What are Your Health and Safety Responsibilities?

Do you fully understand what are your health and safety responsibilities are?

In 1974 the Health and Safety at Work Act was introduced…

“a bold and far-reaching piece of legislation”

43 years later, 2017…

137 workers died, and the annual cost of UK work-related injuries and ill health is £14.9 billion!!!

We can all agree

that no one wakes up in the morning wanting to have an accident or knowingly create an unsafe environment, but I truly find these following statistics astounding:

November 2017: the latest 40 companies failed to comply with their health and safety responsibilities:

  • 16 failed in regard to not completing risk assessments!
  • 10 failed to implement a safe system of work for the task!
  • 5 failed to implement appropriate training!
  • 5 failed to take the basic steps for routine tasks!
  • 4 failed to implement well-established standards!


Why did they fail to comply?

72.5% of the above 40 companies failed to meet the most basic health and safety at work act provisions, they are…

Section 2 of the health and safety at work act states:

It is the duty of every employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees.

For more detail on the legislation, click here 

Section 3 of the health and safety at work act states:

It is the duty of every employer to ensure that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby and not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.

For more detail on the legislation, click here




Every accident is preventable

Managing health and safety is an integral part of managing your business.

You need to do a risk assessment to find out about the risks in your workplace, put sensible measures in place to control them, and make sure they stay controlled.

If you run a low-risk business, health and safety is something you can manage without needing to buy in expert help. Here you could appoint yourself as a competent person or one or more of your workers.

Remember: there is no insurance that will protect you from non-compliance with health and safety law, so it is imperative that together you create a positive safety culture, increasing safety and reducing incidents.

Leading from board level, driving the information to your employees, steering them, preparing them to act and conduct their processes is paramount.

Remember, if you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees (and the injury or illness was caused after 1 October 2013), you shouldn’t have to pay compensation.


A Powerful reminder?

  • The maximum fine today is 20million!!!
  • You will be fined based on risk, not outcome!!!
  • Fine proportionate to turnover (not profit)
  • Maximum fines are due to increase (100 million)

Recent case law has confirmed that directors cannot avoid a charge of neglect under section 37 by arranging their organisation’s business so as to leave them ignorant of circumstances, which would trigger their obligation to address health and safety breaches. Those found guilty are liable for fines and imprisonment. In addition, the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, section 2(1), empowers the court to disqualify an individual convicted of an offence in connection with the management of a company. This includes health and safety offences.


There really isn’t any excuse

Simple actions can create great results, the HSE provides many guidance notes, documents and ACOPs (Approve codes of practices) to help all companies comply with the law.

Karl Spencer: As a member of the IoD (Institute of Directors), British Safety Council and Chamber of Commerce, I am passionate about helping other directors understand their obligations and legal duties in their business. http://yoursafetypal.com/about-us/ 

“Let’s renew confidence, let’s increase awareness, let’s have a more holistic approach – but let’s not do it with paperwork and forms, let’s do it in the real world, with the latest technology and smarter thinking”

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