Health and safety for low risk businesses

Health and safety for low risk businesses

Health and safety for low risk businesses

Health and safety for low risk businesses

One of the direct consequences of the recent Lofsted Report that has now been approved is that “low risk” businesses will be freed from health and safety routine inspections.

Regular inspections of businesses known to have breached legislation in the past will continue and any companies committing new legislation breaches will surely be added to the inspection hit list.

Health and safety for low risk businesses

So what is considered to be a “low risk” business and what safety obligations would such a business have?

A business considered to be “Low risk” through the eyes of a health and safety officer would be shops, offices, pubs, restaurants and clubs.  Here are some basic steps you need to think about in order to comply with safety law.

1) Appointing a responsible person. – Depending on the size of your company, you would be able to deal with all health and safety issues yourself, appoint an employee who will be in charge of safety or may have an outside professional safety consultant. Bigger companies with more staff are more likely to need a health and safety advisor and smaller ones with only few employees may not. This all depends on the kind of industry you may be in and the level of understanding of health & safety regulations the appointed person has.  A professional safety advisor would save you time and money whatever the size of your business especially if you schedule a consultation just once or twice per year.

Health and safety for low risk businesses

2)Your health and safety policy - Is one of the basic requirements which the law contemplates. Every company in UK with more than five employees is obligated to have one. Essentially this is a written statement of all safety and health values and procedures your company is regulated by and committed to.  The policy should state very clearly who does what and how daily work is conducted safely for employees and anyone who may be affected by their work. You can write a policy yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. Have a look at our health and safety policy and risk assessment apps which are specifically designed to help you do it yourself.

3)Risk assessments – are without doubt your most important tools for identifying hazards in the workplace to prevent harm and protect people. A written statement of every step that needs to be taken to prevent hazards would give you a better understanding of how serious and real these hazards are.  Usually a competent person or an experienced member of the staff in charge of the particular job should be appropriate to write the assessment.  This should also be correct person to give the best solutions to prevent risks.  Check and update your risk assessments every time you have a new employee, new equipment or change of environment. It is highly likely that a change of usual circumstances would eradicate some of the dangers while leading to new ones. Our risk assessment app is free and available for anyone to use here Risk Assessment Template.

4) Training-- Everyone who works for you should know exactly what they are expected to do and how to do it. Training on how to work safely has to be conducted during working hours, as part of the general training for the job and is the companies obligation to keep all training records detailing what each  employee has been trained for.

5) First aid, ill-health and accidents - To prevent work accidents and people being injured you need to consider what risks are present in your specific workplace and what first aid arrangements you need to make.  You should then appoint a first-aider. You also need to have available a first-aid box at the premises , and employees need to be informed what to do in case of dangerous of emergency situations.  Under current health and safety law certain injuries and work – related diseases need to be kept on record and in certain cases reported.

Health and safety for low risk businesses

6) Welfare facilities, safety and health issues - You need to provide minimal welfare facilities, according to the needs of your employees and the public.  Minimal requirements are toilets and basins (when necessary disabled facilities), changing rooms, usually required when employees are wearing uniforms, drinking water plus a place to rest and eat. Recently many companies are creating additional spaces for breastfeeding mothers and pregnant employees to rest, etc.  The work area and environment needs to be healthy and comfortable , a good room temperature (at least 16C), good ventilation, suitable lighting, enough space, suitable seating and chairs, clean premises and enough rubbish bins.  The most important safety issues would be easy access around corridors meaning access areas are kept clean, tidy and without obstruction.  Emergency routes need to have appropriately displayed signage. Make sure all fire extinguishers and basic first aid kits are also kept up to date.

7) Health and Safety Law Poster - A valid and up to date version needs to be displayed so that any employee have easy access. You can also issue employees with the leaflet version of the poster if required.

We hope this quick guide will give you a better understanding and as always welcome any questions or feedback you may have

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Health and safety for low risk businesses

Written by a top health and safety consultant in Leicester

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