A Quick Guide to Health and Safety by R Gilbert. Health and safety issues now impose upon almost every part of business life. The system of enforcement is managed and implemented in the UK by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) but at times it can be difficult to know exactly which bits of this elaborate spider’s web should be applied in a given instance, and which are most important. This Quick Guide puts the subject into context, providing a rational overview and a valid starting point to applying health and safety in the workplace, and offering a concise and readily accessible interpretation of what health and safety legislation means in practice. This Quick Guide to Health and Safety is not a statement of the law or even a uniquely valid interpretation. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of shelf-bending tomes covering H&S subjects in the most myopic of detail.
Attention all employers, employees, managers, and business owners, Health and Safety (H&S) is here to stay. I suspect you knew that already in recent years the culture of H&S seems to have grown upwards and outwards, to the point where it now seems to impose upon almost every part of business life. I have spent a lot of my career dealing with H&S issues and somewhere, buried deep under the misinformation and padding, lies the well-meaning commonsense core of the subject – the duty of care to people, like you and me, in their working environment.
Sitting at the top of the tree lies the system of enforcement, managed and implemented in the UK by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Together with their associated agencies and companies, the HSE publishes numerous booklets,
leaflets, and documents, paid for by you, the taxpayer.
These undoubtedly high-quality publications come complete with colour photographs and simplified abbreviations of the many sets of regulations that cover H&S aspects relating to factories, offices, buildings, construction sites, and all other workplaces, in their entirety. Each document contains multiple cross-references to bits of itself, other documents, and so on, ad infinitum.
You are not alone if you find this suite of documents and their cross-references confusing. You might be forgiven for concluding that they are more network than route maps, and at times it can be difficult to know exactly which bits of this elaborate spider’s web apply to you, and, of those that do, exactly which are most important.
This Quick Guide to Health and Safety is not a statement of the law or even a uniquely valid interpretation. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of shelf-bending tomes covering H&S subjects in the most myopic of detail this is not one of those. It is a quick guide, as the title says. Its objective is to help you put the whole thing into some form of context, providing you with a rational overview of the subject. It can help you know where to start.
In order for any business to prosper, it has to survive. It needs to provide goods or services that a customer is prepared to buy and receive an income that covers its costs and provides profits to enable it to invest in improvements, pay shareholders, etc. Organizations funded from the public purse may not be subject to the same type of commercial disciplines, but they are still judged on some measure of performance and still need to allocate resources in a sensible and effective way. It goes without saying that a key underpinning requirement is to have an efficient way of doing whatever it is you do. Employees who know what to do, know how to do it effectively and efficiently, and want to do it are obviously very important to survival and success.
Every £ or man-hour spent that does not contribute to your business’/organisation’s success makes it less likely to survive and prosper. So, is money and time spent on H&S helping your organization to prosper, or is it bringing it closer to failure?
The Contents of A Quick Guide to Health and Safety
- Health and Safety Legislation
- Enforcement and the Legal Situation
- Health and Safety – so What Business are You in?
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW Act) and What it Means
- Occupational Safety and Health fundamental principles
- Risks and Risk Assessments
- Health, Safety, and Welfare Requirements in the Workplace
- Machinery and Other Work Equipment
- Industrial Hygiene Simplified
- Pressure Plant and Equipment
- Lifting and Handling
- Noise at work
- Hazardous Substances
- Electricity safety
- Working at Height
- What to do About Protecting Employees
- Other Health and Safety Matters
- Will You be Prosecuted?
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