If you’re an employer or a business owner, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that you follow all UK health and safety regulations. However, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the extensive demands of such a responsibility, as there are hundreds of different rules to follow and they are nearly all being updated and amended on a regular basis. You may spend your evenings and weekends researching health and safety and still miss things, feel confused or be behind the latest developments.

Scores of business owners up and down the country undoubtedly have the very best of intentions with relation to health and safety in the workplace, but are still falling short of what the law demands due to gaps in their knowledge – so what is the solution?

Health and safety audits

If you’re a business owner and are worried that a part of your company’s current health and safety policy leaves you exposed to fines and prosecution from the authorities, or could be putting staff and visitors at risk, a good solution is a health and safety audit. Many companies offer this service and can cover every part of your business from policy and practical measures to those tiny details that it’s very easy to miss. An audit will flag up problems or potential issues and give you recommendations of measures you can implement to make sure you’re fully compliant with the law.

Seeking expert advice

If you don’t want to go to the expense or hassle of having a company come in to carry out a H&S audit, but you do have questions about your responsibilities, a far better option could be to seek expert advice. For example, services such as FSB Health and Safety Advice enable you to access the very latest information and resources relating to workplace safety, all written by industry experts. If you have a question, you can ring up and ask it 24-hours a day, or choose to receive health and safety news updates by email.

Many businesses find this kind of service invaluable, helping to fill gaps in their knowledge and giving them the peace of mind that the answer to their questions could be just a phone call away. This reassurance can be a real lifeline for those who, like thousands of other UK business owners, regularly feel like they’re missing something or who don’t have a clue where to start.

On a final note…

The internet can be a useful source of information on health and safety in the workplace, but it’s important to remember that not all websites have the latest and most accurate information. Business owners are advised to only use official, reputable sources of information to base their H&S policies on. If you’re not sure, ask the experts – it really isn’t worth risking the safety of your staff, the reputation of your business or exposing yourself to legal risk by taking a chance and getting it wrong.

By Chris Worthington, content marketing executive with the FSB