Health and Safety Law advice and defence at Hunt & Coombs Solicitors

Guidance to Employers

As an employer you have a duty under the law to make sure that you are informed about health and safety legislation and are in a position to protect both yourself and your employees. Our team would be more than happy to discuss any concerns that you have in relation to health and safety law and to help you to put in place the right precautions to ensure that in the event of an accident you may be able to avoid prosecution.

In general your duties are:

  • To make sure that you and employees are working in a workplace that is safe and without risk to health;
  • To ensure plant and machinery are safe and that safe systems of work are set out and followed;
  • To make sure articles and substances are moved, stored and used safely;
  • To provide adequate welfare facilities; and
  • To provide your employees with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary for their health and safety.

In particular you, as an employer, are required:

  • To assess the risks to health and safety of your employee in the place where they are working on or off site;
  • To make arrangements for implementing the heath and safety measures identified or being necessary from any assessment;
  • There are 5 or more employees, record the significant findings of the risk assessment and the arrangements for health and safety measures;
  • If there are 5 or more employees, to draw up a health and safety policy statement and bring it to your employees' attention;
  • To appoint someone competent to assist with the health and safety responsibilities
  • To set up emergency procedures;
  • To provide adequate First Aid facilities;
  • To make sure that the workplace satisfies health and safety welfare requirements e.g. ventilation, temperature, lighting and rest facilities;
  • To make sure that work equipment is suitable for its intended use;
  • To ensure that this work equipment is properly maintained and used;
  • To prevent or adequately control exposure to substances which may cause damage to health;
  • To take precautions against danger and flammable or explosive hazards;
  • To avoid hazardous manual handling operations;
  • To provide health surveillance as appropriate;
  • To provide any free protective clothing or equipment where risks are not adequately controlled by other means;
  • To ensure that appropriate safety signs are provided and maintained; and
  • To report certain injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the appropriate health and safety enforcing authority.

Hunt & Coombs Solicitors are very aware that the legislation relating to health and safety in the workplace is constantly being changed and with work methods and technology changing fast, providing adequate health and safety policy and protection is a demanding task. hc solicitors can offer an advisory service as well assisting with any investigation.

We must emphasise that there is usually a period of time between the occurrence of an accident and the full commencement of a health and safety investigation. It is our experience that obtaining good legal advice before the Health and Safety Executive or Police investigation can assist a company or employer by ensuring that those concerned in the investigation are fully aware of their legal rights and can often influence the outcome of any pending investigation.


Andy Cave