It is important to make Health and Safety a priority this year for all business owners as the Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines Council are in the process of consulting on these and it is likely that sentences for Health and Safety breaches will increase.
Let us also remember that last year it was the 40th anniversary of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 the principle key piece of legislation that was put in place to ensure that employees are protected at work and defined main responsibilities for the responsible employer.
It is well documented that accidents have decreased over many years, however it’s important to acknowledge that one death is one too many.
Some key points what an Employers must to reduce risks and possible prosecution or fines:
Appoint someone competent to help you meet your health and safety duties. A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety.
Ensure that you have implemented a suitable health and safety policy in place which details how you will manage health and safety and how employees can address any concerns and report risks within the workplace.
Have you undertaken ’Suitable and Sufficient’ risk assessments that address hazards and the consequence of these resulting in risks, and implementing effective control measures to reduce the risks to an acceptable level.
Do you keep up to date with HSE guidance? Remember that ignorance is no defence.
When the last time you reviewed your policies and procedures are they effective now?
Information and training do employees understand Health and Safety within their job role? If not as a responsible employer have you addressed the gaps?
HSE are generally successful in prosecuting companies that do not provide adequate regular supervision for employees thus ensuring systems of work are being adhered to and keeping workers protected.
Keep employee records and clear documentation. Remember, these may be asked for should a case go to court.
For a small fee per year we can become you competent Health and Safety advisors – We are here to help, please call us on free on 0800 690 6293.