Our Health and Safety Unit carries out regular checks on offices, shops, warehouses, places used for leisure activities and other non-industrial premises. (The Health and Safety Executive deal with factories and other industrial operations). This ensures that safe and healthy working conditions are provided for all employees, the self-employed and members of the public visiting these premises.
Image: Louise Galdes
During an inspection, officers will need to be satisfied that any hazards to people's health, safety and welfare have been identified, and any risks adequately controlled. They will look at the level of health and safety training of managers and employees. Checks will also be made on the structural and environmental conditions, and that plant and equipment are safe.
Where work practices or conditions are unsatisfactory, every attempt will be made to resolve the situation by informal means, but if this is not possible, or if there is a risk of serious personal injury, then officers will resort to formal action. This could involve either the service of a legal notice, prosecution, or where there is a risk of serious personal injury, a prohibition notice, which requires immediate action.
There’s a new service for businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to help organisations which feel weighed down with health and safety regulations.
Said Cllr Peter Watson, Chairman of South Derbyshire’s Environmental and Development Services Committee, “There are so many media reports of killjoys and jobsworths laying the cold hand of health and safety regulations on enterprise.
“These burdens are mostly urban myths. We are working with D2N2, the Chambers of Commerce in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, to debunk these myths.
“Through a free service, D2N2 will be providing independent advice on doing the right thing, as well as cutting through all the silly untruths you read about.”
One urban myth which appears most years is that someone somewhere has banned office workers from putting up decorations.
Said Cllr Peter Watson, “This is just wrong. There’s no regulation, it’s just common sense that staff shouldn’t stand on wheelie chairs to put up the yuletide tinsel.
“Have you heard the one about the banning of pin the tail on the donkey? Surely most adults could trust their children with a drawing pin?
“And then there’s trapeze artists having to wear hard hats. That is a total myth. The dashing image of the daring young man of the flying trapeze would be lost forever if he had a yellow helmet.”
To find out more about the free business helpline and to tell the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber about some of the myths you have heard, please call 0844 225 4089 or go to www.thebusinessadvicewebsite.co.uk and search for “free health and safety”.
RIDDOR’s over three day injury reporting requirement has now changed to over seven day notification. New guidance explaining the changes is available to from the HSE website: www.hse.gov.uk
Complaints about working conditions are always investigated sensitively and the complainant's confidentiality is assured. Such matters are usually resolved by giving advice to the employer, but as with accident investigation, if formal action is needed then it will be taken.
The investigation of dangerous incidents and accidents at work also forms an important part of our work. These usually result in advice to the employer. If a blatant breach of requirements is identified as the main reason for an accident, then formal action will be taken.
In the event that someone who has been injured as a result of a work related accident wishes to pursue a compensation claim, their legal advisor may wish to obtain a statement from us. This details our investigation findings.
All premises where cooling towers and evaporative condensers are situated must register with the local authority under The Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992.
We are committed to working together with proprietors and managers to achieve high standards and prevent problems. We are always willing to give advice on legislation or practical problems, so if you are considering setting up a business, or wish to discuss anything in relation to your existing premises, please feel free to contact us.
The Licensing Section
South Derbyshire District Council
Environmental Health Section
page ref: LGSL 419 and 753