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Health and Safety Advice

What are your responsibilities as an employer?

You are responsible for making sure that your employees receive immediate attention if they are taken ill or are injured at work. Accidents and illness can happen at any time and first aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones.

 

Your arrangements will depend on the particular circumstances in your workplace and the outcome of your first-aid needs assessment.

 

As a minimum you must have:

  • A suitably stocked first aid box
  • An appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements
  • Information for all employees, giving details of first aid arrangements
  • First-aiders (this is someone who has been trained by an approved organisation and holds a qualification in first aid at work or emergency first aid at work)

 

Accidents and ill health

Under health and safety law, you must report and keep a record of all injuries, incidents and cases of work-related disease.

Certain injuries, incidents and cases of work related disease will need to be reported to RIDDOR.  You can find out which ones must be reported and how to report them in our RIDDOR section below.

Keeping records will help you to identify patterns of accidents and injuries, and will help when completing your risk assessment. Your insurance company may also want to see your records if there is a work-related claim.

 

Remember:
Make sure you protect people's personal details by storing records confidentially in a secure place.

First Aid advice and responsibilities of both the employer and first aider/appointed person is covered in detail on any of our first aid courses.

 

Please see our First Aid Training page for a list of all of the courses. Course dates can also be found here.

 

What is RIDDOR?

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), place a legal duty on:

  • Employers
  • Self-employed people
  • People in control of premises

Work related deaths, major injuries or over 7 day injuries, work related diseases, and dangerous occurrences (near miss accidents) all need to be reported. The easiest way to do this is by calling the Incident Contact Centre (ICC) on 0845 300 99 23 (local rate). You will be sent a copy of the information recorded and you will be able to correct any errors or omissions.

 

Why should I report incidents?

Reporting accidents and ill health at work is a legal requirement. The information enables the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities, to identify where and how risks arise, and to investigate serious accidents. They can then help you and provide advice on how to reduce injury, and ill health in your workplace.
For most businesses, a reportable accident, dangerous occurrence, or case of disease is a comparatively rare event. However, if it does happen, please let the ICC know.

 

RIDDOR is covered in more detail on any of our First Aid Courses. Please see our First Aid Training page for a list of all of the courses. Course dates can also be found here.

 

Provide the right workplace facilities

You must protect the health and safety of everyone in your workplace, including people with disabilities, and provide welfare facilities for your employees.

Basic things you need to consider are outlined below.

 

Welfare Facilities

For your employees' well being you need to provide:

  • Toilets and hand basins, with soap and towels or a hand dryer
  • Drinking water
  • A place to store clothing (and somewhere to change if special clothing is worn for work)
  • Somewhere to rest and eat meals

Health Issues

To have a healthy working environment, make sure there is:

  • Good ventilation – a supply of fresh, clean air drawn from outside or a ventilation system
  • A reasonable working temperature (usually at least 16°C, or 13°C for strenuous work, unless other laws require lower temperatures)
  • Lighting suitable for the work being carried out;
  • Enough room space and suitable workstations and seating
  • A clean workplace with appropriate waste containers

 

Safety Issues

To keep your workplace safe you must:

  • Properly maintain your premises and work equipment
  • Keep floors and traffic routes free from obstruction
  • Have windows that can be opened and also cleaned safely
  • Make sure that any transparent (eg glass) doors or walls are protected or made of safety material

 

Consult your employees

You have to consult all your employees on health and safety. This does not need to be complicated.

You can do this by listening and talking to them about:

  • Health and safety and the work they do
  • How risks are controlled
  • The best ways of providing information and training.

Consultation is a two-way process, allowing staff to raise concerns and influence decisions on the management of health and safety. Your employees are often the best people to understand risks in the workplace and involving them in making decisions shows them that you take their health and safety seriously.

 

In a very small business, you might choose to consult your employees directly. Alternatively, you might consult through a health and safety representative, chosen by your employees or selected by a trade union. As an employer, you cannot decide who will be the representative.