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Safety advice for businesses
If you are an employer, you may need help in identifying and
complying with your obligations under health and safety law.
You will need to make sure you have thought about the health and
safety risks not only to your employees but also to any contractors
or members of the public who visit your business.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offers information to
help businesses in the start-up process, including:
Safety at work
Health and safety prevents people from being harmed by taking
the right precautions and providing a safe working environment. As
health and safety at work is so important, there are rules which
require all of us not to put ourselves or others in danger. The law
is also there to protect the public from workplace dangers. These
laws apply to all firms, however small, to employees and to the
Every employer has a duty under the Health and Safety at
Work etc. Act 1974 to take reasonable steps to protect the
health, safety and welfare of the people working for them. They are
also responsible for taking steps to protect the health, safety and
welfare of people who are affected by their business but do not
work for them (e.g. a customer in a shop).
- Health and safety policy - if you employ 5 or more people you
must prepare a written statement of your health and safety policy,
describing the organisation and arrangements you have in place for
carrying out the policy.
- Risk assessment -
all employers must manage the health and safety risks in their
workplace. This includes thinking about what could cause harm and
deciding whether or not they are doing enough to prevent that
harm. This is known as a risk assessment. HSE has produced
guidance for small businesses for writing risk assessments. This
includes risk assessment templates and example risk assessments for
different types of businesses.
liability insurance - most employers must take out and maintain
approved insurance policies against liability for injuries or
diseases to their employees caused by their work. A copy of
your current employer's liability insurance certificate must be
displayed at each property.
- Health and safety
information for employees - employers are required to give
information to employees by means of displaying a
HSE-approved law poster or distributing an
equivalent leaflet to employees.