Health and Safety FAQ’s

Health and Safety can be a difficult area to understand and for many businesses, the best option for them is to outsource to a third party provider.

We have devised a list of the most common questions that arise for Health and Safety, alongside answers which we hope will enable you to understand the area in greater detail.

What is outsourced health and safety?

By outsourcing Health & Safety, businesses can ensure that their risk assessments and policies are kept up to date, whilst protecting their workplace from any accidents. We have broken down our Health and Safety services into three unique packages. H&S Lite and H&S Standard will give you unlimited support by phone or email however, our H&S Enhanced service gives you access to a dedicated Health & Safety Management Consultant as your “Competent Person”, who will provide ongoing support in relation to accident investigations and reporting.

Who is responsible for workplace health and safety?

In theory, the designated “Competent Person” is the person that will own the responsibility of ensuring that all of the work practices are carried out as safely as possible.

This will be achieved through training, regular risk assessments and safety checks. In reality, everyone in the business is responsible for workplace Health and Safety.We all have a responsibility and duty of care that must be followed when we are in the workplace.

With our Health and Safety Enhanced package, you can choose to nominate our Senior Health, Safety & Environmental Management Consultant to become your “Competent Person”.

Why is health and safety important?

By protecting your workers, you reduce absences, ensuring that your workplace is more efficient and productive. Research shows that workers are more productive in workplaces that are committed to health and safety.

Reducing down-time caused by illness and accidents means less disruption – and saves your business money.

Who enforces health and safety law?

Health and Safety law is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE have the right to visit our business at any time, without prior notice.

The HSE are capable of fining businesses that do not comply with Health and Safety legislation, they may also fine individuals personally or close down a business in severe cases.

What does COSHH stand for in health and safety?

COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health.

How are health and safety fines calculated?

The consequences of being found guilty of health and safety errors can include imprisonment in the most serious cases, as well as disqualification as a company director for up to 15 years.

HSE fines of up to £20,000 are common, and in cases of serious negligence, they can be unlimited. Check the HSE’s model examples and Summary of Maximum Penalties.

Fire Safety in the Workplace

Whatever type of business you have, or how many people you employ, fire safety must be a priority.

Achieving fire safety in your place of work largely comes down to common sense and although the business owner is usually the person responsible, there should be a team approach with all staff knowing how they can help prevent fire.

What are the main causes of fire in the workplace?

In a low-risk office environment, these are the most common causes of fire:

  • Electrical. In an office, the most common causes of fire are electrical faults such as faulty equipment, overloaded sockets, damaged wires. These account for approximately 25% of fires in non-domestic buildings.
  • Misuse of equipment. Heaters positioned close to flammable items, drinks spilt on electrical equipment.
  • Storage and disposable of flammable or combustible materials. Storage of flammable liquids and unemptied bins containing combustible materials are a combustion hazard.
  • Smoking. Although smoking may be banned inside, carelessly discarded cigarettes still start fires. around one-third of deaths in non-domestic buildings are attributed to smoker’s materials.
  • Cooking appliances. Any food that has splattered or dripped in the microwave can continue to cook, causing sparks inside your microwave. Make sure you regularly clean and maintain your electrical appliance.

What is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 covers general fire safety in England and in Wales.

It requires reasonable steps to be taken to reduce the risk of fire in the workplace and to make sure there is planning in place should an emergency situation occur.

In Scotland, Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, supported by the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 applies.

Who’s responsible for fire safety in your workplace?

The employer
As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure the workplace is a safe environment for your staff and for visitors. You have a legal duty firstly to guard against a fire occurring and secondly to ensure plans are in place in the event of a fire.

Employees
Everyone in the workplace has a duty to familiarise themselves with fire safety measures. For instance, action to take in the case of a fire, fire fighting equipment, and fire exits. Competent Fire Safety Training will ensure this is the case.

Do the regulations apply to all places of work?

Yes, almost all premises where people work are covered by the Order. This includes offices, shops, care homes and hospitals, schools, sports centres, clubs, hotels, warehouses, factories, pubs and restaurants.

What are the fire safety requirements in the Fire Order?

The responsible person must undertake the following themselves or appoint a “Competent Person” to do them:

  • To carry out a fire risk assessment (or use an outside agency) and make sure it is reviewed regularly.
  • To inform staff of any risks noted.
  • Put in place fire safety measures to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Keep fire safety measures current and maintained.
  • Take further measures if inflammable or explosive materials are stored.
  • Have emergency planning in place.
  • Review and record your planning of emergency procedures.
  • Consider those who may be more at risk and have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan where appropriate.
  • Provide staff with the necessary information and training.

Dedicated Outsourced Health & Safety

If you need support with managing your Health and Safety, we can offer an outsourced service with our experienced team, based on your business requirements. We have broken down our Health and Safety services into three unique packages. H&S Lite and H&S Standard will give you unlimited support by phone or email.

However, our H&S Enhanced service gives you access to a dedicated HSE Management Consultant, who will provide ongoing support in relation to accident investigations and reporting.

Learn more

Contact Us

Require further answers or Health & Safety advice? Contact us below and a member of the team will be in touch.

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