Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Chemical Safety in the Hospitality Sector


Photo shows a hotelCleaning products and chemicals are probably one of the most common hazardous substances used in the hospitality sector. Apart from sharp equipment in kitchens that presents a risk, chemicals also present many hazards such as burns, skin irritation and respiratory harm. To minimise these risks, proper training, risk assessment and chemical storage needs to be undertaken. Below are some top tips on how to handle chemicals safely.

Training and COSHH

The first step to avoid chemical hazards is to educate staff in proper handling techniques. Employees should never underestimate the importance of COSHH assessments and should ensure all substances which are hazardous are supplied with a COSHH and safety data sheets, including sufficient information and instructions on how to use these chemicals safely.

COSHH training is needed because it enables employees to identify, measure and control exposure to harmful substances. As a result, this can help safeguard your staff. This supports effective management and creation of a safer workplace for employees through better understanding and compliance with health and safety needs.

Clear labelling

One of the key steps in identifying …

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5 Health and Safety Hazards During the Winter – And How to Avoid Them


Photo shows footprints in the snowPlummeting temperatures and fallen leaves have been foreshadowing what this “year of the snowstorm” might look like, which is said to likely be the coldest since 2010/11. At this time of year, new potential hazards arise in the workplace – both outside and in – that need to be taken care of to prevent accidents.

Here are 5 risks the employer needs to keep in mind when assessing whether suitable health and safety controls are in place and working sufficiently this year.

1 Shivering outside is more than just uncomfortable

Being cold is an unpleasant feeling that can seriously impact a worker’s judgement. The more you rush things, the more likely you are to make mistakes that can pose risks to the whole operation. If working outside for longer periods of time is necessary for a job, the employer needs to assure that workers take breaks regularly, have access to indoor facilities and wear appropriate clothing.

Gloves are required as soon as temperatures drop below 4°C since stiff fingers and limbs can cause manual handling to become very difficult and therefore dangerous. Workers should also be trained on how to dress according to weather conditions; several laye…

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8 Unusual Places You Might Find Asbestos


Photo shows an ironing board - some old boards may contain asbestos, covers were also lined with asbestosAs a naturally occurring material, the history of asbestos in tools and products stretches back thousands of years. Its seemingly miraculous properties of fire resistance and tensile strength led to its use in all kinds of products, with a particular boom in the early 20th century.

While many of these extraordinary uses have been consigned to history, asbestos remains an active issue. The amount that was mined and used in over a hundred years of industrialisation means asbestos is still all around us, from insulation to brownfield sites. Knowing some of its stranger uses - and its ubiquity - could help you identify these risks and act accordingly.

Toilet seats

One unusual item on the odd asbestos register is the humble toilet seat. Early plastic composite seats made from the material known as Bakelite would sometimes contain asbestos. This was used in small quantities to strengthen the somewhat brittle material.

Although its heat-resistant properties might have made it the enemy of bums everywhere, the asbestos in these seats is generally safe and stable. Asbestos was also used in Bakelite toilet cisterns, and even sound insulation in some instances, to dampen the noise…

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