Health and safety
Health and safety information and advice for businesses
We are committed to working together with local businesses to achieve high standards and prevent problems. We are always willing to give advice on legislation, or practical problems. If you are considering setting up a business or would like advice on health and safety at work, please contact us by email to email@example.com.
We are responsible for a wide variety of workplaces ranging from:
- leisure centres
- residential homes.
Advice for new businesses
All new businesses must be aware of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) 1974 and the regulations made under the act.
The legislation exists to protect workers and members of the public from hazards that are present in the workplace. Compliance with the legislation means that generally the risk of harm to any person is reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable.
Your health and safety responsibilities
If you are working alone, your duty is to ensure you do not expose customers or members of the public to hazards you may be creating.
If you are an employer, you should have a health and safety policy and you must undertake a risk assessment. Both must be available to your employees so that they are aware of any rules or procedures they must abide by. If you have more than 5 employees, the policy and risk assessment must be written down.
It is good practice whether or not the policies are written, to keep a record of all staff to whom you have communicated the health and safety message.
The Health and Safety Executive website has some useful tools to ensure that you are doing what is necessary to comply with health and safety legislation.
Health and safety complaints
Everyone is entitled to work in a workplace which is free from risks to health and safety, or where risks have been adequately controlled.
Employees should also be trained and/or supervised in order to minimise risks.
Additionally, employees are entitled to expect basic welfare facilities at their place of work and opportunity to use them.
Complaints in the workplace
If you have concerns about health and safety within the workplace you can report this to us. All complaints are dealt with confidentially and no names are released without the permission of the complainant.
To make a complaint about health and safety in the workplace please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will investigate the complaint and may undertake visits to carry out inspections in order to identify the issue of complaint.
Where appropriate, action will be taken to ensure the issue is resolved satisfactorily, where it is within our control to do so.
Health and safety inspections
Inspections are generally carried out without appointments so we can gain a true picture of what happens day to day.
During an inspection, we must establish if hazards to people's health, safety and welfare, which arise out of or in connection with work have been identified, and the associated risks adequately controlled. We will review the companies risk assessment, and ensure it is suitable and sufficient to control the risks.
We will also assess the level of health and safety training provided to managers and employees, and checks will be made on the adequacy of structural and environmental conditions and that plant and equipment are safe.
Failed health and safety inspections
Where work practices or conditions fall short of the standard required, every attempt will be made to resolve the situation by informal means. If this is not possible, or if the danger posed gives rise to a risk of serious personal injury, we must use formal action. Formal action could involve:
- serving an improvement notice
- a report to the Procurator Fiscal
- a prohibition notice requiring immediate action (where serious personal injury could arise).
For more information view Health and Safety Executive guidance.
Accidents in the workplace
The law requires employers to report certain types of work related accidents, diseases or dangerous occurrences. We will investigate incidents, in accordance with our policy and procedures, to establish if health and safety law has been broken with the aim of preventing similar accidents reoccurring.
Further information about the types of accidents and near misses the law requires employers to report can be found on the RIDDOR (Reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurences) website.
If you have an accident or near miss at work, make sure it is reported promptly and is subject to an internal investigation.
There is comprehensive information on the Health and Safety Executive website about the circumstances that lead to a report being made.
The main criteria is that the incident is "work related" and happened "out of or in connection with work". Work related means:
- the way the work was carried out
- any machinery, plant, substances or equipment used for the work
- the condition of the site or premises where the accident happened.
How to report an accident at work
A Health and Safety Executive telephone service is available for reporting fatal and major injuries only. Call the incident contact centre on 0845 300 9923 (opening hours Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm).
All reportable accidents can be reported via the RIDDOR website.
You can also contact us by email to email@example.com with any concerns about an accident or near miss at work.
Information on asbestos
Asbestos is a natural occurring material widely used in the past in the construction trade due to its heat resistant and fire retardant properties.
When left in place it poses little risk, however if it is disturbed and fibre's become airborne and inhaled, it can cause a variety of diseases.
Since the hazards of asbestos have been identified, its import has been banned and use has been reduced, however up until about 1980 asbestos containing materials (ACMs) were still in use. Because of its use in the construction of buildings, risk of releasing fibre's may now occur during maintenance, refurbishment and demolition or if vandalism occurs.
Materials which may contain asbestos
Typical asbestos containing materials include:
- cement roof sheet
- asbestos insulation board
- spray lagging
- cement pipe work
- vinyl floor tiles
- decorative textured wall and ceiling finishes.
Businesses have a legal duty to manage the asbestos in their property, it is therefore essential you know what materials are made of and their location, so that anyone carrying out work at the premises such as electricians, gas fitters, plumbers etc. can be informed of the location of the asbestos containing material before any work starts. It is the duty holders' responsibility to protect anyone on their premises from the risks of asbestos containing materials.
View more information on asbestos on the Health and Safety Executive website.