In 2016-17, the HSE had a 93 per cent conviction rate, with the average penalty costing organisations £126,000. Now, take a minute to review your health & safety policy —are they sufficient enough to avoid such a staggering fine? If you’re unable to arrive at a satisfactory answer, you may need to review your policies. Even though such a task may seem too large and intimidating to properly address, it can be made more manageable with the following strategies:
- Assess your risks. Undertake a formal risk assessment of your organisation at least once per year. These assessments should examine tasks, equipment, methods and work environments to identify potential risks. Be sure to keep a written copy if you have at least five employees.
- Discuss health and safety issues with your employees. Meet with your employees to discuss what risks they regularly encounter.
- Consult health and safety specialists. For certain situations or equipment, your organisation should contact a certified specialist to conduct an inspection. Ideally, these inspections should be conducted at least annually.
- Review and revise your inspection programme. Your organisation’s risk management and inspection programmes should be reviewed annually, or after any health and safety incidents have occurred.