Wealden District Council
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Health and safety at work – the basics for business

Health and safety law sets a duty on businesses for safe operation. Employers or self-employed persons are responsible for the health and safety within their business which may affect employees, visitors and the general public.

The employer must make a risk assessment of the work activity so that controls are put in place to protect people from harm. Risk assessments must include the risk of Covid 19 transmission and ventilation as a control. Employers may also have to prepare a health and safety policy to detail the arrangements within the workplace for health and safety. If less than 5 people are employed the risk assessments and safety policy does not have to be written down.

The Health and Safety Executive website has lots of examples of risk assessments at Managing risks and risk assessment at work – Overview -HSE

Example safety policies are at Writing a health and safety policy (hse.gov.uk)

The health and safety toolbox: How to control risks at work (hse.gov.uk) explains how to control risks in a range of workplaces.

For further advice on health and safety contact the Environmental Health service at foodhs@rother.gov.uk.

Who does what?

Health and Safety visits are made by both the Health and Safety Executive and the local council. Wealden DC covers workplace safety and health in the retail, commercial and leisure sectors, including shops, warehouses, catering, hotels, residential care, offices, garden centers, builders’ merchants, tyre and exhaust fitters and the beauty sector (including tattooing, cosmetic piercing).

The HSE have produced a similar summary for their businesses, please visit Is HSE the correct enforcing authority for you?

What you can expect when we visit

You may receive an email offering advice or stating that an Environmental Health Officer will visit at a particular time – this means that your business has been selected for an intervention based on the HSE national priority list or the local service plan. All our officers are fully qualified and competent, attending regular training each year. They will discuss the workplace hazards with you and offer appropriate advice. Formal action is reserved for cases involving significant or repeated breaches of the law or danger to others.

The HSE have produced guidance Publication: what you can expect when a Health and Safety Officer calls (external link)