Safety: Firms get online advice from the experts

A factory worker’s arm is cut to the bone. A heavy goods driver has his jaw smashed by a lorry door. A construction worker suffers serious burns from overhead power cables.

These are just three examples of incidents which resulted in prosecutions being brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the East of England and highlights where employers have failed to take steps to protect workers.

New web-based guidance has now been launched to help businesses understand what they must do to comply with health and safety law without getting tied up in red tape and bureaucracy.

‘Health and safety made simple’ has been developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and business organisations and is one of a suite of tools aimed at making things easier for low risk small and medium-sized enterprises.

The new guidance is aimed at reducing the number of workplace deaths and injuries, where in the East of England 20 people were killed last year, according to the latest official figures.

The website acts as an entry point for employers who need help knowing where to start in meeting their health and safety responsibilities or for those confused by what is expected of them. It takes users through the process step-by-step, explaining what to do and how to do it. It signposts users to detailed guidance on specific topics and useful interactive tools, such as a quick and easy online risk assessment for offices.

The website also links to the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) through which employers can search for a reputable consultant for extra help or support, though the website makes clear they are likely to be able to manage most aspects of health and safety themselves or with the help of their staff.

‘Health and safety made simple’ and OSHCR were recently launched by employment minister Chris Grayling as part of a package of changes to Britain’s health and safety system, designed to ease regulatory burdens on business and promote a proportionate approach to managing health and safety.

HSE chairJudith Hackitt said: “Starting, growing or running a business day to day is time-consuming enough without being burdened by bureaucracy and getting caught in unnecessary red tape.

‘Health and safety made simple’ explains clearly what the law expects and should give employers the confidence that they are taking the necessary steps to minimise risks to workers and the public.

“Business organisations have been instrumental in developing ‘Health and safety made simple’ because they know small employers better than anyone. We’re confident that what is on offer is easy to use and will bring real benefits.”

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