Health and Safety Awareness in Estate Agencies

Health and Safety is of vital importance in any business, Estate Agencies are no different in this regard. Whether it’s the safety of their own employees or the safety of any potential customers who they’re showing around properties.

It’s up to the Estate Agencies to ensure the safety of any person stepping foot onto the properties they’re selling. Some may think it’s the fault of the owner of the building or even the customer visiting themselves but a recent court judgement held recently has set it in stone.

Praxis42 take a look at this recent court judgment and its potential effects on how Estate Agencies approach their Health and Safety responsibilities.

The Case

The case itself is of Lucy Driver and her husband James Driver were visiting a prospective house on the market on April 23rd 2016 when, while exploring the house at the advice of the estate agent, Lucy stepped off the garden path and fell 30ft down a well after a piece of wood broke. She was submerged in water until a neighbour allowed her to keep herself afloat with a hosepipe until she was rescued an hour later. The estate agent at the house was inside during and failed to notify the Drivers of any potential risks in or outside the house.

The Judgment

With Strakers (The Estate Agents in question) pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to discharge a general health and safety duty to a person other than an employee, being fined £200,000.

Looking into this, a previous prospective buyer warned Strakers of the dangerous well and it was still not seen to. Even with a health and safety check being conducted by one of their staff, stating that they thought the well was secure with a metal grill without checking themselves.

These unique circumstances came to be as the property was on sale due to the owner’s death. So without someone with extensive knowledge of the property it was up to the estate agents selling the house to conduct a thorough search before putting it up on the market.

Lessons

The fact that such an event can happen from an error in the health and safety check reminds us that health and safety is no small matter to be considered last.

Some of these health and safety procedures should be in place in all areas and industries to ensure that your employees and customers are safe wherever they may be.

ELearning is a great way to instill the vital knowledge needed to conduct business in any industry while having a safe environment for everybody for very little cost. Health and Safety awareness courses for employers and employees separately are an excellent start for any company that needs to be refreshed on the necessary procedures that must be followed in daily work life.

Pairing with that it’s a good idea to take a Managing Safety course to ensure that if your managers have the essential information needed to establish an excellent health and safety management system.

Don’t leave it to chance as you’ll risk a huge fine and more seriously, hurting yourself and others from an oversight. With Elearnings easy to learn and access courses, you and your employees will be trained up in no time.

 


Pic credit – Alan Cleaver, Flickr, CC

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