Tips to help avoid Health and Safety Fines

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24 March 2017
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24 March 2017, Comments 0

Recent news articles have highlighted the Health and safety failings by a number of different companies over the past couple of months. Companies are facing hefty fines and prosecutions after failing to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees or even the general public. It’s an employer’s duty to assess the risk, provide information about this risk and also train their employees on how to deal with these risks.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), over £30 million worth of fines were issued in 2016 across the UK and half was within the Manufacturing industry. Some of the most fatal injuries within this industry were caused due to falling from heights. Meanwhile the most non-fatal Injuries were caused by slip, trips or falls.

New guidelines issued in early 2016 suggests that large companies could face over £20 million in fines for the most serious of health and safety offences. These have been increased to create awareness for organisations and to ensure that they take a serious approach to setting up safety measures, thus protecting all their staff members, especially the more vulnerable Lone Workers.

Implementing the following Health and safety measures would help organisations to be compliant with the regulations and maintain their duty of care needs to their employees:

Training: It’s the duty of the employer to provide adequate training to all their employees that helps them to successfully take on their day to day tasks. This could be the safe use of heavy machinery, manual handling, safely working from heights, the use of appropriate PPE etc.

Control Hazards: There should be effective procedures in place to eliminate any potential hazards that could harm someone and also take the practical steps to isolate it from all staff members.

Incident Reporting Log: Employers should consider setting up an Incident report Log that registers all accidents or injuries including accidents that did not harm anyone. This log will help to control the hazards and be on top of all potential future hazards.

Emergency: There should be set procedures in place for effective emergency assistance and communication between staff if they are working alone. Employers should also consider regular supervision or issue personal safety alarms to lone workers so that they can raise an alarm if they suffer an accident or injury whilst working alone.

In summary, proactive approach towards maintaining a credible health and safety action plan is something every organisation should consider. The cost of being compliant with the HSE is a lot more cheaper than the fine itself, especially now that the new guideline is set in place. Along with heavy penalties and prosecutions, an organisations reputation could also be affected due to failings in Health and Safety regulations.

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