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I T ’ S Y O U R B U S I N E S S - S O L O O K A F T E R I T ! An INTRODUCTION t o healt h AND s a f e t y What you should know about Whe re to get mo re info r ma t io n H E A L T H A N D S A F E T Y I N S M A L L F I R M S I N T R O D U C T I O N I t ’ s y o u r b u s i n e s s - s o l o o k a f t e r i t ! 2 G etting hurt at work is not a pleasant subject to think about. The reality is that 300 people a year lose their lives
  IT’S YOUR BUSINESS - SO LOOK AFTER IT!  An INTRODUCTION t ohealth AND s a  f e t  y What you should know aboutW he re to get mo re info r ma t io n HEALTH AND SAFETY IN SMALL FIRMS  I N T R O D U C T I O N It’s your business - so look after it! 2 G etting hurt at work is not a pleasant subject to thinkabout. The reality is that 300people a year lose their lives at work in Britain. In addition,around 158 000 non-fatalinjuries are reported each year,and an estimated 2.2 millionsuffer from ill health caused or made worse by work. The mistake is to believe that these things happen inhighly unusual or exceptionalcircumstances that never occurin your workplace. This is notthe case. Some basic thinkingand acting beforehand couldhave prevented these thingsfrom happening. This booklet shows you thekind of things which cause themore common accidents andharm to people’s health. Itspurpose is to let you see whatapplies to your work activities,and to tell you how you can getmore help and information. This is especially importantif you are in charge of workactivities, eg an employer,because you have legalresponsibilities.  I t ’s YOUR business –so look after it!  I N T R O D U C T I O N 3 It’s your business - so look after it! Ten questions A N D a n s w e r s  for E V E RY O N E 1 What is health and safety all about? Preventing people from beingharmed by work by taking the right precautions – and providing a satisfactoryworking environment. 2 Why are therehealth and safety laws? Because health and safety atwork is so important, there arerules which require all of usnot to put ourselves or othersin danger. The law is alsothere to protect the publicfrom workplace dangers. 3  Do health and safety laws apply to me?  Yes. To all firms, howeversmall; also to the self-employed and to employees. 4 Who administershealth and safety law? Inspectors from the Healthand Safety Executive (HSE) or 7  Do I need toregister my business? It’s likely if you employanyone – contact HSE or your local authority. 8  Do I need to have employers’ liability compulsoryinsurance? It’s the law if you employanyone – and you shoulddisplay the certificate. 9  Do I need todisplay any posters?  Yes, the health and safety lawposter (ISBN 0 7176 1380 1)if you employ anyone. Toorder a poster, ring HSEBooks on 01787 881165 . 10  Do I have toreport injuries at work?  Yes, and other incidents. For information on whichones and who should reportthem, see page 19.your local authority. Forexample:  HSE at factories, farmsand building sites;  local authorities in offices,shops, hotels and catering,and leisure activities. 5 What do inspectorsactually do?  They visit workplaces to checkthat people are sticking to therules. Mainly they help you tounderstand what you need todo. They enforce only whensomething is seriously wrong. 6  Do I have tocontact an inspector toget information? No. HSE operates a confid-ential telephone helplinecalled InfoLine , phone 08701 545500 Or you can write to Health and Safety Executive,Information Centre , Caerphilly Business Park , Caerphilly CF83 3GG .  I N T R O D U C T I O N It’s your business - so look after it! 4  How to U S E this booklet–how each section W O R K S LIST OF TOPICS  Managing Health and SafetySlips, Trips & Falls Hazardous Substances Asbestos Manual Handling NoiseVibrationElectricityWork Equipment & MachineryPressure SystemsTransport  Maintenance &  Building Work Fire & Explosion RadiationFirst-Aid & Accident Reporting N o matter where you work, this booklet summarisesthe key common areas of riskat work and tells you how youcan find out more to ensurethat work is made safe.In each section, you willsee the pages laid out like this:   This section gives you a brief introduction to thesubject.   This section gives yousome pointers to whether the subject is relevant to your business.   This section gives youthe main rules which apply inaddition to the general dutiesin the Health and Safety atWork etc (HSW) Act 1974.   This section is a selec-tion of HSE publications whichwill give you more detailedinformation and guidance on the subject, and how to order them * .  At the bottom of eachpage you will find HSE’s WorldWide Web address, and alsoHSE’s InfoLine number whichyou can ring if you need morei n f o r m a t i o n . * HSE Books will accept ordersfor single copies of up to 25assorted free publications.  You should allow 10 working days for delivery.
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