We are amazed at how many businesses will realise the importance of needing to know what its health & safety risks are – and then not take positive action to rectify what needs to be done.
We have provided a wide range of support to businesses in the form of various risk assessments (e.g. DSEAR, PUWER, COSHH, and also General Risk Assessments) and have helped others in achieving compliance scheme accreditations. Often, when coming back to these businesses, we find that some have not taken the positive action to address the issues raised. When looking at why, it seems that the excuse is often that they have just been too busy and had planned to implement the actions but just hadn’t got around to it yet.
Some examples we have recently come across have included:
- A Kent based business that has not taken action on its risk assessments completed more than 12 months ago, because its resources are stretched;
- A London based business that requires its accreditation status to be updated but has not continued to implement all of the improvements required (as very busy) to make the process simple;
- A West Country based business that has not implemented improvements to its DSEAR controls because of personnel changes;
- A Midlands based business that is struggling to address its machinery hazards due to a combination of management changes and limited resources being allocated.
The problem here is that if something goes wrong then the courts will not take a favourable view that the business has not implemented the professional advice it had taken. Of course, not taking advice is no excuse either because a business is obligated to seek professional health & safety advice to ensure it meets its legal obligations. So why pay good money and then not take positive action? We can all claim we are too busy but the costs of getting it wrong can make this a very poor looking excuse.