From 1 October 2013, changes have been made to two pieces of Health and Safety legislation in an attempt to help businesses comply with the law.
Previously, concerning the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was required to approve the training and qualifications of appointed First Aid personnel, which meant businesses having to spend time and effort sending off first aiders' training certificates and qualifications, which was seen by many as a tick-box exercise.
Now that the HSE approval process has been removed, it will allow businesses greater flexibility to choose their own training providers and training that is right for their work place, based on individual business needs.
Employers still have to ensure that the First Aid needs of its employees are met, and in doing so will need to consider:
- the nature of work (working at height, dangerous substances, machinery etc)
- nature of the workforce (old, young, skilled or unskilled)
- accident history
- the size of the organisation
- the remoteness of any site from emergency medical services
The second change is in relation to RIDDOR reporting.
RIDDOR - Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations - is the law that requires employers and others in control of work premises to report and keep records of any work-related deaths, certain specified major injuries, and diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases.
There has been a variety of changes aimed at clarifying and simplifying the current reporting requirements, the most important of which are:
- classification of 'major injuries' replaced with a shorter list of 'specified injuries'
- categories of reportable work-related illnesses cut from 47 to eight
- fewer types of 'dangerous occurrences' now need reporting
The changes should narrow the amount of incidents that require reporting, and simplify the reporting procedure.
New Young Person's guidance Released by HSE
The HSE have released new guidance on the Health and Safety of young persons in the workplace. This guidance covers work experience placements and will assist with the process and management of those companies who have work experience students attend their workplace. The guidance also highlights what companies should be doing to ensure the safety of work placement students whilst in their care.
The guidance can be found here.