To answer some questions I get asked on a regular basis by Directors/Owners of SME companies

Discussion in 'The Forum' started by Martin Griffiths, 29 Nov 2018.

  1. Why are there more regulations and red tape than ever?

    Answer: In actual fact, there were more than twice as many health and safety regulations and laws 35 years ago than there are now. The legislation that remains is now generally simpler and easier to understand.

    Small businesses are being strangled by over-inspection and over-regulation

    Answer: The average small business is likely to be visited by a health and safety inspector around about once every 20 years. Even larger businesses, except for high hazards ones, are visited on average every 10 years. Small businesses are even exempted from some regulations. For instance, while every employer has to do a risk assessment on their staff if a business has less than 5 employees it does not even have to write the assessment down or record it. Hardly a major burden.

    Who is responsible for health and safety?

    Answer: As an employer or a self-employed person, you are responsible for health and safety in your business. You can delegate the task, but ultimately you are responsible. You will need to make sure that whoever does the risk assessment:

    What responsibility’s do my employees have?

    Answer: Employees also have responsibilities under health and safety law to:

    · take care of the health and safety of themselves and others

    · co-operate with you to help you comply with health and safety legislation

    · follow any instructions and training you give regarding the measures you have in place to control health and safety risks

    · let you know of work situations that present a serious and imminent risk

    · let you know of any other failings they identify in your health and safety arrangements

    Is a risk assessment a legal requirement?

    Answer: Yes, if you are an employer or self-employed. It is a legal requirement for every employer and self-employed person to make an assessment of the health and safety risks arising out of their work. The purpose of the assessment is to identify what needs to be done to control health and safety risks. Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

    What does 'reasonably practicable' mean?

    Answer: The term 'reasonably practicable' is widely used in Health & Safety law. ... Under the HSWA 1974, for example, employers must “so far as is reasonably practicable” protect the health and safety of employees by removing or reducing workplace risks

    What is the law on manual handling?

    Answer: Employers have a legal obligation Manual Handling Operations Regulations to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk to employees from the manual handling of loads. This is a legal requirement and the Regulations must be complied with.

    What is the Maximum Weight that Can Be Lifted at Work?

    Answer: There are no legal limits for the weight that can be lifted at work.

    20-25kg is considered heavy for most people. The limit of checked baggage weight at airports is 23kg, so if you’ve ever lugged around an overloaded suitcase, you’ll know how strenuous it can be!

    Is Coshh (control of substance hazardous to health) training a legal requirement?

    Answer: Basically, it is the law that requires employers to control these substances. Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH, 2002) employers are required to either prevent, reduce or at the very least, control exposure to hazardous substances in order to prevent ill health to their workers.

    Is DSE (display screen assessment) training a legal requirement?

    Answer: Yes the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) document L26, Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002 states on page 8 that display screen equipment training is required for all staff using display screen equipment

    The HSE state that DSE Training is a legal requirement for all staff who look at desktop computer screens, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and any other appropriate display screen equipment‘for continuous or near-continuous spells of an hour’

    Are Fire Warden’s a legal requirement?

    Answer: The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety ) Order 2005 made it a legal requirement. All staff members in a business environment had to receive at least some form of basic fire warden training.

    Therefore, you need to have enough employees trained as fire wardens to help assist in an emergency situation.

    Are first aiders a legal requirement?

    Answer: Employers' legal duties. The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.

    Should every workplace have a first aider?

    Answer: The HSE recommends that if you work in a company with 5-50 workers, there should be at least one person trained in first aid. Another first-aider should be in place for every 50 workers after that. Accidents can happen, even in low-risk organisations with few employees.

    Please see First aid Guide

    Is PAT Testing A Legal Requirement?

    Answer: No. The law simply requires an employer to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger. It does not say how this should be done or how often. Employers should take a risk-based approach, considering the type of equipment and what it is being used for. If it is used regularly and moved a lot e.g. a floor cleaner or a kettle, testing (along with visual checks) can be an important part of an effective maintenance regime giving employers confidence that they are doing what is necessary to help them meet their legal duties. HSE provides guidance on how to maintain equipment including the use of PAT.

    How often should I PAT test?

    Answer: PAT testing is the advised system to ensure the safety of portable appliances. The Health & Safety Executive provides no set rule on PAT testing frequency, only that testing should be done regularly to ensure preventative maintenance. The reason that there is no set frequency is because different situations arise that call for different measures. There are a number of factors that affect PAT testing frequency and it is up to each individual to determine when testing should be carried out.

    In order to determine how often you should have your appliances tested, you should bear in mind a few different factors:

    1. Equipment that is used more should be tested more frequently.

    1. If people using equipment report any damages as they become noticeable, there is less chance of a major hazard. If equipment regularly receives damage or abuse that is not reported then inspections and testing are required more frequently.

    1. The type of equipment in question is a major factor in determining PAT testing frequency. Handheld appliances are more likely to become damaged than those that are stationary. Class 1 appliances carry the greatest risk of danger and should be tested more often.

    Although there are no requirements for PAT testing frequency, there are recommendations. also you must refer to your policy on electrical appliances as they may state that PAT testing must be completed annually.

    Please see PAT testing frequency guide.

    For any advice or guidance please get in touch we are health and safety advisors and fire safety advisors in Wrexham and Chester
    @Acton health and safety fire safety Ltd

    we offer a free site assessment to find out your needs
    and for GiveBackWork member only a 10% discount of any of our services including training

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