Businesses on a busy trading estate in Exeter are being offered free health and safety training in a bid to reduce the number of accidents at work. Exeter City Council is teaming up with the Health and Safety Executive and other partners in an effort to make the work place a much safer place to be on the Marsh Barton Trading Estate. In 2012, 255 accidents at work were reported by Exeter businesses over 40% of these were from the Marsh Barton area. Injuries ranged from broken bones, head and back injuries to cuts and burns caused by slips and trips, falls from height and dangerous machinery. The City Council is part of the Estates Excellence scheme helping small businesses improve the way they manage health, safety and fire risks. Starting next week (w/c 13 January) around 700 small businesses on the estate are being offered a tailor-made health and safety check as part of an initiative that aims to cut the chance of accidents. The scheme aims to plug gaps in employersâ health and safety knowledge and awareness of obligations, to make staff safer at work and enable businesses to reduce insurance costs and working time lost through injuries. A team from the City Council will visit small businesses to explain what is on offer, and give companies a chance to book a free extended visit by specially trained staff to identify the support they need. This includes free training on areas like fire safety, manual handling, risk assessment and workplace transport. Businesses will also be able to take advantage of free occupational health checks covering topics such as hearing loss and dermatitis. Cllr Keith Owen, Lead Councillor for Environment, Health and Wellbeing, said: "Health and safety is paramount in the workplace. These are financially challenging times and we appreciate that, health and safety may not always be at the top of the to-do list for small businesses. However, by going direct to the businesses and offering free training and advice, we are sure we can help. The scheme is entirely voluntary, but has the potential to bring significant benefits for both the companies and their staff. It could also save some serious money for businesses as they are likely to have fewer accidents and staff off sick as a result."
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