HSE logoThe HSE (Health and Safety Executive) published a guide for companies who want advice on basic health and safety including safety signs.

The guide stated that the law applies to all businesses regardless of size and as an employer you are responsible for the health and safety within your business.

You can access the guide here

We’ve summarised the main points of the guidelines below but if you’re in any doubt, click the link above and have a read.

Who is responsible for health and safety in my business?

– As an employer you must appoint competent to ensure you meet relevant requirements
– If you do not have the knowledge to manage this area you can consult outside help from sources such as trade associations, safety groups, H&S consultants, equipment suppliers

How do I write a health and safety policy for my business?

– If you have 5 or more employees you must have a Health and Safety policy
– Describe how you intend to manage health and safety and who is responsible for what
– Download a free risk assessment and health and safety policy template
– Staff must be aware of the policy and it should be reviewed on a regular basis

How do I manage health and safety risks in my business?

– Decide what in your business could cause harm to people and decide how you can prevent that harm e.g putting up safety signs to make people aware of a risk. This is classed as risk assessment.
– The law expects you to put measures in place to protect people from these potential risks. This could be operational measures or by the use of things such safety signs to warn people of the risks.
– Keep a record of the risks you have identified and the measures put in place to combat them using the free risk assessment template above
– Consult your employees as they may be the best people to identify potential risks in the workplace

What Health and Safety training do I have to provide for staff?

– All employees need to know how to work safely and without risking their health
– Employers must provide sufficient training and clear instructions/information on health and safety including: Risks and Hazards in the workplace – What measures are in place to reduce risk and offset those hazard – The emergency procedures for the company and how to follow them
– Keep a record of training so you know when refresher training may be required
– Training must be done in work time and staff must not be charged for it

What facilities do I need to provide staff in the workplace?

– Employers must protect the health and safety of everyone in their business and provide welfare facilities
– This includes: Toilets and hand basins with soap and towels (or a hand dryer) – Drinking water – A place to store clothing (if specialist clothing is required for work) – Somewhere to rest and eat meals

 How do I keep my workplace safe?

– Maintain your premises including any equipment and safety signs
– Clear any obstruction from floors and traffic routes
– Windows must be able to be opened
– Make sure and glass doors are protected or made of a safety material (glass awareness signs)
– Display the Health and Safety Law poster or provide each worker with a pocket card or leaflet
– You are probably required to have employers liability insurance. You can get this through authorised insurance companies or brokers