Frequently Asked Questions
We have less than 5 employees, does health and safety apply to us?
Yes, to all businesses however small and to the self employed.
We are all self employed so health and safety won’t concern us will it?
You may still be considered ‘employees’ for health and safety purposes if you:
- tell them what time to begin and finish work, and agree their holiday periods;
- tell them how jobs should be done, and in what order they should be carried out;
- provide the tools and materials for use in the tasks carried out.
All employers must make provision for the health and safety of their employees. This includes:
- A safety policy
- First aid arrangements
- Risk assessments
- Fire and emergency arrangements
What is the difference between a risk assessment, a safe working practice and a method statement?
A risk assessment is a documented record of the specific risks associated with a task or job, this should also identify the controls you have put in place to reduce the risks to an acceptable or reasonable level.
A safe working practice is a documented safety instruction of how to go about a specific task every time it is done, often suitable when the task rarely changes.
A method statement is information of how an entire job will be done, this often includes much more than safety information and would only be used for that job, because the next job would be different.
What first aid arrangements must be made?
Every business is required to make first aid provision. Regulation 3 of The Health and Safety (First-aid) regulations 1981 (Code of practice)states ‘an employer shall provide, or ensure that there is provided, such number of suitable persons as is adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for rendering first aid to his employees if they are injured or become ill at work’.
Further more the code goes on to say ‘first aid needs to be appropriate to the circumstances of each workplace…needs to consider the needs of travelling, remote and lone workers’.
Do we have to do anything about emergencies?
Every business must make suitable arrangements for emergencies, fire, etc.
When do we have to report an accident at work?
If the employee is going to be off for more than 3 working days.
What if we ask employees to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and they don’t?
Then you are being complicit or in connivance with them (by allowing an unsafe practice to continue) you must:
Tell them, don’t ask, in writing if possible.
Begin disciplinary procedures or stop them doing that job, if they continue and have an accident you are liable because you allowed and knowingly unsafe act to continue. Its often better to get the employee to choose their own PPE which they are comfortable with.
Do our fork truck drivers need to be retrained?
Yes the new code of practice for Provision and use of work equipment states that retraining should take place between 3 and 5 years for all operators.