Many businesses struggle with Health and Safety and Food Safety documentation. Before you approach a consultant, consider managing your own risks. Both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) provides tools which will help you.
Health and safety consultants
You already manage other areas of your business, or employ staff with the experience, qualifications or skills to do so. If you are still not confident in your ability to manage your risks in-house or need extra support, you may need a consultant.
In general, lower risks businesses are more easily managed and most do not need the support of an external advisor. If you use a Health and Safety consultant, please ensure that they are registered – you can check for registered consultants here. As a duty holder, it is your responsibility to make sure you use a suitable consultant based on your particular business needs.
If you have any employees, you must display a Health and Safety Law Poster.
Policy statement and risk assessments
When you have five or more employees in your business, , you need to have a written health and safety policy and written risk assessments. This includes self-employed employees and if you do not work on the same site.
The Health and Safety Executive has provided a template you can use for both the policy statement and risk assessments.
Buildings built before the year 2000 need to be assessed for the likelihood of asbestos being present. This is normally by carrying out an asbestos survey. Free training and more information on asbestos are available on the Health and Safety Executive website.
Gas works must be carried out by a registered gas safe engineer. All gas equipment used in your business must be checked on a regular basis. Checks are usually conducted annually by an engineer qualified to work on the type of equipment found in your business.
Electrical and all circuits such as sockets, lighting systems and more must be checked on a regular basis as determined by an engineer. This is completed at least once every five years, depending on the age of your wiring and the location of its use. Guidance is available from the Heath and Safety Executive website.