Central Government Health and Safety department

Are you organising an event in Monmouthshire?

Please complete this online questionnaire to see if you need to complete an Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) notification form. Many low risk events will not need assistance from the ESAG, and the online questionnaire will tell you if this is the case. You will still need to take appropriate steps to ensure your event is operated safely.

You can report an issue anonymously, but by registering your details you can track the progress of your report and receive updates as it is processed.

If you’ve already registered using the My Monmouthshire app, currently available on Apple, Android and Windows devices, then you can use the same email and password to log-in.

Health and safety responsibilities

Most health and safety legislation places the legal duty to comply on the employer (company, partnership or individual). The Health at Work Advice Line Wales is a free and confidential telephone service offering health at work/occupational health advice and solutions, for both employers and employees of small medium businesses within Wales, who might otherwise be unable to retain such services or find the costs prohibitive. More information on the service is available online on the Healthy Working Wales Website.

Responsibilities may be delegated to ‘competent person’ appointed to give health and safety advice, e.g. – the first aiders, the fire wardens, the caretaker, but the employer remains legally liable.

All employees have a legal duty to co-operate with their employer and not to damage or misuse anything provided for health and safety.

Directors, managers, supervisors etc can be prosecuted for health and safety offences if the offence took place with their ‘consent or responsibility’.

Employers must consult their employees on health and safety matters.

The ‘competent person’ may be the employer himself, a suitably trained employee or a consultant.

Who enforces health and safety in my workplace?

Health and Safety enforcement is split between Enforcing Authorities.  Monmouthshire County Council Environmental Health covers most service and retail premises in Monmouthshire. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) covers larger premises such as factories.  Further details can be found here.

Premises that fall under the enforcement of Monmouthshire County Council Environmental Health include:

  • offices (except government offices)
  • shops
  • hotels
  • restaurants
  • leisure premises
  • nurseries and playgroups
  • pubs and clubs
  • museums (privately owned)
  • places of worship
  • sheltered accommodation and care homes

HSE

  • Docks
  • Fairgrounds
  • Construction
  • Car repair
  • Workshops
  • City Council owned premises
  • Printers
  • Dentists
  • Doctors
  • Universities
  • Schools
  • Dry cleaner’s
  • Factories
  • Hospitals
  • TV repairs
  • Nursing homes

Please contact:

The Health and Safety Executive
Phase 2, Government Buildings
Parc Ty Glas
Llanishen
Cardiff
CF23 2SH
Tel: 029 2026 3000
http://www.hse.gov.uk
The activity of outdoor pursuits, or adventure activities such as climbing, watersports, trekking and caving. Any person providing such activities for payment is required to be licensed by AALA.

Please contact:

The Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA)
11 Cathedral Road
Cardiff
CF11 3SN
Tel: 029 2075 5715
http://www.hse.gov.uk/aala

Complaints about workplaces and businesses

If you have any concerns about health and safety at your workplace or at a business in Monmouthshire, please contact Environmental Health on 01291 635711 or email  environmentalhealth@monmouthshire.gov.uk.   Our Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) will be able to explain how we can investigate your complaint or point you in the right direction for further assistance.  All reports made to Environmental Health remain strictly confidential.

 

Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel

The Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel will look into complaints regarding advice given by HSE or LA inspectors about health and safety which you think is incorrect or goes beyond what is required to control the risk adequately.

The panel will consist of independent members who will have the competence and experience to assess advice that has been given on regulatory matters.

Before you raise an issue with the panel, you should have first tried to resolve the matter with the relevant HSE or LA inspector and their manager.

Please visit the HSE website for further details.

Health and safety advice for businesses

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website offers a wealth of information about health and safety at work and contains lots of useful guidance on how to comply with your legal requirements.  

Below is some help and advice on actions small businesses must take to meet health and safety law.

There are 10 key things which you must do:

  1. Decide what could cause harm to people and how to take precautions. This is your risk assessment. See the booklet Introduction to Health and Safety for a ready-made self-assessment form.
  2. Decide how you are going to manage health and safety in your business. If you have 5 or more employees you need to write this down. This is your health and safety policy. See the booklet as above for a form.
  3. If you employ anyone you need Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance and you must display the certificate in your workplace.
  4. You must provide free health and safety training for your workers so they know what hazards and risks they may face and how to deal with them.
  5. You must have competent advice to help you meet your health and safety duties. This can be provided by workers from your business, external advisers or a combination of these.
  6. You need to provide toilets, washing facilities and drinking water for all your employees, including those with disabilities. These are basic health, safety and welfare needs.
  7. You must consult employees on health and safety matters.
  8. If you have employees you must display the health and safety law poster or provide workers with a leaflet with the same information.
  9. If you are an employer, self-employed or in control of work premises, by law you must report some work-related accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences.

Safe start up online tool

Safestartup.org has an online tool to help small businesses with health and safety law.

It is produced by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and supported by the Health and Safety Executive and the Small Business Service.

Take the Safe Start Up interactive tour on the IOSH website – a step by step guide to help you identify what you need to do for health and safety, based on your type of business and how many people you employ.

Safe Start Up can help small businesses and new companies starting up to comply with health, safety and environmental regulations.

The online tour covers:

  • registering your business
  • producing a health and safety policy
  • insurance
  • reporting accidents
  • welfare facilities and fire safety
  • risk assessment
  • specific guidance for different business types

What must I do to run a safe business?

  • Provide a safe and healthy place of work for your staff, customers, visitors and contractors
  • Provide and maintain safe equipment and machinery that is suitable for its purpose
  • Plan work activities so that they are safe and without risks to health, and provide any necessary protective equipment
  • Provide staff and others with all necessary information, instruction, supervision and training
  • Assess risks to staff and others from the workplace and work activities and check that all necessary safeguards are in place
  • Check that contractors use safe systems of work when they are on your premises and give them any information they might need to work safely e.g. asbestos panels on fire doors
  • Record accidents in your accident book and report them when necessary on line to the Incident Contact Centre or by phone on 0845 300 9923

Online Self Assessment Tool

Business Link has an online tool to help small businesses with health and safety law.

Good health and safety practice can have a positive impact on your insurance claims and also improves your reputation with customers, the local community and your employees.

This self-assessment tool is designed to give a measure of how well you are handling health and safety issues and will:

  • help you to understand how well you identify and manage health and safety hazards
  • provide you with targeted guidance to help you improve your management of health and safety
  • enable you to compare your performance anonymously with other businesses across sectors and sizes

It is designed to help premiums for Employer’s Liability Compulsory Insurance reflect businesses health and safety record.

The indicator should take about 15 minutes to complete.

It works by asking a series of questions on the top 10 key hazards that most small to medium-sized businesses encounter and how often these accidents or incidents occur. A score out of 10 is calculated for each – with 10 the best possible result and 0 the poorest.

However, it is not a comprehensive audit tool. You have a legal duty to consider the whole range of risks that your workers may face while at work. It does not deal with special hazards faced by particular industries.

The performance indicator was developed by Business Link, with the Health and Safety Executive, the Association of British Insurers and the British Insurance Brokers Association.

Business Link Self Assessment Tool

It is on an external website and Monmouthshire County Council is not responsible for its content.

What documents do I need?

If you have 5 or more employees you must:

  • Have a written safety policy
  • Write down the significant points of your risk assessment
  • Make sure all relevant people are aware of your procedures and safety precautions, and that they follow them.

To do this you need a competent person to help the company comply.
More information – Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Your safety policy must:

  • State that the company is committed to health and safety of its employees and this statement must be signed and dated by the employer, director or similar.
  • Say who, in the organisation, is responsible for the various aspects of health and safety e.g first aid, training, fire safety, maintenance, cleaning, accident records and reports etc.
  • Describe your arrangements for:
    • Training
    • First aid
    • Accident records and reports
    • Housekeeping and cleaning
    • Maintenance
    • Protective equipment
    • Contractors
    • General workplace conditions

Risk Assessment

The purpose of a risk assessment is to check that you comply with health and safety laws. Only significant risks need to be assessed. When you carry out a risk assessment, you must:

  • Look at guidance
  • Talk to staff
  • Identify hazards
  • Identify existing controls
  • Decide if additional controls are needed
  • Write it all down
  • Write down who is responsible for putting any additional controls in place and the date by which it must be finished
  • Check that all controls are in place and effective (ask staff)
  • Review annually or if anything changes
  • Remember to assess the risks from infrequent work activities such as clearing gutters as well as normal activities such as using a computer

In most businesses the matters that would normally be considered a risk assessment are:

  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Manual handling
  • Workplace transport
  • Falls from heights and falling objects
  • Fire
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Lone working/violence
  • Stress
  • Passive smoking
  • Office activities
  • Kitchen activities
  • Cleaning (hazardous substances, electrical appliances)
  • Maintenance (building and grounds)
  • Power tools
  • Flammable substances
  • Hazardous substances

You need to think if there are any other hazards arising from work activities or your site.

Cellar Safety

Review your cellar safety to prevent serious injuries for you and your staff.

Monmouthshire County Council Environmental Health Team is undertaking a local campaign to raise awareness of hazards in cellars.

There have been two fatalities in Wales associated with falls into cellars in recent years and an incident in Torfaen where serious personal injury was sustained after falling down a cellar opening.

Now is a good time to review your cellar risk assessments, by considering:

  • Falls from heights
  • Manual Handling
  • Slips and trips
  • Lifting equipment safety where cellar lifts or lifts are provided or used for cellar work
  • Management of cellar openings when in use and security when not in use
  • Condition of steps, stairs and skids
  • Workplace transport safety for deliveries (route/yard/parking)
  • Lighting
  • Training
  • Beer line cleaning
  • Gas leak detection

 If you are concerned please request an advisory visit.

Visits are completed on a consultancy basis from an experienced Environmental Health Officer.

Visit fee – £60 per hour (including VAT).

To book a visit, please contact Kris Williams Environmental Health Officer by phone 01291 635711 or email kristianwilliams@monnmouthshire.gov.uk 

Sensible Risk Management – Risk Assessment

You must control the risks in your workplace as part of a sensible approach to health and safety management. In order to achieve this you need to consider what might cause harm to people and decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm.

This process is called a risk assessment and it’s a legal requirement. If you have less than five employees you don’t have to document your risk assessment. A risk assessment is not about burdening business by creating copious amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace.  Further details can be found here.

 

Getting further advice on Health and Safety

Advice from your Environmental Health Officer (EHO) and our ACCESS Scheme

If you require any further advice on health and safety, please contact Environmental Health on 01291 635707 or email environmentalhealth@monmouthshire.gov.uk.  Advisory visits are also offered on a consultancy basis from an experienced Environmental Health Officer under our Accelerated Compliance and Economic Success through Business Support (ACCESS) scheme.

Visit fee – £60 per hour (including VAT).

After exploring the advice services and online tools in this section, where else can you get help?

You can get more advice and download or order a wide range of free publications from many organisations’ websites, including:

  • The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). It has a useful advice pack for smaller firms – Managing Health and Safety
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Infoline – telephone 0845 345 0055 (This call will cost you 3 pence per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.) for fast access to a wealth of health and safety information, expert advice and confidential guidance

If you are an employer or employee in Monmouthshire, you can also contact the council’s health and safety officers for advice and inspections.

We have limited stocks of printed publications in our offices, including HSE leaflets, for businesses in Monmouthshire who do not have internet access.

Accidents and the reporting process

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that there is a legal duty for specified injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences to be reported to the appropriate enforcing authority.

What is reportable under RIDDOR? (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995)

As an employer, a person who is self-employed, or someone in control of work premises, you have legal duties under RIDDOR that require you to report and record some work-related accidents by the quickest means possible.

The reason for the reporting is:

  • to investigate the cause of the incident
  • to prevent a reoccurrence of the incident
  • to enable duty holders to comply with health and safety legislation

Each enforcing authority will have an ‘Incident Investigation Policy’ which will determine which injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences will be investigated. Such investigation will depend on the nature and extent of the incident, previous history of incidents at that premises, if the incident has a wider, national dimension.

How do I report an accident?

Unsure about reporting an accident or occurrence? Remember it is better to attempt to report the incident and be advised it is non reportable than to not report the incident and commit an offence.

Who must make the report?

  • the employer
  • the self employed
  • a person in control of premises

Who do I notify?

Please follow this link to the HSE website for details of how to report an incident at work:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report.htm

Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel

The Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel will look into complaints regarding advice given by HSE or LA inspectors (EHOs) about health and safety which you think is incorrect or goes beyond what is required to control the risk adequately.

The panel will consist of independent members who will have the competence and experience to assess advice that has been given on regulatory matters.

Before you raise an issue with the panel, you should have first tried to resolve the matter with the relevant HSE or LA inspector (EHO) and their manager.

Further details can be found here.