Are you confident that your organisation's H&S systems will keep your people safe and protect you from strict liability when the new Health & Safety at Work Act comes into force? The new Act broadens your duty of care to encompass anyone who may be harmed by work that you cause to be carried out.
You'll be aware by now that the legislative environment is changing with the introduction of the Health & Safety at Work Act on 4th April this year. Are you prepared? Do you know what is required to meet your obligations? As a duty holder, you must have a clear understanding of what is required.
Downloading or otherwise acquiring a health and safety policy is no assurance that you have an "effective" health and safety system. To embed effective systems and procedures into your organisation, it's critical to take into account the people you are working with. For example, literacy issues, custom and practice, and how people define risk.
The underlying intent of the Health and Safety at Work Act is for everyone to have an opportunity to be notified, and to notify each other, of risks to their health and safety, in order for everyone to be safe and well at the end of the working day.
Many people seem to be greeting the new health and safety legislation as a temporary aberration. The thought is that the government will wake up and see how much additional cost H&S compliance is imposing on the economy, and then wind it back. In the meantime and until that happens, businesses could ignore the issue.
The health and safety reforms are a hot topic of debate. There are concerns that this is another shift toward a "nanny state". At the very least, it could become an onerous compliance burden for both large and small organisations – the latter which are well-represented in the high-risk construction, adventure tourism or forestry sectors.