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Posted by David Cant on October 19, 2012
As an employer it is your duty by law to manage risks. You must perform workplace risk assessments to fulfil your legal requirements, even if you are self-employed. The purpose of the assessments is to identify what the health and safety risks are that come from working activities within your business. If you have five or more employees it is necessary to record these risks.
Managing Risks as an Employer
When recording the risk assessments you have to make sure you include the findings from the assessment. This must include exactly what each of the risks are, how you are currently working to control them and any further action that will help you to reduce the risks further or completely eliminate them. You must also record any employees that could be put at risk because of the working activities. This is because not all employees may be affected.
You Must Also Conduct Fire Risk Assessments
Fire safety is another area that has to be focused upon by employers and the self-employed. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order in England and Wales, fire risk assessments have to be performed and maintained. You can conduct the assessment as a separate exercise or complete a single assessment that would also include other risks within your company. Once you have completed the fire risk assessment you then have to take the necessary action to help to come up with ways of reducing the risk of injury or fatalities if a fire was to break out.
Who Has to Perform the Assessments?
As you are the employer the responsibility lies with you. However, if you don’t have adequate training or experience it is possible to delegate the job to someone within your company or ask for assistance from a qualified third party. Before you delegate the job it is your duty to ensure the person you choose would be considered competent in the eyes of the law, make sure that the employees are also involved in the process and the person must be able to identify when they require specialist assistance.
What Training is Required by Law?
While training is not necessarily essential the person responsible for assessing risks, you or your delegated person, has to be competent. This means that need to have the right skills, some experience performing the task and have knowledge on the subject. Many people therefore do require training to ensure the job is carried out professionally. You could provide training opportunities for your delegated person or for yourself. Alternatively you could hire a competent person from outside your business that will already be trained and have the necessary skills to do the job for you.
If you are looking to hire externally you will need to contact health and safety consultants to arrange the visit by the competent person. We provide health and safety services including training, competent person and fire risk assessments. If you would like to speak to us without any obligation you can do so by calling 0800 1488 677.