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Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Do you specialise in Health & Safety? We want to hear from you!

Each month on FM Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the facilities management market – and in January we’ll be focussing on Health & Safety solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help FM industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Health & Safety solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Paige Aitken on

Here’s our full features list:

Jan – Health & Safety
Feb – Building Maintenance & Refurbishment
Mar – Cleaning
Apr – Total FM
May – Energy Management
June – Security
Jul – Air Conditioning
Aug – Waste Management
Sep – Asset Management
Oct – FM Software
Nov – Intruder & Alarm Systems
Dec – Fire & Safety Equipment

Health & Safety

Looking for Health & Safety solutions? The FM Forum Recommended Supplier Directory can help!

Looking for new Health & Safety solutions for your building, venue, school or company? The FM Forum Recommended Supplier Directory is home to dozens of trusted partners ready to help make your project a reality!

Put simply, there’s something to suit every requirement.

Start Your Search Now

Are you an FM supplier? Get listed!

The FM Forum Recommended Supplier Directory is the perfect platform to raise your organisation’s profile and extend your reach.

Promoted via the FM Briefing newsletter, website and our renowned meet-the-buyer facilities events – this digital FM directory offers a comprehensive list of industry solution leaders.

For a short period of time, your business can now be included in the FM Directory for FREE!

In these times of uncertainty for everyone, we are offering support to the industry by providing a free listing for a 3-month period, to support businesses through these difficult circumstances.

Click Here To Get Listed!

Or, for more information, please contact Paige Aitken on 01992 374079 or

Spectrum Industrial extends its range of Social Distancing and Hygiene signs and launches new brochure

Manufacturer of safety signage and products Spectrum Industrial have added even more signs to their range of social distancing and hygiene signs by popular demand.

The extended range includes floor graphics to help the flow of traffic within premises as well as providing instructions to visitors on the route they should take, a range of site safety notices providing your on site rules to visitors in relation to covid -19, temporary signs for those needing to provide instructions to people whilst in their vehicles, new hygiene and PPE signs and finally hygiene / sneeze guards.

“We have worked hard to develop a signage range to suit customers needs so they could react quickly, However, as we now start to talk to those who are preparing their premises for when restrictions are lifted, there are many more factors to consider and different industries face different challenges, so we had to look at where signage could help and extend our range to suit,” said Paul Kantecki, Managing Director.

“As those businesses deemed as essential have or continue to roll out their social distancing and hygiene programs, we are now seeing many businesses start to look at how they can re-open and how they can keep employees, customers and visitors safe when they do re-open.  Its not easy, and although we can help with signage to provide clear instruction and information, there are so many other factors and challenges businesses are having to think about, and as a business owner myself, it’s not an easy task.”

The new signs have been launched in an updated version of Spectrum Industrials Social Distancing and Safety Signage brochure. The brochure showcases over 250 products, providing a comprehensive range.

Paul continued: “It won’t stop there. We are focusing on reviewing our range constantly to be able to support all businesses and facilities with the signage and products they require to help adhere to social distancing and keep staff, customers, and visitors safe. As we talk to customers and identify challenges, we will continue to identify solutions to best help them cost effectively and efficiently.”

Spectrum offer a wide selection of social distancing signs including anti slip floor stickers and strips, wall signs and entrance signs and the full range can be viewed on their website.  However, if customers cannot find what they are looking for or have bespoke requirements, Spectrum Industrial can easily make these designs to order at their manufacturing facility in Doncaster.

For more information about Spectrum Industrial and their product range visit or email

Half of UK workers uncomfortable about returning to the workplace

Over half of UK workers are not comfortable returning to work in the wake of the Government announcing its COVID-19 recovery strategy and the publication of guidelines for working safely.

A study by ENGAGE and YouGov shows that 55 per cent of respondents (those employed who usually work from home or are currently working from home or who have been furloughed) state that they are not very or not at all comfortable returning to work, when asked to imagine returning to work once the UK government begins to lift the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Those more uncomfortable include respondents who are vulnerable (i.e. because of age, health conditions or another reason; 67 per cent) or who live with others who are vulnerable (66 per cent).

Levels of discomfort are also higher in certain sectors such as education (66 per cent), presumably where there will be a greater interaction with large numbers of students, and in professional services such as financial services and accounting (75 per cent), where many may be returning to offices with high volumes of colleagues.

The biggest physical concern, cited by 51 per cent of respondents as one of their top three issues, is how social distancing is likely to be implemented upon their return to the workplace. There are also concerns regarding the practical logistics and safety of returning to the workplace such as moving around (30%), the use of public toilet/washing areas (37%), and the use of shared equipment (27%).

Critically, almost a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) cite their commute or journey to work as a concern, a figure that is twice as high for Londoners (50 per cent).

But concerns among respondents also extend to their wellbeing. Nearly half (42 per cent) of people believe returning to the workplace will see a decline in work-life balance, while only 23 per cent believe it will improve it. One third (33 per cent) anticipate a decline in their mental health, and over a quarter (28 per cent) in their physical health.

Of concern, too, is the anticipated anxiety around job security. 25 per cent said their confidence in their job security would decline by a return to the workplace.

However, when questioned on the impact that returning to the workplace would have on their working lives, the majority of those employed believe it will make no real difference.

61 per cent feel there will be no change in accessing the information they need; 59 per cent believe there will be no change to the communications they get from leaders within their organisation; and 58 per cent feel there will be no change in the communication they have with their manager.

This suggests, says ENGAGE, that in many areas UK companies have been able to help people switch to productive working from home relatively quickly.

And while 42 per cent of respondents believe that collaboration and teamwork will improve by returning to the workplace, and a third of respondents (37 per cent) expect innovation to improve, the new guidelines for safe working practices and social distancing are likely to create barriers here.

Dr Andy Brown, CEO at ENGAGE, said: “The research suggests that some organisations will see a limited number of both internal and external outputs improving as workplace restrictions are lifted. But it’s clear that employees believe there will be a net worsening of other critical aspects by returning to the workplace, which organisations must take into account.

“More than this, though, the results clearly show that any physical return to work needs purpose. COVID-19 secure guidelines mean firms may not be able to provide the collaborative, innovative environments that we had before.  And we now know that remote working isn’t the barrier to communication or collaboration that we once thought. Organisations will need to align their return strategies with the real benefits they will deliver, rather than just returning to the way things have always been done.”

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Banbury, Oxon OX16 3JU

Tel: +44 (0) 1295 228 288

How to get your employees back to work safely and smoothly

iHASCO, a market-leading provider of Health & Safety, HR and Compliance eLearning, are currently adding a number of online programmes to their course library to help organisations get their employees back into the workplace as safely and smoothly as possible.

“Covid-19 has resulted in a hugely challenging time for businesses for a number of reasons, and as steps are taken to exit lockdown the return to work process will provide employers with even further challenges” says Alex Morris, Director at iHASCO. “iHASCO have created a returning to work essentials training bundle which will assist employers with helping their staff return to work with confidence and reassurance that their health and safety is taken seriously, which will play a major role in resuming safe operations.”

Among the titles to be released is ​Returning to Work after COVID-19 Training​, a course that focuses on easing an employee’s transition back to work in light of Coronavirus. It will cover important aspects of the return to work process, such as risk assessments, team communication and handling anxiety in connection to Covid-19. It also provides an insight as to what an employee can expect on their first few days and weeks back at work to help them adjust.

A ​Resilience Training​ course will also be available, which will provide employees with practical techniques to build resilience and deal with challenging situations. This is a crucial skill in times of adversity and empowering the employee to regain focus, control, and perspective will help with a smooth transition back to the workplace.

These two courses will come as part of iHASCO’s ​Returning to Work Essentials Bundle​, along with other important titles such as DSE Training, Fire Awareness Training, Infection Prevention & Control and Mental Health Awareness Training.

Employers are also being encouraged to take advantage of iHASCO’s ​free Risk Assessment Tool​ to conduct a Coronavirus Risk Assessment – which will be crucial upon planning a return to the workplace.

Due to the uncertainty of the weeks and months ahead, a clear and careful plan to reopen a workplace is required to ensure the safety of employees and any visitors to its site. This, together with online training for employees, can provide a solid foundation to get a business focussed and navigate the challenges it faces.

Organisations that feel these new courses could benefit them should ​register their interest​ through the iHASCO website.

Go-4-Zero accidents at work: Tips & tools to manage safety risks

According to the latest numbers from EUROSTAT, 3.2 million non-fatal accidents happened in the EU in 2015, and 3876 fatal accidents, resulting in 42 million working days lost. Increasing workplace safety is not only a humane, but also an economically sound strategy to protect company profits. Brady proposes a number of safety identification solutions to help reduce workplace risks for some of the most frequently occurring accident categories.

  • Avoid slips, trips and falls
  • Identify dangerous goods
  • Increase maintenance safety

Check out Brady’s “Go for Zero” solutions!


Banbury, Oxon OX16 3JU

Tel: +44 (0) 1295 228 288

Solutions to keep your people & workplace safe

At Brady, we are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19. We aim to continue to respond to your identification and safety needs for your people, products and premises.

  • Safety signs

Identify and warn visitors and staff of potential hazards with our hazard warning signs.

  • Area Marking

Ideal for controlling and directing foot traffic.

  • Spill Control

A range of emergency response kits to handle any type of spill.

  • Print your own identification solution

The ability to print your labels on-site enables you to quickly respond to any identification need and can eliminate all waiting on label deliveries.

Discover our coronavirus related identification and safety solutions >>


Banbury, Oxon OX16 3JU

Tel: +44 (0) 1295 228 288

New research puts safety eyeware in to focus

Comfort is the overriding requirement for safety eyewear, according to research among over 500 UK companies.

The Specsavers study looked at which features and benefits are the priorities when choosing prescription safety eyewear for employees, with the majority (57%) selecting comfort. This was followed by the opportunity for employees to actually try on the glasses for comfort and fit, selected by 40%.

In a perhaps more surprising aspect of procurement requirements, aesthetics also featured heavily, with 30% of employers looking for availability of designs for both men and women, while 27% were concerned with style. A quarter (25%) of employers were interested in the brand of safety eyewear, which may be about fashion but may also be about reputation for safety and robustness.

Cost was a consideration for nearly a third of employers, with 29% stating this as a feature they consider when selecting safety eyewear.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, said: “Of course protection is the major concern for safety eyewear, but it is also very important that safety glasses look and feel good. If they are comfortable, fit well and look stylish, then employees are far more likely to actually wear their eye protection.”

The ability to try on safety eyewear was the second most popular requirement, linked to the main criteria of comfort. It is possible to procure safety eyewear from a variety of sources, including online and paper catalogues. There is, however, no substitute for evaluating different frames in person. While the choice of safety glasses will be dictated to some extent by the setting and task, there is still often a wide range of options available to the employee, which can only be truly assessed in person. Professional one-to-one fitting advice is a vital part of the process.

Lythgow concluded: “It is very positive that employers are aware of the many additional features and benefits of eye protection and that they understand the importance of comfort, fit, and even aesthetics. It is crucial that employees are happy with their safety eyewear, as this is half the battle in it being worn consistently.”

Key findings from the Specsavers study:-

In addition to protection, which other features and benefits do you look for when choosing prescription safety eyewear for your company’s employees?

  • Comfort 57%
  • Ability to try on for comfort and fit 40%
  • Designs for men and women 30%
  • Low price 29%
  • Style 27%
  • Brand 25%

Image by roegger from Pixabay

Burning desire – Why fire training is the hot topic in health and safety

By Alex Wilkins at iHASCO

Look anywhere you want in the media and I guarantee you will find news and warnings about fire risks. Yet despite its catastrophic potential, the relatively day-to-day nature of fire damage is rarely appreciated. In truth, fire is a constant and very real hazard to UK organisations.

Home Office figures show that in the reporting period 2018/19, the UK’s fire and rescue services attended 15,005 ‘primary fires’ in non-dwelling buildings. That’s more than 280 per week; and those incidents caused 17 deaths, plus a further 1,061 non-fatal casualties.

Fire can also be disastrous in terms of operations, productivity and financial loss. Worldwide, fire and explosions cause the largest losses for businesses. Around 70% of businesses fail within three years of a major fire.

Thus, when it comes to fire, prevention is clearly much better than cure. But it’s impossible to predict when, where and why a fire may break out. Therefore, a culture of fire prevention must prevail throughout the organisation, from top to bottom.

Organisations in the UK simply have to take fire seriously. In some respects, their attention is mandated by law. Employers are legally required to train each of their employees in fire prevention under the Fire Safety Order 2005 and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

But how can managers be sure their entire workforce is taking fire safety seriously?

What are the dangers?

Workplace fires can arise from a range of causes. These include faulty equipment (such as electrical equipment like kettles and ovens), clutter (particularly combustible materials like paper, wood, furniture etc.), poor standards of cleaning (for example when grease or oil is allowed to build up on equipment, or dirt and dust cause machines to overheat), human error (misuse of equipment, failure to implement safety practices or report malfunctioning machinery etc.) and arson.

The good news is that fire is frequently preventable. It is notable that according to the Home Office figures mentioned earlier, 75% of the non-dwelling fires in 2018/19 were accidental and could probably have been avoided.

How can managers ensure their organisation is fire safety aware?

In the UK, employers have a legal duty to prevent fire. This includes a duty to train all staff in fire prevention.

However, the means by which they achieve this is largely up to their judgement. And it can be hard to determine the best approach, not least because there are key differences between staff members and even sectors when it comes to fire prevention.

For example, sectors that involve care for others – such as care work, health services and teaching – may find fire safety and protection a natural ‘cultural fit’. In commercial sectors, or those working under constant pressure of time or productivity, fire safety may be seen as a waste of time or a matter of common sense. Such workers may resent training as an intrusion into their time.

There are differences between people, too, which exist regardless of sector. Some individuals will lack confidence in their ability to protect themselves and others. Some will be disinterested or may not learn well in classroom- or lecture-style settings. Staff may also have issues around language, rostering and/or ability to attend training locations.

It can also be hard for employers to quantify learning outcomes when traditional approaches are used. They can easily verify who has attended – but knowing what proportion of that training was understood and retained is an entirely different matter. Fire safety training is an investment of time and money, and it is reasonable to want clear results.

Online training solves many of these problems

Online training, also known as eLearning, can help organisations to overcome many of the barriers to fire safety. The very nature of eLearning means it can be accessed from any location, at a time appropriate for the trainee. Many courses are broken down into bite-sized modules which need not be completed in one sitting; this makes concentration easier and the genuine assimilation of learning more likely.

It is often possible to provide eLearning in more than one language, something that is very hard to achieve with traditional training methods and may prove particularly helpful in organisations with a diverse workforce.

Online training also incorporates online documentation and learning assessments, making it easier for an organisation to prove compliance with the relevant laws.

Don’t settle for box-ticking when only genuine fire awareness will do

Due to the commonplace nature of workplace fires and the devastation they cause, organisations must provide fire safety training that will be genuinely absorbed, retained and acted upon by staff at all levels. This is quite clearly in the best interests of the business, its workforce and the public.

‘Box ticking’, in the form of providing low-grade fire training because ‘we’ve always done it this way’ or ‘we don’t have time to research alternative providers’, is frankly dangerous in financial, commercial, personal and reputational terms.

Fortunately, online fire safety training removes many of the challenges and inconveniences traditionally associated with workplace training and can even enhance the learning process and outcomes in some settings, while making it easy for organisations to demonstrate compliance.

And given the sheer devastation and loss that workplace fires can cause, that has to be good news for us all.