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Case Study

Offices & Low Risk Environments

The Client

Our client is a graphic design firm providing design services to local clients of all sizes for digital and print.

The Problem

With little or no physical labour required, our client is classed as being very low-risk from a Health & Safety perspective. However, the biggest challenge they face is simply keeping up to date with the relevant legislation and ensuring that they comply with it as simply as possible.

The nature of their work dictates that most of their staff spend a very high proportion of their time at a desk using a computer. Their workload can also fluctuate based on client demands, meaning that at certain times some individuals may need to work extra hours – possibly alone or in small groups – to meet specific deadlines.

As a relatively small company, the directors need to take on a broad range of responsibilities. Health & Safety is an area in which someone needs to take control and become the ‘Competent Person’. It is not a big enough responsibility for them to recruit a full-time employee, but it is also not an obvious fit with the skillsets of their current staff, most of whom have been recruited for their creative flair rather than their management skills.

However, Health & Safety is important and should be given more consideration given that a high proportion of their clients like to visit the office for planning meetings.

The Proposed Framework

Clearly this client is not a high-risk business. Our main focus when we take on a client such as this one is to put the necessary procedures in place to make Health & Safety compliance as simple as possible for them.

With low-risk businesses like this one, we carry out an initial visit which includes a full audit against their legislative requirements. As part of this visit we investigate factors such as DSE (Display Screen Equipment), Slip and Trip hazards, Manual Handling issues and Lone Working procedures. We will also assess the office premises against the relevant Fire legislation.

For this particular client, our framework consisted of the following:

  • Lighthouse Risk Services were appointed as the client’s ‘Competent Person’ as required under the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999. This effectively outsources their responsibilities for this role to us, meaning that the client can rely on us to advise them on any actions required in order to remain compliant.
  • The client was to be provided with a series of documents, written on their behalf to aid in compliance. These included:
    • A detailed audit report including a prioritised action plan for remedials
    • A Health & Safety policy
    • A Fire Risk Assessment for their office space
General Working Risk Assessments for standard day to day practices (Lone Working, Manual Handling etc.)
    • Lighthouse were to remain as a competent resource for use by the Client for ad-hoc requirements via our helpline

The Result

The client was very keen to ensure that they could comply with the relevant legislation as simply as possible with minimal work and expense on their part. It wasn’t practical for even one member of their team to have to undertake extensive training in Health & Safety.

By working with ourselves, they were able to take a slightly more proactive stance on Health & Safety. Because of the relatively low-risk nature of their work, having proper written procedures and processes in place will significantly reduce their risks.

In return for a very reasonable fee, they have all the Health & Safety expertise they need at their disposal, without the need to take on new staff, or take their skilled designers away from paid work for their clients.

This client now has the peace of mind they wanted over Health & Safety matters, in return for a fee which reflects the low level of risk they present

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