Health And Safety Supplies Your Business Needs

Health and safety can be a hassle, but it’s a necessity. It helps to keep customers and employees safe, and it protects you from lawsuits. While training your staff and introducing protocol is important, you also need to be prepared to invest in certain equipment.

Just what type of health and safety equipment do you need? This post delves into some of the most essential pieces of equipment you should invest in. 

Fire safety equipment

The risk of there being a fire is very slim. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Thousands of commercial fires occur every year as the result of small things from poorly disposed cigarettes to electrical problems. 

Smoke detectors and fire alarm systems are some of the most important pieces of equipment worth buying to protect you, your staff and any visitors from fires. By warning everyone early, you can organize a safe evacuation. This alarm needs to be tested annually to make sure that it’s working properly.

Fire exit signs are also necessary. These tell people where to evacuate. Even if it seems obvious where to escape, it’s legally compulsory to point out exits.

Finally, you need to have suitable fire extinguishers. Different fire extinguishers are designed to deal with different types of fire (such as electric fires, cooking oil fires and gas fires), so do your research to find out which one you need. Having someone in your work premises fire safety trained is important so that you know how and when to use this equipment.

First aid supplies

It’s legally compulsory for every employer to keep a first aid kit on the premises. But what actually needs to be in this first aid kit?

A few of the recommended supplies include:

  • Plasters in a variety of sizes
  • Triangular bandages
  • Eye pads
  • Large and medium sized wound dressings
  • Safety pins
  • Disposable gloves
  • A leaflet describing how to provide first aid

Most basic first aid kits will have all of these supplies in them. Make sure that you keep these supplies stocked up.

What other first aid supplies are worth considering? In workplaces where there is a risk of burn injuries, burn dressings may be recommended. Clothing scissors are also sometimes recommended in factories and construction sites, where clothing may have to be cut to access a wound.

Some workplaces go so far as to keep a defibrillator on their premises in case someone has a cardiac arrest. Such equipment could save someone’s life if paramedics are unable to get there in time. Of course, someone in the workplace should have basic life support certification so that you know how to use this equipment. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

PPE is clothing designed to protect the user from injuries or contamination. There are so many different types of PPE that you can invest in. Examples include:

  • Gardening gloves when doing landscaping
  • Hard hats on a construction site
  • Ear defenders or earplugs for airport grounds workers
  • Protective goggles when using a laser cutter
  • Steel toe shoes in a chemical plant
  • A respirator face mask in a flour mill
  • A hairnet when working in a kitchen (to prevent customer contamination)

It’s important to consider the risks faced by your workers and choose equipment accordingly. When choosing equipment, consider the level of protection provided – some safety gloves will offer little protection against heavy duty chemicals, while others will be able to protect you from the most corrosive of acids. 

You need to make sure that enough PPE is provided for all of your workforce. If this PPE is not single use and is worn regularly, make sure that you carry out regular inspections on the equipment to ensure that it is in good condition. You don’t want to give someone damaged PPE, which could cause more harm than good.

It is up to you to enforce the use of PPE. Simply supplying it may not be enough to cover you against a lawsuit if an employee decides not to wear it. By making it company policy to wear PPE in appropriate situations, you can make sure that no-one gets unnecessarily injured. 

Warning signs

You should also consider placing signs around your workplace to warn employees and customers of hazards. This could include permanent signs for constant dangers and temporary signs for temporary dangers. 

As mentioned earlier, fire safety signs are a necessity. But there are other signs you may want to consider too. This includes:

  • Temporary ‘caution, wet floor’ signs to place down on wet floors
  • ‘Protective clothing must be worn’ signs in locker rooms to make sure employees wear PPE
  • ‘No smoking’ signs in areas where lighting up a cigarette could be a hazard
  • ‘Caution, hot water’ signs in bathroom with taps that get very hot
  • ‘Mind your head’ signs over low doorways and ceilings

Choose official signs in their designated HSE colors to make sure that people pay attention to them. These signs should be well-maintained so that they stay salient and readable. 

Log books

Health and safety logbooks are often overlooked, however they are required by law in most workplaces.

Accident books are the first example. These are used to record any workplace accidents that take place and should include details such as the location, date/time/ person involved, a description of the incident and the action taken. The best place to keep these is in a location near your first aid kit.

Fire log books should also be kept somewhere to record things like smoke alarm inspections, fire drills and any incidents involving fires. This logbook can be kept anywhere (ideally away from any likely fire hazards so that it doesn’t get destroyed in a fire).

Log books can also be used for recording other health and safety tasks like inspecting PPE, servicing company machinery and measuring air quality. These tasks may differ depending on the type of workplace. Such log books won’t just help you to maintain health and safety inspection schedules, but can also provide evidence of inspections to legally cover you. 



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