Health and safety
support for your
Health & Safety
Health & Safety Support
Kedleston Safety prides itself on our ability to assist, support, implement and nurture a culture of Health, Safety and Wellbeing that ensures your workers go home safely.
Our Health & Safety Services
Health and Safety Consultancy
Our expert team of health and safety consultants can act as your point of contact for health and safety advice, as part of your legal obligations.
Health and Safety Templates
We can provide a range of editable health and safety templates.
Including Risk Assessments, Method Statements, COSHH Assessments, H&S Policies, Forms, Reports, Checklists, and CDM documents
New Business Start Up Support
We can help you:
Health and Safety Consultancy
Not sure how to put a risk assessment together or a set of RAMs? Unsure with what health and safety documentation you need? Our team of advisors can help you with this.
Health and Safety Management Systems
We can design and implement bespoke Health and Safety Management Systems. Your Management System should contain:
Workplace Audits and Compliance Reviews
Health and Safety Audits are a critical, in-depth examination of an organisation’s Health and Safety Management System. Following the Health and Safety audit, a prioritised action plan is produced to guide any required improvements. This report can be used to form the basis of a Management System and will help the business to achieve best practice in relation to Health and Safety management.
As independent consultants, you can be sure of our utmost impartiality in the investigation of any accident which is key to finding out the true cause, and providing a satisfactory conclusion whilst identifying areas for change
Site and Workplace Inspections
We can carry out regular site / workplace inspections for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Health & Safety do I need as a minimum?
One of the fundamental rules of health and safety is that if your organisation has 5 or more employees you MUST have a written health and safety policy. Likewise, you should have a Health and Safety Law poster displayed somewhere where it is easily viewable to staff. You should at the very least hold a general building risk assessment and a building fire risk assessment or have access to them if in a shared working space, as well as some form of accident, incident and illness reporting and record keeping. Finally, you must ensure that you have correct facilities for your workforce and appointed first aiders to make use of should they need them.
When do I need a first aid box and appointed first aider?
If you are in a workplace that is also a public building, it is good practice to provide first aid to any and all comers should they need. However, the legal requirement for first aid is between employers and employees. The minimum provision of first aid is a suitably stocked first aid kit and an appointed person to take charge of first aid. As accidents could happen at any time, first aid needs to be available at all times. Many organisations that are open outside of regular 9-5 need to take this into account; shift supervisors or duty managers will often have first aid as part of their training or have their status as first aider written into their job description. If your organisation has multiple sites, involves dangerous work, has a large public or staff presence at any given time or by its nature has employees coming into contact with dangerous materials; then a more robust provision is required.
What should be displayed on my walls?
All workplaces should have clear, unobstructed signage informing all employees and visitors of correct evacuation routes, locations of emergency exits, indicators of refuge areas and fire doors, notifications of entering new areas with different risks and/or PPE requirements and signage indicating types of fire extinguishers stored in these areas. Something often neglected is that in employee areas such as staff rooms, main offices etc, you should have displayed a Health and Safety Law poster; these convey information about employees’ rights and health and safety arrangements in workplaces at a glance and are a fundamental legal requirement. It is also good practice to accompany these with a health and safety notice board as gives a good impression to employees that health and safety is proactive and not simply an afterthought. This can contain information such as how and when to report accidents as well as upcoming training opportunities such as manual handling training sessions, meetings or opportunities for employees to have their concerns heard by those with health and safety obligations.
What key things should be covered in a Health and Safety policy?
The format of a Health and Safety Policy is quite general across any and all organisations with 5 or more employees. It should contain:
What do I need to consider if I have visitors to my premises?
It may sound like an obvious thing to say, but, making sure everyone knows a visitor is on site is the first step in making their visit as safe as possible. It is crucial to implement a procedure for staff and visitors signing in and out of the premises, especially if you are a non-public building. In the event of a major incident or fire evacuation, someone’s presence needs to be documented in order for the responsible persons in your organisation to ensure their safe evacuation or removal from danger. Also, one thing visitors lack is familiarity. What may seem like a manageable hazard to those that see it every day could be dangerous to someone less familiar with the site; regular inspections and high standards of housekeeping help you avoid such slip ups. Finally, one thing to consider is that having a large number of visitors to your site may effect your safe operating capacities of certain spaces that do not usually have such a large footfall. You need to consider whether you would put people in danger by squeezing them into a small space or a space with few fire exits.
Are there different health & safety obligations for different working environments i.e office vs warehouse vs factory/workshop?
We often talk in generalities in Health and Safety as their are many principles and duties that are true regardless of workplace and industry, however there will be significant additional risks, controls and safeguards present in a factory or industrial workshop than an office. There are a few specific assessments more often found in one workplace rather than another but the only way to be absolutely sure is to undertake a full health and safety audit. For instance a well populated office will need to have a robust procedure in place for Display Screen Equipment assessments and regular updates to this for each employee; a factory floor populated with machine operators (like a Printing Press) will have no need for this. A workshop where there is heavy, repeat use of an SDS Drill will have to have a Hand Arm Vibration Assessment establishing time periods for safe use, there is unlikely to be anything reaching this strength in an office environment. There are also likely to be far more robust and stringent rules regarding movement of people and vehicles imbedded in the safe systems of a factory environment where as in an office there is likely to be nothing over and above good housekeeping requirements to support a safe evacuation plan. Again; it is only through good auditing that we can determine what is needed where for safety and legal compliance.
What should we be asking our customers for to make sure me & (future) team are covered when we go work on their sites?
Asking this question shows a great proactive attitude toward employee safety. If you are visiting other sites to work, especially if the work being conducted is solo, separate from the rest of the workplace’s activity and unsupervised there are a number of documents you should ask for and present to the customer/ client. Some organisations will have an automated, online permit to work system that should be filled in prior to site attendance where you could view all relevant info including relevant insurances (PLI). You should be made aware of the site safety and permit systems before attending or sending someone, as well as asking for a building risk assessment, fire risk assessment and procedures for evacuation. The customer should then ask you for a risk assessment and method statement for the work or activity you are about to undertake. This is a general guide for them to understand what the work usually involves and you or your employee can put together a dynamic risk assessment from all these documents combined as well as the knowledge gained from site attendance. This information should also be disseminated through the customer organisation so that, depending on the size, all relevant parties are privy to the work about to be undertaken. This info can then lead to all relevant permits being sorted (parking, hot work, vehicle on site) and ensuring nobody’s safety is compromised by the work being undertaken.
A Health and safety start up guide. 1st employee, and then 5 employees.
It must first be said that there are obviously other requirements set forth in the Health and Safety at Work Act that must be followed irrespective of employee numbers (Sections 3,4,6) however this guidance will focus only on those pertaining to the employer/employee relationship. Say you are just starting up your company, something early on in the Health and Safety at Work Act is very relevant at this stage. You need to have a written health and safety policy if you have 5 or more employees. With only one employee you still need to make safe arrangements in the immediate working environment for the employee but it is not necessary to have a policy document, however if you wish to grow you may want to start thinking about what should go into a policy and how the responsibilities and duties would be split over the company’s intended future hierarchy. However, as soon as you take on an employee you must arrange for Employers’ Liability compulsory insurance, this ensures that if an employee successfully uses a company following an accident they are assured of some form of compensation even if the employer is not financially capable of paying. This document has to be made readily available either digitally or displayed in office.
There are other duties outlined in the HSWA that are irrespective of employee numbers including: provision of safe plant and systems of work, safe use/handling/transport/storage of articles and substances, provision instruction/training/supervision, safe access and egress leading to a safe place of work and a safe working environment with adequate welfare facilities. There are other, often overlooked requirements too that are of a more ongoing nature such as: consulting safety representatives (or just consulting the employee if only one) either appointed internally or via trade union and establish a safety committee if requested to do so. Should you have less than 5 employees you must still undertake risk assessment but it does not need to be written down and can take the form of a verbal agreement between employer and employee.
H&S for different working environments (home office, shared /serviced office, own office)
Typically a shared/ serviced office will already have in place a fire and evacuation procedure that you will be expected to adhere to and pass on to any visitors or future employees. There will be regular tests and an annual evacuation that you must agree to and follow. The HSWA is clear under Section 8 that you should not misuse or interfere with, or through your action or inaction allow third parties to misuse and interfere with, anything provided in the interests of health safety and welfare or in place to allow for statutory compliance with the other sections of the act. This includes not tampering with smoke detectors, reporting issues to the landlord/management company and not using fire extinguishers to prop open doors or removing them unnecessarily.
Should you own your own office or have a home office then your requirements fall under sections 3 and 4 of the HSWA in that you must conduct your business so as not to expose those not in your employment to risks to their health and safety. This includes visitors to your home office or visitors or tenants to your owned office. Those owning offices have to ensure that the premises, the means of access and exit, and any plant or substances are safe and without risks to health and safety. This includes regular servicing of equipment used by all persons (lifts, fire fighting equipment, fire alarm etc) and good housekeeping.
How to carry out risk assessments?
A big part of health and safety in the workplace is carrying out various risk assessments for individual activities and environments that employees, volunteers and/ public may be exposed to. When creating risk assessments we are looking at potential hazards, defined as something with the potential to cause harm, and then determining the likelihood that an accident/incident/ would occur and the severity of the harm it would cause. In a quantitative risk assessment these are usually assigned numbers and a multiplication is done and the resulting risk is produced from a table. Chances are you have seen this sort of risk assessment before, they are generally produced when companies have or need to retain a large number of risk assessments due to varied degrees of dangerous or complicated activity/ machinery/ environments contained with in their sites. Qualitative risk assessments are different in that people do them in their heads every day, usually determining high, medium or low risk that can then be transferred to the written document. It is this latter form that is a good starting place for most smaller companies.
How to create a safety culture and the importance of behavioral safety.
A safety culture refers to when business take noted interest in preserving employee safety at all levels. This is usually achieved through support for best health and safety practice at top level (CEO/ Director), visible management active engagement, training and listening to all employees concerns instead of putting production concerns ahead of safety. It’s less about an authoritarian approach and more about having a conversation around how everyone can contribute. It is as important for employers to listen to feedback as it is for employees to follow instruction, and this can even extend to inspection; which at first seems like a rather daunting and invasive prospect but need not be. Health and Safety inspections can take the forms of independent advisors such as board members who maybe do not have a specified knowledge of that area coming along with the designated Health and Safety Officer , introducing themselves to staff members and asking questions about how safe they feel in the workplace, how things could be done better, how easy they find the current systems etc. Staff are far more likely to engage in positive workplace behavioural safety if they are approached as equals and consultants in the processes they are being asked to participate in.
Mental health and safety and an employer’s duties.
There is a trend in some organisations, that either deal in Health and Safety or have a responsibility for Health and Safety in the workforce, to “shout about safety and whisper about health.” This attitude can be reflected in some statistics within specific industries. For example, although around 60% of all reported illness in the construction industry, it loses 2 construction workers per working day to suicide. Promoting a positive health and safety culture in the workplace can have positive knock-on effects whereby a better environment is created for people to either be forthcoming with or be coaxed into discussing mental health issues such as depression and stress. As a responsible employer, companies should provide a platform where employees can voice concerns either anonymously or face-to-face and take these concerns seriously and offer confidential, impartial discussion/counselling where needed. Supervisors are not counsellors but they should be trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental ill-health. There should also be a policy set out for work related stress or a charter for mental health/wellbeing and this can be displayed in staff areas, detailing what an employer plans to offer and how it plans to support its staff. Many companies also offer lifestyle initiatives such as staff exercise programmes, discounted bike to work schemes and smoking cessation help. Most importantly however companies need to avoid developing a blame culture and ensure that accidents and incidents need to be viewed as opportunities for organisation-wide learning and not simply the fault of one person. For an organisation to assume these things happen without root causes is naive and nobody should be made to feel that work related ill health is their own personal fault.
Featured Case Study
Derbyshire Decorators is a large decorating firm specialising in substantial restoration and commercial projects, including stately homes like Chatsworth as well as JCB and Stratstone car dealerships. The company has built a reputation for high standards and professionalism and has partnerships with leading names such as Dulux Trade and Constructionline, meaning their work is quality assured by independent associations, so they really do require the highest standards!
A intergral part of successful risk management is establishing a process for caputuring accurate and effective risk assessments.
Who we have worked with