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Health and Safety

Duties of employers and employees

Both employers and employees have a number of duties and responsibilities that they must meet to protect themselves and others.

•You are responsible for seeing that your business is run so that risks to health and safety are properly controlled and that proper provision for employees welfare is made;
•It is your duty to protect the health and safety of your employees and other people who might be affected by what you do;
•You are obliged to consult your employees (through safety representatives, if your organisation has any)
•You must display a Health & Safety Law poster which is available from HSE Books
•and you must do whatever is reasonable to achieve this.

Portable appliance testing (PAT)

All businesses are required to regularly test their portable equipment under the following legislation:

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 puts a duty of care on both the employer and employee to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states that 'Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of:

(a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work, and
(b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking'

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states that 'Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair'. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states 'As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger'.

If you require information about Portable Applicance Testing, you can visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Fire Certificate

Most work places are covered by fire regulations. If you are an employer you may be required by law to comply with certain legislation.

Further information about fire regulations is available on the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue website.

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•You must take reasonable care for your own and other peoples health and safety at work;
•You must cooperate with your employer
•You must not intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety.

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Employers have a duty under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to report certain accidents to employees and members of the public together with specified dangerous occurrences and causes of disease.

The following types of accidents need to be reported:

  • employees incapable of work for more than 3 days as a result of an accident at work
  • employed or self employed persons killed or suffering a major injury
  • accidents to members of the public (in connection with work) where they are taken directly to hospital
  • specified dangerous occurrences (eg collapse of scaffolding, failure of lifts or lifting equipment, electrical short circuit causing a fire)
  • certain poisonings, infections and industrial disease

Since 1 April 2001 employers, employees and any other person have been able to report all accidents to a national incident centre. This centre will takes details and makes them available to the appropriate enforcing authority either by access to the web site, or notification by fax for immediately notifiable accidents.

How to notify an injury or accident

Notify the accident to the Incident Contact Centre (ICC) direct by one of the following:

RIDDOR documentation is available from the HSE website.

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Health and safety

Officers in the Health and Safety Section along with colleagues in the Food Safety Section carry out enforcement under the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974, and numerous regulations made under this act, within Wiltshire Council’s area. However, enforcement responsibilities are split between us as a Local Authority and the Health and Safety Executive, whose regional office is in Bristol.

Briefly, within all our major towns and the surrounding villages we deal with Health & Safety enforcement for the following types of premises:
•Shops and retailing, including market stalls, coin operated launderettes, and mobile vendors
•Most offices
•Some wholesale and retail warehouses
•Hotels and other residential catering accommodation, including guest houses, residential care homes, hostels, caravan and camping sites
•Catering including restaurants, pubs, cafes and wine bars
•Leisure and entertainment; including night clubs, social clubs, circuses, sports facilities, health clubs, gyms, riding schools, racecourses, pleasure boat hire, motor racing circuits, and museums, theatres and art galleries
•Places of worship and undertakers
•Animal care, including zoos, livery stables and kennels
•Beauty and non-medical therapeutic services; including massage, saunas, solariums, tattooing, skin and body piercing and hairdressing.

Queries regarding any other type of premises should be directed to the Health and Safety Executive.

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Every year, hundreds of people are killed, with several hundred thousand suffering from injuries and illness through work related activities. In addition to the personal loss and suffering this can incur, there are huge monetary losses through time off work and material damage, much of which is not covered by insurance.

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc.Act 1974 and associated regulations all employers have a duty to make sure their workplaces are safe for their employees and members of the public. It is the role of Wiltshire Council's Public Protection Service to ensure that employers in Wiltshire comply with their duties.This is done by:

  • Promoting awareness and knowledge through projects and campaigns
  • Working in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive and other organisations
  • Providing advice and information to businesses, employees and members of the public
  • Inspecting workplaces to ensure they are safe and that employers are complying with the law
  • Investigating complaints about unsafe workplaces
  • Investigatingaccidents and dangerous occurrences that have occurred in a workplace
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Public protection enforcement policy

It depends on the circumstances. When Wiltshire Council inspectors take enforcement action, they follow an Enforcement Policy Statement.

Inspectors are trained to use their judgement to make sure that employers in similar circumstances are treated in a similar way. Any action required by inspectors will be proportional to the risks involved.

We use formal enforcement powers when it is the most appropriate way of dealing with the matter.

We might:

  • Warn or advise you, either verbally or in writing, on the steps needed to put things right; or
  • Issue either an improvement or prohibition notice; or
  • Prosecute the company and/or individual breaking the law.
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In order to ensure we have a fair and effective approach to enforcement action by officers, the authority has adopted an Enforcement Policy which is available in the download section of this page.

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Last updated: 7 November 2016 | Last reviewed: 7 November 2016