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HONITON: Safety at work project launches at Heathpark
Friday, 17 January 2014
Honiton’s Heathpark Industrial Estate has been chosen to pilot a safety at work project in East Devon.
Starting this week, 85 small businesses in Heathpark will be visited by a team from Estates Excellence and offered free health and safety checks – plus free training and advice if necessary.
Estates Excellence is a Health and Safety Executive (HSE)-led project, managed locally by East Devon District Council (EDDC).
An EDDC spokesperson said: “We chose Heathpark as we had to start somewhere and Heathpark has the largest concentration of small businesses in one place in East Devon.
“It also has reasonable access to Marsh Barton in Exeter, where we can send our businesses to the training and occupational health resources that HSE are providing.
“Heathpark is a one off at the moment. If we get a really positive response we could then justify trying to do similar initiatives in other areas.”
The spokesperson also explained that in 2012, the number of people hurt in a work accident in East Devon was 549.
He added: “That’s equivalent to the entire population of Musbury. Injuries ranged from broken bones, back injuries, amputated fingers and head injuries caused by slips and trips, falls from height and becoming trapped in machinery.
“The team will visit small businesses to explain what is on offer, and give companies a chance to book a free, longer visit by specially trained staff to identify the support they need.
“This includes free training on areas like fire safety, manual handling, risk assessment and security.
“Businesses will also be able to take advantage of free occupational health testing including hearing tests and lung function.”
Joy Jones, partnership liaison manager from the HSE, said: “We appreciate that in these difficult economic times, health and safety may not always be at the top of the to-do list for small businesses.
“But by coming to them, we are sure we can help. This is entirely voluntary, but has the potential to bring enormous benefits for both the companies and their staff.
“Just as critical, it could save some serious money for businesses as they are likely to have fewer accidents and staff off sick as a result.”
The EDDC spokesperson explained that a small business is defined as having fewer than 50 employees.
He added: “We have sent all of them a leaflet explaining what the scheme is about and what we offer. We intend to visit all 85 businesses, providing they are open so we can gain access, for the initial explanatory visit.”
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