Health and safety made simple: what your business needs to know
Too many business owners allow themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to health and safety, wrongly assuming that workplace accidents only occur in rare or unusual circumstances.
In reality, more than one million employees suffered a work-related injury or illness last year, resulting in a loss of over 27 million working days.
Health and safety is a crucial part of any business, but unfortunately most employers are either unaware of their legal responsibilities or simply don’t have the necessary resources to remain compliant.
The issue is of particular significance for many BCFA members, many of whom will operate in manufacturing or production environments – where day-to-day risks are inevitably greater than in the predominantly office-based service sector.
Businesses are legally obliged to protect their employees, as well as any other individuals who are affected by their activities. This ‘duty of care’ means business owners are held fully responsible for any of breach of health and safety regulations.
Health and safety failures
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent watchdog that aims to protect Britain’s workforce and reduce work-related incidents.
HSE inspectors aren’t afraid to impose severe penalties and even jail sentences on non-compliant business owners. Take the recent case of a Stockport-based manufacturing company, which was hit with an £80,000 fine after a series of health and safety breaches led to an employee’s hand being severed.
Five rules to obey
Health and safety legislation depends upon the nature of your business, but all UK businesses must adhere to five principal laws:
1. Business owners must plan, monitor and review their health and safety policy on a regular basis.
2. If you employ five or more members of staff, you must have a written health and safety policy in place.
3. Employers must appoint a competent health and safety advisor that has up-to-date qualifications and experience to advise the business regarding any health and safety matters.
4. Workplace risk assessments must be carried out on a regular basis, in order to identify any hazards and introduce suitable preventative measures.
5. Businesses must communicate health and safety risks to their employees and explain what preventative measures are in place.
Minimising the risk
Here at ClearSky HR we understand that health and safety can be a daunting task, which is why our qualified experts are here to provide advice and support.
For any questions regarding health and safety in your business, or for advice on any other HR issues you may be facing, contact ClearSky HR today on 0808 147 1921 or email email@example.com