Health and Safety

You have heard of this but what does it actually mean?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) lays down wide-ranging duties on employers. Employers must protect the ‘health, safety and welfare’ at work of all their employees, as well as others on their premises, including temps, casual workers, the self-employed, clients, visitors, and the general public.

You might have come across the red and cream poster at work which shows the basics around this subject, if you can’t remember, go find it! But here we will take a look at some of the information that it provides.

The Health and Safety Act of 1974 states that an organisation has a legal obligation to keep employees safe at work at all times and there are a number of ways in which this should be done.

As an employer there are a number of steps that must be adhered to including but not limited to:

  • Decide what could harm a person in their job and the precautions to stop it. This is part of a RISK ASSESSMENT.
  • In a way that people can understand, explain how risks will be controlled and state who is responsible for this.
  • FREE OF CHARGE, give employees the health and safety training that they need to do their job.
  • Provide adequate FIRST AID facilities.

There are a number of other steps that the employer has to follow, however as an employee it is also important that they play their part. This includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Follow the training that they have received when using any work items that the employer has provided.
  • Take reasonable care of their own and others health and safety.
  • Co-operate with the employer on matters involving health and safety.

One of the major issues around this subject is the communication of the legislation in a way that people understand and can act on.

It is therefore important to put in place processes and procedures around it. An organisation can do this by making sure that the basic organisational health and safety information is shared at the point of engagement and that this is evidenced.

Some organisations put this in the induction, either in a write up, a leaflet or a video. With the popularity of technology, organisations can now add this to an onboarding process by the use of videos and even basic online questionnaires and e-learning.

Health and Safety might sound boring, we get it, however we understand how vital this information is in keeping the humans at work safe.