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Written by
on 07 November 2015


We all agree that when it comes to health and safety, those laws and rules are there in place for a reason, right?

Unfortunately, some businesses out there still think that they can cut a few sneaky corners and act like the rules don’t apply to them.

And this can have some pretty serious consequences.

When an Essex firm decided it could flout the laws on lifting equipment on its safety trucks – the firm found itself at the sharp end of a whopping £15,000 fine – you can read the full details on the HSE site.

But not only can be playing loose with the law end up costing you financially – the consequences can be much more severe on employees and other people.

After all, they’re called “health and safety” laws for a very good reason. Read on to find out just why they’re so important – in case you still had any doubts!

The law helps to keep standards in place

The Essex firm in the headlines wasn’t just any old construction company – they were a part of the woodworking industry, which is known to have some major health risks, due to the impact of wood dust exposure.

And when it comes to wood dust, there are some comprehensive standards in place to make sure employees are kept as safe as possible.

Not sure about it? You can read up on how to manage risks with wood dust exposure here.

The most important part of this is that having clear measures like this – in all industries – it makes the working environment much safer for employees and member of the public because everyone has to keep to the agreed level of safety.

Hazards are minimised

As much as we might like to, we haven’t yet managed to make a completely risk-free world.

But that doesn’t mean that we need to be exposed to the most dangerous hazards out there!

Sometimes the law is in place to prevent certain hazards from arising – for a very good reason. For example, the law on the Design and Supply of Products helps to make sure that machinery is produced to proper safety regulations – and any manufacturer who doesn’t could face severe repercussions.

Keep your common sense

It’s all too easy for people to blame “elf and safety” for some of the bizarre myths they come up with – if you need a giggle, check out some of them here!

But there’s a serious side to the silliness too. The lack of common sense that comes out in many health and safety myths can sometimes make people feel that they can dismiss real laws too.

Paying attention to the law helps to clear out some of the myths out there – by helping you keep common sense insight when you’re trying to keep your workplace safe!

Your takeaway points

What’s the importance of health and safety laws? Here’s a quick summary:

  • you have a standardised system of health and safety across all businesses
  • hazards are reduced, or minimised as much as possible
  • laws help to keep common sense insight – and clear up some of the health and safety myths out there.

Got any questions about any aspect of health and safety laws and regulations? Just ask us!

Now it’s your turn

Have your say in the comments section below.

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A chartered (fellow) safety and risk management practitioner with 20+ years of experience. David provides a healthy dose of how-to articles, advice and guidance to make compliance easier for construction professionals, Architects and the built environment. Get social with David on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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