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We are holding a series of early morning Round Table events with our Partner BigChange. The October subject was Health and Safety at work. The discussion was led by Ruth Waring who now looks after H&S for BigChange.

Why is it important

There are 3 main types of risk: moral, financial and legal

Moral – no company wants one of their staff to be hurt-never mind not killed. It has an impact on others and can adversely affect the person hurt for the rest of their lives.

Financial – the cost of rectifying the problem, the cost payable to the injured party and disruption to the business.

Legal – The H&S Act 1974 sets out the penalties for failure to comply with its provisions and there were 6 pieces of relevant EU legislation between 1974 and 1992. Keeping people out of jail is vital.

Risk Assessments

Score each risk on a scale from 1-5 on likelihood and severity. As far as reasonably practicable you must do whatever remedial work the risk assessment concludes to reduce the overall score.

Who is the controlling mind behind the decision. It is worse to have done a risk assessment and not done the remedial work than not doing an assessment at all. Deciding who is responsible for what is vital.

Driving for work

Ruth has been involved in vehicle fleet H&S for most of her working life so touched on the subject:

Three tests – safe driver, safe vehicle, safe policies. 

There are various time limits on driving under the Working Time Directive.


Nick Butler