Author: Lenne Moghadari
It is extremely important that your company is aligned with all Health and Safety procedures of the United Kingdom.
In this country, the most important law that you need to know and apply is the Health and Safety Act (1974). At first sight, relatively simple to comply with, but its impact can be very complex. Here is a brief description of the act and how to follow it effectively.
Why Health and Safety is important:
Regardless wether your business is big or small, there will always be a risk of an accident. Be these personal, with machines, toxic substances, electricity, electronic equipment or even psychological stress, all accidents can be prevented.
At present, in England, many accidents and injuries at the workplace are preventable due to the adoption of the Prevention System, a set of rules and regulation created in order to prevent accidents. The occurrence of accidents could be much higher if these were not in place. The majority of accidents are a result of lack of attention to the Prevention System. Accidents can result in very high costs for your company, and even, depending on the seriousness of each case, result in imprisonment. Statistics show that the country suffer losses of £640,000 with accidents at the workplace and £1.8 million resulted from injuries.
The Health and Safety rules and regulations are in place not so that your company is seen as socially responsible- they exist because it is your company’s duty to assure the welfare of your staff and clients.
A company that follows the Health and Safety laws and protect its staff and clients shows responsibility and professionalism.
Below are some steps that will put your company in a favourable position with the authorities.
1.‘Heath and Safety Management System’ is a group of procedures and rules for staff, clients and any persons involved in your business, including salespeople and support providers. If you employ more than five people, this system must be presented in a writen document format. Remember that the laws of the Health and Safety must also be observed by those who are self- employed.
2.Hazards are everything that can potentially expose a danger and cause an accident in your workplace. In the case of a food business, identify also the dangers related to food poisoning.
3.Risk Control Measure. Once identified the risks in your business, the ways of preventing and controlling them must be clearly specified in a writen document. The Risk Assessment for staff and clients must be reviewed every six months.
Other Important Points
- Report and record all accidents that may happen at the workplace
- Provide all the basics amenities for the wellbeing of your staff (toilets, water, environment, etc)
-Notify the local Council of your business
-Join a category union and its related societies
-Be careful to avoid slips and trips
-Document all Risk Assessment
-Keep close attention to all Hazardous Substances in use
-Always wear personal protective equipment
-Make sure all vehicles used for work are in good condition
-Observe rules and regulations regarding fire prevention
-All work equipment must be in good working condition
-Occupational Health (noises, work station design, manual handling, working at heights)
-Food Hygiene Certificates
-Have a good knowledge of the Health and Safety regulations
Working as a team
Even if you are the person responsible for Health and Safety in your company, you will still need the cooperation of your staff and clients. Hire a Health and Safety consultant to guarantee the compliance to this very important aspect of your business. A consultant can provide trainings, suggest courses and reading materials essentials for the integration of the Health and Safety in your business.
Do not leave it until later, start now!
Remember to protect the environment, your staff and clients, avoiding injuries and stress that can cause you loss of profit and other damages. Investing in Health and Safety at your business, you will be obeying the rules and regulations determined by the UK government. Your company will be then fully prepared to operate in its relevant area.
The investment may seem high, but it will be no higher than the price your company will pay if it’s not up to date with the country’s Health and Safety laws. Start thinking now whether your company is observing all areas mentioned here. Understanding the Health and Safety rules will change your views and give you the assurance that your business operates according to the country’s laws.
Do not risk losing your business’ credibility- obey and follow the Health and Safety rules.
Health and Safety Executive Statistics HSE
Health & Safety Consultant
Health and Safety Certificate - Advanced Level