Due to the pandemic, more and more people have been working fully or partly from home, with employers still obliged to ensure their employee’s health, safety and welfare even when they are away from their normal place of work and working from home.
We have all become familiar with the employer’s obligations to ensure a safe place of work is provided alongside the many requirements to carry out “suitable and sufficient” risk assessments whether it be for general workplace issues, COVID specific precautions, fire safety or to assess the computer work station.
Is this an opportunity to embrace the dreaded health and safety at home in our personal lives as well? No, I am not going to stop your children playing outside, climbing a tree or playing conkers, but equally it is worth remembering that in a typical year far more people in the UK die or are seriously injured from accidents at home than at work.
Most people will not look around their home and think it is unsafe, but have you tried using your hazard spotting eye in the same way you would at work when carrying out a workplace inspection?
Up to 6000 people die a year in home related accidents compared to between 120 and 150 in the workplace. A dramatic difference. Equally, comparing home related accidents with road transport does not fare well either. Amazingly, the figures can be up to three times as many people die at home than in road traffic accidents.
So it’s time to get the H&S eyes out and start looking at our home with an H&S practitioner’s eyes.
When you are using a strimmer, are you wearing some form of eye protection?
If you are using a lawnmower, strimmer or power tools outside, is the electrical circuit protected by a residual current device? Remember, a fuse only protects the equipment, not the people.
How about that electrical cable which is currently trailing through from the garage to power the outside lights? Is it the correct rated cable? Is it shrouded and protected? Could you accidentally cut through it?
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