In today’s article, we have decided to answer a few questions relating to Health & Safety, for employers and businesses, that we know a lot of you often wonder. Ranging from how health and safety is monitored; to whether health and safety regulations are law.
We hope that this article answers some of the thoughts you may have and, as ever, if you require more specific assistance; get in touch with a member of our team today.
Why health and safety is important
There are many reasons as to why health and safety is important, for any business. However, in brief:
You have a legal duty to have health and safety arrangements in place in your business.
A safe work culture improves productivity, employee satisfaction and general wellbeing.
It is the morally right thing to do to ensure that your workforce returns home healthy and
safe at the end of each day.
Do we need a health and safety policy
The law states that every business must have a policy for managing health and safety.
This should clearly set out your business’ general approach to health and safety, as well as how you (the employer) will manage health and safety in your business and the persons with health and safety responsibilities.
If you have less than 5 employees, there is no requirement to have a written health and safety policy in place; but, it makes it easier to share with your workforce if you do. We would recommend that no matter the size of the company, you should have a written policy.
Additionally, you must share your policy, as well as any changes you may make to it, to your employees.
Are health and safety regulations law
As an employer, you have a legal duty to have arrangements in place to control health and safety risks. This duty is laid out in “The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999”.
Health and safety near miss examples
A near miss is defined as an event that has not caused harm, but one that has the potential to cause injury and/or ill health. Under RIDDOR, certain types of near misses are highlighted as “specified dangerous occurrences”.
Examples of dangerous occurrences include:
The collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment
Plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines
The accidental release of substances that could cause injury to any person
A recent dangerous occurrence involved a civil engineering firm being fined, after their staff twice struck overhead powerlines on a motorway.
How health and safety is monitored
You should monitor health and safety as you would another aspect of your business. This involves measuring performance and investigating accidents and incidents.
Good quality monitoring should not just identify problems, but help you understand what caused them and the changes you need to make to address them.
Monitoring requires time and effort, so appropriate resources should be given towards it. This could involve staff training.
Types of health and safety monitoring include:
Active methods, which monitor design, development, installation and operation of your
H&S management system. Examples include: routine inspections and function check
regimes for plant and equipment.
Reactive methods, that monitor evidence of poor practices and also identify better
practices that could be introduced. For instance: accident / incident investigation.