I’m discovering that many small businesses and owners are not fully aware of their legal obligations regarding health and safety.
They know they need to do something and are often operating safely, but do not have the knowledge or time to implement what is required.
With some many laws and regulations and other priorities within the business, it can be quite daunting. However, you will be pleased to hear that it can be relatively straightforward. Particularly if you are a low risk business or you have competent advice.
So here is a quick guide.
Regardless of size, all businesses who employ people must:
- Display the HSE’s Health and Safety Law Poster
- Display your employers’ liability insurance policy
- Appoint a competent person to manage health and safety
An alternative to the Health and Safety Law Poster, is to provide the HSE’s Health and Safety Leaflet, which can be downloaded free from the HSE website.
The competent person is someone who has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage your health and safety duties. This can be someone internally or someone externally. Like most things, the more complex or higher risk the business, the greater the level of competence that will be required.
Whilst all businesses should have a health and safety policy, you do not have to legally write it down if you have fewer than five employees, although it is good practice.
If your business has 5 or more employees (for clarification, all named Directors count as an employee), then you must document the following:
A Health & Safety Policy
This does not need to be complicated, but needs to be realistic. It should set out how your business intends to manage health and safety and who does what, when and how.
Risk Assessments – Assess and control risks
You must identify all the activities, equipment and locations that have potential to cause harm and ensure you have reasonable controls in place to prevent that harm.
Communicate with your employees
Again, this does need to be complicated, but should:
- Include health and safety in relation to the work they do
- Include the risks and how they are controlled
- Be a two way process, allowing your team to raise concerns and help influence decisions
Provide relevant training and information
The level of training needs to proportionate to the level of risk. If the risk is low, simple information or instruction may be sufficient.
Provide a safe working environment
- Welfare facilities e.g. drinking water, toilets, washing facilities and somewhere to rest and to eat meals
- Maintaining a healthy environment e.g. reasonable working temperature, sufficient ventilation and lighting
- Maintaining a safe environment e.g. properly maintained premises, clean and tidy working areas
Make arrangements for First Aid
You should have a first aid kit as a minimum, appoint someone to be responsible for first aid and then give employees the relevant information.
Review the above on a regular basis
This could be annually unless something significant changes e.g. a change in process or location or senior management.
The above can be quite daunting and time consuming to put into place or even just to review.
If you would like support with your health and safety compliance, or just some initial free advice, I would be delighted to talk to you.
Please visit www.abrsafety.co.uk
Or contact Andy on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +44 7977 178193