From 5th April this year, your business will need to display the €œnew€ Health and Safety poster in a prominent place so that your staff can read it. The Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER) obligates employers to display the poster, or to provide staff with copies of the approved leaflet which can be downloaded from the HSE website.
Health and Safety Poster update
Every employer will need to perform an audit to ensure that they not only have the health and safety poster on display, but that it is the correct version.
When is new not new?
The new health and safety poster has actually been in circulation since 2009. The poster has been designed to better communicate information to employees quickly after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the older poster it replaces was not well-read. The HSE has provided a five-year transition period so that employers have plenty of time to replace posters across all of their sites.
The older style poster has been slowly withdrawn from circulation, reducing the chances that your business is still using it. However if you are unsure which version is currently used on your sites, a quick check glance should tell you ‘ the new poster has pictures and colour printing, while the old one does not. You can use the pictures on the HSE website to verify which version is on display.
Beware of counterfeit posters
The HSIER regulations demand that employers use an official poster, thereby guaranteeing the information on display is accurate and that all advice is completely legal. As part of your preparations for the new poster, it is important to check that any you have in circulation are genuine.
Closer inspection should reveal the presence of a hologram and a serial number in the bottom right-hand corner of the poster. If your poster does not have either of these security measures, it is a counterfeit and will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
Use this exercise profitably
Auditing your health and safety posters is also a good opportunity to check that some of your other obligations are being met. This could be a check of risk assessments to ensure that they are accurate and up-to-date, or workstation checks to verify that you are compliant with the legal VDU requirements.
Your business should also add poster checks to any site audit checklists to ensure compliance is maintained at all times.
At the very least you must ensure that old health and safety information posters are replaced before the 5th April deadline or potentially risk prosecution.
With just a matter of weeks before the transition period ends, has your business checked that it has the right health and safety poster on display? Have you ever checked to verify all posters are genuine, legal issue copies?