Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have a Health and Safety Policy?

If you employ 5 or more employees you are required to have a documented health and safety policy which should include the following:

  • A Health and Safety Policy Statement of Intent;
  • An Organisation Section which would outline everyone’s responsibilities at the various levels of the organisation;
  • An Arrangements Section which outlines the company arrangements regarding health and safety issues relevant to the company undertakings.

If you have 5 or more employees all health and safety systems must be documented which include Risk Assessments, COSHH Assessments, Safe Systems of Work, Maintenance and Inspection records etc.

Do I have to have someone in the organisation who is an expert in Health and Safety?

No, however it is preferable to have someone competent within the organisation as they will be familiar with the processes undertaken in your business and what the real risks are.

The law does however require you to have access to a named competent health and safety advisor who is either in house or external to the company such as a Health and Safety Consultant.

Why do I need all this Health and Safety anyway?

As an employer you have a Common Law Duty of Care to your employees. As well as this there is also a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure the Health, Safety and Welfare of all your employees and those who may be affected by your undertakings.

Failure in these obligations could lead to large fines and/or imprisonment.

I provide my staff with all the information and personal protective equipment (PPE); it is up to them to use it, isn’t it?

No, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 section 2 requires you to provide not only the required PPE but also instruction on its use, training regarding the consequences of failing to use/wear PPE and then monitor its use. Where necessary you are required to enforce its use.

Do I have to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to my employees?

Yes, when PPE is identified by risk assessment as a requirement then there is a duty on the employer to provide it free of charge, ensure it is suitable for the task, fits the individual properly and is worn. (HSAWA Sect 9, Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992).

I am only a small business, will it be expensive?

No, it will not be expensive, unlike some of our competitors we charge a small retainer fee and then charge for the work you request us to carry out for you.

We ideally would like to train you to manage your own Health and Safety Systems so you will be less reliant upon external advisors which is much more cost effective.

Whilst there is some cost, think of the cost of an accident to your business and the loss of reputation which comes along with that and in turn the loss of business.

Do I have to conduct Risk Assessments for Everything?

No. There is a legal requirement to assess all foreseeable, substantial risk in the workplace. These must be documented where companies employ 5 or more employees.

Risk assessments must be conducted by a competent person.

(Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – Regulation 3).

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