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Written by
on 01 February 2016


If you’re working with any kind of machinery, it seems like a no brainer that you need to make sure you’re using it safely, right?

Unfortunately, there are some businesses out there who think that they can get away with taking shortcuts!

But when it comes to safety, there really are no shortcuts.

Read on for some essential reminders on why worth it’s not such a great idea to try find an easy way around the rules!

You’ll get more than just a slap on the wrist

Try cutting corners when you’re using potentially dangerous or lethal equipment – and you could be paying a very high price – or worse, someone else might have to pay it with their own safety and wellbeing.

A recent story reminded us of this fact – when HSE inspectors saw a specialist piling contractor using a powerful rig – without any kind of safety guard in place.

The contractor in question ended up with a £16,000 fine – but the inspector pointed out just how easily someone could have easily been seriously injured by falling on the unguarded machine.

While they were lucky to get away with using unguarded machinery for over two weeks, it’s pretty horrifying when you think about how easily someone could have suffered a serious or life-changing injury at any time.

You won’t save time

Why do people take the risk of cutting corners in the first place?

Pretty often, it’s simply an attempt to save time or cut down on costs.

When you face potentially very hefty fines and penalties for breaching regulations, you can already see that it’s not exactly the best way to cut down on your budget.

But if you’re only planning to do something for a short period of time, surely then you can get away with bending the rules for a few days or weeks… right?

Totally not! In fact, you could actually end up losing more time if workers are injured or become ill.

Take a look at these mind-opening stats about the number of working days lost in the UK – for work-related ill health alone, the number of days lost in 2013/14 amounted to 8.3 million days overall.

And there’s no excuse for not having information

Another common excuse for not complying to the regulations?

Pleading ignorance.

While you might not be fully aware of all the regulations when it comes to health and safety, there’s plenty of information out there to help you out.

Take a look at the HSE’s topic inspection packs that cover a huge range of topics, from dealing with slips and trips, to working from heights and hand-arm vibration.

And of course, if you’re confused about any health and safety related issue, want advice on risk management or anything else, it’s always best to get some advice – give us a shout and we’ll help you go through the finer details to help you make your workplace as safe as it should be.

A chartered (fellow) safety and risk management practitioner with 20+ years of experience. David provides a healthy dose of how-to articles, advice and guidance to make compliance easier for construction professionals, Architects and the built environment. Get social with David on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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