Health & Safety Helpdesk

This is one of the most useful benefits of your subscription to the Health & Safety Handbook. It’s a free service for subscribers and yours to use as often as you need.

Here’s how it works…

If you have a question and you can’t find the answer you need in your handbook, you can email our Health & Safety Helpdesk with your short query and you can get a response from our experts within 72 hours.

Our team of experts will give you the answers to all your short health and safety queries, so you can be confident you’re getting professional advice to help you achieve the best possible outcome.

To give you an idea, here’s some sample questions the Helpdesk has fielded – and how our experts responded…

Question:  What is the appropriate storage of general cleaning products within an office kitchen? Is an SDS or MSDS required for those that are hazardous?

Answer:  If you have hazardous chemicals in the workplace, you should obtain an SDS or MSDS for them. These can be obtained from the manufacturer and are often available on the internet.

The SDS or MSDS will provide you with information about handling and storage as well as other relevant information on the potential hazards of the product. The SDS or MSDS does not need to be stored with the product but it should be made available for workers to review.

One approach is to store flammable products in a locked cupboard with appropriate signs and away from any ignition sources. In the cupboard, the SDS or MSDS can be prominently displayed along with any checklist for workers on how to safely use the product.

Question:  Often our workers don’t leave the workplace until after hours when it is dark outside. Do we need any policies or procedures in place to ensure their safety when exiting the workplace at night?

Answer:  You do have obligations to ensure that workers are safe when accessing and exiting the workplace. If your work environment has hazards, you must first:

  • Identify the hazards;
  • Measure the risk; and
  • Determine the appropriate controls.

The outcome of your risk assessment will determine whether any policies, procedures and training are required, or sufficient.

Question:  No one wants to volunteer for the fire warden positions in our business. Is there a legal requirement to have fire wardens?

Answer:  Although the necessity for fire wardens is not set out in legislation specifically, it is important to appoint them to ensure that you meet your health and safety obligations in relation to emergency plans and procedures. If no one will volunteer, you may have to appoint someone, perhaps the more senior members of the team.

As you can see, the responses you get will be clear and comprehensive.

Sign up for the Health & Safety Handbook today to get free access to the Health & Safety Helpdesk!

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