The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) ensures that employers must protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees within the organisation whilst in the workplace. Even though Health & Safety is a legal requirement which must be carried out in every workplace, it does make great business sense for employers to follow the legislation correctly as it can:
- reduce absenteeism
- help your business become more efficient
- be cost saving
- improve your business profile
With today being #WorldSafetyDay we felt it would be a great way to showcase Samantha Wallace, Business Liaison Officer from the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce. Sam undertakes many of the Health & Safety checks throughout Ayrshire to ensure all business premises are safe for school pupils to attend during their week long work experience. By carrying out these checks on a regular basis Sam ensures all pupils will be safely looked after during their placement.
As a career there are many jobs within the Health & Safety sector. Most large organisations will employ a Health & Safety Officer to ensure all aspects of legislation is being followed and policies and procedures kept up to date within the business, and for small organisations an existing employee will usually be asked to take care of all Health & Safety aspects of the business as part of their remit. To get more of an insight into how these checks are carried out and what a job in Health & Safety consists of we were delighted to accompany Sam to a Health & Safety check within The Savoy Park Hotel in Ayr. This allowed us to get some behind the scenes pictures of the business and to interview Mary the General Manager to see why safety is important within her organisation. Read the full interview below..
Question 1 – Why do you take on Work Experience?
“I think it is great to help younger members of the community. Also, if we get a pupil on work experience that is keen and the week is a success we offer them part time work if it is available.”
Question 2 – What kind of job roles do you offer for Work Experience?
“House Keeping, Kitchen Assistants & Service Assistants.”
Question 3 – How have you benefitted from working with young people?
“We have benefitted from this as some of our employees were taken on after their work experience. I also find them to be hard working and feel this is a quality that benefits us greatly.”
Question 4 – What more do you think could be done to prepare young people for the world of work?
“I feel possibly more of an insight into the real world at a younger age would be beneficial. I also think this needs to start from home to encourage young people to work hard.”
Question 5 – Would you recommend Hospitality as a career choice?
Question 6 – What skills and qualities do you look for in a young person?
“I think they need to have a bubbly personality. They also need to be honest and reliable as this is vital for this industry.”
Question 7 – Why is safety important in your workplace?
“Safety is extremely important especially in the kitchen area. Our employees use the different types of machinery and therefore need to listen thoroughly to learn how to use it correctly and safely.”
Question 8 – What type of safety equipment is used in your premises?
“In the kitchen steel toe cap boots are needed. We also have safety guards on machinery and have our safety certificate in place.”
Question 9 – How do you train your staff to be aware of potential hazards in the workplace?
“They always have a point of contact for example the head chef informs all new employees or work experience pupils of the correct safety procedures to follow which usually happens on their induction. We also have safety training refresher courses with our staff.”
Question 10 – What is your favourite aspect of the job?
“I love having interactions with the guests, every day is different!”
Behind the scenes…
(A quick snapshot of Sam before doing her Health & Safety check)
(Health & Safety checking the kitchen)
(Chef Kirsty preparing food for their residents having breakfast)
(Beautiful fireplace in the restaurant area at the Savoy Park Hotel)
(Health & Safety form that is completed for every business taking on Work Experience)
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