Frequently Asked Health and Safety Questions

We are often asked questions about Health and Safety in the workplace, so we have put together some of the more commonly asked questions below.

Q. Who is responsible for Health and Safety in my workplace?

A. Ultimately, the employer is responsible, but employee has a duty for their own and co workers Health and Safety.

Q. What is the maximun and minimum temperature in the workplace?

A. The law does not state a minimum temperature, but the temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16°C or 13°C if much of the work is physical.

Q. What breaks am I entitled to?

A. The Working Time Regulations 1998 state the following provision for breaks at work and time off:

Breaks at work - A worker is entitled to an uninterrupted break of 20 minutes when daily working time is more than six hours. It should be a break in working time and should not be taken either at the start, or at the end, of a working day.

Daily rest - Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, regulation 10, a worker is entitled to a rest period of 11 consecutive hours rest in each 24 hour period during which he works for his employer.

There are however a number of special circumstances in which the entitlement to rest periods don’t apply, for example, for example if a shift worker changes shift, they may not be able to take their full rest entitlement before starting the new pattern of work. In such a case the entitlement to daily and weekly rest does not apply.

Q. Do Health & Safety laws apply to me?

A. They apply to all businesses, however small, to the self-employed and also employees.

Q. Who enforces Health and Safety Laws?

A. There are two different ‘Enforcing Authorities’ depending on the type of business you operate. Environmental Health Officers will in general deal with offices, shops, hotels, catering, and leisure activities. The Health & Safety Executive will cover activities such as factories, farms and building sites.

Q. How do I report an accident at work?

A. Under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations), if you are an employer, self-employed, or in control of work premises, some work-related accidents, dangerous occurrences and diseases/conditions must be reported to your enforcing authority. Deaths, major injuries, or injuries which result in a member of the public being taken to hospital from the workplace must be reported without delay. Other injuries and certain diseases or conditions which result in more than 3 days off work are also reportable.

Q.Who enforces health and safety for my place of my work place?

A. Health and Safety law is enforced by inspectors from the Local Authorises or by Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989, every employer must display a poster or distribute a leaflet (both available here, setting out basic health and safety information. Employees must also be given the name and address of the Enforcing Authority for their work place. To confirm the Enforcing Authority please contact the Health & Safety Section your local Council.

All of these topics are covered in our Health and Safety training. Click here to find out more.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here why not send us an email via our contact page, we will try and find out the answer and get back to you.

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