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News - 4 February 2010

Council offers safety expertise to businesses

Brighton & Hove City Council has signed up to a UK-wide initiative aimed at improving health and safety at work.

Environmental health officers from the city have joined up with neighbouring Eastbourne and Adur councils to target businesses on industrial sites with specialist advice and support.

Brighton & Hove will be sending a questionnaire to 100 businesses and follow up with a visit to around 20 that may need support with health and safety.

Under the scheme, which uses flexible warrants, inspectors will assess standards of health and safety management. Flexible warrants allow inspectors from local authorities to inspect sites traditionally covered by the Health and Safety Executive. The kinds of subject they will tackle include working at height, work transport, asbestos and slips, trips and falls. Officers from the three councils will work together to make sure advice is consistent.

Inspectors will be looking at how employers control risks to their own staff and others who may be affected, including members of the public.

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, cabinet member for environment, said: “The objective of the project is to reduce injuries and ill health in the workplace through education.

“Our in-house team has a wealth of experience that we are keen to share with businesses to help them find their way around the health and safety legislation and make sure they have safe workplaces.”

Code named CASE - "Common Approach to Sussex Enterprise"- the exercise will begin this month with visits planned for March.

Dave Rothery, HM Principal Inspector for the HSE in Sussex, added: “Businesses that receive the letter should take time to review how health and safety is being managed on their sites. Inspectors visiting workplaces will offer relevant advice but will not hesitate to take enforcement action if health and safety standards are found to be poor."

For more information call the council’s health & safety team on (01273) 294429 or email ehl.safety@brighton-hove.gov.uk


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