Health and safety

Advice for businesses

Employers must identify and comply with their obligations under health and safety law.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides information to assist businesses in the start-up process, including: 

Employers' duty

Every employer has a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ensure, as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of his employees whilst at work and other persons who may be affected by their work activities are not exposed to risk to their health and safety. 

  • Health and Safety Policy - if you employ five or more people you are required to prepare a written statement of your Health and Safety Policy, describing the organisation and arrangements you have in place for carrying out the policy;
  • Employer's Liability Insurance - employers must take out and maintain approved insurance policies against liability for injuries or diseases to their employees caused by their work.  A copy of your current Employer's Liability Insurance Certificate must be displayed at each premises; and 
  • Health and Safety Information for Employees - employers are required to give information to employees by means of displaying a poster or distributing a leaflet to employees. 

Managing health and safety

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to make adequate arrangements for managing health and safety in their business.

You must:

  • arrange for one or more "competent persons" to help you to meet your duties under health and safety law
  • appoint an employee, yourself or an outside consultant, provided that the person appointed is competent
  • carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments of the risks to employees, the self-employed  and persons affected by your undertaking, which may include members of the public and other persons employees
  • provide information, instruction, training and supervision for employees to ensure risks are controlled so far as reasonably practicable

For detailed information refer to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Do I need to provide toilets for staff and customers?

Toilets need to be provided at businesses where the public have access. This is to:

  • protect the health and welfare of the public
  • protect and enhance the environmental quality of the area
  • enhance the experience of residents and visitors to the area

Regulations require suitable toilet and handwashing facilities for staff to be provided in businesses. In many circumstances the toilets provided for staff can also be used by the public if it is accessible:

We have adopted the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 for the provision of toilets in places where food and drink is served. The facilities should be provided in accordance with BS 6465- 1 2006 Sanitary Installations. For premises with less than 100 covers we had the sanitary accommodation standards policy adopted by the Council.

Helping Great Britain work well 

Great Britain’s health and safety record is the envy of much of the world. Central to this is protecting people by managing risk in a proportionate and effective way, supporting innovation and increasing productivity. The challenge is to improve even further on this impressive record. 

HSE is seeking to influence the system through the Help Great Britain work well strategy.

Further assistance

If you require further assistance on health and safety, you can check who you need to get in touch with here:

If you need to contact HSE you can do that here:

It may be possible to put some health and safety problems right without contacting us or the HSE, you could speak to;

  • the person in charge of the work
  • your employer
  • your union or employee representative
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