Many businesses across the UK operate within a safe working environment. Other businesses work with dangerous materials that need to be well managed, while others may have particular areas of their business that could potentially be dangerous under certain circumstances.

In a business that has potential but unlikely working hazards, it can be easy to play down the possible dangers believing that “it will never happen”… or if it does happen, “we have the local fire and ambulance services to respond and support us.”

Sadly, this mind-set can be very dangerous as it is flawed in several areas. Let’s take the example of a recycling waste site that has a large storage facility of mixed waste materials. The potential for fire may be relatively low when the site is well managed, but how do you know what “well managed” really involves and looks like? Have the risks of fire been professionally evaluated? Do you know the rate at which a fire could spread? And should a fire break out, do you know the response times of the local fire services? What if those response times are longer than imagined? A small fire could turn into a major incident with all of the unintended risks to life and reputation.

A second example may be a business having working areas that are considered a “Confined Space”.

  • Confined Space: Any place, including a chamber, tank, vat, silo, pit, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well or other similar space in which, by virtue of its enclosed space, there arises a reasonably foreseeable risk of a hazardous atmosphere or a dangerous condition.

In normal working operations these areas may not have to be accessed by personnel, but when they do, are you confident that your workers are prepared for all eventualities? Notice that it’s not just the confined space itself that could potentially trap someone, but a tragedy could occur due to a poisonous even explosive atmosphere. Sadly, some 15 people a year die in confined space incidents in the UK alone. Many others are injured. Once again, relying solely on local emergency responders may not be wise.

“Some 15 people a year die in confined space incidents in the UK alone”

E.g: “One man falls into a vat of slurry. Two of his colleagues try to save him.

All three are overcome by fumes and die.”

These are just two examples where having onsite safety professionals provides peace of mind and minimises the risks to your people and the business. Professionally provided Site Cover can come in the form of a long term contract, to risk assess, monitor and oversee safety procedures at a business. Or it can be used when a potentially hazardous operation needs to be carried out such as working in a confined space.

Businesses that provide Safety Site Cover should also provide all the necessary equipment and protection gear to prevent and deal with any hazards. They also provide experienced and professionally trained personnel who will assess the site areas before any work is started, outlining and preparing for any of the dangers that might be faced

There are many simple safety procedures that you can put in place that will help to keep individuals safe at your site. But there is nothing more reassuring than having a Site Cover by a professional organisation who specialise in keeping people and property safe.

Midlands Fire and Rescue – Blog

Telephone: 03333 – 44 99 08

Useful resources:

HSE – Confined spaces a brief guide to working safely

HSE – Fire safety

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