Usually, you never pay attention to the yawn-inducing signs scattered throughout the corridors of a company. Remember them? Those signs that have something to do with health and safety regulations?
Just a quick look at these regulations can save your life! Crazy isn’t it? Let me explain why.
What Are Health And Safety Regulations?
Have you ever seen or heard about:
Yes? No? Maybe?
If you’re an employer and you answered ‘No’, then you better start typing away on a search engine as you are in charge of complying with these rules.
If you’re an employee you will be surprised to learn that thanks to these rules your business’s workplace places a priority on the health, safety, and welfare of its employees.
To ensure the health and safety, these legislations specify everything related to the work environment. It can be the dimension of the room, the maintenance of plants or systems, or the temperature of indoor workplaces.
The regulations provide the employees and the staff facilities and suitable work equipment. The employees also receive adequate training related to their responsibilities. For instance, a secretary will learn how to stand correctly in front of her computer. A construction worker or cleaner receives training about how to use dangerous substances.
If your employer doesn’t comply with these laws you can claim for it. If your employer still refuses to comply with them after a claim has been made they better get ready for some jail time.
Unfortunately employee injuries still happen. In case of work-related death or disease, the employer must report these incidents to the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995).
Why Are Health And Safety Regulations Legally Useful?
These regulations are crucial for the protection of employees.
First of all, if an employer breaches one of these regulations he will be deemed responsible.
Second, if another employee does not respect one of these rules, the employer is still responsible for the damage the employee has caused. It’s called vicarious liability. It’s the same idea that a parent is responsible for his child.
Let me give you an example. An employee breaches the health and safety regulations by setting up a crane in the wrong way. The crane falls on a property and causes a lot of damage. The employer is still responsible. He should have appointed a competent person to oversee the task.
Safety and liability protection are the main objectives of these regulations as they set a guideline to the employers to ensure protection.
However, despite the growth of the protection laws, there has been an increase in the amount of health and safety offences. These offences lead usually to tragedy and even death. That’s why if the employer breaches these regulations, he will face heavy fines and jail sentence.
For instance, in July 2012, a worker died by falling 14 metres from scaffolding. No edge protection or alternative protection measures were set up. The employer was deemed guilty of breaching the Working at Height Regulations 2005 that provides such protection. He received a fine of £12.000 and a 15 months jailed.
That’s why the next time you have training or you pass in front of one of these yawn inducing signs – pay attention!
Final Words On Health And Safety Regulations In Your Company
No doubt, you can now see why health and safety regulations are so important. Your company must follow these regulations and implement them. Your employees must abide by them. Not only are they a legal requirement but they could also prevent workplace injuries.
The easiest way to make sure health and safety regulations in your company are clear and followed is with a staff handbook. Book a call with our legal team and get it.