The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is a piece of legislation regulating practices and procedures at work. These practices are geared towards ensuring the safety of lives and properties. It covers health and safety practices in business, specifically in Great Britain. The guide came into law in 1974.
The law contains the responsibility of employers to the safety of employers and other people. It also outlines the safety measures employees have to imbibe in the workplace, and the duties self-employed individuals have towards their safety and that of others.
While this Act is essential for safety, it can only guarantee your safety if you apply them properly.
8 Ways to Implement the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act of 1974
Here are suggestions to help you make the most of the Act.
1. Have a Health and Safety Policy
The Act requires that employers have health and safety policies. This policy is meant to help your workers maintain safety rules. The statement contains your intentions on ensuring safety at work. It also includes the measures you have taken to ensure safety at work.
You should also specify the duties of workers who are responsible for the safety and health of everyone.
2. Get Qualified Workers
As an employer, you should consider the suitability of people to the workplace before enlisting their services. Your workers should have the necessary qualification and experience to work there.
You can enlist the services of professional advisers or consultants where the safety measures are beyond the competence of the workers, or the company is a big one.
3. Carry Out a Risk Assessment
Since it is your responsibility to keep your workers and other people safe, you have to take active steps. As an employer, you have to identify hazards in your business premises and the possibility of someone getting injured. Then, eliminate the risk from the environment.
The goal is to ensure the workplace is safe for your employees and anyone else entering the premises.
4. Enlighten Your Workers
Enlighten your employees on occupational health and safety. They have to know how to work safely without putting their health and safety on the line neither jeopardising the company.
You have to enlighten them through training, especially new workers and people changing positions within the company. People taking on additional responsibilities also need training.
Also, give your workers clear information and directives on how to go about some duties. The information and training you provide must be apt and easy to understand. Provide vital information on potential risks and how to avoid them.
The information should also cover employees’ responsibilities and response in times of emergencies. The training has to be relevant and apt. As an employer, you should provide the information at no cost to your employees.
When making decisions on hazards and safety, consult your employees. Seek their opinions, especially those qualified in specific fields. Carrying them along is necessary for building a sense of responsibility and trust.
An essential aspect of enlightening your workers is making them aware of and understand the health and safety law. It would be best if you put the poster where they can see it. If you have a new employee, part of their orientation is knowing the law. If possible, you can distribute the leaflet to everyone.
5. Make Provision for Eventualities
There should be adequate measures for tackling incidents. There should be provision for first aid. Get an adequately stocked first aid kit for efficient delivery. Put someone in charge of the first aid and ensure that the person is adequately trained.
Workers should be aware of the provision for first aid and know how to access it.
6. Make the Workplace Comfortable and Safe
It is your responsibility to make the workplace safe and comfortable. This task involves providing adequate facilities and safety measures. There should be welfare facilities like restrooms, sources of clean water, places for eating and relaxation, and any other provisions to enhance comfort.
7. Get Employer’s Liability Insurance
If you have employees working under you, you should get an employer’s liability insurance. This kind of insurance helps secure against any form of expenses or damages that may accrue in the course of doing business.
For instance, if an employee gets injured or falls sick as a result of working for you, they may claim compensation. In some cases, you may be required to pay some bills. An employer’s liability insurance will help you pay.
8. Report Illnesses and Accidents
The law requests that you keep records of accidents in your workplace. You are expected to report injuries and near-misses under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).
This record will help you prevent future accidents because you would have identified patterns of occurrences that may lead to injuries and fatalities.
Implementing the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act of 1974 is not difficult. With these suggestions, you should be well off.