6 Key Questions
Do you have a health and safety policy? (Requirement if you have more than 5 employees)
Do you have risk assessments? (Requirement if you have more than five employees)
Do you have a fire risk assessment?
Do you have evidence that you employ competent staff? (Legal requirement for companies to train its staff under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974)
Have you had an accident or near miss in the last year? (Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations 1999, indicates that accidents should be investigated)
How do the senior managers / directors, keep themselves up to date on health and safety (Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations says that they should have access to competent advice either in-house or from an external source).
Everything to do with health and safety appears to involve risk assessment, how do I do one?
Completing a Risk Assessment is not a difficult process; there are five key steps:
Look for Hazards
(Something with the potential to cause harm)
Look only for hazards which you could reasonable expect to result in significant harm in your workplace. Ask your employees or their representatives what they think.
Decide who might be harmed
There is no need to list individuals by name – just think about groups of people doing similar work or who may be affected, including members of the public and others sharing your workplace.
Eliminate or minimise the risk
Either remove the risk or control it so that it is unlikely to cause harm. Is there:
- Adequate information, instruction and training?
- Adequate systems and procedures?
- Personal Protective Equipment?
- Where risk is not adequately controlled, indicate in the ACTION PLAN what needs to be done.
Record your Findings
If you have 5 or more employees you must record the significant findings of your assessments and communicate your findings to your staff. Keep written records for future use and auditing purposes.
Review and Revise
Each risk assessment should have a revision date placed upon it, depending upon the nature of the assessment, this could be a month or on a yearly basis.
Do I need to provide personal protective equipment to all my staff?The first priority is to carry out a risk assessment to establish if is there is any other way for the hazards to be controlled other than PPE. PPE is the last line of defence as it only protects the individual.
Once it is established that there is a need for PPE, then the employer will need to determine what standard of PPE is required – this is part of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002. There are many different types of safety glasses, gloves etc all designed to perform different tasks and to provide different levels of protection.
An important part of the assessment is to ensure that the equipment is suitable and sufficient to the purpose intended and that the PPE when worn together provides total protection and that the wearing of one piece of equipment does not have a detrimental effect on another.
Staff must be trained in the use of the PPE, management must provide somewhere to keep it safe and cannot charge employees for it.
Health & Safety Policy
If you have more than 5 employees, you need to have a written health & safety policy comprising:
What you need:
- Statement of Intent
- Health & Safety Organisation
- Health & Safety Arrangements
What you get:
- A review and revision of your existing company Health & Safety policy.
- The drafting of a company Health & Safety policy specific to your organisation where one does not exist.
- Annual review and revision of your Health & Safety policy to ensure it is still effective and up to date.
- Assistance in communicating your policy to your employees.
Health & Safety Audits
What you need:
- To show compliance with current legislation
- To keep one step ahead of emerging legislation
- Advice in dealing with non-compliance
- A planning tool to assist in controlling business profitability
- Assurance that your working conditions are safe and business success is not compromised
What you get:
- A full audit which will identify any areas of concern
- A prioritised action plan to address identified issues
- Access to our extensive contact database for advice on a full range of issues
- A review and mentoring service for a greater level of support comprising a regular visit programme combined with telephone support throughout the year
We can provide you with a retained service, so you have access to advice when you need it and that is applicable to your business.
We can provide you with an accident investigation service, so you can take all the learning opportunities out of the incident, prepare information for you insurance company or solicitors should the accident lead to a civil or criminal claim from the injured party or an enforcement authority.