Whether you operate a low-risk office space or a fast-paced factory-floor environment, all workplaces present safety hazards that need to be managed.
From preventing slips, trips and falls to guarding machinery, employers have a legal duty under various legislation, such as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, to protect employees and others from harm. This means identifying potential hazards, assessing risk and implementing “reasonably practicable” controls.
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How we help
Meet your safety responsibilities with our specialist support
Safety hazards – those that create unsafe working conditions – can cause injury, illness and even death. With six-figure fines now commonplace, safeguarding your workplace is essential. After all, it only takes one loose cable or missing safe system of work to expose your organisation and employees to serious harm.
If you’re not confident in your compliance, or don’t have the time or expertise to manage safety hazards in house, our fixed-fee Health & Safety service can minimise risk across your organisation and allow you to operate with complete peace of mind.
- Ensure risks are appropriately managed with an on-site health and safety audit (General Risk Assessment) of your premises and practices
- Identify and control relevant safety hazards, from floor surfaces to work equipment and inspection and maintenance
- Continue to meet your responsibilities with unlimited advice from a named Health & Safety specialist
- Protect your interests and remedy root causes with accident investigation assistance
- Create bespoke monitoring lists and conduct inspections with our award-winning health and safety software, MyH&S
Protect your people and your business from costly mistakes
Not only can safety incidents in the workplace result in serious injury to the individual, they can be costly for employers. As well as damages, administration and insurance costs, there can be additional hidden expenses related to production delays, investigation time and temporary labour. Of course, there’s also the brand implications of failing in your duty of care to employees, customers and others.
From machinery dangers to electrical hazards, from working at height to working in areas with moving vehicles, take a proactive approach to risk with outsourced support from Ellis Whittam. Whatever arrangements you currently have in place, and whatever risks your activities present, we can implement a safety management system that works for you.
In 2018/19, non-fatal injuries resulted in a combined estimate of 4.7 million working days lost.
Common safety hazard queries and questions about our service, answered by our Health & Safety specialists.
What is the most common cause of non-fatal workplace injury?
According to the HSE’s most recent injury and ill health statistics, of the 581,000 estimated self-reported injuries in 2018/19, 29% were as a result of slips, trips or falls and 20% were caused by handling, lifting or carrying. Employers often see these types of accidents as low risk; however, given their prevalence, they can incur significant costs related to absence, fines and reputational damage. Slips and trips can also be an associated factor in more serious and even fatal injuries, while falls from height continue to be the number one cause of fatal injury at work. It is therefore essential that slip, trip and fall hazards are considered as part of your risk assessment.
What are the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)?
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, or PUWER, require employer to ensure that any equipment provided for use at work is suitable for the intended use, safe to use and maintained in a safe condition. All work equipment must be inspected to ensure it is correctly installed and doesn’t subsequently deteriorate and must only be used by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training. Employers can sometimes fail to recognise that even ‘harmless’ looking machinery such as a pallet truck would be covered under the PUWER Regulations and that risk assessment, servicing and training are required for use.
What are employers’ electrical safety responsibilities?
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 place duties on employers with regards to electricity use within the workplace. They require employers to ensure electrical systems are safely installed and maintained as necessary to prevent them becoming dangerous, and to carry out work on electrical systems in ways that prevent danger.
Legislation also requires employers to decide on the frequency of testing and inspection of electrical equipment based on the findings of a risk assessment. It’s good practice to write down how often each piece of equipment is to be checked – make sure the checks are carried out and keep a record of the results.
How can we monitor health and safety in the workplace?
Our health and safety software, MyH&S, can help with bespoke monitoring lists which can be edited or created by you. These can help with basic office inspections to check for slip and trip hazards and can also be used for inspecting and monitoring work equipment. The system, once set up, will prompt you when monitoring checks are required to ensure they are not overlooked
What are the guard standards for machinery?
The law requires that access to dangerous parts should be prevented, or the movement of dangerous parts stopped before a person enters the danger zone.
What is the average fine for a breach of health and safety law?
The average level of fine has increased 381% since sentencing guidelines were introduced in 2016, from £27,000 to £130,000 per conviction. Therefore, in addition to the trauma caused to the individual, a serious safety incident could have a significant impact on an organisation’s bottom line. With this in mind, the cost of expert Health & Safety support is likely to be far less than the cost of non-compliance.
Can you help with risk assessment?
Yes. As part of our fixed-fee Health & Safety service, we will conduct a General Risk Assessment (health and safety audit) of your premises, practices and procedures to identify and remedy any areas where you’re exposed. We can also help you to formulate formulate assessments for specific risk areas such as DSE, manual handling, COSHH and fire safety.
We have had a workplace accident. Can you help us to investigate?
Yes. If you suffer a workplace accident, our Accident and Investigation Support will help you to gather information, determine root causes and implement solutions, with the aim of protecting your interests and proactively preventing further harm.
Explore other Health & Safety advice and support
Audit and Inspection
From a procedure that isn’t being executed properly to a policy or risk assessment that’s out of date, we can conduct a thorough examination of your premises, practices and procedures to identify and remedy any areas where you’re exposed.
What form does the audit take?
There are a number of different models and templates for conducting health and safety audits. Most commonly, and the approach we adopt at Ellis Whittam, is what’s known as a General Risk Assessment (GRA). This is a systematic examination of your workplace to identify possible causes of harm, the likelihood and severity of that harm occurring given the safeguards already in place, and any further control measures needed to reduce risk to as low a level as is “reasonably practicable”.
Will you just provide a report of the issues identified?
No. The report will provide clear solutions and recommendations to address particular areas of concern. Unlike some providers, we won’t insert default ‘corrective action required’ responses unless it is absolutely clear what you need to do; we edit to provide clarity. Plus, if you have any questions or concerns, your dedicated Health & Safety Consultant will be more than happy to assist.
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Why choose us?
If you’re not confident in your current practices, or don’t have professional support in place, our network of qualified Health & Safety Consultants can help you to build a safe and compliant working environment through expert support tailored to your organisation.
- Approved by a Primary Authority
- Dedicated specialists with recognised qualifications
- Genuine hands-on experience of managing risk
- Unlimited 24/7 advice, award-winning software and policy support
- The confidence to act as one of your competent persons
Who you'll be working with
“I’ve taken Ellis Whittam into every organisation that I’ve worked with. I’ve introduced them to many teams and many colleagues and referred them with absolute pleasure because I genuinely trust in the service that we get.”
Debbie Jamieson, People Director
“We get a great deal of comfort and satisfaction knowing that we have support as and when we need it, in a decisive and responsive way.”
Richard Berry, Group HR Director
Bluestone National Park Resort
“What we recognised in Ellis Whittam is the background that they have. They are able to supply knowledge and experience in a number of disciplines, which enables us to develop our business in a way that’s safe, to do it on time and with a quality to it.”
Debbie Rainbow, Director of Human Resources and Health & Safety
“As the company started to get larger, we knew we had to protect our employees and our contractors both onsite and in the offices. Ellis Whittam is exactly what we needed to move the company forward.”
Joanne Beaver, Operations Director
“We have found Ellis Whittam to be responsive and aligned with our business in terms of our processes and expectations. Their pragmatic approach has proven to be a great fit – nobody wants to be fighting their adviser on basic employment decisions.”
Jonathan Green, COO
“Ellis Whittam supports our 280 staff members with Employment Law and Health & Safety and has provided quality management training too.”
Lisa Best, Head of Service Delivery
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