Keeping Risk to a Minimum

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), October 15, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Keeping Risk to a Minimum


EVERY business needs to abide by health and safety regulations to ensure the working environment is free from risk or danger.

European Health and Safety week runs between October 13 and October 17 and is aimed at raising the awareness of health and safety.

The week is an annual event and this year's theme is hazardous substances -chemicals used in the workplace,dusts and fumes which cause occupational asthma, asbestos is and the need for COSHH assessments and substitution.

Across Europe,millions of employees are exposed to dangerous substances in their workplaces due to the management's failure to control the associated risks.

These risks can affect people in many different ways,from skin irritation or dermatitis to cancer, reproductive problems and birth defects.

The outcome of this for a company is loss of productivity and increased liability to prosecution and claims for compensation from employees.

To prevent employees being exposed to harm from dangerous substances in the workplace, European legislation sets out the following obligations of employers.

These include: 8 Risk assessment 8 Prevention of risks associated with dangerous substances 8 Arrangements for dealing with accidents and emergencies 8 Information and training for workers. Employers are also required to keep workers involved in the development of their health and safety policies.

Even though there is a vast amount of guidance available for employers and workers,problems arise when it isn't acted upon.

A key aim of the European Week, therefore, is not only to highlight the risks,but to encourage people to take action to make Europe's workplaces safer,healthier and more productive.

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