• Leah Norman

Changes since the new Health & Safety Act

Today marks six month since the new Health & Safety Act came into force and guess what? The sun still rises in the morning, people go to work, and life goes on.

No-one has been locked up (that I know of) but people are still getting hurt at work.

The new Act wasn’t going to change things overnight, but one of the good things it has done is made people think about their H&S commitments and seek advice.

At Yellow Consulting Limited we’ve been part of this discussion with many of our clients and I’m pleased to report that the owners of the many small businesses we’ve talked to want to keep their staff safe, the staff understand what’s going on, and no-one had any glaring issues to deal with.

Health & Safety is not about having huge manuals and loads of paperwork; it is about reducing the risk to health & safety for the workers. How you do this is up to you but generally it will need some paperwork. As Confucius is reputed to have said, “The faintest ink is better than the strongest memory.”

A Hazard Register with risk assessment and control measures is a good start. Discussions with your staff about the hazards they see and how each hazard could be dealt with will help you build a strong system. What you do from there will depend on how thorough and professional you are.

ACC is closing down the WSMP discount program in favour of discounts based on claims experience. This will probably be to the advantage of many small businesses that didn’t have the resources to run the paperwork required to meet WSMP standards, but do have good safety practices in place.

We’re keen to help our clients meet the requirements of the new Act so we’re going to continue the offer of a 30-minute ‘house call’ free of charge until the end of November 2016.

Disclaimer This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.