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Buying Guides

How to keep warm at work: Cost-effective ways to beat the bills

Are you concerned about your business running costs now that energy prices have gone through the roof? Electricity prices have increased 74% for large industrial units in the past ten years, while gas has risen 250% over the past couple of years. Perhaps you’re looking for ways of keeping your workforce warm at work for less? The wholesale cost of buying UK electricity this winter Keeping your workforce warm should be a priority because cold workers are less productive. Long-term exposure to the cold can result in long-term health problems: respiratory, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular disorders, as well as a range of debilitating skin problems. Turning the heating up is one solution, but it will impact your profit margin, and it's...


The Cost of Slips, Trips, and Falls to British Industry

The Cost of Slips, Trips, and Falls to British Industry Are slips, trips, and falls costing your business dearly? Is your workforce underperforming? Are you missing expertise on the floor due to personal injury in the workplace? It could be time to consider how to mitigate the risks of slips, trips, and falls by installing appropriate matting and flooring. According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), slip and trip accidents cost UK employers over £500m yearly. That's from lost production time; product or plant damage; loss of expertise — the figures stack up and up and up. This article explores how you might mitigate against the risks of slips, trips, and falls in your workplace, ensuring that your workforce...


From Nut to Mat - How Coir Matting is Made

Door mats might not stand out as being the most obvious product to boast an interesting manufacturing history, but the truth of the matter is that coir matting is produced in a fascinating fashion. So, while you may be aware of the many benefits that they can bring to your home or business, gaining a little background insight can be very useful too. Coir comes from the outer husk – that you won’t see in the supermarkets - of a coconut, which is incredible enough. However, the material (obviously) doesn’t instantly become a doormat once it is scraped from the coconut. It embarks on an epic journey before reaching your doorway. From nut to mat, here’s all you need to...


A Quick Guide to Storing Small Chemical Products Safely

Introduction This blog post provides a simplified guide to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) document titled 'Storing Chemical SR24 Products (small scale)'. The original document offers comprehensive information on how employers, self-employed individuals, and franchisees can comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) to protect workers' health. Key Guidelines for Safe Storage of Chemicals Ensure that only trained workers have access to stored chemical products. The storage area should be kept locked. Provide good washing facilities. Maintain good ventilation in the storage area, with 5-10 air changes per hour and a through draught. Keep a spill clean-up kit nearby. Segregate chemicals that might react together and contain spills from burst containers. Never decant concentrate...


Executive Summary of HSE Work-Related MSDs Statistics 2023

Executive Summary: Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders Statistics in Great Britain, 2023 This article provides a comprehensive summary of the key findings from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report on work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Great Britain for the year 2023. The report presents a detailed analysis of the prevalence, causes, and impacts of these disorders, with data sourced primarily from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). 1. 473,000 Workers Suffered from Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in 2022/23 The HSE report reveals that an estimated 473,000 workers suffered from work-related musculoskeletal disorders in 2022/23, which equates to a prevalence rate of 1,400 per 100,000 workers (Source: LFS, annual estimate, 2022/23). 2. 6.6 Million Working Days Lost Due to Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in 2022/23 The...


Executive Summary of HSE Work-Related Fatal Injuries Statistics 2023

Executive Summary of HSE Work-Related Fatal Injuries Statistics 2023 This article provides an executive summary of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report on work-related fatal injuries in Great Britain for the year 2022/23. 135 Workers Killed in Work-Related Accidents in 2022/23 The report shows that a total of 135 workers were killed in work-related accidents in Great Britain in the year 2022/23. This is an increase from the previous year, indicating a possible trend of increasing work-related fatalities. The data for this information was sourced from the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). (Page 6) Construction and Agriculture Sectors Account for the Highest Number of Fatalities The construction and agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors accounted for...


The Costs to Britain of Workplace Accidents, Injuries and Ill-Health: HSE Report Summary

An Executive Summary of the HSE Report: Costs to Britain of Workplace Fatalities and Self-reported Injuries and Ill Health, 2021/22 Published in November 2023, this report presents the latest estimates of costs to Britain resulting from workplace injuries and work-related ill-health for the fiscal year 2021/22. In this executive summary, we aim to distill the main facts and statistics from the extensive report into a digestible format for our readers. 1. Over a million workers are injured or made ill by their work in Great Britain annually Statistic from the HSE shows that every year, more than a million workers in Britain are injured or get sick due to their workplaces. This not only impacts the individuals and their families,...


Summary of HSE Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders Statistics 2022

Executive Summary of HSE Report 2022: Key Findings on Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders This blog post provides a summary of the key findings from the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) report on work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Great Britain till March 2022. The report contains several essential statistics that help understand the significant impact of these disorders on the working population. 477,000 Workers Suffered From Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in 2021/22 According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), an estimated 477,000 workers were affected by new or pre-existing work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the year 2021/22 (HSE Report, p.4). The disorders most commonly affected the upper limbs or neck (175,000 cases), the back (202,000 cases), and lower limbs (99,000 cases) 7.3 Million Working Days...


The Environmental Impact of Generator Spills and How to Mitigate Them

Generators, while vital in modern life for a variety of applications, come with certain environmental risks. When not managed properly, spills from these machines can have devastating effects on our natural surroundings. But with proper care and containment measures, these risks can be substantially minimised. Understanding the Consequences of Spills Soil Contamination: A single spill can negatively affect soil health and its productive capacity. When chemicals from the generator leach into the ground, they disrupt ecosystems, making it difficult for plants and microorganisms to thrive. Water Pollution: Spills often find their way into our water systems, leading to marine life deaths and posing health risks to humans who consume this water. Air Quality: Emissions from unburned fuel contribute to air...


How to Prevent and Clean Oil Spills in the Workplace: A Comprehensive Guide

Workplace oil spills are more than just an inconvenient mess; they present serious risks to employee safety and the environment. Several pieces of legislation in the UK, such as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) and the Environmental Protection Act 1990, emphasise the importance of spill prevention and containment. Failure to comply with these laws can lead to significant fines, reputation damage, and environmental harm. This article will explore the various methods and equipment designed to prevent and clean up workplace oil spills, helping you adhere to these regulations and maintain a safe working environment. Preventing Oil Spills Preventing oil spills is an essential aspect of workplace safety and environmental responsibility. It is not merely about...


AdBlue: Its Risks to Health and the Environment

In an era where environmental responsibility and sustainable practices take centre stage, understanding the various components of these efforts is paramount. One such component, extensively used in the automotive industry, is AdBlue. While it significantly reduces harmful emissions, there are crucial factors to consider about its use, specifically its effects on health and the environment. In this comprehensive exploration, we'll delve into the intricacies of AdBlue, demystify its uses, discuss its potential hazards, and elaborate on effective spill containment practices, referring to UK legislation and insights from industry expert Richard O'Connor, Technical Director at First Mats. What is AdBlue, and What is it Used For? AdBlue is a solution comprised of high-purity, synthetically produced urea (32.5%) dissolved in deionised water...


The Best Colour Door Mats for People With Dementia

Dementia is a syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning, affecting memory, thinking speed, language, understanding, judgement, mood, and movement. It impacts more than 850,000 people in the UK, with one in 14 people over the age of 65 and one in six people over 80 living with the condition[1]. For those with dementia, simple changes in their environment, such as the colour of a door mat, can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, enhancing their quality of life. The Importance of Colour in Dementia Care Colour therapy can be beneficial for those with memory loss. Different colours can provide contrast in spaces and help distinguish different objects[2]. For example, painting a door a colour that contrasts with the...


Tips for Moving Plasterboard Safely and Efficiently

Plasterboard, also known as drywall, is a common material used in construction and renovation projects. While it's a versatile and useful material, moving plasterboard can be challenging due to its size and fragility. In this article, we'll share tips for moving plasterboard safely and efficiently. UK Legislation on Safe Handling of Plasterboard Before we delve into the tips for moving plasterboard safely and efficiently, it's important to understand the UK legislation that governs these activities. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) mandates employers to take measures to prevent risks to the health and safety of their employees. This includes risks associated with manual handling tasks, such as lifting and carrying plasterboard. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations...


Understanding UDL: Uniformally Distributed Load

What Does UDL Mean? UDL, or Uniformally Distributed Load, is a term used in the field of manual handling equipment to describe the weight capacity of a particular piece of equipment. Put simply, UDL refers to the maximum weight capacity of equipment where the weight is spread uniformally, rather than concentrated on a single place. It's a concept that goes beyond simply stating the maximum weight a piece of equipment can handle. Instead, it provides a more comprehensive understanding of how weight should be distributed on the equipment for optimal performance and safety. Why is UDL Important? The importance of UDL lies in its ability to provide a more accurate and safe measure of load capacity. When we talk about the...


Bund Integrity Testing - What You Need to Know

As a responsible business owner, protecting your assets should be one of your top priorities. One approach to securing your assets is using portable bunding solutions, such as bunded pallets and IBC bunds. These are secondary containment systems designed to prevent the escape of hazardous chemicals or liquids in case of a spill or leak. Not only do these systems protect your assets, but they also contribute to maintaining the safety and health of people and the environment. In this article, we'll focus on the importance of bund integrity testing for bunded pallets and IBC bunds, the different methods available for this process, and the benefits of regular testing. Spill Containment Bunds: Bunded Pallets and IBC Bunds Bunded pallets and...


The Complete Guide to Foam Impact Protectors: Enhancing Workplace Safety

Impact Protection Foam is a vital component in industrial environments, serving as a crucial safeguard against injuries caused by impacts with hard surfaces. Designed with a soft, energy-absorbing material, this foam effectively dissipates impact forces, reducing the risk of serious harm.In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of Foam Impact Protectors, specifically tailored for industrial workshops. With a conversational tone, we will delve into the benefits, applications, and various options available, ensuring you have all the information you need to make informed decisions regarding workplace safety. Understanding Foam Impact Protectors What is Impact Protection Foam? Impact Protection Foam, renowned for its remarkable qualities, offers unparalleled protection in industrial settings. Its primary purpose is to absorb and dissipate impact...


Rising Stress Levels in the UK and the Impact on Workers (2023 Facts and Statistics)

A recent study conducted by First Mats has highlighted the growing issue of stress among the UK population. Our survey of over 1,000 UK adults found that more than a quarter of respondents experience stress every day, with another quarter feeling frequently stressed (once or twice per week). The study identified the cost of living crisis and the financial concerns it creates as the main source of stress for nearly half of the respondents. Interestingly, only 8.77% of those surveyed cited job security as a cause of stress, suggesting that the primary concern is not job loss, but rather the increasing cost of fuel, food, and energy. Approximately 20% of participants reported that their stress levels had worsened recently, reflecting a...


Mats for Wudu / Ablution Areas in Mosques

Here at First Mats, we have an extensive selection of wet room matting ideal for Wudu/ Ablution areas in Mosques and other spiritual sites. The outstanding water drainage, anti-slip properties and anti-bacterial hygienic surfaces of our Wudu mats allow any Mosque to keep hygiene and safety levels high - a must for the holy cleansing of Wudu. What is Wudu/Ablution? A Wudu/Ablution area is a dedicated space for performing ritual cleansing before Muslim prayer. This cleansing is known as ‘wudu’ or ‘ablution’, and involves washing the hands, face, arms and feet. It is an integral part of the Islamic faith, and its importance comes from the fact that it prepares the worshipper to be in the presence of Allah in a clean state. Ablution Washrooms...


The Most Unsafe Places to Work in Britain (2023)

The Health and Safety Executive releases updated figures on workplace injuries and fatalities annually, and its latest report has cast a light on many areas’ alarming increases in worker injuries.    Nationally, there was an increase of 22.66% in non-fatal injuries reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the last year: this national trend is to be expected as a result of workplaces reopening fully after being closed due to the pandemic.  The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 sets out the duties that employers have towards their staff, including the requirement to assess risks, provide adequate training and equipment, and maintain a safe working environment. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the regulatory body responsible...


Workplace Safety Facts and Statistics

Workplace-related injury is shockingly high in the UK. And statistics from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) show that thousands of UK workers are injured or killed on the job every year due to preventable accidents.  And hopefully, you're sitting down because 36.8 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and injury between 2021 and 2022! In total, a shocking 123 workers were killed in workplace accidents, and 565,000 were injured.  So, employers need to be aware of the latest facts and statistics and take necessary steps to ensure the safety of their workers.  This article explores critical workplace safety facts and statistics, with suggestions regarding how employers can create a safer work environment. What is the most common...