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Why do businesses need to manage health and safety?

View profile for Alison Marriott
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Managing the health and safety of their employees, visitors to their premises and any interactions with the public is the legal responsibility of every businesses. Current health and safety legislation requires every business to have a health and safety policy to make sure that this area has been considered and measures  taken to minimise hazards and risks in the workplace. 

If a business fails to appropriately manage health and safety, they risk potential fines and even imprisonment if they are found to have breached the law. 

Why was the Health and Safety at Work Act introduced?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1874 is the framework for current legislation for health and safety in every workplace. It was introduced to help keep people safe whilst working or being around those who are working. There have been some additions made to this framework in the years since, as times and technologies have changed, but the fundamental aims of this legislations remain the same; to help secure the health, safety and welfare of people at work, including people on the premises who do not work there, such as visitors and members of the public. 

How is health and safety law enforced? 

Health and safety laws are enforced by a combination of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities, usually depending on the industries involved and the severity of the potential breaches.

For example, health and safety in relation to restaurants and food businesses is usually handled by the local authority including premises inspections and any enforcement actions that are found to be required. Other industries, such as manufacturing, are generally investigated and enforced, in relation to health and safety specifically, by the HSE. 

Not all workplaces will be investigated or inspected for health and safety compliance as a matter of course. Investigations are usually triggered if a serious incident occurs or if complaints are made by staff or other parties. Find out more about HSE investigations here.

How can health and safety solicitors help businesses?

Whether you are a business wanting advice on your health and safety policy, or are a company facing a potential HSE investigation or enforcement action, an expert solicitor can make a significant difference to the outcome. 

As experienced health and safety solicitors, we can offer specialist support for any business wanting to ensure they have the appropriate policy, and measures in place to be compliant with relevant health and safety laws. We are able to assist if you are facing potential action for breaches of the law and can help protect your position at every stage of the process. Call us on 0161 696 6250 to find out more.

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