Health and Safety and the Self Employed, Does it apply to me? Facts and Fiction

Fact:

Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, a Self Employed Person is considered both an Employer and his/her own Employee – both have legal responsibilities for health and safety.

The Act places responsibility for occupational health and safety on all stakeholders of a Business and allocates specific duties to the following persons:

  • Employers,
  • Employees
  • Safety representative,
  • Persons commissioning designing or carrying out construction work
  • Supplier, importer or designer of articles or substances used in the workplace
  • Contractor
  • Self Employed Persons
  • Persons who have control to any extent over a place of work

Fact:

Aside from complying with the Legal aspect of running a Business there is also the Moral Point of View – all of us wish that no harm, injury or damage be caused to any person or object through our actions.

Basically everyone wants to come home to our families and friends at the end of the day in the same way that we went to work that day and not to have been involved in any accidents or near misses.

Fact:

Insurance Claims can add a great deal to Premiums thus placing greater burden on the Business to make ends meet.  Claims can be avoided and/or greatly reduced by managing safety on a day to day basis in a practical manner e.g. ensuring that your equipment is in good working order, there are no trip of fall hazards which could result in someone falling and injuring themselves.  This could apply to your own home/workplace or a hired Training room.

Fact:

Accidents resulting in personal injury to the Self Employed can result in loss of or a serious reduction in Income, reduced Productivity, ill health and low morale.  It is like a domino effect which can result in a vicious circle.

Fiction:

It will never happen to me!

Managing health and safety is fundamentally about common sense; identifying the dangers in your business, the associated risks and deciding on control measures to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury or damage to you, work colleagues, members of the public and any other person who may be affected by your business operations.

Please contact us today for confidential advice and guidance on how to manage health and safety in your Business.

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