It’s a normal Friday at 5pm.  You’ve had a really efficient week at work and managed to get those jobs done that have been on your ever-growing ‘to do’ list.  Let’s not beat around the bush, you’ve worked really hard.  You can’t wait to pack up your things and go home to see your family or meet up with friends to enjoy your free time.  So why do some companies feel that they have the right to potentially take this away from their staff and those who can be affected by their actions by not following health and safety legislation and best practices?

Health and safety legislation is in place for this reason; to protect life.  To protect yourself, your friends, your colleagues, your family and those people that you don’t know, but can be affected by your actions.  Some companies choose to ignore it, and some make it over-complicated.  Some have written policies and procedures but then fail to provide the communication, training, support and management of the safe working practices that have been documented.

As well as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the health and safety ‘six pack’ (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992, Workplace (health, safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations 1992), each company will have regulations that are applicable to the work that they carry out.  This may be, for example, the Control of Substances Hazard to Health Regulations 2002, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 or the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

Following health and safety legislation is not negotiable.  The key to staying compliant is to gain an understanding of what your legal requirements are and how you can implement these into your organisation in a workable format.  You may have the skill set to do this internally within your company or you may employ a consultant who is competent in health and safety to help support you.

Showing your employees that you value them, their time, their energy and their commitment to your company by providing them with the correct health and safety information, safe working practices, training, leadership, supervision and management to be able to go home safe at the end of each day is a powerful and motivating tool.  It is also the law.

If you have any health and safety queries, please get in touch with me by emailing claire@thewigleygroup.com

Claire Lynch
The Wigley Group Health & Safety Manager