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Workplace Health and Safety During Autumn and Winter

Broom sweeping up autumn leaves

The leaves on the trees have turned to beautiful oranges, reds and browns and the mornings now have a crispness about them. Autumn is in full swing and winter on its way and whilst this means lovely autumnal walks and the run up to Christmas it signals an increase in risks that employers need to assess and manage to keep their employees and the public safe.

So, we’ve pulled together a short checklist to highlight some of the additional areas to think about when looking at workplace health and safety during the autumn and winter months. Like with much of health and safety a lot of them are fairly obvious and common sense but can often be forgotten about at such a busy time of year:

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Assessing the Risk of Legionella as Businesses Re-open

legionella

The past year has been one of stops and starts as the various lockdown restrictions have been eased or increased. As we emerge out of our third and hopefully final lockdown, many businesses are beginning to plan to return to their office workspaces and with this comes the need for various risk assessments. One of these is the Risk of Legionella within the cold and hot water systems.

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Agile Working – The New Normal – What Employers Need to Think About

man working from home

The past year has shown how quickly businesses and individuals can adapt when they have to.  It has been surprising just how many companies have been able to effectively carry on as normal with all employees working from home either fully or partially.

But what started as a necessary temporary measure has now become semi-permanent nearly a year on and looks set to continue for at least the next 3-6 months until Government restrictions change.

At the same time many workers and employers have decided that a more agile working arrangement going forward beyond COVID-19 has its benefits in terms of flexibility and cost and so the workplaces of the future are likely to be significantly different to what was the norm only a year ago.

Whilst agile-working presents both the employee and employer with multiple potential benefits, it does also present additional health and safety challenges for employers which they will have to overcome to meet their legal obligations.

Here’s a brief look at what employers need to consider if their workforce is going to work in an agile capacity going forward.

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The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in Businesses

woman listening to ladyAs an employer it is important to understand that the mental health and wellbeing of your employees is just as important as their physical health and safety. You have a duty not only to keep them physically safe but ensure their mental health isn’t being adversely affected and to provide support where necessary.

This has become particularly apparent this year with the physical restrictions and other issues caused by COVID-19. Working from home, used to protect them from the potential physical health issues that the disease brings have undoubtedly put a lot of pressure on their mental health and wellbeing as social interaction has been reduced leaving many feeling isolated and out of touch with their colleagues.

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Key Stages in Completing Risk Assessments

Over the past few months as businesses of all sizes and within all sectors have dealt with the impact of COVID-19, risk assessments have become a hot topic.  Whether enabling businesses to continue to operate during lockdown or re-opening after a period of closure ensuring the risk assessment process is completed correctly is critical in protecting employees and the public from infection.

What is a risk assessment? How do you complete one? What are the steps involved in completing one correctly?  All valid questions being asked by businesses at this time.

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