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Written by
on 20 March 2017

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Working “at the coal face”, you are well placed to identify potential health and safety issues that need to be addressed. So how should you go about reporting your concerns?

This step by step guide will help you know who to approach and how to present your case.

Take pictures

Explaining a health and safety issue is always easier if you can show exactly what the problem is. If it is safe to do so, take a few quick photos using your phone ready to show your line manager in step 2.

Speak to your line manager

As with virtually every other concern, you face at work, your first point of contact should be your line manager. Most on-site health and safety risks arise out of low-level issues, and your line manager is perfectly placed to step in and make the necessary changes to protect you and your colleagues. Once your line manager takes ownership of the issue, they can escalate to a more senior manager if needed.

You can also contact your union representative if you feel you need support presenting your evidence.

Speak to your “competent person”

If you are unable to raise an issue with your line manager, or you are concerned that they have not grasped the seriousness of the situation, your next call should be to the company’s “competent person”. This individual supervises all health and safety related tasks, ensuring that relevant standards are upheld, and all operations comply with the law.

It may be that your business uses a third party competent person service, but they remain a powerful ally in your attempts to improve site safety. A quick call to your competent person should help get the ball rolling.

Speak to the HSE

If you are still unable to get your employer to take action, your last port of call will be the Health and Safety Executive itself. As the body responsible for investigating and prosecuting businesses for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, the HSE should be approached only as a last resort.

Fortunately, the HSE has simplified the reporting process – you can get the ball rolling by completing the form here. And although the HSE ask you to supply your name and contact details, they promise to protect your identity if requested.

In the meantime, if you are stuck and need advice on how best to raise a concern with your employer, please give the Veritas Consulting team a call – we’re always happy to try and help.

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Chartered health and safety consultant. 20+ years helping busy people in construction and the built environment. David provides how-to articles, advice and guidance to help explain and make compliance easier for clients. A solutionist with a brain you can pick. And you can easily get in touch with David on social media Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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