F.A.Q

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - HEALTH & SAFETY

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Health & Safety Information

The aim of the Health and Safety service is to protect the health and safety and welfare of employees and to safeguard others, principally the public, who may be exposed to risks from work activities.

What is Health & Safety all about?

Preventing people from being harmed by work or becoming ill by taking the right precautions and providing a satisfactory environment.

Do Health & Safety Laws Apply to me?

Yes to all businesses, however small; also to the self-employed and to employees.

How can I find out more/keep up-to-date with Health and Safety?

The most up-to-date information is available on the HSE’s website in the form of news concerning HSE campaigns, free information leaflets and the main issues currently influencing health and safety – www.hse.gov.uk. Subscription services and some publications are available from HSE books .

Who enforces Health and Safety Law?

The Public Protection Department enforces health and safety law in the following types of businesses:

  • Office based
  • Retail or wholesale
  • Warehousing
  • Hotel and Catering
  • Sports or leisure (non-Council)
  • Residential accommodation, excluding nursing homes
  • Places of worship
  • Pre-school childcare
  • Mobile vending

For all other types of business it will be the Health & Safety Executive.

What do enforcement officers actually do?

They visit workplaces to check that people are complying with the law. They investigate some accidents and complaints and give advice to employers and employees.
“What to expect when a health and safety inspector calls” (link to external website) – Free HSE leaflet. The Council’s Health and Safety Enforcement Policy is available on this website.

What type of accident do I need to report to the enforcing authority?

You must report any accident which causes:
An employee to be killed or suffer a major injury
A member of the public to be killed or have to be taken to hospital
An employee to be away from work for three days or more
If a doctor notifies you that your employee suffers from a reportable work related disease

What is a 'major injury'?

Major injuries are:

  • Fracture other than to fingers, thumbs or toes
  • Amputation
  • Dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine
  • Chemical or hot metal burn to the eye or any penetrating injury to the eye

What is a health and safety policy?

A health and safety policy means the health and safety arrangements i.e. the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventative and protective measures.  If there are 5 or more employees these arrangements must be recorded.  If there are less than 5 employees the appropriate arrangements still need to be in place.

What is meant by "hazard and risk"?

A hazard means anything that can cause harm (e.g. chemicals, electricity, working at height, machinery etc).

Risk is the change, high or low, that somebody will be harmed by the hazard.

How do I carry out a risk assessment?

A risk assessment should involve the identification of significant hazards present in a working environment or arising out of commercial activities and work activities.

Working alone, what should I consider?

Your employer must carry out a risk assessment and then take any reasonable steps to ensure you can work safely.

Does my workplace need to have artificial ventilation?

Workplaces need to be adequately ventilated. It will depend on the workplace whether windows will be sufficient or mechanical ventilation will need to be provided.

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