General Health & Safety FAQs
Do I have to have a health and safety policy at work?
All companies with 5 or more people must have a health and safety policy. When creating a policy, employees should be part of the process to cover areas that you as an employer might not see. It should include a statement of intent, a list of who is responsible for what and information about how the main issues will be managed.
How much holiday are you entitled to?
All full-time employees are entitled to 28 days paid annual leave a year, so your holiday you can take could be 20 days and then bank holidays you don't have to take as a holiday. Or you may have 28 days of holiday a year but you have to take the bank holiday days as holiday days or take them unpaid.
If you are not sure you are being given the right amount of holiday you can go here to calculate the holiday you should be entitled to.
Do health and safety laws apply to me (and my business)?
Health and safety policies and risk assessments apply to all business with 5 or more people.
Who enforces health and safety law?
The task of enforcing health and safety laws is shared between local authorities and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
What hazards are there in the workplace?
Some common workplace hazards include:
- Working at height - working with ladders/scaffolding/and others
- Blocking fire exits, clutter blocking exits, blocking sprinklers,
- Overloading power sockets and extra long extension leads as trip hazards
- Not handling chemicals correctly
- Working in confined spaces
- Not providing the correct safety equipment for workers - like eyes and ears protection and PPE
- Incorrect training when using Display Screen Equipment
When can health & safety inspectors visit?
A health and safety inspector may visit your workplace at any time. But if it is a routine inspection, they may call ahead to make sure that the relevant staff are in.
Do I need to display any signs, notices or posters?
The HSE Health and Safety Law Poster must be shown in a visible and well-trafficked place in with workplace or each employee must be given a copy of it. Some of the other certificates you must also display are:
- Employers’ Liability
- Licensing Act
- Weight and Measures Act
- Food Labelling
- The Protection From Tobacco Act - to not sell to anyone underage
- No Smoking signs (in indoor areas)
- Fire Safety
- Food Hygiene Ratings - not a legal requirement but good practice
What is meant by a hazard or a risk?
A hazard is something that can cause harm.
A risk is a chance that a hazard will cause harm.
You can read our full glossary of Health & Safety terms to get a better understanding of terminology.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
You could either receive a hefty fine or in more serious cases, even go to prison. A breach in regulation compliance could result in up to £20,000 fine but if the individual is found to be deliberately negligent or breaking the law then this can result in unlimited fines and/or imprisonment.
What are emergency procedures?
Emergency procedures are in place for various circumstances. You may have one for a fire, one for injuries, one for bomb threats and many more. Emergency procedures should be known by all staff and will help with a quick reaction to an emergency. People are more likely to respond reliably if they are well trained, rehearse plans, and have designated responsibilities. All of this should be part of an emergency procedure.
How often should I refresh Health & Safety training?
This is one of the questions we are asked most often and we're afraid there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer. Almost all health & safety legislation deliberately leaves decisions such as this to the employer. The HSE generally only gets involved when there’s an incident, so they would decide as part of any investigation both if the training was adequate and offered frequently enough.
FAQs regarding our Health & Safety courses
What legislation applies to these courses?
There is various legislation that applies to this course such as:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
- The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 2005
- The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
- The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
What approvals do these courses have?
These courses have a variety of approvals and accreditations, these range from CPD Accreditation, RoSPA Approval, IATP Approval, IIRSM Approval & IOSH Approval.
Why are these training courses important?
Health and Safety training is important as it helps cover the legal areas that you are required to train your staff in. It will also aim to reduce illnesses, accidents and reduce absenteeism.
We also offer health and safety training for management and health and safety training for homeworkers.
How long are my certificates valid for?
It is up to the training administrator of the employee as to when training needs to be refreshed. However, to stay up-to-date with legislation, we recommend that training should be renewed every year.
What devices are these courses available from?
Our courses can be completed on a range of devices, they’re compatible with Desktops, laptops, mobile phones, iPads and other tablets
Documents and resources
A Cleaning Checklist for Kitchens
A simple cleaning checklist for all kitchens to use!
Employee Accident Report Form
This form, which can be downloaded and filled-in by hand, can be used by all employees to report Accidents, Ill-health or near-misses in the workplace. It has been designed as part of our Accident Reporting training programme. It’s clear, easy to use and includes notes to help employees to complete their report.
Fire Classifications Chart
This free printable PDF explains the different fire classifications including classes A, B, C, D, F and Electrical. It also provides examples for clarification. It is extremely important to be able to correctly identify the class of fire before you use an extinguisher to put it out – using the wrong type of extinguisher could easily make matters worse.
Fire Extinguishers Chart
The extinguishers chart provides a simple look-up table reminding you which fire extinguisher is suitable for which class of fire.
The types of fire extinguishers are water extinguishers, dry powder extinguishers, carbon dioxide extinguishers, foam spray (AFFF) extinguishers and wet chemical extinguishers.
There are no extinguishers in general use to put out a class D (metals) fire - if this type of fire is detected NEVER try to put it out yourself, LEAVE it to the Fire Service.
The Powerzone chart contains guidelines for lifting and lowering safely. Working within the guidelines reduces the risk, but does not guarantee your complete safety.
You use the chart to make an assessment of your task. You have to work out which areas of the chart your hands pass through to complete your manual handling task - the lifting, moving and lowering. Looking at the ‘safe’ weight shown on the chart for each of the areas your hands pass through you must ensure your package weighs the same as or less than the lightest ‘safe’ weight.
If the weight you are to carry exceeds the safe weight, then you will require a manual handling risk assessment of the task to be done.
Reducing the spread of infection
A typical office worker’s hands come into contact with 10 million bacteria every day. Keep your hands clean to reduce the spread of infection! This poster is ideal to place in workplaces to raise awareness about regularly washing your hands.
How to stop spreading germs
Researchers at the University of Bristol found the average sneeze or cough can send around 100,000 contagious germs into the air. Original source from Public Health England campaign. Useful poster for workplaces to stop people from spreading germs.
5 Steps to Risk Assessments
This resource from our Risk Assessment Training takes you through a simple, widely used, step-by-step risk assessment process, which can be applied to most workplaces.
The Hierarchy of Hazard Control
As part of the 5 steps of risk assessment, step 3 “Control the risks” states that you need to decide which preventative measures to use to control the risks and reduce them to the lowest reasonably practicable level. There’s an order of priority for doing this, known as the hierarchy of hazard control.
Ideal for employers and people in Health & Safety roles...
A great resource that employers and/or Health & Safety Managers can reference. Including, but not limited to:
- First aid requirements
- Training and mandatory training requirements for staff
- Assessing and managing risks in your workplace
- Writing and updating policies
- Appointing a competent person
Health & Safety Checklist for SMEs
Manufacturing Health & Safety Checks...
Stay on top of Health & Safety with our guide and checklist.
We've partnered with Citation to provide you with a short guide to help with Manufacturing Health & Safety checks.
Made in Partnership with Citation
A beginners guide to COSHH...
Understand risk assessments, ratings and commonly used chemicals.
We've partnered with Citation to provide you with a short guide on COSHH, the dangers of hazardous substances and how you can take the stress out of COSHH.
Made in Partnership with Citation
Manual Handling Poster...
A 12 step poster for your workplace...
Show employees the 12 steps to safe manual handling with this free poster.
Made in Partnership with Citation
How to report an accident...
Learn about your legal responsibilities when it comes to accident reporting.
Hazards are present in any workplace and accidents are sometimes unavoidable. In this guide we’re going to take a look at the different responsibilities employees and employers have when it comes to reporting accidents.