Health & Safety in Woodworking
The woodworking industry has one of the highest accident rates in manufacturing, most of which are caused by contact with moving machinery. This accounted for 25% of all major accidents and one of last year’s two deaths in the woodworking industry.
Around two third of all accidents occur in the woodworking industry on just three types of machinery, please find below some key
considerations from a health and safety perspective towards safeguarding yourself and your employees when using woodworking machinery;
- All machinery should be well maintained and have all the correct safeguards
Employees should be adequately trained in using the machinery.
- Good control of health risks from wood dust (wood dust can cause asthma or dermatitis) – Dust extraction at woodworking machines to capture and remove dust before it can spread.
- Good control in respect of manual handling – Lifting and handling aids can significantly reduce the risk of injury.
- Noise – Woodworking has some of the noisiest work places in industry. Short exposure to high noise levels can cause temporary hearing loss, but longer exposures can result in permanent damage -The law says that employers must control the risk of hearing damage at work. If you cannot eliminate noise, you must reduce it as low as possible at source.
- If noise levels are still too high after you have done all you can to reduce the noise at source, you need to provide hearing protection and make sure operators use it. Hearing protection will only provide the right level of protection if it is worn properly and for the whole time that users are exposed to high noise levels.
The above bullets are just a few areas to address and review as part of your business health and safety.
Source: Health and Safety Executive site
Marketing your business
This guide is designed to offer you a few hints & tips on marketing your business.These ideas are a guide only, each business will require different marketing techniques, so you will need to tweak it to fit your business strategy.
Building your online presence
Your website is your online brochure and must highlight your professionalism, expertise and the services you offer. People expect to get all the information they need on the web so if they can’t find it on your website they will quickly move onto another.
- Make your website interesting and user-friendly. Add information about trees that people would find useful – damage, different types of diseases etc.
- Make sure there are some good pictures on your website, this will help draw interest and breaks up the text.
- Ensure your call to action is clear with your contact details clearly visible.
- Search engine optimisation – to rank higher on Google your website content must be relevant. Think about what keywords your clients would type into Google to search for what you are offering. Type it in yourself and have a look at what your competitors are doing.
Targeting New Clients
- Business directory listings – the more online business directories you are on, the better your chances of people finding you.
- Local publications – magazines/newspapers are a good place to advertise; as many people use these to find local services.
- Specialist magazines – this is a good way to target specific audiences who might be in need of your services.
- Leaflets – design an appealing leaflet highlighting your expertise, services and contact details. A professional looking leaflet will convey a professional image of your business. Carefully target your potential clients with your leaflets and then follow it up with a call.
- Affiliate businesses – Look for businesses that supply other services to your target audience and ask if they will display your leaflets in their shop window or keep some of your business cards on their counter.
- Social Media – this can be very effective in raising your business profile and bringing in new business. A few social media websites you may find worth looking at are Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and YouTube.
Targeting Existing/Past Clients
Targeting existing and past clients is more cost effective than attracting new ones. Once you have established a new client, keep a list with up-to-date contact details.
- Keep in touch with your clients on a semi-regular basis so they will bear you in mind when they need your services. A suggestion would be to send them useful information about tree care/disease/damage etc.
- Try to build up a history of each client and make a note of it for future reference. This kind of foresight in your service will encourage client loyalty.
- It is more cost effective for you to email your clients so it is advisable to get their email address.
- Offer a discount for returning clients to encourage loyalty.
- Affiliate with a range of companies that offer services complimenting yours – so when you are called to do a job and your client needs a horticulturalist or a fencing contractor, for example, you can suggest a trusted contact to them. This works both ways; you could be referred new business through your affiliates too.