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Health and Safety Questions and Answers

What is Health and Safety all about?

Preventing people from being harmed by work or becoming ill by taking the right precautions - and providing a satisfactory working environment.

Why are there health and safety laws?

Because health and safety at work is so important, there are rules which require all of us not to put ourselves or others in danger. The laws is also there to protect the public from workplace dangers.

Do health and safety laws apply to me?

Yes. To all business, however small; also to the self employed and to employees.

Who enforeces health and safety law?

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or your local authority. For Example:

What do inspectors actually do?

They visit workplaces to check that people are sticking to the rules. They investigate some accidents and complaints but mainly they help you to understand what you need to do. They enforce only when something is seriously wrong.

Do I have to contact an inspector to get information?

No. HSE operates a confidential telephone information service called info line which is open Monday - Friday between 8 am to 6 pm. You can contact Infoline by telephone 08701 545500 or fax 02920 859260, or email hseinformationservices@natbrit.com. Alternatively you can write to HSE Information Services, Caerphilly Business Park, Caerphilly CF83 3GG.

Do I need to register my business?

It's likely you will if you employ anyone - contact Infoline.

Do I need to hvae employers' liability compulsory insurance?

It's the law if you employ anyone and you should display the certificate. See the free leaflet, Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance Act 1969. A guide for employers HSE40, available from HSE Books on 01787 881165 or from www.hsebooks.co.uk.

Do I need to display any posters?

Yes, the health and safety law poster (ISBN 0 7176 2493 5) if you employ anyone. Alternatively you can provide your employees with individual copies of the same information in a free leaflet called your health and safety - a guide for workers. The poster and leaflets are available from HSE Books.

Do I have to report injuries at work?

Yes, and other incidents. For information on which ones and who should report them.

It's your business - So look after it!