Health and Safety legislation is now firmlyin place on the statute book, and affects businesses of all kinds. If you run a riding stable or other horse-related business then it would be advisable to familiarise yourself with health and safety legislation.
Being familiar and up to date with the latest health and safety requirements is very important, because instances of non-compliance can result in quite substantial fines and a persistent failure to comply with routine, general requirements may result in the Health and Safety Executive undertaking a formal investigation or inspection, which can be intrusive and disruptive to business. Occasionally, directors of companies can be held criminally liable for any major breaches of health and safety legislation.
First aid and recording injuries
Under The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 all employers, regardless of the size of their work force are required to have on site adequate first aid facilities for dealing with injuries sustained by employees and members of the public. Any accidents which result in a first aid intervention must be recorded in the business’ accident book.
As well as recording any injuries in the business’ accident book, under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (‘RIDDOR’) organisations including businesses have a statutory duty to report certain types of accidents and injuries to the Health and Safety Executive. These include: breaks and fractures, dislocation of hip or shoulder joint, loss of consciousness caused by ingesting harmful substances or choking, and an injury caused by electrical shocks or chemical burns.
Any accident which results in a member of the public being taken to hospital must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive in order to comply with the requirements of RIDDOR. A report can be filed online at the Health and Safety Executive Website or by calling the national Incident Control Centre on 0845 300 99 23.
Public liability insurance
The Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance ) Act 1969 states that all businesses that employ people on any kind of basis are required by law to have employers liability insurance. This law is intended to protect employees from employers who are reckless or negligent when it comes to protecting their health or safety and who would not otherwise have the resources to pay compensation to an employee who is injured as a result of the employer’s bad practice.
The minimum amount of cover which all employers are required to have, regardless of the number of employees is 5 million although in practice many insurance companies offer a minimum insured amount of 10 million. This may sound like a lot, but in injury claims, particularly where the claimant is left disabled or unable to return to work can be extremely expensive because compensation will be calculated to include lost earnings over the rest of the claimant’s working life
Undertaking a health and safety risk assessment
Businesses are legally required to carry out periodic risk assessments to identify potential hazards in the workplace and to consider what improvements could be made in order to manage those hazards and reduce the risk of injury to members of staff and visitors to the premises.
Whilst undertaking a risk assessment may appear onerous, in the event that a member of staff or member of the public is injured and takes legal action against your business, a comprehensive health and safety assessment and risk management plan can help you to demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable precautions to avoid causing injury.
I am a legal writer covering advice on topics of law, including health and safety requirements when running a stable, for further text and similar works visit equine law or contact a solicitor today.
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