South West Water, KFC, Iceland, Wilko, Howden Joinery, the list goes on. In just a single year, all of these big name companies fell foul of UK health and safety law. The fines levied against them were at least £1 million each, not to mention the human cost in terms of both injuries and fatalities.
You know the ins and outs of every aspect of your organisation, how it works, the staff you’ve hired, its weaknesses and strengths. But understanding the hazards present in the workplace is a different matter. All it takes is overlooking one seemingly insignificant hazard and you’ll be in breach of health and safety legislation. A health and safety risk assessment is really the only way to make sure you’ve identified and managed each of the hazards employees in your organisation face day-to-day.
In 1974 working in the UK became a whole lot safer as then Secretary of State Michael Foot introduced the Health and Safety Act 1974. Although today the Health and Safety Act is an integral part of any reputable business, this Bill only got passed on its third attempt through Parliament. The difference it has made since then is substantial to say the least.