Health and Safety is of great importance in any working environment
Whether you’re a sole-trader or a multi-national company, this is a topic which affects you. If you employ five or more members of staff you must have a written health and safety policy. The policy is your statement of your general policy on health and safety at work and the arrangements for putting this policy into practice. In addition, it ensures you meet all the relevant legal responsibilities of the organisation.
It’s vitally important that you’re fully aware of your duties and responsibilities in relation to health and safety. Failure to do so can lead to injury to your employees and an increase in insurance premiums. You could be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with any disciplinary policy, including immediate dismissal. Moreover, it could result in financial punishment and sometimes even imprisonment. Our solicitors can help you with measures to prevent this and assistance with overcoming the consequences.
Important things to consider:
- A written policy would prove very useful if an Enforcing Office attended your work premises.
- The Health and Safety legislation is complex and always changing. Therefore, it’s important to see legal advice pro-actively to ensure your company is currently compliant with the law.
- It’s important that your employees see the health and safety policy. If the policy is not too long each employee could be given a copy, Alternatively, it could be put on a general noticeboard or included in the staff handbook.
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A Health and Safety is a document which outlines all health and safety policies for the workplace. It contains;
- A statement section detailing how you can manage safety
- Organisational responsibilities and their allocation to employees. Also, how employees fit into the overall safety management system.
- An arrangements sections containing details of how specific activities and functions are managed.
- Risk assessments, display screen equipment and manual handling.
- Consequences of employee non-compliance.
The arrangements section of a health and safety policy should say how you’ll meet the commitments you have made in your statement of general policy.It should include information on what you’re going to do to eliminate or reduce the risks of the hazards in your workplace. A hazard is anything that could cause harm and a risk is the chance of the hazard causing harm. Additionally, arrangements you’ll make to control or minimise the risk is included in this section. For example;
- Staff training
- Using signs to highlight risks
- Improved safety equipments such as personal protective equipment
- Replacing hazardous chemicals
- Improved lighting and the use of anti-slip flooring.
- Fire safety
- First aid
- Manual handling etc.
Legislation and meeting a company’s health and safety requirements is a daunting task for directors and managers. Our solicitors can help with the drafting of health and safety documentation as a preventative measure. Also, we can help with the application of the policy into the workplace and explain it among employees. We have a process in the way in which we protect you and your business.
During the first response we provide you with immediate deployment on site if a serious accident occurs. We’ll try and take the matter forward and resolve it with least damage to your business. If an investigation does take place we can represent you through the interview process and assist you with making statements. We will represent you during ancillary and court proceedings where accidents have taken place, supposedly because of poor health and safety policies. Finally, we can continue to offer our support long after the previous stage. We’ll help with the re-draft of documentation and the review of it on a regular basis.
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