Written by LesleyAnn Thomas - People in Mind
The ethos of our health and safety legislation is that people deserve to be safe at work and to come home to their families and loved ones at the end of the work day. Quite simply, businesses have a duty to look after their people, themselves and their clients.
I am sure we have all heard the scaremongering tactics about the practicalities of the changes in health and safety – the fear that businesses will get fined for every little thing. And I am sure we will continue to see a growth in businesses that make a living out of instilling fear in business owners. From my perspective, health and safety is about practicality, common sense and making sure everyone is on the same page.
The Health and Safety at Work Act comes into force on 4 April 2016. In a nutshell, the biggest changes are that it assigns accountability for directors and officers of businesses, removes isolation as a way to manage a hazard, and increases the fines and penalties for those who choose not to operate safely.
As an owner of a small business you have two hats to wear – operational and governance.
- With your operational hat: you need to be implementing health and safety, know what the risks are in the business and manage them, and know that your staff are following instructions.
- With your governance hat: you need to know that there are evidenced health and safety practices and an effective programme in place to keep your team, and anyone else who comes into contact with your business, safe.
LesleyAnn will be presenting our client seminar on Health & Safety on Tuesday 26 April, so keep an eye out in your inbox for the invitation and register your interest. See our full schedule of seminars here.