Employers’ duty to ensure a safe working environment.
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain. It’s sometimes referred to as HSWA, the HSW Act, the 1974 Act or HASAWA.
It sets out the general duties which:
- employers have towards employees and members of the public
- employees have to themselves and to each other
- certain self-employed have towards themselves and others
You can read the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in full on legislation.gov.uk.
Your duties as an employer:
Under health and safety law, as an employer, you have a responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. For straightforward guidance on how to comply with the law, read Health and safety made simple.
Health and safety law is mostly enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or the local authority. Responsibility for enforcement depends on the type of workplace.
For your workplace, find out who enforces health and safety law.
Complying with the law:
No one has to have been harmed for an offence to be committed under HSWA – there only has to be a risk of harm.
The most important thing is what you actually do to manage and control risk in the workplace. Paperwork alone does not prove that you’re complying with the law.
If you do not comply with the law:
If you do not comply with a regulation relevant to your work, you’ll normally be committing a criminal offence and could:
- get verbal or written advice
- get an improvement or prohibition notice (PDF)– Portable Document Format
- be prosecuted
Recommendations for returning to work:
Ensure all electrical systems are tested at full load prior to bringing employees into your premises – this should be undertaken by a trained and certified electrician.
Undertake a thorough deep clean of your premises to establish a base line of cleanliness.
Flush through all water systems to ensure all water that has lain in pipework has been discharged.
Service air conditioning units to ensure efficient and safe running. And eliminate the risk of Legionnaire’s Disease.
Layout the workplace to assist with social distancing:
- Make corridors and stairwells one-way if possible
- Impose a limit on lift capacity to ensure the 2m rule can be maintained
- Impose a limit on rest-room capacity
- Increase the regularity scope of cleaning in common areas
- Remind employees of their duty of care to others, including self-isolation if they or any one in their household has any symptoms associated with COVID-19
- Provide hand sanitiser stations throughout your premises
- Monitor and control visitors to site – limit numbers, issue appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
- Provide appropriate PPE to all employees
Mercari Risk Management Ltd., has partnered with a workwear companies, to promote access and the use of personal protection equipment. Please contact us with your PPE requirements and we will get our partners to make contact to discuss your requirements.
Additonally, we would be delighted to provide you with insurance quotations for your business insurance. We will help you by rebating some of our commission and fees, saving you up to 10%. We will also work with you and our insurer partners to ensure that your insurance programme is tailored to your current needs, insuring those essential elements and taking into account your current business situation when setting premiums.