Bellshill firms given the initiative

At the launch of the Estates Excellence scheme are (l-r) Robert Atkinson Occupational (Healthy Working Lives), Sandy Gillespie (Strathclyde Fire and Rescue), Sarah Jones (Health and Safety Executive) and Neil McGeachy (North Lanarkshire Council).
At the launch of the Estates Excellence scheme are (l-r) Robert Atkinson Occupational (Healthy Working Lives), Sandy Gillespie (Strathclyde Fire and Rescue), Sarah Jones (Health and Safety Executive) and Neil McGeachy (North Lanarkshire Council).
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BUSINESSES in Bellshill are to benefit from a new scheme offering free expert health and safety advice.

The Estates Excellence initiative is run by North Lanarkshire Council, the Health and Safety Executive, Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, ROSPA and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue with the support of local firms.

It will work with businesses in the Righead Industrial Estate, Strathclyde Business Park and Motherwell Foodpark, offering free information, support and guidance.

North Lanarkshire has one of the UK’s highest rates of reported injuries, and the cost of workplace injuries and work-related ill health in this area is estimated at £49 million a year.

Councillor Helen McKenna, convener of the environmental services committee, said: “Managing health and safety issues is vital for all local companies and there is a lot of information available, but it can be difficult for owners to identify what’s relevant for their particular business.

“Our Estates Excellence initiative is not about inspection or enforcement, but works in partnership with businesses, providing clear information, on-site training and practical help to improve the health and safety of workers.”

The Estates Excellence team will be approaching small and medium sized businesses in the industrial estates over the next few weeks to explain the service they can offer.

If local employers want to take part, short visits will be set up in October.

Safety equipment firm ARCO has an outlet in Righead Industrial Estate and is helping to deliver this initiative.

Regional sales manager Stewart Beats said: “We’re delighted to be involved by offering our facilities for the Estates Excellence team to meet on-site and helping to present some of the training workshops.

“The concept of bringing tailored advice and free workshops direct to local businesses on-site is a great innovation.”

Robert Atkinson, occupational health service development manager at Healthy Working Lives, added: “As part of the Estates Excellence initiative we offer free occupational health taster sessions. These check employees for health issues that could be related to their work and, if required, both employers and employees will be given advice on how to minimise the risk of injury or ill-health.”

For more information about Estates Excellence visit www.hse.gov.uk/estatesexcellence, call 0800 019 211 or attend an introductory seminar at the Strathclyde Hilton on Thursday, September 20, from 8-10am or 4-6pm.