World Day for Safety and Health
Are You Fully Compliant with Health and Safety Regulations?
Here’s What You Need to Know
Whether you’re an employer responsible for the safety and well-being of your workforce, or an employee whose health and safety is potentially at risk, non-compliance with health and safety regulations can result in severe consequences that go far beyond your workplace.
In 2019, Veolia Environmental Services UK was fined £1 million for violating health and safety regulations after an employee who was working as a pedestrian traffic marshal was fatally struck by a reversing vehicle at the company’s waste transfer station in Slough. The accident occurred while the employee was directing a delivery driver who was backing up his vehicle.
The HSE found several factors that contributed to the accident:
- The traffic management system at the site was inadequate, and there were no clear procedures for managing vehicle movements
- The delivery driver was not adequately trained or supervised, and he did not follow safe working procedures when reversing his vehicle
- The pedestrian traffic marshal was not provided with appropriate training or equipment to carry out his duties safely
Following the tragic accident, Veolia took significant action to improve their health and safety provisions:
- They identified and effectively managed the risks associated with vehicle movements, implementing a new traffic management plan
- They updated their training procedures and provided additional training for staff on safe working practices
- They ensured that all necessary equipment was provided to perform duties safely, with a focus on pedestrian safety
The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) is the primary legislation governing workplace health and safety in the UK. The HSWA requires employers to conduct risk assessments to identify and manage workplace hazards, provide adequate training and supervision to employees, and develop effective policies and procedures to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.
Failure to comply with the HSWA can result in significant legal penalties, including fines and even imprisonment in serious cases. The Veolia Environmental Services UK case serves as an important reminder of the need to prioritise health and safety in the workplace.
What H&S regulations should you be aware of as an employer?
As an employer, it is your legal obligation to ensure the safety, health, and welfare of your employees and other individuals who may be affected by hazards at work. It is not just the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974 that applies; some further specific regulations and guidelines are applicable to different industries and work types. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in legal penalties, increased insurance costs, and a damaged reputation.
The following are some examples of specific regulations:
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations: These regulations require employers to control the exposure of their employees to hazardous substances in the workplace. Employers must conduct risk assessments, implement control measures, and provide appropriate training and supervision to employees.
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations: Employers must assess and reduce the risk of injury to employees when lifting, carrying, or moving objects. Companies are subsequently required to provide training to employees on safe lifting and handling techniques and implement control measures to reduce the risk of injury.
- Work at Height Regulations: Employers are required to assess and reduce the risk of injury to employees working at height, such as on ladders, scaffolding, or roofs. They must also provide appropriate equipment and training to employees and implement control measures to reduce the risk of falls.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations: These regulations require employers to provide their employees with appropriate PPE, such as helmets, gloves, and safety shoes, to protect them from workplace hazards. Employers must conduct risk assessments, provide appropriate PPE, and train employees on how to use it correctly.
To identify which regulations apply to your workplace, you can conduct risk assessments and seek guidance from industry associations, trade unions, or health and safety consultants. Keeping up to date with changes to health and safety legislation and regularly reviewing and updating risk assessments and safety policies is also essential.
How About as an Employee?
As an employee, you also have a responsibility to take care of your own health and safety, as well as that of your colleagues and anyone else who may be affected by your actions. This includes complying with regulations related to:
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): Employees must use any PPE provided by their employer and follow instructions on how to use it safely. This may include items such as hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, and respiratory protection.
- Hazardous substances: Employees must follow the safe systems of work that have been put in place to minimise the risks associated with working with hazardous substances. This may include following procedures for storing and handling substances, using appropriate PPE, and following guidelines for disposal.
- Reporting incidents: Employees have a duty to report any incidents or near-misses that occur in the workplace, as well as any potential hazards that they identify. This allows the employer to investigate and take appropriate action to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
By following the regulations and guidelines set out for your industry and work activities, you can help ensure your own safety and the safety of those around you. As an employee, it is important to be aware of the regulations that apply to your work and to take the necessary steps to comply with them. By working together with your employer, you can create a safer working environment and prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.
Resolution Digital’s Health and Safety Services
At Resolution Digital, we understand that ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations can be a daunting task. That’s why we offer a range of bespoke services to help you mitigate hazards, centralise safety records, and keep your employees up to date with the latest training. Our services include:
- Bespoke Online Health and Safety Induction Systems
- Video Production
- Green Screen Studio Hire
- eLearning Platforms
- Bespoke Software Development: Digitise RAMS and Forms
- Health And Safety Management Platforms
Our team of experts will work closely with you to identify your specific needs and tailor our services accordingly. We can also provide ongoing support to ensure that your health and safety practices remain up to date and effective. Get in touch today to find out more.