Law Changes & Health and Safety Risk Assessments
The conducting of a risk assessment should not be viewed as a task which needs to be completed no matter what at a regular fixed point in time such as one the same day of every year. Rather, it needs to be undertaken whenever there is a significant change or alteration to circumstances in the workplace. Articles on this site such as Why a Constantly Changing Construction Site is Dangerous and The Continual Need for Fire Risk Assessments highlight the fact that a workplace which undergoes a significant alteration - whether in layout, process, substances utilised etc - will end up being materially different to the place of work (and its associated risks) which were considered in the original risk assessment. In such a circumstance, it will be highly advisable to conduct a fresh risk assessment which will incorporate these new hazards to the safety of employees and members of the public, not to mention providing health and safety training to workers regarding these new dangers.
Changes to Health and Safety Legislation
One such change which will need to be accounted for is a change in the law. Health and safety legislation is frequently being introduced, altered and tweaked with the intention of making the workplace as safe as is reasonably practical for both employees and members of the public in the surrounding area. It is the responsibility of company directors and managers to keep abreast of changes to health and safety laws which are applicable to their business, and can include such actions as:
What to Do After a Change in the Law
Whenever there is a change to the law regarding health and safety (or any other subject concerning the business for that matter), changes will need to be made in order to conform to the new legal requirements, as a failure to comply can result in heavy regulatory fines and even criminal prosecution in some instances. Even without the moral obligations of preventing harm coming to workers, this is a good reason for directors to swiftly comply with health and safety requirements.
How Legislative Changes Can Require an Alteration to the Workplace
The alterations required will depend upon the specific requirements of the legislative changes, but will sometimes necessitate dramatic changes to any number of areas like:
The list is endless, but as can be seen from the few examples listed above the potential consequences can result in significant and major changes to the current working environment. This will nearly always bring with it a whole host of new and different risks and dangers to health, safety and wellbeing to people and the local environment. As such, whenever this significant alteration occurs, a new risk assessment should be conducted to identify the risks and dangers posed by the changes so that appropriate steps can be taken, including the provision of updated safety training, to minimise the likelihood of an accident taking place.
Need an Accredited Course?
Along with designing bespoke health and safety training programmes, we also run the accredited NEBOSH, IOSH and ConstructionSkills (CSkills) health and safety courses as open courses at selected venues across the UK, as well as in-house for those companies who have a number of employees requiring the training, as it will be much more cost effective than sending them all onto a scheduled open course.
For more information please call 0115 984 9940 to discuss the options or send us an online contact form. Alternatively, use the "Courses" menu at the top of the page to view the courses and qualifications for the various awarding bodies.
These courses form the basis for our in-house training programmes. They can either be run as they are if the outline is exactly what you want, or can be be modified to suit the individual requirements of your organisation. Two or more can also be combined to tailor a bespoke training session for you.
Please click on a course title to find out more about what each one entails: