What are the legal requirements and regulations related to Occupational Health and Safety?

Ensuring your business is meeting Health and Safety requirements

It is important for business owners and employers to be compliant with Occupational Health and Safety laws, regulations, and standards. With the development of new legislation and updates, employers are responsible for staying current when it comes to their Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) responsibilities.

In this post, Alan Ballard talks about what these legal requirements cover, how they can be best utilised as an employer or business owner, and what potential risks or liabilities may arise from failure to comply. 

Experts in OH services at UKIM Occupational Health & Wellbeing, we possess extensive knowledge and experience in every aspect of establishing a secure workplace that aligns with national health and safety regulations. We understand that each business is unique, so we create tailored OH services to suit the specific needs of your business and your employees.

The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) is a crucial piece of legislation that aims to protect employees from workplace hazards in the UK. Enacted in 1974, the HASAWA covers a wide range of workplace health and safety issues, from fire safety to noise control, and sets out the responsibilities of employers to their employees.

Under the Act, employers must provide a safe and healthy working environment for their staff and take steps to minimise the risk of accidents and injuries. The HASAWA also gives employees the right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions and to report any health and safety concerns to their employer. Overall, the HASAWA plays a vital role in ensuring the wellbeing of employees across the UK.

Key regulations related to Occupational Health & Safety

Maintaining a safe workplace is crucial for any business, and adhering to key regulations related to occupational health and safety is an essential aspect of ensuring the wellbeing of employees. Some of the most important regulations include:

  • Providing appropriate protective equipment
  • Regularly inspecting machinery and equipment
  • Implementing proper training programs to prevent accidents
  • Creating emergency response plans in case of a hazard.

Compliance with these regulations is not only required by law, but it also shows a company's commitment to promoting a culture of safety and responsibility in the workplace. Failing to comply with these regulations puts employees at risk and can result in costly fines and legal ramifications. By prioritising the safety of employees through diligent compliance with these key regulations, your business can ensure a productive and thriving workplace while avoiding potential hazards and legal consequences.

How to Comply with Health & Safety Legislation 

Complying with health and safety legislation is not just a legal requirement; it also ensures the safety and well-being of employees and visitors. It is important to understand the key elements of health and safety legislation, including risk assessments and hazard identification, and ensure that appropriate measures are in place to manage these risks. 

It is also crucial to keep up-to-date with any changes in legislation and make necessary adjustments to policies and procedures. Failure to comply with health and safety legislation can result in severe penalties, including fines, legal repercussions and damage to an organisation's reputation. Therefore, it is paramount that organisations take health and safety seriously and have a robust management system in place to comply with legislation and ensure a safe working environment.

Health Surveillance

Our health surveillance services at UKIM ensure employees are not adversely affected by their work environment. Health and Safety law requires a Health Surveillance scheme to be implemented within each workplace if your business exposes employees to risk from noise, vibration, or hazardous substances. Our team of experienced Occupational Health professionals will implement a robust Digital Management System and ensure you meet your statutory obligations.

How Occupational Health Assessments help mitigate workplace risk 

OH assessments are crucial in identifying and managing risks in the workplace. At UKIM, our pre-placement assessments help identify potential hazards and the level of risk associated with them, allowing for the appropriate measures to be taken to mitigate them. Conducting these assessments will ensure the safety of your employees whilst preventing accidents, injuries and illnesses from occurring. They also demonstrate your commitment to health and safety, providing peace of mind to employees, customers, and stakeholders. 

What to do in the event of an incident or accident at work

As professionals, it is essential to be prepared for the unexpected, particularly when it comes to workplace incidents or accidents. In the event of such an occurrence, several steps should be taken to ensure the safety of all involved.

The first priority is always to seek medical attention for anyone who is injured. At the same time, it is essential to report the incident to the proper authorities and to document as much information as possible. This includes taking photos, gathering witness statements, and completing necessary paperwork. Above all, it is essential to remain calm and to follow proper protocol to minimise the impact of the incident and to ensure that everyone involved is treated appropriately.

Adhering to legal requirements and regulations related to Occupational Health and Safety is essential for creating a safe working environment, whilst ensuring you are up-to-date on all OHS legislation could reduce facing hefty fines from Investigations.

Learn more about our range of Occupational Health services for businesses; get in touch; we’re based just outside of Durham, Sunderland, but cover the entire United Kingdom. 

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Alan Ballard is Partnership Director at UKIM.
With over 15 years experience in the Occupational Health sector, Alan has worked on some of the largest OH contracts in the UK, utilising his skills in Project Management, Modelling and Account Management.

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