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Managing health and safety at work
Health and safety is about stopping you getting hurt at work or ill through work. All workers have a right to work in places where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Because of this, there needs to be thorough guidelines implemented into the workplace.
While employers are responsible for managing health and safety at work, employees play a big part and must still cooperate. There are a number of considerations to make for everyone involved in managing health and safety.
1. Appoint a responsible person
Health and safety is a team effort, but every team needs a good leader. Appointing a responsible (or competent) person mean appointing someone to help ensure safety requirements are understood and undertaken.
It’s recommended that this person ha the knowledge and experience to be able to recognise hazards in the workplace and help put controls in place to protect workers and visitors from harm. The responsible person is usually someone in a supervisory position over other employees – this is so that the health and safety policies can be properly implemented.
The responsibilities of a responsible person may include:
- Carry out risk assessments and method statements
- Consult employees about health and safety
- Select suitable contractors
- Create written health and safety policies
- Lead effective health and safety training for staff
2. Streamline risk assessments and reporting
The law requires every employer to conduct a risk assessment. Where there are five employees or more then the risk assessment must be recorded.
Employers must provide a straightforward risk assessment system in order to inspect the workplace and identify health and safety hazards. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, these basic steps are:
- Identify what, in your workplace, could cause injury or illness
- Measure the likelihood that someone could be harmed from his hazard and how seriously
- Take action to eliminate the hazard or control the risk as best as possible
Employers must demonstrate good management and common sense. To ensure as far as ‘reasonably practicable’ the health, safety, and welfare of all employees.
3. Understand the legislation
Understanding the legislation that forms the bedrock of health and safety practices in this country is vital to managing it properly.
At the core, The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the principal piece of UK Health and Safety Law. This piece of legislation places responsibilities on both the Employer and Employee to keep people safe from work duties.
The previously mentioned Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 is worth knowing, as well as The Working Time Regulations 1998 – an important piece of health and safety legislation. This piece of legislation limits the working week to an average of 48 hours and the working day to an average of 8 hours so that employees aren’t overworked.
HSE law is criminal law, and The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 means that a company to be convicted if it can be proven that an organisation’s duty of care failed an employee or visitor who died as a result of a workplace hazard.
4. Put up signs and posters
It may sound so simple and obvious, but ensuring that the workplace has enough visual reminders of health and safety procedures and guidelines can make a huge difference.
The employer, along with the responsible person, must display the health and safety law poster where workers can easily read it. The poster must explain the latest British health and safety laws and lists what workers and their employers should do in the event of an incident.
Additionally, employers should provide each worker with the equivalent health and safety law content on a leaflet so they can ensure each employee has received an individual copy.
You can purchase and download HSE-approved posters and leaflets on their website.
5. Provide high quality health and safety training
The best way to ensure that employees are equipped with the knowledge to avoid incidents and assess risks is through a curated training course. This will teach them how to keep themselves and those around them safe in a work environment.
The Fire Training Company’s Health and Safety Level 2 course provides learners with the basic knowledge for keeping themselves and those around them safe in a work environment.
It covers all the key elements you need to meet the required training standard for health and safety regulations in the UK, including the importance of co-operating with employers in carrying out tasks and working equipment as trained, the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided, and dealing with accidents and controlling risks.
Our friendly customer support team is always happy to talk through your training options. You can give us a call on 01327 552160, or email us at email@example.com.