When it comes to Health and Safety, there are many myths including one recently about a supermarket cafe refusing to sell a customer a packet of fruit bread for Health and safety reasons as he didn’t want it toasted before taking it home. What I hear you shout!!
Health and Safety Signage
Not really a Health and Safety or even a food labelling issue, more likely a member of staff having a lack of training. Or the one that made me laugh about a nightclub who refused to serve salt and lemon with Tequila shots, under the Health and Safety banner, again more likely to be an easy excuse or just poor customer service.
Still I’m sure you have heard other myths about Health and Safety but one thing always comes to mind and that’s with regard to safety signage. Recently we attended a new customer’s premises for both PAT Testing and Fire Extinguisher servicing. They were very unhappy with their current supplier who were charging extremely high prices to supply new extinguishers, in one case the new client was charged 300% more than our current price.
We were therefore invited to quote for the work and of course we were successful. A few weeks later we arrived at the clients premises to carry out the work and install a number of new extinguishers, unfortunately for our client, they were told that as they were no longer using the previous fire extinguisher servicing company they would be removing the existing extinguishers. It actually turned out that they were paying a lot of money for an extinguisher which they were actually only hiring.
While we were on site the client asked us about Health and Safety signs, in particular, the Fire Action sign, we informed the client that we have them on the van at the moment, to which he asked if we had five, when we asked why he explained that he was told that he needed to have five fitted at a cost of in excess of £120.00. Still reeling from the shock we informed him that as we were installing the fire extinguishers, we would fit the Fire Action signs at the same time, saving the client some serious money. The total cost of the signs was less than £20.00. Needless to say the client was very happy.
He was also told that he needed to have a Fire Exit Keep Clear sign fitted to the outside of a Fire Door. When we looked, the door opened out onto the field with no vehicle access through any of the fencing surrounding the door. Personally it was a sign that really wasn’t needed but when the client asked how much and he was told about £5.00 he asked if we could fit one just in case. Again we were happy to do so especially when he was quoted £18 for the same sign.
It really does upset me when companies appear to be professionals but are really just taking the customer for an expensive ride. Well to say this customer was very happy with our service, pricing and professionalism would be an understatement. Since our visit we have been referred to 3 village halls, a church and a community centre, by our new customer. Good service pays in the long term.
One sign that must be on display in every workplace is the Health and Safety Law Poster, employers have a legal duty to display in the workplace or provide each worker with a copy of the approved leaflet which can be downloaded from the HSE website in various formats an easy read http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/laweasyread.htm or the standard leaflet http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/laweasyread.htm
The current law poster was replaced in April 2009 and workplaces had a 5-year transition period, so the new poster should be on display since 2014. I understand that unless you have maintained the changes to the law on separate documents then you may be fined in excess of £500. We noticed this with a number of clients last year and advised them that they need to make the change.
If you need advice about health and safety signage or any other aspect of health and safety testing then contact us on 0330 6600264.
Until Next Time