06 Apr Health & Safety accreditations to protect you and your business
The health and safety system in Great Britain has evolved over many years. Regulators like HSE and Local Authorities are key actors in it, setting and enforcing standards that duty holders must meet. Many others also have a part to play, including: the professional bodies and their members supporting duty holders’ compliance, who can enhance performance; standard-setting and accreditation bodies; machinery, equipment and materials suppliers; contracting organisations procuring goods and services from suppliers; trade associations; the insurance industry; and both the criminal and civil branches of the legal profession.
Health and safety in the workplace is vital, as it ensures the welfare of employees carrying out specific tasks. There are regulations set in place, with The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 being the most authoritative piece of legislation to protect workers in employment. Since its introduction, a lot has changed in practice. However, it continues to be a significant area of compliance for all organisations that employ staff.
Traditionally, health and safety has been attributed to environments that pose an element of obvious risk. An example of this is workers using machinery or handling toxic substances. But since the digital revolution, there have been some significant changes in workplaces and their levels of risk.
Due to original regulation and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), managing risk in the workplace is essential to maintaining a happy and healthy working environment for all personnel. This has caused changes in practice for a number of reasons, including:
- The differences in the working environments under one organisation has meant that companies now need to develop risk assessments based on a number of environments. These include home working, industrial sites, and field roles.
- Since 2000, there has been a focus on improving occupation health (as set by government targets). This has also lead to developments in improving the lives and well-being of workers.
- Other regulations have been brought into the mix to respond to changing environments, such as the manual handling Operations Regulations 1992, and The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.
Injuries at work remain an area of concern for many businesses. However, there have been significant improvements in each sector due to the changes and adaptions of health and safety regulations in recent years..
Companies that are committed to looking after an employee’s health also enjoy:
- A reduction in absenteeism and sick leave
- Higher retention of skilled staff
- An improved reputation amongst your competitors
- Improvements in productivity, as employees can carry out work safely with less interruption
- Savings on insurance and legal costs due to a decrease in claims or action taken by staff
Implementing health and safety in the workplace helps to assess potential risks and identify significant hazards. It also enables you to put measures in place to protect the people and environment in your organisation. These vital steps are essential to reduce the costs associated with safety failures. By incorporating health and safety principles as far as reasonably practical, and working with regulation representatives, you will save your business time and money in the long-term.