For a small-medium sized business owner, who might be juggling a collection of plates and managing several departments, it can be quite a daunting and confusing task to understand what health and safety actions are required of them. Businesses of different types and sizes will have specific requirements to adhere to and you should always contact the HSE for guidance if you’re unsure. But we’ll get you started here with a list of 9 actions that all businesses must carry out to be compliant.
1. Create a Health and Safety Policy
2. Provide suitable workplace facilities
3. Display The Health and Safety Law Poster
4. Organise suitable insurance
5. Appoint someone to help you with your duties
6. Manage the risks your business
Controlling and where possible reducing the risk in your business is a huge part of your health and safety plan and performance. This is done through regular risk assessment. For most businesses, the process should be fairly straightforward. It shouldn’t be about creating large amounts of extra work or documentation, it is instead about taking a sensible, proportional approach to controlling your business-specific risks.
A simple structure for carrying out a risk assessment would look like this:
– Think about what might cause harm to people (these are called hazards)
– Decide who might be harmed by these hazards and how
– Evaluate whether you are currently taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm. Is there more you could do?
– Record your significant findings, but there is no need to go overboard and record every single small risk. Keep it simple and focused.
– Review your risk assessment as necessary.
The law does not expect you to remove all risks, but to protect people by putting in place measures to control those risks, so far as reasonably practicable. Your risk assessment need only include what you could reasonably be expected to know – you are not expected to anticipate unforeseeable risks.
Like the health and safety policy, if you have fewer than five employees you don’t have to write anything down.
7. Consult your employees
8. Provide training and information
9. Make first aid, injuries and ill-health arrangements
Bonus – Keep up to date and keep improving your health and safety knowledge
What does a fire warden do?
Have you appointed fire wardens in your business but you’re not sure what they should be doing?
Is PAT testing a legal requirement?
There are many different ideas about this, let’s clear it up here.