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Why you need to consider Health & Safety

22/02/2012

Back to: Health & Safety

Legislation places responsibility on both employers and employees to ensure health, safety and welfare ay work.

1. Legislation

Employer duties

Health and Safety legislation places a general duty on employers so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees and others who maybe affected by their work activities.

There are various regulations in place to enforce H&S legislation. For example employers are required to:

  • prevent or control exposure to hazardous substances
  • provide PPE where there are risks to workers health and safety
  • prevent or reduce risks from exposure to noise

Employee Duties

Legislation requires that employees (and self-employed) are required to take reasonable care of their own safety and that of other people who may be affected by their actions. They are also required to co-operate with their employer to enable legal obligations to be met.

2. The Bodyshop : A hazardous environment

There are a wide range of hazards present in the bodyshop environment some of which are less obvious than others. For example inhalation of isocyanates found in two-pack paints can lead to occupational asthma. Isocyanates, however, have low warning properties which mean that they cannot be detected by smell or taste.

Typical bodyshop hazards

Hazard Acute Chronic
Particulates (dust, mist and metal fumes)
  • acute respiratory irritation
  • breathing difficulties
  • occupational asthma,
  • lung tissue damage
  • cancer
Isocyanates (typically found in two-pack paints)
  • acute respiratory irritation
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • occupational asthma
Welding fumes
  • metal fume fever (flu-like illness)
  • cancer
  • occupational asthma
Welding
  • acute 'arc-eye' inflammation
  • blindness
  • cataracts
Noise
  • temporary hearing loss
  • Permanent hearing loss

Refer to the 3M Management Guide to Bodyshop Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) (pdf, 1,237kb) for more information on bodyshop hazards and health effects

3. Good health is good business:

  • Enhance goodwill: By looking after your workers they will be more inclined to remain loyal to your business.
  • Enhance productivity: Reduce days taken off sick from occupational related illnesses.
  • Avoid fines and prosecution by demonstrating that you’re delivering best practice.
  • Low staff turnover: Lower training costs and remove the hassle of arranging temporary worker arrangements.
 

Back to: Health & Safety