OfficiaNet - Knowledge Base
Health and Safety
All nations around the world have stringent laws in place with regards to occupational health and safety. In the UK, the HSC (Health and Safety Commission) and the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) regulate and enforce the Health and Safety Act, whilst in the United States of America the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) enforce the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Health and Safety in the Workplace
Health and Safety legislation applies to all companies, whether you have a million employees or just you, it is your legal responsibility to be compliant with the regulations. All new businesses must register for health and safety, carry out a rigorous risk assessment to prevent people being injured or harmed at work and manage their own health and safety policy.
Every business must adhere to minimum standards of comfort at work, provide free health and safety training and display certain posters and signs. All companies must comply with fire regulations; provide a first aid box and record accidents and injuries. You may be inspected at any time, with or without notice and face penalties for non compliance.
Duty of Care
Health and Safety legislation is about stopping people being harmed by work or becoming ill through work. It is a legal obligation for all employers to take care of the people around them. You need to ensure as far as possible your own safety as well as that of any employees, visitors, contractors and customers to your business premises.
Staff must be informed about health and safety policy and be kept up to date and involved with health and safety procedures. All employees also need to be aware of their responsibilities and make sure the work environment is as safe as possible. Everyone needs to know how to report accidents and incidents.
Many businesses need to be registered with health and safety authorities and those with employees in an office or shop or catering, care or leisure facility, need to register with the local council’s environmental health department.