A new project has been launched on the Medway City Estate aimed at helping small businesses improve their ability to manage workplace health, safety and fire risks.
Estates Excellence brings together the Health and Safety Executive, Medway Council, Kent Fire Brigade and local businesses on the estate, including Veolia and Veetee Rice.
The partners will provide support, guidance and training to help businesses manage risk effectively, not only improving safety for employees but also enabling employers to benefit from reduced insurance costs and lost working time.

In 2011/12, 400 people were hurt in work accidents across Medway. Injuries ranged from broken bones, back injuries, amputated fingers and head injuries caused by slips and trips, falls from heights and becoming trapped in machinery. Participating businesses will be visited by specially trained staff to identify the support they need. This includes free training on areas like fire safety, manual handling, risk assessment and security.

Businesses will also be able to take advantage of workplace health resources supplied by Medway Council, including advice and support on healthy weight, physical activity and stopping smoking. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Services Cllr David Brake said: “We are very pleased to be partners in this excellent scheme. Improving the health of employees has been shown to improve the way a business runs and makes good commercial sense. We hope that employers will take advantage of the advice we can provide to help staff to stay healthy and safe in the workplace, and minimise the risk of absence due to illness or injury”.

The Mayor of Medway, Councillor Vaughan Hewett, who is also a member of the Kent and Medway Fire Rescue Authority added: “Medway City Estate is one of the most important business hubs in the Medway area. It’s wonderful to see a partnership between these different organisations to see how we can support the local businesses with health, safety and wellbeing advice. In today’s economic climate, this is an ideal time for businesses to work with the Estates Excellence partners on this exciting opportunity.”

Estates Excellence begins on Monday, 22 April and anyone who runs a small or medium size business and wants to know more about the programme should email: estates.excellence@hse.gsi.gov.uk