Health and safety in the workplace is taken very seriously due to a variety of quite obvious reasons including; protection of workers/employees, protection of the public/visitors.
Business owners must comply with the 1974 health and safety at work act with those who fail to do so being in breach of the law as well as being responsible for putting others at risk which leaves them open to being prosecuted in the event of an accident.
Health and Safety at Work Act – 1974
The Health and Safety at work act has many guidelines, rules and laws to follow and can become rather complex in terms of what your business needs to comply with. The Health and Safety at work act is divided up into different laws and rules depending on the industry that your business is in.
However, there are safety management systems that can be put in place or reviewed in order to ensure that your business complies with and is acceptable in terms of Health and Safety for both your employees and your customers/visitors.
Key elements of a health and safety management system include;
- Planning and Implementing
- Measuring Performance
- Audit and Reviewing Performance
If the steps shown above are adhered to and are carried out correctly, your business should at least be in compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act. The Heath and Safety at Work Act covers areas such as, fire certificates, carbon emission levels, health and safety executive elements, mode of trial and maximum penalties for failure to adhering to certain laws and regulations etc.
In House / External Health and Safety Reps
In house or external health and safety representatives are used when carrying out safety auditing and inspections. Depending on whether or not you have in house fully trained and qualified health and safety representatives, you must have safety auditing and inspections carried out by one or the other. Not only do they cover the current health and safety at work laws, but they also provide businesses with information on industry best practice procedures and regulations.
Safe Systems of Work / Method Statements
A safe system of work can be a variety of documents and procedures that need to be followed, in order to ensure the potential dangers and hazards are minimised: –
- Safety Rules
- Selection of People
- Training Requirements
- Permits to Work
- Risk Assessments
- Written Procedures
Whatever your business or industry UK health and Safety laws must be complied with, otherwise may find yourself falling foul of the law.