Residential Health & Safety Risk Assessment

Residential Health & Safety Risk Assessment

Assisting managing agents and duty holders to understand and fulfil their legal responsibilities in accordance with health & safety legislation

Health & Safety

In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers are required to ensure as far as reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare of their employees whilst at work, and ensure that others are not endangered from their business undertaking. Section 2 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 states that the common duty of care is applicable to occupiers to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the reason which he or she is invited or permitted to be there..

The duties of responsible persons and employers are expanded in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 stipulating that a risk assessment is required to adequately identify what may cause harm, and ensure reasonable steps are being taken to reduce the risk . The regulations extend to the communal areas of residential blocks. Even if only a cleaner, gardener, managing agent or repair contractor accesses such areas, then a risk assessment must be made. A risk assessment must be conducted by a competent person. Where uncontrolled risks are identified as part of the assessment, additional controls may be necessary to reduce the risk of harm.

Recent statistics suggest that approx. 630,000 injuries occur every recorded in the workplace every year. 457,000 of these require up to 6 days off work. 154,000 require more than 7 days absence and 154 are fatal. Direct costs to employers reach a value of 2.5bn. Time taken to investigate accidents, managing insurance claims, providing cover staff and loss of reputation are not compensated with insurance.

The Corporate Manslaughter Act of 2007 is very clear that directors of Residents’ Management Companies can be prosecuted under criminal law for serious breaches of Health & Safety law. The Health & Safety Offences Act 2008 raised the maximum fine for offences in the lower courts from £5,000 to £20,000. It also increased the number of offences for which an individual can be imprisoned.

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