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Health & Safety in Business Join the chat #ForumHour

1 Why should companies establish an

effective Health & Safety management system. Health and safety legislation applies to all businesses, no matter what size or sector you are in. It’s importance cannot be underestimated as failing to comply can lead to prosecution with fines averaging £28,300*. As an employer, you are responsible for managing health and safety in your business and you need to ensure you are providing a safe working environment for employees, contractors, visitors and anyone else who might be affected by your operations. The approach you take should be proportionate to the size of your business and the nature of your business activity. For most small, low-risk businesses the steps you need to take are straightforward. If you have fewer than five employees you don’t have to write down your risk assessment or your health and safety policy.


*100% of all participants agreed that companies should have a health and safety system in place and that it is just common sense to look after your employees who are your greatest asset.

James.barnett @rradarjames We see claims for fall from heights or injury due to unguarded machinery on a regular basis. We also are seeing more and more FFI’s ! Friend had accident at work. Company dealt with it so badly will cost them more & bad PR. Talk to @The_FPB if you have problem! #Forumhour Tetteh kofi @The_FPB #ForumHour Of Course #H&S can lead to terrible reputational problems for #SME too and thats a #PR problem we would think about HSE Risk Management @hse_risk Agree PR is paramount for businesses but making sure your staff go home to their families at night should be the key H&S driver #dutyofcare BSA Buying group @BSA_BuyingGroup #ForumHour The terrorist attack in Manchester highlights how random events can change lives in seconds. Businesses must plan for disaster

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2 Most companies should have a

certificate of employers’ liabilily insurance in place to a value of not less than £5m. If an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of the work they do for you, they can claim compensation from you. If you have employees you must have a certificate of employers’ liability insurance (EL), this should be in place to a value of not less than £5 million, most policies automatically provide cover of £10 million. You must implement the procedures to ensure that: • You are aware if you qualify for an exemption – refer to • EL insurance is obtained (to a value of not less than £5 million) • A copy of your current certificate of EL insurance is displayed at each site of premises. Your employees must have access to it but it can be made available electronically if required • You are able to retain copies of certificates that have expired Your company may also require other insurances such as: • Public Liability • Building and contents • Professional indemnity/liability • Business interruption • Key person • Vehicles • Contractors all risk Usually, insurance companies include these as part of a package of insurance for business. You can buy employers’ liability insurance through insurers or intermediaries like brokers or trade associations. You may find that it often comes as part of an insurance package designed to cover a range of business needs. Your policy must be with an authorised insurer and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has a list of these.


*40% of participants were unaware of the fact that children are not covered by employer’s liability insurance if they visit your place of work.

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Journolink @journolink @The_FPB #ForumHour. One HR client highlighted the risk involved with bringing kids into office areas even for short periods The Forum @The_FPB Officially children aren’t covered by employer’s liability #insurance so if a child is brought in to the office it will be at their own risk Jonathan Farber @knutsfordtimes This, I didn’t know. #bringyourchildtoworkday #insurance James.barnett @rradarjames I would tie this into a young workers ( and visitors) policy making sure children are always accompanied by an adult #ForumHour anyone else? BSA Buying group @BSA_BuyingGroup #ForumHour One concern we have concerns business travel. Does your business control staff booking flights so you know where they are?

3 Did you know that enforcement

inspectors can enter your business at any time to do a workplace inspection? If an enforcing authority inspector calls, you must ensure you co-operate with his or her requests. An enforcing authority can include the HSE, the fire and rescue service, the police or your local authority (LA). Are you aware that: • Enforcement inspectors can enter your workplace at any time without giving notice? though notice may be given where the inspector thinks it is appropriate. • Normal inspection includes assessing the workplace, work activities, the management of health and safety, and documents to ensure you are complying with health and safety, food and fire legislation? • During a normal inspection, an inspector will expect to check that you have arrangements in place for consulting and informing employees • Enforcement action may result in a letter informing you of your requirements for compliance • Enforcement action may result in an Improvement Notice (IN) informing you of what has to be done, why and by when? (The improvement notice will inform you when the remedial action has to be undertaken by. After this period, a re-inspection may be undertaken to determine your compliance.)

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• If you fail to comply with the requirements of the improvement notice, you may be prosecuted •

Enforcement action may result in a Prohibition Notice (PN) informing you to cease the activity until appropriate remedial action has been taken? (The prohibition notice will inform you when the remedial action has to be undertaken by. After this period, a re-inspection may be undertaken to determine your compliance.)

• If you fail to comply with the requirements of the prohibition notice, you may be prosecuted


*66% of participants were working in an environment where equipment was not up to standard demonstrating the importance of workplace inspections.

James.barnett @rradarjames @The_FPB An engineering manager I worked with saw old machines not to standard and offered to resign unless it was changed #first day ! HSE Risk Management @hse_risk Engineering equipment still in use and the owners haven’t considered investment to adapt them to todays standards HSE Risk Management @hse_risk Some fall for the ‘under 5 employee trap, it doesn’t apply’..although it doesn’t need to be documented, risks still needs to be a considered

4 By law, if you have 5 or more employees,

you must have written H&S policies and they should be reviewed annually

By law, businesses employing five or more employees, including proprietors or partners, must have a written health and safety policy that is reviewed at least on an annual basis. It is helpful, in terms of defence against litigation, if a business has a written policy, even if it employs fewer than five employees. For example, the company may employ fewer than five employees directly, but may also employ casual or agency staff or contractors. For the purposes of health and safety, casual or agency staff or contractors should be classed as employees as you still have a duty of care towards them. The policy should be commensurate with the size and complexity of your operations. Having a health and safety policy in place will assist in: • Compliance with the law

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• Documenting the management systems that you already have in place • Ensuring employees (and others working at your premises, such as contractors) are informed of the health and safety arrangements for the business • Securing contracts with clients • Demonstrating compliance to insurance companies • Demonstrating a professional image to clients and suppliers.


*100% of all participants agreed that written Health and Safety policies were critical in a business and need not be complicated.

Tetteh Kofi @TetKofi This is so Important to us especially when we do shows and exhibitions for or with Clients. Our people need to be safe!#ForumHour Worked with firm of accountants who were doing all right things in practice but didn’t have ANY policies in place Unbelievable! #ForumHour Journolink @journolink #ForumHour #WrittenPolicies are not an optional extra. They are a must have. #HealthAndSafety Southend Charter @SouthendCharter Policies don’t need to be complicated. Quite easy specially with support from @The_FPB HSE Risk Management @hse_risk Developing your H&S Culture to ensure the Policy is enacted is the tough one. Needs to be driven both Top Down and Bottom up #AllTogether

5 Risk assessments are required for all

aspects of your operation

Risk assessments are required for all aspects of your operations. You must identify hazards and assess the level of risk they present to employees and others. The number and complexity of Risk Assessments will depend on your operations and the degree of risk presented. The process of risk assessment should be proportionate to the level of risk presented by your operations. Low risk operations, for example, will only need a simple risk assessment process where complex situations will need a more complicated risk control strategy developing.

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*40% of participants shared how surprised they were by the number of companies they knew that did not undertake risk assessments.*

Leanda Hickman @MrsHickman2013 I find that quite amazing that #businesses don’t do risk assessments but it is a responsibility that they need to take on board #forumhour Jill Poet @ORB_UK Amazing that some businesses think that #HealthandSafety doesn’t apply to them & they don’t need risk assessments. #ForumHour HSE Risk Management @hse_risk If you are already operating, I would look first and foremost at the risks and if any of my employees were at risk! Jill Poet @ORB_UK Agreed but also #HealthandSafety is common sense. It’s looking after your employees and

6 Accident & Emergency procedure You must establish accident and emergency procedures to prevent people from being exposed to serious and imminent danger. These procedures can be put into action after an event to determine its root and underlying causes. You must implement procedures to ensure that:

• An emergency plan (in case of a major incident at your workplace) is prepared • Competent persons are appointed to take control in the event of an accident or emergency? Decide who the other key people are, such as first aiders, fire marshals and so on

• Essential actions are planned, such as emercency plant shutdown and making processes safe • Important items, such as shut-off valves, electrical isolators and so on, are clearly labelled. • Any specific requirments necessary in the event of an emergency situation are taken account of, such as thise for electric shock, serious injury, explosion, fire, flood, poisoning, chemical spill, release of radioactivity and so on.

• Emergency services can gain access to your premises. Consider vehicle access and access to water hydrants, gas isolation valves, location of any hazardous locations or materials and so on.

• Emergency lighting is provided (and inspected, tested and maintained) • The alarm is raised in the event of an emergency situation, remembering night-shift workers, weekend and times when premises are closed.

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• Emergency exits are available to ensure that everyone can escape quickly and exits are unobstructed and clearly marked.

• Employees can assemble in a place of safety • The needs of people with disabilities are consided. You should also consider people with language difficulties, those with physical or mental health issues and other vunerable individuals such a pregnant women and children.

• A premises plan is drawn up to identify the layouts, exits, relevant equipment, the locations of hazardous materials etc.

Jill Poet@ORB_UK It’s common sense really but something most people wouldn’t think of! #HealthandSafety #Forumhour @The_FPB

7 Reporting procedure All incidents at work should be recorded to ensure that details are gathered to enable you to investigate and, if the accident becomes reportable, to assist in a case of negligence. Reporting procedures The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) require you to report certain types of incidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences. Should any of the events listed below under ‘Reportable accidents’ or ‘Dangerous occurrences’ happen, you must notify the enforcing authority without delay. Confirmation of the occurrence should be put in writing within 15 days. Incident forms are available for online completion at the HSE RIDDOR website If an emergency contact is required with the HSE, a duty officer is available on 0151 922 9235. As an example the most common types of incidents. A full detailed list is available from the RIDDOR website. • Deaths • Specified injuries • Accidents resulting in an over-seven-day injury** • Diseases • Dangerous occurrences • Gas incidents *Figures are based on the tweets resulting from the twitter chat and are not a representation of the views of UK small businesses. **An over-seven-day injury is one which is not a specified injury, but which prevents the injured person from working/carrying out his or her normal duties for more than seven days.

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For futher information and guidance for health & safety in small, low-risk business, visit

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Accidents, prosecutions, or other adverse health and safety events may never happen to you, but if they do, the effect on your business and its ability to grow could be catastrophic. Membership of the Forum can also help you protect your business from such risks. Membership includes: • An unlimited helpline offering practical guidance on employment law, health and safety, marketing and business development • Protection for your business with our legal expense insurance, worth up to £50,000 per section of cover • Tailored advice and member services to save money, make money and help your business grow • Getting your views on pressing business issues heard by policy makers • The Health and Safety Guide - including customisable forms and templates • Access to a health and safety consultant partner to provide specific, tailored support if required. By leading you through new and ever evolving legislation we leave you free to concentrate on what you do best, running your business.

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Findings from Health and Safety in Business Twitter Chat  

This document provides a summary of the findings from #ForumHour about 'Health and Safety in Business' held on 24th May 2017.

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