Health & Safety Top 10
Getting Health & Safety right – your Top 10 areas to tick off whatever you business, whatever your industry.
1. Know the law
Criminal and Civil law applies to Health & Safety. As an employer you must protect your workers and others from getting hurt or injured. To help you identify the risks in your business and ensure you meet legal requirements you should identify a competent person; this could be someone in your business or a third party. They must have sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to advise.
The type of insurance you need will depend on your business. The most common are Employer’s Liability and Public Liability. This insurance will cover you in the case of someone claiming compensation if proven you are liable for an accident.
3. Health & Safety Policy
This document is required to be written down if you have 5 or more employees. If you have less then you still need to consider your Health & Safety Policy but it doesn’t need to be in a written format. Your policy should have 3 sections;
i) Your statement of intent – this should be signed by the most senior person in your organisation
ii) The people and roles who have responsibility for Health & Safety in your organisation
iii) Your practical arrangements for Health & Safety showing how you embed Health & Safety into your operations and ensure the safety of all who are involved with your business
4. Display the Health & Safety Poster
If you employ someone the poster must be on display or each employee issued with a postcard version
5. Risk Assessment
You should risk assess all areas of your business for hazards both physical and emotional. Identifying the control measures that ensure any residual risk is as low as is reasonably practical. Risk assessments should be reviewed yearly or when there is a significant change.
6. Consult your workforce
You must consult with your workforce on all matters of Health & Safety. You must inform them of the risks that have been identified and the control measures in place, inform of the arrangements as identified in your policy and ensure they are aware of and able to report any concerns or make suggestions on Health & Safety matters.
7. Provide training
You must ensure your workers have the right skills and knowledge to complete their roles safely. Basis requirements will be an understanding of Health & Safety, Fire Safety and First Aid. Records should be kept of training records and key learning outcomes.
8. Have the right workplace facilities
i) Welfare facilities – this includes toilets, washbasins, drinking water and a place to rest and eat meals
ii) Healthy working environment – clean, good lighting and ventilation, temperature controlled and the right amount of space to carry out the job
9. First Aid
You must have a first aid kit and accident book. Depending on the size and nature of your business will dictate the number of first aid trained business people you need in your business and to what level.
10. Report accidents and illness
By law you must report certain workplace incidents, near misses and illness to the HSE under RIDDOR. For non RIDDOR reportable incidents, recording accidents and near misses will help you identify the risks in your business. Records of accidents will also be requested by insurers in the case of a claim for compensation.