The Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005 compels employers to consider the hazards within the workplace and the risk emanating from those hazards. The onus is also on the employer to manage the health and safety risks in their workplace.
To do this employers need to think about what, in their business, might cause harm to people (both employees, section 8 and others, e.g. contractors, section 12) and decide whether they are doing enough to prevent that harm. This is known as a risk assessment.
Once employers have identified the risks, they need to decide how to control them and put the appropriate measures in place to eliminate or reduce these to an acceptable level while also reviewing them periodically.
A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. The law does not expect businesses to remove all risks, but to protect people by putting in place measures to control those risks. Businesses are probably already taking steps to protect their employees, but a risk assessment will inform businesses whether more can be done.
Under Section 18 of Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005, an employer shall, for the purpose of complying with the relevant statutory provisions, appoint one or more competent persons to perform such safety functions as are specified by the employer, relating to the protection from and the prevention of risks to safety, health and welfare at work.
Where there is a competent person in the employer’s employment, that person shall be appointed for the purposes of section 18 in preference to a competent person who is not in his or her employment, if that does not exist, this is where First Aide Health and Safety Ltd can step in and act as the Safety Consultant offering the qualification, knowledge and experience of a competent person.
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