3 Reasons For Health and Safety Legislation

Health and safety is an area that Britain has become very adept at, to the degree where every aspect of our lives has some form of safety legislation interwoven into it. Since the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act, Britain has become a very safe place to be. In this article, we’ll look at some of the reasons for the heavy focus on health and safety in the UK.

In the United Kingdom, the primary care provider is the NHS, and as such it is the government – i.e. the taxpayer that pays for this care. When someone gets injured in the workplace, it is the government that has to pay for that person’s medical treatment and rehabilitation costs. If that person is no longer able to work, or if they are out of work for a prolonged period of time, it might well be the government that picks up the bill for looking after them – in terms of incapacity benefit and housing benefit.

While still a rich nation, the cost of incapacity benefit and housing benefit is very large, and so it makes sense, economically, to remove as many dangers (via health and safety regulations) from the workplace as possible, so that these large and long-running costs are less likely to occur.

To mention economic costs first is perhaps a little callous, while many people would say the crucial reason for having health and safety regulations is simply moral. Most would agree that it is morally correct to ensure that the work place is a safe place to be, as the effects on the workers themselves and indeed their families and friends is dramatic – especially if a major injury or even death occurs.

Another big reason for having a heavy focus on health and safety in the United Kingdom is that of Legal. The safety of the worker is tied up in law, so that if a company, for example, does not provide adequate protection for its employees, it might be open to legal proceedings. As we all know, if a company were to lose such a legal battle, it could spell the end of the company – in particular if the firm is of modest size.

These are three basic reasons why Britain has put such effort into its health and safety laws. Ultimately, they are designed to make living in this country a safer and more enjoyable place to be.

Health and Safety Training – What You Should Know About Electrical Safety

It is imperative to take precautionary measures while handling electrical equipment in the workplace. If you are not careful you could suffer from electrical shock or injure someone else around you. Health and safety training teaches workers how to deal with electric sources and equipment in a safe and responsible manner. Electrical safety is an important part of the health and safety training curriculum for workers. Below are the tips for maintaining electrical safety in the workplace. This is just some of the crucial information that is shared with workers during health and safety training.

Electrical cords and equipment should not be in contact with any moisture. A worker should avoid handling electrical cords and equipment with damp hands. Doing so could cause electric shock or fatal injury. Cords that are broken or torn should be immediately replaced. Health And Safety Training encourages workers to become aware of where the fuses and circuit breakers are located in the building. This is important information that could be useful during an emergency or crisis situation. Rooms that have high electrical hazards should have safety posters outlining electrical safety procedures.

Circuits and conductors should be tested before workers handle them. Lockout and tag-out procedures should be put into place while handling electrical equipment. Health and safety training teaches workers about lockout and tag-out methods to ensure their safety and avoiding injury. Lockout and tag out procedures protect employees from injury if there is an unexpected start-up during maintenance. Testing and maintenance for electrical equipment should be carried out on a regular basis to ensure safety. Health and safety training emphasizes that all electrical sockets in the building should have safety covers when not in use. This reduces the risk of workers being exposed to electrical shock.

In order to make sure your workplace is safe and secure from electrical hazards you should answer the following questions:

• Are there any signs of burning or overheating for any electrical cords and equipment being used?
• Do you get small jolts of electric shock while using certain electrical equipment?
• Are certified electricians being used to make any repairs required on electrical equipment?
• Are all wires and extension cords out of the way to prevent someone from tripping and falling?
• Are all appliances being used in the workplace properly grounded?

Health And Safety Training encourages workers to focus on the electrical outlets to make sure they are not being overloaded with too many plugged items. During training it is important to teach workers how to dress an electrical burn injury. They should also be taught the procedures to follow if someone is stuck to a live electrical current. Health and safety training suggests that you should find the power source and to shut of the electrical current immediately in such a situation. If you are not in the position to shut off the electrical current you can use anything made of wood to push the person away from the electrical current. Now that you have understood the importance of electrical safety make sure to invest in a number of safety reference materials to conduct your health and safety training sessions successfully. Reference materials could range from safety posters, safety booklets, hazard signs, first aid kits, safety awareness DVDs, trainer guides and more.

Health and Safety Accidents – What Are Your Employer’s Responsibilities?

Health and Safety and Work Accidents

When you are work you have the right to be protected from harm by your employers. Health and Safety laws place responsibilities on your employer to ensure your protection. The extent of work your employer will need to undertake to discharge their responsibilities is dependent on the nature of your work and the potential hazards. For example, an employer of office staff will not have so many risks to be alert to as a factory or construction site employer.

Your Employer’s Health and Safety Responsibilities

Your employer has to carry out a risk assessment. This will involved them looking at all aspects of the workplace and seeing how employee’s might come into harm as a result of machinery or working practices. Any problems highlighted should be rectified as soon as possible to prevent any injuries to the workforce from being sustained.

In addition the risk assessment, your employer must also assess how many first aiders are required for the size of the workforce and the risks of injury involved.

The responsibility does not solely fall at the feet of the employer; every employee also has a responsibility to ensure their own health and safety.

Accident Books

Every employer must keep an accident book. This is used to record all accidents and injuries that occur on site, even minor ones. This could be useful for you if you subsequently decide to pursue a claim for compensation as it is a record of the accident occurring. The details of any accidents should be recorded in the book as soon as possible after the event.

Reporting Of Any Accidents or Incidents to the HSE

In many circumstances, your employer must report an accident to the Contact Centre of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The following incidents should all be reported:

  • There is a death
  • A serious injury is suffered on site such as broken arms, legs or skull fractures
  • A dangerous incident occurs on site such as scaffolding or a roof collapsing
  • Someone is injured and is unable to return to work for more than three days
  • There is a disease on site

Although it is your employer’s obligation to report these events, if they do not do so you can call the HSE to ensure that the event is properly investigated.

Sick pay

If you are absent from work as a result of the accident you will be entitled to Sick Pay. This may only be statutory sick pay, although some employers include a more generous scheme. You will be able to find whether this applies to you by checking your contract or letter of employment.

If you do lose earnings as a result of your accident (including any lost bonuses or overtime), these can be included as a part of any successful claim for compensation.

Claiming Compensation For Your Accident

If the accident at work caused you to suffer an injury that was more than trivial, you may well be entitled to claim compensation. This involves claiming compensation for the pain and suffering experienced, but also includes a claim for any lost earnings, travel expenses and any damaged clothing or other property.

Any successful claim for compensation will be paid by your employer’s insurance company, not from their profits. Therefore, making a claim should not affect your employment (and if it does this can lead to an additional Employment Compensation Claim

Summary Of Action

  • Record any accident and details of the injury in the accident book
  • Ensure that your employer has reported the accident to the Health and Safety Executive (or you can report it yourself if appropriate)
  • See what Sick Pay you are entitled to by reviewing your letter or contract of employment
  • Contact a specialist Work Accident Claims solicitor to see if you can make a claim for compensation

Workplace Health and Safety Is the Responsibility of Employers and Workers

Health and safety in the workplace not only protects employees and minimizes risks, it also helps to retain valuable skills, increase productivity, and generally improve business outcomes.

But this doesn’t mean that workplace health and safety is the sole responsibility of business owners and managers. In fact legally, the management of health, safety and the wellbeing of those in the workplace is a responsibility that must be shared between workers and persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs).

Australia’s New Workplace Health and Safety Law

Australia’s new Work Health and Safety Act 2011 defines “health” as both psychological and physical, and states that by working together to manage health risks and maintain wellbeing within the work environment, PCBUs and workers can ensure that everyone working remains safe and healthy.

Essentially, the law says that it is the duty of PCBUs – “as far as is reasonably practicable” (which is a new concept) – to ensure their workers remain safe and healthy while they are at work. They are also required to maintain the work environment so that it doesn’t pose any type of risk to workers’ health.

The new law (which replaced the old Workplace Health and Safety Act of 1995) also regulates the responsibility of workers, stating that they are expected to take “reasonable care” for their own personal safety and health, and are obliged to comply with “reasonable safety instructions” of their employers or managers.

Integrating Good Health and Safety Systems in the Workplace

The integration of effective and meaningful systems has been a priority in Australia for some time. In line with worldwide research, it was found that where workers have a mutual responsibility to actively support health initiatives and health and safety programs, that they are more responsive and positive about healthy behaviour and changes in lifestyle.

An important factor is that the integration of a safe, healthy approach should take place on a number of different levels and should include strategies that:

  • raise awareness about health issues and initiatives, and generally increase knowledge within the work force,
  • help workers to develop a range of skills that will encourage and support healthy behaviour at work,
  • promote activities that minimize and manage risk factors in the workplace,
  • actively establishes a work environment that promotes healthy choices and encourages healthy behaviour.

Of course it is vital to establish specific needs within each individual workplace, and to focus on building skills that will be needed within the organisation, so that both workers and management can help to create an environment where workplace health and safety is paramount.

Connect With Your Workforce With Better Health And Safety Software

Today’s HSE practices are better than they have ever been. Not only is there a greater public awareness and professional focus on workplace safety, there is an entire industry around helping HSE professionals create a safer workplace. Nowhere can this be better seen than in the health and safety software industry.

This industry has become an integral part of today’s HSE management process. Those that aren’t using it are thinking about it or actively looking for health and safety software solutions that will help them improve their ability to create a safer workplace.The benefits of health and safety software Yes, it, in general, is designed to improve a number of existing processes within the workplace, including incident reporting, hazard management, inductions and training, job safety assessments, contractor management, prequalification, and more. Most of these usually rely on a paper-based system and a lot of manual input from managers and staff. But good health and safety software needs to offer a lot more than just a better process. It should have built-in functionality that actively assists HSE managers in creating a safer workplace.

When you’re looking for health and safety software solutions, there are a number of things you should insist on:
1.Reporting: Comprehensive reports on all information captured by the system should be readily available within a few simple clicks. The better and more up to date this information is, the faster you are able to act upon the results gathered. This can literally be the difference of implementing vital changes in time-or not.

2.Automation: While automation is a natural part of improving process, it can also provide additional functionality not previously available. For example, automatic notification of key people on safety related incidents, automatic reminders for when an induction is about to expire, automatic refusal of entry if a contractor’s insurance has expired.

3.Familiarity: Just because you’re improving your capabilities, doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Look for health and safety software that draws upon an existing understanding of HSE processes. Does the software use the same language? Does it follow the same logical progression through the process? Is the user-functionality recognizable? This not only cuts down on training time, it means you can have your software up and running in a shorter time.

You also need to look at the specific workplace safety requirements of your organization. The better you understand what is unique about your HSE requirements, the easier it will be as you look for suitable health and safety software solutions.

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