In the table below, identify how four health and safety laws and two health and safety regulations influence the policies and working practices within your organisation.
Health and safety law or regulation
How this influences your workplace policies
How this influences working practices
Control of Subtances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002
This regulation covers all substances that could affect a person’s health. These include cleaning materials, chemicals, dust and fumes. The workforce policies need to ensure that any potential risks to health from hazardous substances are fully assessed, and to prevent or adequately control the risks.
COSHH lays down a sensible step by step approach to the necessary precautions and is therefore a useful tool of good management. There will be tighter control over the use and storage of materials, which in turn can give potential for cost benefits due to tighter controls. There could be improved staff morale as there is clear guidance on the use and storage of chemicals. COSHH would be covered in all employees initial induction process and be regularly reinforced.
Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
This regulation states that employees should avoid all manual handling where there is a risk of injury “as far as reasonably practicable”. Where manual handling cannot be avoided employers must put the following points into practice: Provide reasonable information about moving and handling
There should be suitable assessments of all moving and handling. These should be periodically reviewed and where circumstances have altered then changes should be made accordingly Risk reduction strategies should be considered and put into place by employers to reduce the risk of injury
Staff are suitably trained in moving and handling on commencement of employment and this training should be regularly updated as required. This reduces staff injuries, thus in turn ensuring a reduction in sick days due to injuries and improved staff morale.
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
The Act outlines the responsibilities and duties of employers, manager and employees. Employers have a duty to:
Have a clear health and safety policy in place
Ensure the work environment is safe for all employees and service users Provide information, supervision and training regarding health and safety in the workplace
Employees have a duty to follow the health and safety policies and procedures. They also have a duty to use protective clothing and equipment as necessary. All employees on commencement of employment will require Health & Safety training and it should be covered within the staff inductions. Health and Safety is everyone’s responsibility and should be discussed during staff supervisions and at staff meetings. Staff morale is improved due to staff feeling safe at work. Food Safety Act 1990
This Act applies to all settings where food is provided, to ensure that they comply with hygiene and other food safety requirements. The Act stipulates a number of requirements to ensure that food is safe for human consumption. It states that food must not be injurious to health, must not be unfit to eat or contaminated. The workplace policies would need to embrace the above. All staff involved in the preparation, cooking or serving of food must be suitably trained in Food Safety. Staff must receive appropriate supervision, instruction and training in food hygiene matters.