What is health and safety? Health and safety is about properly identifying and controlling risks to people’s health and safety to prevent people from being harmed, or becoming ill, due to work activities. Health and safety in the workplace concerns all of us, and the impact of poor health and safety on businesses, families and the whole economy is far reaching.
Do I need a safety policy? If you have five employees or more (including Directors, temporary and part time workers) then Yes, you are required by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to have a written health and safety policy.
Do I need risk assessments? If you have five employees or more (including Directors, temporary and part time workers) then Yes, you are required by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to have a written health and safety risk assessments.
I've done risk assessments in the past but have been told they are not suitable and sufficient, why is this? Risk Assessments may not be considered suitable and / or sufficient if they do not comply with all appropriate legislation.
Why do I need health and safety, I have insurance doesn't this cover me if something goes wrong? Health and safety is there to help stop things going wrong in the first place. Should you have an incident insurance will only cover part of your losses. It is estimated that for every £1 of insured losses from a health and safety incident an organisation would lose between £8 and £36 of additional costs. These include lost time, damaged public reputation, increased insurance costs and many others.
What is corporate manslaughter?
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force on 6 April 2008 and is called corporate manslaughter in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and corporate homicide in Scotland.
There aren't any new obligations or duties under the act but it is specifically linked to existing health and safety legislation.
Corporate manslaughter is specifically concerned with corporate liability rather than individual liability. However, existing health and safety offences and gross negligence manslaughter will continue to apply to individuals. Prosecutions against individuals will continue to be taken where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so.
Do I need a fire certificate or fire risk assessment?
You do not need a fire certificate. Changes to legislation (The Regulatory Reform (Fire) Safety Order 2005) repealed The Fire Precautions Act 1971 and The Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 1999, meant that fire certificates are no longer issued and existing fire certificates are no longer valid.
However, you do need a Fire Risk Assessment as fire safety is now the sole responsibility of the employer, manager or occupier. Your Fire Risk Assessment will advise what action should be taken to either eliminate, or if not possible, reduce the risks relating to any fire hazards, as far as possible.