Frequently asked questions

 Here we will attempt to answer some of the common questions we often get asked in relation to health, safety, the environment and quality manageement.  
  1. Do I need to have a written health and safety policy?
    You must have a full written health and safety policy if you employ 5 or more people. It is accepted that if you employ less than 5 people you can transfer your instructions directly with your employees verbally without the need for written policies and procedures. That said, many companies with less than 5 employees still take the decision to have a written policy and procedures as it provides evidence to prospective clients that suitable management systems are in place.
  2. Can we charge employees for PPE?
    All PPE required for work must be provided free of charge, which includes replacements. Where employees constantly miss treat or damage their PPE company disciplinary procedures may be used, including instant dismissal for gross misconduct if necessary. For personal fit items, such as safety boots, many companies provide a set amount towards the PPE for their employees, allowing them to purchase their own equipment. In this case the company should set the minimum accepted standard.
  3. Do I need to employ a safety consultant to be my competent person?
    The Management of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1999 require all companies to have access to competent health and safety advice. This does not necessarily mean you must employ a safety consultant. You may already have the knowledge and experience to manage safety within your own company, or you may appoint someone internally within the company so long as they have the required level of experience and competence.
  4. Do I have to undertake a fire risk assessment at our company?
    Since the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, all companies must undertake their own fire risk assessment at their own premises. This should identify all significant sources of heat, oxygen and ignition sources as well as identifying flammable and combustible materials and substances. You will also need to consider work activities being undertaken and the persons at risk, including those that may need special considerations e.g. those with mobility issues.
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Below are listed some useful websites where further advice and guidance may be obtained.