Health and safety complaints and enquiries
Employers must provide a safe workplace with a healthy workplace environment and with adequate welfare facilities for everyone in the workplace, including for those with disabilities. Provisions should include well–maintained equipment and premises, a clean workplace with a reasonable working temperature, a sufficient number of toilets and washbasins and drinking water. In addition an employer must assess risk, to put controls in place to protect employees and others from harm; report and record certain workplace injuries, near-misses and cases of work-related disease and have adequate arrangements in place for first aid should an employee be taken ill or is injured at work.
If you have any concerns about health and safety in a particular premises or concerned about conditions or working practices, check who the enforcing authority is for the activity by visiting the HSE website , then:
- for premises located within North East Lincolnshire and enforced by the Council, you can contact us by telephoning 01472 326299
- for businesses and activity enforced by the Health and Safety Executive you can directly report concerns using the HSE website
First aid at work
Basic First Aid requirement in a low risk workplace is:
- First aid box
- Appointed First Aid trained member of staff
Any first aid attention is required to be recorded. It’s good practice and can help identify any pattern for possible areas of improvement. There is no legal duty to provide first aid for visiting members of the public. However it is recommended that first aid provision is made available for them. Recording any accidents or incidents can be used as a form of evidence and reference in future first aid assessments. Useful information to record includes:
- the date, time and place of the incident;
- the name and job of the injured or ill person;
- details of the injury/illness and what first aid was given;
- details about what happened to the person immediately afterwards (for example: went back to work, went home, went to hospital); and
- the name and signature of the first-aider or person dealing with the incident.
Serious accidents to any person injured as a result of work activities are reportable and a record must be kept.
Smoke free law
Information and guidance about smoke free requirements made under the Health Act 2006. The intention of smoke free law is to protect workplace staff and the general public from the harmful effects of second hand smoke – the smoke that is effectively shared with those around the smoker.
Toilets, wash-hand basins, shower and washing facilities.
There should be clean well-ventilated toilets (separate for men and women unless each convenience has its own lockable door); wash basins with hot and cold (or warm) running water; showers for dirty work which may result in contamination of the skin; soap and towels (or a hand drier).
Toilets do not have to be directly accessible from the workplace, but they should if possible be within the same building. Wash basins must be provided in the immediate vicinity of every toilet, whether or not they are provided elsewhere as well.
In the case of toilets used by women, suitable means for disposing of sanitary dressings is required. (Tampons and sanitary pads should not be disposed of down the toilet, such practice frequently leads to blockages).
Where the toilets provided for staff are also to be made available to members of the public, the numbers of conveniences and wash stations should be increased as necessary to ensure that workers can use the facilities without undue delay.
Where the circumstances prevent the direct provision of toilets,(for example the absence of drainage) then suitable and convenient alternative arrangements must be made.
There should be a supply of potable drinking water and the provision of a sufficient number of suitable cups or other drinking vessels (unless the supply of water is through a drinking fountain). Drinking water taps should not be installed in places where contamination is likely.
Accommodation for clothing and changing facilities
Lockers or hanging space for clothing should be provided and changing facilities where workers wear special clothing. The facilities should allow for drying clothes.
Facilities to rest and eat meals
If workers have to eat their meals on the premises, there should be provision to heat drinks and food, and a clean place to eat where they will not be disturbed.
Rest facilities are required for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Work time regulations
Enforcement of work time limits and health assessments.
Enforcement of work time limits and of health assessments for night workers is split between different authorities: Health and Safety Executive, local authorities (in premises where they enforce health and safety at work), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA),the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
Work time limits
You cannot work more than 48 hours a week on average (usually calculated over 17 weeks), unless you choose to by opting out, or work in a sector with its own special rules. Your normal working hours should be set out in your contract of employment or written statement of employment particulars.
If you are under 18 you cannot work for more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
Opting out of the 48 hour week
If you are 18 or over and wish to work more than 48 hours a week, you can choose to opt out of the 48 hour limit. This must be voluntary and in writing. It can’t be an agreement with the whole workforce and you cannot be sacked or unfairly treated (for example refused promotion or overtime) for refusing to sign an opt-out.
If you sign an opt-out, you have the right to cancel this agreement at any time by giving at least 7 days’ notice. You may have to give more notice (up to 3 months) if you have a written opt-out agreement. You can agree this notice period with your employer when you sign the opt-out. You can cancel an opt-out even if it’s part of a contract you have signed. You can cancel an opt-out even if it’s part of a contract you have signed.
Staff who regularly work at least 3 hours during the ‘night period’ are night workers. The night period is 11pm to 6am, unless the worker and employer agree a different night period. If they do, it must be 7 hours long and include midnight to 5am. It must be agreed in writing.
Night workers must not work more than an average of 8 hours in a 24-hour period (usually calculated over 17 weeks). Regular overtime is included in the average, but not occasional overtime. Workers cannot opt out of the limit.
Staff aged 16 or 17 cannot work between midnight and 4am.
Night workers who deal with special hazards or whose work involves mental or physical strain cannot work longer than 8 hours in any 24-hour period.
A risk assessment must be carried out to identify special hazards and work involving mental or physical strain.
Night worker health assessment
All night workers must be offered a free health assessment, written by a qualified health professional, before they start night working and then on a regular basis thereafter. Workers do not have to agree to a health assessment, but it must be offered.
Records must be kept to prove that night workers’ working hours and work time limits are not exceeded, in addition to keeping records of confidential health assessments or the offer of one. The records must be retained for at least two years after they are made.
For more information on working hours visit Gov.UK Employing People – Contracts
‘The temperature inside the workplace should provide reasonable comfort without the need for special clothing. This temperature should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius. If work involves rigorous physical effort, the temperature should be at least 13 degrees Celsius. However, these temperatures may not necessarily provide reasonable comfort, depending on other factors such as air movement, relative humidity and worker clothing.
If a reasonably comfortable temperature cannot be achieved throughout a workroom, local heating or cooling (as appropriate) should be provided. In extremely hot weather, fans and increased ventilation may be used instead of local cooling.