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NEW TOOLBOX HERALDED AS ‘RADICAL ROUTE’ TO HSE ADVICE

HSE hope new online guidance will render H&S consultants redundant

A new Health and Safety Toolbox has been launched by HSE described as “bringing together in one place everything a small, low-risk business could need to manage health and safety”.

The ‘Toolkit’ is said to be written with busy firms in mind making it easy to:

  • find relevant guidance;
  • avoid wasting time reading what is not needed; and
  • wasting money on unnecessary bureaucracy or resorting to hiring costly consultants.

The Toolbox is said to build on Health and Safety Made Simple which provides “sufficient basic information for large numbers of low risk businesses” and provides sections on the most common risks.

HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said:

“By going online and working through it for themselves, for free, we hope low-risk SMEs will realise that they don’t need expensive consultancy or reams of paperwork to manage their responsibilities. It is of no benefit to businesses or workers if over the top precautions are introduced.”

Government Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:

“Small and low risk businesses should be focusing their time on growing and becoming a success not having to waste precious time and money on unnecessary bureaucracy. This Toolbox will make it quick and simple for businesses to discover everything they need to know about health and safety.”

Mary Boughton of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“The FSB welcomes the HSE’s work to simplify guidance and make it appropriate for low-risk businesses. “The Toolbox should give small, low-risk businesses the information that they need in a simple and easy to use way without asking them to read through reams of guidance.

Comment

The ‘Toolkit’ is designed for “small low-risk” businesses although the term is not defined. Construction work is regarded by HSE as high risk work.

Topics included within the Toolkit include: harmful substances; noise; pressure equipment; radiations; hand-arm vibration; working at height; confined spaces; and workplace transport.

In being directed to such a wide range of significant hazards the ‘small, low-risk’ business may wonder in what way life has been simplified and rapidly engage a consultant!

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