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Small Business Health Protection Advice

Many businesses struggle with Health and Safety and Food Safety documentation. Before you approach a consultant, consider managing your own risks. Both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) provides tools which will help you.

You already manage other areas of your business, or employ staff with the experience, qualifications or skills to do so. If you are still not confident of your ability to manage your risks in-house; or you need extra support to know that what you are doing is necessary, sensible and proportionate for your business, you may require a consultant. Please ensure that if you employ the services of a H&S consultant you only use a registered one, see link below. As a duty holder, it is your responsibility to ensure that if you use a consultant, they are competent and suitable, based upon your particular business needs.

Where possible try and manage risks in-house. In general, lower risks businesses are more easily managed and most do not need the support of an external advisor.  If you use a Health and Safety consultant, please ensure that they are registered. (see link on this page)

If you have any employees you must display a Health and Safety Law Poster, there is a link to this poster.

When you have five or more employees (including self employed) within your business, even if not on the same site you need to have a written health and safety policy and written risk assessments. There is a link at the bottom of this page to a template you can use for both the policy statement and risk assessments, if you work in a low risk office-based environment, consider using HSE's interactive risk office assessment tool.

Buildings built before the year 2000, require you to assess the likelihood of asbestos being present, normally by carrying out an asbestos survey. There is a link to more information on asbestos at the bottom of this page. Currently there is free training available see link below for more details.

Gas works must be carried out be a registered gas safe engineer, all gas equipment used in your business must be checked on a regular basis, usually annually, by an engineer qualified to work on the type of equipment found in your business, e.g. an LPG cooking range requires the commercial engineer to have LPG qualifications. There is a link to the gas safe register at the bottom of this page.

Electrical, all circuits (e.g. sockets, lighting systems etc) must be checked on a regular basis as determined by a competent engineer,  normally this is at a minimum of once every five years, depending on the age of your wiring and the locations of its use (e.g. swimming pools should be checked at least every twelve months) There is guidance on the HSE website, which you can access from the link below.

arrowFind a Registered Health & Safety Consultant arrowHealth and Safety Executive arrowHSE Publications arrowH&S Law Poster arrowH&S Policy Template arrowHSE - Risk Assessment Guidance arrowH&S Interactive Office Risk Assessment Tool arrowH&S Interactive Shop Risk Assessment Tool arrowGas Safe Register arrowH&S Asbestos guidance