A regular health and safety update, tailored to your business and its needs, is an efficient way to declutter your inbox, keep ahead of your competitors and make sure you follow health and safety best practice.
In the UK last year we found that health and safety began to change fast. After the Lofstedt Review it seemed that every week we heard about a change in an approved code of practice (ACOP), a piece of legislation being repealed or a new way of managing some aspect of health and safety.
There were also similar step changes in European Union countries, Africa, Australia and Asia. The result has been that many UK and global organisations are aware of the change in pace but have no idea what it means for their business and are lost in a sea of cluttered in-boxes filled to the brim with unread RSS feeds. Health and safety legislation is complex enough without having to learn about a new change or new way of doing something.
We all know that a lack of knowledge is no defence and responsible employers need to keep abreast of changes in all countries where their businesses operate so that they can manage any risks. Keeping abreast of health and safety legislation, consultations and other news has many benefits, including:
- Horizon scanning for changes that affect your business
Keeping up to date with the news can allow you to take part in consultations and have a say in the way that legislation works. It can also prepare you in advance for changes that affect your business and possibly give you a competitive edge by implementing a new way of managing health and safety.
To ensure that your company’s activities comply with local health and safety law you need to know exactly what the law means, and if it changes what you have to do. If your company has an accredited management system in place such as OHSAS 18001, where regulatory compliance is a vital part of the system, up to date knowledge is essential to ensure systems are robust and conform to any relevant standard. You will need information on new legislative requirements to inform your company policies and procedures, training plans and risk management.
- Personal interest
Many people, especially those with a health and safety stakeholder role, will have an interest in keeping up to date with the latest updates, and these may also be useful for their own professional development.
There are numerous ways that you can keep up to date including:
- Being a member of professional bodies, such as the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, and the British Safety Council
- Subscribing to information from trade unions
- Subscribing to news bulletins from the Health and Safety Executive and other regulators
- Reading trade magazines
- Being a client of Law at Work (we deliver free updates 3 times a year to our clients)
In most cases this can cost you money and take up a lot of your time. Newsfeeds can often fill your email system with information not necessarily relevant to you and if you use google you may not be able to verify the source. By contrast Law at Work’s updates are free and delivered by our experts during office hours.
If you would like to declutter your inbox and focus on relevant, practical information, using a bespoke health and safety service with assistance from a health and safety professional, contact Law at Work’s Health and Safety Team or come along to one of our update sessions.