Generally speaking, and there are exceptions, if you employ less than 5 people you don’t have to have written Policies. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to have them, you should, but you are not required to write them down in the form of a Policy – it is optional. If you have more than 5 employees you are required to produce written policies. Procedures accompany the Policies and staff and workplace visitors should be made aware of your Policies and Procedures.
Number One: Accident Policy including RIDDOR
A couple of useful definitions:
Accident “any unplanned event that results in personnel injury or damage to property, plant or equipment.
Near-miss “an unplanned event which does not cause injury or damage, but could have done so.” Examples include: items falling near to personnel, incidents involving vehicles and electrical short-circuits.
Summary: The Act requires employers to provide a safe working environment, safe access to and from the workplace, safe equipment and machinery. In addition, they must provide all employees, trainers and learners with information, instruction, training and supervision, together with adequate facilities and arrangements for their welfare.
RIDDOR is the law that requires employers, and anyone else with responsibility for health and safety within a workplace, to report and keep records of:
- work-related deaths;
- serious injuries;
- cases of diagnosed industrial disease; and
- certain ‘dangerous occurrences’ (near miss accidents).
Please note that the law changed on 6 April 2012. If a worker sustains an occupational injury resulting from an accident, their injury should be reported if they are incapacitated for more than seven days. There is no longer a requirement to report occupational injuries that result in more than three days of incapacitation, but you must still keep a record of such injuries.
Accident Book: All accidents must be recorded in the company’s Accident Book.
The HSE website is good source of factual information:
Next Blog will be about Risk Assessment