Health and Safety in a nutshell

Some top tips to ensure your ongoing compliance with UK Law. Some legislation you will be required to stay compliant with;

– Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

– Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

– Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

Appoint a Competent Person

The definition of a competent person varies dependant on which regulation you are looking at. Basically it means you must appoint someone who will be responsible for coordinating or helping in the ongoing Health and Safety compliance of your organisation. This person or persons can be members of your department/team or business, and they can also be an external party such as consultants or advisers. You must provide this person(s) with the appropriate training (if not already trained/qualified) and adequate time and resources to undertake their role if they are part of your business.

Even though you/your business has appointed someone in that role, it is the duty of the most senior person in your organisation to take the ultimate responsibility of keeping the workforce safe at work.

Prepare a Health and Safety Policy

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 every business must have a health and safety policy. This document sets out your approach to H&S and explains how the employer will manage H&S in the business. For example people appointed within a H&S role will be named in this policy along with what the business is doing to stay compliant with the law and keep it’s workforce safe.

This document is a high level, company document that doesn’t have to consist of thousands of pages. It should quote the salient H&S points of the business and be readily accessible for all to read (generally found on the bulletin board). If your business has more than 5 employees it is a legal obligation to have this policy written down formally, however it is always best practice to formally document your H&S policy and track any changes made.

Risk Assessments

We have already talked about this in a previous post, however some further advice is given below.

As an employer, your business has a requirement, by law, to protect its staff (employees) and others from harm. You must;

– Identify hazards

– Decide the likelihood of these hazards causing hard (risk)

– Take action to eliminate the hazard or control the risk

Consult Your Workers

Under the above regulations, you must consult all of your employees on H&S. This is a two-way conversation between the employer and employee. Things to discuss include the work they do and how safe they feel, how risks are controlled in their work and any information/training that could be of value to you/them.

Provide Information and Training

As a business you must give your workers clear instructions and information on the job(s) they are undertaking. They must be suitably trained to carry out that work. Everyone within your business has the right to know how to undertake work safely without risk to their (or anyone else’s) health.

Workplace Facilities (Welfare)

Employers must provide welfare facilities and a working environment that’s healthy and safe.

Welfare facilities; must include the right number of toilets and wash hand basins, drinking water and places to rest/eat.

Healthy work environment; clean, reasonable temperature, good ventilation and lighting.

Safe workplace; well maintained equipment, no obstructions in traffic routes.

First Aid

Employers must make sure employees get immediate help if taken ill or injured at work.

Places of work must have a suitably stocked first aid kit, an appointed person in charge of first aid arrangements and suitable information about first aid for all employees.

Display the Law

If you employ anyone you must either;

– Display the Health and Safety Law poster, or

– Provide each worker with the equivalent health and safety leaflet.

The above information is not an exhaustive list. Please get in touch with us if you require further assistance, we would be happy to help.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *