Since April 2009 most new businesses no longer need to register with the council. However, if you work with hazardous substances, such as asbestos, or in a hazardous industry, such as construction, you may need to apply for a licence or notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or the council.

For further information contact the environmental protection team or HSE infoline on 0845 345 0055

The Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 (HASWA) is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the UK. The act states that employers have a duty to take steps to make sure that they are aware of hazards within the workplace and to eliminate or control the risks associated with them.

For a brief guide to health and safety law see the Health and Safety Executive leaflet 'Health and safety regulation: a short guide' (see downloads section of this page).

To comply with health and safety law, all employers must:

  • Either display an approved health and safety law poster or provide each employee with an equivalent leaflet. See the Health and Safety Executive guide 'Health and safety law: what you should know' (see downloads section of this page).
  • Display an Employer's Liability Insurance Certificate. The law says most employers must have Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance. If this applies to you, you must display the certificate where your staff can easily read it. For further information visit the HSE website. Health and Safety Executive This link will take you to an external website...
  • Provide suitable working conditions to comply with the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. This covers the actual workplace, welfare facilities, heating/lighting/ventilation and housekeeping.
  • Carry out a general risk assessment to identify any hazards to workers or the public and then take steps to eliminate or reduce those risks likely to cause injury, accident or ill health. For more advice on how to do this see the Health and Safety Executive leaflet 'Five steps to risk assessment' (see downloads section of this page).
  • There is also a duty to document the results of the risk assessment if five or more people are employed in the business, whether on one site or not.
  • Arrange for the regular routine inspection of any gas appliances (recommended yearly) and any electrical appliances (recommended yearly for portable appliances and five yearly for fixed wiring) by competent and suitably qualified persons. More frequent inspections may be required if the equipment or appliance is used in such a way that it might become damaged (e.g. equipment on loan from a tool hire business). Proof of those inspections must be kept on site.
  • Arrange for the regular inspection of specialist equipment, such as passenger or goods lifts. Some such equipment many have set requirements and require the report in an approved form.
  • All employers with five or more employees, at one or more places of work, must produce a health and safety policy, to inform their staff of the organisation and arrangements to comply with health and safety requirements.
  • Occupiers of all premises should arrange to carry out regular audits of their premises to identify any hazards which may lead to accidents etc. and which need to be remedied.

This checklist is only a summary of the main aspects of the law.

For more advice

The council's environmental protection team (see contacts section of this page) can provide more advice to employers, employees and the general public on requirements of health and safety law. 

Last reviewed: 20 - 02 - 2017

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