What health and safety records do businesses need to keep?

Safety is an issue that no company can afford to ignore. If your firm lets risk management standards slip, the consequences could be disastrous both for your employees and for the future of your business. After all, you may find you face costly and damaging legal action. To help ensure your organisation remains on the right side of the law, here’s a brief guide to the health and safety records that all companies must keep.

Safety policy

If you employ five or more people, you have to have a written health and safety policy and this document must contain a statement of your firm’s goals and targets for risk management, the duties of managers and employees and details of the measures your business will take in order to achieve your aims. As safety consultants Phoenix UK highlight, this policy has to be frequently reviewed and assessed to ensure it remains accurate and relevant, and all workers must be informed of any changes that are made to it.

Risk assessments

All organisations with five or more employees are also required to produce written risk assessments covering all significant hazards. In these analyses, you must identify the hazards that exist in your workplace, determine who is at risk (including staff members, contractors and visitors) and evaluate the level of danger and the likelihood of accidents. You also have to decide on suitable controls, taking into account any existing measures, and you must record your findings on a suitable form. You will need to review this document regularly, including when your equipment or processes change or an accident occurs.

Injury and illness records

You are also required to report and record certain types of injuries, illnesses and accidents. For example, under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) regulations, you must report any deaths if they arise from a work-related accident. You must also report fractures (other than to toes, fingers and thumbs), amputations, eye injuries that are likely to lead to a loss or reduction of sight, crush injuries that cause internal damage, serious burns, scalding that requires hospital treatment and loss of consciousness caused by asphyxia or a head injury.

In addition, you must report any accident that results in a worker being unable to perform their role for over seven days and accidents that trigger absences of over three days must be recorded but not reported. You also have a responsibility to report occupational diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome, occupational asthma, hand-arm vibration syndrome, occupational dermatitis, tendonitis or tenosynovitis and occupational cancers. The law requires you to report certain accidents involving members of the public too, as well as dangerous near-miss events like the accidental release of potentially harmful substances.

Getting to grips with health and safety record keeping can seem like a challenge, but as long as you’re methodical in your approach and you make sure you know the facts, you shouldn’t struggle to fulfil your legal responsibilities.

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