Businesses targetedin safety crackdown

Robert Sutcliffe

A HEALTH and Safety campaign has successfully targeted unsafe working practices in businesses across Leeds.

Inspectors from Leeds City Council and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) joined forces, visiting 176 premises across Holbeck, Beeston, Garforth, Cross Green and Thorp Arch over a two-week period.

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The teams issued seven prohibition notices for dangerous activities that had to be stopped before work was allowed to continue and 20 improvement notices were served requiring businesses to put right matters that required urgent attention.

Key areas of concern related to machinery guarding and the safety and lack of thorough examination certification for lifting equipment, pressure vessels and local exhaust ventilation systems.

Before the visits, information leaflets and CDs were sent to business to raise awareness of good health and safety practice and the planned inspections campaign.

HSE principal inspector John Rowe, who led the inspection team, said: “We much prefer to offer advice and guidance to businesses to ensure they are operating within the law in the first place.

“However, these visits show that we will not hesitate to take enforcement action when we find the health and safety of workers is being put at risk.

“The visits were generally well-received and it is encouraging that the majority of visits did not result in us serving any notices.

“This suggests that businesses are making health and safety a priority and, in most cases, managing it effectively,” added Mr Rowe.

Claire Copley, health and safety manager at Leeds City Council added: “We were pleased to find that most businesses visited by inspectors were generally compliant with health and safety law, and that inspectors were able to assist business owners by offering general advice to keep their employees and customers safe.

“Action was taken where serious risks to health and safety was observed.”