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A Start Up’s Guide to Health and Safety Regulations


Good luck on your new venture…

You want to put the maximium energy into developing a winning customer product or service. However there are distractions. Various, Admin, Finance and Legislation considerations all require your precious development time.

Start with a Risk Assessment – all companies must undertake a risk assessment. If you employ 5 or more staff your risk assessments must be written down. A risk assessment is a simple process whereby you think (or write where required) – A) What are the risks B) Who is Affected C) What ‘REASONABLY’ can be done to reduce the risk.

Simple example: Carrying bundles of paper. The risk is to those who carry the paper. Purchase a trolley to paper doesn’t need lifted.

Although offices are relatively safety environments to work there are a risks that require specific actions as a result of regulations. Regulations are written as clarifications to Legislation. The Regulations below are written as clarification of the requirements of the 1974 Health and Safety Act.

1. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Regulations 2005 – All businesses regardless of size must:

A) Carry out a fire risk assessment
B) Tell staff about the risks you’ve found
C) Put in place (and maintain) appropriate fire safety measures
D) Plan for an emergency
E) Provide staff information and training about the emergency plan

2. The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 – All businesses regardless of size must:

A) Have appropriate first aid supplies (box) to hand
B) Designation (and train) a first aider

3. Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992. All businesses for desk-based workers must:

A) Do a DSE workstation assessment
B) Reduce risks, for example, provide adjustable chair and make sure workers take breaks from DSE work.
C) Provide an eye test if a worker asks for one
D) Provide training and information for workers

4. Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). All employers must:

A) Make the HSE aware of reportable injuries or near misses. Reportable injuries are those that lead to an employee being injured at work to such an extent they are off work for more than 7 days as a result of their injury.
B) Record (but not report) over 3 day injuries.

For an office environment the above regulations are key. Other regulations exist for more risky work environments such as building sites. If you have any doubts there are plenty of health and safety consultants available. There are also high time and cost effective online training solutions for both you and your staff.

For example echo3education supply a wide range of high quality safety training to help you fulfil your obligations and focus on what counts. Creating great products for your future customers.