AN innovative scheme aimed at improving the health and safety practices of town businesses will be launched next week.
Estates Excellence involves a number of organisations working together to provide support, training and assistance to local companies.
The multi-agency scheme will also promote good health among employees.
Councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the council’s regeneration services committee, described the initiative as “fantastic” and urged Hartlepool businesses to take up the opportunity of the free information, advice and health and safety workshops.
The scheme will be launched on Monday and the first businesses to benefit will be those in the Longhill and Sandgate Industrial Estates, in the town.
Coun Payne said: “This is a fantastic scheme which offers a wide range of advice, training and support to local businesses.
“I really do hope that businesses take up the offer of the expert, free advice which is available to them to ensure that they have safe workplaces and promote good health for their employees.”
The initiative is being run by organisations in partnership including Hartlepool Borough Council, Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Public Health England, Cleveland Fire Brigade, Northumbrian Water and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust. Local firm Seymour Civil Engineering is assisting by providing a base for the project, in Navigation Point, while EDF Energy will be one of the organisations delivering the free training to companies.
During the coming weeks, officers from the various organisations will be encouraging businesses to get involved in the scheme.
Paul Baldwin, of the Health and Safety Executive, said: “HSE is delighted to bring this initiative to Hartlepool.
“This is not a traditional health and safety inspection. The aim is to support local, small businesses by raising awareness of the common health and safety challenges they face in their workplace, providing a range of support, free information, advice and health and safety workshops.
“This will all be delivered locally, at a time convenient to the business and totally free of charge.
“This is designed to help them improve the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees and their business.”
The project is expected to run until the end of next month.
Anyone wanting further information should contact Lesley Huitson at Hartlepool Borough Council on (01429) 523321 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org