In 2011, the Lofstedt reviews recommended that health and safety laws should not apply to those who are self employed and whose work does not pose a risk of harm to others.
These changes in health and safety laws for the self employed will be introduced from 1st October 2015. Therefore, the health and safety laws will no longer apply to around 1.7 million self employed people. The areas which mostly fall under this bracket are online traders, accountants, graphic designers, journalists and confectioners.
However, if your work is specified in these regulations: The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 or if your work poses a potential health and safety risk, the laws apply to you.
Does my company fall under this? Well this varies business to business. If there is a chance of someone being harmed or injured (general public, clients, contractors) as a consequence of the activities carried out by your business, then the laws will apply.
The majority of business owners will know if their company has an element of risk to others. They must consider all work carried out and judge it themselves. Follow this link for risk management
As an employer it is your duty to protect yourself and others from any risks that may occur, regardless of how much of your business is involved in the task.
You also must consider the affects of your business to other people. The HSE have made a small list of industries to show whether or not the law will apply to them. There is also a list of “high risk” industries as well, eg. agricultural, construction, gas, railway and asbestos.
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