Health & Safety: What You Need to Know
According to the latest Health & Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, over 28.2 million working days were lost in 2019 as a result of work-related ill health and non-fatal injuries. Even if we drastically undervalue each working day at 1 penny, this equates to £282,000 in lost revenue.
Health & safety is in everyone’s remit. While employers have a duty and responsibility to provide a safe working environment, all employees are responsible for maintaining it. Remember, your greatest defence when it comes to health & safety is vigilance, foresight and prevention.
The following blog will take you through everything you need to know about health & safety in the workplace, including relevant documentation, employers’ & employees’ responsibilities and ways you can help to keep your workplace safe.
The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974)
The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) contains wide-ranging guidelines for employers and workers to create a safe working environment.
In short, everyone has the right to feel safe at work and employers are required to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees and people on their premises.
For a more detailed reference, the Health & Safety Executive website contains the full version and a condensed overview of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).
Employers are responsible for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of employees and others on the premises. This includes:
- A safe place and system of work.
- Safe equipment and machinery.
- Safe and competent colleagues (employers are also responsible for the actions of their employees and managers).
- Carrying out risk assessments and taking steps to control or eliminate risks.
- Appointing a competent person responsible for health & safety.
- Informing workers about all potential risks of the work process.
Essential Health & Safety Documents
There are two key documents to consider when it comes to Health & Safety:
Risk Assessment Form
Risks are part of everyday life. Something as simple as crossing the road could have disastrous consequences, but that doesn’t mean we don’t do it. We accept risks and minimise them by, in this case, looking both ways and using crossings where possible. Health & safety risks are no different.
Using risk assessment forms, you can identify, mitigate, minimise and nullify these risks to keep your workplace as safe as possible.
Accident Report Form
Your organisation needs to document accidents for various reasons.
Firstly, to highlight the cause of the accident, which can then be assessed using a risk assessment form, and secondly, the severity and nature of injury must be noted for legal reasons.
Over the last 12 years, Bob’s Business has helped organisations of all shapes and sizes secure their information and keep their workplaces safe. Below is a selection of our dos and don’ts for health & safety in the workplace.
- Comply with guidelines in the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974).
- Stay vigilant and report any potential hazards.
- Complete risk assessments to identify and reduce risks.
- Record all accidents on accident report forms.
- Ignore health & safety hazards.
- Tamper with health & safety procedures.
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