SOTERIA Health and Safety commonly asked questions.
Here you can read some of our commonly asked questions about our industry. Cannot find the answer you're looking for?
Do Health & Safety laws apply to me?
They apply to all businesses, however small, to the self-employed and also employees.
What is the law on having a Health and Safety Policy?
You must have a written Health and Safety Policy if you employ more than 4 people, this includes part time workers.
Who administers and enforces Health & Safety laws?
There are two different “Enforcing Authorities” depending on the type of business you operate. Environmental Health Officers who in general deal with offices, shops, hotels, catering, and leisure activities. Health & Safety Executives will cover activities such as factories, farms and building sites.
What is the main legislation covering Health & Safety?
The principal legislation covering business premises is the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. There are also a number of Regulations that fall under this Act which deal with particular health and safety issues.
Why do I need to hire a Health and Safety Consultant?
You don’t have to, but some H&S legislation is complex and hence there’s a legal requirement for employers to have access to competent advice. You could use one of your own staff (providing that they have sufficient training and experience), but most small-to-medium sized businesses don’t have this option, and it is therefore much more cost effective to contract this out to a consultant on a part-time or adhoc basis.
What are the main duties that are covered by the legislation?
If you are an employer your duties include:
- Providing safe equipment and systems of work for your employees to use.
- Making sure that handling, storage, transportation and use of any articles or substances is safe
- Providing adequate information, instruction, supervision and training on health & safety matters to your employees.
- Keeping the workplace well maintained including all stairs, passages and means of access and egress.
- Providing adequate and suitable toilet and welfare facilities.
- Ensuring that any non-employees (customers, visitors, etc) are not put at risk by your activities.
Employees also must take care of their own health & safety as well as that of other staff customers and visitors.
If you are self-employed you must also take care of your own health & safety as well as any other persons affected by your business activities.
I’m starting a new business - what do I need to do?
Get in touch with us as soon as you can so that we can discuss your plans and ensure that you have everything in place to make your workplace safe. We are happy to make site visits if necessary. We can also provide links to web information and other guidance to help you.