For many years now there has been a legal duty placed on employers* to provide a safe workplace, safe systems of work, safe plant and equipment and suitable arrangements for the use, handling, storage and transportation of articles and substances. Since 1 January 1993, there has also been an explicit requirement for every employer to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the general risks to the health and safety of his employees, whilst at work, and to other persons (non employees) that might be affected by his business undertaking.
A number of other health and safety regulations require risk assessments to be carried out in relation to specific activities and/or environments. For example, noise, hazardous substances, personal protective equipment, display screen equipment, manual handling, fire, legionella and where dangerous substances could give rise to potentially explosive atmospheres. As with general risk assessments, these specific assessments are to be reviewed in the event of any changes or if it is believed that they are no longer valid.
Despite the length of time that this legislation has been in force many employers have yet to still begin this process. For these organisations, particularly where significant risk is present, it can only be a matter of time before something goes terribly wrong and they are brought to account. With the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 and the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 those found to be negligent in their duties which in turn led to serious injury, damage and/or loss, are likely to be punished severely.
If you have not yet started to assess the risks inherent to your operations and are not sure of where or how to begin, then Ambeck Associates Ltd can help you in this important area of safety management. We will take you through each step of the risk assessment process; from training, identifying hazards and quantifying associated risks, to determining and implementing appropriate control measures and reviewing existing arrangements. We will help you to carefully and critically evaluate your workplace, your work equipment and the activities of you and your staff to ascertain who is at risk, when and how.
We can of course carry out, review and revise your risk assessments for you and even undertake new ones as and when the need arises. Alternatively, we can help you to develop valuable in-house expertise, and save unnecessary ongoing costs; by coaching and mentoring your employees in managing risk assessment activities for themselves.
* A similar duty extends to self-employed persons.
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