Scottish Association of Mental Health’s Open Up campaign encourages residents in affected communities to openly discuss mental health problems — and helps them find sources of support.

In terms of the employment rate the high level picture is healthy in Scotland —but figures are partially propped up by part-time roles and zero hour contracts.

And workers in precarious employment are also facing rising rents — so it’s crucial to read between the lines with Scottish employment statistics.

Mental health

A report from the mental Welfare Commission in April revealed that even as austerity pressurised NHS mental health services, staff shortages in mixed psychiatric wards made female patients feel unsafe.

The Scottish Government pledged to spend £300 million recruiting 800 new mental health staff over the next five years to plug the gap.

This might present an opportunity for mental health nurses with diplomas to take online distance learning degrees that upgrade their skillsets for senior positions.

But the NHS across the UK is haemorrhaging skilled overseas staff because of Brexit.

Welfare reform

The Welfare reform Acts of 2012 and 2016 have had a huge impact on some of Britain’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

A UN report in late 2016 confirmed that these reforms show ‘grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities’.

And the study also highlighted the cultural shift that means disabled Britons and other disadvantaged groups are cast as scapegoats for Britain’s economic woes.

Holyrood has spent £396 million over the past five years mitigating Westminster policies such as the bedroom tax — while their budget was slashed by £5 billion.

And Westminster Welfare cuts mean another £2 billion has disappeared from the Scottish economy as those affected save the little cash they have, rather than spending in shops.

Austerity has affected Scotland in similar ways to the rest of the nation. But it’s unclear whether the Scottish Government’s mitigation measures constitute a sticking plaster solution rather than a permanent cure.

Have you experienced the effects of austerity in Scotland? Share your stories in the comments section.

 

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Despite all the negative vibe around the medical industry, this is still an overall good time to become a doctor in the UK.

With the shortage of skilled labour in key areas now affecting the NHS, it is a fact that there are more positions available for highly motivated and well-trained doctors, who can rapidly move up the ranks within the ranks of the public service or start a career in the private sector instead.

As admitted by senior figures in the UK medical world, the country is not training enough individuals to become doctors, so deciding to become one is a decision that will have a positive impact on the wider society as well as on your professional life.

But what are the main skills needed – and the approach required to become a doctor in today’s highly competitive industry?

First of all, resilience is key to success in medicine. The lengthy and testing academic side of the degree along with the practical tests that surgeons and nurses have to deal with from an early stage mean that this a profession for those who are really passionate. And possibly ready to make a sacrifice in terms of social life. Resilience will also be essential from a professional perspective, as a doctor’s life is always full of tests – from appraisals to sudden changes in the industry.

Fear not, however, as the very low dropout rates in medicine go to show that once you are ready to set out on this rocky academic and professional path, it already probably means that you are ready to face the tests that lie ahead.

If you are willing to become a doctor, also bear in mind that empathy and people skills are essential to a career that revolves around the way you deal with patients and how you relate to them. So if you are after a humanly, rewarding job, which allows you to see a positive impact on the people within the community, it is likely that starting a medicine degree will be a great choice for your future.

On top of all this, the capability to deal with numbers and a solid background in scientific subjects will help greatly, especially as you attend the first two years and deal with the most theoretical parts of your degree.

Finally, you shouldn’t forget about the importance of collaboration and the ability to work within a team. At the beginning of your career, you will hardly ever work autonomously, so make sure you have a good attitude to teamwork and have a curious approach. Your colleagues will ultimately be a priceless source of knowledge and inspiration.

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Safety at work is something that everyone has to consider: from desk bound office workers right through to those handling dangerous chemicals or performing tasks at extreme heights or temperatures.

One of the most important considerations is the atmosphere around us. If the air that we breathe is in any way contaminated it could spell serious issues for our health.

The Health and Safety Executive has found that there are about 36,000 people who worked in the last year – and 141,000 who had ever worked – who have breathing or lung problems they thought were caused or made worse by work, with 14,000 new cases each year.

With those numbers in mind, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that yes, you are at risk of a breathing problem when you’re at work. And in some respects that is the case. Even a dusty desk or a stuffy office can contribute to sore throats and headaches in a low level sense.

Yet it isn’t all bad news. With this risk in mind, the Health and Safety Executive has what is known as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. That’s not the catchiest of names, granted, so these are generally known as COSHH.

This is a law that requires employers to control any substances that are hazardous to health. In essence it means that the employer is responsible for:

  • Carrying out a risk assessment to discover hazards
  • Identifying what needs to be done to prevent them becoming an issue
  • Making sure the right equipment is used and working practices followed
  • Providing training for employees
  • Monitoring their operation to make sure things are running smoothly
  • Having a back-up plan in case anything goes wrong

Does your business do all of that? If so, you can feel rest assured that the risk to your health is being mitigated. If not, your risk might be greater than necessary.

Communication is also vital. Companies that do best at protecting the health of their workers are the ones that are effective communicators – passing on the right information to the right people as and when necessary. They also listen to the concerns of their workers and understand them – taking note of things such as respiratory health problems, which might put people in greater danger.

Companies also need to be proactive. Some of the most common hazards come from paint, bleach and dust – hardly rare and exotic chemicals. It’s up to businesses to spot where such things are commonplace and investing in the right equipment to help, whether that be PPE such as masks and clothing or equipment that can remove dust from a busy working environment.

The best bosses realise that an unhealthy workforce is an unproductive workforce and care about their staff from both a pastoral and practical perspective.

The rules, however, are clear. Bosses have a responsibility to protect their employees and to do their bit to avoid adding to the sorts of statistics outlined above. They have access to all the information they need – with industry-specific direct advice sheets freely available – and should be able to make the risk of respiratory problems be as low as possible. With that in mind, you might well conclude that the quality of your boss is as important as the nature of your work when it comes to the risk you face.

 

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