Funds boost puts safety first for Cotswold firms

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Businesses will be boosted thanks to a £6,500 grant awarded to Cotswold District Council to help improve health and safety in workplaces.

The funding – which has come from the Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust – will be used to help the Council’s Food and Safety team to deliver important messages to businesses to safeguard the health of employees across the Cotswolds. 
Officers will be working with hairdressers and caterers to increase their awareness of occupational dermatitis.  Other industries which are being targeted are bakeries and paint sprayers, where training sessions will be provided on occupational asthma.  Exposure to asbestos across a wide range of businesses will also be a focus for the team.

Health and safety advice will be delivered through visits to workplaces and seminars for employees to improve their knowledge of these health issues and to promote best practices at work.

Cotswold District Council’s Public Protection Manager Kate Bishop said: “We regulate health and safety at over 1,500 businesses around the District and we want to be able to help them further in ways they can improve their health and safety.  Working with the PCT on this will be very beneficial for both parties, as it will help promote important health messages to relevant businesses – and we hope that this will improve employees’ health.”

The work will be carried out over this financial year and each industry sector will be informed when they are in line for an event.

The Health and Safety Executive estimates that up to 7,000 people in Britain develop asthma or have the condition worsened through conditions in their workplace, while exposure to asbestos is responsible for the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK.

Further research also carried out by the HSE indicates that up to 70% of hairdressers suffer from some form of skin damage, and hairdressers are 17 times more likely to develop dermatitis than any other group of workers.

This health and safety project will link in with the HSE’s National Asbestos Campaign and aims to raise awareness of the issues involved with the lung condition.

Source: Cotswold District Council

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