Warning over health and safety shortcuts

Employers in Lancashire are being warned that handling and storing documents incorrectly is one of the most common business mistakes.

According to the Health & Safety Executive figures, handling injuries are the most commonly reported, as well as the most frequent cause of absence from work. In total, an estimated two million working days are lost annually in the UK due to handling injuries, falls, slips and trips.

In a world of increased regulation, every business is required to pay more attention to health and safety but Lorraine Birch of information management firm, IBEX, warns that companies are still taking health and safety shortcuts.

She commented: “It’s all too common for businesses to place boxes of files on office floors, where there is a risk of workers tripping over them.

“There is also a danger of staff injuring themselves, lifting and carrying heavy boxes of documents as office space becomes more and more congested.

“A third, equally concerning health and safety issue is ensuring that staff are properly trained to insert sensitive documents into shredding machinery. If they are not, serious injuries could result from hair or an item of clothing getting caught in the shredding mechanism.” She added: “Thinking seriously about underlying storage and handling issues is paramount for those who deal with large volumes of records on a daily basis including housing associations, law firms, accountants and schools.”