Health and Safety for the Self-Employed

Health and safety is a vital component of any business and therefore should be the main focus of any self-employed individual; especially those who work in specialised trades and construction.

The Health and Safety Executive monitors all businesses to ensure that they are compliant with the regulations and laws which have been sanctioned to protect workers and the general public from any potential risks. If an individual or business is found to be in breach of these regulations they could find themselves open to fines, custodial sentencing and even possible imprisonment. Therefore it is vital that all self-employed individuals understand the importance of complying with the health and safety regulations set out to reduce risks in the workplace.

Understanding Your Position

As a self-employed business owner it is imperative that you research and become aware of the regulations and laws surrounding health and safety. Training is vital and must be offered to all under your employment as well as yourself. It is important to notify that training should be maintained regularly to ensure that your understanding of health and safety regulations is fresh and current. This will help you to feel confident in your businesses legal credentials and will ensure that you are working within the law to create a safe working environment for yourself and others.

There are many health and safety courses available which are designed to suit your needs and abilities. Some are flexible and can be completed online, allowing you to track your progress as you work through the material. Others are taught by tutors who can see you in a classroom environment or even in your workplace, depending on how many are taking the course and which is easier for you. The variety of course structures available means that there should be no reason why you can not complete a course in health and safety.

Implementing Your Training

Once a self-employed individual has completed the relevant training it is then important that they implement this newly received knowledge into their daily work pattern. When working you should use your health and safety training to lower the risks and dangers found in the workplace. By planning policies and procedures to follow, you can ensure that you are working in an environment which is safe for you, other employees and the general public. Adequate first aid and risk assessments should be considered to maintain levels of safety and allow you to understand the risks inherent in the workplace. Safe systems of work should be devised and the correct equipment should be used at all times to improve safety.

If you do have individuals working for you then it is important that you explain to them these safe systems of working whilst also ensuring that they have the relevant experience and training to work safely on site. Health and safety is an important consideration which all self-employed individuals should understand. By completing a health and safety course and receiving a certification, you can be confident that you can successfully reduce the level of risk in the workplace.

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