Health and Safety Executive
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Firefighters help business get safe and healthy in Kent

Kent Fire and Rescue Service have joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and partners to help business benefit from a new and innovative support programme.

Demand from small business in the South East prompted the creation of a new scheme, Estates Excellence, which addresses the health and safety needs of organisations on industrial estates in the Kent area.

Advisers will visit business and offer free training for firms in chosen priority areas, including for managers workers on how to 'Get it Right' and 'Get Efficient'. The free workshops cover topics like reducing red tape take place, followed by activity on the theme of 'fit for work'.  Fire safety in the workplace features prominently and Kent Fire and Rescue Service have been firmly welcomed on board.

The Project Director of Estates Excellence is HSE's Heather Bryant. Heather said: "We welcome the involvement of Kent Fire and Rescue Service in this wide-reaching project. There has been a great response from business to this work, and we aim to help all eligible Kent businesses as well as many others in the coming weeks."

Kent Fire and Rescue Service's Senior Fire Protection Manager Mark Richards said: "We welcome this multi-agency initiative as an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of all the partners involved and develop a greater understanding of each other's regulatory duties. This should help to reduce some of the overlap which can occur, which ultimately will improve the efficiency for business owners and lead to a healthier and safer workplace. We want to support and encourage local businesses to comply with their statutory responsibilities and ensure that they're aware of the potentially devastating economical effects of a fire."

If members of the public would like to contact the Estates Excellence team they can email estatesexcellence@hse.gsi.gov.uk or call 0800 849 8012

Notes to editors

  1. Interviews with Project Director Heather Bryant and Mark Richards, plus photographs to illustrate this story, are available on request.
  2. Estates Excellence is a fresh, innovative way to fulfil the health and safety needs of predominantly small and medium sized businesses on industrial estates. As well as improving the health and safety of workers, Estates Excellence may also improve the business bottom line.
  3. The project starts with a four-week programme of advice, training, workshops and lifestyle assistance that is set to tour the South East. Following the initial phase of the programme, Estates Excellence will continue in the same location for a minimum of a year, giving further support and guidance.
  4. Benefits of taking part in the scheme are that everything is free to the business, the advice addresses any risks within the workplace and participating often has the side effect of boosting the bottom line.
  5. Businesses that can demonstrate their commitment and meet the Estates Excellence criteria will receive a Participation Award and will be entered to an open register of Estates Excellence businesses.
  6. Please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/estatesexcellence/index.htm2 for more information.

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