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What health and safety training do you need for your small business?

18 July 2022 10:48 AM | Anonymous

What health and safety training do you need for your small business?

A blog from Alpha Training Solutions

Did you know? In the UK, over 99% of all businesses in 2021 were small or medium (SME) sized businesses, i.e. employing between 0 to 249 employees. There are many things to consider when running a small business, and whilst it may not be at the top of every business owner’s to do list, health and safety is an important area to get right. After all, you could end up in trouble with the law if you get it wrong, potentially resulting in serious accidents or costly lawsuits.

Health and Safety – what you must do by law

This will depend on the nature of the business you operate in – for example, a construction business will have additional obligations when compared to an office-based workplace.

The overarching piece of legislation is the Health and Safety at Work Act, however as this is written in general terms, there are additional regulations available that provide more specific guidance.

Here’s a summary of the key points you must do in order to stay compliant:

  • You are responsible for the health and safety of anyone affected by your business. This means not just your team, but it also includes suppliers, visitors, customers and potentially even members of the public. This includes having suitable first aid facilities in case of an accident, as well as emergency procedures to follow. It’s not just the employer but also the employees who have a responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Additional health and safety protections are needed for certain groups of people. This includes people with disabilities, young people under 18, pregnant women, as well as food-serving businesses. Also, businesses operating in certain, potentially higher-risk, industries such as construction or manufacturing, need to comply with additional regulations.
  • You must have employers’ liability insurance
  • You must have a written health and safety policy if you employ five or more people. This outlines the business’s general approach to health and safety and should include concrete steps you are taking to comply with the law.
  • You must conduct risk assessments for your place of work. Risk assessments need to identify potential hazards, the likelihood of these occurring, and how you are going to minimise the risk on a practical level. Risk assessments should also identify training requirements.
  • Appropriate health and safety information and training must be provided for all staff. This is so they know how to carry out their work safely. It’s best to keep a record of who’s completed the training to make it easier to identify when refresher training is needed. We look at more specific training requirements below.
  • You need to display the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) poster on Health and Safety Law: What You Need to Know. You also need to display safety signs where appropriate, such as ‘Fire Assembly Point’ or ‘Danger – Electric shock risk’
  • Health and safety legislation stipulates that employers must provide for their staff’s welfare. This includes things like making a rest space available, having suitable toilet facilities, access to drinking water and changing facilities for those required to wear a staff uniform or protective clothing.
  • Serious accidents need to be reported following RIDDOR rules, and an incident book should be kept.

For the full blog, visit Alpha Training's page 

What health and safety training do you need for your small business? - Lyra group