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October 27, 2009

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Spondulicks for small firms in new Government challenge fund

Millions of pounds of funding are up for grabs by small businesses that have innovative ideas for improving the health and welfare of their employees.

Announcing the Health Work and Well-being Challenge Fund last week, Safety minister Lord McKenzie said: “We are working with employers to provide the necessary support to help workers remain happy and healthy in their job. This fund will improve conditions in the workplace and will help to prevent workers taking time off sick.

“We are looking for innovative and exciting ideas to improve the health and welfare of employees in the workplace. These can include projects to reduce stress, improve a work-life balance, or provide healthy activities.”

The Fund is worth £4m and will be available from until March 2011. There will be two rounds of funding, with successful projects receiving between £1000 and £50,000 a year. Local Assessment Panels will decide which projects will receive funding, based on criteria aimed at promoting occupational health and welfare at work.

Further details, including project criteria and guidance for entries, are available at http://www.workingforhealth.gov.uk/ChallengeFund



Meanwhile, SMEs are also the beneficiaries of a series of new electronic risk-assessment templates developed by the HSE, which combine, into one document, the requirements of a health and safety policy, risk assessment and written record of health and safety arrangements. 

Commented HSE chair, Judith Hackitt: “We want to help get the message to small and medium-sized companies that risk assessments needn’t be time-consuming, bureaucratic or complicated. But they are essential to managing dangers in the workplace. We encourage a common-sense approach that is proportionate to the potential risks involved.”

The electronic templates, worked examples and the “no-nonsense” guide 5 steps to risk assessment are available at www.hse.gov.uk/risk/casestudies/index.htm

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