No excuse to ignore health and safety law with launch of new app

We were very interested to recently hear that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a bespoke mobile app which is designed to help organisations understand the law, their health and safety rights, and their responsibilities.

The app has been created in partnership with The Stationery Office (TSO), and is primarily for small and medium sized businesses to help them better understand the law and what is required to protect employees.

It is now available as a ‘public beta’ and can be downloaded on your Apple or Android device from either the iOS or Google Play Store.

To help organisations digest the information available the app has been divided into three main sections – The Health and Safety Toolbox, A Guide to Managing Risk and Work-Related Stress.

Part 1 – The Health and Safety Toolbox

This part of the app explains what the law requires and the responsibilities an employer has. It provides an overview of all potential risks, so an employer can identify which areas are applicable to their organisations.

It covers more than 20 different topics, including electrical safety, fire safety, gas safety, harmful substances, manual handling, noise, PPE, risk assessments, workplace transport and slips and trips.

Part 2 – A Guide to Managing Risk

This section of the app provides practical advice on how to manage risk within an organisation. It includes information about identifying hazards, assessing and controlling risks, recording findings and reviewing controls.

Part 3 – Work-Related Stress

This area of the app includes a condensed version of the HSE’s stress management standards approach. Designed for smaller organisations, it comprises a guide to manage work-related stress for:

  • Small organisations (up to 50 employees)
  • Medium-size organisations (51-250 employees)
  • Medium-size organisations, with multiple sites.

Why has the HSE launched the app now?

The HSE explained it has launched the app as part of its mission to prevent death, injury and ill-health in Great Britain’s workplaces. It said ensuring that guidance is available and accessible in a variety of formats is central to achieving this objective.

In one of our blogs earlier this month, we highlighted how the HSE’s chair, Sarah Newton, had set out the organisation’s expectations of British firms in the coming months in her first blog of the year.

In her blog Sarah made it clear that she expected renewed vigour to be applied to creating Covid-secure workplaces. She said whilst she was confident the vast majority of businesses were willing to follow the Government’s advice on this issue, the HSE would not hesitate in taking enforcement action against any workplaces which failed to do this.

It seems clear to us that by launching their new app the HSE is doing all it can to help businesses fulfil their health and safety obligations. I think it’s also fair to say that by launching such tools, the HSE is giving businesses no excuse for saying they are ignorant of health and safety law.

In the first three months of this year British organisations were collectively fined more than £11m for health and safety breaches. In prosecution after prosecution, HSE inspectors have made it clear in court that they will not fail to prosecute companies or individuals who fall foul of health and safety law.

The HSE’s new app is there to help organisations get to grips with their health and safety requirements but at Acorn Safety Services we understand that company bosses and managers under pressure from heavy workloads can struggle when faced with reams of health and safety red tape.

If your firm is struggling to cope with the health and safety demands placed on your business, we can help you.

Acorn Safety Services is a certified Health and Safety Consultancy, providing health, safety and CDM compliance services to our clients across the UK. As a fully impartial company, you can be confident that the advice, guidance and training you receive from us will always be in your best interests.

Don’t fall foul of health and safety law. Don’t put yourself and your company at risk from prosecution.

If you need health and safety advice visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ today or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.

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