Health & Safety Advice

We frequently receive emails and phone calls about health & Safety Advice from business owners and managers asking what they need in terms of health and safety requirements in the workplace. This is, of course, a huge question and not one that we can answer without visiting your business and seeing what things you currently have in place.

Health and safety for many can be a mere afterthought. People often think that they are complying with the law or simply hoping that this is the case. Here are some of the absolute basics for you to consider.

Here are some basic Health & Safety Advice pointers

A written Health and Safety Policy (if they employ 5 people or more)

This is a policy that contains all areas of safety and well-being in the workplace, it outlines how you manage health and safety in the workplace and is written evidence of that. For example, it would include a section on ‘Training’ which would say what training all staff receive and how frequently. Telling the Health and Safety executive what you do is one thing, but it needs to be written down if you 5 or more people in the workplace.

It isn’t a small document either and can take time to develop.

Safe equipment and machinery

Whether it’s a toaster or a printing press, the equipment that you have must be safe to use, it must be checked/serviced, and this should all be recorded. You may be thinking, how do your service a toaster? A simple Portable Appliance Test (PAT) would be sufficient.

Safe systems of work

This is basically evidence of ‘how’ you carry out certain tasks, especially those that are high-risk. It isn’t just evidence, it’s the best way to keep people safe. People in the workplace use safe systems of work so that there is a standardised approach to carrying out work. How do you create one? You will need to write risk assessments, sometimes lots of them. This will help you decide on the safest way to do things.

Information, instruction, supervision and training

Everyone in the workplace needs to know what to do which is the product of things like training, signage and adequate supervision. Anyone carrying out any task in the workplace must be competent to do so. This means that they must have the relevant training, knowledge and experience. Further to this, there needs to be some way of supervising people at work, people need a helping hand, someone to direct them and ensure things are being done safely.

Safe working environment

Everyone has the legal right to work somewhere which is safe, where they won’t injure themselves or become unwell. The biggest cause of accidents in the workplace is slips, trips and falls. We often visit businesses which are a total mess, just a few hours of tidying up and throwing things away can improve workplace safety massively.

 Appropriate welfare facilities

People need somewhere to go to the toilet, wash their hands and have access to wholesome drinking water. Many employers go beyond this and provide tea/coffee, microwave, kettle etc which is very much come to be ‘the norm’. We always say that if you give people the absolute minimum, that is often what you get back.

If you have any further questions about anything mentioned then please don’t hesitate to contact us or check out our Health & Safety Consultancy Service or our Training Courses

The UK HSE has some great advice and guidance documents to help you on your way.